Saturday, September 29, 2012

Science Saturday: Mitosis Edition

I saw this beautiful image via the tumblr website It's Okay to be Smart, and thought it would be cool to do a post explaining the concept of mitosis, or cell division.  We need our cells to divide for growth and development and also to replace old/dead cells (such as dry/dead skin cells that slough off), This image neatly organizes the time lapse of mitosis in a lovely spiral - but just imaging this happening all at once in hundreds or thousands of cells at the same time!!

In this image, the DNA is dyed red and the cell membrane is dyed blue. The cells used for this image are HeLa cells, a very common cancer cell used in biology research.  For a great book read, check out "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot to learn more about these cells and the influence it's discovery had on scientific research and on the sociopolitical struggles surrounding the Lacks family's life.
There are 4 main stages of mitosis: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase.  The process of mitosis is actually quite short, and cells spend most of their time in a stage called interphase, where the cell grows and is maintained through various "checkpoints" allowing DNA to replicate in preparation for cell division.

During prophase, the nucleus begins to disintegrate and DNA strands (which normally resembles a spaghetti-like structure called chromatin) coil up into X-shaped chromosomes.  Also, two structures called centrosomes form and leave a trail of microtubules as they migrate to opposite sides of the cell.  This microtubule "transport" system is how the chromosomes will separate. During metaphase, the chromosomes line up along the microtubules in the middle of the cell.  The centromeres start to "pull" the chromosomes apart toward each end of the cell in anaphase.  Once each "daughter" chromosome has reached their side of the cell, telophase begins, and the chromosome begins to uncoil back into it's original spaghetti-like state and the nucleus begins to surround it.  The cell membrane starts to pinch and furrow, beginning a process called cytokinesis, which will split the cell membrane resulting in two whole daughter cells that are exact genetic copies of the original parent cell.

What stages of mitosis can you spot in the photo above?

And for funsies, I remember watching this awful video in high school biology.  I think it's a perfect example of our love/hate relationship with the 90s :)  If you can handle watching the whole thing, I guarantee you will be "singing" it the rest of the day... 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Five Positive Things

I meant to post this yesterday, but never got around to it *sheepish grin*, so here are 5 positive things from last week!

1.) I made a few sales from my craft booth at the Clear Branch Day event last weekend! Success!  I also had a couple custom orders during the week that I worked on.  Very blessed that my crafting can provide a little extra income for us.

2.) #shereadstruth started a new study through Galatians and I am loving being challenged by the Truth presented in this book!

3.) I've also been reading through the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan and it is also very challenging and inspiring to break down the problems in our temporary life and the importance of God's love for us and why we need to fully surrender to pursuing a relationship with Him.

4.) Finally got hooked on the show "Once Upon a Time" thanks to Netflix instant...there is some stellar writing in that show!  We only have 2 episodes left to watch - just in time for the new season to start soon!

5.) Matt made an AMAZING chicken stir fry over quinoa this weekend and it was the noms-dot-com :-P

What were the positive things in your week?!

**Remember, askLOLA has a 20% off discount code through the end of the month! Use BLOGIVERSARY20 when you check out through my Etsy shop!**

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Science Saturday 3.1: Mars Landing, Shiny Fruit, & ENCODE

SciSat is back!  A lot of cool stuff has happened in the science world let's start with the big one - the Mars Curiosity Rover landing!  The landing was actually captured via video feed by the rover.  A superfan took the footage released by NASA and manually edited the footage through a process he called "true motion-flow interpolation at 30fps."  Check it out below.  Simply amazing!

A super shiny fruit has been discovered in Africa.  The plant Pollia condensata produces fruit that is naturally iridescent, meaning that it reflects light as bright intense colors, not due to pigments, but to a special layer of cells arranged in a certain physical structure.  This is common in wings of butterlies or bird feathers, but quite rare in the plant world.

Lastly, the Encylopedia of DNA Elements, or ENCODE, is a new project that catalogues ALL the DNA elements that have been discovered since the Human Genome Project in 2001.  This new catalogue will help scientists to further study the function of human genes coded by our DNA.  Our genome is like one giant puzzle that we have just barely begun to piece together.

