Monday, November 26, 2007

Sliding Into The Future

DNA Genetics, Paternity, CSI & General Science » Evidence for a parallel universe?: "...The dimension of the hole is so big that at first glance, it results impossible to explain under the current cosmological theories, although scientists put forward some explanations based on certain theoretical models that might predict the existence of “giant knots” in space known as topological defects.

However, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physics Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton made a staggering claim. She says, “Standard cosmology cannot explain such a giant cosmic hole” and goes further with the ground-breaking hypothesis that the huge void is “… the unmistakable imprint of another universe beyond the edge of our own“..."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Comet Bigger Than Sun

Incredible Comet Bigger than the Sun - Yahoo! News: "A comet that has delighted backyard astronomers in recent weeks after an unexpected eruption has now grown larger than the sun.

The sun remains by far the most massive object in the solar system, with an extended influence of particles that reaches all the planets. But the comparatively tiny Comet Holmes has released so much gas and dust that its extended atmosphere, or coma, is larger than the diameter of the sun. The comparison is clear in a new image..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Old Walls In Peru

Temple built 4,000 years ago unearthed in Peru - Yahoo! News: "LIMA (Reuters) - A 4,000-year-old temple filled with murals has been unearthed on the northern coast of Peru, making it one of the oldest finds in the Americas, a leading archaeologist said on Saturday..."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sputnik Launch Secrets

Talking Points Memo | Secrets of 1957 Sputnik launch revealed: "Secrets of 1957 Sputnik launch revealed 50 Years After Momentous Launch, Sputnik's Launch Revealed As an Improvised Gamble for Soviets VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV AP News Oct 01, 2007 01:48 EDT When Sputnik took off 50 years ago, the world gazed at the heavens in awe and apprehension, watching what seemed like the unveiling of a sustained Soviet effort to conquer space and score a stunning Cold War triumph."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wrist Hobbit

Talking Points Memo | TPM News Headlines: "Scientists, wringing their hands over the identity of the famed 'hobbit' fossil, have found a new clue in the wrist. Since the discovery of the bones in Indonesia in 2003, researchers have wrangled over whether the find was an ancient human ancestor or simply a modern human suffering from a genetic disorder."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First Stars, First Threads

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Dark matter clues in oldest stars: "A computer model of the early Universe indicates the first stars could have formed in spectacular, long filaments. These structures, which may have been thousands of light-years across, would have been shaped by 'dark matter'..."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fat Front Finding

Study Finds Evidence of Genetic Response to Diet - New York Times

"Could people one day evolve to eat rich food while remaining perfectly slim and svelte?

This may not be so wild a fantasy. It is becoming clear that the human genome does respond to changes in diet, even though it takes many generations to do so.

Researchers studying the enzyme that converts starch to simple sugars like glucose have found that people living in countries with a high-starch diet produce considerably more of the enzyme than people who eat a low-starch diet.

The reason is an evolutionary one..."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Warping Found

Mad In The Middle: Warping Found: "Warping Found Einstein's Warping Found Around Neutron Stars | LiveScience: 'Einstein's predicted warping of space-time has been discovered around neutron stars, the most dense observable matter in the universe. The warping shows up as smeared lines of iron gas whipping around the stars, University of Michigan and NASA astronomers say. The finding also indicates a size limit for the celestial objects. The same distortions have been spotted around black holes and even around Earth, so while the finding may not be a surprise, it is significant for answering basic questions of physics, said study team member Sudip Bhattacharyya of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and the University of Maryland, College Park...'"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Out of Body

Or how to visit the void from the preceding post...

BBC NEWS | Health | Out-of-body experience recreated: "Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version Out-of-body experience recreated Out of body experience (SPL) Near-death events have triggered out-of-body experiences Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers. The experiments, described in the Science journal, offer a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people..."

No There, There

Astronomers Puzzled by Cosmic Black Hole - The Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON — Astronomers have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. That's got them scratching their heads about what's just not there. The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing. That's an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced Thursday. Astronomers have known for many years that there are patches in the universe where nobody's home. In fact, one such place is practically a neighbor, a mere 2 million light years away. But what the Minnesota team discovered, using two different types of astronomical observations, is a void that's far bigger than scientists ever imagined..."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Levitation Revealed

The Raw Story | Scientists reveal secret of levitation: "Scientists have discovered a ground-breaking way of levitating ultra small objects, which may revolutionise the design of micro-machines, a new report says.

