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Thread: Science Special News

  1. #1826
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    How to explain destiny

    Anthony North: We've all heard of destiny, but what is it? Is it some guiding force within the universe looking after us, or is it a total fantasy? As often happens, ideas on the subject fall into one camp or the other. But maybe most sense lies in the middle ground. If we were to adopt this position, then we'd have to accept that a 'force' DOES have an effect upon our lives, but rather than being some omnipotent supernatural influence, it could be grounded in things we have a fair idea about. We already have names for its influence. : On the one hand we have Sod's Law, or the Cosmic Joker. This is for when destiny is cruel. Or alternatively, a fortuitous run at gambling is its opposite influence. Divination attempts to capture the 'reality' of our destiny. From Astrology to the Tarot, it is thought that what we are and what we do is somehow tied up within the fabric of universal influences upon which we have no control. There are problems with this idea.: Most obviously, free will. The philosophical argument is simple. If our destiny is pre-set, then deviation is impossible. So what is the point of our ability to make decisions? It becomes, in effect, a pointless, unrequired ability. Divination does, however, make more sense if we reverse it. Thus, instead of laying out a 'future', it actually has an effect on the mind, answering questions we are undecided about, and offering answers that confirm where we think we want to go. In this sense, divination is more a system of counseling than predictive. Society also has an effect on our future.

    : Through stereotyping and other social and cultural pressures, we all find that we slot into a 'type'. In this way, society allows us to advance, or come upon a brick wall that inhibits us. Often, the individual has little control over this process. Coincidences can also appear to confirm destiny. Jung noted that some coincidences are full of meaning for the person. He applied the term 'synchronicity' to them, and they appear significantly more than simple random events.




  2. #1827
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    Trio of 'super-Earths' discovered

    Submitted by ktw: European astronomers said the latest discoveries suggest Earth-like planets could be very common outside our solar system. The discoveries, revealed at a conference in France, were made using a spectrograph at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, which is run by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, or ESO.Planet hunter Michel Mayor, best known for discovering the first confirmed planet outside our solar system, said in a statement the finds suggest the search for Earth-like planets has just begun."Does every single star harbour planets and, if yes, how many? We may not yet know the answer but we are making huge progress towards it," said Mayor, the principal investigator at the ESO's Geneva Observatory.The term Earth-like planet is a rather broad definition and includes planets with a mass below 30 Earth masses; in other words, planets smaller than gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn. But because they aren't as easy to spot as gas giants, even the largest of these planets evaded detection until recent years.These planets are often discovered, but not seen directly, by monitoring the slight changes their gravitational pull have on the velocity of their stars. Occasionally a planet will actually pass in front of the Earth's view of the star and provide an even clearer signal of its presence. But in either case, the more frequently the planet orbits the star, the easier it is to spot.The ESO said the recent discoveries bring to 45 the total number of Earth-like planets with an orbital period shorter than 50 days it has discovered, and suggests one in three stars similar to our sun may harbour such planets.

    The star with the three Earth-like planets, called HD 40307, is slightly less massive than our sun and is located 42 light-years, or about 400 trillion kilometres, away from Earth.The planets have masses 4.2, 6.7 and 9.4 times that of Earth, and orbit the star with periods of 4.3, 9.6, and 20.4 days, respectively.




  3. #1828
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    "Bigfoot" fails DNA test

    Bigfoot remains as elusive as ever.

    Results from tests on genetic material from alleged remains of one of the mythical half-ape and half-human creatures, made public at a news conference on Friday held after the claimed discovery swept the Internet, failed to prove its existence.

    Its spread was fueled by a photograph of a hairy heap, bearing a close resemblance to a shaggy full-body gorilla costume, stuffed into a container resembling a refrigerator.

    One of the two samples of DNA said to prove the existence of the Bigfoot came from a human and the other was 96 percent from an opossum, according to Curt Nelson, a scientist at the University of Minnesota who performed the DNA analysis.

