currentsinbiology
currentsinbiology:

scientificillustration:

"Sensory model of the erupted male narwhal tusk showing, from bottom left, the introduction of water gradients penetrating cementum channels connected to patent dentinal tubules through the full thickness of the dentinal layer, connecting to odontoblastic processes and cells at the base of the tubules and at the periphery of the pulp, which stimulate nerve tissue connecting the base of tusk tissue to the maxillary branch of the fifth cranial nerve to the brain. Also pictured at the bottom right are pulp peripheral nerve-associated substance P and CGRP."
Sensory ability in the narwhal tooth organ system. Martin T. Nweeia et. al. The Anatomical Record Volume 297, Issue 4, pages 599–617, April 2014 - The full text of this paper is free
See also:
Vestigial Tooth Anatomy and Tusk Nomenclature for Monodon Monoceros Martin T. Nweeia et. al. The Anatomical Record Volume 295, Issue 6, pages 1006–1016, June 2012 - free full text

Also, from Wired, More about the unicorn-like creatures of the sea:

For centuries, the purpose of a narwhal’s tusk has eluded explanation. Now, researchers suggest that these small whales use their tusks as sensory organs and speculate that sensing changes in seawater salinity might help male narwhals stay safe, and locate fish or females.

currentsinbiology:

scientificillustration:

"Sensory model of the erupted male narwhal tusk showing, from bottom left, the introduction of water gradients penetrating cementum channels connected to patent dentinal tubules through the full thickness of the dentinal layer, connecting to odontoblastic processes and cells at the base of the tubules and at the periphery of the pulp, which stimulate nerve tissue connecting the base of tusk tissue to the maxillary branch of the fifth cranial nerve to the brain. Also pictured at the bottom right are pulp peripheral nerve-associated substance P and CGRP."

Sensory ability in the narwhal tooth organ system. Martin T. Nweeia et. al. The Anatomical Record Volume 297, Issue 4, pages 599–617, April 2014 - The full text of this paper is free

See also:

Vestigial Tooth Anatomy and Tusk Nomenclature for Monodon Monoceros Martin T. Nweeia et. al. The Anatomical Record Volume 295, Issue 6, pages 1006–1016, June 2012 - free full text

Also, from Wired, More about the unicorn-like creatures of the sea:

For centuries, the purpose of a narwhal’s tusk has eluded explanation. Now, researchers suggest that these small whales use their tusks as sensory organs and speculate that sensing changes in seawater salinity might help male narwhals stay safe, and locate fish or females.

vizual-statistix

vizual-statistix:

When I started this blog, one of my first posts addressed chess square utilization by Bobby Fischer. At the time, several people asked me how his move distribution compared to other GMs. So I finally decided to revisit the topic and do some additional exploration.  Here are the results for square utilization for 12 masters, playing as white and black. In generating these, I calculated some other interesting stats that I thought were worth a few bar charts. Who knew queenside castling was so unpopular?

Data source: http://www.pgnmentor.com/files.html#players

wildcat2030
wildcat2030:

How to learn like a memory champion - Companies are creating learning aids that tap the science of memories, says David Robson. Do they work in the classroom?
For most of his 20s, Ed Cooke had been hovering around the top 10 of the World Memory Championships. His achievements included memorising 2,265 binary digits in 30 minutes and the order of 16 packs of playing cards in just an hour. But at the age of 26, he was getting restless, and wanted to help others to learn like him. “The memory techniques take a certain discipline,” he says. “I wanted a tool that would just allow you to relax into learning.” The resulting brainchild was Memrise. Launched in 2010, the website and app is now helping more than 1.4 million users to learn foreign languages, history and science with the ease of Cooke’s memory powers. It has been followed by similar apps that also take the pain out of learning – both for individuals, and in schools, with some teachers finding benefits that even Cooke couldn’t have predicted. “It’s very powerful – it does all the spade work of learning,” says Dominic Traynor, who teaches Spanish at the St Cuthbert with St Matthias Primary School in London, UK. “I would say we’ve covered a year’s worth of work in the first six months.” (via BBC - Future - How to learn like a memory champion)

wildcat2030:

How to learn like a memory champion
-
Companies are creating learning aids that tap the science of memories, says David Robson. Do they work in the classroom?

For most of his 20s, Ed Cooke had been hovering around the top 10 of the World Memory Championships. His achievements included memorising 2,265 binary digits in 30 minutes and the order of 16 packs of playing cards in just an hour. But at the age of 26, he was getting restless, and wanted to help others to learn like him. “The memory techniques take a certain discipline,” he says. “I wanted a tool that would just allow you to relax into learning.” The resulting brainchild was Memrise. Launched in 2010, the website and app is now helping more than 1.4 million users to learn foreign languages, history and science with the ease of Cooke’s memory powers. It has been followed by similar apps that also take the pain out of learning – both for individuals, and in schools, with some teachers finding benefits that even Cooke couldn’t have predicted. “It’s very powerful – it does all the spade work of learning,” says Dominic Traynor, who teaches Spanish at the St Cuthbert with St Matthias Primary School in London, UK. “I would say we’ve covered a year’s worth of work in the first six months.” (via BBC - Future - How to learn like a memory champion)

amnhnyc
popsci:

We chatted with legendary astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on extraterrestrial life and more.

Popular Science: Would you rather have a jetpack or flying car?
Neil deGrasse Tyson: What I would rather have is a transportation system that requires neither: a wormhole.
PS: What incredible thing will we see in our lifetime?
NDT: I think that we will know whether or not there’s life on planets other than Earth. And I think the best location would be on Mars or on Jupiter’s moon Europa.
PS: When we find life on other planets, is it going to come and eat us?
NDT: No. People’s first thought every time scientists discover something new is, “Oh, my gosh, you created a virus, so there’s gonna be a killer virus.” I’m not more afraid of something I might find on Mars than I am of a polar bear who’s pissed off because his ice floe is melting.  

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

popsci:

We chatted with legendary astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on extraterrestrial life and more.

Popular Science: Would you rather have a jetpack or flying car?

Neil deGrasse Tyson: What I would rather have is a transportation system that requires neither: a wormhole.

PS: What incredible thing will we see in our lifetime?

NDT: I think that we will know whether or not there’s life on planets other than Earth. And I think the best location would be on Mars or on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

PS: When we find life on other planets, is it going to come and eat us?

NDT: No. People’s first thought every time scientists discover something new is, “Oh, my gosh, you created a virus, so there’s gonna be a killer virus.” I’m not more afraid of something I might find on Mars than I am of a polar bear who’s pissed off because his ice floe is melting.  

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

skeptv

skeptv:

Bill Nye: Change The World

Bill Nye uses the unlikely pairing of Steve Martin and Carl Sagan as role models to become “the Science Guy.”

Bill Nye is a Cornell-trained engineer who worked at Boeing before winning a gazillion Emmys and turning millions of kid onto science as “Bill Nye, the Science Guy.” The man also totally knows how to rock a bow tie.

via NOVA’s Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers.