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Current Topic: Science

Ancient air bubbles shed light on greenhouse gases
Topic: Science 8:42 pm EST, Nov 26, 2005

Seems the latest analysis from core samples of Antarctic ice dated 650,000 years old "not good" for those still convinced the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels to be a "natural" trend...

"Levels of carbon dioxide have climbed from 280 parts per million two centuries ago to 380 ppm today.

Skeptics sometimes dismiss the rise in greenhouse gases as part of a naturally fluctuating cycle. The new study provides ever-more definitive evidence countering that view, however.

A previous ice-core sample had traced greenhouse gases back about 440,000 years. This new sample, from East Antarctica, goes 210,000 years further back in time.

Today's still rising level of carbon dioxide already is 27% higher than its peak during all those millennia, said lead researcher Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern, Switzerland.

'We are out of that natural range today,' he said."

Not good, but also not possible to tell everyone "stop burning fossil fuel NOW!" and no one is suggesting that. But the big corporations resisting change are running out of excuses.


Ancient air bubbles shed light on greenhouse gases

RE: IEEE Spectrum on Space Elevators
Topic: Science 7:07 pm EDT, Aug 21, 2005

bucy wrote:

It now costs about US $20 000 per kilogram to put objects into orbit. Contrast that rate with the results of a study I recently performed for NASA, which concluded that a single space elevator could reduce the cost of orbiting payloads to a remarkably low $200 a kilogram and that multiple elevators could ultimately push costs down below $10 a kilogram.

We will build this. Believe it!

NOW!!! We need a space elevator yesterday.


RE: IEEE Spectrum on Space Elevators

Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil
Topic: Science 2:07 am EST, Mar 27, 2005

"For more than a century, the study of dinosaurs has been limited to fossilized bones. Now, researchers have recovered 70-million-year-old soft tissue, including what may be blood vessels and cells, from a Tyrannosaurus rex.

If scientists can isolate proteins from the material, they may be able to learn new details of how dinosaurs lived, said lead researcher Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University."

Amazing ANYTHING would remain viable after 70 million years! We're still a long way from "Jurassic Park", but who knows...


Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil

RE: Why is water blue?
Topic: Science 12:11 am EDT, Jul 14, 2004

Elonka wrote:
] ] Water owes its intrinsic blueness to selective absorption
] ] in the red part of its visible spectrum.
] An interesting link that was sent to me by someone who was
] intrigued by my Antarctic webpage on "Why are icebergs blue?"

OWW! My brain hurts! More than I needed to know... -LB

RE: Why is water blue?

RE: Hubble Space Telescope Sees Where Time Began
Topic: Science 6:07 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2004

janelane wrote:
] ] The Hubble Space Telescope has looked deep into the
] ] cosmic abyss and created a unique baby picture of the
] ] universe. Until now, images returned by Hubble showed
] ] galaxies as they appeared when they were cosmic
] ] youngsters. The new images reveal the galaxies as
] ] toddlers, in the midst of a period of rapid developmental
] ] changes.
] It's interesting to hear about the Hubble after so many years
] of it not being in the news.

Depends on where you get your news! ;) Hubble is the star at and is mentioned on the science and tech pages of CNN and quite regularly. -LB

RE: Hubble Space Telescope Sees Where Time Began

RE: Scientist sees space elevator in 15 years
Topic: Science 6:04 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2004

k wrote:
] ] "It's not new physics nothing new has to be
] ] discovered, nothing new has to be invented from scratch,"
] ] he says. "If there are delays in budget or delays in
] ] whatever, it could stretch, but 15 years is a realistic
] ] estimate for when we could have one up."
] ]
] ] Edwards is not just some guy with an idea. He's head of
] ] the space elevator project at the Institute for
] ] Scientific Research in Fairmont, W.Va. NASA already has
] ] given it more than $500,000 to study the idea, and
] ] Congress has earmarked $2.5 million more.
] ]
] ] "A lot of people at NASA are excited about the idea,"
] ] said Robert Casanova, director of the NASA Institute of
] ] Advanced Concepts in Atlanta.
] ]
] ] Edwards believes a space elevator offers a cheaper, safer
] ] form of space travel that eventually could be used to
] ] carry explorers to the planets.
] ]
] ] Edwards' elevator would climb on a cable made of
] ] nanotubes - tiny bundles of carbon atoms many times
] ] stronger than steel. The cable would be about three feet
] ] wide and thinner than a piece of paper, but capable of
] ] supporting a payload up to 13 tons.
] [ I love space stuff, and the things i've read about space
] elevators all excite me to no end. I really want to see a
] viable plan. I want to blow my retirement funds on a trip to
] space. So, the scientists have 40 years, at the outside, to
] get it working... hop to! -k]

