This Is The Best Model Of The Sun’s Magnetic Field, And It’s Hypnotizing


sun's magnetic field variations shown in differing colors

The sun is weird. For some reason, every 11 years, solar activity ramps up. More sunspots and solar storms appear on the surface. The sun gets brighter and spews out higher levels of charged particles that could potentially take out Earth’s power grids.

The sun’s swirling magnetic field is at the heart of the phenomenon, and could hold the key to predicting and understanding it. That’s why scientists have been trying for decades to model solar magnetic activity in computer simulations, but it hasn’t been easy. Large-scale, low-resolution models seemed to match the sun’s behavior pretty well, but higher-resolution, small-scale models couldn’t account for what was happening at the large scale.
Now, with the help of a couple of supercomputers, scientists have created a model that works at both the small and large scales, and it might eventually help to predict the timing and intensity of solar activity. The research was published today in Science.
In an interview with Popular Science, Matthias Rempel, who studies solar variability at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and is a co-author on the study, explained what the problem was.
In the past, the large-scale simulations treated the sun’s surface material as if it was viscous like honey, instead of more fluid like water. But the small-scale simulations that more accurately treated the fluid as watery didn’t generate magnetic fields that made sense.
What Rempel and his colleagues found was that, if you increase the model resolution even further, then the small-scale magnetic fields actually make the solar fluids act as if it were viscous. Sort of like how water with seaweed in it can be more difficult to swim through, Rempel says. When the team’s model accounted for this stickiness, their small-scale simulations resulted in a larger magnetic field that made sense.

“It gives some justification for the earlier models,” says Rempel, “but it also tells us, if you want to model something like the sun, we really have to account for magnetic field on all scales, and even the smallest scales of the magnetic field play a crucial role for understanding the larger scale components.”
But the simulation isn’t perfect yet. “At his point it’s still very difficult in these simulations to get something which looks like the sun,” says Rempel. The model still doesn’t recapitulate the 11-year solar cycle, but it’s a step forward.
In the future, the team hopes it refined versions of the model will help explain how the solar cycle works and how it will evolve in the future.

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Stop Covering Your Grays With TOXIC Hair Dyes, REVERSE the Process with Coconut Oil Instead

Many changes come along with biological aging, with one of the biggest being gray hair. It starts with finding just a few strands and before you know it, they slowly take over your entire head. There are two types of people in the aging population: those who embrace the gray and those who fear this sudden change. If you’re reading this, you likely fall into the latter category and that’s okay because we can help you reverse this dreaded graying process without using toxic dyes.

The majority of American men and women use hair dye to mask their grays. While hair dye might temporarily cover up the silverly strands, they are doing so much more harm than good on a molecular level. Chemical exposure through hair dye has become a severe concern because our skin absorbs toxins quickly, especially through the scalp. Once these toxic ingredients enter our bodies, they bypass the liver completely and end up getting passed through the bloodstream. These toxins are not being filtered out. Because of this, hair dyes have been linked to cancer several times and it’s no surprise—these products are loaded with chemicals.

Different Types of Dyes

There are three types of dyes on the market, so they vary in chemical content:

        • Temporary dye
        • Semi-permanent dye
        • Permanent (also called oxidative) dye

While all three contain harmful toxins, the two that pose the most concern are semi-permanent and permanent dyes. These two types of dyes remain on the hair for weeks, months, or until you strip off the color. That being said, the dye penetrates into the hair shaft and cause long-term chemical changes in the strands. Permanent dyes—any dye that penetrates the hair shaft and inflicts change on our hair’s chemical make-up—have a much higher health risk.

How bad are they really?

There are numerous chemicals found in hair dyes which is why they have been linked to a range of cancers including breast, bladder, ovarian and brain, and also leukaemia. When allergies come into play, the use of dyes can be fatal.

The most common—and the most dangerous—chemical used in hair dyes is PPD, or p-Phenylenediamine, which has been linked to bladder, lung and kidney cancers, as well as nervous system disorders. 

Aside from PPDs, dyes also contain the following (among many others):

Resorcinol: A toxic eye and skin irritant that can also disrupts your hormonal function, leading to hypothyroidism.

