6 Scientific Things in 60 Seconds: Number 50 – The Best of 6 in 60

6in60

As you may have guessed from the title of this blog, this is the last episode of 6 in 60! There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly I’ve been writing this series pretty much since the start of ThatBiologist and I need a change. Secondly I start my masters in two weeks and I’m moving to London on Saturday (eeep). It’s going to take me a little bit of time to get comfy in my new routine, although of course I’ll keep writing! The other big thing is I’m starting a new series to replace 6 in 60 of which you’ll find out about in a few weeks!

Anyway to round up this epic series that lasted 50 episodes and started way back in January 2015, here are my 6 favourite facts from 6 in 60!

  1. The largest shark ever known was the megalodon but it’s now extinct. It lived approximately 15.9 to 2.6 million years ago and biologists say it looked like a stockier, larger version of the great white shark.
  2. In 2008, up to one third of the total fish catch in UK waters was found to be discarded. Most that are discarded do not survive after being thrown back into the sea so discarding is a waste of resources as well as a conservation threat.
  3. There is no difference between male brains and female brains, although each brain is slightly different to the different balance of hormones in each person.
  4. Each hand has 27 bones, and each foot has 26, which means that together the body’s two hands and two feet have 106 bones. That is over half the bones in an entire human skeleton.
  5. Using antibiotics too often, or for diseases that don’t need them, like colds and flu (caused by viruses) can stop the antibiotics working (known as antibiotic resistance). MRSA (methicillin-resistant or Multiple-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a resistant form of a common bacterium found on the skin, which can cause infections after surgery.
  6. The body contains approximately 0.2 milligrams of gold that is most diffused with our blood. However, you would need to bleed 40,000 people dry just to collect enough blood to make an 8-gram souvenir.

Source

Fact 1 = Thinking Big

Fact 2 = Fishing

Fact 3 = Brain

Fact 4 = Skeletons

Fact 5 = Bacteria

Fact 6 = Blood

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6 in 60: Number 49 – Suns out Guns out!

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Hello! I really hope its lovely and sunny with you today, because its time to go to the gun show! That’s right today we’re talking about muscles, just for a minute let’s go!

  1. Muscle can be defined as a band or bundle of fibrous tissue in a human or animal body that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body.
  2. There are three different kinds of muscle – smooth, cardiac, and skeletal muscle.
  3. There are more than 600 muscles in the body, doing everything from pumping blood to moving food through the intestines, to helping lift heavy objects.
  4. Muscles are the most dense thing in your body. They make up approximately 40% of your body weight.
  5. To take one step, you use 200 muscles.
  6. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.

1109_Muscles_that_Move_the_Tongue.jpg

Hope you’ve enjoyed todays episode. Make sure you check back here next Tuesday for a very special 50th episode of 6 in 60!

Sources

The first fact came from that dang dictionary. 2 and 3 came from this site. Fact 4-6 came from this degreed article.

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6 in 60: Number 48 – Skeletons

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Hello! So on a similar theme to last weeks 6 in 60 I thought we would look a little deeper at skeletons, all in just a minute, lets go:

  1. The human skeleton is made up of 206 bones.
  2. The functions of the skeleton are to provide support, give our bodies shape, provide protection to other systems and organs of the body, to provide attachments for muscles, to produce movement and to produce red blood cells.
  3. The vast majority of adults have 24 ribs (12 pairs), but about one in every 500 people has an extra rib, called a cervical rib.
  4. Each hand has 27 bones, and each foot has 26, which means that together the body’s two hands and two feet have 106 bones. That is over half the bones in an entire human skeleton.
  5. The smallest bone in the human body is the stirrup bone, the stapes, one of the 3 bones that make up your middle ear; measuring 2-3 millimeters. It is shaped like a “U.”
  6. The femur is the strongest bone in the human body. It extends from the hip to the knee.  It can resist a force of up to 1,800 to 2,500 pounds.

Sources

The first two facts come this site. The second two come from livescience and the last two come from an excellent blog called degreed.

