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Latest Activity: Nov 18

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Super weeds in the US

Started by Davy. Last reply by Chris Aug 18. 1 Reply

New York (AFP) - The United States is facing an epidemic of herbicide-resistant "superweeds" that some activists and researchers are blaming on GMO's, an accusation rejected by industry giants.According to a recent study, the situation is such that…Continue

Tags: monsanto, chemical, herbicide, GMO, superweed

Science Bits, News, Videos

Started by Adriana. Last reply by doone Jul 9. 1363 Replies

This discussion is to have a recurrent thread for science news, tidbits, quick…Continue

Tags: science videos, science quick facts, science news

The Denisova genome

Started by Adriana. Last reply by doone Dec 5, 2013. 6 Replies

Remember the 40,000 year-old Denisova finger bone that yielded sufficient DNA to…Continue

Tags: evolution, human, genome, DNA, hominin

Platypus Godzilla.

Started by Davy. Last reply by Davy Nov 20, 2013. 5 Replies

And you thought the platypus was a nice, cuddly little monotreme. You would not have thought so 5 to 15 million years ago. Palaeontologists have uncovered the fossil of a platypus that looks as though it is on steroids.  The platypus dub the…Continue

Tags: Palaeontologists, Godzilla, platypus

Aussie algae fuel green oil hope

Started by Davy Oct 20, 2013. 0 Replies

Aussie algae fuel green oil hopeDespite the claims of some, commercially viable fuels from algae have not yet been developed. But newly trialled native algae species provide real hope, a Queensland scientist has found.Dr Evan Stephens and the team…Continue

Tags: algae, hope, bio-fuel, East, middle

Mystery moss rediscovered

Started by Davy. Last reply by Davy Oct 20, 2013. 2 Replies

News from James Cook University. Mystery moss rediscoveredA botanical puzzle more than 150 years old could soon be solved, thanks to a discovery by a second-year botany student in Queensland’s far north.James Cook University student Megan Grixti…Continue

Tags: botany, student, sorapilla, papuana, 150-years

Mandating Scientific Discovery Never Works But politicians can’t seem to grasp that.

Started by Neal. Last reply by Chris Jun 24, 2013. 1 Reply

GOP decides that research should be legislated. Usual nonsense.By Lawrence Krauss|Posted Friday, June 21, 2013, at 7:30 AM…Continue

Tags: work, doesn't, research, science, mandating

Ancient DNA Found Hidden Below Sea Floor

Started by Adriana May 11, 2013. 0 Replies

The deep sea floor (5,000 meters below the surface) is the world's repository of most ancient DNA so far. DNA has just been found of 32,000 year old unicellular organisms, belong to radiolarians and foraminifera to fish out DNA from those groups.…Continue

Tags: sea, deep, DNA, fossil

Florida schoolgirl charged with felonies for science experiment

Started by Neal May 3, 2013. 0 Replies

No science for you woman! Photo: FreeLearningLife - FlickrWednesday, May 1, 2013 -…Continue

Tags: felony, a, becomes, experiment, science

L-carnitine and heart disease

Started by Adriana. Last reply by Davy Apr 14, 2013. 7 Replies

Bad news for meat eaters: even if the meat is lean, eating red meat will still increase your risk for heart disease. The culprits are the bacteria in your gut. They will transform l-carnitine, a compound found in red meat and to a lesser extent in…Continue

Tags: microbiome, health, bacteria, disease, heart

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Comment by Davy on November 18, 2014 at 1:05pm

Viewpoint: Time Trials for Fundamental Constants

Theories aimed at unifying gravity with the three other fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak, and strong) predict that certain fundamental constants could change in an expanding Universe [1]. Support for this possibility is mixed: Absorption spectra of interstellar matter have led to claims both for and against variations of the fine structure constant, , and the proton-to-electron mass ratio,  [12,3]). 

Read the full article here at Physics aps .org

Comment by Davy on November 18, 2014 at 12:51pm


Auger reveals subtlety in cosmic rays
By Leah Hesla


Scientists home in on the make-up of cosmic rays, which are more nuanced than previously thought.

Unlike the twinkling little star of nursery rhyme, the cosmic ray is not the subject of any well-known song about an astronomical wonder. And yet while we know all about the make-up of stars, after decades of study scientists still wonder what cosmic rays are.

