valkyrieza: (Default)
Originally posted by [ profile] polymale , these articles talk about a new way to look at MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
Quite an intriguing read.
valkyrieza: (white stones)
There is nothing extremely  exciting happening in my life right now, so I am just going to spam my f-list with some more cool articles.

I am not a photography fan so I cannot say I understand precisely what an HDR technique does, but the pictures in this article are absolutely amazing!

This new discovery of a gene that blocks HIV is pretty cool.

I'll also try to stick to this rule. I have gone on for too long leaving things to the last minute or skipping them and with me taking on an extra post-graduate module this simply will not do.
valkyrieza: (SGc - Daniel really comment)

Scientists Predict When World Will End

Tuesday , February 26, 2008


Scientist have nailed down how and when the Earth will cease to exist.

The sun will slowly expand into a red giant, pushing the Earth farther out into space, but not far enough.

Our home planet will be snagged by the sun's outer atmosphere, gradually plunging to its doom inside the fiery stellar furnace.

"The drag caused by this low-density gas is enough to cause the Earth to drift inwards, and finally to be captured and vaporized by the sun," explains astronomer Robert Smith of the University of Sussex in southern England.

Previous projections had all figured that the Earth would avoid falling into the sun, even during our star's red-giant phase.

The good news: This won't happen for another 7.6 billion years.

The bad news: Life on Earth will end long before then.


All copyrights apply. The story can be found here.

valkyrieza: (music guitar hands)
The original article can be found here.
A material that is able to self-repair even when it is sliced in two has been invented by French researchers.

The as-yet-unnamed material - a form of artificial rubber - is made from vegetable oil and a component of urine.

The substance, described in the journal Nature, produces surfaces when cut that retain a strong chemical attraction to each other.

Pieces of the material join together again as if never parted without the need for glue or a special treatment.


valkyrieza: (Firefly - Isn't that special)
This has been talked about for ever, and as much as we admit it or not, a big mass of people is in fact quite easy to manipulate, because of our… flock mentality. Results from a study at the University of Leeds show that it takes a minority of just five per cent to influence a crowd’s direction. The other 95% will follow the path of the 5%, without even realizing this.

The findings could have a major significance for directing the flow of large crowds especially in disaster cases, when it’s crucial to evaluate how the mass of people will react.

“There are many situations where this information could be used to good effect,” says Professor Jens Krause of the University’s Faculty of Biological Sciences. “At one extreme, it could be used to inform emergency planning strategies and at the other, it could be useful in organising pedestrian flow in busy areas.”

They conducted a series of experiments in which groups of people were asked to walk randomly around a large hall. A few of them received more exact instructions about where they were supposed to go. They were not allowed to talk with each other, but they were supposed to stay within an arm’s reach of any other person. So the results were not that surprising, when you stop to think about it: the ‘informed individuals’ were followed by others in the crowd.

“We initially started looking at consensus decision making in humans because we were interested in animal migration, particularly birds, where it can be difficult to identify the leaders of a flock,” says Professor Krause. “But it just goes to show that there are strong parallels between animal grouping behaviour and human crowds.”

Article here. All the usual copyrights apply.

valkyrieza: (SGC - Sam_replicator)
The article is here.

If you read any antiscience screeds, at some point or another most will claim that science is based on faith just as much as religion is. For example, the horrific Answers in Genesis website has this to say about science:

Much of the problem stems from the different starting points of our divergence with Darwinists. Everyone, scientist or not, must start their quests for knowledge with some unprovable axiom—some a priori belief on which they sort through experience and deduce other truths. This starting point, whatever it is, can only be accepted by faith; eventually, in each belief system, there must be some unprovable, presupposed foundation for reasoning (since an infinite regression is impossible).

This is completely wrong. It shows (unsurprisingly) an utter misunderstanding of how science works. Science is not faith-based, and here’s why.


From the Bad Astronomy website.

Copyright: Phil Plait.

valkyrieza: (P&P - liz bennett - cynical)
I remember a conversation I had once with [personal profile] melancthe and [personal profile] claidheamhmor about the 'unproved' sciences. Strangely, the Feng Shui did not come up, maybe because we were discussing the matters which I felt had some claims to validity and [personal profile] melancthe and [personal profile] claidheamhmor disagreed.  I still do not know what they opinion is on Feng Shui, but like the author, I simply cannot see it as a science or anything that should be used to prove theories of any sort.

Is the Right Side of the Bed the Wrong One?

By: Brie Cadman 

A bad day is often attributed to “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” But most of us haven’t figured out which side is supposed to be the “right” one. Luckily, a study commissioned by the UK-based Premier Hotel Chain has the answer for us.

Following a “hot debate” by a sleep scientist, a Feng Shui expert, and a motivational speaker, the final conclusion to the bedside conundrum was that left was right, and right was wrong.

But, like the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and monsters under the bed, it’s hard to find concrete evidence for why this situation supposedly exists.