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6 in 60: Number 47 – Blood

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I thought for the next 3 blogs we would look back into the human body and look at blood, skeletons and muscle. Enjoy!

  1. Blood can be defined as the fluid that circulates in the principal vascular system of low red blood cell counthuman beings and other vertebrates, in humans consisting of plasma in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended.
  2. Blood pH is held from 7.35 to 7.45 making it slightly basic.
  3. There are four main blood groups (types of blood): A, B, AB and O. Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents. Each group can be either RhD positive or RhD negative, which means your blood group can be one of the eight types
  4. Scientists have estimated the volume of blood in the human body to be eight percent of body weight.
  5. The body contains approximately 0.2 milligrams of gold that is most diffused with our blood. However, you would need to bleed 40,000 people dry just to collect enough blood to make an 8-gram souvenir.
  6. Coconut water can be used in emergencies as a replacement for blood plasma. This is because coconut water possesses identical properties to that of human plasma, and since it can be safely injected directly into the bloodstream.

Sources

I got the first from just a standard dictionary (yes I still use them!). The second fact is from medicnet but you can find this all over the internet. The third fact comes form this nhs page. The last three facts come from medical daily which can be found here.

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6 in 60: Number 46 – Sharks

6in60, The Shark Tank

the shark tank

Hello! Welcome to Day 2 of The Shark Tank, hopefully this one will give you some basics on sharks!

  1. There are over 400 species of shark from the 8-inch-long dwarf lanternshark to the 40-foot-long whale shark.
  2. Sharks are carnivorous and eat fish (including other sharks) as well as larger animals such as seals.
  3. Shark populations around the world are in rapid decline. Sharks grow relatively slowly, take many years to mature and produce relatively few young. These characteristics make sharks, like this porbeagle, particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation.
  4. The average shark lives to be 25 years old, but some can get as old as 100! They live so long because their chances of contracting a disease are low. Their skeleton is made up entirely of cartilage, which drastically lowers the likelihood of developing a tumor and strengthens their immunity.
  5. Unlike humans, whose upper jaw is a fixed part of the skull, a shark can dislocate and protrude its upper jaw to help it grab and hang onto prey.
  6. Sharks are especially susceptible to the moon’s control of ocean tides. The phase of the moon can affect sharks’ eating habits and draw them closer to shore

Sources

Just two sources today, the first three come from the WWF. The last three come from shark guardian.

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6 in 60: Number 45 – Famous Scientists

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I’ve written a lot about scientists in my monthly scientist series, catch it here if you’ve missed it. Today I thought I’d go and throw 6 of my favourite facts about 6 of my favourite scientists, simple, let’s go!

  1. Marie Curie was the youngest of five children and was born to poor school teachers.
  2. Unlike most researchers, Jane Goodall named the animals that were part of her studies, normally numbers were assigned in order to remove the possibility of the researcher becoming attached to the subjects.
  3. Galileo enrolled to do a medical degree at the University of Pisa but never finished, instead choosing to study mathematics.
  4. In honor of his work and influential contributions, Louis Pastuer was made a Grand Croix of the Legion of Honor, a prestigious French order.
  5. Alexander Graham Bell didn’t have the middle name “Graham” until he turned 11 when his father gave it to him as a birthday present. He’d earlier asked to have a middle name like his two brothers.
  6. In his early years Edwin Hubble was a skilled athlete as well as a bright student, competing and achieving highly in track and field

Hope you’ve enjoyed this eclectic mix! Next week will be a ThatBiologist special, we’re going to be dipping into the world of Sharks in The Shark Tank with a new blog every day!

the shark tank

Coming Next Week

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6 in 60: Number 44 – Salmonella

6in60

The last 6 in 60 on bacteria is all about salmonella, having a week away next week but there will be something new for the week after!

  1. It was discovered by an American scientist named Dr. Salmon, and has been known to cause illness for over 125 years.
  2. Salmonella is a rod shaped gram-negative bacterium of the Enterobacteriaceae family.
  3. Salmonellosis is the name for when you are infected by Salmonella bacteria.
  4. You usually get salmonellosis by eating contaminated food. Salmonella bacteria live in the gut of many farm animals and can affect meat, eggs, poultry and milk.
  5. Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhi.
  6. Swansea university have developed a way of shrinking prostate cancer cells using a harmless strain of salmonella bacteria.

