Latest Articles: Science-Technology
Rather than spiraling into a meltdown, we may be heading into next ice age
Post Date: 2011-10-07 00:23:11 by A K A Stone
Rather than spiraling into a global warming meltdown, we may be heading into the next ice age. The U.S. National Solar Observatory, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and astrophysicists across the planet report that the nearly all-time low sunspot activity may result in a sustained cooling period on Earth. The news has sent global warming theory advocates scrambling to discount and explain away the impact on global temperatures. However, the "news" is not really that new. Many reputable scientists have been warning for decades that we are nearing the end of the 11,500-year average period between ice ages. And the last similar crash in sunspot activity coincided with the ...
400 MPG… or Conspiracy Theory?
Post Date: 2011-09-28 12:23:51 by Capitalist Eric
Maybe the conspiracy theorists were right after all. That was the first thought to pop into my head as I read about an engineer named Steve Fambro and his 400 mpg hybrid Aptera two-seater. Yes, you read that right. 400 MPG. Really. The mileage of the snarky little gullwing coupe is about five times better than the mileage posted by the best hybrid a major automaker has ever delivered the 70 mpg Honda Insight (mark I, the small two-seater built back in the early 2000s, not the current model) and makes a new Toyota Prius look like a 69 Chrysler Newport with two dead cylinders, a slipping transmission and a trunk full of bricks. Fill-ups could be a once-a-month deal. ...
China prepares to launch space laboratory
Post Date: 2011-09-28 06:55:05 by lucysmom
China will take the first step to having its own space station tomorrow, launching the Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace" space laboratory. The unmanned, 8.5 ton Tiangong-1 will help to test the technologies that China plans to use in its space station, which is scheduled for completion by 2020. It will also be used as a docking target for the unmanned Shenzhou 8 space craft which is expected to launch by the end of this year. If that mission succeeds, Chinese astronauts could fly to Tiangong-1 next year, dock, and live aboard it. If China can demonstrate it has a functioning docking system, it could also begin to dock with the International Space Station. China has held up its ...
We Incorporate Genetic Information From the Food We Eat, New Study Finds
Post Date: 2011-09-21 12:25:25 by lucysmom
Research at Nanjing University has found that strands of RNA from vegetables make it into our bloodstream after we eat them, and can regulate the expression of our genes once they're inside us. MicroRNAs, or miRNAs, are little strands of RNA that selectively bind to matching sequences of messenger RNA, resulting in repression of those genes. Their role has only been understood in the last decade or so, but miRNAs are currently believed to take part in a vast number of processes in both plants and animals. Chen-Yu Zhang and colleagues found plant miRNA sequences in the tissue of animals that ate those plants. One of them, called MIR168a, is produced by rice and abundantly found in the ...
'Inexhaustible' Source of Hydrogen May Be Unlocked by Salt Water, Engineers Say
Post Date: 2011-09-20 19:56:03 by jwpegler
A grain of salt or two may be all that microbial electrolysis cells need to produce hydrogen from wastewater or organic byproducts, without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or using grid electricity, according to Penn State engineers. "This system could produce hydrogen anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water," said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering. " It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy." Microbial electrolysis cells that produce hydrogen are the basis of this recent work, but previously, to produce hydrogen, the fuel cells required some electrical input. Now, ...
Scientists Take First Step Towards Creating 'Inorganic Life'
Post Date: 2011-09-15 14:09:36 by jwpegler
Scientists at the University of Glasgow say they have taken their first tentative steps towards creating 'life' from inorganic chemicals potentially defining the new area of 'inorganic biology'. Professor Lee Cronin, Gardiner Chair of Chemistry in the College of Science and Engineering, and his team have demonstrated a new way of making inorganic- chemical-cells or iCHELLs. Prof Cronin said: "All life on earth is based on organic biology (i.e. carbon in the form of amino acids, nucleotides, and sugars, etc.) but the inorganic world is considered to be inanimate. "What we are trying do is create self-replicating, evolving inorganic cells that would essentially be ...
Iron 'Veins' Are Secret of Promising New Hydrogen Storage Material
Post Date: 2011-09-13 18:50:17 by jwpegler
With a nod to biology, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have a new approach to the problem of safely storing hydrogen in future fuel-cell-powered cars. Their idea: molecular scale "veins" of iron permeating grains of magnesium like a network of capillaries. The iron veins may transform magnesium from a promising candidate for hydrogen storage into a real- world winner. Hydrogen has been touted as a clean and efficient alternative to gasoline, but it has one big drawback: the lack of a safe, fast way to store it onboard a vehicle. According to NIST materials scientist Leo Bendersky, iron-veined magnesium could overcome this hurdle. The ...
Daimler Aims to Expand Fuel Cell Partnerships By The End of 2011
Post Date: 2011-09-13 18:23:44 by jwpegler
Daimler AG, the world's third- largest maker of luxury vehicles, is in advanced talks about expanding its fuel cell partners beyond Ford Motor Co. as it targets widescale production of the technology, development chief Thomas Weber said today in an interview at the Internationa Motor Show in Frankfurt. The Stuttgart, Germany-based maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is in talks with other automakers as well as companies that would set up a hydrogen fuel station network, Weber said. Daimler, which introduced a fuel cell-powered concept vehicle in Frankfurt, plans to produce more than 1,000 B-Class F-Cell vehicles, which are powered by the chemical reaction that creates water. The ...
