Paradise

The Earth laughs in flowers.

northeastnature:

What a nicely descriptive name: this is spring beauty (Claytonia virginica). The bloom is male on the first day it opens, and female on the second. In this picture it’s displaying its male side, with prominent pink pollen-rich anthers. Tomorrow, these will bend back and the center will open to reveal the female parts.

northeastnature:

What a nicely descriptive name: this is spring beauty (Claytonia virginica). The bloom is male on the first day it opens, and female on the second. In this picture it’s displaying its male side, with prominent pink pollen-rich anthers. Tomorrow, these will bend back and the center will open to reveal the female parts.

rhamphotheca:

The snake is a Great Basin Rattlenake (Crotalus viridis lutosus) from the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City, Utah. The snake was a rescue, having been removed from a backyard and returned to the wild. She was curious and good natured and never once rattled at me. What a sweetheart! Photograph and text by David E. Jensen
(via: Center For Snake Conservation)

rhamphotheca:

The snake is a Great Basin Rattlenake (Crotalus viridis lutosus) from the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City, Utah. The snake was a rescue, having been removed from a backyard and returned to the wild. She was curious and good natured and never once rattled at me. What a sweetheart!

Photograph and text by David E. Jensen

(via: Center For Snake Conservation)

Australian Wildlife »

emuwren:

The American  Avocet - Recurvirostra americana, is a large wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. Their breeding habitat is marshes, beaches, prairie ponds, and shallow lakes in the mid-west and on the Pacific coasts of North America.
Photo by Ron Dudley.

emuwren:

The American  Avocet - Recurvirostra americana, is a large wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. Their breeding habitat is marshes, beaches, prairie ponds, and shallow lakes in the mid-west and on the Pacific coasts of North America.

Photo by Ron Dudley.

mypubliclands:

Happy Wilderness Wednesday’s from the BLM-Montana/Dakotas!

Today we’re highlighting the Seven Blackfoot Wilderness Study Area (WSA) located in northern Garfield County, about 30 miles northwest of the small town of Jordan, Montana which also serves as the county seat and hub for surrounding ranches in this portion of Missouri River country.

Photo: Mark Jacobsen, Public Affairs Specialist for the Eastern Montana/Dakotas District 

neurosciencestuff:

New research suggests connection between white matter and cognitive health
A multidisciplinary group of scientists from the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky have identified an interesting connection between the health of the brain tissue that supports cognitive functioning and the presence of dementia in adults with Down syndrome.
Published in the Neurobiology of Aging, the study, which focused on detecting changes in the white matter connections of the brain, offers tantalizing potential for the identification of biomarkers connected to the development of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
"We used magnetic resonance imaging to compare the health of the brain’s white matter and how strongly it connects different parts of the brain," explains Elizabeth Head, Ph.D., the study’s senior author. "The results indicate a compelling progression of deterioration in the integrity of white matter in the brains of our study participants commensurate with their cognitive health."
Research team member David Powell, PhD, compared the brain scans of three groups of volunteers: persons with Down syndrome but no dementia, persons with Down syndrome and dementia, and a healthy control group.
Using MRI technologies, brain scans of subjects with Down syndrome showed some compromise in the tissues of brain’s frontal lobe compared to those from the control group. When people with Down syndrome and dementia were compared to people with Down syndrome without dementia, those same white matter connections were even less healthy.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the study was the correlation between the cognitive abilities of participants with Down Syndrome and the integrity of their white matter– those who had higher motor skill coordination and better learning and memory ability had healthier frontal white matter connections.
Persons with Down syndrome are at an extremely high risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease after the age of 40. The team hopes their work might eventually lead to the identification of biomarkers for the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome and, potentially, extend that to the general population as well.
Head cautions that these results are to some extent exploratory due to the small cohort of 30 participants. But, she says, “If we are able to identify people who, based on biomarkers, have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, we might be able to intervene at an earlier point to retard the progression of the disease.”
(Image credit)

neurosciencestuff:

New research suggests connection between white matter and cognitive health

A multidisciplinary group of scientists from the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky have identified an interesting connection between the health of the brain tissue that supports cognitive functioning and the presence of dementia in adults with Down syndrome.

