A dead Polyrhachis armataant that has been infected by Ophiocordyceps unilateralis s.l, a brain manipulating fungus. The fungus has grown stalks from the ant’s head and the bulbous, reddish tissue on the stalks are ascomata (spore producing bodies), from which spores (=ascospores) are shot out nightly to infect new hosts. (A little spider can be seen under the ant where it made its nest.)
something about life (BIOLOGY)
A bit more than two years ago, a new species of the usually docile sea squirt was discovered during a deep-sea expedition to inspect climate change-caused coral damage off of the coast of Tasmania. While most sea squirts are filter feeders, getting their required nutrients from the seawater by straining out plankton, this new species has a characteristic 20 inch funnel which catches unlucky fish, just like a venus flytrap.
Fossil Discoveries in Scotland Help Fill Crucial Gap in Our Understanding of Land Animals
by Tamera Jones
A run of recent fossil discoveries in Scotland has helped plug a major 15 million year gap in the fossil record and provide crucial information about the early evolution of land animals.
UK palaeontologists led by Professor Jennifer Clack from the University of Cambridge discovered the fossils over a 23-year period. After searching in Devonian-age rocks in Scotland for over 20 years, Clack’s colleague Stanley Wood and Tim Smithson finally chanced upon the fossils.
(reconstruction of pedes of various taxa)
They include animals both with and without backbones – vertebrates and invertebrates – which lived either in water or on the land between 360 and 345 million years ago. This 15-million-year stretch runs from the end of the Devonian to the early Carboniferous periods.
The findings help bridge a puzzling gap in the fossil record between Devonian tetrapods, which were primitive, four-legged, aquatic animals, and the more complex, mostly land-dwelling post-Devonian tetrapods. These more-developed terrestrial animals are essentially our distant ancestors…
(read more: Planet Earth) (top image: Dmitry Bogdanov)
Cocoa Butter actually comes from the vegetable fat of the cocoa bean, and is usually used for moisturizing skin. It is definitely good for helping to keep you looking younger.
When used as a moisturizer, it provides a barrier on your skin and helps lock in moisture. It is also very beneficial for people who suffer from skin problems such as; dermatitis and eczema.
It is especially good for people who suffer from very dry skin, it is a natural and safe skin care product to use, and can also be used to help soothe a baby’s sore bottom.
If you can, always use pure cocoa butter, it contains vitamins C, A and E, and these vitamins are is perfect for your skin. Many people will use it specifically for fading stretch marks. You do have to massage it into your skin at least once or twice a day, before you will see any results.
It is a great to use on your tummy and breasts when you are pregnant, to help prevent stretch marks. It is also great for helping reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Massaging your body with cocoa butter you are sure to have beautiful, smooth, youthful skin and you will enjoy one of the many cocoa benefits.
Cocoa benefits your hair too, and many people will use it as a conditioner, you can even put some in your bath water, to give you beautiful soft skin all over.
To get the most out of using it for stretch marks, or as a moisturizer, it is best to massage it into your skin after a shower or bath, when your skin is still moist.
This image shows two whale sharks feeding with jacks in the Red Sea. Whale sharks (Rincodon typus) are rare but widely distributed throughout the world’s tropical oceans. Despite their distribution, they are poorly understood. Biologists are using pop-up satellite archival tags (PSAT) to examine movements of whale sharks in the Red Sea in hopes of gaining more of an understanding of these creatures.
Consuming high doses of beta-carotene can make your skin less sensitive to the sun, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This is particularly helpful for those with the genetic condition erythropoietic protoporphyria, which causes heightened sun sensitivity. The antioxidants in beta-carotene help to neutralize free radicals that can penetrate your skin and lead to sunburn and other types of sun damage, including skin cancer. However, do not ingest or apply high doses of sunflower oil unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.
The antioxidant properties in sunflower oil can help prevent premature signs of aging. According to Aging Skin Net, exposure to free radicals and sunlight increases the rate at which your skin ages, and it may even cause wrinkles and fine lines to pop up early. The antioxidants found in sunflower oil, along with daily sunscreen, can help reduce your risk of developing premature signs of aging.
Some people may experience a yellowing of the skin while consuming sunflower oil, says the University of Maryland Medical Center, but this typically subsides. Seek medical attention if your discoloration persists or if you notice any other side effects while taking sunflower oil. People who are sensitive or allergic to beta-carotene should avoid sunflower oil or any other form of beta-carotene supplements or topical oils, says the Mayo Clinic.
Traditional medicinal systems, including Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese, have used topical gotu kola preparations for treating dermatitis, psoriasis, wounds, skin ulcers, minor burns and leprosy. A small study with psoriasis patients found that creams containing gotu kola leaf extracts were effective at clearing most or all lesions within three to seven weeks, explains Drugs.com. Gotu kola also has a traditional use for prevention of scar formation, and for prevention or reduction of stretch marks.
Gotu kola may have cosmetic benefits, as well. A gotu kola gel available in China, India and the Mediterranean region has been shown to increase skin firmness and elasticity, according to Drugs.com. Preparations containing gotu kola extract also show benefits for sun-damaged skin, for skin hydration, and for effects due to cold and dry weather.
Properties of Topical Treatment
Chemicals in gotu kola known as triterpenoids appear to have wound-healing properties, notes the UMMC. Triterpenoids may strengthen skin, increase blood supply to the affected area and raise the level of antioxidants in wounds. Drugs.com explains that topical gotu kola is most effective in later stages of wound healing, as it reduces inflammation and promotes production of collagen.
Tea tree oil can benefit the following skin conditions:1
- Ring worm and athlete’s foot
- Softens corns
- Cuts and scrapes
- Itching of insect bites and chicken pox
In fact, tea tree oil may be a better alternative to conventional skin treatments.
Tea tree oil is an excellent treatment for acne. One study found tea tree oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but without the negative side effects like redness and peeling.2 Tea tree oil can also treat minor wounds, encourage healing, and prevent infection.