Science, Art and Photography

libutron:

Scarlet Macaw’s feathers: a priceless source of genetic and ecological information
The molted feathers from scarlet macaws, Ara macao (Psittacidae), are sources of small amounts of DNA, so George Olah, a biologist from the Australian National University, is using DNA markers to monitor wildlife populations of this splendid bird in the area of potential impact of the massive road that in 2011 connected the ports of Brazil to the shipping docks of Peru.
For Olah, insights into his macaw study population are hidden in the colorful feathers the macaws left behind. Olah and his colleagues extract that genetic material, and then amplify it. Each DNA sample from a feather contains a genetic tag unique to the bird from which the feather came.
By collecting feathers and sequencing their DNA, the researchers can build a picture of individual birds’ movements through their habitat. Finding samples from the same individuals or families in the landscape can tell researchers where these birds move, how far from their nests they fly, or where evidence of their presence can’t be found.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Giovanni Mari | Locality: Tambopata National Reserve, Peru

libutron:

Scarlet Macaw’s feathers: a priceless source of genetic and ecological information

The molted feathers from scarlet macaws, Ara macao (Psittacidae), are sources of small amounts of DNA, so George Olah, a biologist from the Australian National University, is using DNA markers to monitor wildlife populations of this splendid bird in the area of potential impact of the massive road that in 2011 connected the ports of Brazil to the shipping docks of Peru.

For Olah, insights into his macaw study population are hidden in the colorful feathers the macaws left behind. Olah and his colleagues extract that genetic material, and then amplify it. Each DNA sample from a feather contains a genetic tag unique to the bird from which the feather came.

By collecting feathers and sequencing their DNA, the researchers can build a picture of individual birds’ movements through their habitat. Finding samples from the same individuals or families in the landscape can tell researchers where these birds move, how far from their nests they fly, or where evidence of their presence can’t be found.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Giovanni Mari | Locality: Tambopata National Reserve, Peru

(via dendroica)

spring-of-mathematics:

Mathematics and Art - A Penrose Tiling

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts"
- Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

A Penrose tiling is a non-periodic tiling generated by an aperiodic set of prototiles. Penrose tilings are named after mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose who investigated these sets in the 1970s. 

A Penrose tiling has many remarkable properties, most notably:

  • It is non-periodic, which means that it lacks any translational symmetry.
  • It is self-similar, so the same patterns occur at larger and larger scales. Thus, the tiling can be obtained through “inflation” (or “deflation”) and any finite patch from the tiling occurs infinitely many times.
  • It is a quasicrystal: implemented as a physical structure a Penrose tiling will produce Bragg diffraction and its diffractogram reveals both the fivefold symmetry and the underlying long range order.

The three types of Penrose tiling:The original pentagonal Penrose tiling (P1), Kite and dart tiling (P2) and Rhombus tiling (P3).They have many common features: in each case, the tiles are constructed from shapes related to the pentagon (and hence to the golden ratio), but the basic tile shapes need to be supplemented by matching rules in order to tile aperiodically; these rules may be described using labeled vertices or edges, or patterns on the tile faces – alternatively the edge profile can be modified (e.g. by indentations and protrusions) to obtain an aperiodic set of prototiles.

Image: Penrose Tiling at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose_tiling.

Some substitution rules includes: Overlapping Robinson Triangle I & II - Discovered by P. Gummelt and Danzer’s 7-fold variant.

Rule Image: (I) A substitution rule where the tiles are allowed to overlap. The image left indicates, that the yellow and the green tiles do overlap. It is unknown whether these tilings are mld to the Penrose Rhomb tilings. Rule Image: (II) As Overlapping Robinson Triangles I, this is a variant of the Penrose Rhomb tiling, using only one prototile, and the tiles are allowed to overlap. Here, the overlap happens after applying the substitution rule twice on one tile.

Danzer’s 7-fold variant -  Rule Image:  Substitution tiling with isosceles triangles as prototiles allow several variations: For each tile in the first order supertiles, one can choose whether it is a left-handed or a right-handed version. By playing around with these possibilities, one obtains this variant from Danzer’s 7-fold.

