Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Future Health Technology

Probably you’ve head a lot about biotechnology. What is it? In short, bio technology is the technology based on biology. For instance biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve people lives and the health or using the biological researches to make useful food products, such as bread and cheese, and to preserve dairy products.

Also progress in biotechnology is currently working on environmentally-friendly biodegradation processes for a cleaner, healthier planet, experimenting with until-now untapped energy sources, and devising useful consumer chemicals such as adhesives, detergents, dyes, flavors, perfumes, and plastics.

The predicted capabilities of biotechnology include
End of world hunger, global starvation
Foods that are better for you and last longer
Disease and pest resistant crops
Accurate delivery of precise amounts of drugs, e.g., targeting cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy cells
Regenerative medicine, replacement organs
Designer organisms
Slowing or stopping aging
Biological computing, wearable computers
Biological fabrication of clothing, plastics, and building materials
Environmentally friendly manufacturing processes that minimize waste
Microbial cleansers
Ultra-strength, lightweight materials

Mars Landing – Watch Online

NASA TV will broadcast the landing live from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s mission control room in Pasadena, California, along with expert commentary – and you can watch it below.



Live stream videos at Ustream

NASA’s MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY, also known as the Curiosity rover, is about to touch down on the Red Planet.

Launched on 26 November 2011, the one-tonne, nuclear-powered, US$2.5 billion explorer will spend years exploring the planet’s surface, searching for clues that Mars might have once have had – or could still have – conditions suitable for primitive, microbial life.

God Particle

You have probably head about Higgs boson. Scientists working at the world’s largest atom smasher say they have enough evidence of the long-sought-after Higgs boson. What is wxactly Higgs boson and how does it work?

There is a gist of the standard model, developed in the early 1970s: The Higgs boson appeared 13.7 billion years ago in the chaos of the Big Bang and turned the flying debris into galaxies, stars and planets. Our entire universe is made of 12 different matter particles and four forces. Among those 12 particles, you’ll encounter six quarks and six leptons. Quarks make up protons and neutrons, while members of the lepton family include the electron and the electron neutrino, its neutrally charged counterpart. Scientists think that leptons and quarks are indivisible; that you can’t break them apart into smaller particles. Along with all those particles, the standard model also acknowledges four forces: gravity, electromagnetic, strong and weak. Here is the picture found online trying to get illustrated explanation of the subject.

As theories go, the standard model has been very effective, aside from its failure to fit in gravity. Armed with it, physicists have predicted the existence of certain particles years before they were verified empirically. Unfortunately, the model still has another missing piece – the Higgs boson.

“We think the Higgs boson is a manifestation of the fact that the universe is filled with a force that we haven’t been able to detect yet that gives other particles mass,” Lykken told NPR. “It exists for a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second, or something like that, and then falls apart into other particles.”

Thus, scientists are in a bit of a quagmire, according to the AP. While they appear to have enough evidence to report the existence of the “God particle,” they still hedge on whether to report “a discovery.” It’s a fine line, indeed, but one that scientists will likely continue to debate.

What is sixth sense technology

Sixth Sense is a mini-projector coupled with a camera and a cellphone—which acts as the computer and your connection to the Cloud, all the information stored on the web. Sixth Sense can also obey hand gestures.

The SixthSense prototype implements several applications that demonstrate the usefulness, viability and flexibility of the system. The map application lets the user navigate a map displayed on a nearby surface using hand gestures, similar to gestures supported by Multi-Touch based systems, letting the user zoom in, zoom out or pan using intuitive hand movements.

The drawing application lets the user draw on any surface by tracking the fingertip movements of the user’s index finger. SixthSense also recognizes user’s freehand gestures (postures). For example, the SixthSense system implements a gestural camera that takes photos of the scene the user is looking at by detecting the ‘framing’ gesture. The user can stop by any surface or wall and flick through the photos he/she has taken. SixthSense also lets the user draw icons or symbols in the air using the movement of the index finger and recognizes those symbols as interaction instructions. For example, drawing a magnifying glass symbol takes the user to the map application or drawing an ‘@’ symbol lets the user check his mail.