All the usual copyrights apply.
valkyrieza: (music solo jazz)
Scientists in hybrid embryos plea
By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News

Leading scientists have urged peers not to block the use of human-animal hybrid embryos for research.

Amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would restrict the use of such embryos, which contain a small amount of animal DNA.

But the scientists say they are vital to the development of new treatments.

The appeal comes from the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Contentious proposals

The government's bill attempts to update the current rules on the use of embryos for research in light of recent scientific advances.

One of the most contentious proposals is to enable researchers to create animal-human hybrids for research purposes - a move that some in the House of Lords are keen to overturn.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/01/15 00:01:20 GMT


I think the concept of human-animal embryos is making me extremely uncomfortable. I keep thinking of  the High Evolutionary villain from Marvel Comics.
valkyrieza: (Leary glasses)
A project from the Swedish state-held property administration company Jernhuset is planning to use the body heat from hundreds of thousands of people who pass through the Stockholm Central Station each day, to heat a new office building nearby.

The body heat from hundreds of thousands of people who pass through the Stockholm Central Station each day will be used to heat a new office building nearby, the project leader said Wednesday.

"So many people go through the Central Station ... We want to harness some of the warmth they produce to help heat the new building," Karl Sundholm, of the Swedish state-held property administration company Jernhuset, told AFP.

Some 250,000 people pass through the station each day, rushing to catch trains and subways or simply visit the many shops and stores inside.

"All people produce heat, and that heat is in fact fairly difficult to get rid of. Instead of opening windows and letting all that heat go to waste we want to harness it through the ventilation system," Sundholm said.

He said the body heat would warm up water that in turn would be pumped through pipes over to the new office building, which will also house a small hotel and a few shops and is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2010.

"This is old technology, but used in a new way. It's just pipes, water and pumps, but we haven't heard of anyone else using this technology in this way before," he said, adding that Jernhuset expects the system to bring down heating costs in the building by up to 20 percent.

Installing the heating system is not expected to be complicated or very costly, Sundholm said, pointing out that laying the necessary pumps and underground pipes might cost a some 200,000 kronor (21,200 euros, 31,200 dollars).

"For a large building expected to cost several hundred million kronor to build, that's not that much," he said.

© 2008 AFP

The article can be found here.

How? They tell me nothing on how they'll do it.
valkyrieza: (STV - Voyager orange alert)
Mirrors 'could deflect' asteroids
Flying mirrors could save earth from a catastrophic asteroid collision, researchers have claimed.

Up to 5,000 mirrors would be used to focus a beam of sunlight on to the asteroid, melting the rock and altering its orbital path away from earth.

The announcement came after a team at the University of Glasgow compared nine different methods of deflecting near earth objects - asteroids and comets.


Te rest of the story from BBC NEWS can be found on the link below.

Published: 2007/10/05 11:06:14 GMT

valkyrieza: (Firefly - Walsh ship rant)
From a Science-themed group on Facebook conviniently named "Am I the only one to understand how evolution works?"

"Darwin didn't invent evolution, it has been happening for millions of years. Blaming Darwin for eugenics is like blaming Newton for guillotines and gallows."
valkyrieza: (Firefly - kaylee shiny)
This is actually vey exciting.

'Tip of the Iceberg'

A new study of a skeleton of a member of a race of three-foot-tall ‘hobbits’ who lived 12,000 years ago in Indonesia shows that they were a species of human—and that the evolutionary path to Homo Sapiens has been tortuous indeed.

They're Only Human After All: The casts of a Homo floresiensis skull (left) and a modern Homo Sapiens

By Jessica Bennett
Sept. 20, 2007 - It was an astonishing discovery: the skeletal remains of a new human species that lived for eons on a remote island while man colonized the rest of the planet. Back when it was first discovered in 2003, on the tiny Indonesian island of Flores, the three-foot-tall adult female skeleton was dubbed "the hobbit," because she—and the 11 other skeletal remains that were found like her—bore more of a resemblance to the Tolkien fantasy characters than to modern humans. The hobbit's discovery presented evidence that as recently as 12,000 years ago another species of human may have roamed the earth and, more startling, that our evolutionary history was a lot more complex than previously thought.
The rest of the article can be found here.Copyrighted to Newsweek.
© 2007 Newsweek, Inc.

valkyrieza: (earl - wtf)
 American researchers in West Africa believe they've found the first instance of an animal (other than humans) building a multi-step weapon, after observing wild chimpanzees grab sticks from one to four feet long, sharpen the ends with their teeth, and murderously jab them into deep tree hollows where delicious bush babies may be nesting.  Writing in the journal Current Biology, the team even reported observing the chimps tasting the tips after the stabs, to ascertain whether they had actually located a prey.  (One of the researchers said the ferocity of the jabbing reminded her of the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.)

