Robert Roy Britt should be fired.
Unless you found that article in a highlights magazine.
Robert Roy Britt should be fired.
Unless you found that article in a highlights magazine.
Why? Do tell.
Its written for a seven year old. The article makes you say "no shit you fucking ass clown! What am I a fully functional retard or six years old? Go fuck youself Robert Roy Britt! Hows about you make yourself useful and make me a sandwich!?.....and get me a moonpie why you are up,....those things are awesome."
Most news stories are written at a pretty elementary level. I found it interesting. I guess that makes me stunted.
You did not know about Light Refraction before reading that article?
Ahhh sooo descko.....my bad.
I will be celebrating the solsitice this weekend (friday)
Well, I've looked at the moon several times and it is beautiful. But I was hoping for more of a Bruce Almighty moon.
For those that find the heavens fun to watch . . .
Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tuesday Morning
Robert Roy Britt (Tom's favorite science news writer)
Senior Science Writer
Mon Aug 11, 10:01 AM ET
The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a good display of shooting stars in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday.
The best views will be from rural locations away from light pollution, where up to 60 meteors per hour could be seen, weather permitting. Urban and suburban skywatchers can expect far fewer.
The Perseids are bits of debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle.The debris is like a river of small particles in space, and each year, Earth passes through it. As the bits zoom through our atmosphere at 37 miles per second (60 kps) they vaporize, creating the brilliant streaks of light. Most of the meteors are no larger than a grain of sand.
The shower is typically best between midnight and dawn, when the side of Earth you are standing on is plowing into the stream as our planet plunges through space in its orbit around the sun. It's similar to how bugs hit the windshield of a moving car but rarely smack into the rear bumper.
The annual shower begins as a trickle in mid-July and will continue to spark a handful of shooting stars for several nights to come. But Earth passes through the densest part of the stream Aug. 12 at around 7 a.m. ET (1100 GMT). The moon will set around 1:30 a.m. local time (regardless of your location), leaving the sky dark for a few hours of optimal meteor watching across much of North America.
"There should be plenty of meteors -- perhaps one or two every minute," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Cooke said the brightest Perseids can be seen from a city, but the majority are too faint and are visible only from rural locations.
Meteor watching is easy.
Find the darkest location you can, away from porch lights and other lighting.
Use a blanket or lounge chair to lie back and scan as much of the sky as possible.
Allow 15 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
Binoculars and telescopes are of no use, as the meteors move too swiftly.
Expect the shooting stars to arrive in groups. While scientists forecast 1 per minute during peak hours, the pace in fact tends to be higher for brief periods with relative droughts in between. Patience is truly a virtue. The best time to watch, regardless of your location, is from 2 a.m. to dawn local time, but the best seats will be in the western half of North America where dark skies coincide with the peak activity.
The Perseids get their name from the constellation Perseus, from which they tend to emanate like spokes from the hub of a wheel. The meteors can make their appearance anywhere in the sky, however.
Perseus rises in the northeast around 9 a.m. local time. So Monday evening, avid skywatchers will head out after 9 p.m. in search of early Perseids that tend to fly along the horizon. These earthgrazers, as they are called, are rare but rewarding sights.
It's beautiful. It looks like a set from Empire Strikes Back.
Sorry, my brain just doesn't have the capability to make sense of that link. Can you put it into more simple terms? How big is it and what is it's intended purpose?
so that's part of a plasma containment device?
if I understand at all, they're trying to create a small, self-perpetuating explosion akin to a miniature star?
It measures and records plasma phenomena, with the goal of learning the physics and engineering of a commercial fusion reactor.
Edit: If you follow the link within the blog post, there's a schematic with parts and stuff.
I can sleep in till noon anytime I want
Though there's not many days that I do
Gotta get up and take on that world
When your an adult it's no cliche it's the truth
Hey Da Vinci, Skynet would like to have a word with you...
