(BBC)- Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the remains of the earliest stringed instrument to be found so far in western Europe.The small burnt and broken piece of carved piece of wood was found during an excavation in a cave on Skye.
Archaeologists said it was likely to be part of the bridge of a lyre dating to more than 2,300 years ago.
Music archaeologist Dr Graeme Lawson said the discovery marked a "step change" in music history.
The Cambridge-based expert said: "It pushes the history of complex music back more than a thousand years, into our darkest pre-history.
"And not only the history of music but more specifically of song and poetry, because that's what such instruments were very often used for. Read more here...
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Yes. Real 'Flat Earthers' exist. No. They are no Republican candidates for office. Actually, the President of the Flat Earth Society strongly believes in global warming.
In fact, Shenton turns out to have resolutely mainstream views on most issues. The 33-year-old American, originally from Virginia but now living and working in London, is happy with the work of Charles Darwin. He thinks the evidence for man-made global warming is strong, and he dismisses suggestions that his own government was involved with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.This audio is from 2010.
Italian Prof Antonio Ereditato oversaw the results that seemed to contradict Einstein has resigned.
The head of an experiment that appeared to show subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light has resigned from his post.(BBC)-Prof Antonio Ereditato oversaw results that appeared to challenge Einstein's theory that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light.
Reports said some members of his group, called Opera, had wanted him to resign.
Earlier in March, a repeat experiment found that the particles, known as neutrinos, did not exceed light speed.
When the results from the Opera group at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy were first published last year, they shocked the world, threatening to upend a century of physics as well as relativity theory - which holds the speed of light to be the Universe's absolute speed limit.
The experiment involved measuring the time it took for neutrinos to travel the 730km (450 miles) from Cern laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland to the lab in Italy.
Friday, March 30, 2012
(PHYSORG)- The decline of Caribbean coral reefs has been linked to the recent effects of human-induced climate change. However, new research led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests an even earlier cause. The bad news – humans are still to blame. The good news – relatively simple policy changes can hinder further coral reef decline.
Employing a novel excavation technique to reconstruct the timeline of historical change in coral reefs located on the Caribbean side of Panama, a team of scientists led by Scripps alumna Katie Cramer and current Scripps Professor of Oceanography and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Emeritus Staff Scientist Jeremy Jackson has determined that damage to coral reefs from land clearing and overfishing pre-dates damage caused by anthropogenic climate change by at least decades.
"This study is the first to quantitatively show that the cumulative effects of deforestation and possibly overfishing were degrading Caribbean coral and molluscan communities long before climate change impacts began to really devastate reefs," said lead author Cramer, currently based at the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network at the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Coral reefs have suffered alarmingly since the 1980s due to coral bleaching and coral disease, thought to stem from the warming of the oceans due to anthropogenic, or human-induced, climate change. However, until recently, the impact of prior human activities on Caribbean coral reefs had not been studied with experimental techniques.
Historical records and qualitative surveys provide hints that declines in corals in some parts of the Caribbean occurred as far back as the early 1900s after coastal lands began to be cleared to make way for plantations. However, the current study is the first to quantify the changes that reef corals and mollusks have undergone as a result of long-term stress caused by the deposition of silt, nutrients, and pollution onto coral reefs from land clearing and the depletion of reef fish that prevent algae from overtaking reefs. Keep on reading...
Thursday, March 29, 2012
New excavations are moving back the origins of agriculture.
(PHYSORG)- Excavation of 19,000-year-old hunter-gatherer remains, including a vast camp site, is fuelling a reinterpretation of the greatest fundamental shift in human civilisation – the origins of agriculture.
The moment when the hunter-gatherers laid down their spears and began farming around 11,000 years ago is often interpreted as one of the most rapid and significant transitions in human history – the ‘Neolithic Revolution’.
By producing and storing food, Homo sapiens both mastered the natural world and took the first significant steps towards thousands of years of runaway technological development. The advent of specialist craftsmen, an increase in fertility and the construction of permanent architecture are just some of the profound changes that followed.
Of course, the transition to agriculture was far from rapid. The period around 14,500 years ago has been regarded as the point at which the first indications appear of cultural change associated with agriculture: the exploitation of wild grains and the construction of stone buildings. Farming is believed to have begun in what is known as the Fertile Crescent in the Levant region, which stretches from northern Egypt through Israel and Jordan to the shores of the Persian Gulf, and then occurred independently in other regions of the world at different times from 11,000 years ago.
Recent evidence, however, has suggested that the first stirrings of the revolution began even earlier, perhaps as far back as 19,000 years ago. Stimulating this reinterpretation of human prehistory are discoveries by the Epipalaeolithic Foragers in Azraq Project (EFAP), a group of archaeologists and bioarchaeologists working in the Jordanian desert comprising University of Cambridge’s Dr. Jay Stock, Dr. Lisa Maher (University of California, Berkeley) and Dr. Tobias Richter (University of Copenhagen).
Over the past four years, their research has uncovered dramatic evidence of changes in the behaviour of hunter-gatherers that casts new light on agriculture’s origins, as Dr. Stock described: “Our work suggests that these hunter-gatherer communities were starting to congregate in large numbers in specific places, build architecture and show more-complex ritual and symbolic burial practices – signs of a greater attachment to a location and a changing pattern of social complexity that imply they were on the trajectory toward agriculture.” Keep on reading...
Doesn't this raise the chick and egg paradox? Is the temperature rising because CO2 is rising or is CO2 rising because the temperature is rising?
ScienceDaily — Why did the atmosphere contain so little carbon dioxide (CO2) during the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago? Why did it rise when Earth's climate became warmer? Processes in the ocean are responsible for this, says a new study based on newly developed isotope measurements.
This study has now been published in the scientific journal Science by scientists from the Universities of Bern and Grenoble and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association.
Around 20,000 years ago, the atmospheric CO2 concentration during the last Ice Age was distinctly lower than in the following warm period. Measurements from Antarctic ice cores showed this already two decades ago. An international team of glaciologists thereafter looked even further back in time. The climate researchers found that this close connection between carbon dioxide and temperature has existed over the past 800,000 years: with low CO2 concentrations during the Ice Ages and higher CO2 values during warm periods. Now they tried to answer also the question as to where the carbon dioxide was hidden during the Ice Ages and how it got back into the atmosphere at their ends.
"We have now been able to identify processes in the ocean which are connected to the observed rise in CO2," says Dr. Jochen Schmitt, lead author of the recently published study and researcher at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern. According to Schmitt, during the Ice Age more and more carbon dioxide accumulated in the deep ocean, causing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 to drop. Only at the end of the Ice Age this stored CO2 was transported back to the sea surface through changing ocean circulation and thus emitted back into the atmosphere, write the scientists in the scientific journal "Science."
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Jets of all sizes near Enceladus's south pole are spraying water vapor, icy particles, and maybe microbes
Close flybys by the Cassini spacecraft of the moon "Enceladus" reveals tantalizing details.
(PHYSORG)- There's a tiny moon orbiting beyond Saturn's rings that's full of promise, and maybe -- just maybe -- microbes.
In a series of tantalizingly close flybys to the moon, named "Enceladus," NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed watery jets erupting from what may be a vast underground sea. These jets, which spew through cracks in the moon's icy shell, could lead back to a habitable zone that is uniquely accessible in all the solar system.
"More than 90 jets of all sizes near Enceladus's south pole are spraying water vapor, icy particles, and organic compounds all over the place," says Carolyn Porco, an award-winning planetary scientist and leader of the Imaging Science team for NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. "Cassini has flown several times now through this spray and has tasted it. And we have found that aside from water and organic material, there is salt in the icy particles. The salinity is the same as that of Earth's oceans."
Thermal measurements of Enceladus's fissures have revealed temperatures as high as -120 deg Fahrenheit (190 Kelvin). "If you add up all the heat, 16 gigawatts of thermal energy are coming out of those cracks," says Porco.
She believes the small moon, with its sub-surface liquid sea, organics, and an energy source, may host the same type of life we find in similar environments on Earth.
ScienceDaily — Pioneering engineers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow are developing an innovative technique based on lasers that could radically change asteroid deflection technology.
The research has unearthed the possibility of using a swarm of relatively small satellites flying in formation and cooperatively firing solar-powered lasers onto an asteroid -- this would overcome the difficulties associated with current methods that are focused on large unwieldy spacecraft.
Dr Massimiliano Vasile, of Strathclyde's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is leading the research. He said: "The approach we are developing would involve sending small satellites, capable of flying in formation with the asteroid and firing their lasers targeting the asteroid at close range.
"The use of high power lasers in space for civil and commercial applications is in its infancy and one of the main challenges is to have high power, high efficiency and high beam quality all at the same time. Keep on reading...
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Regular chocolate consumption might help keep you thin.
Katherine Hepburn famously said of her slim physique: "What you see before you is the result of a lifetime of chocolate." New evidence suggests she may have been right.
Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues present new findings that may overturn the major objection to regular chocolate consumption: that it makes people fat. The study, showing that adults who eat chocolate on a regular basis are actually thinner that those who don't, will be published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine on March 26.
The authors dared to hypothesize that modest, regular chocolate consumption might be calorie-neutral –in other words, that the metabolic benefits of eating modest amounts of chocolate might lead to reduced fat deposition per calorie and approximately offset the added calories (thus rendering frequent, though modest, chocolate consumption neutral with regard to weight). To assess this hypothesis, the researchers examined dietary and other information provided by approximately 1000 adult men and women from San Diego, for whom weight and height had been measured. Keep on reading...
Monday, March 26, 2012
There is no cure. The cause isn't even known for Nodding disease.
