Thursday, 9 July 2015

If genetic screening helps those at risk, why not screen everyone?

Trish Carlos walks through the door and recognizes familiar faces, all watchful and wondering. She gives them an inquisitive look. Why are they in a maternity hospital? Must be expecting.

That wasn’t why Carlos was here. A few months earlier, the dark-haired school teacher from the hilly seaside town of Cobh in Ireland was standing on the same corridor holding a baby boy. Today's return visit had nothing to do with that happy event—the excitement she felt then had now been replaced by anxiety. She sits down next to the tall, broad figure of her husband Declan as they wait for their appointment. The genetic service comes down from Dublin to the southern city of Cork once a month and rents a room in the hospital. Trish had been waiting for eight months to start a process that begins with today’s blood test.

The Carlos family walks into the rented room. It's like any other in the hospital, with a simple desk and examination bed. The geneticist explains that Trish is being tested for a mutation in a gene called BRCA1, an entity linked to breast cancer. The geneticist goes through some of the symptoms and says that a mutation can not only give you a higher risk of breast cancer but ovarian cancer as well.

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Blogger Love: Reading Summer Style

From the collections of emerging and well known designers, to the showing and caring for personal collections.  This week, IFB bloggers have shared personal collections, inspiring collections, and of course how to grow your wardrobe… the fashion purveyor’s ultimate collection.

And as the summer heat continues across the country, you’re showing us great ways to stay fashionable from day to night, and from air-conditioned offices to afternoon lunch-breaks (and one tip if you live south of the equator for winter weather!). We’ve also got vacation on the brain with summer reading, eating our way through Barcelona and days spent poolside in our bikinis. Thanks for keeping your summer style cool, IFB friends! Without any further ado – here’s our links for the week. - Kim Toomey


 
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Echinopsis Cactus Flowers Seem to Explode Like Fireworks

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Nine hours of a Cassandra flower blooming/ GIF by National Geographic

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Ten hours of Eroica flowers / GIF by National Geographic

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Antimatter flowers / GIF by National Geographic

Echinopsis cacti have some of the most brilliant flowers of any cactus, with vibrantly colored petals and explosive blooms that look almost like bursting fireworks. The trick is actually seeing it. The cacti bloom only late at night, and even then only for a few hours. The peak moment of beauty may only last an hour.

Lucky for us, Echinopsis enthusiast Greg Krehel has a knack for catching these blooming succulents in the act. When one of his specimens looks like it’s about to bloom, Krehel brings it inside and films it overnight with a special HD time-lapse setup. Gathered in this video is a montage of his favorite shots from the 2014 season, and he’s already posting new videos from this spring on Vimeo. (via National Geographic)

 
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US Military to Develop its Own Hoverbike

The US Army Research Laboratory has recently struck a deal with two companies, a UK-based start-up Malloy Aeronautics

The post US Military to Develop its Own Hoverbike has been published on Technology Org.

 
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Familiar fishes found opportunity in mass extinction

For mammals, the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous was the crisis that opened the door to evolutionary success. With so many species gone, like the dominant dinosaurs (minus the ancestors of birds), opportunities were plentiful. Our small, furtive ancestors made the most of those opportunities, giving rise to the diversity of mammals around today.

Perhaps the ray-finned fishes—which include almost every fish you can think of apart from sharks and rays and make up almost half of all modern vertebrate species—found similar opportunities. Researchers knew that this group of fish only took off in the last 100 million years (so since the mid-Cretaceous), but the early details were fuzzy. Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Elizabeth Sibert and Richard Norris set out to tighten up that history by picking through seafloor mud for tiny fish teeth.

Those seafloor muds came from deep drilling in multiple locations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Samples of Italian limestone that had been laid down in an ocean long since closed up by plate tectonics rounded out the collection. In all the samples, which spanned from the late Cretaceous (about 75 million years ago) to the mid-Eocene (about 45 million years ago) the researchers sifted out teeth shed by ray-finned fishes and scales belonging to sharks or rays. Both types of fossils are plentiful, as they resist dissolving away on the ocean floor.

