The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person. “You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.” Xymphora: CSI lies.
The "changing global climate" will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say. CATO: The case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated.
The rare, spherical planetary nebula was first spotted by an amateur astronomer last year but has been photographed in all its perfection for the first time. Astronomical objects generally don't live up to their names, with constellations like Taurus or Aries bearing little resemblance to a bull or ram. Blame ancient stargazers with overactive imaginations. The same cannot be said for the recently discovered Soap Bubble Nebula, however. A transparent, near-perfect sphere, it hangs in the night sky like a bubble floating on the wind. It was first spotted by amateur astronomer Dave Jurasevich in California on 6 July 2008, but it wasn't until last month that the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona was able to capture the clear image above.
The scheduled restart of the world's biggest particle accelerator has been delayed another few weeks, until mid-November, due to vacuum leaks in two sectors of the Large Hadron Collider's underground tunnel.
The Brooklyn Museum's 2,000-year-old mummy turns out to have been a pappy. After decades of billing the preserved body from Egypt as Lady Hor, museum officials got a big surprise Tuesday when a CT scan revealed the lady was a man. A 2007 scan of a mummy showed the man was 30 years older than they had estimated and died from an infected gallstone. -The mummy, discovered 70 years ago in Thebes, was believed to be a woman because the coffin lacked the beard ornamentation male mummies sport. The ancient twist on "The Crying Game" came when doctors at North Shore University Hospital ran scans on four mummies and found Lady Hor had a penis and scrotum. "It's definitely a man," said Edward Bleiberg, curator of Egyptian art at the museum. "Physiologically, it's really clear. "Because the coffin was beardless, we've assumed since 1937 that she was a woman. I never even thought twice about it. "This is actually going to revise some of our ideas about how you can tell if a mummy is male or female." That wasn't the only eye-opener.
The astonishing diversity of the Red Planet's landscape is captured by the world's most powerful camera. The most powerful camera that has ever been used to survey another planet is capturing spectacular pictures of the surface of Mars to reveal a rich tapestry of geological features. Located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a Nasa probe launched in 2005, the HiRise camera has already taken detailed images of the outlines of ancient extra-terrestrial seas and rivers – the first unambiguous evidence that shorelines once existed on the Red Planet. The camera has also witnessed in high-resolution detail the moment when the warmth of the Martian spring forced puffs of dust through the thin polar caps of dry ice – solid carbon dioxide – to form weird "starburst" patterns on the surface of the planet.
Turn the clock back 3.4 billion years, transplant North America’s Lake Champlain to the floor of Mars’ Shalbatana Vallis, and you have a pretty good idea of what a team of scientists says it has uncovered on the red planet. The find suggests that substantial amounts of water pooled and persisted on the martian surface hundreds of millions of years later than many planetary scientists currently estimate, the team says. Moreover, the images the steam studies bear witness to a vast delta that would have formed when water gushed into the valley to form the lake. This would have been prime real estate for microbes, based on what biologists have learned about microbial ecosystems buried within Earth’s river deltas. Images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera and topographical data from the Mars Global Surveyor orbiter’s laser altimeter sealed the deal, according to team leader Gaetano Di Achille. He’s a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The data, he says, provided “the first unambiguous evidence of shorelines on the surface of Mars.”
Nereus the robotic submarine developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has reached the depths of the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean on May 31, becoming only the third craft to reach the abyss in history.
Scientists have discovered an exquisitely preserved ancient primate fossil that they believe forms a crucial "missing link" between our own evolutionary branch of life and the rest of the animal kingdom. The 47m-year-old primate – named Ida – has been hailed as the fossil equivalent of a "Rosetta Stone" for understanding the critical early stages of primate evolution. Sky News: Scientists Unveil Missing Link In Evolution: The discovery of the 95%-complete 'lemur monkey' - dubbed Ida - is described by experts as the "eighth wonder of the world". They say its impact on the world of palaeontology will be "somewhat like an asteroid falling down to Earth". Researchers say proof of this transitional species finally confirms Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and the then radical, outlandish ideas he came up with during his time aboard the Beagle. Revealing The Link: The Link.
The National Hydrogen Association has come out with a document called the “Energy Evolution: An Analysis of Alternative Vehicles and Fuels to 2100.” In this document is a comparison of 15 vehicle and fuel alternatives that can cut greenhouse gases and provide energy independence from now to the turn of the century.
