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Pick a sport, any sport - islander - Apr 23, 2014 - 10:13pm
 
What makes you smile? - BlueHeronDruid - Apr 23, 2014 - 9:48pm
 
Baseball, anyone? - ScottN - Apr 23, 2014 - 9:27pm
 
Photos you haven't taken of yourself - KurtfromLaQuinta - Apr 23, 2014 - 8:46pm
 
• • • What Makes You Happy? • • •  - K_Love - Apr 23, 2014 - 8:15pm
 
Things that piss me off - ScottN - Apr 23, 2014 - 7:58pm
 
Caretakers Of Our Parents - katzendogs - Apr 23, 2014 - 7:17pm
 
Lyrics that strike a chord today... - Alexandra - Apr 23, 2014 - 7:02pm
 
Graphs, Charts & Maps - haresfur - Apr 23, 2014 - 7:02pm
 
Regarding dogs - - Apr 23, 2014 - 6:59pm
 
Dreams - Tales from your sleep - swell_sailor - Apr 23, 2014 - 6:39pm
 
Artists played on RP - that you've seen live - ScottFromWyoming - Apr 23, 2014 - 5:39pm
 
WTF??!! - bokey - Apr 23, 2014 - 5:30pm
 
Country Up The Bumpkin - ScottN - Apr 23, 2014 - 5:14pm
 
MANBIRD: appropriate or not? Dicuss. - buzz - Apr 23, 2014 - 4:01pm
 
Things You Thought Today - Red_Dragon - Apr 23, 2014 - 3:45pm
 
Climate Change - RichardPrins - Apr 23, 2014 - 2:35pm
 
Amazing animals! - RichardPrins - Apr 23, 2014 - 2:17pm
 
Bicycling - Antigone - Apr 23, 2014 - 2:09pm
 
Upcoming concerts or shows you can't wait to see - n4ku - Apr 23, 2014 - 2:03pm
 
Name My Band - Antigone - Apr 23, 2014 - 1:58pm
 
Beta Testers wanted for new Android App - BillG - Apr 23, 2014 - 1:34pm
 
Make BHD laugh - BlueHeronDruid - Apr 23, 2014 - 1:22pm
 
Mixtape Culture Club - rmgman - Apr 23, 2014 - 12:51pm
 
Marijuana: Baked News. - RichardPrins - Apr 23, 2014 - 12:40pm
 
HALF A WORLD - oldviolin - Apr 23, 2014 - 12:21pm
 
Cryptic Posts - Leave Them Guessing - oldviolin - Apr 23, 2014 - 12:13pm
 
YouTube: Music-Videos - KurtfromLaQuinta - Apr 23, 2014 - 12:09pm
 
Ukraine - Red_Dragon - Apr 23, 2014 - 12:09pm
 
Counting with Pictures - ScottN - Apr 23, 2014 - 10:56am
 
Philly - meower - Apr 23, 2014 - 10:00am
 
Drones - RichardPrins - Apr 23, 2014 - 9:40am
 
Gardeners Corner - Antigone - Apr 23, 2014 - 9:30am
 
Spambags on RP - BillG - Apr 23, 2014 - 9:21am
 
Radio Paradise Comments - Coaxial - Apr 23, 2014 - 9:13am
 
Free Books and Free Culture Online - RichardPrins - Apr 23, 2014 - 9:13am
 
THANKS *insert name of current occupant of the white hous... - kurtster - Apr 23, 2014 - 8:56am
 
