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Artificial DNA Copies Just Like the Real Thing. The language of life is about to expand its vocabulary. An international team of researchers discovered that the body's copying machine for DNA works in the same way for manmade, artificial building blocks of DNA as it does for the natural kind. If scientists find artificial DNA building blocks work well and are safe to use, the extra building materials could create DNA that codes for new molecules that the body can't make now. The artificial DNA could also form the basis of a partly synthetic organism. The DNA code in living things is made of four different molecules, called bases, that are nicknamed A, T, C and G. DNA copying is an important bodily process that happens often, so that cells can pass their genetic information on to new cells that are created all the time, such as skin or blood cells that develop to replace old, worn-out cells. The natural base pairs A, C, G and T have specific shapes and line up neatly with each other along their edges when they're inside a DNA helix.

Plasma fusion becomes a reality? Houston: video of Dawkins award to Hitchens. A good 30-minute video of Richard Dawkins giving his eponymous award to Christopher Hitchens at the Texas Freethought Convention, and Hitch’s response to the award, has finally become available. You can find the link here. Richard’s introduction is touching and funny; Hitch’s response, which he struggles against his illness to deliver, is deeply moving and inspiring. Watch it, even if you saw my earlier post with an inferior video. The text of Richard’s speech is also at the site, as well as a very short bonus video of Richard talking about how a child delivered to him a video from Ray Comfort. May Ceiling Cat bless you, Hitch, for all your good works. Like this: Like Loading... Scientists from Cern have repeated their finding of neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. Photograph: Cern/Science Photo Library The scientists who appeared to have found in September that certain subatomic particles can travel faster than light have ruled out one potential source of error in their measurements after completing a second, fine-tuned version of their experiment. Their results, posted on the ArXiv preprint server on Friday morning and submitted for peer review in the Journal of High Energy Physics, confirmed earlier measurements that neutrinos, sent through the ground from Cern near Geneva to the Gran Sasso lab in Italy 450 miles (720km) away seemed to travel faster than light.

The finding that neutrinos might break one of the most fundamental laws of physics sent scientists into a frenzy when it was first reported in September. Symphony of Science. What is superposition? - Definition from Superposition is a principle of quantum theory that describes a challenging concept about the nature and behavior of matter and forces at the sub-atomic level. The principle of superposition claims that while we do not know what the state of any object is, it is actually in all possible states simultaneously, as long as we don't look to check. It is the measurement itself that causes the object to be limited to a single possibility. In 1935, Erwin Schrodinger proposed an analogy to show how superposition would operate in the every day world: the somewhat cruel analogy of Schrodinger's cat.

Here's Schrödinger's (theoretical) experiment: We place a living cat into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and kill the cat. Visual Cortexes: Brain-Art Competition Shows Off Neuroscience's Aesthetic Side. The brain is an exceedingly complex machine that harbors about 100 trillion neural connections. So it comes as no surprise that neuroscientists make great efforts to reduce or represent that complexity in their research with innovative imaging techniques. For all the time and creativity poured into publication-worthy imagery, however, most of it never leaves the pages of academic journals.

Daniel Margulies of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and other neuroscientists thought it was time for a change. "We wanted to create a forum where neuroscientists could be credited for their innovations and engage in dialogue about the aesthetic possibilities of our fields," Margulies says. The event's aims were not simply focused on bragging rights and artistic merit. The Neuro Bureau announced their winners on June 28 at an event at the National Art Museum of Québec, and are exhibited in this slide show. » View the Brain Art Slide Show. 3D Printer making a wrench. Alexei Kurakin / The SOFT: The universal principles of self-organization and the unity of Nature and knowledge.