Abstract: We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately 430 °C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional thermite. Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.[The paper ends with this sentence: “Based on these observations, we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.”] [In short, the paper explodes the official story that “no evidence” exists for explosive/pyrotechnic materials in the WTC buildings.] SCRIBD: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe [Full text + illustrations]. The Open Chemical Physics Journal: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.
Though it looks like a cardboard tube that got left out in the rain, it's a priceless instrument whose owner changed the world. The mottled brown cylinder on display at The Franklin Institute science museum is a 400-year-old telescope used by Galileo Galilei, whose observations of the heavens ultimately changed the face of not only astronomy but all of science.
Did Humans Evolve From Monkeys? -Humans are (distantly) descended from a fish that was able to escape some of it's competition and predation by escaping the water. By coming out of the water it got more food and was able to escape all the bigger fish. Over time certain species of fish were just better made for escaping to land so they passed on their traits and little by little these traits became more pronounced and they became an entirely separate species, amphibians. Meanwhile, back in the water, there were many other species of fish who survive particularly well right where they are, either as top level predators, or because they feed on something that other fish don't feed upon, or they swim faster, or they have a swim bladder, or whatever.
Researchers in Germany, using a CT-scan, have discovered a "hidden face" inside the famed Nefertiti bust, the journal Radiology reports. The medical-style scanning technique found a very thin stucco layer on the surface of the face and ears covering a second face of carved stone. "Nefertiti's inner face was not anonymous, but rather delicately sculpted by the royal sculptor Thutmose," the journal says. The differences between the outer and inner face include angles of the eyelids, creases around the corners of the mouth and a slight bump on the ridge of the nose, the journal says. The magazine says the differences indicate that the inner face was individually sculpted, and is not simply a generic outline of a face. Nefertiti was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. The bust, created 3,300 years ago, was found in Egypt in 1912 and is now on display at Berlin's Altes Museum. CBC.ca: CT scan uncovers hidden face of Nefertiti. The Independent: 'Beauty of Nile' unmasked – wrinkles and all. Welt Online: Archäologie: Das zweite geheime Gesicht der Nofretete.
Efforts to legally force teachers to pretend biologists seriously entertain alternative theories to evolution failed. Although you can't find any dissent in peer-reviewed journals or among legitimate scientists regarding Darwin's theory, evangelicals wanted to require teachers to point out "weaknesses" evolutionary scientists find scientifically flawed at best and out-and-out dishonest at worst.
The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story, writes Christopher Booker. If there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story. Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.
It is midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.
A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event - a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun. It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn't create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.
Scientists believe they are a step closer to curing tinnitus after they have found what could be the root cause of ringing in the ears. Studies show hearing loss can go hand-in-hand with over-excitable nerves within brain areas that process sound. This uncontrolled nerve activity causes the noises that plague people with tinnitus and appears to be down to gene changes, Neuroscience reports.
On March 6, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully launched the Kepler mission. Operated out of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado, it is the first mission, space-based or otherwise, designed to look for extrasolar planets en masse.
Looking for periodic drops in the brightness of the 100,000 stars it will be observing, Kepler's instruments are sensitive enough to detect the decrease in star brightness caused by a planet as small as Earth.
While humanity has long pondered the existence of planets outside of our solar system, the first discovery of an extrasolar planet around a living star, 51 Pegasi b, came only in 1995. Over the past 14 years, 342 extrasolar planets have been discovered. Most of these have been gas or ice giants, the size of Jupiter or bigger, and with short orbital periods. All these planets are significantly larger than Earth.
Alaska's Mt. Redoubt Volcano, which had been in a tempestuous mood for two months, erupted Sunday night at 10:38 p.m., sending an ash cloud 50,000 feet above sea level. The Alaska Volcano Observatory recorded four more large explosions during the night. Tina Neal, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said that "so far the major population centers in south-central Alaska have been spared any kind of dusting of ash." The enormous plume was drifting to the north over an expansive wilderness parcel and so far only the small town of Skwentna, 100 miles north of Redoubt, had reported experiencing ash fall, mixed with snow.
The Russian Luna Glob mission to the Moon is set for 2012, informs ITAR-TASS news agency. The mission aims to collect lunar soil samples and will help to choose a landing site for future missions.