    Bigfoot creatures are said to live in the forests of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. An opossum is a marsupial about the size of a house cat.

    Results of the DNA tests were revealed in an e-mail from Nelson and distributed at the Palo Alto, California, news conference held by Tom Biscardi, host of a weekly online radio show about the Bigfoot.

    Also present were Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, the two who say they discovered the Bigfoot corpse while hiking in the woods of northern Georgia. They also are co-owners of a company that offers Bigfoot merchandise.

    Despite the dubious photo and the commercial interests of the alleged discoverers, the Bigfoot claim drew interest from Australia to Europe and even The New York Times.

    Biscardi said the DNA samples may not have been taken correctly and may have been contaminated, and that he would proceed with an autopsy of the alleged Bigfoot remains, currently in a freezer at an undisclosed location.




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    thanks well done

  5. #1830
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    It's snowing on Mars

    It's snowing on Mars and winter is icumen in - to misquote the Middle English paean to springtime. Scientists studying the coded signals from the lander Phoenix on the planet's arctic surface detected the snow falling lightly from clouds drifting across the sky some 2 1/2 miles above the spacecraft, said James Whiteway, an atmospheric scientist from York University in Canada. "Nothing like this has ever been seen on Mars before," he said. Whiteway, whose team built the weather station aboard Phoenix, said the ice crystals appeared to vaporize before they reached the red Martian ground. Not that snow was unexpected. Whiteway said his instruments have watched the clouds drifting across the horizon every morning after the sun rises. His Lidar instrument - an acronym for laser detection and ranging - on the spacecraft shoots a green laser beam up into the clouds 100 times a second, and the falling snow reflects brightly in each pulse. Meanwhile, NASA scientists continue to decipher the signals sent back to Earth from Phoenix, now busy analyzing the soil and ice on the planet's surface. In a telephone briefing for reporters Monday, the project's chief scientist, Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona, said that five months of rooting around in the soft and dry soil of the landing site with the spacecraft's mobile robotic digging arm has confirmed that there's a "skating rink" of water ice a little more than 2 inches below the red soil.

    That surface soil itself seems so dry remains a mystery. Measurements of the ice indicate it has an alkaline level - known as pH - of 8.3, and is very similar to seawater, said Michael Hecht, a physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. There also appears to be plenty of calcium carbonate in the tiny particles of the icy soil, he said.




  6. #1831
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    Bees can count

    Honeybees are clever little creatures. They can form abstract concepts, such as symmetry versus asymmetry, and they use symbolic language — the celebrated waggle dance — to direct their hivemates to flower patches. New reports suggest that they can also communicate across species, and can count — up to a point. With colleagues, Songkun Su of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and Shaowu Zhang of the Australian National University in Canberra managed to overcome the apian impulse to kill intruders and cultivated the first mixed-species colonies, made up of European honeybees, Apis mellifera, and Asiatic honeybees, A. cerana. The researchers confirmed that the two species have their own dialects: foraging in identical environments, the bees signaled the distance to a food source with dances of different durations. Remarkably, despite the communication barrier, A. cerana decoded A. mellifera's dance and found the food. Also at the Australian National University, Marie Dacke and Mandyam V. Srinivasan trained European honeybees to pass a particular number of colored stripes in a tunnel to get a food reward, which was placed by a stripe. When they removed the food, the bees still returned to the same stripe.

    Next, they mixed things up on the bees: they varied the spacing of the stripes, and even replaced stripes with unfamiliar markers. The insects consistently passed the same number of markers to approach the former reward site, demonstrating that they could count, up to four. The studies burnish the impressive list of honeybees' known cognitive abilities, all achieved with a brain the size of a sand grain.