Alexei_Kurakin: The SOFT-NET theory. "SOFT-NET" stands for the self-organizing fractal theory (SOFT) and nonequilibrium thermodynamics (NET). One of the key postulates of the SOFT-NET theory posits that everything that exists is a manifestation of the energy/matter comprising and flowing through the Universe. From this perspective, everything is connected to everything else via an all-embracing and all-permeating energy/matter flow, everything is in a flux, and everything changes through the emergence and transformation of energy/matter forms. One may notice that such an idea is not really new. Indeed, it echoes some of the most ancient and cherished human beliefs, as reflected in the conceptual frameworks of great Eastern religions (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) and Western philosophies (e.g., Heraclitus and Hegel). The resulting structure (a fractal tree) is self-similar. Bit By Bit, 'The Information' Reveals Everything.

The InformationBy James GleickHardcover, 544 pagesPantheonList Price: $29.95 We can see now that information is what our world runs on: the blood and the fuel, the vital principle. It pervades the sciences from top to bottom, transforming every branch of knowledge. Information theory began as a bridge from mathematics to electrical engineering and from there to computing. What English speakers call "computer science" Europeans have long since known as informatique, informatica, and Informatik. Now even biology has become an information science, a subject of messages, instructions, and code. Genes encapsulate information and enable procedures for reading it in and writing it out. "The information circle becomes the unit of life," says Werner Loewenstein after thirty years spent studying intercellular communication.

And atoms? And then, all at once, they did. How much does it compute? Excerpted from The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James . The Omega Theory: Everything Is Information. What if the universe is nothing more than an incredibly intricate computer program? Sounds a bit Matrix-y, yeah? But apparently famed physicist John Archibald Wheeler theorized this "It From Bit" idea -- that literally everything in the universe could be described with 'yes' or 'no' binary choices -- near the end of his career.

And it's an idea still being kicked around in some scientific circles. This It From Bit theory is the basis for Mark Alpert's taut, fast-paced scientific thriller The Omega Theory. Only Alpert poses the question: If the universe is a computer program, what could cause it to crash? As our thriller opens, Columbia University science historian David Swift and his wife, physicist Monique Reynolds, are opening a Physicists for Peace conference in New York City. But just before Swift gives his keynote, the news arrives that Iran has just tested a nuclear weapon. We soon learn, though, that the nuclear test may not be quite what it seems. Scientists Say California Mega-Quake Imminent. Like a steaming kettle with the top on, pressure is building beneath the surface of California that could unleash a monster earthquake at any time.

That's according to a new study from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Geologists say Southern California is long overdue for a huge earthquake that could unleash widespread damage. It all comes down to the Salton Sea, which lies to the east of San Diego. The Salton Sea lies directly on the San Andreas Fault and covers more than 350 square miles. A big earthquake has hit the lake bed about every 180 years. Sounds like a good thing, right? This sobering news comes just as a new poll is released that details Californians fears about earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Earthquake 57% Wildfire 23% Tsunami/Tidal Wave 9% Flood/Mudslide 5% Other/No Opinion 6% The Secret Life of Chaos-(BBC 2010)-Full Length Documentary‬‏ Self-organization. Self-organization occurs in a variety of physical, chemical, biological, robotic, social and cognitive systems. Common examples include crystallization, the emergence of convection patterns in a liquid heated from below, chemical oscillators, swarming in groups of animals, and the way neural networks learn to recognize complex patterns.

Overview[edit] The most robust and unambiguous examples[1] of self-organizing systems are from the physics of non-equilibrium processes. Self-organization is also relevant in chemistry, where it has often been taken as being synonymous with self-assembly. The concept of self-organization is central to the description of biological systems, from the subcellular to the ecosystem level. There are also cited examples of "self-organizing" behaviour found in the literature of many other disciplines, both in the natural sciences and the social sciences such as economics or anthropology. Self-organization usually relies on three basic ingredients:[3] Physics[edit] Edward Norton Lorenz. Edward Norton Lorenz (May 23, 1917 – April 16, 2008)[1][2] was an American mathematician and meteorologist, and a pioneer of chaos theory.[3] He introduced the strange attractor notion and coined the term butterfly effect. Biography[edit] Lorenz was born in West Hartford, Connecticut.[4] He studied mathematics at both Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From 1942 until 1946, he served as a meteorologist for the United States Army Air Corps. After his return from World War II, he decided to study meteorology.[2] Lorenz earned two degrees in the area from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he later was a professor for many years. He was a Professor Emeritus at MIT from 1987 until his death.[2] Two states differing by imperceptible amounts may eventually evolve into two considerably different states ...