Clean coal power projects awarded $14 million from DOE
Post Date: 2011-09-13 17:26:07 by CZ82
Clean coal power projects awarded $14 million from DOE Sep 13, 2011 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $14 million to six projects aimed at developing technologies to lower the cost of producing electricity in integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) coal-fired power plants using carbon capture. The DOE said the six projects will promote the commercialization of IGCC with carbon capture by advancing technologies to make the process more economical. The projects support DOE's goal of using gasification to provide power from coal with 90 percent carbon capture, utilization, and storage at minimal increase in the cost of electricity. The projects, which will be managed ...
Global Cooling Forecast
Post Date: 2011-09-10 18:58:57 by CZ82
Global Cooling Forecast by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D. * Introduction It was announced at the recent annual meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS/SPD) at New Mexico State University that the next 11-year solar sunspot cycle, Cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or will not occur at all. Magnetic fields erupting from the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will form. The current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, started out late and slow and will likely produce a very weak solar maximum in 2013. This report from the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kitt Peak in Arizona indicates that the familiar sunspot cycle may ...
Super Computer Predicts Civil Unrest
Post Date: 2011-09-09 21:09:01 by A K A Stone
In Isaac Asimovs Foundation series, the future of masses of people can be predicted with psychohistory, a method of predicting future poitical and social trends, using a device called the Prime Radiant. In the 1950s, there wasnt the math or the computational power available to make such a thing reality. Now there might be. Supercomputers, such as the Nautilus at the University of Tennessees Center for Data Analysis and Visualization, may have brought the world closer to Asimovs vision, though it is still early days. The key is seeking paterns in massive amounts of data and being able to visualize them. Kaley Leetaru, assistant director for ...
800,000 Years of Abrupt Climate Variability: Earth's Climate Is Capable of Very Rapid Transitions
Post Date: 2011-09-09 16:16:38 by jwpegler
An international team of scientists, led by Dr Stephen Barker of Cardiff University, has produced a prediction of what climate records from Greenland might look like over the last 800,000 years. Drill cores taken from Greenland's vast ice sheets provided the first clue that Earth's climate is capable of very rapid transitions and have led to vigorous scientific investigation into the possible causes of abrupt climate change. Such evidence comes from the accumulation of layers of ancient snow, which compact to form the ice-sheets we see today. Each layer of ice can reveal past temperatures and even evidence for the timing and magnitude of distant storms or volcanic eruptions. By ...
'Game-Changer' In Evolution From S. African Bones
Post Date: 2011-09-08 18:58:25 by Brian S
(09-08) 15:00 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) -- Two million-year-old bones belonging to a creature with both apelike and human traits provide the clearest evidence of evolution's first major step toward modern humans findings some are calling a potential game-changer. An analysis of the bones found in South Africa suggests Australopithecus sediba is the most likely candidate to be the ancestor of humans, said lead researcher Lee R. Berger of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. The fossils, belonging to a male child and an adult female, show a novel combination of features, almost as though nature were experimenting. Some resemble pre-human creatures while others suggest the ...
Packing Heat (Debunking Manmade Global Warming)
Post Date: 2011-09-07 20:07:33 by CZ82
Packing Heat By Peter Ferrara on 9.7.11 @ 6:07AM The theory that human activity is causing potentially catastrophic global warming is not science. It is politics, driven by special interests with ideological, political and economic stakes in the theory. For environmentalists, global warming corresponds with the authoritarian goal at the core of their movement: repeal of the industrial revolution (which President Obama's EPA has begun to implement). For governments, it presents an opportunity to vastly expand their power and control through taxes, regulation and bureaucracy. The theory also presents an opportunity for the United Nations to vastly expand its power and control. As an ...
Female Orgasm Remains an Evolutionary Mystery
Post Date: 2011-09-06 22:33:47 by A K A Stone
After baffling biologists for decades, the female orgasm has resisted yet another attempt to explain its elusive evolutionary origins.
A survey of orgasmic function in thousands of twins found none of the statistical patterns expected if female orgasm is just a coincidental byproduct of natural selection on its male counterpart, as has been suggested.
“The evolutionary basis of human female orgasm has been subject to furious scientific debate, which has recently intensified,” wrote University of Queensland geneticist Brendan Zietsch and Pekka Santtila of Finland’s Abo Akedemi University in a Sept. 3 Animal Behavior article. “These results challenge the byproduct theory of female ...
Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects
Post Date: 2011-09-06 14:05:49 by lucysmom
Over the past decade and a half, as Monsanto built up its globe-spanning, multi-billion-dollar genetically modified seed empire, it made two major pitches to farmers. The first involved weeds. Leave the weed management to us, Monsanto insisted. We've engineered plants that can survive our very own herbicide. Just pay up for our patented, premium-priced seeds, spray your fields with our Roundup herbicide whenever the fancy strikes, andvoilà!no more weeds. The second involved crop-eating insects. We've isolated the toxic gene of a commonly used bacterial pesticide called Bt, Monsanto announced, and spliced it directly into crops. Along with corn and soy, you will ...