Physicists said they can create 'incredible levitation effects' by manipulating so-called Casimir force, which normally causes objects to stick together by quantum force..."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cat of Death

"This sort of thing makes one wonder if the personification of Death should in fact be a cat, although, oddly enough, not a black cat..."; click Respectful Insolence: The Kitty of Doom.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

UFOs Are Real

The flying wing concept aircraft takes flight | Community: "The flying wing concept aircraft takes flight
Submitted by Layer 8 on Thu, 07/26/2007 - 5:32pm.

Looking a little bit too much like an F-117 Night Hawk fighter on steroids Boeing's blended wing unmanned test aircraft flew for the first time last week.

Designed and engineered by Boeing, NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the aircraft are said to be able to carry greater amounts of equipment, burn less fuel and run quieter than traditional aircraft..."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Greek Mastodon Found

BBC NEWS | Europe | Greek mastodon find 'spectacular': "The remains of a prehistoric mastodon - a mammoth-like animal - have been found in northern Greece, including intact long tusks.

A Dutch scientist at the site, Dick Mol, says the find near Grevena should help explain why mastodons died out in Europe two to three million years ago."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Robot Air Attack Squadron Bound for Iraq

Robot Air Attack Squadron Bound for Iraq - The Huffington Post: "BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq — The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It's outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there's no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

The arrival of these outsized U.S. 'hunter-killer' drones, in aviation history's first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Water World Spied

Guardian:"British astronomers have detected water in the atmosphere of an enormous, fiery planet that circles a distant star far beyond our own solar system.

The discovery raises hopes that the substance considered most vital for life may be ubiquitous throughout the galaxy and wider universe.

The finding, described in Nature today, proves scientists can overcome what has long been thought one of the greatest hurdles in the search for extraterrestrial life - the ability to analyse atmospheres of distant worlds for signs of living organisms."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Small Earth

ScienceDaily: Earth smaller than thought: "Earth smaller than thought

BONN, Germany, July 6 (UPI) -- German researchers say their discovery that the Earth is smaller than originally thought may have serious ramifications for climate change.

The difference is minute -- all of five millimeters -- but that is crucial to studying how climate changes the Earth, said researchers at Bonn University.

Five millimeters (0.2 inches) is less than half the width of an average finger, which may seem negligible in comparison to the earth's diameter of 7,926.3812 miles."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tunguska Crater

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Team makes Tunguska crater claim: "Scientists have identified a possible crater left by the biggest space impact in modern times - the Tunguska event.

The blast levelled more than 2,000 sq km of forest near the Tunguska River in Siberia on 30 June 1908..."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cold Life

Drifting icebergs are hotspots of life | - Houston Chronicle: "WASHINGTON — Icebergs that break off Antarctica and drift away turn out to be hotspots of life in the cold southern ocean, researchers report. Climate warming has led to an increase in the number of icebergs breaking away from the Antarctic in recent years, and a team of researchers set out to study the impact the giant ice chunks were having on the environment.

Turns out, the melting ice also dumps particles scraped off Antarctica into the ocean, providing a pool of nutrients that feed plankton and tiny shrimplike creatures known as krill..."

Fruit Power

Fruit-based fuel could beat out corn-based rival | - Houston Chronicle: "MILWAUKEE, WIS. — A simple sugar found in fruit and a variety of other sources could be converted to fuel for cars and trucks.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers said last week they have found a better way of converting fructose, a common sugar, into a fuel called 2,5-dimethylfuran, or DMF.

The biofuel has a higher energy content than ethanol, the only renewable liquid fuel currently produced on a large scale. It also doesn't absorb water from the atmosphere, a shortcoming of ethanol, said James Dumesic, one of the researchers and a professor of chemical and biological engineering at the university."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Real Big Bird

Remains of Giant Dinosaur Found in China - The Huffington Post: "BEIJING — The remains of a giant, birdlike dinosaur as tall as the formidable tyrannosaur have been found in China, a surprising discovery that indicates a more complicated evolutionary process for birds than originally thought, scientists said Wednesday.