Ammonia: Another toxic irritant to the eyes, skin and also respiratory system.

Hydrogen Peroxide: If you’ve gone blonde, this was the bleaching agent used. Not only is it corrosive, but it has been banned from cosmetic use in Japan and has even been restricted in Canada. With exposure to only low doses, studies have shown it has affected the respiratory and digestive systems, and can damage DNA so much so that it can cause cancer.

Lead acetate: Lead has a long-standing reputation of damaging the brain and nervous system.

4-ABP: This amine is a known human carcinogen and has been proven to cause cancer. This one is by far the most concerning ingredient.

So why are people still using them?

The answer is simple: convenience. Consumers use what’s easiest and cheapest to attain. Of course, there are natural hair dyes on the market that are safer but can still contain 0.06% of PPD, when the legal maximum concentration is just 2%. Natural dyes are also a lot less effective. They cost about 40% more than regular dyes, yet last about as long as a semi-permanent chemical dye would (about 8-10 washes). This means using natural dyes will end up costing a lot more money in the long run. The biggest flaw with hair coloring products is they do not correct the problem, they simply mask it temporarily.

Though the FDA currently regulates the safety of beauty products like hair dye, not every chemical has to be approved. Several toxins are legally able to remain in these products, putting consumers at great risk.

Why is my hair turning gray, anyway?

Yes, graying can most certainly be due to genetic factors, but if you’re experiencing premature graying, it’s most likely due to some kind of deficiency. Hair color is regulated by a pigment called melanin. Gray hair is the product of insufficient pigment present in the hair follicles, while white hair is caused by the absence of melanin altogether.

A few strands of gray hair is actually pretty normal by the age of ten, but it 50% of your head is gray before you hit 40, this is referred to as premature gray hair. In these cases, gray hair is due to health conditions like thyroid problems, B12 deficiencies, anemia and even stress.

How coconut oil reverses the graying process

Coconut oil is loaded with the carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals your hair and scalp need. In addition, it containshair-strengthening properties that protect against hair loss and even balding. For those whose hair has become brittle and damaged from hair dye, this incredible oil is the only thing that will revive it safely and effectively.

The oil will infuse back into the hair shaft what it has lost over time. Regularly applying coconut oil will ensure enough of it penetrates though. All you need to do is massage it into your scalp and hair each night before bed and wash it out the next morning. You’ll not only notice the difference in color, but also in your hair’s overall health.

The next time you’re thinking about dyeing, reach instead for 100% natural, chemical-free alternatives that will help prolong and even reverse the graying process. After years of using dyes to hide grays, there’s no doubt your hair has been so badly damaged from chemical exposure. Lines like NIUCOCO’s contain all natural hair care products that will help get your hair back to its original state and will slow down the graying process at the same time. NIUCOCO uses only industry leading ingredients and is the only brand out there that uses cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil.

Superfoods and supplements for the skin YOU want

Unfortunately creams can’t cut it alone. What we feed our face with makes a massive difference to how it looks and as the skin is the last in line to receive nutrients, you need to maximise your diet with the right ones to reap the rewards. Leading UK facialist Abigail James gave us some tips on sourcing the right superfoods with which to supplement your diet. We hope you’re hungry.

Skin Goal: Blemish-free skin

Skin Win: Zinc. Abigail says it is “essential in wound healing and healthy cell renewal, a key aspect nutritionally for acne sufferers who are often deficient in this”. Get it in spinach, pumpkin seeds and raw cacao. Also, help to balance your hormones by supercharging your smoothies with maca, a malty-tasting superfood.

Skin Sin: Greasy, processed foods can cause blood sugar spikes and hormones to over-produce oil, clogging pores. Experiment with cutting back on milk, too – some people find their sensitivity to dairy can show itself in the form of blemishes, especially in the lower area of the face.

Skin Goal: A brighter complexion

Skin Win: Vitamin E, Abigail says, is “essential for retaining moisture and protecting against free radical damage”, so consume it daily as a sun damage preventer in the form of goji berries or by adding wheatgrass and barley grass to your juices. Also increase your skin’s own SPF, lycopene, to prevent pigmentation. It’s found in red fruit and veggies including tomatoes and also green tea.

