Just caught the end of iron man 2 on tv. Anyone notice they crossed the streams to defeat Ivan?
Hawaii approves permit for world’s largest telescope
Pacific Business News: A permit for the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope was approved by the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday.
The telescope will be built on the summit of the volcano Mauna Kea by a group of research universities primarily from California and Canada.
Researchers believe the telescope will produce images three times sharper than those produced by optical telescopes today.
Read more: http://bit.ly/112KHWk
Illustration courtesy TMT Observatory Corp
I live in Hawaii and when they’re designing it I will be graduated from engineering school :D I really hope I can work on this project
The Science Report
by Stuart Gary
Saturn’s rings rain on its atmosphere
I’ve just written a story for ABC Science about a new study showing that Saturn’s magnetic field is causing particles from its icy rings to rain down on to the planet.
The discovery of this so-called ‘ring rain’ may help researchers understand the processes which formed the majestic ring system seen around Saturn today.
Astronomers used the 10-metre Keck telescope’s infrared spectrometer to study spectrum emissions from Saturn’s upper atmosphere.
Scientists detected emissions of tritium (hydrogen 3) that can be used as a proxy for water, in a wide band across Saturn’s upper atmosphere (called the ionosphere) extending from about 25° to 60° latitude.
The band is caused by charged water particles raining out of the rings along Saturn’s
If you missed my radio report on the story and you want to find out more, check out the online version at:
I feel like I’m getting mixed signals from you, physics.
The little machine is vibrating the molecules of the water at a certain frequency and the stream lets us see the wave of that frequency.
I fucking love physics
Also with the first gif: The water hovering/freezing in mid air is a curious optical illusion that occurs when the frequency of the water matches that of the camera filming the water, most commonly with a 24fps camera and a 24hz sine wave, making it appear as if the water is static in the air. Check it out here and Here
Albertans are getting less for our heavy crude oil than other nations with comparable resources, according to Alberta’s Department of Energy.
In a report obtained by the Alberta Federation of Labour, government analysts compared royalty and tax rates for heavy crude oil and found that Alberta charges significantly less for their resource than other nations with comparable heavy crude such as Norway, Russia and Angola.
“Oil companies in Alberta benefit from the political stability, first-world infrastructure and an educated workforce,” AFL president Gil McGowan said, noting that some of the nations in the report are known for civil turmoil. “Royalty and corporate tax rates have an impact on the lives of everyday Albertans. Higher oil royalties have helped Angola turn a budget deficit of 8.6 per cent of GDP in 2009 into a surplus of 12 per cent of GDP in 2012. The country is improving, in part thanks to reasonable oil royalties.”
Angola suffered more than 1.5-million casualties during a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. Despite ten years of landmine clearing efforts, according to United Nations estimates the country is littered with 10-20 million landmines, or about one landmine per person living in the country.
According to the internal government document, Alberta offers an extreme value to this long-lasting resource by reducing the otherwise high risk premium in some regions of unrest.” Research from the World Bank shows Angola having a far greater degree of political instability and presence of violence than Alberta.
“Companies operating in Alberta don’t have to deal with landmines. That has to be considered a competitive advantage,” McGowan said. “But we only collect 54 to 58 per cent of the value of our heavy oil in royalties. We’re 25 per cent behind Norway, 13 per cent behind Russia, and more than 22 per cent behind Angola.”
Norway, which is ranked highly by the United Nations for its stability, peacefulness and infrastructure, collects about 80 per cent of the value of its resources in royalties. Russia, where police corruption and violence are cited by the U.N. as obstacles to oil extraction, collects 73 per cent. Angola, which is eighth in the world in child mortality and whose citizens boast a life expectancy of 54.5 years, collects 71 per cent.
“The negative implications of our irresponsibly low royalties are clear: we have paltry savings in the Heritage Fund and we’re slashing the public services that Albertans need and value,” McGowan said. “If we didn’t give away our resources, we would be doing much, much better.”
The research, which was presented to the Energy Minister in April 2011, is included in the government report “Oil Sands Fiscal Regime Competitiveness Review.” The report includes a comparison of Oil Sands and Conventional Oil Government Share, which is a measurement that includes corporate taxes, royalties and other government fees.
The Conservatives don’t care about Canadians, the environment, or about the deficit. All that matters to them is selling off Canada to the first bidder and implementing their right-wing agenda.
For UCLA bioengineering professor Wentai Liu, more than two decades of visionary research burst into the headlines last month when the FDA approved what it called “the first bionic eye for the blind.”
The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System — developed by a team of physicians and engineers from around the country — aids adults who have lost their eyesight due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), age-related macular degeneration or other eye diseases that destroy the retina’s light-sensitive photoreceptors.
At the heart of the device is a tiny yet powerful computer chip developed by Liu that, when implanted in the retina, effectively sidesteps the damaged photoreceptors to “trick” the eye into seeing. The Argus II operates with a miniature video camera mounted on a pair of eyeglasses that sends information about images it detects to a microprocessor worn on the user’s waistband. The microprocessor wirelessly transmits electronic signals to the computer chip, a fingernail-size grid made up of 60 circuits. These chips stimulate the retina’s nerve cells with electronic impulses which head up the optic nerve to the brain’s visual cortex. There, the brain assembles them into a composite image.