Via The Raw Story:
Via The Raw Story:
Agnes Apio has to tie up her son Francis before she can leave the house. In his state, he is a danger to himself. Where once he walked and talked like a normal child, now he is only able to drag himself along in the dirt. Francis is suffering from “Nodding Disease,” a brain disorder that, according to CNN, afflicts at least 3,000 children in northern Uganda, leaving them physically stunted and severely mentally disabled.
“I feel dark in my heart,” Apio says as waves flies away from her son’s face and mops up his urine after a seizure, “This boy has become nothing.”
“Reportedly the children gnaw at their fabric restraints, like a rabid animals,” says The Daily Tech. The article calls them “zombie children,” having “no cure” and “no future.”
First the victims become restless, can’t concentrate. They say they have trouble thinking. Then comes the nodding, an uncontrollable dipping of the head that presages the disease’s debilitating epilepsy-like seizures. It is this nodding motion that gives the illness its name.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Astronomers are puzzled by this anomalous cloud on Mars. It extends 150 miles into the atmosphere.
Amateur astronomers are puzzling over a seemingly anomalous cloud that has shown up on images of Mars taken over the past few days. Is it really a cloud, or a trick of the eye? Does it really extend 150 miles up from the surface, as some of the observers suggest? And what churned up all that stuff, anyway? The amateurs and the pros will be trying to resolve those questions before the phenomenon fades away.
"It's not completely unexpected," Jonathon Hill, a member of the team at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, told me today. "But it's bigger than we would expect, and it's definitely something that our atmosphere guys want to take a look at."
For more, check out Exosky.net, Jaeschke's website.
Demolition to downtown Orlando landmark
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Computer simulations show the effect of primordial black hole striking the Earth would resemble a very minor earthquake felt all over the planet.
(PhysOrg.com) -- Black holes have captured the imagination of scientists and amateur enthusiasts for years. The idea of some dark entity out there in the far reaches of space sucking up anything and everything that ventures near with such power and force that even light can’t escape it’s clutches, both enthralls and terrifies. Thus, the idea of one moving close enough to our planet would seem good reason to hit the panic button. But, in some cases, it appears, it might not be such a bad thing, at least if it were very, very small. That’s what one small group of researchers has concluded after simulating the effects of one tiny black hole hitting and passing through the Earth, on a computer. They have posted their ideas and conclusions on the preprint server arXiv.
The reason the research team began simulating minuscule black holes and what impact they might have if they struck the Earth, is because they believe that such black holes, if they truly do exist, would have to have dark matter as one of its components. Thus, if they can prove that tiny black holes exist, such as by proving that they have left evidence behind when striking the Earth, they would have gone a long ways towards offering proof that dark matter exists. Something no one else thus far has been able to do.
The good news is that their simulations show that if such black holes did strike the Earth, the impact would be negligible, similar they say, to a very minor earthquake felt all over the planet. This is because they are so small, on the order of the diameter of atomic nuclei and travel so fast. They estimate it would take less than a minute for one to make it all the way through the Earth and out the other side. The bad news, at least for researchers, is that such collisions are only predicted to occur every few million years or so.
A Solar Tornado has a different origin than an Earthly tornado. It is also much larger and faster.
NASA, solar, tornado, Tornado Video, Sun, astronomy,
The tornado is larger than it might look - in fact, it is probably bigger than the Earth, and could extend hundreds of thousands of miles out into space.
And while its progress over the sun's surface seems almost stately, it is moving at 300,000 miles per hour.
NASA, solar, tornado, Tornado Video, Sun, astronomy,
Friday, March 23, 2012
This is just going to totally ruin what you thought was an awesome fight scene at the end of the The Phantom Menace.
800-pound paper airplane soars at 98 mph
Planets can zoom through space at 30 million miles per hour.
ScienceDaily — Seven years ago, astronomers boggled when they found the first runaway star flying out of our galaxy at a speed of 1.5 million miles per hour. The discovery intrigued theorists, who wondered: If a star can get tossed outward at such an extreme velocity, could the same thing happen to planets?
New research shows that the answer is yes. Not only do runaway planets exist, but some of them zoom through space at a few percent of the speed of light -- up to 30 million miles per hour.
"These warp-speed planets would be some of the fastest objects in our galaxy. If you lived on one of them, you'd be in for a wild ride from the center of the galaxy to the Universe at large," said astrophysicist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
"Other than subatomic particles, I don't know of anything leaving our galaxy as fast as these runaway planets," added lead author Idan Ginsburg of Dartmouth College.
Such speedy worlds, called hypervelocity planets, are produced in the same way as hypervelocity stars. A double-star system wanders too close to the supermassive black hole at the galactic center. Strong gravitational forces rip the stars from each other, sending one away at high speed while the other is captured into orbit around the black hole. Keep on reading.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Presenting 10 pieces of science fiction literature that turned out to be true.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Nokia has patented a tattoo that will vibrate when someone calls you.
Sometimes, when I’m occupied or just don’t feel like answering it, I ignore my phone. Sorry, but I don’t always have time for a telemarketer or whatever. Now Nokia wants to make this physically impossible by patenting an electronic tattoo that would vibrate, on your body, whenever someone calls. It would work like a body-based caller ID system, vibrating in a specific pattern according to the caller or the type of message. Talk about a rude interruption.