Awards[edit] Work[edit] Lorenz built a mathematical model of the way air moves around in the atmosphere. See also[edit] Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction. A stirred BZ reaction mixture showing changes in color over time Plot of the electrode potential of a BZ reaction, using silver electrodes against an Ag/AgNO3 half-cell Computer simulation of the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction occurring in a Petri dish. A Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, or BZ reaction, is one of a class of reactions that serve as a classical example of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, resulting in the establishment of a nonlinear chemical oscillator. The only common element in these oscillating systems is the inclusion of bromine and an acid. The reactions are theoretically important in that they show that chemical reactions do not have to be dominated by equilibrium thermodynamic behavior. These reactions are far from equilibrium and remain so for a significant length of time.

History[edit] Andrew Adamatzky,[3] a computer scientist in the University of the West of England reported on liquid logic gates using the BZ reaction.[4] Chemical mechanism[edit] See also[edit] Mandelbrot set. Initial image of a Mandelbrot set zoom sequence with a continuously colored environment Mandelbrot animation based on a static number of iterations per pixel remains bounded.[1] That is, a complex number c is part of the Mandelbrot set if, when starting with z0 = 0 and applying the iteration repeatedly, the absolute value of zn remains bounded however large n gets. For example, letting c = 1 gives the sequence 0, 1, 2, 5, 26,…, which tends to infinity. As this sequence is unbounded, 1 is not an element of the Mandelbrot set.

On the other hand, c = −1 gives the sequence 0, −1, 0, −1, 0,..., which is bounded, and so −1 belongs to the Mandelbrot set. Images of the Mandelbrot set display an elaborate boundary that reveals progressively ever-finer recursive detail at increasing magnifications. History[edit] The first picture of the Mandelbrot set, by Robert W.

Formal definition[edit] The Mandelbrot set is defined by a family of complex quadratic polynomials given by where is a complex parameter. . . Is weather becoming more extreme? Changing Tides: Research Center Under Fire for 'Adjusted' Sea-Level Data - In a NASA "what-if" animation, light-blue areas in southern Florida and Louisiana indicate regions that may be underwater should sea levels rise dramatically.NASA Is climate change raising sea levels, as Al Gore has argued -- or are climate scientists doctoring the data? The University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group decided in May to add 0.3 millimeters -- or about the thickness of a fingernail -- every year to its actual measurements of sea levels, sparking criticism from experts who called it an attempt to exaggerate the effects of global warming.

"Gatekeepers of our sea level data are manufacturing a fictitious sea level rise that is not occurring," said James M. Taylor, a lawyer who focuses on environmental issues for the Heartland Institute. "We have to account for the fact that the ocean basins are actually getting slightly bigger... water volume is expanding," he said, a phenomenon they call glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).

Taylor calls it tomfoolery. Taylor agreed. Scientists create hottest substance on Earth. Stuart Gary for ABC Science Online Posted Tue 14 Jun 2011, 12:37pm AEST Scientists using the world's largest atom smasher have made some of the hottest and densest matter ever achieved on Earth. The state of matter called a quark gluon plasma existed in the milliseconds after the big bang 13.7 billion years ago. Physicists using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, smashed heavy lead ions together at close to the speed of light.

They generated temperatures of more than 1.6 trillion degrees Celsius, 100,000 times hotter than the centre of the Sun. In the process they recreated the densest material ever observed - only black holes are denser. The results - released at the Quark Matter Conference recently held in Annecy, France - allows scientists to understand the evolution of the early universe recreating the conditions that existed back then.

The new results confirm that quark gluon plasma acts almost like a fluid, with minimal viscosity. The "Sherpa Phenomenon": Human Evolution at Work.