What Makes You Laugh? - lily34 - Apr 23, 2014 - 8:45am
 
Poetry Forum - oldviolin - Apr 23, 2014 - 8:32am
 
• • • The Once-a-Day • • •  - oldviolin - Apr 23, 2014 - 8:29am
 
Who is this band? - lily34 - Apr 23, 2014 - 7:17am
 
Internet Speed Test - n4ku - Apr 23, 2014 - 6:26am
 
Today in History - Red_Dragon - Apr 23, 2014 - 6:21am
 
Celebrity Face Recognition - sirdroseph - Apr 23, 2014 - 6:18am
 
::Famous Birthdays:: - lily34 - Apr 23, 2014 - 5:33am
 
Listener Review Channel (LRC) Song Comments! - andreicio - Apr 23, 2014 - 4:21am
 
My City - haresfur - Apr 23, 2014 - 4:00am
 
Word of the Day - BlueHeronDruid - Apr 23, 2014 - 2:17am
 
Happy Earth Day - RichardPrins - Apr 22, 2014 - 9:20pm
 
Economix - haresfur - Apr 22, 2014 - 5:37pm
 
Flower Pictures - Antigone - Apr 22, 2014 - 5:06pm
 
How much is your monthly cellphone bill? - bokey - Apr 22, 2014 - 4:56pm
 
Photos you have taken of your walks or hikes. - BlueHeronDruid - Apr 22, 2014 - 4:15pm
 
how do you feel right now? - haresfur - Apr 22, 2014 - 3:45pm
 
Those Lovable Policemen - Red_Dragon - Apr 22, 2014 - 3:26pm
 
PUNS - BIRDS - miamizsun - Apr 22, 2014 - 2:21pm
 
• • •  BACON • • •  - ScottN - Apr 22, 2014 - 1:32pm
 
OUR CATS!! - DaveInVA - Apr 22, 2014 - 1:01pm
 
From where do you listen RP? - lilyzab - Apr 22, 2014 - 12:22pm
 
Bug Reports & Feature Requests - DaveInVA - Apr 22, 2014 - 11:18am
 
Random Solutions - Random Advice - Proclivities - Apr 22, 2014 - 11:01am
 
Movie rental suggestions & reviews - Netflix or Blockbuster - FourFortyEight - Apr 22, 2014 - 9:05am
 
NETFLIX - Red_Dragon - Apr 22, 2014 - 8:52am
 
Have you ever purchased anything from a telemarketer - ScottFromWyoming - Apr 22, 2014 - 6:59am
 
Obama's Second Term - Red_Dragon - Apr 22, 2014 - 6:52am
 
Things that make you go Hmmmm..... - Proclivities - Apr 22, 2014 - 6:09am
 
SET LIST HELP!!! - kurtster - Apr 22, 2014 - 6:08am
 
Photography Forum - Your Own Photos; Please Limit to 510 ... - swell_sailor - Apr 22, 2014 - 6:03am
 
What's the first concert you ever went to? - MartyF - Apr 22, 2014 - 3:32am
 
Posting Pics - ScottFromWyoming - Apr 22, 2014 - 12:43am
 
Show us your rp 'shirts and stuff' - MartyF - Apr 22, 2014 - 12:26am
 
What are you doing RIGHT NOW? - prony - Apr 21, 2014 - 9:36pm
 
The Burrito Chronicles - BlueHeronDruid - Apr 21, 2014 - 8:20pm
 
What Did You Do Today? - swell_sailor - Apr 21, 2014 - 5:10pm
 
Annoying stuff. not things that piss you off, just annoyi... - haresfur - Apr 21, 2014 - 4:13pm
 
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ScottN
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Posted: Apr 14, 2014 - 12:08pm

Duh!
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Posted: Apr 13, 2014 - 3:10pm

Designer and social entrepreneur Aral Balkan believes it is time to build an alternate future where we own our own tools, services, and data. And to do this we must create a new category of design-led, experience-driven 'technology'.

DaveInVA
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Posted: Mar 28, 2014 - 10:14am

We know what you’re thinking: Scientists find a way to read minds


NoEnzLefttoSplit
pink beetle, yo
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Posted: Mar 26, 2014 - 11:51am

dead body found in the Oort Cloud
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Posted: Mar 17, 2014 - 10:33am

Just after our universe was born, it doubled its size 60 times before it was even a second old. 13.7 billion years later, cosmologists have detected the first direct evidence of this inflation and spotted traces of gravitational waves - echoes of the Big Bang. It's one of the biggest discoveries in the field in 20 years.