  7. #1832
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    Yeti footprints found on Nepal mountain

    It has eluded scientists and adventurers for decades, but a team of Japanese climbers claimed to have discovered footprints of the abdominable snowman, or yeti. They said they photographed the footprints on snow at an altitude of 15,748ft in the Dhaulagiri mountain range in western Nepal. They failed to photograph the furry mythical half-man, half-ape creature, although the expedition leader Yoshiteru Takahashi is confident the prints belong to the yeti. Mr Takahashi said: "We saw three footprints which looked like that of human beings... "Myself and other team members have been coming to the Himalayas for years and we can recognise the footprints of bear, deer and mountain goat look like and it was none of that. "We believe it is that of [the] yeti." Mr Takahashi, 61, a member of the Yeti Project Japan, and his team, supported by Sherpas, spent six weeks on the lower reaches of the 25,134ft Dhaulagiri mountain range looking for evidence of the yeti's existence. The climbers were equipped with long-lens cameras, video cameras and telescopes, and had set out nine motion-sensitive cameras in an area where Mr Takahashi saw what he thought was a yeti in a previous expedition in 2003. "It was about 200 metres away in silhouette. It was walking on two legs like a human and looked about 150 centimetres tall," said Mr Takahashi. The Yeti is said to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and is largely regarded by the scientific community as a mythical creature.

    Sherpas narrate tales of a wild hairy creature roaming the Himalayas, capturing the imagination of foreign climbers of Mount Everest since the 1920s. Those stories prompted many, including Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the summit of Everest, to search for the yeti. Some other climbers have also claimed to have found Yeti footprints, but no one has yet seen it or produced irrefutable proof of its existence.




  8. #1833
    Member Dokhtar Bandari's Avatar
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    Ibrahim Victory

    Its a shame that this site does not devote more attention to Science and cosmology...Anyhooo everyone should read this book, if nothing else it will open your mind and give your brain a boost to accept more unlimited knowledge.

    The Wonders of the Universe, a book by Ibrahim Victory

    During the past 12 years, Ebrahim Victory has been writing popular science articles about space and the cosmos. At the request of many of his followers, he has spent much time reviewing and rewriting 25 of his more popular articles to reflect the latest advances in their subject matter. These have now been published, both in English and in Persian, in a book entitled "The Wonders of the Universe," along with a gallery of astonishing color photographs of celestial objects.

    In the introduction to the book, Ebrahim Victory writes the following on his reservations about writing such articles:

    "While it is relatively easy to write science articles for scientific journals, it is entirely a different matter when non-scientifically oriented readers are being subjected to a scientist's penmanship, and I wasn't quite sure whether I was up to the task."

    His first article was in English, on the subject of the demise of the dinosaurs. The article opened a new vista of interest to mostly the younger generation of the Iranian community in Los Angeles.

    In the ensuing ten years, the seed which was planted with the publication of the first article, has grown into a tree which today bears fruit in the form of biweekly articles which have totaled more than 200 to date. Also, more than 30 of these articles have been translated into Persian by luminous and illustrious experts such as Dr. Hassan and Guity Shahbaz, and Morteza Parvand, all of which have been published with appropriate fascinating photographs.

    Although all of the 25 articles in the book "The Wonders of the Universe" are independent of each other, a common thread runs through them enabling a reader to get at least a rudementary knowledge of how the Universe was formed, what it contains, and how it will end. Also, since the subject matter of the articles are of interest to both, the younger generation who do not read Persian, and our older generation most of whom are not proficient in reading in English, all articles appear in both Persian and in English in the book.

    Also, a glossary of all the technical terms used in the articles, both in Persian and in English, are included for reference by the readers of this and other scientific books and articles. As far as we know, this is the first book, which contains such a glossary in Persian. This book is quite unique among recent or even all previous scientific publications in Persian.

    In an Introduction written by Dr. Hassan Shahbaz he writes:

    "The Wonders of the Universe" is your road map to the science of cosmology. Embark on a journey through the cosmos with it as your guide and become cognizant of the power and the might of the Creator. Authored by Ebrahim Victory, its contents provide the answers to many of the questions that cross the mind of any individual with even a minute sense of curiosity about his place in this vast Universe.