The Sources

Facts 1 and 3 comes from the CDC page. Number 2 comes from this medical guide. Fact 4 comes from the nhs page. Fact 5 is from the nhs page on typhoid fever. Fact 6 is relatively new information but here is the bbc article on it.

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6 in 60: Number 43 – E Coli

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Another Tuesday, another bug! This ones pretty famous but here’s 6 things to know about E. Coli.

  1. Escherichia coli is a rod-shaped bacterium. Each bacterium measures approximately 0.5 μm in width by 2 μm in length.
  2. E. coli cells stain Gram negative because they have a thin cell wall with only 1 to 2 layers of peptidoglycan.
  3. E. coli common in human and animal intestines, and forms part of the normal gut flora.
  4. E. coli bacteria are a common cause of cystitis, an infection of the bladder that occurs when there is a spread of the bacteria from the gut to the urinary system.
  5. Humans acquire E. coli infection by consuming contaminated food or water. Following an incubation period of about 3–4 days, a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms appear, ranging from mild to severe bloody diarrhoea, mostly without fever.
  6. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is a group of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains capable of producing Shiga toxins, with the potential to cause severe enteric and systemic disease in humans.

ecoli-1184px

The Sources

The first two facts come from ecowiki. The third and fourth fact comes from the nhs page on e coli. The last two comes from the e coli page from the european centre for disease control.

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6 in 60: Number 42 – MRSA

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You’ve probably heard of MRSA before, it’s made the news several times but here’s a little more information about this bad bacteria!

  1. MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a potentially dangerous type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and may cause skin and other infections
  2. Staphylococcus aureus are spherical gram-positive bacteria (it has a very thick peptidoglycan layer), which are immobile and form grape-like clusters.
  3. About 1 in 3 people carry staph bacteria harmlessly on their skin.
  4. Up to 1 in every 30 people are colonised by MRSA bacteria. Like other types of staph bacteria, it’s usually harmless and not a cause for concern for most healthy people. However, it can cause problems if it’s able to enter the body or it infects someone in poor health.
  5. MRSA bacteria are usually spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has an MRSA infection or has the bacteria living on their skin.
  6. MRSA is common in hospitals, this can be because you have lots of people and unwell people are more susceptible to MRSA infection.

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The Sources

The first comes from the CDC fact sheet on MRSA. The second comes from microbe wiki. The last 4 come from the nhs guidance page on MRSA infection.

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6 in 60: Number 41 – Bacteria

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Hello! A new month and I’m going to be going for a full complement of blogs this month, fingers crossed it comes off (I know last month was a little sparse). Anyway on to this months theme for 6 in 60! This month it’s all about bacteria! Let’s go!

  1. Bacteria are single celled microbes. The cell structure is simpler than that of other organisms as there is no nucleus or membrane bound organelles.
  2. The control centre of a bacterial cell is a singular loop of DNA, some bacteria have extra loops of DNA and these are called plasmids.
  3. Bacteria are classified into 5 groups according to their basic shapes: spherical (cocci), rod (bacilli), spiral (spirilla), comma (vibrios) or corkscrew (spirochaetes).
  4. They produce oxygen! It has been said up to half of the oxygen in the atmosphere.
  5. Most bacteria are useful – gut bacteria produce vitamins and help people (and animals) digest their food, and bacteria in the roots help legumes (plants in the pea and bean family) get nitrogen out of the soil, which helps them to grow.
  6. Using antibiotics too often, or for diseases that don’t need them, like colds and flu (caused by viruses) can stop the antibiotics working (known as antibiotic resistance). MRSA (methicillin-resistant or Multiple-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a resistant form of a common bacterium found on the skin, which can cause infections after surgery.

3.1.2_bacteria_1

The Sources

The first three come from microbiology online, there is a huge amount of information there for the keen microbiologist. The last three come from this website, had lots of other short facts if you were interested.

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