Browsing Tag: science

    Do Fish Dream?
    Articles, Blog

    Do Fish Dream?

    February 21, 2020

    [♩INTRO] It’s easy to look at a sleeping dog, legs
    twitching as she snoozes, and imagine she’s dreaming of chasing rabbits. And it’s only natural for us humans to wonder
    if other animals dream. But dogs’ brains are relatively similar
    to ours. What about something way more different from
    us? Say, a fish? We don’t yet know exactly why our brains
    race through fantastical or scary scenarios at night, but
    there are plenty of hypotheses. Dreams may be ways for our brains to process
    emotions or memories, or to prepare for new scenarios. Human sleep occurs in a series of cycles. We cycle through a series of phases over the
    course of the night, which can take anywhere from 70 to 120 minutes. Most dreams occur during a phase called rapid
    eye movement, or REM. As you might imagine, this type of sleep is
    characterized by rapid movements of our eyes. It’s possible these eye movements are connected
    to our dreams themselves. Researchers have suggested that each flick
    of the eye may correlate with a new image being encountered in a dream. But do other animals experience sleep the
    way we do? Well, we can’t exactly ask them, but we
    sure are curious. And this fascination has led us to study sleep
    in fish as far back as 1913. That study set out behavioral criteria for
    fish sleep. In zebrafish, that means things like immobility,
    a preferred sleeping location, and a reduced respiratory rate. But it wasn’t until a 2019 study that anyone
    defined what was happening inside the brains of fish while they sleep. And it took so long because it’s hard to
    do! One way to look inside human brains, including
    during sleep, is using an instrument called an electroencephalogram,
    or EEG. This typically measures activity in a region
    of the brain called the neocortex. Fish don’t have a neocortex. However, zebrafish do have something similar, called the dorsal pallium, which the researchers
    targeted in this study. They took advantage of the fact that the young
    zebrafish are see-through. You can see straight into their brains! They inserted a gene into the fish that caused
    their neurons to glow when active. Specifically, it gives off light in response
    to calcium. Since calcium levels change as neurons send
    their signals, this allowed the researchers to watch brain
    activity while the fish slept. Their results showed that like humans, fish
    cycle through sleep patterns. The researchers saw two main sleep states: slow bursting sleep and propagating wave sleep. And propagating wave sleep showed a number
    of similarities to our own REM phase, though the fish’s
    eyes stayed still. The researchers suggested these similar patterns
    of sleep activity could have evolved before fish and humans
    split, more than 450 million years ago. So, this doesn’t prove that fish can dream, but it suggests that they do go through something similar to our own dream-filled
    REM sleep. So, that means fish dreams are a possibility! Thanks to our patron Olan Kenny for asking
    this question. Our patrons submit and vote on questions that eventually get made into episodes like
    this one! So, if you want to be a part of that process, or just want to help SciShow keep making free
    educational videos for everyone you can check out [♩OUTRO]