Skin Sin: Booze. It soaks up your glow and dehydrates you. A congested liver from a build-up of toxins (i.e. alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods) can show up in the form of dark circles under your eyes. Sob.

Skin Goal: Fewer lines

Skin Win: Vitamin A. Moringa powder, which you can add to your juices, soups and sauces, contains this key anti-ageing vitamin which is vital for cell-turnover. This superfood is also packed with amino acids, which Abigail explains “are essential for the connective tissues and keep the skin smooth, elastic and strong – they are the building blocks, the part of the cells which gives it its structure”.

Skin Sin: Sugar. The white stuff is notoriously ageing as it accelerates the process of glycation, which ages skin by making our collagen and elastin brittle.


Skin Goal: Plumped-up skin

Skin Win: Vitamin B3 (or niacin) is “key for the skin’s healthy barrier protection, keeping moisture in and irritants out”, Abigail confirms. Moisturise your skin from within by eating avocado which contains B3 as well as Vitamin E (as noted above!), Vitamin C to help promote collagen growth and plenty of the skin plumping good fats.

Skin Sin: Caffeine. As well as potentially dehydrating the skin because it’s a diuretic, it’s a vasodilator too which can make your skin look uneven and pores more apparent. Swap the flat white for a tall green.

Mysterious Fairy Circles That Cover Namibian Desert Now Appear in Australia

At the same time, the scientific community tends to think that fairy circles were caused by termite or ant activity. There are also many alternative versions that link this unusual phenomenon to radiation, underground gas and even aliens. Still, no one knows for sure what caused these circular barren patches of land to appear, and till now, the fairy circles of Namibia’s desert were believed to be the only ones of their kind. However, it turns out that they are not that unique as similar patterns were discovered in the Western Australian outback, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We couldn’t believe it—the Namibia fairy circles are supposed to be the only ones in the world,” Dr. Stephan Getzin, study co-author and ecologist at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Germany, told the Smithsonian Magazine.

First particle-beams of 2016 in Cern’s Large Hadron Collider

The LHC has begun circulating proton beams again, after a 13-week maintenance break. What are the next steps?

Easter doesn’t stop work at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Cern.
Easter doesn’t stop work at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Cern.

It was definitely a “maintenance break”, not a holiday. Those accelerator people don’t care about holidays, as indicated by that fact that, like last year, they are working over Easter. Proton beams were injected into the ring and circulated today, an important step on the way to more physics in 2016.

This short video nicely explains what has just been achieved and what needs to happen next:

It is great to see the LHC coming back online smoothly. From the point of view of the people working on the big experiments – ATLAS (mine¹), CMS, LHCb and ALICE – this is a chance to check to that our detectors can do the same. It is all looking good.

 Unlike last year, there is no big step-up in the collision energy. However, we hope for and expect a big increase in the amount of data collected at the high energies that were reached for the first time in 2015.

More data means more collisions. If you think of each collision between a pair of high-energy protons as an experiment, then essentially this year we hope to be performing billions of repeats of the experiment that we already performed billions of times last year. This may sound a bit dull, but it is far from being so.

These collisions are quantum-mechnical events. There are many possible outcomes for each collision, many different new particles that might be produced, and although physics predicts probabilities for what should happen in such a collision, it does not predict individual results. It is as though we are rolling dice. Our theory tells us each side, one to six, has an equal chance of turning up. But that doesn’t tell me what to expect on a single roll. To test the theory I have to roll the dice many times. And the more times I roll them, the more accurate will be the test.

 The animation of the data collection for that discovery is shown in an article I wrote about the birth of that new particle. It gives a really good impression of how collecting more data smooths out the random noise, and makes a genuine bump more prominent. We will be watching similar plots intently this year, and we will hopefully know by the end whether our latest bump is real or not.

If it is real, it will mean a new particle, not expected by, or contained within, the Standard Model of particle physics. It will be a big clue to some important answers the Standard Model does not provide, such as the nature of Dark Matter, or maybe even how gravity fits in. And it will be the biggest breakthrough in particle physics for decades. If the LHC keeps up the rate of progress it showed today, we have a very exciting year ahead of us.