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Posted: Mar 15, 2014 - 3:39pm

The Future of Brain Implants


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Posted: Mar 14, 2014 - 5:37pm

U.S. aims to give up control over Internet administration
U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance last year.

The looming change — if successfully executed — would end the long-running contract between the U.S. Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a California-based non-profit group that goes by the acronym ICANN. That contract is due to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete. (...)

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Posted: Mar 14, 2014 - 5:18am

Hard to find anyone doing anything more important than this guy right now:


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Posted: Mar 13, 2014 - 7:34pm

Simulating how the Earth kick-started metabolism

Researchers have developed a new approach to simulating the energetic processes that may have led to the emergence of cell metabolism on Earth – a crucial biological function for all living organisms.

The research, which is published online today in the journal Astrobiology, could help scientists to understand whether it is possible for life to have emerged in similar environments on other worlds.

Dr Terry Kee from the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, one of the co-authors of the research paper, said:  “What we are trying to do is to bridge the gap between the geological processes of the early Earth and the emergence of biological life on this planet.”


Previously, some scientists have proposed that living organisms may have been transported to Earth by meteorites. Yet there is more support for the theory that life emerged on Earth in places like hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, forming from inanimate matter such as the chemical compounds found in gases and minerals.

“Before biological life, one could say the early Earth had ‘geological life’. It may seem unusual to consider geology, involving inanimate rocks and minerals, as being alive. But what is life?” said Dr Kee.
 
“Many people have failed to come up with a satisfactory answer to this question. So what we have done instead is to look at what life does, and all life forms use the same chemical processes that occur in a fuel cell to generate their energy.”
 
Fuel cells in cars generate electrical energy by reacting fuels and oxidants. This is an example of a ‘redox reaction’, as one molecule loses electrons (is oxidised) and one molecule gains electrons (is reduced).
 
Similarly, photosynthesis in plants involves generating electrical energy from the reduction of carbon dioxide into sugars and the oxidation of water into molecular oxygen. And respiration in cells in the human body is the oxidation of sugars into carbon dioxide and the reduction of oxygen into water, with electrical energy produced in the reaction.
 
Certain geological environments, such as hydrothermal vents can be considered as ‘environmental fuel cells’, since electrical energy can be generated from redox reactions between hydrothermal fuels and seawater oxidants, such as oxygen. Indeed, last year researchers in Japan demonstrated that electrical power can be harnessed from these vents in a deep-sea experiment in Okinawa.
 
In the new study, the researchers have demonstrated a proof of concept for their fuel cell model of the emergence of cell metabolism on Earth.
 
In the Energy Leeds Renewable Lab at the University of Leeds and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the team replaced traditional platinum catalysts in fuel cells and electrical experiments with those composed of geological minerals.
 
Dr Laura Barge from the NASA Astrobiology Institute ‘Icy Worlds’ team at JPL in California, US, and lead author of the paper, said: “Certain minerals could have driven geological redox reactions, later leading to a biological metabolism. We’re particularly interested in electrically conductive minerals containing iron and nickel that would have been common on the early Earth.”
 
Iron and nickel are much less reactive than platinum. However, a small but significant power output successfully demonstrated that these metals could still generate electricity in the fuel cell – and hence also act as catalysts for redox reactions within hydrothermal vents in the early Earth.
 
For now, the chemistry of how geological reactions driven by inanimate rocks and minerals evolved into biological metabolisms is still a black box. But with a laboratory-based model for simulating these processes, scientists have taken an important step forward to understanding the origin of life on this planet and whether a similar process could occur on other worlds.
 
Dr Barge said: “These experiments simulate the electrical energy produced in geological systems, so we can also use this to simulate other planetary environments with liquid water, like Jupiter’s moon Europa or early Mars.
 
“With these techniques we could actually test whether any given hydrothermal system could produce enough energy to start life, or even, provide energetic habitats where life might still exist and could be detected by future missions.”