The SixthSense system also augments physical objects the user is interacting with by projecting more information about these objects projected on them. For example, a newspaper can show live video news or dynamic information can be provided on a regular piece of paper. The gesture of drawing a circle on the user’s wrist projects an analog watch.

Earth-Like Planet

It’s reported that NASA’s Kepler deep space probe has found a planet, similar to Earth. It’s close to the size of earth and about 352 light years away. The planet is called Kepler-22b. The planet orbits a bright star like the our sun.

“We’re getting closer and closer to discovering the so-called ‘Goldilocks planet,'” Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center said.

the fact is amount of the total candidate planets that Kepler has found to date is 2,326, 207 of them are approximately Earth-size. More of them, 680, are a bit larger than our planet, then falling into the “super-Earth” category. The total number of candidate planets in the habitable zones of their stars is now 48.

UK News

The Elegant Universe

In Einstein’s day, the strong and weak forces had not yet been discovered, but he found the existence of even two distinct forces—gravity and electromagnetism—deeply troubling. Einstein did not accept that nature is founded on such an extravagant design. This launched his 30-year voyage in search of the so-called unified field theory that he hoped would show that these two forces are really manifestations of one grand underlying principle. This quixotic quest isolated Einstein from the mainstream of physics, which, understandably, was far more excited about delving into the newly emerging framework of quantum mechanics. He wrote to a friend in the early 1940s, “I have become a lonely old chap who is mainly known because he doesn’t wear socks and who is exhibited as a curiosity on special occasions.”

Einstein was simply ahead of his time. More than half a century later, his dream of a unified theory has become the Holy Grail of modern physics. And a sizeable part of the physics and mathematics community is becoming increasingly convinced that string theory may provide the answer. From one principle—that everything at its most microscopic level consists of combinations of vibrating strands—string theory provides a single explanatory framework capable of encompassing all forces and all matter.

String theory proclaims, for instance, that the observed particle properties—that is, the different masses and other properties of both the fundamental particles and the force particles associated with the four forces of nature (the strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism, and gravity)—are a reflection of the various ways in which a string can vibrate. Just as the strings on a violin or on a piano have resonant frequencies at which they prefer to vibrate—patterns that our ears sense as various musical notes and their higher harmonics—the same holds true for the loops of string theory. But rather than producing musical notes, each of the preferred mass and force charges are determined by the string’s oscillatory pattern. The electron is a string vibrating one way, the up-quark is a string vibrating another way, and so on.

Far from being a collection of chaotic experimental facts, particle properties in string theory are the manifestation of one and the same physical feature: the resonant patterns of vibration—the music, so to speak—of fundamental loops of string. The same idea applies to the forces of nature as well. Force particles are also associated with particular patterns of string vibration and hence everything, all matter and all forces, is unified under the same rubric of microscopic string oscillations—the “notes” that strings can play.

read more – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/everything.html

The cause of the dinosaurs extinction

It’s reported that the new study, conducted by scientists from Europe, the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan and published in the journal Science, found that a 15-kilometre (9 miles) wide asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub in what is now Mexico was the culprit.

“We now have great confidence that an asteroid was the cause of the KT extinction. This triggered large-scale fires, earthquakes measuring more than 10 on the Richter scale, and continental landslides, which created tsunamis,” said Joanna Morgan of Imperial College London, a co-author of the review.

Tank gets cooler and cleaner

According to RSC.org scientists have improved the performance of ammonia borane as a hydrogen storage material – making it more practical for a fuel tank in hydrogen-powered vehicles. The material was enhanced by the addition of catalytic nanoparticles to the structure, allowing it to release hydrogen more cleanly and at lower temperatures.

Finding ways to store hydrogen to run next-generation fuel cell vehicles is a challenge, since traditional metal canisters filled with compressed or liquefied hydrogen gas are heavy, bulky and expensive. A better solution is to use a solid material, and the most promising candidate for this is ammonia borane (NH3BH3) – a waxy solid consisting largely of hydrogen.

