A good idea from LilB, I'll stop posting a bunch of threads and add any cool science related stories in here. You are all welcome and encouraged to add and or comment. Lets get our Bill Nye on
Social before Birth: Twins First Interact with Each Other as Fetuses
Every mother knows that newborns are social creatures just hours after birth. They prefer to look at faces over objects, and they even imitate facial expressions. Now a study sug*gests that the propensity for social interactions exists in the womb. Twins begin interacting as early as the 14th week of gestation.
Researchers at the University of Turin and the University of Parma in Italy used ultrasonography, a technique for imaging internal body structures, to track the motion of five pairs of twin fetuses in daily 20-minute sessions. As published in the October PLoS ONE, the scientists found that fetuses begin reaching toward their neighbors by the 14th week of gestation. Over the following weeks they reduced the num*ber of movements toward themselves and instead reached more frequently toward their counterparts. By the 18th week they spent more time contacting their partners than themselves or the walls of the uterus. Almost 30 percent of their movements were directed toward their prenatal companions. These movements, such as stroking the head or back, lasted longer and were more accurate than self-directed actions, such as touching their own eyes or mouth.
The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb, that they prefer to interact with them, and that they respond to them in special ways. Contact between them appeared to be planned—not an accidental outcome of spatial proximity, says study co-author Cristina Becchio of Turin. “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior,” she says.
Planck telescope finds cold, weird wonders
Survey's first results reveal largest galaxy clusters and most frigid objects in universe
SEATTLE — The European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft has identified the most massive galaxy superclusters ever measured and the coldest clumps of material in the Milky Way. The frigid regions are sites of the earliest phases of star birth in the galaxy. The findings were unveiled January 11 at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society and at a news briefing in Paris.
The roughly 10,000 cold cores in the galaxy, many of them previously unknown, will enable astronomers to study the very beginnings of star formation, said Planck researcher Charles Lawrence of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Some of the cores are the coldest places ever recorded in the universe, with temperatures as low as 7 degrees above absolute zero, an indication that clumps of gas and dust, the raw material for making stars, has yet to gravitationally contract and heat these stellar nurseries.
The most massive superclusters of galaxies detected by Planck weigh the equivalent of a million billion suns and lie within relatively nearby reaches of the universe. In tandem with more distant clusters found with ground-based instruments, these large aggregates of galaxies provide new insight about the evolution of galaxies as well as about the dark matter that holds these superclusters together and dark energy, the mysterious entity that has accelerated the expansion of the universe, said John Carlstrom of the University of Chicago, who was not involved with the new study.
Although Planck’s main mission is to use sensitive microwave detectors to examine the faint microwave glow left over from the Big Bang, astronomers must painstakingly identify and subtract confounding emissions that the craft has recorded from foreground objects that radiate at those same microwave wavelengths. The new findings represent the first fruits of those labors.
Planck’s first complete map of the microwave background, which researchers hope will reveal new information about how the universe came to be, is expected in about two years.
From the 'X Files' Dept: "Source-Code" for Life Originated in Nebular Clouds 10 Billion Years Ago
Recent discoveries in genetics, microbiology, astrobiology, and astrophysics indicates that life in the Milky Way galaxy began in nebular clouds over 10 billion years ago. Given the trillions upon trillions of galaxies which exist in the Hubble length (observable) universe, and the trillions of trillions of supernovas which must have taken place in these galaxies collectively, and thus the innumerable stellar and nebular clouds filled with all the ingredients necessary for life, according to the controversial theories of Rhawn Joseph, of the Brain Research Laboratory and Rudolf Schild of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, "it can be deduced that life would have been created, independently, perhaps in numerous galaxies, including the Milky Way long before our planet was formed.
A study of antibodies from people infected with H1N1 swine flu adds proof that scientists are closing in on a "universal" flu shot that could neutralize many types of flu strains, including H1N1 swine flu and H5N1 bird flu, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
They said people who were infected in the H1N1 pandemic developed an unusual immune response, making antibodies that could protect them from all the seasonal H1N1 flu strains from the last decade, the deadly "Spanish flu" strain from 1918 and even a strain of the H5N1 avian flu.
"It says that a universal influenza vaccine is really possible," said Patrick Wilson of the University of Chicago, who worked on the paper published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Many teams are working on a "universal" flu shot that could protect people from all flu strains for decades or even life.
Some good may come from that pandemic/scare after all. I haven't been vaccinated in about 3 years, since I got out of the Air Force. I'm probably gonna die from some super virus.
Last edited by Anti Hero : 01-14-2011 at 11:46 AM.
Green building is becoming so prevalent these days that it may not be enough to erect individual eco buildings anymore - the newest trend is entire eco-cities. Expected to be up and running in 2020, Tianjin Eco-City is one of these real-life sustainable communities, spanning 30 square kilometers and showcasing the hottest energy-saving technologies. Designed by Surbana Urban Planning Group, the city will have an advanced light rail transit system and varied eco-landscapes ranging from a sun-powered solarscape to a greenery-clad earthscape for its estimated 350,000 residents to enjoy.
Can Our DNA Electromagnetically 'Teleport' Itself? One Researcher Thinks So
A Nobel prize winning scientist who shared the 2008 prize for medicine for his role in establishing the link between HIV and AIDS has stirred up a good deal of both interest and skepticism with his latest experimental results, which more or less show that DNA can teleport itself to distant cells via electromagnetic signals. If his results prove correct, they would shake up the foundations upon which modern chemistry rests. But plenty of Montagnier’s peers are far from convinced.
The full details of Montagnier’s experiments are not yet known, as his paper has not yet been accepted for publication. But he and his research partners have made a summary of his findings available. Essentially, they took two test tubes – one containing a fragment of DNA about 100 bases long, another containing pure water – and isolated them in a chamber that muted the earth’s natural electromagnetic field to keep it from muddying the results. The test tubes were housed within a copper coil emanating a weak electromagnetic field.
This is very interesting, and groundbreaking on many levels if true. However I'm skeptical myself, and the article didn't do a good job explaining the experiment. Their thesis ("this suggests DNA emits its own electromagnetic signals that imprint the DNA’s structure on other molecules like water") doesn't explain how pure water, which doesn't contain carbon atoms, can form DNA molecules, whose bases contain carbon. We'll see how this unfolds.