Here here. Spaceship One is very exciting, but $100,000 for a sub orbital? Don't think so. I want orbit - I want to VACATION in space for a few DAYS. I have a friend who did some parabola manuvers in a small plane with me on board, so I've experienced "weightlessness" (about 10 seconds each time) and it IS as much fun as it looks, but I wouldn't pay $100,000 for 3 minutes of that. Now a week in orbit might be worth $100k if you had the $$$, but I think if this elevator becomes a reality, you might eventually see a week jaunt in orbit for under $10,000. -LB

RE: Scientist sees space elevator in 15 years

Caffeine-free coffee tree is discovered
Topic: Science 7:33 pm EDT, Jun 23, 2004

] naturally caffeine-free coffee plant has been found
] growing wild in Ethiopia, heralding the prospect of a cup
] of freshly-ground arabica that will not keep you awake.
] Scientists in Brazil have discovered three arabica coffee
] plants that do not produce caffeine in their leaves or
] beans among a batch of 6,000 wild specimens originally
] collected in the late 1980s.
] The scientists believe the wild plants could be
] cultivated to produce their own caffeine-free beans, or
] could be cross-bred with other varieties of arabica
] coffee to introduce the natural caffeine-free trait into
] commercial crops.
] About 10 per cent of the coffee consumed in the world is
] processed to remove caffeine, a natural chemical linked
] with heart palpitations, raised blood pressure, anxiety,
] tremors, gastrointestinal upsets and insomnia. But the
] decaffeination process also removes organic compounds
] that can affect coffee's taste and aroma.
] The wild plants that lack caffeine were found by a team
] led by Paulo Mazzafera, professor of plant physiology in
] Brazil, whose study is published in the journal Nature.

Doesn't apply to most of us who need our caffeine fix, but for those forced to drink decaf, this might be good news. -LB

Caffeine-free coffee tree is discovered

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 'Fifty planets' could have life
Topic: Science 11:24 am EDT, Apr  7, 2004

Astronomers estimate about half the planetary systems so far discovered in our galaxy could contain Earth-like worlds.

And they say that space telescopes will be capable of observing these planets and investigating them to see if they support life in about 15 years' time.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 'Fifty planets' could have life

RE: 'Fluorescent fish' give the green light to GM pets
Topic: Science 2:22 am EST, Mar 12, 2004

Rattle wrote:
] ] Scientists have created the ultimate pet: genetically
] ] modified fish that glow in the dark. In future, there
] ] will be no need for aquarium lights - fluorescent fish
] ] will provide their own illumination.
] Oh yeah, I would buy glowing fish. No question. I will own
] these some day. If there is someone out there tracking market
] for this kinda thing, mark me down as saying "i'll buy"..
] Hell yeah.
] ] Scientists have not restricted their GM work to
] ] aquarium creatures. In other experiments, scientists
] ] have attempted to engineer cats that do not produce
] ] allergens.
] I'd buy that too! I'm allergic to cats.. Aside from that,
] cats are alright. And I'm sure they could make it piss less
] ammonia, glow, etc.. Sweet..
] I'd save up for this shit. After the cat and the fish, I'd
] just need something that flys. Something can be done with the
] parot.
] However, I don't think its a good idea to make any new animals
] that are capable of surviving in nature on their own. But I
] have no doubt that the comercial world will tackle these
] problems. There are simple and elegant solutions possible.
] You just have to make sure the thing can't possibly survive or
] breed without constant human intervention.. Kitty gonna need
] something in her water or .. Fishy gonna need some mad UV..
] etc.. Unless that can be pulled off, no way. And maybe some
] kind of virus kill switch, "just in case". And screw Jurassic
] Park and "life can find a way" and all that crap. Thats
] Hollywood. There are solutions for this kinda thing damnit,
] there have to be. I want value added to my pets!
] There is a service end to the business. Thats a good thing.
] When I get my consumer pet, I don't want to have to go through
] picking up supplies all the time, they have to be custom
] anyway, with this kinda investment, they are going to control
] that suckers whole life cycle. They can mail me whatever I
] need. I want to order it like a laptop. Select boxes for
] configuration, pick accessories, get a support contract, etc..
] might have been a flop, but when the shit glows, its
] going to be a different story.

Looking thru old MEMEs... Rattle is funny and right on the mark! -LB

RE: 'Fluorescent fish' give the green light to GM pets

Martian Pasta
Topic: Science 12:21 am EST, Mar  4, 2004

Opportunity's Microscopic Imager found this intriguing object, looking more like Rotini pasta. Its odd shape has stirred up Mars researchers, both inside and outside of the NASA Mars Rover Exploration team. Whether or not this object is related to biology has prompted a variety of views.

Main Story:

Martian Pasta

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