Now Playing Tracks





[[[withholds urge to scientifically correct this post]]]

You’re more than welcome to scientifically correct this post. If any of you see me post scientifically incorrect statements, I’d prefer if you called me out on it so I can learn from it, remove the post and do better next time.

Right. Let’s get a thing straight first. Chemical refers to any substance. While it especially refers to ones which are artificially prepared/purified/distilled etc. it is not exclusive to these. If you point at any substance both in the chemistry lab and in the real world it’s going to be a chemical (or numerous chemicals). 

The mantra to get out of that is; Everything is chemicals. 

Therefore oxygen is a chemical, urea is a chemical, vitamin A is a chemical, you’re made of chemicals, everything’s a bloody chemical. So using ‘chemical’ as a scare word is wrong from the get-go. 

here’s a text post that came up on my dash yesterday about the ‘no chemicals’ trope 

Now, using ‘chemical’ as a scare word is nothing new. Anti-vaxxers, new-age hippies, health-food-store-frequenting-pseudo-scientific-vegans have been using it as a scare word for like forever. And it’s worth considering that it’s a) largely an advertising  thing and b) scientifically false. 

I’m going to quickly talk about chemical names as a scare word; Sodium Chloride sounds scary. Like If you saw ‘sodium chloride’ on the back of a packet of oatcakes or can of soup you’d probably feel uneasy because it sounds like something synthesised in a lab which you shouldn’t be eating. However, sodium chloride is just table salt. That’s all it is. So it’s worth thinking to yourself when you see a chemical name on the back of packet ‘what could this be really?’ Ascorbic acid is a pretty common one which usually makes people uneasy, but in all actuality is (one form of) vitamin C. (A- meaning without, scorbic meaning scurvy) 

While i’m here i should also say that counting calories is a pretty shit way of dieting, but that’s another story. 

Something about the delivery of this post makes me uneasy. Almost as if the creator of the image was shaming dieters to forward their anti-chemical agenda. 

[Aside; Chemical can be used as a warning in itself. Like, if i go into a lab and I see a box labeled ‘Danger; Chemicals’ I know the sort of properties I can expect from this chemical, (corrosive, probably an acid, do not handle with bare hands, stuff like that) bc that warning is used (mainly in shipping, i think, that’s what i’ve seen in the UK) to denote dangerous chemicals.  but these sort of warnings are usually only used outside chemistry; a label which says ‘chemicals’ in a chemistry lab is pretty redundant, considering everything is chemicals.]

ther was a cool post going around last month that treated  fruit and vegetables as if they were edible products that needed all their chemicals in them listed, and it really blew out of the water the whole ‘chemicals are scary’ trope

lemme have a search for it


right i’ve only found one

note how there’s also E numbers in the strawberry break down, 

E numbers are merely a shorthand to different chemicals, as ‘E161g’ is shorter and easier to fit on the back of a package than ‘Canthaxanthin’ (which is a chemical used to colour things found in edible mushrooms and fish and some other things too i think
right, that’s all i got
TL;DR ‘Chemicals’ is wrong to use as a scare word, counting chemicals is a useless endeavor, counting calories is also mostly useless, you are made of chemicals, everything is made of chemicals, please stop saying that you want ‘chemical free’ or ‘low in chemicals’ food, 
i think that about covers it, if there’s anything you want further explained then you’re 100% free to ask



Acoels are perhaps the simplest bilateral animals in the world!

They were initially thought to be flatworms, but molecular research shows their evolutionary roots probably date back to a time before flatworms ever existed.

Even as flatworms they were always quite strange. They have no gut, no kidney-like organs to help excrete waste and no gonads. The cells they use to create eggs and sperm are simply littered about in their internal tissue.

Their remarkable lack of organs hasn’t stopped them gaining success. They can be found relaxing on tropical corals, feasting on the bits of food they find on the surface. Some provide homes for brown, green or red algae and gain nourishment from them. Many crawl around between grains of sand on the sea floor.

Most impressively, there are some who live within cracks and channels within Arctic ice, seeking out algae to feed on.

So much for organs.

…Images: Samuel Chow/Stevie Smith/Christopher Laumer


3-Day Old Zebrafish Trigeminal Sensory Neurons

The trigeminal sensory neurons (the cells next to the eye) and their axons (the branches emanating from the cell bodies) are labeled by Brainbow transgenic expression. The axons of these sensory neurons extend into the brain (the horizontal bundle on the right side), where they encounter neurons within the brain. The color in the eye is due to tissue autofluorescence.

Image Courtesy: Albert Pan of Schier Lab.



Unlike Anything They Have Ever Seen Before (NYTimes)

Two species of deep-sea dwelling, mushroom-shaped organisms discovered off the coast of Southeast Australia defy all existing classifications of life, researchers from the University of Copenhagen say. The organisms, described in the journal PLOS One, are multicellular and nonsymmetrical, and live 400 to 1000 meters deep. They have been classified in an aptly named new genus, Dendrogramma enigmatica.

University of Copenhagen, Denmark



One of the many reasons that I find plankton to be so delightful is the sheer joy of seeing something so beautiful and alien pop out of an ordinary seawater sample. I mean, I _know_ the sea is filled with plankton but I’m still excited every time! Starfish larva. Photo by Richard Kirby, u…

Larval starfish looks a bit more like a fish and lot less like a star than the adult.

We make Tumblr themes