Thanks to an abundance of data collected over eight years, researchers in the Pierre Auger collaboration are closer to finding out what cosmic rays—in particular ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays—are made of. Their composition would tell us more about where they come from: perhaps a black hole, a cosmic explosion or colliding galaxies.

Auger’s latest research has knocked out two possibilities put forward by the prevailing wisdom: that UHECRs are dominated by either lightweight protons or heavier nuclei such as iron. According to Auger, one or more middleweight components, such as helium or nitrogen nuclei, must make up a significant part of the cosmic-ray mix.

“Ten years ago, people couldn’t posit that ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays would be made of something in between protons and iron,” says Fermilab scientist and Auger collaborator Eun-Joo Ahn, who led the analysis. “The idea would have garnered sidelong glances.”

Cosmic rays are particles that rip through outer space at incredibly high energies. UHECRs, upwards of 1018 electronvolts, are rarely observed, and no one knows exactly where they originate.

One way physicists reach back to a cosmic ray’s origins is by looking to the descendants of its collisions. The collision of one of these breakneck particles with the Earth’s upper atmosphere sets off a domino effect, generating more particles that in turn collide with air and produce still more. These ramifying descendants form an air shower, spreading out like the branches of a tree reaching toward the Earth. Twenty-seven telescopes at the Argentina-based Auger Observatory look for ultraviolet light resulting from the cosmic rays, and 1600 detectors, distributed over a swath of land the size of Rhode Island, record the showers’ signals.

Scientists measure how deep into the atmosphere—how close to Earth—the air shower is when it maxes out. The closer to the Earth, the more lightweight the original cosmic ray particle is likely to be. A proton, for example, would penetrate the atmosphere more deeply before setting off an air shower than would an iron nucleus.

Auger scientists compared their data with three different simulation models to narrow the possible compositions of cosmic rays.

Read the full article here.

Comment by Davy on November 18, 2014 at 12:48pm

Philae Lander Early Science Results: Ice, Organic Molecules and Half a Foot of Dust

An uncontrolled, chaotic landing.  Stuck in the shadow of a cliff without energy-giving sunlight.  Philae and team persevered.  With just 60 hours of battery power, the lander drilled, hammered and gathered science data on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko before going into hibernation. Here’s what we know. 

Despite appearances, the comet’s hard as ice. The team responsible for theMUPUS (Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science) instrument hammered a probe as hard as they could into 67P’s skin but only dug in a few millimeters:

“Although the power of the hammer was gradually increased, we were not able to go deep into the surface,” said Tilman Spohn from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, who leads the research team. “If we compare the data with laboratory measurements, we think that the probe encountered a hard surface with strength comparable to that of solid ice,” he added. This shouldn’t be surprising, since ice is the main constituent of comets, but much of 67P/C-G appears blanketed in dust, leading some to believe the surface was softer and fluffier than what Philae found.

This finding was confirmed by the SESAME experiment (Surface Electrical, Seismic and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment) where the strength of the dust-covered ice directly under the lander was “surprisingly high” according to Klaus Seidensticker from the DLR Institute. Two other SESAME instruments measured low vaporization activity and a great deal of water ice under the lander.

As far as taking the comet’s temperature, the MUPUS thermal mapper worked during the descent and on all three touchdowns. At the final site, MUPUS recorded a temperature of –243°F (–153°C) near the floor of the lander’s balcony before the instrument was deployed. The sensors cooled by a further 10°C over a period of about a half hour:

Read the full article here--

Comment by Hope on October 14, 2014 at 11:19am

Giant leap against diabetes

Ability to produce embryonic stem cells will allow researchers to push faster toward cure

Harvard stem cell researchers announced today that they have made a giant leap forward in the quest to find a truly effective treatment for type 1 diabetes, a disease that affects an estimated 3 million Americans at a cost of about $15 billion annually.

With human embryonic stem cells as a starting point, the scientists were for the first time able to produce, in the kind of massive quantities needed for cell transplantation and pharmaceutical purposes, human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in most every way to normally functioning beta cells.

Doug Melton, who led the work, said he hopes to have human transplantation trials using the cells under way within a few years. Twenty-three years ago, when his infant son Sam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Melton dedicated his career to finding a cure for the disease.