[This image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer is one of the sharpest colour images ever made. It shows the Mira-like star T Leporis in great detail. The central disc is the surface of the star, which is surrounded by a spherical shell of molecular material expelled from the star. In order to appreciate the feat of such measurement, one should realize that the star appears, on the sky, as small as a two-storey house on the Moon. The resolution of the image is about 4 milli-arcseconds. In this image, obtained by combining hundreds of interferometric measurements, the blue channel includes infrared light from 1.4 to 1.6 micrometres, the green, from 1.6 to 1.75 micrometres, and the red, from 1.75 to 1.9 micrometres. In the green channel, the molecular envelope is thinner, and appears as a thin ring around the star.] ―A team of French astronomers has captured one of the sharpest colour images ever made. They observed the star T Leporis, which appears, on the sky, as small as a two-storey house on the Moon . The image was taken with ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), emulating a virtual telescope about 100 metres across and reveals a spherical molecular shell around an aged star.
The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have lead to a rise in public awareness that CO2 is not a pollutant and is not a significant greenhouse gas that is triggering runaway global warming. How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government? We are already suffering from this CO2 silliness in many ways. Our energy policy has been strictly hobbled by no drilling and no new refineries for decades. We pay for the shortage this has created every time we buy gas. On top of that the whole thing about corn based ethanol costs us millions of tax dollars in subsidies. That also has driven up food prices. And, all of this is a long way from over. And, I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it. Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a high jacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history. GarageTV: The Great Global Warming Swindle - Documentary Film (73:32).
How do cats purr? Yesterday I asserted that this was a mystery. An alert reader, Mr. Sven DiMilo, has called my attention to a scientific paper published in 1991: Sissom, D. E. F., D. A. Rice, and G. Peters. 1991...
She has lain undisturbed for nearly 3,000 years, sealed in a decorated coffin ready for her voyage to the underworld. Now the face of Meresamun, a priestess who sang in the temples of Ancient Egypt hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, has been revealed to the world for the first time. Using a hospital scanner, scientists were able to peer inside her closed casket, and see through the layers of linen that protected her mummified features.
The question isn't if a diet works, but if it's sustainable. Any number of diets can lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol or promote weight loss over its initial three months. But the real winner is the one that can accomplish these tasks over the long term. Enter the vegan diet - a low-fat eating plan that shuns all animal foods including meat, poultry, dairy and eggs. Such a diet has been shown to improve blood sugar in people with diabetes, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, promote weight loss and even help reverse heart disease.
This is very cool. Going back 166 million years to see each of the branches where we share common mammalian ancestors. The PDF is available for download, and is very detailed. You need to zoom a long way to even see that there is text naming each of the known mammals in existence today. It's a radial family tree that also represents a timeline as you move outwards from the center. ABC TV in Australia did a short video on the family tree hosted by Dr. Paul Willis, and he literally walks around the infographic describing different parts. Well done, and seemed very reminiscent of Carl Sagan in some of his shows. The video credits Robin Beck, a Mammalian Systematist as the University of NSW, of creating the family tree. Here's the link to the ABC page where you can watch the video.
When dealing with the latest hysterical claims about global warming, it's essential to keep in mind a fundamental principle of science: Theories must be testable. A scientific theory describes a predicted outcome and one or more means by which the theory can be tested. Far from supporting a sound scientific theory that humans are creating a global warming crisis, last week's assertion by prominent global warming alarmists that Antarctica is getting warmer illustrates the flip-flopping nature of global warming predictions.
Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries. In an interview with this week's Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the broadcaster said: "They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance."
A new study comparing the two types of twins shows that genetics might affect social behavior, and the scientists who made the discovery say they are closing in on some of those "personality" genes.
... or at least in the sky above it. This is just one extraordinary piece of information being sent back to us by the landers, probes and rovers scanning the planet. Home to the largest mountain in the solar system and a canyon as long as the US is wide, it is a world as fantastic as any imagined by JG Ballard.
High in the sky above Mars, it is snowing right now. Very gently snowing. The snow does not settle on the rubble-strewn land below - not these days, anyway - but instead vaporises into the thin atmosphere long before it reaches the ground. The first flakes of snow, on a planet that until fairly recently was believed to be waterless, were spotted just a few months ago. A Nasa lander near the planet's north pole was scanning the sky with a laser when it noticed the telltale signs of snowfall. The probe, called Phoenix, announced the news in a radio signal that was picked up by an overhead orbiter and beamed back to Earth. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.
