10 sea Creatures You Won’t Believe Exist

Hey y’all, I don’t know what is real, and what is fancy Photoshop, so you can try to figure it out for yourselves.  I hope it’s entertaining.


10 sea Creatures You Won’t Believe Exist

Unidentified Creature


Like I said, you can judge for yourselves, and feel free to tell me what you think. Thanks for coming by also.

100 Paralyzed Children, Each a Mystery – The Atlantic

100 Paralyzed Children, Each a Mystery
Scientists thought a rare respiratory virus was what caused dozens of kids to lose feeling in their limbs last fall, but now the connection is less certain.
OLGA KHAZAN FEB 10 2015, 10:10 AM ET

photo school bus

100 children paralyzed

Kevin Dooley/Flickr
Since August, more than 100 children across the country have developed a condition best described in three words no parent ever wants to hear: mysterious, sudden paralysis.

The kids have a median age of 8, and three-quarters of them were previously perfectly healthy. For most, the loss of feeling occurred only on one side of the body.

According to the CDC, in most of the children the paralysis coincided with a nasty cold. That made health workers initially think that the paralysis was caused by a rare virus called enterovirus D68. EV-D68, as it’s known, is a severe respiratory virus that was going around at the start of school last year, and because it’s a relative of polio, it was thought to be causing the polio-like loss of muscle function.

Related Story

A Rare Virus Plagues Back-to-School Season
But now, researchers aren’t so sure. Of the 71 paralyzed children whose cerebrospinal fluid was tested, none came back positive for enterovirus. The virus has been found in nasal swabs taken from some of the paralyzed children, but researchers say that doesn’t indicate as strong of a link as the spinal fluid would have. Researchers at Children’s Hospital Colorado are currently attempting to determine whether the children suffering from paralysis have elevated levels of enterovirus 68 antibodies.

Mary Anne Jackson, chief of infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital and one of the first doctors to recognize enterovirus D68, said her hospital has had three cases of paralysis. None of the paralyzed kids had enterovirus D68, however, and none of the hospital’s 300 patients who had confirmed enterovirus D68 later became paralyzed.

“Right now we have two scenarios and we have no idea how they’re related,” Jackson told me.

Nationally, only one of the paralyzed children has fully recovered, and about two-thirds have gotten slightly better.

The existence of an unknown paralytic disease is frightening, but the CDC points out it’s yet another reason for parents to get kids up-to-date on vaccinations:

“Although the specific causes of this illness are still under investigation, and causal relationship to EV-D68 has not yet been substantiated,” the agency said in a statement, “being up to date on all recommended vaccinations is essential to prevent a number of severe diseases.”

via 100 Paralyzed Children, Each a Mystery – The Atlantic.

Tests for HIV, Syphilis Could Be Done on Smartphones

via Tests for HIV, Syphilis Could Be Done on Smartphones.

HIV, Syphilis Tests? There’s an App for That
by Jesse Emspak, Live Science Contributor | February 04, 2015 02:00pm ET

The dongle connects to a smartphone via audiojack.
Pin It The dongle connects to a smartphone via audiojack.
Credit: Tassaneewan Laksanasopin
View full size image
There are gizmos that let your smartphone read credit cards, sync with your fitness wristband and even function as a TV remote control. Now you can add “run an HIV test” to the list.

A device invented by biomedical engineers at Columbia University turns a smartphone into a lab that can test human blood for the virus that causes AIDS or the bacteria that cause syphilis. The device is a dongle that attaches to the headphone jack, and requires no separate batteries. An app on the phone reads the results.

The dongle contains a lab on a chip. It consists of a one-time-use cassette — which has tiny channels as thin as a human hair — and a pump, which is operated by a mechanical button and draws blood from an inlet through the channels.
Once the blood is inside the device, it meets chemicals that react with markers for HIV and syphilis. This kind of test is called an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and is considered one of the best methods for diagnosing diseases, said Samuel Sia, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia, who led the research. [7 Devastating Infectious Diseases]

The blood changes the color and opacity of the chemicals (formally speaking, the solutions’ optical depth changes). Then, LED lights shine through the mixture to a set of photocells, which read the change in the color and opacity and send the data to the app. The whole process takes 15 minutes.

