You’ve seen the Terminator die in molten steel and Gollum die in the fires of Mount Doom, but is it really that accurate? Kyle Hill shows you the fiery truth in his youtube series “Because Science” at the Nerdist!
Watch the full telecast of yesterday’s launch and landing below of the SpaceX rocket, skip to the amazing landing at minute 27
Researchers claim to have made artificial mouse sperm in a dish
Researchers in China have found a method for being able to make “rudimentary” mouse sperm in a dish. What is even more interesting is that they then claim to be able to produce offspring from that artificial sperm and they even have three living mice as a result of their experiments.
Maybe in a few decades we can create artificial sperm for humans to deliver customized DNA?
The Venus flytrap’s habit of chowing down on flies and other bugs may be centered around its ability to count — as in how many times it needs to be touched before clamping down on its prey, according to a new study.
While the carnivorous plant does not apply Common Core math solutions to know when it’s meal time, the Venus flytrap has the ability to keep track of the number of times it is touched, allowing it to react on a routine basis to bugs.
A rapid increase in our knowledge of alien worlds has dramatically changed the way scientists are interpreting the famous Drake equation. You can find the Cornell astrophysics paper describing this here: A New Empirical Constraint on the Prevalence of Technological Species in the Universe
MIT Technology review has a write up on what this means here.
In the Cornell paper they address the cosmic frequency of technological species. Recent advances in exoplanet studies provide strong constraints on all astrophysical terms in the Drake Equation. Using these and modifying the form and intent of the Drake equation they show that we can set a firm lower bound on the probability that one or more additional technological species have evolved anywhere and at any time in the history of the observable Universe.
The researchers find that as long as the probability that a habitable zone planet develops a technological species is larger than ~10?24, then humanity is not the only time technological intelligence has evolved. This constraint has important scientific and philosophical consequences.
Unusual ripples in Saturn’s rings are revealing to scientists that something is moving inside to affect the planet’s gravity.
It’s an alien base, I bet!
In 2006 NASA launched New Horizons on a mission to collect data on Pluto. Nine years and 3 billion miles later, New Horizons flew by Pluto and recorded this 30 second video for humanity.
A Cooper’s hawk found near a Vancouver-area waste transfer station is believed to be the most polluted wild bird in the world, according to a new study. Check Huffington Post for the full story.
I really enjoy having the ISS live stream on my TV via my HTPC. Here’s a screencap of what’s on right now, how cool is this?
Boeing has won a patent for a protective force field that could stop vehicles from being harmed by explosions, Popular Science reports.
The design is named “Method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc” – here’s the patent if you’re curious.
Found this via Lean News daily newsletter.
Scientists have successfully spliced Woolly Mammoth DNA into the DNA of an Asian Elephant. The scientists spliced genes for the mammoths’ small ears, subcutaneous fat, and hair length and color into the DNA of elephant skin cells.
But don’t expect baby Mammoth clones any time soon.
To stay warm when temperatures drop outside, we heat our indoor spaces — even when no one is in them. But scientists have now developed a novel nanowire coating for clothes that can both generate heat and trap the heat from our bodies better than regular clothes. They report on their technology, which could help us reduce our reliance on conventional energy sources, in the ACS journal Nano Letters.
Follow the link to read more at Technology.org
At the heart of this new clock is the element strontium. Inside a small chamber, the strontium atoms are suspended in a lattice of crisscrossing laser beams. Researchers then give them a little ping, like ringing a bell. The strontium vibrates at an incredibly fast frequency. It’s a natural atomic metronome ticking out teeny, teeny fractions of a second.
Listen to the NPR story…
NASA is looking for ways to reduce the cost of sending humans to Mars. Their study explores dramatically cutting the cost of a human expedition to Mars by putting the astronauts into a deep sleep called “torpor” that would use existing medical procedures to reduce astronauts’ metabolic functions. Torpor can also occur naturally in cases of hypothermia.
Blended with intravenous feeding, a crew could be in a state of hibernation for the transit to Mars, which at best would be 180 days each-way.
This is a good article on EETimes about the emotional attachment that can happen in the family between their robotic pet and the risks we face as those mechanical loved-ones age over time. Also covers pitfalls in our lives when a machine becomes human.
In a short Q&A interview with Forbes Magazine, Chinese-American astronaut Leroy Chiao advocates embracing China, rather than shunning it, in the new space race to Mars . He also talks about the recent spying charges USA and China are batting back and forth and what that should mean wrt better cooperation in space.
Leroy also touches on the current Russia/USA relations and gives a little insight into the impact it’s having on the shared space exploration efforts onboard the International Space Station.
I totally agree with Leroy on the China+USA collaboration to get to Mars. We’re both highly motivated countries regarding space exploration. China in particular may be willing to foot more of the $$$/RMB cost if there’s more sharing of technology between us. I think we stand a better chance of pulling off this huge effort working together, rather than in isolation.
Check out Leroy’s personal site with videos he’s appeared in, links to his op-eds and more.
As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water that is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle of this century. Storms thus have the potential to create Arctic swell – huge waves that could add a new and unpredictable element to the region.
A University of Washington researcher made the first study of waves in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, and detected house-sized waves during a September 2012 storm. The results were recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.
Jane Austin, a game theorist? Oh yes, apparently she was exhibiting in her stories some of the traits we value in game theory today…and this is 100+ years before the concept became science.
Michael Chwe is an associate professor of political science at UCLA whose research centers on game theory and, as he puts it, “its applications to social movements and macroeconomics and violence — and this latest thing is about its applications maybe to literature.”
The literature in question? The novels of Jane Austen. Chwe discovered that Austen’s novels are full of strategic thinking, decision analysis, and other tools that would later come to be prized by game theorists like those as the RAND Corporation just after World War II.
Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers.
Evidence from skulls in east London shows plague had to have been airborne to spread so quickly.
You can learn a lot from a tooth.
Molars taken from skeletons unearthed by work on a new London railway line are revealing secrets of the medieval Black Death — and of its victims.
This week, Don Walker, an osteologist with the Museum of London, outlined the biography of one man whose ancient bones were found by construction workers under London’s Charterhouse Square: He was breast-fed as a baby, moved to London from another part of England, had bad tooth decay in childhood, grew up to work as a laborer, and died in early adulthood from the bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century.