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Ms. Fabulous' Green Garden Brunch

mariana leung blogger

Leaving spring, starting summer. I wanted to host another Ms. Fabulous boozy brunch and invite my favorite people to it.While Meryl Streep's line "Florals for spring, groundbreaking " echoed in my head from The Devil Wears Prada, for a June brunch,  I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. I also wanted to be as green and eco-friendly as I could.

First, brunch decor consisted of upcycled tissue flowers made from papers retrieved from fashion events from the last month. Tissue flower DIY here.  I bought a few bunches of flowers and remixed them into vases I had in the cupboard. When you have a total mishmash of vases, I tied them together with washi paper I had lying around and raffia for a more cohesive look.

diy flowers

Keeping with the floral and green theme, my outfit of the day was a green print with butterflies blouse by Byron Lars and skirt by AllSaints UK. My shoes were cut-out butterfly heels by 9W. 

I'm kind of lazy with nail art, so I took a toothpick and just dotted a combination of my favorite colors this week. I left some negative space towards the bottom for a bit of an ombre effect (also helps with the manicure grows out).

For serving, I was introduced to Repurpose party supplies. These were cups and plates upcycled from corn sugar non-toxic.  It has an earthy look (you can totally decorate for your theme. My girlfriend joked that they were even edible (not quite ).

I was particularly proud of my tulip appetizers which were actually goat cheese stuffed tomatoes. 

Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomato Tulips:

1 box grape tomatoes
1 4 oz log of fresh chevre goat cheese
2 oz. Cream cheese
Half of a shallot bulb (very finely minced)
A few sprigs of Thyme
Freshly cracked pepper
Fresh Chives
bamboo skewers

Mix the herbs, shallot, and cheeses together in a bowl and then fill a piping bag (or zip lock bag) and chill.

Take your bamboo and push them through the chives. If the chives are too narrow, I split them lengthwise and wrapped them around the skewers like a spiral. The moist side of the chives actually help them stick to the skewer.

Cut the tomatoes cross-wise about 3/4 of the way down and spear the tomato with the bamboo skewer.

 Pipe the goat cheese mixture inside the cut tomatoes and then place in a vase to serve. Voila!

Now for the "boozy" part of the boozy brunch. My girlfriends never disappoint. Nyree brought a liquor soaked chocolate bundt and June brought a white wine pasta salad. The cocktail of the day was a green garden-themed Gardener's punch as a variation of an iced tea.

Gardener’s Punch


Ingredients
1.5oz Jägermeister
.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5oz Earl Grey Tea
1 teaspoon Maple Syrup or Agave Syrup
1 teaspoon Citrus Marmalade
Orange Slice to garnish

Method
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and give it a few good shakes. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with orange slice. Of course, this is just for one serving. I made a big pitcher for the gals to sip all afternoon until everyone was feeling very nice. 

Happy Summering!
 
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A 10,000 Square Foot Ball Pit Situated Within a National Museum Lets Visitors Experience the Beach Indoors

All images by Noah Kalina

All images by Noah Kalina

Brooklyn-based experimental studio Snarkitecture is bringing the ocean indoors, transforming water and waves into nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls. Covering 10,000 square feet of the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., the interactive installation titled “The BEACH” will include white beach chairs and umbrellas to simulate seaside vibes, while maintaining the monochrome feel that Snarkitecture has become known for.

Snarkitecture primarily works within the space between art and architecture, blending experience and design. The collaborative firm was started by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham and they explain that their focus is “on the viewer’s experience and memory, creating moments of wonder and interaction that allow people to engage directly with their surrounding environment.”

A unique experience is achieved in their latest installation, the museum inviting visitors to wade within the sea of plastic spheres, relax in one of the many chairs at the “shore’s edge,” and grab drinks at the snack bar. You can visit The BEACH through September 7 or visit it virtually with the museum’s live stream.

All included images are by Noah Kalina, more of his work can be seen here. (via designboom)

Photo by Noah Kalina (4)

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New spin on ‘silicon valleytronics’ could revolutionise future technologies

Latest research from scientists from Department of Physics into cutting-edge ‘spin physics’ could herald the arrival of a revolutionary new

The post New spin on ‘silicon valleytronics’ could revolutionise future technologies has been published on Technology Org.

 
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