Smartphone dongles for blood testing at the point of care.Pin It Smartphone dongles for blood testing at the point of care.
Credit: Samiksha NayakView full size image
The device requires little power because the pump is hand-activated — the person who wants to conduct the blood test presses a plunger to draw the blood. The current to run the LEDs comes from the phone’s audio signal, according the researchers’ report of their device, which is published today (Feb. 4) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The test results can be read by anyone with little prior training in lab technique necessary, the researchers said.

The researchers got the idea for the device when examining the costs and the logistical difficulties of getting equipment for HIV testing to rural areas or developing countries. Lab-on-a-chip devices have become more common in the last several years, but few are designed for use by people who don’t have a lot of trianing, and the devices themselves tend to be expensive and customized.

“People [developing such devices] were not focused on usability,” Sia said. “If you have a test that takes 20 steps and a laboratory staff, that’s not going to make an impact on society.”

Although sophisticated lab technology is scant in the developing world, smartphones are being adopted quickly. The research firm Informa UK projects that the number of smartphone connections, a close proxy for users, in Africa will grow to 204 million in 2015, from 154 million in 2014.

That kind of growth makes smartphones a natural target for the kind of technological development involved in the blood-testing device, the researchers said.

This step-by-step illustration shows how the dongle is used in testing people’s blood.
Pin It This step-by-step illustration shows how the dongle is used in testing people’s blood.
Credit: Tassaneewan LaksanasopinView full size image

Sia said the device should cost about $34. The equipment normally needed to run an ELISA test usually costs $18,000 or more, and the tests themselves — if one screened or both HIV and syphilis — are on the order of $8.50, according to the paper. To keep costs down in the new method, the cassette is made via injection molding, a process that allows for mass production, and each test would run about $1.44.

The device can also work with an iPod, the researchers noted.

The team tested the device at three clinics in Rwanda, with a total of 96 patients, as part of a screening program to help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

When looking to see whether patients were infected with HIV or syphilis, the test was able to correctly identify an infection 92 to 100 percent of the time.

The testing device was compared to commercial lab tests and produced 12 false positives for HIV. In testing syphilis, of which there are two types (treponemal and nontreponemal), there were 26 false positives in total and only one false negative. Sia noted that false positives are often caught as the patient goes for further treatment and more-sophisticated testing, and for screening purposes it’s generally better to have some false positives and fewer false negatives.

Because there’s no need to ship the blood sample to a laboratory, health workers can discuss the results with the patient on the spot. This also removes some of patients’ privacy concerns, the researchers said.

The patients also seemed to like a finger prick more than the needle used to draw larger quantities of blood in traditional testing, Sia told Live Science.

The work was funded by a Saving Lives at Birth transition grant and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. The team collaborated with a company, OPKO Diagnostics, and two researchers on the team are employees of that company, according to the study.

The paper appears in the Feb. 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

You can sell your poop for $13,000 a year

via You can sell your poop for $13,000 a year.

As the use of personalized medicine continues to widen, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization is looking to get really personal and it’s paying good money for healthy stool samples.

The company, OpenBiome, is willing to pay as much as $250 for a week’s worth of donations of healthy stool samples, or $13,000 a year, according to The Washington Post.

However, donors must undergo vigorous questioning and stool testing to make the cut.

Over the last four years, only 4 percent of interested donors have passed the screening process, co-founder Mark Smith told WaPo.

Read MoreBill Gates toasts Jimmy Fallon with poop water

The sample is used to treat patients who are sick with infections of a bacteria called C. difficile. It is administered, in frozen form via endoscopy or swallowed capsules.

OpenBiome has already shipped about 2,000 treatments to nearly 200 hospitals in the U.S., according to The Post.

“You’re usually helping three or four patients out with each sample, and we keep track of that and let you know,” Smith said.

