It’s not everyday that you hear about a rare blood type, much less one that only 43 people are confirmed to have worldwide, with 9 of them being donors. It’s called Rh-null, or “Golden Blood”, and is highly prized for blood transfusions. What makes it so special? Well, humans all have red blood cells with 342 antigens, which produce antibodies, and theirblood type is determined on the basis of the presence or absence of these antigens. Approximately 160 of 342 blood group antigens are prevalent and your blood type is considered rare if you lack antigens that 99% of the people are positive for. The 342 known antigens belong to 35 blood group systems, and Rh, or ‘Rhesus’, is the largest, with 61 antigens. What if you’re missing all of the 61 Rh antigens? This means that it can be accepted by anyone with a rare blood type within the Rh blood system. Read more for a video and additional information.
The annual Lyrid Meteor Shower peaks overnight on April 22-23, and this event typically produces around 20 shooting stars per hour. Meteor experts normally say to catch them in the early predawn hours, but this year, the best time to see the Lyrids is expected to be in the early evening hours before midnight. “So try — this year — watching in the early part of the night. There will be a brief window between the time the radiant rises in mid-evening and moonrise around midnight,” according to Earth Sky. Read more for a video explaining the science behind the Lyrids Meteor Shower and additional information.
Photo credit: Matter Design via Designboom
Matter Design, in collaboration with construction-research company CEMEX global R&D, researchers to devise a method of moving massive stones without the use of heavy machinery. They drew inspiration from the Moai statues on Easter Island, and came up with Massive Masonry Units (MMU’s), which uses variable density concrete, so the center of mass is calibrated precisely to control their stability to ensure that one can move them successfully into place for assembly. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) announced that 360 reports from some 12 states detailing alleged meteor activity was received Wednesday, with the majority of them coming from Virginia; Washington, DC; and Marylanda at around 11 p.m. The exploding meteoroid was so bright that it triggered the lightning detector on NASA / NOAA’s GOES-16 weather satellite. According to the AMS preliminary 3D trajectory, the fireball ended its journey in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Bethany Beach in Delaware. Read more for two additional videos.
Photo credit: Indira Chugh
Diphylleia grayi is a type of flower that looks normal at first glance, or in dry conditions, but once they touch water, the petals turn translucent, which fits its nickname of “Skeleton Flower”. They’re found in Japan’s colder wooded mountainsides and bloom from mid-spring to early-summer. Once the rain stops, the petals go back to normal as they dry. Read more for two videos of the phenomenon and additional information,
These days, you can find just about anything on eBay, including this fossil of an infant Tyrannosaurus rex, which as a “buy it now” price of $2.95-million. It’s estimated to be 68-million years old, and was first discovered in 2013, on private land in Montana. It became the property of Alan Detrich, a professional fossil hunter who found it. In 2017, the fossil was lent to the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, where it was still on display when Detrich decided to put it up for auction. “Most Likely the Only BABY T-Rex in the World! It has a 15 FOOT long Body and a 21” SKULL with Serrated Teeth! This Rex was very a very dangerous meat eater. It’s a RARE opportunity indeed to ever see a baby REX,” according to the listing. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Scientists from Tel Aviv University (TAU), Israel have created the world’s first 3D vascularized, engineered heart with real human tissue and blood vessels. “This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” said professor and the study’s lead researcher Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and the Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Cassini-Huygens spacecraft gathered radar data revealing that the small liquid lakes in Titan’s northern hemisphere are surprisingly deep, set atop hills and filled with methane, during its final flyby of Saturn’s largest moon in 2017. These lakes are more than 300 feet and provide new information about the way liquid methane rains on, evaporates from and seeps into Titan, the only other planetary body in our solar system known to have stable liquid on its surface. Titan’s hydrologic cycle is similar Earth’s, but rather than water evaporating from seas, forming clouds and rain, Saturn’s moon does it all with methane / ethane. Read more for another video and additional information.
Most cameras today do not need manual adjustments to compensate for an increase or decrease in light, but rarely do we capture this in-action, that is until…now. A Reddit user yesterday posted a video of a ruler being flicked off the edge of a table, first in the shadows, and then in sunlight. In areas with less light, the camera automatically slows the shutter speed to gather enough light, while the opposite is true for well-lit areas. Read more to see the effect of this transition.
Researchers have discovered two new planets that might be orbiting the nearest star to our sun, a small red dwarf called Proxima Centauri, located approximately 4.24 light-years away from Earth. “We are pleased to show you, for the first time, what is for us a new candidate planet around Proxima that we call Proxima c,” said Mario Damasso of Italy’s Observatory of Turin on April 12 during the 2019 Breakthrough Discuss conference. It’s at least six times more massive than Earth, and the planet takes 1,936 days to orbit once around its star, thus making its average surface temperature much too cold for liquid water to flow. Read more for a video and additional information.