Nokia’s patent application describes a system that could work in two ways. The first concept uses a detachable electronic material that could peel off your skin, much like these, that you could pair with a phone. The peelable circuitry could detect a magnetic field and cause a vibration, probably through piezoelectrics. When someone calls your phone, the phone sends a signal to the haptic material, which would vibrate in a certain pattern.
Scientists have created a robotic jellyfish.
robojellies from PopTech on Vimeo.
American researchers have created a robotic jellyfish, named Robojelly, which not only exhibits characteristics ideal to use in underwater search and rescue operations, but could, theoretically at least, never run out of energy thanks to it being fuelled by hydrogen.
Constructed from a set of smart materials, which have the ability to change shape or size as a result of a stimulus, and carbon nanotubes, Robojelly is able to mimic the natural movements of a jellyfish when placed in a water tank and is powered by chemical reactions taking place on its surface.
"To our knowledge, this is the first successful powering of an underwater robot using external hydrogen as a fuel source," said lead author of the study Yonas Tadesse.
The creators of Robojelly, from Virgina Tech, have presented their results today, 21 March, in IOP Publishing's journal Smart Materials and Structures.
The jellyfish is an ideal invertebrate to base the vehicle on due to its simple swimming action: it has two prominent mechanisms known as "rowing" and "jetting".
robojellies from PopTech on Vimeo.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
(CNBC)- Maybe they should have called it the Kindle Fire?
According to early user reports, the new iPad may be prone to becoming physically warm during use, especially in the lower left-hand corner when holding the iPad upright in portrait mode. The question of whether the iPad has a temperature problem has been asked on both the Apple Discussion Boards and in the MacRumors forums, and articles on CNET, The Next Web and Gizmodo have all brought unwanted attention to the new iPad's heat.
Video: A day at the Albuquerque NM BioPark. Enjoy!
Monday, March 19, 2012
Japanese honeybees surround a giant hornet. Image courtesy of Masato Ono, Tamagawa University
Can nature get any stranger? Japanese honeybees kill giant hornets by cooking them with their brains.
(BBC)- Japanese honeybees' response to a hive-invading giant hornet is efficient and dramatic; they form a "bee ball" around it, serving to cook and asphyxiate it.Now, researchers in Japan have measured the brain activity of honeybees when they form this killer ball.
One highly active area of the bees' brains, they believe, allows them to generate the constant heat which is deadly for the hornet.
The team published their findings in the open-access journal, PLoS One.
Prof Takeo Kubo from the University of Tokyo explained that "higher centres" of the bee's brain, known as the mushroom bodies, were more active in the brains of Japanese honeybees when they were a part of the "hot defensive bee ball".
To find this out, the team lured the bees to form their ball by attaching a hornet to the end of a wire and inserting the predator into the hive.
This simulated invasion caused the bees to swarm around the hornet. The researchers then plucked a few of the bees from the ball and measured, throughout each of their tiny brains, the relative amount of a chemical that is known to be a "marker" of brain activity.
"We found that similar [brain] activity is evoked when the Japanese honeybees are simply exposed to high temperature (46C) in the laboratory," the researcher told BBC Nature. Keep on reading...
Astronomers discover square galaxy.
We report the discovery of an interesting and rare, rectangular-shaped galaxy. At a distance of 21
Mpc, the dwarf galaxy LEDA 074886 has an absolute R-band magnitude of −17.3 mag. Adding to this
galaxy’s intrigue is the presence of an embedded, edge-on stellar disk (of extent 2Re,disk = 12′′ = 1.2
kpc) for which Forbes et al. reported vrot/ 1.4. We speculate that this galaxymay be the remnant of
two (nearly edge-one) merged disk galaxies in which the initial gas was driven inward and subsequently
formed the inner disk, while the stars at larger radii effectively experienced a dissipationless merger
event resulting in this ‘emerald cut galaxy’ having very boxy isophotes with a4/a = −0.05 to −0.08
from 3 to 5 kpc. This galaxy suggests that knowledge from simulations of both ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ galaxy
mergers may need to be combined to properly understand the various paths that galaxy evolution can
take, with a particular relevance to blue elliptical galaxies.
This video will appeal to the kid in you.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
(PHYSORG)- Russian and South Korean scientists have signed a deal on joint research intended to recreate a woolly mammoth, an animal which last walked the earth some 10,000 years ago.
The deal was signed by Vasily Vasiliev, vice rector of North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic, and controversial cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, on Tuesday.
Hwang was a national hero until some of his research into creating human stem cells was found in 2006 to have been faked. But his work in creating Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, in 2005, has been verified by experts.
Stem cell scientists are now setting their sights on the extinct woolly mammoth, after global warming thawed Siberia's permafrost and uncovered remains of the animal.
Sooam said it would launch research this year if the Russian university can ship the remains. The Beijing Genomics Institute will also take part in the project. Keep on reading...