Watch the video. URL:

N-Acetylcysteine in the Treatment of Excoriation Disorder:  A Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance  Excoriation (skin-picking) disorder (SPD) is a disabling, underrecognized condition in which individuals repeatedly pick at their skin, leading to noticeable tissue damage. To date, there has been no clearly effective pharmacologic or psychological treatment for SPD.

Objective  To determine whether N-acetylcysteine, an amino acid that appears to restore extracellular glutamate concentration in the nucleus accumbens, will be more effective than placebo in reducing compulsive picking behavior.

Design, Setting, and Participants  A randomized, double-blind trial was conducted at ambulatory care centers at the University of Minnesota (September 12, 2011, to June 15, 2012) and the University of Chicago (December 17, 2012, to June 26, 2015) and included 66 adults with SPD. Data analysis was performed from July 16 to September 9, 2015.

Interventions  N-acetylcysteine (dosing range, 1200-3000 mg/d) or placebo was administered for 12 weeks.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Participants were assessed using measures of skin-picking severity, including the modified Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (NE-YBOCS); total scores range from 0 to 40, with higher scores reflective of greater symptom severity. Another measure of skin-picking severity was the Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale; total scores range from 1 (normal) to 7 (among the most extremely ill patients), and improvement ratings range from 7 (very much worse) to 1 (very much improved). Selected cognitive tasks included the Intra-dimensional/Extra-dimensional Shift Task to examine cognitive flexibility, with the key outcome measures being the number of errors, and Stop-Signal Reaction Time task, which evaluates motor inhibition. Outcomes were examined using a linear mixed-effects model.

Results  Of the 66 participants (31 randomized to placebo and 35 to N-acetylcysteine) included in the analysis, 59 (89%) were women; mean (SD) age was 34.8 (11.0) years. Compared with placebo, N-acetylcysteine treatment was associated with significant improvements in the NE-YBOCS. At baseline, NE-YBOCS scores were 18.9 and 17.9 for the treatment and placebo groups, respectively, and at 12 weeks, the scores were 11.5 and 14.1 for the treatment and placebo groups, respectively (P = .048). For the Clinical Global Impression-Severity scale, baseline scores were 3.5 and 4.0 and 12-week scores were 3.0 and 4.2, respectively (P = .003). These effects were significant both in terms of treatment by time interactions and post hoc tests at 1 or more individual time points. At the study’s end point, of the 53 participants who completed the study, 15 of the 32 participants (47%) receiving N-acetylcysteine were much or very much improved compared with 4 of the 21 participants (19%) receiving placebo (P = .03). There were no significant differences between the active and placebo arms in terms of psychosocial functioning.

Conclusions and Relevance  N-acetylcysteine treatment resulted in significant reductions in skin-picking symptoms and was well tolerated. The glutamate system may prove a beneficial target in treating SPD and other compulsive behaviors.

Best Foods for Stress

When work deadlines begin piling up and your social calendar is booked, the last thing you want to hear is to steer clear of the vending machine. Who has time for healthy eating? But when it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your tension. Indeed, some foods may help stabilize blood sugar or, better yet, your emotional response. Here, 12 foods to reach for when you’ve just about had enough.,,20909426,00.html?xid=socialflow_facebook_health

Creation of minimal cell with just the genes needed for independent life

Researchers have designed and synthesized a minimal bacterial genome, containing only the genes necessary for life. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the March 25, 2016, issue of Science, published by AAAS. The paper, by C.A. Hutchison III at J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues was titled, “Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome.”

Researchers have designed and synthesized a minimal bacterial genome, containing only the genes necessary for life, and consisting of just 473 genes. This advances the team’s groundbreaking research published in 2010, in which they built and booted up the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell, providing proof of principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the lab, and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new, self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome.

After this the team — led by Craig Venter and Clyde Hutchison — set about their ultimate objective, a goal since 1995, to synthesize a minimal cell containing only the genes necessary to sustain life in its simplest form, an effort that could help scientists understand the function of every essential gene in a cell.