Robot Helicopter Teaches Itself How to Fly
Tue Sep 2, 6:02 PM ET
A new artificial intelligence system allows a robotic helicopter to teach itself how to fly and even do challenging stunts, just by watching other helicopters perform the same maneuvers.
The result is an autonomous helicopter than can perform a complete airshow of complex tricks on its own, its inventors say.
The stunts are "by far the most difficult aerobatic maneuvers flown by any computer-controlled helicopter," said Andrew Ng, a Stanford University professor directing the research of graduate students Pieter Abbeel, Adam Coates, Timothy Hunter and Morgan Quigley.
A new video demonstrates the robot's capabilities.
Rather than using software to control flight, the robot learns by observing an expert in what the Stanford team calls "apprenticeship learning." Radio-control pilot Garett Oku operates the 4-foot model helicopter that serves as the expert.
"Garett can pick up any helicopter, even ones he's never seen, and go fly amazing aerobatics. So the question for us is always, why can't computers do things like this?" Coates said.
Well, they can.
The artificial-intelligence helicopter, an off-the-shelf model other than its new brains, can do traveling flips, rolls, loops, stall-turns with pirouettes and more. It can even do the "tic toc," in which the helicopter, while pointed straight up, hovers with a side-to-side motion as if it were the pendulum of an upside down clock.
"I think the range of maneuvers they can do is by far the largest" in the autonomous helicopter field, said Eric Feron, a Georgia Tech aeronautics and astronautics professor who worked on autonomous helicopters while at MIT. "But what's more impressive is the technology that underlies this work. In a way, the machine teaches itself how to do this by watching an expert pilot fly. This is amazing."
Helicopters are not easy to control. Constant input is required to keep one stable.
"The helicopter doesn't want to fly," said Oku. "It always wants to just tip over and crash."
The robotic student is loaded with aftermarket instrumentation, from accelerometers and gyroscopes to magnetometers, which use the Earth's magnetic field to figure out which way the helicopter is pointed.
In the future, such a craft might prove helpful to search for land mines in a war region or to map out wildfire hotspots.
Stem Cell Breakthrough: Mass-Production Of 'Embryonic' Stem Cells From A Human Hair
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2008) — The first reports of the successful reprogramming of adult human cells back into so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which by all appearances looked and acted like embryonic stem cells, created a media stir. But the process was woefully inefficient: Only one out of 10,000 cells could be persuaded to turn back the clock.
Now, a team of researchers led by Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, succeeded in boosting the reprogramming efficiency more than 100-fold, while cutting the time it takes in half. In fact, they repeatedly generated iPS cells from the tiny number of keratinocytes attached to a single hair plucked from a human scalp.
Their method, published ahead of print in the Oct. 17, 2008 online edition of Nature Biotechnology, not only provides a practical and simple alternative for the generation of patient- and disease-specific stem cells, which had been hampered by the low efficiency of the reprogramming process, but also spares patients invasive procedures to collect suitable starting material, since the process only requires a single human hair.
"Having a very efficient and practical way of generating patient-specific stem cells, which unlike human embryonic stem cells, wouldn't be rejected by the patient's immune system after transplantation brings us a step closer to the clinical application of stem cell therapy," says Belmonte, PhD., a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory and director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Spain.
Keratinocytes form the uppermost layer of skin and produce keratin, a tough protein that is the primary constituent of hair, nails and skin. They originate in the basal layer of the epidermis, from where they move up through the different layers of the epidermis and are eventually shed.
While scientists have successfully reprogrammed different types of mouse cells (fibroblasts, liver and intestinal cells), skin fibroblasts were the only human cell type they had ever tried their hands on. Fibroblasts help make the connective tissue in the body and are the primary cell type in the deeper layers of the skin, where they are responsible for wound healing and the secretion of proteins that form collagen.
For the first set of experiments, first author Trond Aasen, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher at the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, used viral vectors to slip the genes for the master regulators Oct4, Sox2, as well as Klf4 and c-Myc into keratinocytes cultured from human skin explants. After only 10 days — instead of the more typical three to four weeks — one out of 100 hundred cells grew into a tiny colony with all the markings of a typical human embryonic stem cell colony.
