Archive for April, 2012
Photo by: Brad Goldpaint
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Art by: Dunno. You know? Lemme know!
You are the future’s landing pad.
The quality of your being dictates what lands.
Art by: Dunno. You know? Lemme Know!
Guadalajara-based architects Hernandez Silva Arquitectos recently designed the interior of a new penthouse situated on top of a 1970s Mexican colonial building in Guadalajara, México.
Rather than ‘let go’ think ‘press play.’
Art by: Dunno. You know? Lemme know!
Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater.
They argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface.
The team have produced the most detailed map yet of the scale and potential of this hidden resource.
Writing in the journal Environmental Research Letters, they stress that large scale drilling might not be the best way of increasing water supplies.
Across Africa more than 300 million people are said not to have access to safe drinking water.
Demand for water is set to grow markedly in coming decades due to population growth and the need for irrigation to grow crops.
Astronomers mapped the motions of hundreds of stars in the Milky Way in order to deduce the amount of dark matter that must be tugging on them from the vicinity of our sun. Their surprising conclusion? There’s no dark matter around here.
As the researchers write in a forthcoming paper in the Astrophysical Journal, the stellar motion implies that the stars, all within 13,000 light-years of Earth, are gravitationally attracted by the visible material in our solar system — the sun, planets and surrounding gas and dust — and not by any unseen matter.
“Our calculations show that (dark matter) should have shown up very clearly in our measurements. But it was just not there!” said lead study author Christian Moni-Bidin, an astronomer at the University of Concepcion in Chile.
If the analysis of the data from Chile’s European Southern Observatory (ESO) is correct — a big “if,” several physicists say — it overturns the decades-old theory that dark matter permeates space in our region of the Milky Way. Dark matter is an invisible material thought to make up 80 percent of all matter in the universe. Although it doesn’t interact with light and so cannot be seen, its presence is invoked to explain why the outskirts of galaxies, including the Milky Way, rotate much more quickly than would be expected based on the gravitational pull of visible matter alone. Commonly accepted as fact, dark matter plays an essential role in models of galaxy formation and evolution, and several experiments are under way to detect dark matter particles on Earth.
But if dark matter isn’t here in the solar system, it may not be anywhere, because its distribution through the galaxy would have to be extremely peculiar to avoid this region in space. “Modern theories have serious troubles to explain the formation of a (dark matter) halo so curiously shaped,” Moni-Bidin told Life’s Little Mysteries.
Scott Tremaine, professor of physics at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study, said, “If the authors’ conclusions are correct, this is indeed a serious blow to dark matter.”
Art by: Stefan Sagmeister
Sometime before the end of this year, skydiver Felix Baumgartner intends to climb into a capsule suspended beneath a helium balloon, rise 23 miles above Roswell, New Mexico, open the capsule door, and jump out. On the 120,000-foot free fall—the longest ever attempted—he will face temperatures as low as –70°F and speeds of more than 700 miles an hour, becoming the first person to accelerate through the sound barrier without a craft. At the outset of the project, dubbed Stratos by its sponsor, Red Bull, no high-altitude full-pressure suit had ever been built specifically to withstand this kind of controlled free fall. Engineers at the David Clark Company, which builds full-pressure suits for NASA and the Department of Defense, spent four years developing one. Baumgartner’s jump will be the first live trial at Mach speeds.
Once considered unimportant “junk DNA,” scientists have learned that non-coding RNA (ncRNA) — RNA molecules that do not translate into proteins — play a crucial role in cellular function. Mutations in ncRNA are associated with a number of conditions, such as cancer, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, through the use of “deep sequencing,” a technology used to sequence the genetic materials of the human genome, Dr. Noam Shomron of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine has discovered that when infected with a virus, ncRNA gives off biological signals that indicate the presence of an infectious agent, known as a pathogen. Not only does this finding give researchers a more complete picture of the interactions between pathogens and the body, but it provides scientists with a new avenue for fighting off infections.
His findings have been published in the journal Nucleic Acid Research.
“If we see that the number of particular RNA molecules increases during a specific viral infection, we can develop treatments to stop or slow their proliferation,” explains Dr. Shomron.
In the lab, the researchers conducted a blind study in which some cells were infected with the HIV virus and others were left uninfected. Using the deep sequencer, which can read tens of millions of sequences per experiment, they analyzed the ncRNA to discover if the infection could be detected in non-coding DNA materials. The researchers were able to identify with 100% accuracy both infected and non-infected cells — all because the ncRNA was giving off significant signals, explains Dr. Shomron.
It’s almost hard to believe that “Outer Space,” the two-minute film from Netherlands-based editor and director Sander van den Berg, was created using actual still images from NASA’s Cassini and Voyager spacecraft.
The final product is a choreographed collection of images that is set to The Cinematic Orchestra’s “That Home.”
Festo SmartInversion – Flying geometrical band with inversion drive!
SmartInversion is a helium-filled flying object that moves through the air by turning inside-out. This constant, rhythmically pulsating movement is known as inversion and gives the flight model its name.
Traces of ancient viruses which infected our ancestors millions of years ago are more widespread in us than previously thought.
A study shows how extensively viruses from as far back as the dinosaur era still thrive in our genetic material.
It sheds light on the origins of a big proportion of our genetic material, much of which is still not understood.
The scientists investigated the genomes of 38 mammals including humans, mice, rats, elephants and dolphins.
The research was carried out at Oxford University, the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Centre in New York and the Rega Institute in Belgium.
One of the viruses was found to have invaded the genome of a common ancestor around 100 million years ago with its remnants discovered in almost every mammal in the study.
Another infected an early primate with the result that it was found in apes, humans and other primates as well.
The work established that many of these viruses lost the ability to transfer from one cell to another.
Instead they evolved to stay within their host cell where they have profilerated very effectively – spending their entire life cycle within the cell.