Fossilized bones uncovered in the Erlian Basin of northern China's Inner Mongolia region show that the specimen was about 26 feet long, 16 feet tall and weighed 3,000 pounds, said Xu Xing, a paleontologist at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology & Paleoanthropology in Beijing.

The height is comparable to the meat-eating tyrannosaurs. But the dinosaur, called Gigantoraptor erlianensis, also had a beak and slender legs and likely had feathers. It was 35 times larger than its likely close relation, the Caudiperyx, a small, feathered dinosaur species, Xu said.

That puts the Gigantoraptor's existence at odds with prevailing theories that dinosaurs became smaller as they evolved into birds and that bigger dinosaurs had less birdlike characteristics, he said..."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Broadcast Power

NewsFactor Business | MIT's 'WiTricity' Makes Power Cords Obsolete: "The MIT researchers who developed the 'WiTricity' wireless power technology haven't set their sights on global broadcast power just yet, but the team is already envisioning wirelessly transmitting power to laptops or cell phones across an office or inside a house. Because the power stream can be consistent, the devices would not even need batteries..."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Warm Finns

Simply Left Behind: The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: "HELSINKI (Reuters) - Global warming is bringing more warmer-climate creatures to Finland, including moths that feast on human blood, according to nature researchers.

Insect-watchers are spotting more and more calpe moths in the Nordic country, which used to be considered too cold for the insects from southeast Asia, Finnish nature magazine 'Suomen Luonto' (ed. note. Literally, 'Nature of Finland') reported in its June edition..."

New Critters

Discovery Channel :: News - Animals :: 24 New Species Found in Suriname: "June 4, 2007 — A frog with fluorescent purple markings and 12 kinds of dung beetles were among two dozen new species discovered in the remote plateaus of eastern Suriname, scientists said Monday.

The expedition was sponsored by two mining companies hoping to excavate the area for bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminum, and it was unknown how the findings would affect their plans..."

Altair Mapped

Discovery Channel :: News - Space :: Star Surface Map Reveals Hot Poles: "May 31, 2007 — The star known as Altair is no longer just a point of twinkling light in the sky, thanks to a new image of its surface. The first-ever star surface map reveals a rapidly rotating giant orb with hot poles and a cooler, thickened equator that is radically different from our sun..."

Friday, June 01, 2007

Tracking Users

BBC NEWS | Technology | Anger over DRM-free iTunes tracks: "The launch of music tracks free of digital locks on iTunes has been overshadowed by the discovery that they contain data about who bought them.

Some fear this data could be used to identify the owner of the tracks if they turn up on file-sharing sites..."

Tree Walking

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Upright walking 'began in trees': "The ancestors of humans began walking upright while they were still living in trees - not out on open land, according to a new theory.

The traditional view is of bipedalism evolving gradually from the four-legged 'knuckle-walking' displayed by chimpanzees and gorillas today.

Now, a study published in the journal Science disputes this idea.

The British authors of the study say that upright walking was always a feature of great ape behaviour..."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nessie Returns

Man Says He's Got a New Loch Ness Video | The Huffington Post: "EDINBURGH, Scotland — The Loch Ness monster is back _ and there's video. A man has captured what Nessie watchers say is possible footage of the supposed mythical creature beneath Scotland's most mysterious lake.

'I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this jet black thing, about 45 feet long, moving fairly fast in the water,' said Gordon Holmes, the 55-year-old a lab technician from Shipley, Yorkshire, who took the video Saturday..."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More Planets

Mad In The Middle: "28 New Exoplanets Discovered | LiveScience: 'HONOLULU--Astronomers have discovered 28 new planets outside of our solar system, increasing to 236 the number of known exoplanets, revealing that planets can exist around a broad spectrum of stellar types--from tiny, dim stars to giants.

'We added 12 percent to the total in the last year, and we're very proud of that,' said one of the study team members Jason Wright of the University of California at Berkeley. 'This provides new planetary systems so that we can study their properties as an ensemble...''"