Click here to read the full report from The Post.

Animal Sex: How Octopuses Do It

via Animal Sex: How Octopuses Do It. by Joseph Castro, Live Science Contributor | February 02, 2015 07:02am ET.

Often considered the smartest invertebrates (animals without backbones) on the planet, octopuses can use tools, unscrew jar lids and tightly control their body color to match their surroundings. They use this sharp intelligence especially in situations of survival — including when they are trying to avoid getting eaten by their hungry mates.
Octopuses come in all shapes and sizes and inhabit diverse regions of the ocean. There are about 100 different species of octopuses in the genus Octopus, and at least another 150 species in other genera, said Jennifer Mather, a cephalopod expert at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. Scientists have witnessed the mating behavior of only about a dozen species, she added.

The marine animals have very short lives, generally lasting only a few years long and sometimes as short as 6 months. They spend their youth alone, eating and growing before reaching sexual maturity. [8 Crazy Facts About Octopuses] “Then they become sexually mature, metabolize their muscles to make eggs and sperm and begin to mate,” Mather told Live Science.
Love displays

It’s unclear how mature male and female octopuses find each other in the vast ocean. Males appear to devote a lot time searching for mates, while females typically become less active in adulthood and possibly draw males to them using chemical cues.

Because they’re solitary animals, octopuses aren’t exactly picky with their mates. “Females don’t usually refuse males,” Mather said. However, that’s not to say the clever cephalopods have no courtship rituals to entice potential mates.

Male common octopuses (Octopus Vulgaris), for instance, are known to rear up and display several large suckers on the underside of their tentacles to identify themselves as male, but only if approaching a larger female, which may decide to attack and eat them. They will also spread themselves out to appear large, and turn a dark or pale coloration.

A male day octopus (O. Cyanea), on the other hand, will stand tall and tower over his potential mate, while turning pale — as he approaches a female, he’ll flash a distinctive pattern of black stripes across his body.

Abdopus aculeatushas one of the most complex sexual behaviors among octopuses. In this species, a male will guard a female from other males, typically while staying in a den in tentacle’s reach of the female’s den. If another male comes by, he pushes and grapples with his competition, a fight that may end in a fatality.

To identify their sex, male A. aculeatus keep a black and white-stripe pattern on their bodies while in the presence of a female and during aggressive encounters, and females remain camouflaged. Some “sneaker” males use these telltale signals to their advantage by matching their body color to the female’s — this allows them to creep past a guarding male and mate with the female secretively.

A dangerous game

Mating for males is a dangerous game due to the female’s penchant for cannibalism. To avoid getting eaten, they’ll often mate from a distance or after mounting the back of a female’s mantle — positions that give them extra time to escape should their (usually larger) mate turn violent.

Unlike females, “males have a modified third right arm called a hectocotylus, which has a sperm groove down it and a specialized tip,” Mather said. To mate, a male will insert his hectocotylus into the female’s mantle cavity and deposit spermatophores (sperm packets). This process may take up to several hours, depending on the species.

In some genera, particularly those in which males are far smaller than females, such as Argonauta (argonauts, or paper nautiluses) and Tremoctopus (blanket octopuses), males have a detachable hectocotylus, which they break off after inserting it into the female’s mantle.

Females store their spermatophores until they’re ready to lay their eggs. Typically, males die within months after mating, while females watch over their eggs until they hatch and then die shortly after. In one deep-sea species, Graneledone boreopacifica, females may brood over their eggs for up to 4.5 years without ever leaving to eat.

The larger Pacific striped octopus, which doesn’t yet have a formal name, appears to break the octopus mating rules. In this odd social species, mating takes place mouth-to-mouth and sucker-to-sucker — and these females don’t practice cannibalism. What’s more, the females can lay multiple clutches of eggs before dying.

Follow Joseph Castro on Twitter. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+.
Credit: Mana Photo | Shutterstock.com


photo - octopus


Credit: Mana Photo | Shutterstock.com