To do this work, Venter, Hutchison and colleagues again turned to Mycoplasma, bacteria possessing the smallest known genomes of any autonomously replicating cells. In 2010, the researchers had synthesized the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides. Here, based on existing literature, the researchers designed hypothetical minimal genomes in eight different segments, each of which could be tested in order to accurately classify constituent genes as essential or not. During this design-build-test process, the researchers also sought to identify quasi-essential genes, those needed for robust growth but not absolutely required for life.

In a series of experiments, Venter, Hutchison and colleagues inserted transposons (or foreign genetic sequences) into numerous genes to disrupt their functions and determine which ones were necessary to the overall functioning of the bacteria. They whittled away at the synthetic, reduced genome, repeating experiments until no more genes could be disrupted and the genome was as small as possible.

Critically, analysis revealed that some genes initially classified as “non-essential” do in fact perform the same essential function as a second gene; thus, one of the pair of genes needs to be retained in the minimal genome. A final version, dubbed JCVI-syn3.0, comprises 473 genes — a genome smaller than that of any autonomously replicating cell found in nature to date.

The researchers’ minimal genome lacks all DNA-modifying and restriction genes and most genes encoding lipoproteins. In contrast, almost all genes involved in reading and expressing the genetic information in the genome, as well as in preserving genetic information across generations, are retained. Interestingly, the precise biological functions of roughly 31% of the JCVI-syn3.0 genes remain undiscovered.

However, several potential homologs for a number of these genes were found in other organisms, suggesting they encode universal proteins with functions yet to be determined. The JCVI-syn3.0 platform represents a versatile tool for investigating the core functions of life.

Long-term glycemic control using polymer-encapsulated human stem cell-derived beta cells in immune-competent mice

The transplantation of glucose-responsive, insulin-producing cells offers the potential for restoring glycemic control in individuals with diabetes1. Pancreas transplantation and the infusion of cadaveric islets are currently implemented clinically2, but these approaches are limited by the adverse effects of immunosuppressive therapy over the lifetime of the recipient and the limited supply of donor tissue3. The latter concern may be addressed by recently described glucose-responsive mature beta cells that are derived from human embryonic stem cells (referred to as SC-β cells), which may represent an unlimited source of human cells for pancreas replacement therapy4. Strategies to address the immunosuppression concerns include immunoisolation of insulin-producing cells with porous biomaterials that function as an immune barrier5, 6. However, clinical implementation has been challenging because of host immune responses to the implant materials7. Here we report the first long-term glycemic correction of a diabetic, immunocompetent animal model using human SC-β cells. SC-β cells were encapsulated with alginate derivatives capable of mitigating foreign-body responses in vivo and implanted into the intraperitoneal space of C57BL/6J mice treated with streptozotocin, which is an animal model for chemically induced type 1 diabetes. These implants induced glycemic correction without any immunosuppression until their removal at 174 d after implantation. Human C-peptide concentrations and in vivo glucose responsiveness demonstrated therapeutically relevant glycemic control. Implants retrieved after 174 d contained viable insulin-producing cells.

This Indian scientist has invented clothes that use light to clean themselves

This is science but not fiction! Dr Rajesh Ramanathan along with a group of researchers, has developed a technology to make textiles clean themselves within less than six minutes when put under a light bulb or out in the sun.

Rajesh earned his B.Sc. in Botany and Vocational Biotechnology from the Mumbai University in 2004. He was conferred with a PhD in Nano-Biotechnology by the RMIT University of Melbourne in 2012.

Image : (L) - Australian Nanotechnology Network; (R) - mfirsthome

According to Zee News, these researchers have developed a cheap and efficient way to grow special nanostructures, which can degrade organic matter when exposed to light, directly onto textiles.

Rajesh says, “There’s more work to do to before we can start throwing out our washing machines, but this advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles.”

Image: (L) Tidy House ; (R) PSFK

The research paper was published in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces. The work paves the way towards nano-enhanced textiles that can spontaneously clean themselves of stains and grime simply by being put under light.

The process developed by the team had a variety of applications for catalysis-based industries such as agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and natural products, and could be easily scaled up to industrial levels, added Rajesh.

“Our next step will be to test our nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine,” said Rajesh.