    Why are Fish eating Plastic? | #aumsum
    Articles, Blog

    Why are Fish eating Plastic? | #aumsum

    February 20, 2020

    It’s AumSum Time. Can you guess the title of my next video? Hurry up. Write your guess in the comments section below. Why are fish eating plastic? Every year, about 8 million metric tons of
    plastic waste is dumped into our oceans. Hence, in some parts of the oceans. There is more plastic than planktons and krills which are a source of food for many fish. Now, according to a research. Fish eat plastic because it breaks down into smaller fragments which are similar to the size of planktons. In addition to this, the plastic fragments
    present in salty seas or oceans. Release odor similar to that given off by planktons. Hence, fish mistakenly assume the plastic
    fragments to be planktons and thus, eat them. As a result, many of them die. Besides this, some of these fish, even reach our table as seafood. If we eat such fish, it can cause severe health problems. Hence, it is very important to recycle plastic and use eco-friendly products like paper bags. Why do we get sunburn? Because sun is jealous of my skin. No. Sunburn is a term for red and inflamed skin. It is caused by ultraviolet radiation present
    in sunlight. Sunlight consists of three types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA, UVB and UVC. Does it contain UVZ as well? Just listen. Our skin is made up of cells. These cells have DNA. When we are in the hot sun for very long. The UVB radiation enters into our skin cells and starts to damage the DNA. DNA damage can lead to cancer. Thus, to reduce the risk of cancer, the damaged skin cells kill themselves. This programmed cell death is called apoptosis. Apoptosis activates the immune response. As a result, the blood flow increases to that area to heal the skin. This leads to red and inflamed skin which
    we call as sunburn. Why do we have different skin colors? It is because of a pigment called melanin
    and ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Confused? Obviously. Alright. I’ll explain. Millions of years ago, people living near equator received a lot of sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. Now, ultraviolet radiation is actually absorbed by our skin to produce Vitamin D. But excess radiation can damage our skin cells. Hence, the skin of these people produced more melanin to block the excess ultraviolet radiation. Thus, overtime. These people and their succeeding generations adapted to have a higher level of melanin in their skin Making their skin darker. However, people living away from equator received less sunlight and less ultraviolet radiation. Hence, in order to absorb sufficient ultraviolet radiation and produce the essential Vitamin D. These people and their following generations adapted to have a lower level of melanin. Thus making their skin lighter. Why do we shiver when we feel cold? Because our body is on vibrate mode. Oh no. We shiver because our body tries to keep us warm. Our core body temperature is about 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. A part of our brain called hypothalamus controls and maintains the core body temperature. Will it also maintain my physique? Please listen. Usually during cold months, the temperature is quite low. Hence, if we have not worn any warm clothes, we feel cold. Our body temperature starts to decrease. This decrease in temperature is instantly
    detected by our hypothalamus. Thus, it sends signals to our muscles to contract and relax rapidly, making us shiver. This rapid contraction and relax of our muscles generates heat. This heat warms our body, thus helping us
    maintain our core body temperature. Topic: Earthing. Why do buildings have lightning rods? I know. They are used to dry clothes. No. They are used for earthing. Earthing means digging the earth, right? No. Earthing is the process of transferring charge from a charged object to the earth. It is done with the help of this lightning
    rod. A lightning rod is a metal rod whose lower end is fixed to a copper plate buried deep in the earth while upper end has spikes. But, why is it called a lightning rod? This is because it protects us from lightning. Lightning is a flow of massive charge. It can damage an entire building and harm
    the people living in it. Hence, to protect them. The lightning rod transfers the massive charge from the lightning to the earth safely.

    White Sand Beaches: You’re Sunbathing on Fish Poop
    Articles, Blog

    White Sand Beaches: You’re Sunbathing on Fish Poop

    February 18, 2020

    Let’s say you wanted to make yourself a
    white, sandy beach. Y’know, like the ones in Hawai’i or islands
    in the South Pacific where people take luxurious vacations and lots of Instagram photos. It turns out, the recipe for that picturesque
    white sand is pretty simple. There are a couple steps involved, but just
    one main ingredient: poop. The first thing you’ll need is a coral reef—it’s
    location-specific and unfortunately there’s no store-bought alternative. Coral reefs are made up of thousands of tiny
    polyps, which are squishy sacs with tentacles that can sting and catch prey. Kind of like sea anemones. These polyps are anchored to a sturdy skeleton
    that they make by laying down a crystallized form of calcium carbonate called aragonite,
    which is a bright white color. Reefs are found in parts of the ocean that
    are considered to be oligotrophic—which means that there aren’t that many tasty nutrients floating
    around, like phosphate or nitrate. And coral polyps aren’t exactly mobile,
    so if they were left to their own devices, they might starve. But coral polyps aren’t alone. They get help from an algae called zooxanthellae
    that live symbiotically in their tissues. These algae can photosynthesize, changing
    sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into food energy, and share a large chunk of that energy
    with the coral. As coral polyps get more energy, they build
    out their skeletons and grow the reef. And these algae are also what give coral its
    bright colors. When you have a thriving coral reef, other
    undersea plants and animals move in and begin to form a whole ecosystem. And to get your white sandy beach, you need
    some parrotfish. Or more specifically… their poop. Parrotfish get their name for their bright
    colours and their weird, bird-like beaks. These beaks are actually made of fused teeth
    called dental plates, which help them graze for their main food source: algae. Parrotfish spend their days scraping away
    at coral reefs, eating polyps for the zooxanthellae inside, and any other algae they can find. They’re not super careful or picky, so they
    end up swallowing mouthfuls of calcium carbonate, too… which they can’t digest for nutrients
    or energy. But the parrotfish have a secret weapon—their
    throats are hiding another set of teeth called pharyngeal jaws that can grind up the coral
    skeletons. Like, the xenomorph from Alien… but in real
    life. This makes it easier for the chunks to travel
    through their digestive system. And they get rid of this calcium carbonate
    in streams of the purest, whitest tropical sand. In fact, according to some studies, one parrotfish
    can poop out around 300 kilograms of sand or more in a single year! After some ocean currents stir everything
    around, you have yourself a pristine white sand beach. Perfect for strolling, sunbathing, and building
    sandcastles… as long as you don’t mind fish poop. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
    brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. If you want to help support this show, you
    can go to And don’t forget to go to
    and subscribe!