“We are now just one preclinical step away from the finish line,” said Melton, whose daughter Emma also has type 1 diabetes.

A report on the new work is being published today by the journal Cell.

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/10/giant-leap-against-di... 

Comment by doone on June 6, 2014 at 8:09am
17 Most Iconic Quotes From Breaking Bad

When to use: when observing solutions to any pressing problem.

Comment by doone on May 18, 2014 at 3:32pm

Rethinking indigenous Australia's agricultural past

Comment by doone on January 1, 2014 at 8:54am

Neanderthal Genome Shows Early Human Interbreeding, Inbreeding

Population geneticists have produced the first high-quality genome of a Neanderthal, allowing comparison with the genomes of modern humans and Denisovans. The analysis shows a long history ... 
Comment by doone on December 30, 2013 at 9:46am

 Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci

“Great man, great beard”

Nationality: Italian
Field: Everything
Contributions: Leonardo invented so much stuff most of it was re-invented by other people because no one ever really got round to going through all his notebooks to work out what he wrote down. His contributions to the field of anatomy were extensive and legendary, and he also was a vegetarian who would buy and then free caged birds, which is awesome.

Beard Da Vinci has been so influential in everything he did I’m pretty sure most subsequent scientists have a beard is because of Leo.

Comment by Davy on November 21, 2013 at 1:02pm

Synopsis: Entangled through a Wormhole

Quantum entanglement is weird enough, but it might get weirder still through a possible association with hypothetical wormholes. Over the past year, theorists have been hard at work exploring the entanglement of two black holes. A pair of papers in Physical Review Letters advances the story by showing that a string-based representation of two entangled quarks is equivalent to the spacetime contortions of a wormhole.

A common feature of entanglement and wormholes is that they both seemingly imply faster-than-light travel. If one imagines two entangled particles separated by a large distance—a so-called Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) pair—then a measurement of one has an immediate effect on the measurement probabilities of the other, as if information travels instantaneously between them. Similarly, a wormhole—or Einstein-Rosen (ER) bridge—is a “shortcut” connecting separate points in space, but no information can actually pass through. Recent work has shown that the spacetime geometry of a wormhole is equivalent to what you’d get if you entangled two black holes and pulled them apart—an equivalence that can be summarized by “ER = EPR.”

The latest papers in this development extend the equivalence beyond black holes to quarks. As previous studies have shown, two entangled quarks can be represented as the endpoints of a string in a higher dimensional space, where certain calculations end up being easier. Kristan Jensen of the University of Victoria, Canada, and Andreas Karch of the University of Washington, Seattle, imagine the entangled quarks are accelerating away from each other, so that they are no longer in causal contact. In this case, the connecting string becomes mathematically equivalent to a wormhole. Using a different approach, Julian Sonner from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, has derived the same result starting from quark/antiquark creation in a strong electric field (the Schwinger effect). The wormhole connection may provide new insights into entanglement, as suggested by calculations that equate the entropy of the wormhole to that of the quarks. –Michael Schirber

Comment by Davy on November 8, 2013 at 2:20pm

Marrow Transplant for Child with Leukaemia cures Peanut Allergy.

In a rare medical twofer, a child with leukemia who underwent a bone marrow transplant has emerged free of not only his cancer but his peanut allergy.

The child was diagnosed with the allergy at 15 months, said Steven Weiss, an allergist in Syosset, N.Y. At age 4, the boy developed acute lymphocytic leukemia.

He had received chemotherapy but suffered relapses of his cancer. At age 10, he underwent a bone marrow transplant, an arduous procedure that kills off a patient’s existing bone marrow and the cancerous cells and then replaces them with marrow cells from a healthy donor. The boy’s donor had no known allergy. A year later, the boy’s immune system had recovered and tests revealed no peanut allergy, Weiss said.

Weiss’ collaborator Yong Luo, an allergist in Great Neck, N.Y., said allergies have sometimes transferred from a marrow donor to a patient but have rarely been eradicated this way in a marrow recipient. Food allergies are abnormal immune reactions to a food protein. Weiss and Luo hypothesize that the mechanism underlying this aberrant immunity might dwell in the early stages of immune cell development in the marrow.

Luo will present the findings in Baltimore November 10 at a meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Courtesy of Science News.

 
 
 

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