(via mathematica)

romkids:

Liz Butler Draws The ROM: Fish!

Hi ROMKids!

While I love to visit the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity just to look at all the beautiful forms that animals and plants can take, the thing that makes this part of the museum of extra special importance is the context that those beautiful forms are in. This week that context was very clear to me!

I went to the gallery this week with a specific interest in drawing fish, but I came away with a new perspective on conservation.  This week I drew a porbeagle shark, a blue pike, and an Atlantic salmon.

The porbeagle is an endangered species in Canadian waters, and threatened worldwide. Like many shark species, the greatest threat to the porbeagle is overfishing. For this reason, the porbeagle is a great example of the direct negative effect that humans can have on another species. But, this effect also means that all is not lost for the porbeagle; if we humans decide to change the way we manage the porbeagle fisheries, there is a chance that porbeagle populations could recover.

The blue pike is an example of what can happen if we don’t interact responsibly with a species or ecosystem. This subspecies of walleye was once found in large numbers in the Great Lakes, but is now extinct. Although overfishing was the primary cause of the blue pike’s decline, this species also had to contend with other major changes to its habitat, including invasive species.

The Atlantic salmon is an example of humans acting to reverse damage done to a species in the past. For generations, the Atlantic salmon was an important food source for people living on either side of the North Atlantic Ocean, and in Canada the fish was found from the Great Lakes to the Maritime Provinces. In Canada, populations of fish began to suffer with the increased demands of the European settlers; by the end of the 1800’s the species was completely gone from Lake Ontario. However, it is hoped that through habitat management and restocking of salmon streams, these fish will again thrive!

Have you learned any important lessons about conservation at the Museum? Be sure to check out the interactive displays in the Schad Gallery to learn more about conservation efforts in Canada and around the world!

More info:

  • Liz Butler is an artist and teacher who loves natural history and museums. She loves drawing, painting, and making crafts of all kinds. She is happiest when she can find ways to combine art projects with science content.
  • Liz’s WebsiteLiz Butler Draws
  • Liz’s BlogSaw Whet Studio
  • More guest posts from Liz HERE!
  • Do you like to sketch? Love museums? Are you a full time student in Canada? The ROM is yours to explore, FREE, every Tuesday! MORE!

Guest Post By Liz Butler. Last Updated: July 27th, 2014.

(via scientificillustration)

biocanvas:

Spiryogyra
Spirogyra, a type of green algae, is common to freshwater areas and consists of over 400 currently described species. Spirogyra is so named because its light-absorbing chloroplasts are arranged in a prominent spiral shape running along the length of each cell. Commonly found in clean waters, this algae’s outer cell wall can dissolve in water, making it slimy to touch.
Image captured and submitted by Dennis Quertermous, University of Alabama.

biocanvas:

Spiryogyra

Spirogyra, a type of green algae, is common to freshwater areas and consists of over 400 currently described species. Spirogyra is so named because its light-absorbing chloroplasts are arranged in a prominent spiral shape running along the length of each cell. Commonly found in clean waters, this algae’s outer cell wall can dissolve in water, making it slimy to touch.

Image captured and submitted by Dennis Quertermous, University of Alabama.

iamjapanese:

Jerzy Duda-Gracz(Polish, 1941-2004)

Walc As-dur op. 42 (cykl “Chopinowi”)  Waltz in A flat major, Op. 42 (series “Chopin”)  2001

Nokturn Des-dur op. 27 nr 2 (cykl “Chopinowi”) Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27, No. 2 (series “Chopin”)  2001

Walc a-moll op. 34 nr 2 (cykl “Chopinowi”) Waltz in A minor, Op. 34 No. 2 (series “Chopin”)  2001

Lubniewice, Nokturn H-dur op. 9 nr 3 (cykl “Chopinowi”) Lubniewice, Nocturne in B major, Op. 9 No. 3 (series “Chopin”)  2001

Chopinowi

Ballada g-moll op.23 Ballade in G minor op.23

Mazurek 4 b-moll  4 Mazurka in B flat minor  2002

Kanon w oktawie f-moll  Canon at the octave F minor  2003

(via artpropelled)