    The Tiny Fish That’s Changing Modern Medicine
    Articles, Blog

    The Tiny Fish That’s Changing Modern Medicine

    February 13, 2020

    When you look at a zebrafish, you probably
    just see a cute, tiny fish that’s smaller than your pinky finger. But this little fish is so much more than
    that. You’re looking at an amazing scientific
    tool that has led to some major discoveries. Zebrafish have been used since the 1970s to
    study the development of vertebrates, and more recently, they’ve been helping scientists
    learn more about human diseases and maybe even develop some potential treatments. So why the zebrafish? Well, like all fish, their genomes are similar
    to the human genome, mainly because we share a common ancestor. They have over 26,000 protein-coding genes,
    and about 70% of those genes are related to similar genes in humans. Since zebrafish have been studied so much,
    we know that around 80% of the disease-causing genes that have been identified in humans
    have at least one related gene in zebrafish. By studying what these genes do in zebrafish,
    scientists can learn more about what they do in humans. And there are other reasons researchers specifically
    study zebrafish: They’re cheap to maintain, and the females
    can spawn around 200 to 300 eggs in a single week, which makes for a lot of new test subjects. More importantly, zebrafish embryos and larvae
    are transparent and develop really quickly. There’s even a genetically-engineered strain
    of zebrafish that’s transparent through its whole life. That transparency allows researchers to see
    exactly what’s going on inside the fish’s body, and watch biological processes — like
    how cancers develop. That said, zebrafish still aren’t the perfect
    model for human disease — for one thing, they don’t have lungs or mammary glands. Plus, a lot of their genome is made up of
    duplicate genes. Some of those gene copies might have mutated
    and developed functions that weren’t there in the ancestor’s gene — which would make
    them different from the human versions. Even so, zebrafish have been able to help
    scientists learn about a lot of different diseases — like melanoma, the most dangerous
    type of skin cancer. Cancer develops because of mutations in specific
    genes that affect how cells multiply and die. And the most common mutation related to the
    melanoma is called BRAF(V600E). Zebrafish that carry this mutation, and also
    lack a tumor-suppressing gene, make good models for the disease. So researchers can study how cancer develops
    in fish with the BRAF mutation, and use them to test treatments. They’ve also used zebrafish to find other
    melanoma-causing genes. See, sometimes, the BRAF mutation just causes
    benign moles instead of melanoma. BRAF might start the process, but another
    gene has to cooperate to actually cause the melanoma. The question was how to find that gene. The researchers used human melanoma samples
    to look for duplicated genes that might cause cancer along a certain section of a human
    chromosome. The duplicated genes they found were then
    inserted into the genomes of zebrafish with the BRAF mutation. And only one gene, called SETDB1, was found
    to accelerate melanoma formation in the zebrafish. This discovery might lead to the creation
    of new cancer therapies that target SETDB1. Zebrafish research might also be able to help
    with stem cell transplants. And the reason for that has to do with a compound
    called prostaglandin E2. In a study, researchers discovered that when
    certain chemicals were used to enhance prostaglandin E2 synthesis, the amount of hematopoietic,
    or blood, stem cells in the zebrafish increased. So, extra prostaglandin E2 might be able to
    help treat someone who’s getting a blood stem cell transplant, like a leukemia patient
    or someone with a blood or immune system disorder. Which is great news! This discovery eventually led to the creation
    of a drug called ProHema that’s supposed to improve the success of hematopoietic stem
    cell transplants using blood from umbilical cords. Between 2014 and 2015, it went through stage
    II clinical trials where it was tested on patients to see how well it works. And the results are pretty promising. In patients who were taking ProHema, stem
    cell transplants seemed to start working earlier than the control group. So, ProHema might help improve the effectiveness
    of these stem cell transplants, but it still needs to be tested more. A specific trait of zebrafish might also help
    scientists with regenerating human tissue. If a zebrafish heart gets damaged, it can
    regenerate. Even if part of the heart is removed, it’ll
    just form a clot at the wound site, which eventually gets replaced with new cardiac
    muscle. But if part of a human heart gets damaged
    — like from a heart attack — the damaged area generally just turns into scar tissue,
    which doesn’t pump as well as healthy tissue. If you could regenerate healthy cardiac muscle
    instead, you could avoid that permanent damage. While it’s still being studied, it seems
    like the reason zebrafish can do this and we can’t is because the injury activates
    their cardiac muscle cells, which then regrow the tissue. As scientists learn exactly how that’s done,
    the idea of human tissue regeneration might get closer to becoming a reality. So the zebrafish may be tiny. But it’s helping modern medicine in a big
    way. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
    which was brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. If you want to help support this show, just
    go to And don’t forget to go to
    and subscribe!

    Star Trek: NX Class Explorer – Ship Breakdown
    Articles, Blog

    Star Trek: NX Class Explorer – Ship Breakdown

    February 9, 2020

    As the first human-built spacecraft capable
    of reaching Warp Five, the historical significance of the NX-Class Explorer cannot be overstated.
    It was the launch of the NX that truly brought humanity onto the galactic stage, allowing
    for an unprecedented range of exploration, diplomatic contact, colony support and interstellar
    defence. At a length of 225 Meters and a dry mass of
    80,000 Metric tons, the NX Class is built around a seven-deck saucer section, connected
    to a wide engine assembly by a pair of sturdy pontoons. The ship carries a standing crew
    of 83, later supplemented by complements of MACO Commandoes across the Xindi and later
    Romulan Wars. The revolutionary warp drive of the NX Class is able to briefly reach as
    high as Warp 5.2 when pushed beyond safety limits, and the ship’s impulse engines offer
    impressive manoeuvrability at sublight speeds. At the time of it’s launch, the NX Class
    was armed with basic plasma cannons and spatial torpedoes, but this loadout was quickly supplemented
    by three adjustable phase cannons, and later replaced entirely by 12 pulsed phase cannons
    and newly developed photonic torpedoes. Though the early career of the NX Class, humanity
    had yet to acquire the technology for ship-mounted deflector shields, and this role was instead
    filled by polarized hull plating, a system that allowed parts of the ship’s hull to
    be hardened by several orders of magnitude thought the application of electromagnetic
    power. The ventral surface of the NX Class featured
    a launch bay designed to carry two magnetically-secured Shuttlepods. These pods were able to safely
    cruise though sublight transits at one quarter impulse power, and were fully capable of operating
    and performing complex maneuvers within a planet’s atmosphere. The pods could be operated
    by a single pilot and offered sufficient space for up to seven passengers. The small craft
    were able defend themselves from minor threats using low-yield plasma cannons, and remotely
    detonated spatial charges. The first ship of the class, named NX-01 ‘Enterprise’
    began a legacy of federation flagships that would stretch on for centuries. Across its
    service the ship made first contact with dozens of races, played a critical role in the Xindi
    War and helped lay the groundwork for the formation of the United Federation of Planets.
    Enterprise was later joined in service by the NX-02 Columbia, who’s frame received
    a number of minor upgrades from the base design, including 12% Improved Hull Polarization and
    improved EPS Junctions. The influences of the NX Class design on future
    federation starships are clear, presenting one of the earliest examples of the saucer-centric
    design model that would become the staple of the Federation Starfleet. Despite more
    prominent deviations from the NX Frame in future classes, the Federation would eventually
    circle back this early design style in the form the Walker and much later Akira Class
    starships. Perhaps the most important contribution of the NX However, was the name ‘Enterprise’
    which would come to represent a proud lineage of Federation flagships across the nation’s
    lifespan, carrying the words of Zephram Cochran into the future, by boldly going where no
    one has gone before.

    Why We Sucked At Counting Fish (Until Now)
    Articles, Blog

    Why We Sucked At Counting Fish (Until Now)

    February 8, 2020

    When Galileo trained his homemade telescope
    on the night sky, it transformed from a black pool populated by a few thousand stars into
    a sparkling sea filled with ten times the number. And today, with the help of bigger
    and better telescopes, we know that our home galaxy – the Milky Way – is an ocean of as
    many as 400 billion stars. However, telescopes can’t help us peer into
    the watery oceans here on Earth, so to count their inhabitants, we’ve used fish trawls
    to drag them up into the light – and then – more often than not – onto our plates.
    But now we don’t have to fish fish in order to count fish. In 2010, Spanish researchers
    sailed around the world with an ultra high-powered SONAR, shooting sound waves into the depths
    and using the reflected signals to spot inhabitants. While previous net counts had given us a global
    estimate of about 300 trillion fish, the fish-o-scope method revealed that our oceans are home to
    roughly ten times that number. One reason previous counts were so much lower
    seems to be that fish actively hide from approaching trawls. In one study, scientists took a SONAR
    scan while dragging an open net through the water behind them, and check this out: so
    many fish got out of the way that their relative absence highlights the whole path of the trawl.
    We don’t know exactly how they manage to avoid the nets, but deep-ocean dwellers like
    the fangtooth, lantern fish, and stoplight loosejaw, all of which were especially undercounted
    by fish trawls, may take warning cues from their neighbors flashing bioluminescent spots.
    Another deep water fish, the finger-sized bristlemouth, turns out to be the most populous
    vertebrate on our planet. There are an estimated quadrillion bristlemouths swimming the world’s
    oceans. That’s a few thousand fish for every star in the Milky Way.
    Hi, Emily here. I’d like to thank for sponsoring this video. Audible has over
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    Montana’s Famous Fly-Fishing Rivers Are Feeling the Heat of Climate Change
    Articles, Blog

    Montana’s Famous Fly-Fishing Rivers Are Feeling the Heat of Climate Change

    February 5, 2020

    Catching a fish, that’s the moment that
    you celebrate. But, that’s not often what sticks. It’s the day. It’s Lucy going tearing after a bald eagle that jumps out of the bushes, and seeing a moose walking down the river. They call this the last best place, Montana. And they call the Big Hole the last best river. You are kind of at one with nature. You completely forget about everything else
    in your life, and become totally immersed. But uh, something’s going on. There’s no doubt about it. The Big Hole is warmer than it used to be. We used to see 50 below, several days of that every year. And we rarely see 50 below, ever. Our spring seems to come a little earlier
    and fall seems to last a little longer. For certain we’re seeing changes. I’m sitting here on the banks of the Big Hole
    River in southwest Montana. Montana is an iconic place for fly fishing. People come here from all over the world to
    fish in these clean, cold waters. But, Montana is heating up at twice the rate
    of the planetary average. What’s happening with increasing rapid warming
    is that it’s easier for these cold, clean waters to turn into slow, warm waters in very
    short order. Fish don’t like it when the water gets warm. They get stressed out physiologically, they’re
    more vulnerable to getting funguses and diseases. In many of our rivers, the farther downstream
    you go, used to be trout fisheries and they’re not anymore. There’s very few trout in them. When the waters are warm, the river shuts
    down. People come out earlier, but they stop when
    things start to warm up. The restrictions are happening more often because our warm summers are happening more often. Now it seems like the norm, rather than the
    exception. It’s affecting our business. I talked to a lot of people this week who
    spend their time on the river, and there’s different perceptions about what they see
    happening here. Our winters aren’t as severe as they used
    to be. We don’t have as much snowpack as we used
    to have. There’s something going on, yeah, yeah. But what’s causing it, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s manmade. I don’t think there’s anything we can do to
    change it ourselves. What I see about the climate is, nobody can
    predict it. And as soon as they do, it changes again. The easy answer is, this is cyclical. And, the earth has been really cold, we had
    ice ages. The earth has been really warm, and we’re
    in an uptrend. That’s an easy answer. But the facts are, we should be getting colder
    right now, and instead we’re getting warmer. Montana is a deeply conservative state. There are not big population centers here. People are sparsely located across the landscape. We solve our own issues with our neighbors. We have relationships with folks that are
    all predicated on trust. And there’s a deep-seated mistrust of government. And climate change seems to be governmental
    to a lot of folks here. (dog barking) He’s telling me, “Let’s get going, I
    wanna go fishing!” I’m a Republican and proud to be one. I’m for a smaller government. I’m pro-business. I believe in climate change. There’s just a lot of signs that indicate
    that things are changing. Craig Fellin is an example of a conservative conservationist. He, like many people in Montana, have a deep conservative political standing. But he also recognizes that having a healthy environment and being conservation-minded doesn’t have to be at odds with that. Many people forget this, but Republicans have
    a track record of being conservationists. It’s very frustrating for me to not see
    that issue in talking points on the 6 o’clock news every night. These are facts that can’t be ignored. We need to evolve with this evolving change. If climate continues to change and get warmer,
    there may not be anything we can do in those lower reaches, which are warmer and have lower flows and those sorts of things. There may not be anything we can do. Ooh let me see. We’re changing the climate. It’s up to my generation now, and we’re
    going to need a lot of help. So these kids, these 6, 7, 8 and 9 year olds,
    we’re going to lean on them pretty heavily. And I don’t think we’re going to be shy
    about telling them that. “This is up to you guys. We screwed it up. It’s unfortunately on your plate to fix it.”

    How Do Ships Float? | Things Explained: Buoyancy
    Articles, Blog

    How Do Ships Float? | Things Explained: Buoyancy

    February 4, 2020

    You might wonder how a cargo ship
    weighing a quarter million tons can float in water, but a paperclip, like this one, sinks. Well, it has everything to do with buoyancy. Buoyancy is the ability of something to float in a liquid.
    And it has to do with two things. The first is density. Density is how heavy something is
    relative to how much space it takes up. For example, a bowling ball and a volleyball
    take up about the same amount of space. But the bowling ball is a lot heavier than the volleyball because the volleyball is full of air. So we can say that a bowling ball is
    a lot more dense than a volleyball. Usually, objects that are more dense than the liquid
    they are floating in will sink to the bottom, but that doesn’t explain why large objects
    made of really dense materials, such as cargo ships, are able to float so easily. This brings up the second thing we need to understand. A really long time ago, a man
    named Archimedes figured out that every time you put something in water, it
    has to make room for itself. It does that by pushing aside the water as it gets in. We’re going to use this bin of water to test it out. If an object like this volleyball is lighter than the
    amount of water it displaces then it floats. This tends to happen with less dense objects. But if an object is heavier than the
    amount of water it displaces, or if it’s really dense like this bowling ball,
    then it sinks to the bottom. So back to our cargo ship. Even though it’s very heavy, it’s also very large. And most of it is actually hollow,
    so it’s not as dense as we think. The bottom of the ship is also
    designed to displace a lot of water. This means that the ship actually ends up being
    lighter than the amount of water it displaces. And that means it can float. You can try testing some objects
    yourself to see if they float in water. Make your predictions first, though.
    The results might surprise you. I hope you have fun trying this out. And thanks for watching this
    episode of Things Explained!

    Fish Fraud is a Real Thing and it’s WEIRD.
    Articles, Blog

    Fish Fraud is a Real Thing and it’s WEIRD.

    February 3, 2020

    Y’know how TV chefs have their catchphrase like… bazinga! Thank you to Animalogic for sponsoring
    this video. If you love learning about cool animals or just appreciating the
    beauty of the world you’ll love Animalogic! Subscribe now
    for free on YouTube. R eusable bags because cool kids stand the environment [Offscreen]: Eww. That was my roommate. Anyway let’s talk about fish: from sushi
    to casseroles to tacos, fish appear in just about any diet and in just about
    any form but here’s the thing: there is about a 30% chance that this isn’t what you think it is. So what is it? Before we get into the Nitty Gritty of species and
    DNA testing I thought it would be worthwhile to look into what makes a
    fish a fish which is a trickier question than you might expect because there’s no
    such thing… as a fish. So in high school, you might remember having to learn
    taxonomy which is this hierarchical labeling system. There’s domain, kingdom,
    phylum, class, order, family, genus, species… and me falling asleep in biology class.
    But that isn’t the only way to classify creatures, there’s also a thing called
    cladistics. Derived from the works of Willy Henning, cladistics groups
    organisms by common characteristics traced all the way back to their common
    ancestor. This grouping is called a clade. It makes sense if you think about it
    because instead of grouping things by how much they look like each other you
    group them by how closely they’re related but that isn’t to say that
    cladistics is better than taxonomy. Like, imagine you had a chicken potpie
    taxonomy will group it in with all of the other pies from meat to fruit.
    Cladistics will recognize that a lot of its ingredients are similar to those
    you’d find in dinner dishes. So, depending on what you need and what you’re looking
    for – whether it’s dinner or pie – you’ll use a different perspective, but
    cladistics has this really fun feature or flaw where if you try and create a
    clade of certain things, like fish, no matter which way you slice it and build
    that ancestral tree you always end up picking something distinctly non-fish:
    like a frog, or a bird, or a human being. So you kind of just need to accept that
    every vertebrae is a fish, or there’s no such thing as a fish. Which is stupid because you know what a fish is. It looks a little like this – pardon me living my Disney channel dream – it lives in the water and it tastes good with a
    bit of lemon. You don’t need to go back a million years to know if a fish is a
    fish. So what’s the point of all these labels? To find the answer, I asked Dr. Virginia Schutte. She has a PhD in ecology, and is also the nicest person I’ve ever
    met. So a lot of biological science is about finding patterns in the world. If
    we can predict when something will happen and know when it might not, then
    we understand the world pretty well and that’s really hard to do if you don’t
    know which species you’re working with So, for example, imagine you have a bunch
    of fish and you want to know how they’re responding to water pollution. One fish responds one way, and another fish doesn’t. Without labeling the fish, we
    don’t know if this is just how fifty percent of all fish respond, or if it’s
    because this is a red fish and this one is blue. So labels are important, but
    what if they’re lying? So fish fraud is when someone calls a fish that is one thing
    by another name, this is different from mislabeling a fish. Fraud is the intent
    to deceive, and mislabelling can be accidental. Other than that they are the exact same thing:
    your fish is not what your fish actually is. Now it is important to distinguish the two because the intent changes the cause, which
    changes the cure. Fish fraud is caused in two ways. One: someone catches a cheap
    fish and sells it as a more expensive fish to make more money. Or two: someone accidentally catches a protected fish but doesn’t want to go through the
    effort of returning it to the water. On the other hand, fish mislabeling is often
    the byproduct of this really long and absurd seafood supply chain where a fish
    can cross a bunch of hands, borders, and languages. So for example a butter fish
    in Canada, is a different scientifically named species than a butter fish in the
    United States, which may or may not be the same as a butter fish in Hawaii –
    which is also a part of the United States. So it’s really difficult to keep
    all the fish names completely clear even when you’re in the
    same country. And this problem occurs a lot more often than you might expect. A review of 51 peer-reviewed papers testing over 4,500 samples worldwide
    estimates that about 30% of fish species are mislabeled.
    Now the actual likelihood that the fish you’re about to eat is a fraud depends
    on where you are, what you’re eating, and how long it took to get to your
    plate. So the key is to know where your fish is
    coming from and how it was caught. Alright so here’s my secret…
    I don’t buy good fish. You see I’m a college kid so I have this really awful mix of an empty wallet and a really poor
    taste palate. So when I want fish, I’m going to the grocery store and digging
    out those discounted frozen fillets at the bottom of the freezer, and I know
    that that isn’t good for me, but I always figured that it was just a colder
    version of the same fish at the counter where you need to talk to people to get
    food… which is my nightmare But now there’ s just a 30% chance that I’m wrong
    and that’s sort of weird. So how do you avoid that? How do you spot fish fraud? If it still has a head, the chances of
    misidentifying the fish is pretty low. Everything from mouth eyes and fins can make identifying a fish pretty easy. But
    this is literally a rectangle of meat so what else can you do? You might be able to piece a guess together by the shape, color, bones, and
    myotomes which are the little meat squiggles you see on the fish. But honestly even if you are able to tell this and this apart a lot of the key details can
    be obscured with a single slice. Three! DNA testing it works basically the same
    way it does for humans and crime scenes you take the fish’s DNA and match it
    against a known reference there is actually this massive database called
    the barcode of life that has a reference library that can be used to identify the
    unknown. And finally, number four, A taste test. Which is totally unscientific but I just bought a new apron and I wanted to show
    it off on camera. Kachow! Anyway, I have got three fish
    filets in front of me. I’ve got a frozen cod, a fresh Cod, and a fresh tilapia
    because tilapia is a common impostor for cod. So I’m close to 100% certain that
    the fresh fish are not imposters I got them from a place that filets
    their own fish making mislabeling highly unlikely. So the idea is: if we cook these
    three fillets the exact same way, if the frozen cod tastes like the fresh one,
    they should be the same fish. But if it tastes like the tilapia then we’ve got a problem. And if all three of them taste the exact same,
    then we’ve got a bigger problem, because it would make this entire segment kind of pointless. Anyway let’s look up some easy Cod recipes Let’s do baked! Not because the even
    heating would allow for a more scientifically valid finding, but I’m
    really bad at cooking stuff on a stove Everything is always burnt. It literally starts with, “I have a confession to make… MY FRIENDS.” Well jeez, I wish I had some ingredients. Oh! Ingredients! I need to mince these two things. Uh, I think mincing just means cutting really small. Oh god, it’s just not cutting. I’m just rubbing the knife against the leaves. I’d say that looks kind of minced.
    I’ll let you see too! Here… Does that look minced to you? I’m just gonna push that aside Is that one clove? You know what? In case there’s vampires,
    I’m gonna go two cloves. Just in case, you know? I’m so worried that somebody who
    actually cooks is gonna comment on this video and they’re like, “Please never hold a knife again, Sabrina, you are going to hurt yourself” Anyway, so I need to mix everything that I prepared together in a bowl but I
    don’t have any more howls, so I’m gonna do it in this little gauntlet-mug-thing. That looks awful. Can you see that? I guess it’s gonna taste good. I’m gonna cook them in the skillet over here. Why not use a baking sheet? Because it’s over here as a background prop. So these are the tilapia these are the frozen cod and
    this is a fresh cod. I only seasoned one side of the fish,
    that’s cooking right? I love cooking channels they’re like one of the only things that I watch on the
    Internet, and I was like, “Yeah, I’m gonna make this so beautiful!” Then I chose the grossest looking recipe on earth. So now this thing needs to go in the oven So this thing needs to be washed before this thing goes in the oven. Bye! [offscreen]: Remember when Robert Durst confessed to murder when he had a hot mic on? Well he’s not the only one. Now let’s get this bad boy to the oven. Done! Oh dang dog!
    It looks like somebody vomited on them but I think that all that’s left to do is… Try it. So let’s do tilapia first I mean I definitely put too much
    whatever the green thing was because it just tastes like that. But I have to say, in my expert opinion, It tastes like fish Let’s see if there’s a difference, we’re
    going for the fresh cod now. Oh! So texturally the fresh Cod is like
    radically different from the tilapia it’s-it’s more flaky than stringy, but
    this isn’t the cooking channel so you don’t care about those things. And finally let’s go with the frozen Cod. Oh. That’s just not good. So where one is kind of stringy, one is kind of flaky, the frozen Cod tastes like
    cardboard stacked on top of each other I’m gonna try a bigger piece because that one
    might have just been overcooked. Oh, that’s weird. The frozen Cod feels a lot like the
    tilapia. What?! Uh-oh do we have a controversy?! So! Experiment results: Inconclusive. Whaaaat So I mean I could get all clickbait and be like huh gotcha
    frozen fish companies you were lying but I don’t really know for sure. The only
    thing that I’m really going off of is mouthfeel and the frozen cod and the
    fresh tilapia kind of had the same mouthfeel. Now I don’t know if that’s
    because they’re the same fish or I just overcooked both of them. So I know that labels are really important for science but I’m not a scientist. I just want to eat dinner, and even with these three fish in front of me, I can’t really tell
    the difference. So what’s the problem? Well there are three reasons. One: Economics.
    If someone is committing fish fraud they’re inflating the supply of
    the fish that they’re faking. This can drive down prices and hurt honest
    fisheries. Two: health. People have allergies and dietary restrictions that
    make it really important to know what they’re actually eating and Three: environmental. Not only can an inflated supply make the public think that fish are less endangered than they really are if we don’t try and crack down on fish
    fraud, there is no incentive for dishonest fisheries to stop harvesting
    endangered and protected species. It’s also important to know how that fish was caught and where. So for example: sustainable seafood guides may
    tell you that Atlantic cod is not a good idea if it’s been fished with a bottom
    trawl – that’s a net that drags along the bottom of the sea floor. As it drags it
    destroys everything living on the bottom Corals, sea fans, plants. Not a good thing.
    But if you buy Atlantic cod that have been grown in an indoor tank, those are
    rated at sustainable fisheries. So fish fraud is kind of just a byproduct of
    this bigger problem: a lack of transparency in the seafood supply chain. Seafood changes hands so many times that it’s like this game of broken telephone
    where the truth gets broken and bent with each step, and I know how easy it is
    to get disheartened with problems like this. That feels so big and institutional
    and impossible to solve, but the solution exists and it’s surprisingly small. If you’re looking for seafood try and find places that pride themselves in knowing
    where they got their fish. Create the incentive for dishonest fisheries to get
    honest, even if it means having to talk to someone at the grocery store to ask
    if their seafood is sustainably caught which seems terrifying and kind of extra
    but it’s the only way things are gonna change. So I’m gonna do it,
    or at least I’m gonna try. Will you? Hey there I hope you liked that video it would mean a lot
    if you stuck around to hear me thank a few of the people who made it possible
    starting with Dr. Virginia Schutte. She was super patient explaining all of the
    fish to me and this video would not have been possible without her, and second,
    Danielle Dufault from Animalogic Awesomely enough, she is another
    educational youtuber in Toronto which is where I am from. She actually works as a scientific illustrator
    at the Royal Ontario Museum, which is like a block away from my school. We shot a whole outro for this video together, but in true Toronto fashion, it turned out like this: So much sirens. Anyway, since you can’t hear explaining
    what Animalogic is all about, I will. In each episode Danielle combines her
    gorgeous scientific illustrations with these awesome explanations of Earth’s
    coolest creatures. If you like the whole explainer thing I do on my channel, you
    will love Animalogic. If you want to check them out, which you should, you
    should start off with their video on the amazing birds of Costa Rica. I’ll leave a
    link to it somewhere. If you love them like I do you should hit subscribe and
    tell them I sent you! But either way have a lovely day

    Seafaring superstars: Six women shining on our national science ship ❄️🚢❄️
    Articles, Blog

    Seafaring superstars: Six women shining on our national science ship ❄️🚢❄️

    February 2, 2020

    [Music plays] (Toni Moate) I was hoping that I
    might be someone’s secretary. (Tara Martin) I was going
    to be an interior designer. (Madeleine Habib) And everybody
    just assumed that I was the cook. (Tegan Sime) I feel like I’ve
    never followed the same path as everybody else. (Sheri Newman) I knew I
    wanted to be a surgeon. Also wanted a life of adventure. (Martina Doblin) As I gazed
    out into the ocean I thought “Wow, I could explore this place”
    and now that’s what I do in my job. (Toni Moate) It’s
    always incredible to me that I ended up
    building a research ship. (Tara Martin) Jumping straight
    into a geophysics degree without having done maths
    and physics in high school was a bit of learning curve. I didn’t actually know
    what physics was. (Tegan Sime) I’ve always
    been drawn to roles that have been in more
    extreme environments. There’s adventure,
    there’s excitement. (Madeleine Habib) I wanted
    to be taken seriously in the maritime industry. (Martina Doblin) My research
    involves looking at tiny microscopic
    organisms called microbes. If there were no microbes on the
    planet there’d be no people. (Sheri Newman) Being the
    doctor on the Investigator you have to be the dentist,
    the physiotherapist, the mental health counsellor. It’s a huge responsibility and
    of course one that I relish. (Madeleine Habib) To be the captain
    of a ship leaving from my home port felt like a really special moment. Believe in your own potential. (Martina Doblin) There’s
    so much more to discover. [Music plays]