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 Topic: Random Science Posts

 (Read 69329 times)
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  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #30 - October 07, 2012, 09:34 PM

    Oh, but people have a right to have as many kids as they like. Population stabilisation has problems too. [/ostrich]

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #31 - October 21, 2012, 06:03 PM

    Nevermind.

    Too fucking busy, and vice versa.
  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #32 - October 30, 2012, 12:10 AM

    24 min podcast:
    The Science Friday Book Club discusses the classic book “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”
    http://sciencefriday.com/playlist/#play/segment/8954

    "Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell

    Baloney Detection Kit
  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #33 - November 08, 2012, 12:44 PM

    just gotta love the theater of science sometimes

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20217938


    'Twisted light' data-boosting idea sparks heated debate

    By Jason Palmer
    Science and technology reporter, BBC News



    An idea to vastly increase the carrying capacity of radio and light waves has been called into question.

    The "twisted light" approach relies on what is called light's orbital angular momentum, which has been put forth as an unexploited means to carry data.

    Now a number of researchers, including some formally commenting in New Journal of Physics, say the idea is misguided.

    Responding in the same journal, the approach's proponents insist the idea can in time massively boost data rates.

    That promise is an enticing one for telecommunications firms that are running out of "space" in the electromagnetic spectrum, which is increasingly crowded with allocations for communications, broadcast media and data transmission.

    So others are weighing in on what could be a high-stakes debate.

    "This would be worth a Nobel prize, if they're right. Can you imagine, if all communications could be done on one frequency?" asked Bob Nevels of Texas A&M University, a former president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Antennas and Propagation Society.

    "If they've got such a great thing, why isn't everyone jumping up and down? Because we know it won't work," he told BBC News.

    The disagreement in New Journal of Physics provides a window on the time-honoured practice of open debate in academic journals (as opposed to the increasingly widespread approach of debating issues before they are even formally published): a kind of "he says, she says" with references.

    Wiggle room
    The principle behind the idea is fairly simple. Photons, the most basic units of light, carry two kinds of momentum, a kind of energy-of-motion.

    One, spin angular momentum, is better known as polarisation. Photons "wiggle" along a particular direction, and different polarisations can be separated out by, for example, polarising sunglasses or 3D glasses.

    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote

    This is not something invented by us, something we found out on a coffee break - this is on solid theoretical foundations ”

    Bo Thide
    Swedish Institute of Space Physics
    But they also carry orbital angular momentum - in analogy to the Earth-Sun system, the spin angular momentum is expressed in our planet spinning around its axis, while the orbital angular momentum manifests as our revolution around the Sun.

    The new technique aims to exploit this orbital angular momentum, essentially encoding more data as a "twist" in the light waves.

    That the phenomenon exists is not in question - it has been put to use recently in studying black holes, for example.

    What makes the current debate devilishly complex is arguing whether experiments by Bo Thide of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics and colleagues really do use and benefit from it.

    The team has carried out very public demonstrations of the idea, sending data across a Venice lagoon in a test first described in a New Journal of Physics article. But even before that article made it to press, other researchers were questioning the approach's validity.

    In a paper in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Lund University's Ove Edfors and Anders Johansson argued that what was going on was a version of "multiple input, multiple output" - or Mimo - data transmission, a technique first outlined in the 1970s.

    "I've been trying to have a discussion with these guys, asking for arguments - because all the arguments they have put forward have been perfectly explainable by standard theories," Prof Edfors told BBC News.

    "What I get back is 'you don't understand, you're not a physicist', and I say 'well, try to convince me'."

    Julien Perruisseau-Carrier at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL), and colleagues make much the same argument in their comment paper published this week. But it seems clear that the controversy arises as a conflict between the disciplines of physics and engineering.

    "These people are physicists, they have their own research," Prof Perruisseau-Carrier told BBC News. "But the authors are trying to spin off some of their work into a telecommunications issue.


    There was a "signal received" last year - but could vastly improved signal sizes be reached?
    "The fact is they didn't understand that what they were doing, as we explained, is a subset of something very well-known and documented."

    Detractors argue that the demonstrations so far have only used two "modes" to transmit information, perfectly replicating a Mimo setup - and that if Prof Thide and colleagues try to extend the work - to the promised tens or hundreds of possible modes, they will fail.

    For his part, Prof Thide insists that it is the engineers who have misunderstood.

    "The typical wireless engineer, even if a professor, doesn't know anything about angular momentum," he told BBC News.

    "The points made by these people... are in contradiction to each and every textbook there is in electrodynamics. This is not something invented by us, something we found out on a coffee break - this is on solid theoretical foundations going back through several Nobel prizes."

    But the groundswell of resistance to the technique seems to be growing. Prof Nevels and his Texas A&M colleague Laszlo Kish have put together a paper that they believe is the simple, final proof of its impossibility - and more academics are signing on as co-authors.