However, there are drawbacks to using this material. Releasing the hydrogen can be tricky, usually requiring heating at over 100°C, which is too hot for polymer-based fuel cells to operate. In addition, the material is prone to become unstable – expanding rapidly or turning into foam – and released hydrogen can be poisoned by other gases released from the heated material.

Now, Ping Chen and colleagues at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, in Dalian, China, have modified the structure of ammonia borane to eliminate these problems. ‘By introducing nanoparticles of cobalt and nickel catalysts into the structure we can hold nearly 6 per cent by weight of hydrogen at a temperature as low as 59°C – with no byproduct and sample foaming,’ Chen told Chemistry World.

via http://www.rsc.org/

Water On the Moon

Experts have long suspected there was water on the moon. Confirmation came from data churned up by two Nasa spacecraft that intentionally slammed into a lunar crater last month.

“Indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn’t find just a little bit. We found a significant amount,” said Anthony Colaprete, the principal investigator for Nasa’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, holding up a white water bucket for emphasis.

The lunar crash kicked up at least 95 liters (25 gallons) and that’s only what scientists could see from the plumes of the impact, Colaprete said.

Some space policy experts say that makes the moon attractive for exploration again. Having an abundance of water would make it easier to set up a base camp for astronauts, supplying drinking water and a key ingredient for rocket fuel.

Scientists also hope that the water, in the form of ice accumulated over billions of years, holds a record of the solar system’s history.

The satellite, known as Lcross (pronounced L-cross), crashed into a crater near the Moon’s south pole a month ago. The 9,000-kilometers-per-hour impact carved out a hole 20 to 30 meters wide and kicked up the liters of water in the forms of ice and vapor.

The water findings came through an analysis of the slight shifts in color after the impact, showing telltale signs of water molecules that had absorbed specific wavelengths of light. “We got good fits,” Colaprete said. “It was a unique fit.”

For more than a decade, planetary scientists have seen tantalizing hints of water ice at the bottom of these cold craters where the sun never shines. The Lcross mission, intended to look specifically for water, was made up of two pieces—an empty rocket stage to slam into the floor of Cabeus, a crater about 70 km wide and 3 km deep, and a small spacecraft to measure what was kicked up. In the event, the small craft also hit the surface.

“It’s very exciting, it is painting a new image of the moon,” said Gregory Deloy, from the University of California, hailing it as “an extraordinary discovery.”

He theorized that “one of the possible source of water is a comet.”

“We’re unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and, by extension, the solar system,” said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at Nasa headquarters in Washington.

via http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/

Earth-Type Planets

About 400 “extrasolar” planets orbiting nearby stars have been detected since 1995, starting with a discovery made by the same team, led by Switzerland’s Michel Mayor, of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting the star 51 Pegasi, 50 light-years away. (One light-year is about 5.9 trillion miles.), usatoday.com reports.

“We are on the good track to detect (indirectly) Earth-type planets within the next five to 10 years,” Udry says. Using the European Southern Observatory’s 11.8-foot-wide telescope at Chile’s La Silla Observatory, the team detects planets by “radial velocity” measure, which reveals the gravitation wobbles induced on stars by their planets.

“Wow — 32 or so planets at once — that certainly is a record for the largest number of new planets announced at the same time,” says planetary scientist Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institute of Washington. “It really shows that the Europeans have taken the lead” in radial velocity planet hunting, he adds.

The team announced the newly discovered planets at a science meeting in Porto, Portugal. They range in size from 5.4 times more massive than Earth to 7.1 times heavier than Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and their host stars ranged from about 30 to 150 light-years away. Two of the “Super-Earths” — thought to be rocky planets like Earth and not gas giants — orbit stars like our sun, and the other two orbit smaller “M” class stars, dimmer and redder than the sun.

So “we have yet to find firm evidence for a habitable, Earth-mass planet,” Boss says. But he says the Super-Earth detections suggest that upcoming planet hunts, including NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, should find “lots of Earths.”