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2014 SciMail

LATER Sci-Reality Mind Control? Sci-Fashion UFO Detectors? Unknown Field?
Inheritance? Antarctic/USA Blood Moon? Evol & more Mind-blind? Nibiru?
Mavericks Pseudo-Sci Brain Tox No Holes! Life Universal? EARLIER


plse use "MAIL PERCEPTIONS" to input

Date: Wed, 7 May 2014 22:45:58 +0100
Subject: FWD - Science reality

When you hear that "Science is a self-correcting search for truth" and that "Peer-review is a vital tool in that search for truth", maybe reflect on the fact that almost every great discovery was first ridiculed, then fiercely denied and even suppressed and only then, usually when the discoverer or his enemies had died, acclaimed as "only common sense" or "we always knew that" by other `scientists'!

Just now reading about Belousov's discovery (which apparently, far as ignorant `scientists' knew, contradicted the `2nd Law of Thermodynamics') being suppressed by ignorant editors who refused to publish his paper.  That's how science mostly operates, ruled by fashionable power-cliques and very often by collegiate (or corporate) stupidity and/or self-interest.

It makes me wonder how many break-throughs are being suppressed right now.
Boris Belousov noted, some time in the 1950s (various sources date ranges from 1951 to 1958), that in a mix of potassium bromate, cerium(IV) sulfate, malonic acid and citric acid in dilute sulfuric acid, the ratio of concentration of the cerium(IV) and cerium(III) ions oscillated, causing the colour of the solution to oscillate between a yellow solution and a colorless solution. This is due to the cerium(IV) ions being reduced by malonic acid to cerium(III) ions, which are then oxidized back to cerium(IV) ions by bromate(V) ions.
Belousov made two attempts to publish his finding, but was rejected on the grounds that he could not explain his results to the satisfaction of the editors of the journals to which he submitted his results.
Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

Maybe see subindex.html#sci-f2 for more details [and wallace.html#physics for a real scientist's thoughts ]

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2014 15:55:20 +0100
Subject: FWD - "Scientists have built an 'off switch' for the brain

Interesting. As is the fact not mentioned: this technique, obviously in use already (or these `improvements' couldn't have been made) enables scientists (or gov't agents) to "switch off" logical thought, and to "switch on" strong emotional responses (good or bad / welcoming or fearful) in subjects' brains.

That's `mind control'.

And, knowing that thousands of patents and discoveries have been kept - by Gov't +/or Security - as "secret" for decades, we might suspect this technique has been tested and used as a tool by our unscrupulous rulers for a long time. Ray

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato Scientists have built an 'off switch' for the brain
HEATHER SAUL - Saturday 26 April 2014

Scientists have developed an `off-switch' for the brain to effectively shut down neural activity using light pulses.

In 2005, Stanford scientist Karl Deisseroth discovered how to switch individual brain cells on and off by using light in a technique he dubbed 'optogenetics'.

Research teams around the world have since used this technique to study brain cells, heart cells, stem cells and others regulated by electrical signals.

However, light-sensitive proteins were efficient at switching cells on but proved less effective at turning them off.

Now, after almost a decade of research, scientists have been able to shut down the neurons as well as activate them.

Mr Deisseroth's team has now re-engineered its light-sensitive proteins to switch cells much more adequately than before. His findings are presented in the journal Science.

Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the study, said this improved "off" switch will help researchers to better understand the brain circuits involved in behavior, thinking and emotion.

"This is something we and others in the field have sought for a very long time," Mr Deisseroth, a senior author of the paper and professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioural sciences said.

"We're excited about this increased light sensitivity of inhibition in part because we think it will greatly enhance work in large-brained organisms like rats and primates."

The new techniques rely on changing 10 of the amino acids in the optogenetic protein.

"It creates a powerful tool that allows neuroscientists to apply a brake in any specific circuit with millisecond precision, beyond the power of any existing technology," Mr Insel explained.

This technique could help scientists develop treatments for patients with some brain diseases as it could allow problematic parts of the brain to be switched off with light and tackled with minimal intrusion.