Published in the Neurobiology of Aging, the study, which focused on detecting changes in the white matter connections of the brain, offers tantalizing potential for the identification of biomarkers connected to the development of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

"We used magnetic resonance imaging to compare the health of the brain’s white matter and how strongly it connects different parts of the brain," explains Elizabeth Head, Ph.D., the study’s senior author. "The results indicate a compelling progression of deterioration in the integrity of white matter in the brains of our study participants commensurate with their cognitive health."

Research team member David Powell, PhD, compared the brain scans of three groups of volunteers: persons with Down syndrome but no dementia, persons with Down syndrome and dementia, and a healthy control group.

Using MRI technologies, brain scans of subjects with Down syndrome showed some compromise in the tissues of brain’s frontal lobe compared to those from the control group. When people with Down syndrome and dementia were compared to people with Down syndrome without dementia, those same white matter connections were even less healthy.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the study was the correlation between the cognitive abilities of participants with Down Syndrome and the integrity of their white matter– those who had higher motor skill coordination and better learning and memory ability had healthier frontal white matter connections.

Persons with Down syndrome are at an extremely high risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease after the age of 40. The team hopes their work might eventually lead to the identification of biomarkers for the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome and, potentially, extend that to the general population as well.

Head cautions that these results are to some extent exploratory due to the small cohort of 30 participants. But, she says, “If we are able to identify people who, based on biomarkers, have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, we might be able to intervene at an earlier point to retard the progression of the disease.”

(Image credit)

earthstory:











Brightest Mars in years
Right now is just about the best time this year to view the planet Mars in the night sky. Mars and Earth have different year lengths, so there are times when Earth passes close to Mars and times when Earth is on the opposite side of the sun from Mars.
The best viewing times for Mars are when the two planets make their closest orbital pass, a position called opposition, which will occur this year on April 8.

Right now Mars is rising in the East at just about sunset for most people and can be viewed there starting around sunset.
Because of how the planets migrate in their orbits and the fact that the orbits aren’t circular, Mars is actually getting closer to Earth with each opposition pass right now; Mars will be 0.05 AU closer to Earth than it was at the last opposition in 2012 – a difference that probably can’t be recognized with the eye but which is easily measured. In 2018, Mars will pass only 0.386 AU from the Earth – at the time it will be almost twice as large as it appears from Earth now.
-JBB
Image credit: NASAhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mars_and_Syrtis_Major_-_GPN-2000-000923.jpg
Read more:http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/onlinebks/MARS/APPENDS.HTMhttp://www.universetoday.com/109010/enter-the-red-planet-a-guide-to-the-upcoming-mars-2014-opposition-season/

earthstory:

Brightest Mars in years

Right now is just about the best time this year to view the planet Mars in the night sky. Mars and Earth have different year lengths, so there are times when Earth passes close to Mars and times when Earth is on the opposite side of the sun from Mars.

The best viewing times for Mars are when the two planets make their closest orbital pass, a position called opposition, which will occur this year on April 8.

Right now Mars is rising in the East at just about sunset for most people and can be viewed there starting around sunset.

Because of how the planets migrate in their orbits and the fact that the orbits aren’t circular, Mars is actually getting closer to Earth with each opposition pass right now; Mars will be 0.05 AU closer to Earth than it was at the last opposition in 2012 – a difference that probably can’t be recognized with the eye but which is easily measured. In 2018, Mars will pass only 0.386 AU from the Earth – at the time it will be almost twice as large as it appears from Earth now.

-JBB

Image credit: NASA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mars_and_Syrtis_Major_-_GPN-2000-000923.jpg

Read more:http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/onlinebks/MARS/APPENDS.HTM
http://www.universetoday.com/109010/enter-the-red-planet-a-guide-to-the-upcoming-mars-2014-opposition-season/