astro & quantum physics
When you look at your body in the mirror, most of what you consider to be “you” actually isn’t you, at least not in a biological sense. That’s because there are approximately 10 bacterial cells for every single human cell in the body. Startling, yes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Each human body may contain hundreds of thousands of species of bacteria, providing over 350 times the number of genes that is within our own genome, according to an article from Scientific American published last June. As we consider the issues of health and longevity, the big questions that naturally arise are, what exactly are all these bacteria and what relationship does each have with human physiology? Biotech Startup uBiome Aims To Sequence The Bacteria That Call Our Bodies Home
E. chromi: Designer Bacteria E. chromi, a short film about a unique collaboration between designers and biologists has won the best documentary award at Bio:Fiction, the world’s first synthetic biology film festival, held earlier this month in Vienna.E. chromi tells the story of a project uniting designers Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and James King with a team of undergraduate biology students at Cambridge University. Using genes from existing organisms, the team designed custom DNA sequences, called BioBricks, and inserted them into E. coli bacteria.The new E. coli—dubbed “E. chromi”—were programmed to express a rainbow of colors when exposed to various chemicals. Ginsberg and King helped the young biologists dream up a variety of possible applications for the invention.For example, E. chromi could be used to test the safety of drinking water–turning red if a toxin is present, green if it’s okay.
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Isolated patch of water, trapped under ice, sustains bacterial community Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys may appear to be one of the least hospitable places on Earth. They contain a frigid desert where high winds scour the rocky ground, and the only water present is in the form of ice, some of it left over from when the ocean extended into the valley over a million years ago. The area is so inhospitable that NASA has used it to simulate conditions on Mars. So biologists were probably very surprised to find that the area hosts a number of distinct ecosystems. Not on the surface; instead, these communities of bacteria live under the ice, in salty lakes that have been isolated from any external sources of energy or chemicals for anywhere from thousands to millions of years.
The State of Climate Science Polls show that many members of the public believe that scientists substantially disagree about human-caused global warming. The gold standard of science is the peer-reviewed literature. If there is disagreement among scientists, based not on opinion but on hard evidence, it will be found in the peer-reviewed literature. I searched the Web of Science, an online science publication tool, for peer-reviewed scientific articles published between January first 1991 and November 9th 2012 that have the keyword phrases “global warming” or “global climate change.”
One Astrobiologist's Plan to Save the Search for Alien Life | Wired Science A conceptual illustration of the Europa Jupiter System Mission, or EJSM, which consists of an orbiter for both Europa and Ganymede. Image: NASA/Michel Carroll Jupiter’s moon Europa hides an ocean of water beneath its icy crust that might harbor extraterrestrial life. Unfortunately, big dollar signs have kept alive the fictional decree in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series to leave Europa alone: No robot has ever landed on, drilled into or orbited the chilly world.
Modern Earth is wet and temperate (last week's heat wave aside), but the early Earth was molten and hostile, meaning water and other volatile substances like hydrogen and nitrogen compounds must have been deposited after formation. The likely culprits are comets—full of water ice and organic compounds—and meteorites, which were likely more water-laden in the early days of the Solar System. Knowing exactly where Earth's water and organic molecules originated would reveal a great deal about our planet's history and help us understand the environment in which life arose. Meteorites, not comets, may have brought water to Earth
PBS airdate: 11/16/2011 NARRATOR: Lying just beneath everyday reality is a breathtaking world, where much of what we perceive about the universe is wrong. Physicist and best-selling author Brian Greene takes you on a journey that bends the rules of human experience. BRIAN GREENE (Columbia University): Why don't we ever see events unfold in reverse order? According to the laws of physics, this can happen. NARRATOR: It's a world that comes to light as we probe the most extreme realms of the cosmos, from black holes to the Big Bang to the very heart of matter, itself.
BBC Universe – Dark matter: A chunk of the Universe is missing Dark matter is a type of matter hypothesized in astronomy and cosmology to account for effects that appear to be the result of mass where no such mass can be seen. Dark matter cannot be seen directly with telescopes; evidently it neither emits nor absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation at any significant level. It is otherwise hypothesized to simply be matter that is not reactant to light.
Mystery of dark matter may be near to being deciphered (Phys.org)—The universe is comprised of a large amount of invisible matter, dark matter. It fills the space between the galaxies and between the stars in the galaxies. Since the prediction of the existence of dark matter more than 70 years ago, all sorts of researchers – astronomers, cosmologists and particle physicists have been looking for answers to what it could be. With the latest observations from the Planck satellite, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, may be closer than ever to a solution to the origin of the mysterious dark matter. The Planck satellite, which was launched in 2009, has extremely sensitive instruments that can map microwave radiation in the entire sky with great precision. The latest data from the Planck mission reveals unusual radiation from our own galaxy, which open a new direction in understanding the most fundamental properties of the space, time and matter in the Universe.
Read full article Continue reading page |1|2 THE HUNT for some of the most wanted stuff in the universe took a new twist this week with the first results from a high-profile, space-based dark matter detector. The results are inconclusive, but, if combined with recent theory, they hint at something exciting. Could the universe have a dark side, complete with its own force, a zoo of particles and even a shadow version of the Milky Way? Twist in dark matter tale hints at shadow Milky Way - space - 11 April 2013
9 January 2012Last updated at 19:07 By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News, Austin, Texas The survey dwarfs the previous largest map, shown at centre alongside the moon for comparison of size in the sky Researchers have released the biggest images yet detailing dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up 85% of the Universe's mass. Each image, a billion light-years across, shows evidence of dark matter clumps scattered through the cosmos. The team from the Canada-France Hawaii Telescope inferred the dark matter's existence by the way it bends light. Dark matter images reveal widest view of dark mystery
Jörg Dietrich, University of Michigan/University Observatory Munich Dark-matter filaments, such as the one bridging the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and Abell 223, are predicted to contain more than half of all matter in the Universe. A ‘finger’ of the Universe’s dark-matter skeleton, which ultimately dictates where galaxies form, has been observed for the first time. Researchers have directly detected a slim bridge of dark matter joining two clusters of galaxies, using a technique that could eventually help astrophysicists to understand the structure of the Universe and identify what makes up the mysterious invisible substance known as dark matter. According to the standard model of cosmology, visible stars and galaxies trace a pattern across the sky known as the cosmic web, which was originally etched out by dark matter — the substance thought to account for almost 80% of the Universe’s matter. Dark matter’s tendrils revealed
BBC Universe - Dark energy mystery: The Universe is 'speeding up' In physical cosmology and astronomy, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to accelerate the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is the most accepted hypothesis to explain observations since the 1990s that indicate that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. According to the Planck mission team, and based on the standard model of cosmology, on a mass–energy equivalence basis the universe contains 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy (for a total of 95.1%) and 4.9% ordinary matter.
Hubble times Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy pile-up 31 May 2012Last updated at 17:01 ET By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News An illustration shows the night sky 3.75 billion years from now. Andromeda (left) fills the field of view and begins to distort the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to work out when precisely our Milky Way Galaxy will crash into its neighbour, Andromeda. The pair are being pulled together by their mutual gravity and the scientists expect them to begin to merge in about four billion years' time.
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