Merab Kokaia, PhD, a professor at Lund University Hospital in Sweden who has used optogenetics to study epilepsy and other conditions praised the research.

"These features could be much more useful for behavioral studies in animals but could also become an effective treatment alternative for neurological conditions where drugs do not work, such as some cases of severe epilepsy and other hyper-excitability disorders," he said.

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 15:23:49 +0100
Subject: FWD - "Smaller groups exhibit more accurate decision-making

Yup, confirms the history of science: every popular consensus (following fashion) was WRONG - the outliers or mavericks proved to be RIGHT. [Just as science consensuses are wrong today] - Ray
PHYS*ORG - Apr 23, 2014
Too many chefs: Smaller groups exhibit more accurate decision-making

The trope that the likelihood of an accurate group decision increases with the abundance of brains involved might not hold up when a collective faces a variety of factors as often happens in life and nature. Instead, Princeton University researchers report that smaller groups actually tend to make more accurate decisions while larger assemblies may become excessively focused on only certain pieces of information.

The findings present a significant caveat to what is known about collective intelligence, or the "wisdom of crowds," wherein individual observations - even if imperfect - coalesces into a single, accurate group decision. A classic example of crowd wisdom is English statistician Sir Francis Galton's 1907 observation of a contest in which villagers attempted to guess the weight of an ox. Although not one of the 787 estimates was correct, the average of the guessed weights was a mere one-pound short of the animal's recorded heft.

Along those lines, the consensus has been that group decisions are enhanced as more individuals have input.

But collective decision-making has rarely been tested under complex, "realistic" circumstances where information comes from multiple sources, the Princeton researchers report in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In these scenarios, crowd wisdom peaks early then becomes less accurate as more individuals become involved, explained senior author Iain Couzin, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.

"This is an extension of the wisdom-of-crowds theory that allows us to relax the assumption that being in big groups is always the best way to make a decision," Couzin said.

"It's a starting point that opens up the possibility of capturing collective decision-making in a more realistic environment," he said. "When we do see small groups of animals or organisms making decisions they are not necessarily compromising accuracy. They might actually do worse if more individuals were involved. I think that's the new insight."

Couzin and first author Albert Kao, a graduate student of ecology and evolutionary biology in Couzin's group, created a theoretical model in which a "group" had to decide between two potential food sources. The group's decision accuracy was determined by how well individuals could use two types of information: One that was known to all members of the group - known as correlated information - and another that was perceived by only some individuals, or uncorrelated information. The researchers found that the communal ability to pool both pieces of information into a correct, or accurate, decision was highest in a band of five to 20. After that, the accurate decision increasingly eluded the expanding group.

At work, Kao said, was the dynamic between correlated and uncorrelated cues. With more individuals, that which is known by all members comes to dominate the decision-making process. The uncorrelated information gets drowned out, even if individuals within the group are still well aware of it.

In smaller groups, on the other hand, the lesser-known cues nonetheless earn as much consideration as the more common information. This is due to the more random nature of small groups, which is known as "noise" and typically seen as an unwelcome distraction. Couzin and Kao, however, found that noise is surprisingly advantageous in these smaller arrangements.

"It's surprising that noise can enhance the collective decision," Kao said. "The typical assumption is that the larger the group, the greater the collective intelligence.

"We found that if you increase group size, you see the wisdom-of-crowds benefit, but if the group gets too large there is an over-reliance on high-correlation information," he said. "You would find yourself in a situation where the group uses that information to the point that it dominates the group's decision-making." (more at page ...)
More information:
The paper, "Decision accuracy in complex environments is often maximized by small group sizes," was published online April 23, 2014, by the Proceedings of the Royal Society:

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 12:33:13 +0100
Subject: High-Voltage Transmission Lines to Act as Antenna

Interesting.  This program might have another secondary (or even primary) purpose:
we know, from NASA's own secret downlinks from satellites and shuttles [Google "The Secret NASA Transmissions"], that large objects (craft or entities) continually come from outer space - and on arrival in Earth's atmosphere they almost always seek out thunderstorms OR power-lines OR power generating stations.