    Let us think for a moment! Is it not fascinating to look at the star-studded sky and wander among them? What do these mesmerizing objects, whose numbers and whereabouts can be envisioned only by our imagination and a few mathematical formulas, look like up close? What took place to create billions of galaxies each containing billions of shining stars which continually dance to the music of the spheres right before our eyes? What is the source and nature of this boundless energy which makes them shine, radiate heat and talk in the language of radio waves. How were the multitude of stars and our very own solar system with its nine rotating planets and their many moons created? Are there, among the multitude of stars within the Milky Way galaxy and the multitude of other galaxies in this vast cosmos, other solar systems like ours harboring planets capable of supporting life? And if so, are these life forms like we know them here on this Earth? How is order maintained in this universe in which the vast multitude of objects are constantly on the move, and Who or What is the overseer of this wondrous creation whose domain stretches out to 15 billion light years distant? Is He the one we call God? And if so, have cosmologists been able to prove he exists, and can they, or indeed, do they believe in Him?

    These questions and hundreds more like them, are answered by Ebrahim Victory in his book entitled The Wonders of The Universe.

    It would be regrettable if a contemplative and curious individual who lives in this day and age, would not be aware of the discoveries revealed in this book.



    The articles published in the book are entitled:



    * The Creation of the Universe.

    * In The Beginning; Genesis and the Big Bang; a Correlation.

    * In Search of the God Particle.

    * Farther than the Eye Can See.

    * The Invisible Universe

    * The Shape of the Universe.

    * The Expansion of the Universe.

    * Other Universes.

    * When Galaxies Collide

    * The Search for E. T.

    * In Search of Other Solar Systems.

    * A Clear Window to Heavens.

    * The Birth and Death of Stars.

    * Earth; the Living Planet.

    * Whatever Happened to the Dinosaurs.

    * Heavenly Showers of Death and Destruction.

    * The Voyager Grand Tour.

    * The Great Comet Crash of 1994.

    * Life on Mars.

    * Neptune; the Blue-Green Planet, and Triton; its Enigmatic Moon.

    * Beyond Pluto; To the Edge of the Solar System.

    * The Story of the Atom Bomb.

    * Nuclear Power.

    * Albert Einstein; His Life and His Science.
    I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
    I would be pure, for there are those who care;
    I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
    I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
    I would be friend of all—the foe—the friendless;
    I would be giving and forget the gift;
    I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
    I would look up and laugh—and love—and lift.
    Howard Walter
    http://www.farsinet.com/poetry/images/poemvatn.gif

  9. #1834
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    Dinosaurs could survive in cold climates

    Dinosaurs were able to survive colder temperatures than was previously thought, according to new research that casts doubt on theories that they were killed off by plummeting temperatures caused by climate change.

    Palaeontologists have unearthed a rich variety of dinosaur fossils in an area that would have been one of the most northerly regions of the world in the period just before the giant reptiles died out, between 65 and 68 million years ago.

    At the time, the world was far warmer and the continents were still to move to their current positions. Northeastern Russia, where the remains have been found, would have been just 1,000 miles from the North Pole, inside what is now called the Arctic Circle. Average temperatures would have been around 50F (10C).




  10. #1835
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    IDA on display in New York

    The Museum of Natural History in New York is showing off the 47 million year-old skeleton of a fosil creature that scientists have affectionately called “Ida”. She is so well preseved that it is even possible to say that her last meal was fruits, seeds and leaves. Although not a direct ancester of human beings, Ida had several so-called human characteristics such as forward-facing eyes, short limbs and an opposable thumb.

    Ida was discovered in 1983 in Germany by private collectors who didn’t see her significance and even at one point split her bones into two lots.