HARPS tunes in on habitable planet
Post Date: 2011-09-05 16:17:35 by jwpegler
Using the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), a team of scientists at University of Geneva, Switzerland, led by the Swiss astronomer Stephane Udry made a sound discovery
an Earth-like planet orbiting star HD 85512. Located about 36 light years away in the constellation of Vela, this extrasolar planet is one of the smallest to be documented in the "habitable zone" and could very well be a potential home to living organisms. Circling its parent star every 54 days at about the quarter of the distance which Earth orbits the Sun, the newly discovered planet shows every sign of a temperate climate and a possibility of water. However, the rocky little world ...
On Being Governed By Scientific Frauds [Full Thread]
Post Date: 2011-09-05 09:01:27 by CZ82
On Being Governed By Scientific Frauds By James Lewis The news leaked out a while ago that Al Gore scored a D in natural science at Harvard. That would be the science introduction for Other Majors, not difficult chemistry or calculus. So Nobel Laureate Al Gore got a D in Science for Dummies. But don't worry. Anybody can blow a college course and still bounce back. A lot of us get it wrong the first time. Unfortunately, Al Gore didn't fix his failure. He made it much worse by peddling monstrous pseudo-science and getting even richer from it. As well as repulsively fat -- a walking metaphor for his politics. The more I think about it, the more it looks like global warming is a ...
Sea Ice Levels Ar All Time Lows
Post Date: 2011-09-01 12:24:14 by war
Technology Keeping Internet Freedom Ahead of Censorship
Post Date: 2011-08-25 09:08:57 by Capitalist Eric
Efforts by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet may become irrelevant if the new technology being developed succeeds as expected. When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the FCC last December, the FCC rewrote its rules to allow them to regulate the Internet anyway through the whitewash called net neutrality. Verizon immediately filed suit to overrule the new attempt, and a House subcommittee in March voted to invalidate the actions of the FCC. But the new rules remain in place until the issue is decided. All of which may be irrelevant as new technology, called Telex, is being developed as a work-around ...
Godspeed Steve Jobs
Post Date: 2011-08-24 21:30:04 by jwpegler
Steve Jobs resigned from Apple today. Although the reason wasn't announced, the speculation is that his liver cancer has reemerged. Steve Jobs started Apple with nothing but a good idea and a partner. Starting with nothing but this, he helped revolutionize the world. Bill Gates started under similar circumstances. He also helped revolutionize the world. Gates had the early corporate wins, but Jobs persisted in his consumer focus with the belief that style matters. In the end they both won. But Jobs was became much more important to our consumer-oriented culture with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad than Gates and Microsoft could imagine. Godspeed Steve Jobs -- one of the few true heroes ...
How to See Mars & Moon Together Thursday Morning
Post Date: 2011-08-24 20:40:02 by A K A Stone
The planet Mars currently appears rather dull and uninteresting in the night sky, yet it is also drawing nearer to us with each passing day. As we noted last month, 2011 is an "off year" for the fabled Red Planet, since it does not come to opposition that point in the sky placing it opposite to the sun. Having only emerged from the glare of the rising sun during June, Mars is now visible in a dark sky, rising this week shortly before 2:30 a.m. local time. And during the predawn hours of Thursday (Aug. 25), Mars will have a visitor: a slender waning crescent moon that will appear to rise side-by-side with Mars from beyond the east-northeast horizon. The pair will be ...
Chris Christie: ‘Climate Change Is Real’
Post Date: 2011-08-20 12:55:53 by Brian S
Add another prominent figure to the short list of Republicans believing in climate change . According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, governor Chris Christie joined Presidential candidate Jon Hunstman in coming out in full support of the issue. "Climate change is real," Christie told reporters. "Human activity plays a role in these changes, and it is impacting our state." Christie, a huge favorite among the Tea Party and other right wing groups, was a major skeptic of climate change as of last year. But after attending a conference of environmentalists in May, the Garden State top executive began to adopt a viewpoint still very unpopular in conservative circles, leading ...
Aliens May Destroy Humanity To Protect Other Civilisations, Say Scientists
Post Date: 2011-08-18 19:49:01 by Brian S
When they see what a mess we've made of our planet, aliens may be forced to take drastic action. Photograph: PR It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim. Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain. This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by scientists at Nasa and Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they ...
IBM unveils chips that mimic the human brain
Post Date: 2011-08-18 13:04:11 by hondo68
IBM has unveiled a new experimental computer chip that it says mimics the human brain in that it perceives, acts and even thinks. It terms the machines built with these chips "cognitive computers", claiming that they are able to learn through experience, find patterns, generate ideas and understand the outcomes. In building this new generation of chip, IBM combined principles of nanoscience, neuroscience and supercomputing. It has been awarded $21m (£12.7m) of new funding by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the next phase of the project, which it terms "Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics" (SyNAPSE). "This is ...
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