1231 stories
·
22 followers

2018 CVE List

4 Comments and 16 Shares
CVE-2018-?????: It turns out Bruce Schneier is just two mischevious kids in a trenchcoat.
Read the whole story
rclatterbuck
5 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
4 public comments
Lythimus
5 days ago
reply
alt_text_bot got scooped.
chrisamico
5 days ago
reply
TFW people you know show up in XKCD.
Boston, MA
reconbot
5 days ago
You know Bruce Schneier?
GreenChange
5 days ago
Nah, he knows the guy who writes comments on public-facing web pages.
chrisamico
5 days ago
Schneier and my wife were Berkman fellows together. Doubt he'd remember me.
Fidtz
5 days ago
https://www.schneier.com/blog/ one of the best blogs over the years
ice0032
3 days ago
hey I found this name on the ground. think you dropped it
alt_text_at_your_service
6 days ago
reply
CVE-2018-?????: It turns out Bruce Schneier is just two mischevious kids in a trenchcoat.
alt_text_bot
6 days ago
reply
CVE-2018-?????: It turns out Bruce Schneier is just two mischevious kids in a trenchcoat.

A Pet Crayfish Can Clone Itself, and It's Spreading Around the World

1 Comment

No one knows exactly when the clones first appeared, but humans only became aware of them in the early 2000s.

It was a German aquarium owner who first brought it to scientists’ attention. In 1995, he had acquired a bag of “Texas crayfish” from an American pet trader, only to find his tank inexplicably filling up with the creatures. They were all, it turns out, clones. Sometime, somewhere, the biological rule that making baby crayfish required a mama crayfish and papa crayfish was no longer inviolate. The eggs of the hobbyist’s all-female crayfish did not need to be fertilized. They simply grew into copies of their “mother”—in a process known as parthenogenesis.

Crayfish specialists were astonished. No one had seen anything like it. But the proof was before their eyes and in 2003, scientists dubbed the creatures marbled crayfish, or Marmorkreb in German.

Scientists quickly realized the marbled crayfish were not just in German aquariums. The self-replicating creatures were out in the wild, and they were aggressive invaders. “Every single one has the ability to reproduce. Every single one could start a new population,” says Zen Faulkes, a crustacean researcher at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley who keeps a map of marbled crayfish invasions. You can easily buy marbled crayfish online (though they are now banned in the European Union and some U.S. states). The species has shown up in the wild in Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden, Japan, and Madagascar. “We’re being invaded by an army of clones,” says Faulkes.

For the first time, scientists have now fully sequenced the DNA of the marbled crayfish. In fact, they sequenced not one but 11 crayfish—including those originating from German pet shops as well as wild ones caught in Madagascar. The creatures are indeed clones of each other, all descended from a single crayfish that somehow gained the ability to reproduce on its own. They had remarkably little genetic diversity. At most four letters in their entire DNA sequence differed in a meaningful way.

Another intriguing fact, says Frank Lyko, who led the study, is that marbled crayfish are triploid, meaning they have three sets of chromosomes. Most crayfish—and most other animals—have two sets, one inherited from the mother and the other from the father. It’s unclear, however, whether these three sets of chromosomes are the cause or consequence of its self-cloning ability. Despite having the DNA sequence in hand, “the reason and origin of parthenogenesis is still somewhat mysterious,” says Gerhard Scholtz, a zoologist at the Humboldt University of Berlin who first described the marbled crayfish in 2003.

Lyko is interested in the marbled crayfish because he studies epigenetics—or how genes are turned on and off without changing the underlying genetic code. Normally, he studies this in cancer cells, as he works at the German Cancer Research Center. But the marbled crayfish are an intriguing model system for epigenetics. They are virtually identical genetically, yet they differ in size and pattern. These changes may be epigenetic in nature.

Marbled crayfish being prepared in Madagascar (Ranja Andriantsoa / Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum)
Ranja Andriantsoa / Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum

Lyko also collaborated with scientists in Madagascar, where the marbled crayfish is displacing the native crayfish species. Their interest is more ecological. In the past 10 years, they estimate, the marbled crayfish population has expanded its area in Madagascar 100-fold—despite, or perhaps because of, a local appetite for them. Marbled crayfish evolved from a species native to Florida, so they are used to a warm and humid climate. “You’ll find that in Madagascar. Not so much in Germany,” says Lyko.

Yet marbled crayfish are in German lakes, too. Lyko says that a graduate student at his institute had found marbled crayfish in one near her family’s house. They threw some of the crayfish on the grill. Lyko himself is less keen on eating the clone invaders. “I tried other crayfish once,” he says. “I didn’t like them so much to be frank, so I’m not in a rush to eat marbled crayfish.”

Read the whole story
rclatterbuck
19 days ago
reply
! This is either really really cool, or really really dangerous, and I'm not sure which.
Share this story
Delete

'Breathe' - A time-lapse video that will leave you unable to

1 Share

I've written about photographer Mike Olbinski's incredible time-lapse storm chasing videos many times. Like, oh, say here and here and here.