    Prof Perruisseau-Carrier says that the idea will prove itself valid or otherwise soon enough.

    "They mentioned they have some contact with telecoms companies - we were very happy to see that. There's no doubt that as soon as they defer to a real expert, that people will notice [that the idea is flawed]," he said.

    "We are convinced that this will not go anywhere."

    ''we are morally and philisophically in the best position to win the league'' - Arsene Wenger
  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #34 - November 30, 2012, 09:29 PM

    Just caught this on the extremely popular "I fucking love science" facebook page.

    The famous twists of DNA's double helix have been seen with the aid of an electron microscope and a silicon bed of nails

    For the very first time, scientists have managed to directly photograph DNA itself using electron microscopy.
    Until now, researchers have had to rely on X-ray crystallography - a technique that scatters atoms off of the atoms in crystallized arrays of DNA, which then form a pattern of dots on photographic film. Interpreting these can be difficult, and the complex mathematics involved is partly why is took so long for us to work out the double helix structure of DNA.
    With this new technique, it's possible to capture the famous double helix directly.




    A tightrope of DNA between two silicon nanopillars


    Read more

    "Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell

    Baloney Detection Kit
  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #35 - November 30, 2012, 09:30 PM

    Oh very cool. Smiley

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #36 - November 30, 2012, 11:18 PM

    Here's something I wouldn't have expected: NASA Announces Discovery Of Ice At Mercury's Poles

    Quote
    NASA announced Thursday that its Messenger probe has discovered new evidence of water ice on Mercury.

    In the announcement, Sean Solomon, principal investigator for the Mercury Messenger program, said the probe had uncovered new evidence that deposits in permanently shadowed regions of Mercury's poles is water ice. The ice is found predominantly in impact craters, according to data obtained by Messenger.

    According to a NASA press release, the tilt of Mercury’s rotational axis is almost zero -- less than one degree -- so there are pockets at the planet’s poles that never see sunlight. Scientists suggested decades ago that there might be water ice at Mercury’s poles, but the new findings provide"compelling support" for that claim.

    Messenger used neutron spectroscopy to measure average hydrogen concentrations, an indicator of water ice.

    “The neutron data indicate that Mercury’s radar-bright polar deposits contain, on average, a hydrogen-rich layer more than tens of centimeters thick beneath a surficial layer 10 to 20 centimeters thick that is less rich in hydrogen,” wrote David Lawrence, a Messenger scientist based at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “The buried layer has a hydrogen content consistent with nearly pure water ice.”

    More building blocks of life where you might not expect to see them. Smiley

    (no, I'm not suggesting Mercury has life on it)

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Re: Random Science Posts
     Reply #37 - December 04, 2012, 08:33 PM

    I can see this one going places. Carbon is amazingly versatile and useful stuff.  yes

    Graphene towers promise 'flexi-electronics'

    Quote
    The 3D ‘monoliths’ — grown between forming ice crystals — add elasticity to the super-strength and conductivity of graphene sheets.

    It can support 50,000 times its own weight, springs back into shape after being compressed by up to 80% and has a density much lower than most comparable metal-based materials. A new superelastic, three-dimensional form of graphene can even conduct electricity, paving the way for flexible electronics, researchers say.

    The team, led by Dan Li, a materials engineer at Monash University in Clayton, Australia, coaxed 1-centimetre-high graphene blocks or 'monoliths' from tiny flakes of graphene oxide, using ice crystals as templates. The work is published today in Nature Communications.

    <snip>

    Li and his colleagues adapted an industrial technique called freeze casting to do just that. This involves growing layers of an oxygen-coated, soluble version of graphene called graphene oxide between forming ice crystals. On cooling the aqueous solution of graphene oxide flakes, a thin layer of the nanomaterial becomes trapped between the growing crystals, forming a continuous network that retains its structure once the ice is thawed.

    <snip>

    Rodney Ruoff, a researcher in graphene assemblies at the University of Texas at Austin, says that the material “is very interesting for the extremely low density that the researchers achieve, as well as its exceptional mechanics”

    <snip>

    Li says that the superelastic graphene has potential for use in biomedical applications. “Biomaterials people are very interested in this structure because the pore sizes match existing tissue scaffolds very well,” he says.

    If they can grow it to centimetre blocks with ice, they are well on their way to having a viable product. I expect we'll see something useful within a decade, at the most.

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #38 - December 18, 2012, 12:34 AM

    The Edinburgh Neuroscience Public Christmas Lecture Series

    http://www.edinburghneuroscience.ed.ac.uk/publicengagement/ChristmasLecture/Index.html

    An interesting collection of public talks that are each about an hour long.

  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #39 - December 24, 2012, 08:42 PM

    'Cautious optimism' on HIV

    Quote
    a new generation of vaccines that focus on the fundamental elements of the virus that can't change are generating a new mood of optimism amongst researchers.