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Posted: Mar 10, 2014 - 12:36pm

Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis validated 60 years after his death
Alan Turing's accomplishments in computer science are well known, but lesser known is his impact on biology and chemistry. In his only paper on biology, Turing proposed a theory of morphogenesis, or how identical copies of a single cell differentiate, for example, into an organism with arms and legs, a head and tail.
Starts at ~5 min for the relevant part:

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Posted: Mar 7, 2014 - 2:02pm


ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 8:46pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

Maybe this one may prove prescient: {#Wink}


 
eep!
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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 7:46pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

First move: Preemptive strike on Jupiter!

 
we have already invaded Martianland 
 
the Jupiterites will moon us, the Saturnalians will run rings around us, and you can't trust the Plutocrats. 
 
kill em all 


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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 7:42pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
First move: Preemptive strike on Jupiter!
 
Maybe this one may prove prescient: {#Wink}

ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 7:28pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
So, yeah, I think it will probably happen in the next few decades at most, hopefully sooner (so we can get some people who think we're 'special' to finally shut up, though I'm not holding my breath that they actually will).

 
First move: Preemptive strike on Jupiter!
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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 7:15pm

I agree with Scott's comment, but will add that even the "Goldilock's zone" may not be as important as it was once thought to be, i.e. there may be an even wider available range (or even time) for life. See:

What if we’ve misunderstood our place in the universe? A Harvard astronomer thinks we have.

The big problem of course remains detecting other life in faraway places, however telescopes are still making amazing technological progress in that area.

Or it may prove to be closer to home: NASA Eyes Ambitious Mission to Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa by 2025 | Space.com

So, yeah, I think it will probably happen in the next few decades at most, hopefully sooner (so we can get some people who think we're 'special' to finally shut up, though I'm not holding my breath that they actually will).
ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 5:37pm

 Red_Dragon wrote:

Appropos of nothing... heard a scientist on the radio the other day who said we would know for certain within the next decade if we are alone or not - even if it's only bacteria. Thoughts?

 
I think that's a safe prediction. We're discovering more and more planets that are in the "habitable zone" and a handful (3?) of true Goldilocks planets. As each number grows, we'll scan each one as well as we can for what we need to see. We'll either find something or, after checking a huge number and finding nothing, maybe be able to say for near-certain "we're alone." I don't think that last one is going to happen.
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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 5:24pm

 RichardPrins wrote: 
Appropos of nothing... heard a scientist on the radio the other day who said we would know for certain within the next decade if we are alone or not - even if it's only bacteria. Thoughts?
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Posted: Mar 6, 2014 - 5:05pm

Chandra and XMM-Newton provide direct measurement of distant black hole’s spin | Astronomy.com
distant quasar known as RX J1131-1231
Multiple images of a distant quasar known as RX J1131-1231 are visible in this combined view from Chandra (pink) and Hubble (red, green, and blue).
NASA/CXC/Univ of Michigan/R.C.Reis et al; Optical: NASA/STSc

Astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) XMM-Newton to show a supermassive black hole 6 billion light-years from Earth is spinning extremely rapidly. This first direct measurement of the spin of such a distant black hole is an important advance for understanding how black holes grow over time.

Black holes are defined by just two simple characteristics — mass and spin. While astronomers have long been able to measure black hole masses very effectively, determining their spins has been much more difficult.

In the past decade, astronomers have devised ways of estimating spins for black holes at distances greater than several billion light-years away, meaning we see the region around black holes as they were billions of years ago. However, determining the spins of these remote black holes involves several steps that rely on one another.

“We want to be able to cut out the middle man, so to speak, of determining the spins of black holes across the universe,” said Rubens Reis of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Reis and his colleagues determined the spin of the supermassive black hole that is pulling in surrounding gas, producing an extremely luminous quasar known as RX J1131-1231 (RX J1131). Because of fortuitous alignment, the distortion of space-time by the gravitational field of a giant elliptical galaxy along the line of sight to the quasar acts as a gravitational lens that magnifies the light from the quasar. Gravitational lensing, first predicted by Einstein, offers a rare opportunity to study the innermost region in distant quasars by acting as a natural telescope and magnifying the light from these sources.