Presumably they extract some of that power for their own use.  Which would make this program a useful real-time detector of those large "UFOs" (and might even provide clues as to their power and propulsion methods).

Ray D
High-Voltage Transmission Lines to Act as Antenna in First-of-its-Kind NASA Space-Weather Project
by Lori Keesey for Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD (SPX) Apr 25, 2014

A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of U.S. high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages in the past.

Heliophysicist Antti Pulkkinen of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and his team are installing scientific substations beneath high-voltage power transmission lines operated by Virginia's Dominion Virginia Power this summer to measure in real-time a phenomenon known as geomagnetically induced currents (GICs).

"This is the first time we have used the U.S. high-voltage power transmission system as a science tool to map large-scale GICs," Pulkkinen said. "This application will allow unprecedented, game-changing data gathering over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales."

In addition to gathering data important to the power industry - especially if it's expanded nationwide as currently planned - the project will allow heliophysicists to "reverse engineer" the data to learn more about the conditions in Earth's upper atmosphere that lead to the generation of GICs during severe space weather events, Pulkkinen said, adding he is now developing computer algorithms to extract that data for scientific research. "Not only will this benefit the utility industry, it also benefits science," he said.
(more at page...)

Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2014 16:22:11 +0100
Subject: FWD - "An Unknown Field?" - Yup - but already known

Heck!  Some of us have known this for years.  Do the experiment yourself - just spin a coin (or a `top') on a table and watch it stand upright while spinning.

Science can't explain that `extra inertia' - not by Relativity or even Quantum theories; so there has to be a primal `field' or `force' to do it, and, by Occam, that force or field also accounts for ordinary inertia (i.e. the mass of matter plus its inertial effects).
[see timeprob.html#matter for Einstein's (+Newton's) take on it]
"The Universe May be Permeated by an as Yet Unknown Field"

"Perhaps empty space is not completely empty after all, but permeated by an unknown field, similar to the Higgs-field", says Professor Hartmut Abele of the Vienna University of Technology, director of the Atominstitut. These theories are named after Aristotle's "quintessence" - a hypothetical fifth element, in addition to the four classical elements of ancient Greek philosophy.

All the particles we know to exist make up only about five per cent of the mass and energy of the universe. The rest - "Dark Matter" and "Dark Energy" - remains mysterious. A European collaboration lled by researchers from the Vienna University of Technology has now carried out extremely sensitive measurements of gravitational effects at very small distances at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble. These experiments provide limits for possible new particles or fundamental forces, which are a hundred thousand times more restrictive than previous estimations.
Dark matter is invisible, but it acts on matter by its gravitational pull, influencing the rotation of galaxies. Dark energy, on the other hand, is responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe. It can be described by introducing a new physical quantity - Albert Einstein's Cosmological Constant.

If new kinds of particles or additional forces of nature exist, it should be possible to observe them here on earth. Tobias Jenke and Abele from the Vienna University of Technology developed an extremely sensitive instrument, which they used together with their colleagues to study gravitational forces.

Neutrons are perfectly suited for this kind of research. They do not carry electric charge and they are hardly polarizable. They are only influenced by gravity - and possibly by additional, yet unknown forces. Theoretical calculations analysing the behaviour of the neutrons were done by Larisa Chizhova, Professor Stefan Rotter and Professor Joachim Burgdörfer (TU Vienna). U. Schmidt from Heidelberg University and T. Lauer from TU Munich contributed with an analytic tool.

The technique they developed takes very slow neutrons from the strongest continuous ultracold neutron source in the world, at the ILL in Grenoble and funnels them between two parallel plates. According to quantum theory, the neutrons can only occupy discrete quantum states with energies which depend on the force that gravity exerts on the particle. By mechanically oscillating the two plates, the quantum state of the neutron can be switched. That way, the difference between the energy levels can be measured.

"This work is an important step towards modelling gravitational interactions at very short distances. The ultracold neutrons produced at ILL together with the measurement devices from Vienna are the best tool in the world for studying the predicted tiny deviations from pure Newtonian gravity", says Peter Geltenbort (ILL Grenoble).