    8 min audio interview.

    "Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell

    Baloney Detection Kit
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #40 - January 04, 2013, 03:22 AM

    Hey this is interesting: Planet's oldest fossils found in Australia

    Quote
    Scientists analysing Australian rocks have discovered traces of bacteria that lived a record-breaking 3.49 billion years ago, a mere billion years after Earth formed.

    If the find withstands the scrutiny that inevitably faces claims of fossils this old, it could move scientists one step closer to understanding the first chapters of life on Earth. The discovery could also spur the search for ancient life on other planets.

    These traces of bacteria "are the oldest fossils ever described. Those are our oldest ancestors," said Nora Noffke, a biogeochemist at Old Dominion University in Norfolk who was part of the group that made the find and presented it last month at a meeting of the Geological Society of America.

    Unlike dinosaur bones, the newly identified fossils are not petrified body parts. They're textures on the surfaces of sandstone thought to be sculpted by once-living organisms. Today, similar patterns decorate parts of Tunisia's coast, created by thick mats of bacteria that trap and glue together sand particles. Sand that is stuck to the land beneath the mats and thus protected from erosion can over time turn into rock that can long outlast the living organisms above it.


    <snip>

    Still, old Australian rocks have proved deceptive before. As early as 1980, rippling layers within the Strelley Pool were thought to be the handiwork of bacteria. But such stromatolites, which are different from the structures that Noffke studies, can also be the work of natural, non-living processes. For instance, water flowing along a seafloor can create similar structures under the right conditions. So can spraying jets of liquid loaded with particles onto a surface, as scientists at Oxford University demonstrated in laboratory experiments.

    That's why Noffke and her colleagues corroborated their story by measuring the carbon that makes up the textured rocks. About 99 per cent of carbon in non-living stuff is carbon-12, a lighter version of the element than the carbon-13 that accounts for most of the remaining 1 per cent. Microbes that use photosynthesis to make their food contain even more carbon-12 and less carbon-13. That bias, a signature of "organic" carbon that comes from a living being, showed up in the Australian rock.

    "It's always nice to have a number of different lines of evidence, and you definitely want to see organic carbon," says geomicrobiologist John Stolz of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.


    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #41 - January 22, 2013, 09:00 PM

    Harvard professor seeks 'adventurous' woman to
    give birth to baby Neanderthal

    Started from the bottom, now I'm here
    Started from the bottom, now my whole extended family's here

    JOIN THE CHAT
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #42 - January 22, 2013, 09:14 PM

    ^  Are you offering?  parrot

    "Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell

    Baloney Detection Kit
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #43 - January 22, 2013, 09:15 PM



     Cheesy Cheesy This is straight out of a sci-fi film, I think it's brilliant!
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #44 - January 22, 2013, 09:42 PM

    OY.  for me, giving birth to some plain ol' Homo Sapiens was difficult enough.  I can only imagine what the head circumference of a infant Neanderthal is.  I am all for an adventure but....errr...no thanks.  Not willing to risk shattering my entire pelvis for the sake of science.

    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #45 - January 22, 2013, 09:44 PM

    Caesarean, innit. Tongue

    Life is what happens to you while you're staring at your smartphone.

    Eternal Sunshine of the Religionless Mind
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #46 - January 22, 2013, 10:01 PM

    Eww.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #47 - January 22, 2013, 10:09 PM

    cesearean....hmmmm.  yeah I guess if that little neanderthal doesn't try clawing his way out first. 

    let's face it.....this shit is just crazy

    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #48 - January 23, 2013, 07:04 PM

    ^  Are you offering?  parrot

    No, not even for science  Cheesy
    I happen to value my uterus. And sanity (the little of it I have).

    Started from the bottom, now I'm here
    Started from the bottom, now my whole extended family's here

    JOIN THE CHAT
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #49 - January 27, 2013, 03:22 AM

    NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Moon

    As part of the first demonstration of laser communication with a satellite at the moon, scientists with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) beamed an image of the Mona Lisa to the spacecraft from Earth.
    ...
    "This is the first time anyone has achieved one-way laser communication at planetary distances," says LOLA's principal investigator, David Smith of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "In the near future, this type of simple laser communication might serve as a backup for the radio communication that satellites use. In the more distant future, it may allow communication at higher data rates than present radio links can provide."


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0w5rP9xr2c

    "Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell

    Baloney Detection Kit
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #50 - January 27, 2013, 05:55 PM



    False news.

