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Archive for January, 2008

Changing conditions

Monday, January 28th, 2008 by SecureCare

“…The researchers were surprised to find another subset of 84 genes triggered when either silicon or iron were limited, suggesting that these two pathways were somehow linked. Under low-iron conditions, the diatoms grew more slowly and genes involved in the production of the silica shell were triggered. Individual diatoms also tended to clump together under those conditions, making them even heavier and more likely to sink

The response of thin and thick cell walls depending on the amount of iron available had been observed at sea but “no one had a clue about the molecular basis,”…” Full Slice

Peak and Tragedy

Friday, January 25th, 2008 by SecureCare

Do people pay attention or might a scenario something like “On The Beach” be more likely ?

Considering what he “does for a living” I think Mr. van der Veer is being as honest as he can be but will the response be sane or not.

Of course the real issue is how do “the plans” deal with this which was mentioned in responses to the post about the next steps moving into space.

Is it possible for us all to actually have a real dialog and come to some consensus on action or not ? Of course it is. How probable ?

We shall see

Human Layoffs

Thursday, January 24th, 2008 by Wadical Weft

Conservation fails
Reduction is the only hope
The individual rails
But exceptions are a slippery slope

Remedial Takeover

Thursday, January 24th, 2008 by Walter

Demi-Lee Brennan had a liver transplant after she suffered liver failure. Nine months later, doctors at Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital were amazed to find the teenager’s blood group had changed to the donor’s blood type.

Further tests revealed the stem cells from the donor liver had penetrated her bone marrow.

Dr Michael Stormon says he and his colleagues were even more surprised when they found the girl’s immune system had almost totally been replaced by that of the donor, meaning she no longer had to take anti-rejection drugs.

A Conduit, I

Friday, January 18th, 2008 by dean

My friend Tom Hill sends this out to the DC area Martians, and I endorse the basic idea: (Moon: No! Asteroids/Mars: Yes!)

If there were scads of dough, I would cavil not at the Moon, but there aren’t, and I do.

Spare parts

Sunday, January 13th, 2008 by SecureCare

“The stripped-out shell of a heart has been made to work again - using brand new cells planted inside it…In just four days, the cells had multiplied and spread to such an extent that the researchers could see contractions in the new muscle tissue.

By the eight day, the home-grown hearts were capable of pumping, albeit at only 2% of the power of a normal rat heart…”When we saw the first contractions we were speechless.”…” Full Slice

“Assassinate Obama” ?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 by Wadical Weft

I guess it really hadn’t occured to me that people would starting heavily searching for “Assassinate Obama“. Kinda sad really, but meme evolution is kinda brutal.

How many flood stories ?

Monday, January 7th, 2008 by SecureCare

“…Hydrologists have not to this day sufficiently studied the unique lake with regular shifts in its water level. Some changes are gradual, others sudden and disastrous since they are caused by earthquakes and torrents of water rush from lakes higher up in the mountains. Floods recede sooner or later, and people come back to the shores-only to become the victims of other floods 500-700 years later. Throughout the years of their partnership, Russian and Kyrgyz archeologists discovered and examined more than ten major flooded urban and rural settlements of varying ages….” Full Slice

Iterative Algorithmic Plastic Sculpture

Sunday, January 6th, 2008 by jimfl

Beginning with a single triangle, replace that triangle with three half-size copies arranged so that their outer border form a new triangle of the same size as the original. Then, replace each of those three triangles with three triangles half that size, and so forth. (Turns out of course, that the fractal pattern is due to the algorithm of shrinking and positioning the shapes, not due to the fact that the initial shape that we began with was a triangle– any plane figure can be used.) This algorithm is easy enough to implement directly and physically, using a flexible medium like polymer clay.

Nanotechnology Images from the Science as Art Competition

Friday, January 4th, 2008 by jimfl

The 2007 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting concluded in Boston on November 30. This was the first time that the popular Science as Art competition was held at an MRS Fall Meeting. Three first place and three second place winners were selected from the various entries. Some of the images are from the nanotechnology domain but most are micro-scale.

Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Contest Winners 2007

Friday, January 4th, 2008 by jimfl

What distinguishes fractal geometry within mathematics is an exceptional and uncanny characteristic. Its first steps are not tedious, hard, and unrewarding, but playful and extraordinarily easy, and provide rich reward in terms of stunning graphics. To the mathematician, they bring a bounty of very difficult conjectures that no one can solve. To the artist, they provide backbones around which imagination can play at will. To everyone, a few steps in about any direction bring extraordinary pleasure. Nothing is more serious than play. Let’s all play.—Benoit Mandelbrot

A reason for garlic consumption

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 by SecureCare

“…Previous studies indicate that dietary garlic consumption is inversely correlated with the progression and severity of CV disease and that it affects a lower incidence of hypertension (5). However, the mechanism(s) by which consumption of garlic attenuates CV disease has in large part remained a mystery. Benavides et al. (4) elegantly demonstrate that garlic-derived organic polysulfides are converted by red blood cells (RBCs) into hydrogen sulfide gas….” Full Slice