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
ScienceDaily— After being deprived of sex, male fruit flies, known as Drosophila melanogaster, may turn to alcohol to fulfill a physiological demand for a reward, according to a study recently published in the journal Science. Troy Zars, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri and neurobiology expert, said that understanding why rejected male flies find solace in ethanol could help treat human addictions.
"Identifying the molecular and genetic mechanisms controlling the demand for reward in fruit flies could potentially influence our understanding of drug and alcohol abuse in humans, since previous studies have detailed similarities between signaling pathways in fruit flies and mammals," Zars said.
In the study, male fruit flies that had mated repeatedly for several days showed no preference for alcohol-spiked food. On the other hand, spurned males and those denied access to females strongly preferred food mixed with 15 percent alcohol. The researchers believed the alcohol may have satisfied the flies' desire for physical reward.
Zars said the new discovery could lead to greater understanding of the relationship between the social and physical causes of substance abuse in humans. Keep on reading...
New study fails to find evidence for the existence of psychic ability.
ScienceDaily— Research failing to find evidence for the existence of psychic ability has been published, following a year of industry debate. The report is a response by a group of independent researchers to the 2011 study from social psychologist Daryl Bem, purporting the existence of precognition -- an ability to perceive future events.
Professor Chris French (Goldsmiths, University of London), Stuart Ritchie (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Richard Wiseman (University of Hertfordshire) collaborated to accurately replicate Bem's final experiment, and found no evidence for precognition. Their negative results have now been published by open access journal PLoS ONE.
Their report was rejected by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP), which originally published Bem's findings along with his appeal to independent researchers to attempt replications.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Raw video: Japanese police release aerial video of destruction in aftermath of powerful earthquake
Fossils from a previously unknown Stone Age people have been found in China.
(PHYSORG)- Fossils from two caves in south-west China have revealed a previously unknown Stone Age people and give a rare glimpse of a recent stage of human evolution with startling implications for the early peopling of Asia.
The fossils are of a people with a highly unusual mix of archaic and modern anatomical features and are the youngest of their kind ever found in mainland East Asia.
Dated to just 14,500 to 11,500 years old, these people would have shared the landscape with modern-looking people at a time when China's earliest farming cultures were beginning, says an international team of scientists led by Associate Professor Darren Curnoe, of the University of New South Wales, and Professor Ji Xueping of the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology.
Details of the discovery are published in the journal PLoS One. The team has been cautious about classifying the fossils because of their unusual mosaic of features.
"These new fossils might be of a previously unknown species, one that survived until the very end of the Ice Age around 11,000 years ago," says Professor Curnoe.
"Alternatively, they might represent a very early and previously unknown migration of modern humans out of Africa, a population who may not have contributed genetically to living people." Keep on reading...
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
New research indicates as little as one sugary beverage a day can increase risk of heart disease by 20 percent in men.
ScienceDaily — Men who drank a 12-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who didn't drink any sugar-sweetened drinks, according to research published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.
"This study adds to the growing evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to cardiovascular health," said Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D., study lead author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. "Certainly, it provides strong justification for reducing sugary beverage consumption among patients, and more importantly, in the general population."
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Risk factors include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes and poor diet.
Researchers, who studied 42,883 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, found that the increase persisted even after controlling for other risk factors, including smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and family history of heart disease. Less frequent consumption -- twice weekly and twice monthly -- didn't increase risk.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Racehorse Bodysuit (dailytelegraph.com.au)
There is now a high-tech bodysuit for race horses.
MELBOURNE, Australia - Fans at Australia's Flemington Racecourse did a double-take when they saw champion sprinter Hay List being paraded in a wetsuit after his Newmarket Handicap triumph on the weekend.
That is what the AU$900 (US$948) garment looks like, although it is in fact made of a revolutionary moisture-management fabric.
It is the latest and most unusual piece of cutting-edge technology designed to assist the thoroughbred's recovery from races and strenuous training gallops.
Hay List has had his share of injury problems over the years, so trainer John McNair thought it was worth a try.
"It is basically like a compression suit," McNair said.
"You see a lot of cyclists, footballers and other sports people use them. They are designed to aid recovery, help with muscle fatigue.
"We have been using them on Hay List for a couple of weeks now and it makes a huge difference." Read more here...
Conscious thought and quantum theory. (Physics of physical reality)
Sunday, March 11, 2012
(PHYSORG)- A sensation of unbearable, sudden heat seems to come out of nowhere -- this wave, a strong electromagnetic beam, is the latest non-lethal weapon unveiled by the US military this week.
"You're not gonna see it, you're not gonna hear it, you're not gonna smell it: you're gonna feel it," explained US Marine Colonel Tracy Taffola, director the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, Marine Corps Base Quantico, at a demonstration for members of the media.
The effect is so repellant, the immediate instinct is to flee -- and quickly, as experienced by AFP at the presentation.