Recipients of the retinal implant can read oversized letters of the alphabet, discern objects and movement, and even see the outlines and some details of faces. And while the picture is far from perfect — the healthy human eye sees at a much higher resolution — it’s a breakthrough for people like the first patient, a man in his 70s who was blinded at age 20 by RP, to receive the implant in clinical trials. “It was the first time he’d seen light in a half-century,” said Liu, adding that “it feels good as the engineer” to have helped make this possible.
Liu joined the Artificial Retina Project in 1988 as a professor of computer and electrical engineering at North Carolina State University. The multidisciplinary research project was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science because it envisioned a potential pandemic of eyesight loss in America’s aging population. Leading the project was Duke University ophthalmologist and neurosurgeon Dr. Mark Humayun, now on faculty at USC. He tapped Liu to engineer the artificial retina.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Liu said. “But I asked, ‘What can I do?’ because I didn’t know much about biology.” Humayun handed him a six-inch-thick medical manual on the retina. “The learning curve was very steep,” Liu recalled with a laugh.
However, Liu’s fellow engineers questioned his sanity. “I was working on integrated chip design and had just gotten tenure when I signed on to this project. They said, ‘You’re crazy!’ But I’m glad I made that choice, getting into this new field.”
Happy goldfish bowl to you, to me, to everyone, and may each of you fry in hell forever. Arrest rescinded.
Isaac Asimov - The Dead Past
One of the coolest endings.
There are different definitions for Blue Moon. By popular acclaim, the Blue Moon refers to the second of two full moons to occur in the same calendar month. A Blue Moon is also regarded as the third of four full moons in a single season – a season being defined as the time period between a solstice and an equinox, or vice versa. Or, someday, you might see an actual blue-colored moon. The next Blue Moon will fall on August 20-21, 2013. It’ll be a Blue Moon by the seasonal definition, that is, the third of four full moons to take place in a season, in this case between the June 2013 solstice and September equinox. The last Blue Moon by this definition happened on November 21, 2010.
The next Blue Moon by the second-full-moon-in-a-calendar-month definition will be on July 31, 2015. The first full moon of July 2015 will be on July 1, 2015. Previously, the last monthly Blue Moon happened on August 31, 2012.
The term once in a blue moon used to mean something rare. As you can see, now that the rules for naming Blue Moons include so many different possibilities, they’re really pretty common!
Image 1 | The August 20-21, 2013 will not be blue in color. This photo was created using special filters. Image via EarthSky Facebook friend Jv Noriega.
Image 2 | Another beautiful image by our friend Jv Noriega – the moon among fast-moving clouds. Will the August 20-21, 2013 be blue in color like this? No. This image was made using blue filters, too.
Image 3 | What most call a Blue Moon isn’t blue in color. It’s only Blue in name. This great moon photo from EarthSky Facebook friend Rebecca Lacey in Cambridge, Idaho.
The Western Veil Nebula
UC Irvine neurobiologists have found a novel molecular mechanism that helps trigger the formation of long-term memory. The researchers believe the discovery of this mechanism adds another piece to the puzzle in the ongoing effort to uncover the mysteries of memory and, potentially, certain intellectual disabilities.
In a study led by Marcelo Wood of UC Irvine’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, the team investigated the role of this mechanism – a gene designated Baf53b – in long-term memory formation. Baf53b is one of several proteins making up a molecular complex called nBAF.
Mutations in the proteins of the nBAF complex have been linked to several intellectual disorders, including Coffin-Siris syndrome, Nicolaides-Baraitser syndrome and sporadic autism. One of the key questions the researchers addressed is how mutations in components of the nBAF complex lead to cognitive impairments.
In their study, Wood and his colleagues used mice bred with mutations in Baf53b. While this genetic modification did not affect the mice’s ability to learn, it did notably inhibit long-term memories from forming and severely impaired synaptic function.
“These findings present a whole new way to look at how long-term memories form,” said Wood, associate professor of neurobiology & behavior. “They also provide a mechanism by which mutations in the proteins of the nBAF complex may underlie the development of intellectual disability disorders characterized by significant cognitive impairments.”
How does this mechanism regulate gene expression required for long-term memory formation? Most genes are tightly packaged by a chromatin structure – chromatin being what compacts DNA so that it fits inside the nucleus of a cell. That compaction mechanism represses gene expression. Baf53b, and the nBAF complex, physically open the chromatin structure so specific genes required for long-term memory formation are turned on. The mutated forms of Baf53b did not allow for this necessary gene expression.
“The results from this study reveal a powerful new mechanism that increases our understanding of how genes are regulated for memory formation,” Wood said. “Our next step is to identify the key genes the nBAF complex regulates. With that information, we can begin to understand what can go wrong in intellectual disability disorders, which paves a path toward possible therapeutics.”
Findings appear online today in Nature Neuroscience.
Distance: 300,000,000 light-years
Arp 81 consists of two strongly interacting galaxies about 100 million years after their closest approach.
The galaxy on the left is designated NGC 6621 and the right galaxy is NGC 6622. The larger galaxy on the right is greatly gravitationally disturbed by the encounter.
A long tail of stars was pulled out of NGC 6622 and extends around and behind both galaxies. Extensive star formation was triggered between the two galaxies resulting in a rich collection of young massive star clusters.
Arp 81 lies in the constellation of Draco and is approximately 300 million light-years from the Earth.