Category: science

Apr 22 2011

Fantastic movies of the Sun

Wonderful gallery of videos from the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Apr 21 2011

Gut bacteria divide people into 3 types

Each human being is host to thousands of different species of microbes. Yet a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied. Blood type, meet bug type. via Gut Bacteria Divide People Into 3 Types, Scientists Report – NYTimes.com

Apr 05 2011

FermiLab physicists may have found new particle

Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are planning to announce Wednesday that they have found a suspicious bump in their data that could be evidence of a new elementary particle or even, some say, a new force of nature. via FermiLab Physicists May Have Found New Particle

Feb 11 2011

Gene tests inadvertently exposing cases of incest

Mapping your entire genetic code to look for disease signatures may reveal more than you want to know. Nancy Spinner, a professor of pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said her team had encountered two cases of incest since it began using SNP-based arrays from gene sequencing company Illumina Inc in May 2008. …

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Jan 22 2011

Tracking the tell-tale signs of pure genius

A 70-year-old engineer who has just retired confesses that he has had a life-long urge to have his left arm amputated below the elbow. He has the arm removed and feels much better. Another man loses his arm in a car accident, but still feel its ghostly presence; this phantom limb is clenched in a …

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Jan 12 2011

Thunderstorms produce anti-matter beams

These signals are the first direct evidence that thunderstorms make antimatter particle beams…The beam continued past Fermi, reached a location, known as a mirror point, where its motion was reversed, and then hit the spacecraft a second time just 23 milliseconds later. via NASA – NASA’s Fermi Catches Thunderstorms Hurling Antimatter into Space

Dec 14 2010

Voyager 1 reaches edge of the solar system: the heliosphere stagnation region

“Voyager tells us now that we’re in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back. We shouldn’t have long to wait to find out what …

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Nov 28 2010

Harvard scientists dramatically reverse aging in mice

At Harvard, they bred genetically manipulated mice that lacked an enzyme called telomerase that stops telomeres getting shorter. Without the enzyme, the mice aged prematurely and suffered ailments, including a poor sense of smell, smaller brain size, infertility and damaged intestines and spleens. But when DePinho gave the mice injections to reactivate the enzyme, it …

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Nov 22 2010

Huge boomerang-shaped galaxy with enormous radio emissions

…observations have been bolstered by the discovery, inside this same filament, of a galaxy that has a rare boomerang shape and unusual light emissions… via Astronomers Probe ‘Sandbar’ Between Islands of Galaxies – NASA Spitzer Space Telescope

Nov 15 2010

The youngest nearby black hole – younger than you

Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have found evidence of the youngest black hole known to exist in our cosmic neighborhood…The 30-year-old object is a remnant of SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100 approximately 50 million light-years from Earth…”If our interpretation is correct, this is the nearest example where the birth of a …

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Nov 15 2010

Tycho Brahe, astronomer: murdered? by Kepler?

Recent investigations have suggested that Tycho did not die from urinary problems but instead from mercury poisoning—extremely toxic levels of it have been found in hairs from his moustache. This may have even been due to the various metals used to create his many different prosthetic noses that he wore. The results were, however, not …

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Nov 14 2010

Hmmm: studies show traces of drugs in air, water, and sewage

The American Chemical Society has published a series of studies under the title “Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment: Ecological and Human Health Considerations” that detail numerous reports of the detection of cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, marijuana, and pharmaceutical drugs in water, air, and sewage in the US and Europe. Some was “still present in …

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Nov 09 2010

Fermi telescope finds huge gamma ray bubbles from Milky Way center

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy… The structure spans more than half of the visible sky, from the constellation Virgo to …

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Nov 07 2010

The galaxy (probably) abounds in Earth-like planets

What percentage of Sun-like stars have earth-like planets orbiting them? As many as one-fourth, according to a new survey performed by astronomers at the University of California. This result contradicts previous theories of planet formation, but is a tantalizing prediction that finding extraterrestrial life, or at least Earth’s twin, is not impossible. via The galaxy …

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Oct 29 2010

Unpopular science

Life lessons in advanced physics, chemistry, and mechanics.

Sep 07 2010

Cookware, waterproof fabrics linked to higher cholesterol levels, cancer

Years of exposure to synthetic chemicals now seems to have resulted in permanent biological effects. “Perfluoronated compounds have been found in the blood of virtually every person tested for them in the United States, including children as young as 2. The compounds have been linked to cancer, developmental problems, liver damage and other ailments in …

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Sep 06 2010

Insect brains ‘are source of antibiotics’ to fight MRSA

Don’t get an infection. If you get an infection, don’t get MRSA. If you do get MRSA, find a cockroach and eat its head.

Sep 03 2010

Stephen Hawking on God, the universe, and everything

“Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God. The idea that the universe was designed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago. In Western culture the Old Testament contains the idea of providential design, but the traditional Christian viewpoint was …

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Aug 30 2010

An idle brain may be the self’s workshop

…Until recently, scientists would have found little of interest in the purposeless, mind-wandering spaces between Mrazek’s conscious breakfast-making tasks — they were just the brain idling between meaningful activity. But in the span of a few short years, they have instead come to view mental leisure as important, purposeful work — work that relies on …

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Aug 30 2010

Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

Benjamin Lee Whorf let loose an alluring idea about language’s power over the mind, and his stirring prose seduced a whole generation into believing that our mother tongue restricts what we are able to think.   via Does Your Language Shape How You Think? – NYTimes.com.