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Black Holes

Merging Black Holes Observed in New Detail - Yahoo! News: "Scientists have pinpointed the precise locations of a pair of supermassive black holes at the centers of two colliding galaxies 300 million light-years away..."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Never Lost Training

The Daily Dish: Creating New Senses: "For six weird weeks in the fall of 2004, Udo Wächter had an unerring sense of direction. Every morning after he got out of the shower, Wächter, a sysadmin at the University of Osnabrück in Germany, put on a wide beige belt lined with 13 vibrating pads — the same weight-and-gear modules that make a cell phone judder. On the outside of the belt were a power supply and a sensor that detected Earth's magnetic field. Whichever buzzer was pointing north would go off. Constantly.

'It was slightly strange at first,' Wächter says, 'though on the bike, it was great.' He started to become more aware of the peregrinations he had to make while trying to reach a destination. 'I finally understood just how much roads actually wind,' he says. He learned to deal with the stares he got in the library, his belt humming like a distant chain saw. Deep into the experiment, Wächter says, 'I suddenly realized that my perception had shifted. I had some kind of internal map of the city in my head. I could always find my way home. Eventually, I felt I couldn't get lost, even in a completely new place...'"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Terra Nova

Potentially habitable planet found - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for 'life in the universe.'

The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a 'red dwarf,' is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun..."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Top 10 Strangest Things in Space

Click the link. -- Top 10 Strangest Things in Space

Black Hole Emits Plasma

Black Hole Cluster Breathes Out Enormous Gas Cloud - Yahoo! News: "Astronomers have spotted a giant cloud of superheated gas 6 million light years wide that might be generated by a cluster of supermassive black holes.

The plasma cloud, detailed in April 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal, might be the source of mysterious cosmic rays that permeate our universe..."

Friday, April 20, 2007

InformationWeek Weblog: The Year 2000 As Predicted In 1900: Did They Anticipate Wireless Phones And TV?

InformationWeek Weblog: The Year 2000 As Predicted In 1900: Did They Anticipate Wireless Phones And TV?
It is always interesting to see what people in the past thought "the future" would be like. Predictions usually say more about the people in the age they were made than they do about the future. But sometimes, a few of these predictions really hit home.

I came across this article from The Ladies Home Journal of December 1900 entitled, "Predictions of the Year 2000" on Andrew Sullivan's blog. While most of these predictions seem totally out of date, more than a few are not that off the mark. Take this one, for example:

Prediction #18: Telephones Around the World. Wireless telephone and
telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic
will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We
will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York
to Brooklyn. By an automatic signal they will connect with any circuit in their
locality without the intervention of a "hello girl".

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Perfect Nebula

Ker Than
Staff Writer

"If symmetry is a sign of splendor, then the newly discovered Red Square nebula is one of the most beautiful objects in the universe.

Seen in the infrared, the nebula resembles a giant, glowing red box in the sky, with a bright white inner core. A dying star called MWC 922 is located at the system's center and spewing its innards from opposite poles into space. (A nebula is an interstellar cloud of gas, dust and plasma where stars can both emerge and die...)"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Eye Contact

Study finds holding eye contact is critical when police confront hysterical citizens: "New research relies on footage from TV show 'COPS'

DURHAM, N.H. -- Holding eye contact, or 'gaze,' with hysterical citizens is one of the most effective methods police officers can use to calm them down, according to new research conducted by the University of New Hampshire that relies on footage of the FOX TV show 'COPS.'

The study by Mardi Kidwell, assistant professor of communication, '�Calm Down!�: the role of gaze in the interactional management of hysteria by the police,' was published recently in Discourse Studies.

According to Kidwell�s research, regulating gaze is central to face-to-face interaction. For police officers, it�s an important factor in gaining compliance from and calming hysterical citizens..."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Signs of water seen on planet outside solar system - Yahoo! News

Signs of water seen on planet outside solar system - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Evidence of water has been detected for the first time in a planet outside our solar system, an astronomer said on Tuesday, a tantalizing find for scientists eager to know whether life exists beyond Earth.