Different parameters determine the level of precision required to find such tiny deviations - for instance the coupling strength between hypothetical new fields and the matter we know. Certain parameter ranges for the coupling strength of quintessence particles or forces have already been excluded following other high-precision measurements. But all previous experiments still left a large parameter space in which new physical non-Newtonian phenomena could be hidden.

The new neutron method can test theories in this parameter range: "We have not yet detected any deviations from the well-established Newtonian law of gravity", says Hartmut Abele, the group leader of the research. "Therefore, we can exclude a broad range of parameters." The measurements determine a new limit for the coupling strength, which is lower than the limits established by other methods by a factor of a hundred thousand.

Even if the existence of certain hypothetical quintessence particles is disproved by these measurements, the search will continue as it is possible that new physics can still be found below this improved level of accuracy. Gravity Resonance Spectroscopy will need to be improved further - and increasing the accuracy by another few orders of magnitude seems feasible to the Abele's team.

However, if even that does not yield any evidence of deviations from known forces, Albert Einstein would win yet another victory: his cosmological constant would then appear more and more plausible.

Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:57:21 +0100
Subject: FWD - "Trauma can be inherited from parents

Well, once again folk wisdom - branded as `old wives tales' (by arrogant `scientists' speaking in almost total ignorance) - is proven to be true:  a shock to the expectant mother (or pre-conception father) _can_ result in changes to the unborn child.
Trauma can be inherited from parents
The stress of traumatic experiences can be passed down from parents to children and effect families for generations, scientists believe

By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent7:00AM BST 14 Apr 2014
Traumatic experiences can be inherited, as major shocks alter how cells in the body work and that change can be passed on to children, scientists have claimed.

Psychologists have known for some time that trauma can cause behavioural disorders, such as depression, which can be passed down from one generation to the next.

"There are diseases such as bipolar disorder, that run in families but can't be traced back to a particular gene", said Prof Isabelle Mansuy at the University of Zurich.

Now researchers have found that exposure to high levels of stress alters the production of `microRNA' molecules, which help regulate genes. And they were found to be present in sperm, suggesting that they could be passed on to future generations.

Mice exposed to high levels of stress were seen to exhibit depressive symptoms and their metabolism slowed down.

Those behavioural symptoms were also seen in their offspring even though the mice were not exposed to any traumatic stress themselves. The changes were even found in third generation mice. "We were able to demonstrate for the first time that traumatic experiences affect metabolism in the long-term and that these changes are hereditary," said Prof Mansuy. "With the imbalance in `microRNAs' in sperm, we have discovered a key factor through which trauma can be passed on. "Most likely, it is part of a chain of events that begins with the body producing too much stress hormones."

After traumatic experiences, the mice behaved markedly differently: they partly lost their natural aversion to open spaces and bright light and had depressive-like behaviours.

Mansuy and her team are now studying the role of `microRNAs' in humans to see if the results would be replicated. If it was possible to demonstrate that an imbalance in the blood was causing the trauma a test could be developed to diagnose inherited depression.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:47:35 +0100
Subject: FWD - "Unexpected Teleconnections in Noctilucent Clouds

Ha!  Recall the "warming" mafia [IPCC] trying to claim that Minoan and Roman and Medieval Warmings (much hotter than now) were `isolated to Europe" - until they were exposed as fibbers when folk compared the correlations of Greenland AND Antarctic ice-core temperature records.

So it seems the whole Earth is fairly tightly bound, as far as temps and weather is concerned.

Unexpected Teleconnections in Noctilucent Clouds

For example, says Cora Randall, AIM science team member and Chair of the Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado, "we have found that the winter air temperature in Indianapolis, Indiana, is well correlated with the frequency of noctilucent clouds over Antarctica."

