Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Woods Hole Marine Biology Lab

After searching for the Woods Hole Marine Biology Lab, I was surprised to find that it dates back to 1888. According to the WHMBL website, the Lab is defined as the following:

"The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is an international center for research, education, and training in biology. The oldest private marine laboratory in the country, the MBL currently supports a year-round staff of more than 275 scientists and support staff working in such fields as cell and developmental biology, ecology, microbiology, molecular evolution, global infectious disease, neurobiology, and sensory physiology." (http://www.mbl.edu/about/details/index.html)

An interesting fact about this particular lab is that is it offers educational, research and service programs. The Lab is located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. For more information about the WHMBL, visit the website at (http://www.mbl.edu).

equorea, the fluorescent jellyfish Osamu Shimonura studied. (Osamu Shimomura, Woods Hole website)

The Butterfly Effect

There are a number of variated definitions for the term "butterfly effect". According to wikipedia, the butterfly effect is defined by the passage below.

"The butterfly effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory; namely that small differences in the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system. Although this may appear to be an esoteric and unusual behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ballplaced at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position. The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with "what if" scenarios where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes."


After searching for the term on multiple websites, I have gathered facts that define the butterfly effect as a certain type of metaphor that incorporates different types of scenarios and uses them in a "what if" fashion. A common example I found while looking up this definition was "if a butterfly is flapping it's wings, it might change the wind force somewhere around the world.