Travis Barman, an astronomer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, said water vapor has been found in the atmosphere of a large, Jupiter-like gaseous planet located 150 light years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. The planet is known as HD 209458b..."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

3D Land

New 3-D movies more than a gimmick - "LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- By the end of the decade, Darth Vader could be rattling sabers with his enemies above the heads of moviegoers, and Buzz Lightyear could be flying off the screen on his way to infinity and beyond.

A growing number of blockbuster, live-action films and animated movies are expected to be offered in 3-D in the next few years, as thousands of theaters around the country are outfitted with the special projectors and screens needed to show the films..."

Friday, March 30, 2007

Magnetic Flyers

SCI FI Tech SCIFI.COM: "Future spacecrafts may use the magnetic fields around Earth and other planets to bounce around the Solar System, providing a completely new method of space travel. It's all very complicated if you aren't some sort of rocket scientist, but the basic idea involves using radioactively charge particles to propel a craft with no rocket boosters required..."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mind Scanners

Wired News: Pentagon Preps Mind Fields: "The U.S. military is working on computers than can scan your mind and adapt to what you're thinking..."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Croc Unearthed in Oregon - Jurassic Crocodile Unearthed in Oregon: "The fossil of an ancient amphibious reptile with a crocodile's body and a fish's tail has been unearthed in Oregon. Scientists believe the creature's remains were transported by geologic processes nearly 5,000 miles away from where it originally died more than 100 million years ago.

The new fossil is the oldest crocodilian ever unearthed in Oregon and one of the few to be unearthed on this side of the Pacific. The “hybrid” animal is thought to be a new species within the genus Thalattosuchia, a group of crocodilians living during the age of dinosaurs."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Fat Plastic

Chemicals May Play Role in Rise in Obesity - "Too many calories and too little exercise are undeniably the major factors contributing to the obesity epidemic, but several recent animal studies suggest that environmental exposure to widely used chemicals may also help make people fat.

The evidence is preliminary, but a number of researchers are pursuing indications that the chemicals, which have been shown to cause abnormal changes in animals' sexual development, can also trigger fat-cell activity -- a process scientists call adipogenesis..."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Smart Germs - New Technique Stores Data in Bacteria: "
Artificial DNA with encoded information can be added to the genome of common bacteria, thus preserving the data. The technique was developed at Keio University Institute for Advanced Biosciences and Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus. If you think those USB flash memory 'thumbdrives' are small, check this data storage out.

According to researchers, up to 100 bits of data can be attached to each organism. Scientists successfully encoded and attached the phrase 'e=mc2 1905' to the DNA of bacillus subtilis, a common soil bacteria.

One early use for the technique would be to create special markers to identify legitimate versions of pharmaceuticals. However, the bacillus itself creates new copies of the data every time it reproduces itself, thus making it an ideal archival storage system..."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Gamers Good At Unreal Surgery

Unreal Surgery: Gamers score on laparoscopic surgery tests: "Laparoscopic surgery, in which instruments and cameras are inserted into patients via small incisions, has played a key role in the development of minimally invasive surgery. But the technique involves a distinct set of skills, including reconstructing a three-dimensional environment from a two-dimensional projection, and manipulating instruments indirectly. The parallels between that skill set and gaming have not escaped the medical community, as evidenced a study that will appear in the Archives of Surgery later today...."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mummy TV

Mummified body found in front of blaring TV - "NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Police called to a Long Island man's house discovered the mummified remains of the resident, dead for more than a year, sitting in front of a blaring television set.

The 70-year-old Hampton Bays, New York, resident, identified as Vincenzo Ricardo, appeared to have died of natural causes. Police said on Saturday his body was discovered on Thursday when they went to the house to investigate a report of a burst water pipe..."

Antarctica Lakes

Big lakes detected under Antarctica - "WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Lasers beamed from space have detected what researchers have long suspected: big sloshing lakes of water underneath Antarctic ice.

These lakes, some stretching across hundreds of square miles, fill and drain so dramatically that the movement can be seen by a satellite looking at the icy surface of the southern continent, glaciologists reported in Thursday's editions of the journal Science.

