News Briefs 21-05-2010

”A new untruth is better than an old truth…”

  • Ancient Mayan city discovered with lasers.
  • Another image of Atlantis and the ISS transiting el sol.
  • Immaculate scientific creation: U.S. scientists create world’s first synthetic cell. More here and here about artificial life.
  • Star eats planet.
  • Plasmarons in graphene… Finally!
  • Scientists are building a noah’s ark for data.
  • Explaining the chirality of the universe.
  • UFOs and nuclear bombs.
  • Calcium, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Supernova. More here.
  • Ever wonder how much water is on the planet?
  • Portals to another universe by way of… Florida?
  • Identifying objects, one photon at a time.
  • First research on celestial body that crashed into Jupiter last July has been released.
  • Memories, at the flip of a switch.
  • Anti-matter… Why it matters (according to the Tevatron). More here.
  • The Akatsuki orbiter’s experimental solar sail has a date with Venus.
  • Robot butterflies from Japan and cloned fighting bulls from Spain.
  • Will the next ice age take place in four years?
  • A vaccine for Ebola?
  • Measuring Brownian motion and proving Einstein wrong.
  • Power outage strands NASA astronaut on space station robotic arm.
  • Does Lightning cause hallucinations? Take only in small doses.
  • World's biggest airship takes flight for the first time (and H. Hughes rolls over in grave).
  • Is this the meaning of the 2001 monolith?
  • The dangers of FTL.
  • Are we alone?
  • Step into the 3-D sensory box.

Many thanks to RPJ and Kat!

Quote of the Day:

“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation and never returns to its former dimensions.”

Oliver W. Holmes

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red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
5 hours 59 min

Satellite-based radar cannot “see” the ocean bottom, he explains. Rather, it measures the ocean surface, which reflects what lies beneath.

I remember once hearing Greg Bishop in some radio show interview, that one of his covert military sources had disclosed to him the fact that the Navy DID have satellites capable of viewing the bottom of the oceans... and everything else under the surface (to what level of resolution the source did not elaborate).

While it is a rather incredible claim, and it could very well be yet another example of disinformation, it makes you wonder...

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

kamarling's picture
Member since:
26 June 2005
Last activity:
1 day 17 hours
Quote:

“My worry is that some people are going to draw the conclusion that they have created a new life form,” said Jim Collins, a bioengineer at Boston University. “What they have created is an organism with a synthesized natural genome. But it doesn’t represent the creation of life from scratch or the creation of a new life form,” he said.

And yet this is precisely how UK TV Channel 4 reported the development ... as scientists creating life. And they couldn't resist throwing in the comment along the lines of "no Divine Creator required".

Two minutes of watching the news item was enough to show that life was not being created at all. What they are doing is splicing different strands of DNA and embedding it in a host cell. The raw materials are from existing life - not newly created life. This is Frankenstein on a microscopic scale is all. Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein was arrogant enough to believe he knew the secret of life and could create it himself (supposedly for the common good). Dr. Venter should read the novel and ponder a little, perhaps.

Dave.

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
5 weeks 2 days

Indeed, the Channel 4 people presented it wrong (perhaps dishonestly so?) and played on people's fears, shows you what business they are in.

Most likely Venter is familiar with the Frankenstein story, being able to read and all that.

I think we are seeing an example of a milestone just in the sense of telling us that we have travelled a certain distance. It confirms that we can do certain things, not just have all the pieces, but know how to put them together.

It is not a miracle, it's the result of work by competent people, built on the work of other competent people for many generations. Our human society since the beginning of keeping records has done this. We move in many different directions, and Venter and his team are leaders in one of those directions.

Along with changes in what we do come changes of the risks we are facing. The fact that there are new risks doesn't mean that life gets riskier - other risks diminish when we have better tools. Sitting on a couch at home with a helmet on your head will get you killed.

The risks keep changing, whether we do anything or not. If we stop moving, we are no longer at risk, we are already dead.

----
We are the cat.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
5 hours 59 min

Indeed, the milestone achieved by Venter should not be belittled just because the media keeps making the same SNAFUs of selling stories with sensationalistic titles.

People are always eager to jump into a new development or discovery to promote their personal agendas. That doesn't diminish the impact of the discovery.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
5 weeks 2 days

All these UFO reports are looking at the wrong scale of things. High altitude atmospheric and trans-atmospheric craft and all that. No.

The alien spacecraft are actually very small, and they are in the eye of the beholder. Literally. They are about the scale of the dust floating on your eyes, and in fact they are floating on the observers' eyes. That is why they are so fuzzy and hard to reproduce.

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We are the cat.