The researchers then successfully prodded what they call keratinocyte-derived iPS cells or KiPS cells to distinguish them from fibroblast-derived iPS cells into becoming all the cell types in the human body, including heart muscle cells and dopamine-producing neurons, which are affected by Parkinson's disease.
Taking advantage of the high efficiency of the keratinocyte reprogramming process, Aasen decided to test whether he could establish KiPS cells from minute amounts of biological samples. "We plucked a single hair from a co-worker's scalp and cultured the keratinocytes, which are found in the outer root sheet area," recalls Aasen. He then successfully reprogrammed these cells into bona fide KiPS cells.
Just why keratinocytes appear to be much more malleable than other cell types is still an open question. "We checked a whole rainbow of cells and found keratinocytes to be the easiest to be reprogrammed," says Belmonte. "It is still not clear exactly why that is and knowing it will be very important for the technology to develop fully," he speculates.
They researchers did find one hint, though. When they compared the expression profiles of genes related to stem cell identity, growth or differentiation between keratinocytes, fibroblasts, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and KiPS cells, keratinocytes had more in common with hESCs and KiPS cells than with fibroblasts.
Researchers who also contributed to the study include Angel Raya, Ph.D., Maria J. Barrero, Ph.D., Elena Garreta, Ph.D., Antonella Consiglio, Ph.D., Federico Gonzales, Ph.D., Rita Vassena, Ph.D., Josipa Bilic, Ph.D., Vladimir Pekarik, Ph.D., Gustavo Tiscornia, Ph.D., Michael Edel, Ph.D., and Stéphanie Boué, Ph.D., at the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Spain.
Florida Biochemist designs a citrus tree with THC
October 5, 2008
In the summer of 1984, 10th-grader Irwin Nanofsky and a friend were driving down the Apalachee Parkway on the way home from baseball practice when they were pulled over by a police officer for a minor traffic infraction.
After Nanofsky produced his driver’s license the police officer asked permission to search the vehicle. In less than two minutes, the officer found a homemade pipe underneath the passenger’s seat of the Ford Aerostar belonging to the teenage driver’s parents. The minivan was seized, and the two youths were taken into custody on suspicion of drug possession.
Illegal possession of drug paraphernalia ranks second only to open container violations on the crime blotter of this Florida college town. And yet the routine arrest of 16 year-old Nanofsky and the seizure of his family’s minivan would inspire one of the most controversial drug-related scientific discoveries of the century.
Meet Hugo Nanofsky, biochemist, Florida State University tenured professor, and the parental authority who posted bail for Irwin Nanofsky the night of July 8, 1984. The elder Nanofsky wasn’t pleased that his son had been arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, and he became livid when Tallahassee police informed him that the Aerostar minivan would be permanently remanded to police custody.
Over the course of the next three weeks, Nanofsky penned dozens of irate letters to the local police chief, the Tallahassee City Council, the State District Attorney and, finally, even to area newspapers. But it was all to no avail.
Under advisement of the family lawyer, Irwin Nanofsky pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia in order to receive a suspended sentence and have his juvenile court record sealed. But in doing so, the family minivan became “an accessory to the crime.” According to Florida State law, it also became the property of the Tallahassee Police Department Drug Task Force. In time, the adult Nanofsky would learn that there was nothing he could do legally to wrest the vehicle from the hands of the state.
It was in the fall of 1984 that the John Chapman Professor of Biochemistry at Florida State University, now driving to work behind the wheel of a used Pontiac Bonneville, first set on a pet project that he hoped would “dissolve irrational legislation with a solid dose of reason.” Nanofsky knew he would never get his family’s car back, but he had plans to make sure that no one else would be pulled through the gears of what he considers a Kafka-esque drug enforcement bureaucracy.