Global warming did not create these big pockets of water -- they lie beneath some 2,300 feet of compressed snow and ice, too deep to be affected by temperature changes on the surface -- but knowing how they behave is important to understanding the impact of climate change on the Antarctic ice sheet, study author Helen Fricker said by telephone..."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

No Deep Impact

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Action plan for killer asteroids: "A draft UN treaty to determine what would have to be done if a giant asteroid was on a collision course with Earth is to be drawn up this year.

The document would set out global policies including who should be in charge of plans to deflect any object..."

"We Have The Technology..."

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Trials for 'bionic' eye implants: "A bionic eye implant that could help restore the sight of millions of blind people could be available to patients within two years.

US researchers have been given the go-ahead to implant the prototype device in 50 to 75 patients.

The Argus II system uses a spectacle-mounted camera to feed visual information to electrodes in the eye..."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Saving Indian Dolphins

Acoustic device may save India's river dolphins - "NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) -- Japanese technology to track and monitor the behavior of India's endangered Ganges River Dolphins using underwater acoustics will play a vital role in efforts to conserve the freshwater mammals, the WWF-India said.

The Gangetic cetaceans are one of only four species of dolphins in the world which inhabit rivers and lakes and are much less common than their marine counterparts, numbering only around 2,000 in India, according to the conservation group.

Over the last 25 years, their numbers have halved -- trapped in fishing nets, hunted for oil, dead from pollution or the construction of dams along the Ganges river which stretches from the northern Himalayas to India's east..."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Space Junk Danger

Space Junk: Orbiting Debris, Once a Nuisance, Is Now a Threat - New York Times: "For decades, space experts have worried that a speeding bit of orbital debris might one day smash a large spacecraft into hundreds of pieces and start a chain reaction, a slow cascade of collisions that would expand for centuries, spreading chaos through the heavens..."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Space Slide Show

Space Slide Show - View Pictures from Space, Including Images from the Hubble Telescope & Space Shuttle - - "Cosmic light show
See a comet's flare, rings of light, astronauts at work and other highlights from January 2007. • SEE THE SLIDE SHOW"

Friday, February 02, 2007

Cancer Killer

Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers - health - 20 January 2007 - New Scientist: "IT SOUNDS almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their 'immortality'. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe. It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks..."

Don't Eat Orange Snow

The Raw Story | (eca 131) Russian officials say orange snow poses no threat: "Moscow (dpa) - Russian authorities said Friday that yellow and
orange snow that fell in a number of Siberian villages posed no
health hazards, though the cause was unclear, with officials blaming
mud from Kazakhstan and ecologists blaming fertilizer factories.
'According to preliminary results, no chemically dangerous, toxic
or radioactive substances have been found,' Viktor Beltsov, a
spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry, told Interfax.

The snow fell January 31, and details of its appearance in three
West Siberian regions - the industrial Omsk, Tomsk and Tyumen regions
- were made public Friday after residents of the remote areas
contacted health officials."

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Before Stonehenge

Ancient complex discovered near Stonehenge - Los Angeles Times: "Archeologists working near Stonehenge in England have discovered an ancient religious complex containing a treasure trove of artifacts that may finally illuminate the lives and religious practices of the people who built the mysterious monument 4,600 years ago, British archeologists said Tuesday..."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chips II

BBC NEWS | Technology | Chips push through nano-barrier: "Critical leaks

...The development means the fundamental 'law' that underpins the development of all microchips, known as Moore's Law, remains intact.

The proposition, articulated by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, states that the number of transistors on a chip could double every 24 months.

After more than 10 years of effort, we now have a way forward
Tze-chiang Chen, IBM
The new Intel processors, codenamed Penryn, will pack more than four hundred million transistors into a chip half the size of a postage stamp.

Like current processors, they will come in dual-core and quad-core versions, meaning they will have two or four separate processors on each chip. The company has not said how fast the new devices will run.

The production of 45nm technology has been the goal of chip manufacturers ever since they conquered 65nm transistors..."

Chips I

BBC NEWS | Technology | Chips push through nano-barrier: "Chips push through nano-barrier
45 nanometre test wafer

New materials have had to be developed to shrink the transistors
The next milestone in the relentless pursuit of smaller, higher performance microchips has been unveiled.

Chip-maker Intel has announced that it will start manufacturing processors using transistors just 45 nanometres (billionths of a metre) wide..."