Recent study showed that psychopathic criminals are released from prison earlier than other, regardless of how grave their offensives are. It is known that psychopaths have good skills in manipulating other people, but they are also good at manipulating legal systems in their favor.
Eighth grader Charlie Sobcov wants to stop birds from dying in collisions with windows, but he doesn't want to ruin anybody's view. For his latest school science fair project he has invented painted, plastic decals that can be placed — discreetly — right in the middle of a window pane. "This paint is a colour that birds can see but humans can't," he said Wednesday on CBC Radio's All in a Day. "It's like putting a big stop sign in the middle of the window."
The public necropsy of a Great White Shark by Auckland Museum and the Department of Conservation is being described as a huge success. The event - the first of its kind for the Museum - organised to raise awareness of the threats facing the Great White species, was watched by a crowd of close to 4000 people, both from grandstands and on screens inside the Museum. The necropsy was also watched live by over 30,000 people around the world on the Internet.
California's sevenfold increase in autism cannot be explained by changes in doctors' diagnoses and most likely is due to environmental exposures, University of California scientists reported Thursday. The scientists who authored the new study advocate a nationwide shift in autism research to focus on potential factors in the environment that babies and fetuses are exposed to, including pesticides, viruses and chemicals in household products.
Rapid growth spurt leaves amount of ice at levels seen 29 years ago. Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close. Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards. The data is being reported by the University of Illinois's Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions.
Tiny diamonds in the soil are proof that a fiery comet crashed to Earth 13,000 years ago and helped wipe out the earliest people in North America, scientists believe. According to their controversial research, the crash caused the extinction of dozens of species, such as the woolly mammoth, and triggered a 1,300-year ice age that stretched around the world. And the prehistoric hunters and gatherers in the region, known as the Clovis culture, vanished almost overnight in the aftermath. Microscopic diamonds, so small they are barely visible in an electron microscope, are said to support their theory. These nano-diamonds, found a few feet underground at several North American locations, including one directly on top of a Clovis site in Murray Springs, Arizona, were formed under high-temperature, high-pressure conditions created by a cosmic explosion, the researchers say. A 'rare swarm' of comets rained fire over the entire region and melted a glacier that once covered the Great Lakes area, sending a massive flood down the Mississippi River, the researchers found. The waves of water caused changes in the Atlantic which ushered in the ice age known as the Younger Dryas. The comet would have hit about 65million years after the larger collision which killed off the dinosaurs.
2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved, according to the Telegraph's Christopher Booker. Sceptics have long argued that there are other explanations for climate change other than man-made CO2 and here we look at some of the arguments put forward by those who believe that global warming is all a hoax.
Conclusions: Debilitating symptoms consistent with high altitude cerebral oedema commonly present during descent from the summit of Mount Everest. Profound fatigue and late times in reaching the summit are early features associated with subsequent death.
In Cambridge classrooms, at the United Nations, and on the "Late Show with David Letterman," Harvard physicist John P. Holdren holds forth on global warming, delivering a deluge of scientific facts to underscore his warnings. Now, he'll have the ear of the president, too. President-elect Barack Obama used his weekly radio address yesterday to formally announce that Holdren will be his top science adviser, serving as assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. BBC: Climate experts get key US posts. GarageTV: THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE - DOCUMENTARY FILM. TruthDig: The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff: The multiple failures that beset the country, from our mismanaged economy to our shredded constitutional rights to our lack of universal health care to our imperial debacles in the Middle East, can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead, through the filter of standardized tests, enrichment activities, advanced placement classes, high-priced tutors, swanky private schools and blind deference to all authority, on creating hordes of competent systems managers. The collapse of the country runs in a direct line from the manicured quadrangles and halls in places like Cambridge, Princeton and New Haven to the financial and political centers of power. NYT: Flawed Science Advice for Obama? MeltDown: “Anyone who claims that the debate is over and the conclusions are firm has a fundamentally unscientific approach to one of the most momentous issues of our time.” - Solar physicist Dr. Pal Brekke, senior advisor to the Norwegian Space Centre in Oslo. Brekke has published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the sun and solar interaction with the Earth.
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