[Tampa Tribune- Washington Post, 2-23-07]
News of the Weird newsletter

This, for some reason reminds me of a Scott Adams quote: "     There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot."
valkyrieza: (Xmen - Dark Phoenix)
Jennalee Ryan of San Antonio, Tex., last year began selling
choice human embryos, ready for prospective mothers to implant
after having chosen from Ryan's catalog describing the
contributors' education, attractiveness, and medical history.
"We're just trying to help people have babies," she told the
Washington Post in January, and at less cost than full in-vitro
procedure (since she has eliminated the risk of failed fertilizations).
But, said a bioethicist, "It's like you're ordering a computer from
Dell."  (Ryan said she does not take custom orders.)  Of her
emphasis on well-educated, good-looking contributors of sperm
and eggs, she said, "Who wants an ugly, stupid kid?" [Washington
Post, 1-6-07]

Got milk?

Feb. 27th, 2007 03:31 pm
valkyrieza: (malcolm)
Early man 'couldn't stomach milk'
A drink of milk was off the menu for Europeans until only a few thousand years ago, say researchers from London.

Analysis of Neolithic remains, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests no European adults could digest the drink at that time.

University College London scientists say that the rapid spread of a gene which lets us reap the benefits of milk shows evolution in action.


Story from BBC NEWS:

Even after all that, I am not a fan of milk

valkyrieza: (earl - wtf)
Thank goodness for home office days, sometimes they are invaluable:) I wanted to post the huge amount of pics from my recent vacation, but work had other plans for me. Anyhow, there will be posts!

I was a good girl and kept up with my friends list, posting comments and replying to questions, *looks proud*

However, the Wench herself, otherwise known as [personal profile] melancthe posted an interesting post, which mentioned a rather bizarre experiment involving condoms. Entiled "How many condoms at once", and it is not as pervy as it sounds. No really, it is a science experiment where all scientific procedure is observed and the innuendo is cut down to a minimum, well, excluding the potential that is there when talking about the point of the experiment, which investigates how many condoms are possible to put on at once. However (I do so love this word) everything follows scientific procedure to a tee.

And here I thought that my interest in randomness could not get any more bizarre.
valkyrieza: (Terry Pratchett quote)

Nivedita Khandekar

Indore, February 5, 2007

In a remarkable feat, three amateur explorers have stumbled upon more than 100 fossilised eggs of dinosaurs in Madhya Pradesh. The eggs, belonging to the Cretaceous Era (approximately 144 to 65 million years ago), have been discovered in Kukshi-Bagh area of Dhar district, some 150 kms south-west of Indore.

The rare find is a significant step in the study of the pre-historic life in  Narmada Valley.

"All the eggs were discovered from a single nesting site in a start to end exploration for 18 hours at the site in Kukshi-Bagh area, 40 kms from Manavar. As many as 6-8 eggs were found per nests," an excited Vishal Verma of the Mangal Panchayatan Parishad, a group of amateur explorers, told Hindustan Times from near the site.


 "The eggs are from upper cretaceous era when the dinosaurs were yet to be extinct. These eggs can be categorised in three types of soropaud dinosaurs, which were herbivorous. These animals used to come from far away areas to lay eggs on the sandy banks of the rivers in this area, identified scientifically as Lameta bed," Verma said.

The dinosaurs were 40-90 feet in length, he added.

Along with the fossilised eggs, the team - comprising two other members Rajesh Chouhan and Govind Verma - also discovered footprints of the dinosaurs through which they could also trace the 'track way' of the heavy animals now extinct.

• The richest dinosaur field in India is in the "Deccan Traps" near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

• About 65 million years ago, a huge mass of volcanic rock erupted from the earth, covering 500,000 sq km in Maharashtra and MP with lava 2 km high. This is exactly the time when all large dinosaur species became extinct.

• A small but ferocious dinosaur, about the size of adult humans, was named Jubbulpuria after it was found in Jabalpur by Matley in 1933.

Geological Survey of India's former Director (Palaeontology) Dr Arun Sonakia who was also at the site of the find told this correspondent over telephone, "It's a good job done by amateurs. With this find, the scientists would be able to know more about the spread of the dinosaurs. It can also throw light on the reasons of extinction."

"Plus the nesting sites and large number of fossilised eggs would also throw light on the variety of dinosaurs that existed in the cretaceous era," Sonakia added.

The Parishad had earlier discovered fossilised bones of the dinosaurs in the region.


Source: Hindustani Times.
valkyrieza: (Starbuck_attitude)
It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.

-Michio Kaku
valkyrieza: (Weir atlantis)
Richard Dawkins' letter to his then 10 year old daughter, the last paragraph.

"What can we do about all of this? It's not easy for you to do anything because you are only 10. But you could try this. Next time somebody tells you something that sounds important, think to yourself, 'Is this the kind of thing that people probably know because of evidence or is it the kind of thing that people only believe because of tradition, authority or revelation?' And next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them, 'What kind of evidence is there for that?' And if they can't give you a good answer, I hope you'll think very carefully before you believe a word they say. Your loving Daddy."



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