    Harvard professor says he is NOT looking for a woman to give birth to a Neanderthal, blaming reports on a poor translation

     Now you guys can sleep at night  Smiley

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #51 - January 30, 2013, 01:09 PM

    I generally don't like spiders but I'll make an exception for this one 'cause it's pretty. That little dance they do is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen  001_wub

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GgAbyYDFeg

    Started from the bottom, now I'm here
    Started from the bottom, now my whole extended family's here

    JOIN THE CHAT
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #52 - February 05, 2013, 12:55 AM

    From the "I fucking love science" fb page.  Great stuff. Afro

    This Week In Science.

    Samples from the Antarctic: http://bit.ly/12nA0Bj
    Zebrafish thoughts: http://bit.ly/XFUm2X
    Micro-organisms in the atmosphere: http://bit.ly/VjSRYB
    Owl head rotation: http://bbc.in/VCCLJZ
    TW Hydrae: http://1.usa.gov/YGH9Ma
    New methods in synthetic biology: http://bit.ly/XddIuz


    "Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." -- Bertrand Russell

    Baloney Detection Kit
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #53 - February 05, 2013, 12:58 AM

    I'm not suprised that they've found micro-organisms 10 km up. I was surprised when they found them 10 km down in solid bedrock.

    ETA: The one about the owls is kinda cool.

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #54 - February 07, 2013, 11:56 PM

    This is kinda cool, although difficult to verify.

    Face-to-face with the first placental mammal

    Quote
    After an asteroid killed off the dinosaurs — save for those that evolved into today's birds — a small, furry animal scurried through the forest in search of insects. Its unassuming looks gave little hint that its descendants would one day rule the planet.

    A team of scientists in the United States and Canada has now reconstructed the appearance and anatomy of this creature — the forebear of all 'placental' mammals, which give birth to live young at an advanced stage of development — in unprecedented detail, using a record-breaking data set of anatomical traits and genetic sequences.

    The critter turned out to be a tree-climbing, furry-tailed insect eater that weighed between 6 and 245 grams. It gave birth to blind, hairless young, one at a time. Its brain was highly folded, and it had three pairs of molars on each jaw.

    “It’s like bringing a fuzzy photo into focus,” says lead author Maureen O’Leary, a palaeontologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “The fact that it’s a small scrambling animal isn’t a surprise,” she adds, but the reconstruction is more detailed than anything else ever attempted, and provides a picture that future fossils can be checked against.

    “You could almost count the number of hairs it had on its head,” says Olaf Bininda-Emonds, an evolutionary biologist at Oldenburg University in Germany who was not part of the study.

    Problems: a body weight range of 6 to 245 grams is quite a range. All they can really say is it wasn't very big. Some of the morphological evidence contradicts some of the genetic evidence. How do you decide to call it "the first" given that all species are transitional?

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #55 - February 15, 2013, 09:15 PM

    Hey evaporating planet. Smiley

    Evaporating planet shows how worlds vanish

    Quote
    Object: Evaporating exoplanet
    Distance: 1500 light years

    1. Preheat star to 2000 kelvin.
    2. Take one Mercury-sized rocky world and place in a 16-hour-long orbit.
    3. Bake for 10 billion years or until obliterated.

    It's a recipe that won't win any culinary awards, but when turned into a computer model, it could explain the strange sighting last year of a rapidly disappearing exoplanet around the small sunlike star KIC 12557548. The model hints that this world is now about the size of Earth's moon and may even be down to its naked iron core, which would make it the smallest known exoplanet. If true, the tiny remnant could help us better understand what's inside our home world.

    <snippity>

    "If you start with a Mercury-sized object, it can sit there very happily for billions of years, very slowly bubbling away," says Chiang. Eventually though, enough of the planet is vaporised into space that its gravity is greatly reduced, making it even easier for material to escape and speeding up its destruction.

    This runaway phase lasts for the last one per cent of the planet's life, and it's thought KIC 12557548b has just 70 million or so years left. "When you compare it to the age of the star, almost certainly billions of years, it's just a blink of an eye," says Chiang.


    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #56 - March 01, 2013, 04:56 PM

    4D Printing cool stuff.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21614176
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #57 - March 01, 2013, 07:26 PM

    Yeah, because 3D printing doesn't involve time. Tongue

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #58 - March 01, 2013, 08:22 PM

    This is a good one. X-ray speed cameras clock superfast black hole

    Short version: the speed of matter revolving in the inner region of the accretion disc is just shy of the speed of light. Given the way relativistic mass increases, I'm kinda wondering how the fuck you accelerate that much mass to that high a speed. Space always gets weirder, just when we think we've seen everything.

    Biology does it too. grin12 They've just found a virus that has apparently co-opted part of a bacterial immune system into its genome, and now uses it as a weapon to invade bacteria and disable the bacteria's own immune system. That's devious: The only virus with an immune system

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Random Science Posts
     Reply #59 - March 02, 2013, 09:02 AM

    Yeah, because 3D printing doesn't involve time. Tongue

    Yeah 4D seems like a bit of a buzzword here.
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