    She had been preserved in a volcanic crater called the Messel Pit, 35 kms outside Frankfurt, where scientists are now searching for further remains.

    http://www.euronews.net/2009/05/21/i...y-in-new-york/




  11. #1836
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    David Leckrone: 'Superman of the Hubble Science'

    NASA scientist David Leckrone has been dubbed the "Superman of Hubble science," and for good reason. For the past 16 years, he has been the Hubble Space Telescope's lead scientist, and has been in on virtually every major decision made throughout the project's long and often-troubled history.

    He has been the chief advocate of the project's scientific objectives, and he has helped decide which instruments needed to be added or repaired, including the recent major overhaul of the telescope by the crew of the shuttle Atlantis.

    "David is the Superman of Hubble science, said Laurie Leshin, the deputy director of science and technology at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "He is the Hubble scientist. There is no other."

    Preston Burch, the head of the Hubble project, said Leckrone's role as senior project scientist for the past 16 years has been "ensuring that, from a science perspective, Hubble is doing the right things."


    "David is a tiger, and I can't think of a better person who could have served this position," said Burch. "His contributions have been indispensible to the project."


    This past week, the Atlantis completed a repair mission that will give the telescope new life for an additional five to 10 years. The astronauts installed a new wide-field camera for deep-space observations, a super-sensitive spectrograph to detect faint light from distant developing galaxies, new gyroscopes and batteries, insulation and a guidance sensor for pointing accuracy.

    "This is an extraordinary moment in the history of science" and "it's an extraordinary moment of space flight," said Leckrone. "We have increased Hubble's capability literally by orders of magnitude."

    The NASA scientist hopes that in the next few years the Hubble will provide a "family photo album of galaxies, from their infancy to old age" and help us understand how the Milky Way was formed. Leckrone added that "half of the Hubble's most important discoveries have been completely unexpected," so there's no telling what else we might learn.


    This next era, he said, represents "the second Hubble revolution." But there is no doubt about the record of accomplishment so far.




  12. #1837
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    Iraq-born teen cracks maths puzzle

    STOCKHOLM (AFP) – A 16-year-old Iraqi immigrant living in Sweden has cracked a maths puzzle that has stumped experts for more than 300 years, Swedish media reported on Thursday.

    In just four months, Mohamed Altoumaimi has found a formula to explain and simplify the so-called Bernoulli numbers, a sequence of calculations named after the 17th century Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli, the Dagens Nyheter daily said.

    Altoumaimi, who came to Sweden six years ago, said teachers at his high school in Falun, central Sweden were not convinced about his work at first.

    "When I first showed it to my teachers, none of them thought the formula I had written down really worked," Altoumaimi told the Falu Kuriren newspaper.

    He then got in touch with professors at Uppsala University, one of Sweden's top institutions, to ask them to check his work.

    After going through his notebooks, the professors found his work was indeed correct and offered him a place in Uppsala.

    But for now, Altoumaimi is focusing on his school studies and plans to take summer classes in advanced mathematics and physics this year.

    "I wanted to be a researcher in physics or mathematics; I really like those subjects. But I have to improve in English and social sciences," he told the Falu Kuriren.




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  14. #1839
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Gene linked to better and faster decision making





  15. #1840
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    منجمان از کشف 32 سیاره تازه ورای منظومه شمسی خبر داده اند.

    محققان می گویند این سیارات به اصطلاح "خارجی" ابعاد بسیار متنوعی دارند. جرم بعضی از آنها 5 برابر زمین است و جرم بعضی نیز به پنج تا ده برابر مشتری می رسد.

    این سیارات با استفاده از ابزاری بسیار حساس در تلسکوپ رصدخانه جنوبی اروپایی واقع در لا سیلای شیلی کشف شدند. قطر آینه این تلسکوپ سه متر و 60 سانتیمتر است.

    این اکتشاف مهیج توصیف می شود چون نشان می دهد که شمار سیارات کم جرم در کهکشان راه شیری می تواند زیاد باشد.