“It’s quite simple, really,” Nanofsky explains, “I wanted to combine Citrus sinesis with Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.” In layman’s terms, the respected college professor proposed to grow oranges that would contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Fourteen years later, that project is complete, and Nanofsky has succeeded where his letter writing campaign of yore failed: he has the undivided attention of the nation’s top drug enforcement agencies, political figures, and media outlets.
The turning point in the Nanofsky saga came when the straight-laced professor posted a message to Internet newsgroups announcing that he was offering “cannabis-equivalent orange tree seeds” at no cost via the U.S. mail. Several weeks later, U.S. Justice Department officials showed up at the mailing address used in the Internet announcement: a tiny office on the second floor of the Dittmer Laboratory of Chemistry building on the FSU campus. There they would wait for another 40 minutes before Prof. Nanofsky finished delivering a lecture to graduate students on his recent research into the “cis-trans photoisomerization of olefins.”
“I knew it was only a matter of time before someone sent me more than just a self-addressed stamped envelope,” Nanofsky quips, “but I was surprised to see Janet Reno’s special assistant at my door.” After a series of closed door discussions, Nanofsky agreed to cease distribution of the THC-orange seeds until the legal status of the possibly narcotic plant species is established.
Much to the chagrin of authorities, the effort to regulate Nanofsky’s invention may be too little too late. Several hundred packets containing 40 to 50 seeds each have already been sent to those who’ve requested them, and Nanofsky is not obliged to produce his mailing records. Under current law, no crime has been committed and it is unlikely that charges will be brought against the fruit’s inventor.
Now it is federal authorities who must confront the nation’s unwieldy body of inconsistent drug laws. According to a source at the Drug Enforcement Agency, it may be months if not years before all the issues involved are sorted out, leaving a gaping hole in U.S. drug policy in the meantime. At the heart of the confusion is the fact that THC now naturally occurs in a new species of citrus fruit.
As policy analysts and hemp advocates alike have been quick to point out, the apparent legality (for now) of Nanofsky’s “pot orange” may render debates over the legalization of marijuana moot. In fact, Florida’s top law enforcement officials admit that even if the cultivation of Nanofsky’s orange were to be outlawed, it would be exceedingly difficult to identify the presence of outlawed fruit among the state’s largest agricultural crop.
Amidst all of the hubbub surrounding his father’s experiment, Irwin Nanofsky exudes calm indifference. Now 30-years-old and a successful environmental photographer, the younger Nanofsky can’t understand what all of the fuss is about. “My dad’s a chemist. He makes polymers. I doubt it ever crossed his mind that as a result of his work tomorrow’s kids will be able to get high off of half an orange.”
Biochem 101: How to design a Cannabis-equivalent citrus plant
Biochemically isolate all the required enzymes for the production of THC.
Perform N-terminal sequencing on isolated enzymes, design degenerate PCR (polymerase chain reaction) primers and amplify the genes.
Clone genes into an agrobacterial vector by introducing the desired piece of DNA into a plasmid containing a transfer or T-DNA. The mixture is transformed into Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a gram negative bacterium.
Use the Agrobacterium tumefaciens to infect citrus plants after wounding. The transfer DNA will proceed to host cells by a mechanism similar to conjugation. The DNA is randomly integrated into the host genome and will be inherited.
Cmon Kreutz, get creative with it.
Weed apples! You could call them Wapples! And they're too american for the government to shut down. If they try to stop you from distributing them, you could just respond, "What, you don't like apple pie? What else don't you like, the American Flag?"
That's the most badass orange scientist I've ever heard of.
EDIT: Damn, hoax?
Last edited by MissingPerson; 12-08-2008 at 03:51 PM.
And from that I stumbled into this, which is pretty cool:
You found a robot that loses his arms due to push-up fatigue, then pops angry eyebrows out of the top of his skull and keeps right on doing push-ups despite a lack of upper limbs disappointing? All while being perused by a chubby kid inexplicably carrying a tooth brush? What do you need a robot to do, come to your house and fuck your dog?