Taffola is quick also to point out the "Active Denial System" beam, while powerful and long-range, some 1000 meters (0.6 miles), is the military's "safest non-lethal capability" that has been developed over 15 years but never used in the field.
It was deployed briefly in Afghanistan in 2010, but never employed in an operation.
Via FOX News:
If there are space invaders out there, it won’t be long before they can no longer stage a sneak attack, thanks to a project to build the most sensitive radio telescope ever -- one that’s the size of a continent.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
A study has found the beta blocker propranolol makes people less racist.
(The London Free Press) — A common prescription drug used to treat high blood pressure may also curb racist thoughts, a new U.K. study suggests.
University of Oxford researchers found people who took the drug propranolol showed less implicit racism — automatic, subconscious bias — than those who took a placebo.
Half of study participants were given the drug and the other half received a placebo. They were given prejudice tests before, during and after taking the pills. Participants were asked to quickly categorize positive and negative words with the faces of back and white people.
Although just 36 white men and women took part in the study, it provides new evidence about the processes in the brain that shape implicit racial bias, co-author Sylvia Terbeck said.
“Given the key role that such implicit attitudes appear to play in discrimination against other ethnic groups, and the widespread use of propranolol for medical purposes, our findings are also of considerable ethical interest,” she said.
Researchers successfully flush latent HIV infection from hiding
ScienceDaily — A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has successfully flushed latent HIV infection from hiding, with a drug used to treat certain types of lymphoma. Tackling latent HIV in the immune system is critical to finding a cure for AIDS.
The results were presented March 8 at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington.
While current antiretroviral therapies can very effectively control virus levels, they can never fully eliminate the virus from the cells and tissues it has infected.
"Lifelong use of antiretroviral therapy is problematic for many reasons, not least among them are drug resistance, side effects, and cost," said David Margolis, MD, professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "We need to employ better long-term strategies, including a cure."
Margolis' new study is the first to demonstrate that the biological mechanism that keeps HIV hidden and unreachable by current antiviral therapies can be targeted and interrupted in humans, providing new hope for a strategy to eradicate HIV completely. Keep on reading...
Friday, March 9, 2012
At least we can send Lego men to space without Russian assistance.
Raw video: Australian entrepreneur teams up with Romanian teen to celebrate the end of the space shuttle era
Raw video: Australian entrepreneur teams up with Romanian teen to celebrate the end of the space shuttle era
Watch out for those adventuresome honeybees.
(PHYSORG)- A new study in Science suggests that thrill-seeking is not limited to humans and other vertebrates. Some honey bees, too, are more likely than others to seek adventure. The brains of these novelty-seeking bees exhibit distinct patterns of gene activity in molecular pathways known to be associated with thrill-seeking in humans, researchers report.
The findings offer a new window on the inner life of the honey bee hive, which once was viewed as a highly regimented colony of seemingly interchangeable workers taking on a few specific roles (nurse or forager, for example) to serve their queen. Now it appears that individual honey bees actually differ in their desire or willingness to perform particular tasks, said University of Illinois entomology professor and Institute for Genomic Biology director Gene Robinson, who led the study. These differences may be due, in part, to variability in the bees' personalities, he said. The study team also included researchers from Wellesley College and Cornell University.
"In humans, differences in novelty-seeking are a component of personality," he said. "Could insects also have personalities?"
Robinson and his colleagues studied two behaviors that looked like novelty-seeking in honey bees: scouting for nest sites and scouting for food.
When a colony of bees outgrows its living quarters, the hive divides and the swarm must find a suitable new home. At this moment of crisis, a few intrepid bees – less than 5 percent of the swarm – take off to hunt for a hive. These bees, called nest scouts, are on average 3.4 times more likely than their peers to also become food scouts, the researchers found.
"There is a gold standard for personality research and that is if you show the same tendency in different contexts, then that can be called a personality trait," Robinson said. Not only do certain bees exhibit signs of novelty-seeking, he said, but their willingness or eagerness to "go the extra mile" can be vital to the life of the hive. Keep on reading...
Thursday, March 8, 2012
A team of researchers from Harvard, MIT and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris have proposed this simple explanation for the Moon's magnetic anomalies.
(PHYSOYG)- In the nearly five decades since the first lunar surveys were conducted as part of NASA's Apollo program, scientists have advanced a number of increasingly complex theories to explain the vast swaths of highly magnetic material that had been found in the some parts of the Moon's crust.
But now a team of researchers from Harvard, MIT and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, have proposed a surprisingly simple explanation for the unusual findings – the magnetic anomalies are remnants of a massive asteroid collision. As described in a paper published March 9 in Science, the researchers believe an asteroid slammed into the moon approximately 4 billion years ago, leaving behind an enormous crater and iron-rich, highly magnetic rock.
While there is evidence that the Moon once generated its own magnetic field, there is little to suggest it was strong enough to account for the anomalies seen in earlier surveys, Sarah Stewart-Mukhopadhyay, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences, and one of three co-authors of the paper, said. To explain the findings, then, researchers turned to a number of elaborate scenarios.