“Because of this gravitational lens, we were able to get very detailed information on the X-ray spectrum — that is, the amount of X-rays seen at different energies — from RX J1131,” said Mark Reynolds also of the University of Michigan. “This in turn allowed us to get a very accurate value for how fast the black hole is spinning.”

The X-rays are produced when a swirling accretion disk of gas and dust that surrounds the black hole creates a multimillion-degree cloud, or corona, near the black hole. X-rays from this corona reflect off the inner edge of the accretion disk. The strong gravitational forces near the black hole alter the reflected X-ray spectrum. The larger the change in the spectrum, the closer the inner edge of the disk must be to the black hole.

“We estimate that the X-rays are coming from a region in the disk located only about three times the radius of the event horizon, the point of no return for infalling matter,” said Jon M. Miller of Michigan. “The black hole must be spinning extremely rapidly to allow a disk to survive at such a small radius.” For example, a spinning black hole drags space around with it and allows matter to orbit closer to the black hole than is possible for a non-spinning black hole.

By measuring the spin of distant black holes, researchers discover important clues about how these objects grow over time. If black holes grow mainly from collisions and mergers between galaxies, they should accumulate material in a stable disk, and the steady supply of new material from the disk should lead to rapidly spinning black holes. In contrast, if black holes grow through many small accretion episodes, they will accumulate material from random directions. Like a merry-go-round that is pushed both backward and forward, this would make the black hole spin more slowly.

The discovery that the black hole in RX J1131 is spinning at over half the speed of light suggests this black hole, observed at a distance of 6 billion light-years, corresponding to an age about 7.7 billion years after the Big Bang, has grown via mergers rather than pulling material in from different directions.

The ability to measure black hole spin over a large range of cosmic time should make it possible to directly study whether the black hole evolves at about the same rate as its host galaxy. The measurement of the spin of the RX J1131-1231 black hole is a major step along that path and demonstrates a technique for assembling a sample of distant supermassive black holes with current X-ray observatories.

Prior to the announcement of this work, the most distant black holes with direct spin estimates were located 2.5 billion and 4.7 billion light-years away.

RichardPrins
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Posted: Mar 4, 2014 - 4:17pm

Out of Siberian Ice, a Virus Revived - NYTimes.com/Carl Zimmer

Siberia fills the heads of scientists with dreams of resurrection. For millions of years, its tundra has gradually turned to permafrost, entombing animals and other organisms in ice. Some of their remains are exquisitely well preserved — so well, in fact, that some scientists have nibbled on the meat of woolly mammoths.

Some researchers even hope to find viable mammoth cells that they can use to clone the animals back from extinction. And in 2012, Russian scientists reported coaxing a seed buried in the permafrost for 32,000 years to sprout into a flower.

Now a team of French and Russian researchers has performed a resurrection of a more sinister nature. From Siberian permafrost more than 30,000 years old, they have revived a virus that’s new to science.

“To pull out a virus that’s 30,000 years old and actually grow it, that’s pretty impressive,” said Scott O. Rogers of Bowling Green State University who was not involved in the research. “This goes well beyond what anyone else has done.”

The thawed virus, which infects amoebae, is not a threat to humans. But if the new study holds up to scrutiny, it raises the possibility that disease-causing viruses may also be lurking in the permafrost.

The new virus was discovered by a group of researchers led by Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie, a wife-and-husband team at Aix-Marseille University in France. Dr. Abergel and Dr. Claverie are veteran virus hunters, specializing in finding new species of so-called giant viruses. (...)

 A magnified image of a pithovirus particle in an infected amoebae. Credit Julia Bartoli and Chantal Abergel

A magnified image of a pithovirus particle in an infected amoebae. Credit Julia Bartoli and Chantal Abergel


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