Do you have any science news to share?  Comment below!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Diys for the Shoe Obsessed Geek/Nerd

I'm not usually a girly girl when it comes to fashion, but the one thing that I've always been obsessed with is SHOES.  Unfortunately, having two sassy dogs means that the majority of my cute shoes have been destroyed over the years due to puppy teething madness.

I've had a strong desire to update my shoe collection this fall, and there have been a few DIY projects that I've been dying to try out:

These faux painted oxfords are perfect for the fall season.  I already have a huge stash of paint and fabric medium from freezer paper stenciling projects so I have all the materials except for the white canvas shoes (which I went to Walmart to get, but they didn't have my size).  Hopefully I can get them next week and get this project done with! 

I'm not really a fan of glitter or of Wonder Woman, but these flats are just too cute to not try out!  Instead of the WW logo, I might do the Rebel Alliance logo or a My Little Pony cutie mark (probably Twilight's, as it's the most subtle of the 6 I think...even thought Rarity is most likely to appreciate the glitter fabulousness!)

I'm sure you've seen some iteration of the Star Wars pumps over the past year or so.  They look SO easy to do - all you need is a comic book and some Mod Podge.  I think I might try doing wedges instead of pumps, though.  That would give more surface area to display the awesomeness!

Or I can always just doodle on some sneakers :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blogiversary Day

Today marks the 2nd Anniversary/Birthday of this blog.  It's had it's ups and downs, and even though I haven't been posting very frequently as of late, I believe that my posts have gotten a lot more personal and "real" than some of my early posts.  So today, I am sharing with all of you my new goals for blogging.  I want to write and post more consistently in a manner that is true to who I am and what I believe.  I want this blog to be a place where I can share what I love about life and that it can be a positive influence amongst all the crazy that can be found on the internet machine.

So I present you with a "blog schedule" of what you can expect from me:

Monday - I'm going to start off the week with my "Five Positive Things" from the previous week.  My friend Lydia inspired me to do this and it is always a great way for me to reflect on the positives in my life (as challenging as it may be to find them on some weeks).
Tuesday - I'll spam your blog reader with my Tuesday post on anything random that I may be in the mood to write about...and I can be REALLY random. :)
Wednesday - We have a church service on Wednesday nights that our pastor likes to call a time of "refreshing" in the middle of the (sometimes long and dreadful) week.  So I'm also going to have a mid-week post discussing my faith, such as issues I'm struggling with and/or encouragement from the Word.
Thursday - Another "random post" day, or if I'm ambitious and stay motivated, I will use this day to share something I'm working on musically.
Friday - The day before the weekend, I want to share my craft inspirations or DIY tutorials to prepare you for a weekend full of crafting fun!
Saturday - Science Saturday posts will resume.  There's been a lot of awesome news in the science fields these past few months, and I miss sharing those with you.  So get ready to be educated and amazed!
Sunday - In keeping the Sabbath day, I won't typically post anything on Sunday.

This is all subject to change, and some weeks, I might not post or there will be other random posts throughout the week...but I figured since this day marks a new "blog year", I want to start blogging more intentionally and decided to give myself a guide to inspire me to be more consistent.

What do you think?  What type of content do you enjoy reading about?

Also, in celebration of my blog birthday, I am going to offer a 20% discount code for my Etsy shop!  I will be adding some new items shortly (as soon as I get some good photos!) so be sure to check them out!  Use the coupon code BLOGIVERSARY20 through the end of the month! Enjoy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Music Love

I discovered Josh Garrels about a year ago, but only own and have listened to his most recent album, Love & War & The Sea Inbetween.  Last night and today, I sought out his older albums, and I don't know why I waited so long...

His poetic lyrics, hauntingly smooth voice, and stylistic blend of folk, electronica, & neo-soul are perfectly crafted to promote his message: freedom in The Truth through faith.

I often get frustrated with the "cookie cutter"music that floods the Christian radio and music market, because many of the popular songs seem to lack in depth, both lyrically and musically.  That's just my opinion - I know that many people are blessed by the music they hear on just isn't for me.

Josh Garrels music is raw and passionate - and you can tell he is crying out straight from his heart to his Creator..not to an "audience."  I've been listening to this on loop all day - such as beautiful depiction of redemption.

What music has been moving your soul lately?!