Robo-cheetah has record breaking speed, but it looks like it is running backwards.
Robo-cheetah's record breaking sprint
Robo-cheetah's record breaking sprint
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
It's time for a parfait!
ScienceDaily — Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report. Their new article on the value of eating berry fruits appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In the article, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D., and Marshall G. Miller point out that longer lifespans are raising concerns about the human toll and health care costs of treating Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental decline. They explain that recent research increasingly shows that eating berry fruits can benefit the aging brain. To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies on the topic.
Antibodies that stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease in mice discovered.
ScienceDaily — Antibodies that block the process of synapse disintegration in Alzheimer's disease have been identified, raising hopes for a treatment to combat early cognitive decline in the disease.
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by abnormal deposits in the brain of the protein Amyloid-ß, which induces the loss of connections between neurons, called synapses.
Now, scientists at UCL have discovered that specific antibodies that block the function of a related protein, called Dkk1, are able to completely suppress the toxic effect of Amyloid-ß on synapses. The findings are published March 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Professor Patricia Salinas (UCL Department of Cell & Developmental Biology) who led the study, said: "These novel findings raise the possibility that targeting this secreted Dkk1 protein could offer an effective treatment to protect synapses against the toxic effect of Amyloid-ß.[...]
In this paper, scientists conducted experiments to look at the progression of synapse disintegration of the hippocampus after exposure to Amyloid-ß, using brain slices from mice. They were able to monitor how many synapses survived in the presence of a specific antibody which targets Dkk1, compared to how many synapses were viable without the antibody.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
13,000 years ago, a comet or asteroid likely impacted near Mexico and changed the climate for an extended time period. The timing may be associates associated with the extinctions of many large North American animals, including mammoths, mastodons and other mega fauna.
(PHYSORG)- A 16-member international team of researchers that includes James Kennett, professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, has identified a nearly 13,000-year-old layer of thin, dark sediment buried in the floor of Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico. The sediment layer contains an exotic assemblage of materials, including nanodiamonds, impact spherules, and more, which, according to the researchers, are the result of a cosmic body impacting Earth.
These new data are the latest to strongly support of a controversial hypothesis proposing that a major cosmic impact with Earth occurred 12,900 years ago at the onset of an unusual cold climatic period called the Younger Dryas. The researchers' findings appear today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Conducting a wide range of exhaustive tests, the researchers conclusively identified a family of nanodiamonds, including the impact form of nanodiamonds called lonsdaleite, which is unique to cosmic impact. The researchers also found spherules that had collided at high velocities with other spherules during the chaos of impact. Such features, Kennett noted, could not have formed through anthropogenic, volcanic, or other natural terrestrial processes. "These materials form only through cosmic impact," he said.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Teaching fish to play follow the leader and the leader is a robotic fish.
Fishermen are strangely interested...
NYU Polytechnic Institute Professor Maurizio Porfiri creates a robotic fish to help steer schools of fish away from dangerous waters. Presented by Alex Morsanutto.
Fishermen are strangely interested...
These tiny UAV's are cute and potentially deadly.
UAV, quadrocopters, video,
UAV, quadrocopters, video,
A novel compound stops Parkinson's Disease in Animal Model.
ScienceDaily — Millions of people suffer from Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and worsens over time. As the world's population ages, it's estimated that the number of people with the disease will rise sharply. Yet despite several effective therapies that treat Parkinson's symptoms, nothing slows its progression.
While it's not known what exactly causes the disease, evidence points to one particular culprit: a protein called α-synuclein. The protein, which has been found to be common to all patients with Parkinson's, is thought to be a pathway to the disease when it binds together in "clumps," or aggregates, and becomes toxic, killing the brain's neurons.
Now, scientists at UCLA have found a way to prevent these clumps from forming, prevent their toxicity and even break up existing aggregates.
UCLA professor of neurology Jeff Bronstein and UCLA associate professor of neurology Gal Bitan, along with their colleagues, report the development of a novel compound known as a "molecular tweezer," which in a living animal model blocked α-synuclein aggregates from forming, stopped the aggregates' toxicity and, further, reversed aggregates in the brain that had already formed. And the tweezers accomplished this without interfering with normal brain function.
The research appears in the current online edition of the journal Neurotherapeutics.
Vessel to voyage miles into deep abyss
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Here is some footage of the F-22 Raptor showing off it's maneuverability.
The F-22 Raptor is Absurd
The F-22 Raptor is Absurd
Huge Meteor Passing Over Whitley Bay , UK. 3 March 2012
Via The Telegraph:
Via The Telegraph:
Some questioned whether aliens were about to land, with one woman tweeting: “UFO invasion?! Ball of fire flew past my window!” Others called the Police. The most likely explanation, though, was an unusually bright shooting star, or meteor. Thousands of people spotted the chunk – or possibly chunks - of roughly fist-sized space rock burning up while coming through the earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of 60 or 70 miles or so at about 10pm.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will come closer to earth than the geosynchronous orbit of some satellites. Gravitational forces could cause it to impact Earth. Scientists are still calculating the final odds.
