science

Woman with MCAS is Allergic to Everything Including Her Husband
Via: GoFundMe
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When this woman says she’s allergic to everything, she means it.

Suffering from a rare genetic disorder called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Joanna Watkins lives under the threat of almost everything, including her husband and all but 15 types of food. And things keep getting worse.

While she’s been in for treatments, the MCAS isn’t responding to medication nor chemotherapy. So she’s unable to really see her husband, Scott, because of chemicals people release. What’s more, her house suffered from water damage, and the couple had to move in with a friend to avoid a rapidly-developing mold problem. If she comes in contact with things like pollen or even body odor, she suffers from anaphylactic reactions, including migraines and loss of breath.

via People

Joanna lives within the confines of an air-locked bedroom all day everyday. According to People, “At this point, her body only tolerates a total of 15 foods (including spices). She eats just once per day and it’s always one of two meals she knows her body can tolerate: organic grass-fed beef (chuck roast cut) with water, celery and organic carrots and organic parsnips that are peeled, cored and mashed or ground lamb with peeled organic cucumbers.”

“I have been eating these same two meals for over a year of my life and they still taste good to me,” Joanna said. “I love to eat — it’s a joy for me. It’s just a gift that I can keep eating these foods.”

Still, she and her husband remain hopeful. On their GoFundMe page, they have raised over $100,000 to pay for housing renovations that would include a state of the art air filtration system.

“We have been so showered with love and support – I know I have been deeply blessed,” Joanna told People. “This is really hard and it is painful, but we haven’t been left to face it alone and that is a beautiful thing.”

via Scott Watkins

Via: Veritasium
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America is the land of inaccurate, outdated, and totally worthless measuring systems. While the U.S.A is one of three countries to scoff at the metric systes (along with our dudes Liberia and Myanmar), we also use a little thing called Fahrenheit when measuring temperature.

The U.S.A and its associated territories is one of five countries to use Fahrenheit (along with our dudes the Bahamas, Belizem, the Caymen Islands, and Palau), but why do we use this outdated system and where did it come from?

via YouTube

This handy video from the YouTube channel Veritasium answers at least one of those questions. Turns out it has origins a lot like Batman. When a young scientist’s parents die suddenly, he goes on the run and becomes obsessed with cool science gadgets. From there, he starts fighting crime, and by crime, I mean inconvenient and inaccurate temperature scales. Anyway, it makes sense in the video.

It’s entertaining, interesting, and as always will make you smarter than anyone in the room.

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It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon, and you can’t go outside to play. If you’re thinking “this day will never end,” then you’re in luck.

The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle is here, and you can do it until the end of time. Not only that, you can assemble this bad boy in any shape or direction you please. It’s a 133 laser-cut pieces of birch plywood just waiting to put together in anyway you choose. The possibilities are endless, so you have no excuse for being bored ever again.

According to Gizmodo, the puzzle is based on a “scientific curiosity called Klein bottle, which is an impossible 3D shape whose insides and outsides are mathematically identical, the intricate pieces that make up this infinite puzzle can be transferred to its opposite side by simply flipping them over.”

The puzzle costs $100 and can be picked up from Nervous System. There’s also a $50 version, which comes with 51 pieces and no image to assemble — it’s just free play.

Via: TechRax
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We’ve heard a lot about how thin and powerful the new iPhone 7 is. We’ve also heard a lot about how waterproof it is. But one question remains: Is this thing Acid Proof?

Good question, which is why TechRax poured the world’s most corrosive acid on the world’s most popular cellphone to find out.

via jjjjjjjjjjohn

Taking several crystals of Fluoroantimonic Acid and dropping them on a working iPhone 7, TechRax tests if the phone can withstand the acid for a day. The acid begins to eat away at the casing but does little to destroy the phone's battery. so The host then adds some hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid. Things get fun from there.

The results and the strength of Apple’s phone are very surprising, especially considering that most people break their phones by dropping them in the toilet. The phone actually turns on in the end, but what the acid does to this thing physically is really cool.

south african scientist optimistic about hiv vaccine
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If it often feels like that the bad guys won and the Empire’s strike back was the final one, keep in mind that good things still happen on our little blue marble.

Case in point: This HIV vaccine, which will be released on Wednesday, could be the “final nail n the coffin” for the virus. Set to enroll over 5,000 sexually active men and women between the ages of 18 and 35, the study will be the “largest and most advanced HIV clinical trial to take place in South Africa, where more than 1,000 people a day are infected with HIV,” according to TIME.

Doctors are very optimistic about the effectiveness of this vaccine, which was found to be 31.2 perfect effective at preventing the virus.

“If deployed alongside our current armory of proven HIV prevention tools, a safe and effective vaccine could be the final nail in the coffin for HIV,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

“If an HIV vaccine were found to work in South Africa, it could dramatically alter the course of the pandemic,” said Glenda Gray, South African Medical Research Council CEO.

TIME reports the success of South Africa’s treatment program:

South Africa has more than 6.8 million people living with HIV, but the country has had remarkable success in rolling out an HIV drug treatment program, which the government says is the largest in the world.

Life expectancy, which sank as the epidemic grew, has rebounded from 57.1 years in 2009 to 62.9 years in 2014.

Even in a world overrun by bad news, people are still doing good work.

video chinese astronaut plays table tennis in zero gravity
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Let’s just put this out there: Gravity is the worst.

You know why gravity’s the worst? Because it prevents us from really reaching our ping pong potential. Sure, we can bask in the glory that is Forrest Gump playing table tennis against a wall, but are we really doing something meaningful?

Chinese astronaut Chen Dong thinks we can do better. So when he was on a local TV show in China, he showed off just how far humanity could reach without dumb gravity holding us down. What do you think of that, Sir Isaac Newton?

Check out these gifs from Mashable and say that gravity's worth it:

via Mashable

via Mashable

Or check out the whole video from CCTV on China Daily.

Chen plays it by himself, but he still has some catching up to do with NASA’s Scott Kelly, who plays “water ping pong.” Still, they are both strikes against gravity, which stinks.

Via: Wired
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You hear it every year:

“Turkey makes me sleepy because I’m a wittle baby.”

You’re probably so sick of hearing that, and not just because you invited a giant talking baby to your Thanksgiving again, but also because it’s not necessarily true.

via GIPHY

Wired has taken umbrage with the idea that the tryptophan-heavy turkey is what causes the Thanksgiving tiredness. In fact, as they point out in this bite-sized video, it’s the whole meal that makes you tired.

From soup to nuts, or whatever Thanksgiving metaphor that works better for this article, the whole meal delivers a hardy mixture of tryptophan and carbs. Ugh, not them again. Basically you get tired because all the food you eat contains these chemicals and all the carbs in potatoes and stuffing you cram down your gullet on Turkey Day force your body to slow down and digest.

Check it out the video and be the smartest person at the table.

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