Chips 0

Intel Says Chips Will Run Faster, Using Less Power - New York Times: "By JOHN MARKOFF
Published: January 27, 2007

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, has overhauled the basic building block of the information age, paving the way for a new generation of faster and more energy-efficient processors..."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Earth's Moon Destined to Disintegrate - Yahoo! News

Earth's Moon Destined to Disintegrate - Yahoo! News: "
Earth's Moon Destined to Disintegrate

David Powell
Special to Mon Jan 22, 10:15 AM ET

The Sun is midway through its stable hydrogen burning phase known as the main sequence. But when the Sun enters the red giant phase in around 5 billion years things are going to get a lot rougher in the Earth-Moon system.

During the red giant phase the Sun will swell until its distended atmosphere reaches out to envelop the Earth and Moon, which will both begin to be affected by gas drag-the space through which they orbit will contain more molecules.

The Moon is now moving away from Earth and by then will be in an orbit that's about 40 percent larger than today. It will be the first to warp under the Sun's influence..."

Rare sight of ancient shark |

Rare sight of ancient shark | "Jan. 24 - A shark with the ugly proportions of the pre-historic era has surfaced near Japan offering a rare view of this denizen of the deep.

The 'Frilled Shark' is hardly ever seen because its habitat is 600 metres or more below the ocean surface.

Jennifer Marostica reports.

Pictures of the Frilled shark courtesy of Awashima Marine Park

© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved."

Rail Gun

U.S. Navy Invents Railgun

Tech0604magnet_170x200The mighty railgun, that hitherto-unfeasible weapon most beloved of gamers and geeks the world over, is now a functional reality thanks to the U.S. Navy, which has produced a working 8-megajoule electromagnetic mass driver.

Spotted at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, the navy's new weapon of choice fires but a single shot at once, unlike the hypothetical counterpart featured in classic FPS Quake. But what a shot is is, offering a 250 nautical-mile range (with an apogee of 95 miles from the Earth's surface!) and enough kinetic energy to equal the destructive power of a million-dollar missile.

Monday, January 22, 2007

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Flying dinos had bi-plane design

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Flying dinos had bi-plane design: "Flying dinos had bi-plane design
Microraptor Image: PNAS
Microraptor was a small, feathered dinosaur
The first flying dinosaurs took to the air in a similar way to a World War I bi-plane, a study shows.

A fresh analysis of an early feathered fossil dinosaur suggests that it dropped its hind legs below its body, adopting a bi-plane-like form.

This contrasts with earlier reconstructions showing the dinosaur maintaining its wings in a tandem pattern, a bit like a dragonfly.

Details appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal..."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Comet Maker

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Dwarf planet 'becoming a comet': "An unusual dwarf planet discovered in the outer Solar System could be en route to becoming the brightest comet ever known.

2003 EL61 is a large, dense, rugby-ball-shaped hunk of rock with a fast rotation rate.

Professor Mike Brown has calculated that the object could be due a close encounter with the planet Neptune.

If so, Neptune's gravity could catapult it into the inner Solar System as a short-period comet.

'If you came back in two million years, EL61 could well be a comet,' said Professor Brown, from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena.

'When it becomes a comet, it will be the brightest we will ever see.'"

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Eye In The Sky

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | First stars in telescope's sights: "he Hubble Space Telescope is a hard act to follow.

Since it was launched in 1990, the telescope has become one of the most important instruments in the history of astronomy, making critical discoveries that have vastly enriched our understanding of the cosmos.

John Mather is only too aware of this legacy. He is senior project scientist on Hubble's designated successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Dr Mather, 60, has been involved with JWST from the start and is busy directing construction of it at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland..."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Reverse Mars Attacks!

Scientist Says NASA Found Alien Life (and killed it)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two NASA space probes that visited Mars 30 years ago may have found alien microbes on the Red Planet and inadvertently killed them, a scientist is theorizing.

The Viking space probes of 1976-77 were looking for the wrong kind of life, so they didn't recognize it, a geology professor at Washington State University said.

Dirk Schulze-Makuch presented his theory in a paper delivered at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.

The paper was released Sunday...