(RT)- To avert a possible catastrophe – this time set for February 2013 – scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint or big guns. The stickler is that time has long run out to build a spaceship to carry out the operation.
NASA's data shows the 60-meter asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers in February, will whistle by Earth in 11 months. Its trajectory will bring it within a hair’s breadth of our planet, raising fears of a possible collision.
The asteroid, known as DA14, will pass by our planet in February 2013 at a distance of under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is closer than the geosynchronous orbit of some satellites.
There is a possibility the asteroid will collide with Earth, but further calculation is required to estimate the potential threat and work out how to avert possible disaster, NASA expert Dr. David Dunham told students at Russia’s University of Electronics and Mathematics.
“The Earth’s gravitational field will alter the asteroid’s path significantly. Further scrupulous calculation is required to estimate the threat of collision,” said Dr. Dunham, as transcribed by Russia’s Izvestia. “The asteroid may break into dozens of small pieces, or several large lumps may split from it and burn up in the atmosphere. The type of the asteroid and its mineral structure can be determined by spectral analysis. This will help predict its behavior in the atmosphere and what should be done to prevent the potential threat,” said Dr. Dunham.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Here is a video of the march 2nd tornado that destroyed Marysville, Indiana. The tornado video is shot from a moving car, but the footage of the tornado that hit the Marysville, Chelsea and Henryville area of Indiana is very clear. you can hear hail hitting the truck during much of the video. Here is a map showing location of tornado relative to destruction and route of truck:
Tornado Marysville Chelsea Henryville Indiana GONE March 2 2012
Tornado Video, Indiana, amazing video,
Tornado Marysville Chelsea Henryville Indiana GONE March 2 2012
We have been taught North America was unpopulated until about 15,000 years ago when Siberians came here. There is evidence Europeans came here as long as 20,000 years ago.
Via The Washington Post:
When the crew of the Virginia scallop trawler Cinmar hauled a mastodon tusk onto the deck in 1970, another oddity dropped out of the net: a dark, tapered stone blade, nearly eight inches long and still sharp.
Forty years later, this rediscovered prehistoric slasher has reopened debate on a radical theory about who the first Americans were and when they got here.
Archaeologists have long held that North America remained unpopulated until about 15,000 years ago, when Siberian people walked or boated into Alaska and then moved down the West Coast.
But the mastodon relic found near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay turned out to be 22,000 years old, suggesting that the blade was just as ancient.
Whoever fashioned that blade was not supposed to be here.
Its makers probably paddled from Europe and arrived in America thousands of years ahead of the western migration, making them the first Americans, argues Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Dennis Stanford.
“I think it’s feasible,” said Tom Dillehay, a prominent archaeologist at Vanderbilt University. “The evidence is building up, and it certainly warrants discussion.”
At the height of the last ice age, Stanford says, mysterious Stone Age European people known as the Solutreans paddled along an ice cap jutting into the North Atlantic. They lived like Inuits, harvesting seals and seabirds. Keep on reading...
Friday, March 2, 2012
Featuring some music from "Death is the road to Awe" by Clint Mansell from The Fountain soundtrack.
The Jordan effect...
They say it’s what’s inside that counts – but most young women in this country would beg to differ, it seems.Are video commercials like this one driving women's self-image?
Shocking new research shows almost half of young women aged 18 to 25 would prefer to have large breasts than high intelligence - with a third even saying they would gladly swap.
Experts have blamed the growing obsession with celebrity culture among youngsters together with the burgeoning market for plastic surgery.
The study, which has alarmed women’s groups, also found a quarter of those surveyed felt bigger breasts would make them feel ‘happier’.
And almost 60 per cent of the respondents believed that men would be ‘more interested’ in them romantically if they had bigger breasts.
It comes amid widespread concern about the pressures put on modern-day women through advertising and magazines. Read more here...
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Sniffer dogs remove pythons from Everglades
New fossils found in China reveal dinosaurs had fleas as big as an inch long.
(PHYSORG)- In the Jurassic era, even the flea was a beast, compared to its minuscule modern descendants. These pesky bloodsuckers were nearly an inch long.
New fossils found in China are evidence of the oldest fleas - from 125 million to 165 million years ago, said Diying Huang of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology. Their disproportionately long proboscis, or straw-like mouth, had sharp weapon-like serrated edges that helped them bite and feed from their super-sized hosts, he and other researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Scientists figure about eight or more of today's fleas would fit on the burly back of their ancient ancestor.
"That's a beast," said study co-author Michael Engel, entomology curator at the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas. "It was a big critter. I can't even imagine coming home and finding my miniature schnauzer with one or more of these things crawling around on it."
The ancient female fleas were close to twice the size of the males, researchers found, which fits with modern fleas.
But Engel said it's not just the size that was impressive about the nine flea fossils. It was their fearsome beak capable of sticking into and sucking blood from the hides of certain dinosaurs, probably those that had feathers.