    استفان اودری از دانشگاه ژنو در سوئیس توضیح داد: "با نگاهی به این نتایج درمی یابیم که حداقل 40 درصد ستارگان مشابه خورشید دارای سیاراتی کم جرم هستند. این واقعا مهم است چون بدین معنی است که سیارات کم جرم همه جا هستند."

    او افزود: "نکته خیلی جالب اینکه مدل های علمی وجود آنها را پیشبینی می کند و ما آنها را پیدا می کنیم؛ و به علاوه این مدل ها سیارات حتی کم جرم تر مانند زمین را نیز پیشبینی می کنند."

    "هارپس"
    با کشفیات تازه شمار سیارات شناخته شده در خارج از منظومه شمسی به بیش از 400 عدد می رسد.

    این سیارات با استفاده از شماری از تکنیک های مختلف نجومی و تلسکوپ ها شناسایی شده اند. تازه ترین گروه سیارات با کمک طیف سنج هارپس در لا سیلا کشف شد.

    ابزار هارپس (High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher) برای کشف سیارات از تکنیکی موسوم به "تکان های ریز" استفاده می کند.

    این یک شیوه غیرمستقیم برای استنباط وجود سیاره است. هرچند سیاره به علت دور بودن از ما مستقیما قابل رؤیت نیست اما قوه جاذبه اش باعث تاب خوردن ستاره مرکزی به صورتی کاملا خفیف در فضا می شود و کار هارپس شناسایی همین تکان های بسیار خفیف است.

    اکثر سیاراتی که تاکنون به این شیوه پیدا شده اند از نوع مشتری و بزرگتر هستند.

    با این حال هارپس بر ستارگان کوچک و نسبتا سرد - به اصطلاح دسته اِم - متمرکز شده است به این امید که سیارات کوچکتر را بیابد - سیاراتی که به احتمال زیاد شبیه کرات خاکی منظومه شمسی هستند.

    پروفسور اودری به بی بی سی گفت که دو عدد از سیاراتی که تازه پیدا شده اند احتمالا پنج برابر زمین هستند و دو تا نیز شش برابر زمین.

    هارپس قبلا شیئی را شناسایی کرده است که جرم آن فقط دو برابر زمین است.

    اما دانشمندان مطمئن هستند که این سیاره حاوی هیچ نوع آثار حیات نیست زیرا دمای سطح آن به خاطر نزدیکی بیش از حد به ستاره مرکزی بسیار بالاست.

    اعضای تیم هارپس روز دوشنبه با اعلام خبر کشف این گروه جدید از سیارات گفتند انتظار دارند که طی شش ماه آینده وجود یک دسته دیگر از سیارات را اعلام کنند.

    هدف نهایی یافتن کره ای خاکی در "ناحیه قابل سکونت" در اطراف یک ستاره است، مداری که دمای آن برای وجود آب به صورت مایع مناسب باشد.

    دانشمندان معتقدند که با پیدایش فناوری های حساستر، شناسایی چنین کره ای ظرف چند سال آینده ممکن خواهد شد.

    آژانس فضایی آمریکا نیز اخیرا تلسکوپی به نام کپلر را در مدار زمین قرار داد که وظیفه آن جستجو برای یافتن سیاراتی با ابعاد مشابه زمین است.





  16. #1841
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    Hana
    Cloned goat

    Al Jazeera: Iranian scientists have cloned a goat and plan future experiments they hope will lead to a treatment for stroke patients. The female goat, named Hana, was born early on Wednesday in the city of Isfahan in central Iran. "With the birth of Hana, Iran is among five countries in the world cloning a baby goat," said Isfahani, an embryologist. Mohammed Hossein Nasr e-Isfahani, head of the Royan Research Institute, said. He said his institute's main aim in cloning the goat is to produce medicine to be used to treat people who have had strokes. In 2006 Iran became the first country in the Middle East to announce it had cloned a sheep.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-5DtAjA1oA




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  20. #1845
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    Ground Zero excavators find 18th century wooden ship's hull at World Trade Center site

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/pict...nter-site.html




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