Episode 007: Goldenose

Topics discussed: Chlorophyll, hemoglobin, and refried beans; warp drives and (at)tractor beams; comet tails and solar sails; dueling fails and moose in ales; historical pets; kissing cousins; kissing parrots; radioactive brains; red-hot nickel balls and red-hot giraffe love. Also, check us out now on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and GeoCities! (OK, maybe not GeoCities.)

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A child’s drawn interpretation of our episode title: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/library/nose5.jpg
– (FYI, taken from this page: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&np=152&id=1686 )

Social media links once again!
– we are @sshapho on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sshapho
– here is our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVTClZok7feSp5MkfefeEWQ
– and our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/supersciencehappyhour
Solar powered salamander: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23090-zoologger-the-first-solarpowered-vertebrate.html
– evolution of chloroplasts (and mitochondria) — looks like we were basically on the right track: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloroplast#Chloroplast_lineages_and_evolution
– Top Secret (kids’ science fiction book): http://amzn.to/1hxRL41 (paperback)
– The Secret Life of Dilly McBean: http://amzn.to/1a6bQKV (paperback)
– Top Secret! (Val Kilmer spoof movie): http://amzn.to/1a6c0BO (DVD), http://amzn.to/1fVR8pA (Amazon instant video)
– – double feature DVD with Airplane!: http://amzn.to/1fVRa0G
– – Weird Al concurs that Top Secret! is awesome: http://thedissolve.com/features/compulsory-viewing/173-weird-al-yankovics-vote-for-funniest-movie-ever-to/
– FYI, chlorophyll and hemoglobin are very similar molecules, but have more differences than just Fe vs Mg at the center:
– – some discussion on Snopes: http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=79809
– – and on the Straight Dope: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=14584
– – comparison of molecular structures: https://science2be.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/wheatgrass_hemoglobin_chlorophyll_molecule.gif
– one of the commercials that the “Jim never has a second cup of coffee” joke in Airplane! was based on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKGsjtRoMck
– movies may actually be getting longer by decade: http://xo.typepad.com/blog/2008/06/imdb-film-length-project.html
– – although it’s tricky to select the films to base this on, as this article points out: http://www.slashfilm.com/by-the-numbers-the-length-of-feature-films/
– – another discussion, though probably a poor sampling method: http://www.businessinsider.com/movies-are-getting-longer-2013-1
– – another discussion (on a forum) of these issues: http://www.movieforums.com/community/archive/index.php/t-16296.html
– a bit more about patch clamping, for the curious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_clamp
Tractor beam story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-21187598
– actual scientific publication in Nature Photonics: http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v7/n2/full/nphoton.2012.332.html
– Tractor beams in fiction and reality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractor_beam
– “tractor” etymology: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tractor
– optical tweezers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_tweezers
– a little bit of comet tail history: http://www.ianridpath.com/halley/halley2.htm
– – awesome Kepler quote about space ships: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_sail#History_of_concept
NASA warp drive: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/science/faster-than-the-speed-of-light.html
Size of a neuron cell body: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuron#Anatomy_and_histology
– (MJ was really thinking of the diameter of a neuron axon, typically about 1 micron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axon#Anatomy)
All about Tycho Brahe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_Brahe
– ambiguity of the word “namesake”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namesake
– the moose is indeed called the Eurasian elk in Europe (first sentence of Wikipedia article): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose
– yet another reference to MJ’s favorite book, The God Particle (link to Kindle edition on Amazon; looks like the print version is not readily available): http://amzn.to/15DAR3h
Teddy bear origin story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_bear#History
Historical pets: http://listverse.com/2011/03/18/10-historical-characters-and-their-unusual-pets/
Sadly, there has been enough thought about mating humans and chimps that it has a Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanzee
– more on this: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/07/ff_swr/7/
– and a discussion also made it to the NY Times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/06/15/mad-science-crossing-human-with-chimp/
This is the study MJ was thinking of about couples looking alike (it’s not quite that, but same idea):
– essentially, people prefer pictures of their mates’ faces that are partially morphed with their own: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0068395
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_histocompatibility_complex
– and sexual selection: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_histocompatibility_complex_and_sexual_selection
– a discussion of assortative mating (mating between organisms with similar phenotypes): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assortative_mating
– outbreeding depression (negative consequences of excessive genetic dissimilarity in mating): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outbreeding_depression
– – (although it seems the consensus is that inbreeding consequences are generally still worse, of course)
– – a more technical discussion: http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/publications/scipubs/techmemos/tm30/lynch.html
– – Maeby / Les Cousins Dangereux: http://arresteddevelopment.wikia.com/wiki/Les_Cousins_Dangereux
– – the T-shirt study is referenced here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_histocompatibility_complex#MHC_in_sexual_mate_selection
Sex differences in olfaction (link to academic article abstract): http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/713932757#.UlNprCR5694
The infantile amnesia news article: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/brain-overload-explains-missing-childhood-memories-6C10070729
– adult neurogenesis in hippocampus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurogenesis#Occurrence_in_adults
– – discussion with regard to depression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurogenesis#Effects_of_stress
– – a recent demonstration using Carbon-14: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35902/title/Human-Adult-Neurogenesis-Revealed/
– – – (actual scientific article for that study: http://www.cell.com/retrieve/pii/S0092867413005333)
– – – n.b., couldn’t actually find any demonstrations using Strontium-90 as MJ suggested; it is a big part of fallout but mostly ends up in bones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strontium-90#Biological_activity
– a human hippocampus (“seahorse”) next to an actual seahorse: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hippocampus_and_seahorse.JPG
White-fronted parrot mating: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/09/the-male-white-fronted-parrot-vomits-in-the-females-mouth-during-their-mating-ritual/
– and giraffes: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/07/before-mating-the-female-giraffe-will-first-urinate-in-the-males-mouth/
What we thought was a hummingbird tongue (warning: terrifying-looking): http://i.imgur.com/mECEH.jpg
– although some sources suggest we’re wrong and this is actually the tongue of a hummingbird hawkmoth: http://greenbuzzz.net/photos/amazing-microscope-shots-pictures/
– – Reddit link for the above: http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/xkqcj/the_end_of_the_tongue_proboscis_of_a_hummingbird/
– the good news is the image also led us to this great Tumblr (warning: NSFW language): http://badassanimals.tumblr.com/post/3411919273/hummingbird-upon-first-seeing-this-post-some-of
– – in addition to being funny, the above Tumblr link includes some discussion of the hummingbird metabolism (educational!)
– all about torpor (try to stay awake): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torpor
The YouTube channel for the Red-Hot Nickel Ball guy: https://www.youtube.com/user/carsandwater/videos
– RHNB in Elmer’s glue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmPMV4yLFWo
– in Jello (the one with the cool sound): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkiJFRS9Zsw
Jelly, jam, preserves, marmalade, etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_preserves#Variations
– more discussion: http://www.primermagazine.com/2010/field-manual/know-it-all-what’s-the-difference-between-jelly-jam-marmalade-preserves-and-fruit-spread
– and yet more: http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-j-87558
– British vs American gravy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravy
Naming hybrid animals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_(biology)#Interspecific_hybrids
– minor erratum, MJ used the word “chimera” off-the-cuff but that actually has a different, specific meaning in biology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(genetics)


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