I've praised his work a lot, because it's so good; his sense of timing, scale, contrast, and even the music he picks for them is wonderful.

So, having said that, when I say that his latest work, "Breathe", is the best he's done so far, well then. But you don't have to trust me. See it for yourself:

Holy. WOW.

First, and most obviously his choice of doing this in black-and-white (technically, grayscale), was a good one. I actually talk about this in detail in a post about another one of his videos. This style choice increases the tension and also the beauty of the storms.

As I watched the video my eyes were bulging. Several times I got chills down my back too, such was the intensity of what I was seeing. Every new scene in "Breathe" escalates the drama, and had me gaping at what these storms were doing.

There are just a few parts I want to highlight…

At 0:44, a huge field of mammatus clouds sweeps by, each individual bulb descending like a living thing. These formations aren't terribly well understood, and are very eerie to see. I was fortunate to have an enormous wave of them blow over my house a couple of years back. I stood under them, slack-jawed, as they slowly rolled overhead, changing and morphing shape as they did. It was one of the most impressive and just plain odd things I have ever seen.

At 0:55 the mammatus are replaced by a vast anvil-shaped cumulonimbus cloud, what we used to call thunderheads when I was a kid. These towering clouds are flung upward by convection, and flatten out at their tops due to wind shear or inversions. I stood under the brim of one of these as it swept past my house a couple of years back as well. It occupied half the sky, and having just the edge of it skirt over us felt like dodging the end of the world.

But then, oh my, but then at 1:40 in the video I actually exclaimed out loud. Those two back-to-back scenes showing a massive rotating storm cell lit only by lightning are jaw-dropping. You can see internal lightning (called cloud-to-cloud or CC) and cloud to ground (CG) bolts snapping off like flashbulbs at a concert*. The clouds in the storm take on a sort-of reverse look, like a photographic negative. It's just stunning.

I have to add that Olbinski's choice of music is great. The song is called "Breath" — after hearing it he decided to use it (more or less) for the title of the video — and it's by Ex Makina, a husband-and-wife team out of the UK. The best word I can use for their music is atmospheric, appropriately enough. On their Soundcloud page, Ex Makina musician Iain Campbell describes "Breath", saying, "The song is about anchoring life in the present moment when everything in the world seems to be in chaos."

How perfect is that for the video?

Watching all of this made me think of the raw power that creates these storms. The energy in a typical storm cloud is staggering; it can easily release contain more energy than an atomic bomb.

And all that energy comes from sunlight. Just sunlight, hitting the ground to the tune of about a kilowatt per square meter. That may not sound like much, just the equivalent of ten bright light bulbs shining down. But that's per square meter, and there are a lot of square meters out there in the middle of America. A square kilometer all by itself is a million square meters, so right away that means there's a vast amount of energy available for a storm to use. The way a storm forms is complicated with a lot of important details, but the raw energy source for it is still just plain old sunlight.

It's incredible to see it unleashed in a storm. It's easy to take them for granted, but when you see them like this, when you understand the sheer power of them, their beauty and danger is revealed even more clearly. Knowing a bit of the science behind gives me even more of a thrill when I watch a storm hammering the land; there is no escaping their overwhelming force, and the forces of nature behind them.

* I'm old, OK?

Again, see previous footnote.

1

Logo Format

Light Logo

Listicle Format

No Markers

Featured Post

Standard

Article Type

News

Is News

Breaking News

Normal

Standout Article

Seal Treatment

Image icon mikeolbinski_breathe_hero.jpg

Hide Comments

Video Hero Autoplay

Show the Media Gallery title

Show on Hero

Hero Image
Hero Caption: 
A frame from the magnificent video "Breathe". Credit: Mike Olbinski
Read the whole story
rclatterbuck
22 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Happy Birthday, Link!!!

1 Comment
Happy Birthday, Link!!! I Like Like this comic.

source: Instagram
via: Reddit


See more: Happy Birthday, Link!!!
Read the whole story
rclatterbuck
26 days ago
reply
Okay, that was funny.
Share this story
Delete

kelssiel: ahaze: vaspider: robotmoxie: secondhand embarrassment is pure agony and i wish a lot...

1 Comment

kelssiel:

ahaze:

vaspider:

robotmoxie:

secondhand embarrassment is pure agony and i wish a lot of comedy didnt rely on it

I cannot deal with it. I have to literally leave the room.

It’s a sign of being extremely empathetic.

thanks! i hate it, how do i uninstall?

I ALSO can’t watch horror movies because they feel too real, am I Will Graham

Read the whole story
rclatterbuck
29 days ago
reply
Yep. My problem with most comedy shows.
Share this story
Delete

Guest Strip: David Willis

1 Comment
Read the whole story
rclatterbuck
43 days ago
reply
Like, how is that even an option?
ridingsloth
43 days ago
Hahaha, I immediately thought of you :)
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories