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Videos uploaded by user “Deep Look” for the 2014
What Gall! The Crazy Cribs of Parasitic Wasps | Deep Look
 
02:59
Plenty of animals build their homes in oak trees. But some very teeny, tricky wasps make the tree do all the work. And each miniature mansion the trees build for the wasps' larvae is weirder and more flamboyant than the next. SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! http://goo.gl/8NwXqt DEEP LOOK: a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and meet extraordinary new friends. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small. * NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! * “What nerve!” you might say. What… gall! And you’d be right. The wasps are called gall-inducers. ---+ What do oak galls look like? If you’ve ever spent a Summer or Fall around oak trees – such as the stalwart Valley Oak – Quercus lobata, or the stately Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii – you may be familiar with the large, vaguely fruity-looking objects clinging to the branches and leaves. Commonly called oak apples, these growths are the last thing you’d want to put in your mouth. They are intensely bitter, loaded with tannin compounds – the same compounds that in modest amounts give red wine its pleasant dryness, and tea its refreshing earthy tang. That said, the oak apple’s powerful astringency has been prized for millennia. Tanning leather, making ink or dye, and cleaning wounds have been but a few of the gall’s historical uses. But on closer inspection of these oaks – and many other plants and trees such as willows, alders, manzanitas, or pines – you can find a rogue’s gallery of smaller galls. Carefully peeking under leaves, along the stems and branches, or around the flower buds and acorns will likely lead you to unexpected finds. Smooth ones. Spiky ones. Long skinny ones, flat ones, lumpy, boxy ones. From the size of a golf ball down to that of a poppy seed. These structures wear shades of yellow, green, brown, purple, pink and red – and sometimes all of the above. A single tree may be host to dozens of types of gall, each one caused by a specific organism. And their shapes range from the sublime to the downright creepy. One tree may be encrusted with them, like a Christmas tree laden with ornaments and tinsel; and the next tree over may be almost completely free of galls. Why? It’s a mystery. ---+ How do oak galls form? Galls are generally formed when an insect, or its larvae, introduce chemicals into a specific location, to push the plant’s growth hormones into overdrive. This can result in a great profusion of normal cells, increased size of existing cells, or the alteration of entire plant structures into new, alien forms. Lots of creatures cause them; midges, mites, aphids, flies, even bacteria and viruses. But the undisputed champs are a big family of little wasps called Cynipids– rarely exceeding the size of a mosquito, a quarter of an inch in length. “These tiny wasps cannot sting,” says Dr. Kathy Schick, Assistant Specialist/Curatorial Assistant at the Essig Museum of Entomology at UC Berkeley. “Gall-inducers are fascinating in that they are very specialized to their organ of the host plant.” ---+ What are oak galls? These wasp houses are not homes exactly, but more akin to nurseries. The galls serve as an ideal environment for wasp larvae, whether it is a single offspring, or dozens. The tree is tricked into generating outsize amounts of soft, pillowy tissue inside each gall, on which the larvae gladly gorge themselves as they grow. Full article: http://blogs.kqed.org/science/2014/11/18/what-gall-the-crazy-cribs-of-parasitic-wasps/ ---+ See more great videos and documentaries from the PBS Digital Studios! It's Okay to Be Smart: Inside the World of Fire Ants! https://youtu.be/rz3UdLEWQ60 Gross Science: Can Spider Venom Cure Erectile Dysfunction? https://youtu.be/5i9X8h17VNM ---+ More Great Deep Look episodes: These Lizards Have Been Playing Rock-Paper-Scissors for 15 Million Years https://youtu.be/rafdHxBwIbQ Stinging Scorpion vs. Pain-Defying Mouse https://youtu.be/w-K_YtWqMro ---+ Follow KQED Science: KQED Science: http://www.kqed.org/science Tumblr: http://kqedscience.tumblr.com Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kqedscience ---+ About KQED KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media. Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is also supported by HopeLab, the David B. Gold Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Smart Family Foundation and the members of KQED. #deeplook
Views: 516789 Deep Look
The Hidden Perils of Permafrost | Deep Look
 
03:12
For thousands of years, mysterious bacteria have remained dormant in the Arctic permafrost. Now, a warming climate threatens to bring them back to life. What does that mean for the rest of us? SUBSCRIBE: http://goo.gl/8NwXqt Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by HopeLab, The David B. Gold Foundation; S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Vadasz Family Foundation; Smart Family Foundation and the members of KQED. #deeplook
Views: 208830 Deep Look
The Amazing Life of Sand | Deep Look
 
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There's a story in every grain of sand: tales of life and death, fire and water. If you scooped up a handful of sand from every beach, you'd have a history of the world sifting through your fingers. SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! http://goo.gl/8NwXqt DEEP LOOK: a new ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and meet extraordinary new friends. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small. * NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! * ---+ How does sand form? Sand can be anything that has been worn down until it’s reduced to some tiny, essential fragment of what it once was: a granite pebble from the mountains; coral from the sea; obsidian from a volcano; even skeletons of microscopic sea animals. It's also a technical term. Bigger than sand, that’s gravel, smaller? Silt. By studying the composition and texture of sand, geologists can reconstruct its incredible life history. “There’s just a ton of information out there, and all of it is in the sand,” said Mary McGann, a geologist at the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA. McGann recently took part in a comprehensive research project mapping sand’s journey into and throughout San Francisco Bay. Patrick Barnard, another USGS geologist who helped oversee the project, said that it will help scientists understand how local beaches are changing over time. In particular, Barnard wants to understand why beaches just south of San Francisco Bay are among the most rapidly eroding beaches in the state. From 2010-2012, Barnard and his team sampled beaches, outcrops, rivers and creeks to track sand’s journey around the bay. They even collected sand from the ocean floor. The researchers then carefully analyzed the samples to characterize the shapes, sizes, and chemical properties of the sand grains. Barnard said the information provides a kind of fingerprint, or signature, for each sample that can then be matched to a potential source. For example, certain minerals may only come from the Sierra Mountains or the Marin Headlands. “If we’ve covered all of the potential sources, and we know the unique signature of the sand from these different sources, and we find it on a beach somewhere, then we basically know where it came from,” explained Barnard. And those species aren’t the only things finding their way into the sand. Manmade materials can show up there, too. McGann has found metal welding scraps and tiny glass spheres (commonly sprinkled on highways to make road stripes reflective) in sand samples from around the bay. “All of these things can get washed into our rivers or our creeks, or washed off the road in storm drains,” explained McGann. “Eventually they end up in, for example, San Francisco Bay.” By piecing together all of these clues – the information found in the minerals, biological material and man made objects that make up sand – the researchers ended up with a pretty clear picture of how sand travels around San Francisco Bay. Some sands stay close to home. Rocky sand in the Marin Headlands comes from nearby bluffs, never straying far from its source. Other sands travel hundreds of miles. Granite from the Sierra Nevada mountains careens down rivers and streams on a century-long sojourn to the coast. In fact, much of the sand in the Bay Area comes from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, with local watersheds also playing an important role in transporting sand to the beach. Although this project focused on San Francisco Bay, the same techniques could be used to study other coastal systems, he added, revealing the incredible life stories of sand from around the world. ---+ More Deep Look episodes: What Happens When You Zap Coral With The World's Most Powerful X-ray Laser? https://youtu.be/aXmCU6IYnsA These 'Resurrection Plants' Spring Back to Life in Seconds https://youtu.be/eoFGKlZMo2g -- Full article: http://blogs.kqed.org/science/2014/11/04/the-amazing-life-of-sand/ ---+ Follow KQED Science: KQED Science: http://www.kqed.org/science Tumblr: http://kqedscience.tumblr.com Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kqedscience ---+ About KQED KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media. Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is also supported by HopeLab, the David B. Gold Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Smart Family Foundation and the members of KQED. #deeplook
Views: 573643 Deep Look
Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage | Deep Look
 
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Tiny and delicate, pygmy seahorses survive by attaching to vibrant corals where they become nearly invisible to both predators and researchers. Now, biologists at the California Academy of Sciences have successfully bred them in captivity for the first time. Finally, they're able to study the seahorses' amazing act of camouflage up close. SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! http://goo.gl/8NwXqt DEEP LOOK: a new ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and meet extraordinary new friends. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small. * NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! * Over the summer, biologists from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco returned from an expedition to the Philippines with some very rare and diminutive guests, a mating pair of pygmy seahorses. Pygmy seahorses live their entire adult lives attached to a type of coral called a Gorgonian sea fan. The seahorses use their long tails to grab on to the delicately branched sea fans. But what’s really amazing is their ability to match the coral’s bright color and knobby texture. They blend in so perfectly that they are barely visible, even to a trained eye. Pygmy seahorses are nearly impossible to raise in captivity. Until recently, there was no record of the seahorses ever living long enough to breed in an aquarium. As a result, very little is known about them, making them extremely attractive to researchers eager to learn about the mysterious species. The Gorgonian sea fan is itself an animal, distantly related to jellyfish and anemones, and is very difficult to raise in tanks. But these seahorses cannot live without the them. How do seahorses mate? They do a courtship dance during which the female puts her eggs in the males brood pouch. How do seahorses give birth? Like other seahorses, it is the male pygmy that rears the offspring in his brood pouch, releasing groups of offspring every two weeks. Check out an additional video from the Cal Academy: http://goo.gl/QhAf0T Find out more about pygmy seahorses: http://blogs.kqed.org/science/2014/10/21/pygmy-seahorses-masters-of-camouflage/ Created by KQED Public Media in San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by HopeLab, The David B. Gold Foundation; S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Vadasz Family Foundation; Smart Family Foundation and the members of KQED. #deeplook
Views: 555151 Deep Look
What Gives the Morpho Butterfly Its Magnificent Blue? | Deep Look
 
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What does it mean to be blue? The wings of a Morpho butterfly are some of the most brilliant structures in nature, and yet they contain no blue pigment -- they harness the physics of light at the nanoscale. Learn more about these butterflies: http://goo.gl/dGo5XE SUBSCRIBE: http://goo.gl/8NwXqt Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by HopeLab, The David B. Gold Foundation; S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Vadasz Family Foundation; Smart Family Foundation and the members of KQED. #deeplook
Views: 402556 Deep Look