Noctilucent clouds, or "NLCs," are Earth's highest clouds. They form at the edge of space 83 km above our planet's polar regions in a layer of the atmosphere called the mesosphere. Seeded by "meteor smoke," NLCs are made of tiny ice crystals that glow electric blue when sunlight lances through their cloud-tops. GRAPH - winter temps at Indianapolis correlating with Antarctic NLCs

Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 14:32:29 +0100
Subject: FWD - "blood moon and other questions about the upcoming apocalypse

Maybe they're not aware that this time (i.e. around/during next Monday 14th) the Moon will line-up with close-by Mars just before the Full Moon (eclipse - on Tuesday 15th).
Just now Mars is at its closest to Earth and has been (partly) responsible for triggering several seismic events - quakes and volcanics - over last few weeks.
'What is a blood moon?' and other questions about the upcoming apocalypse
To explain what's happening as succinctly as possible: on the 15th of April you'll be able to see the first total lunar eclipse in a series of four (a phenomenon known as a tetrad to astronomers), which will also happen to coincide with the Jewish festivals of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015.

Lunar eclipses in general are sometimes called `blood moons' because the light bouncing off the moon is refracted through the Earth's atmosphere giving it a coppery hue (it's the same mechanism that make sunsets and sunrises look red).
(more at page ....)

Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2014 01:22:36 +0100

A****** wrote:
> This site is awesome! The topic of human evolution (or devolution) is very intriguing.
> I would love to email about the topic and gain better insight. I am currently a college sophomore who disagrees with society's view on life and history.
> My email address is: ********at****.****.edu.
> Thank you and hope to hear back soon!

Hi A******,
Have to agree with you, and not just about the present state of Biology (evolution etc.).  Interestingly, the big questions in Biology, Physics (inc. Quantum `reality'), Cosmology (and more) are still moot and maybe even increasing in seriousness and complexity.
Interesting times.

Best regards
Ray Dickenson

Want to chase-up news on your own subject?  Maybe try Search Page

Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2014 20:29:20 +0100
Subject: Re: Can Skepticism Blind You

From: Edward G******
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2014 7:55 PM
> "An odd experiment, done by a believer in paranormal phenomena, opens a few
> questions about how everyone perceives the world. We know that belief can
> blind people - but can disbelief do the same thing?"
> More at site:

Right Edward,
have a deal of respect for Ellison [the experimenter in link above], a thinker before his time.

In view of all of Ellison's results, and much succeeding work the question is already answered.

The negative and positive effects on both experimenters _and_ their subjects have been established by many researchers [see "Sheep and Goats Effect"] and, separately by the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program.

That is, with experimenters selected for scepticism (and vice versa), the negative (and positive) effects are significant. Plus the PEAR experiments have confirmed that, with large numbers (of unaware subjects), positive effects are definitely significant.

Ray D

Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:56:29 -0000
Subject: FWD - "some could even be bigger than Mars or the Earth"

Ha!  Seem to recall a lot of denial (from `experts') of any planets further out - but now read "Some of these could be bigger than Pluto; some could even be bigger than Mars or the Earth".  So much for science consensus - Ray 26 March 2014 Last updated at 18:03 - By Jonathan Amos - Science correspondent, BBC News

Icy body found orbiting far from Sun
Scientists have identified a new dwarf planet in the distant reaches of our Solar System.

It is being called 2012 VP113 for the time being, is about 450km across and is very likely icy in composition.

To date, only one other such object has been seen orbiting beyond the major planets in its region of space referred to as the inner Oort Cloud.  That previous object, called Sedna, is about 1,000km across, and was found 10 years ago.

But researchers believe there are hundreds more such objects awaiting detection.

"We've been using a large camera on a four-metre telescope in Chile, and it's a very powerful facility," said Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution of Science in Washington DC, US.

"Our survey covered just a very small area of the sky - about 220 full Moons of sky. So, there's a lot more sky out there, and we predict, based on this one object, that across the whole sky we could expect to find 900 objects of 1,000km or bigger in size.

"Some of these could be bigger than Pluto; some could even be bigger than Mars or the Earth. The problem is they're just so distant, especially when they're in the far parts of their orbits, that they're just too faint to detect," he told BBC News.
(more at page)

Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 13:10:15 -0000
Subject: FWD - Interesting letter from scientists re: `Mavericks'

Just seen in today's Guardian - Ray
The Guardian, Tuesday 18 March 2014 21.00 GMT
We need more scientific mavericks

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts," said Richard Feynman in the 1960s.  But times change.  Before about 1970, academics had access to modest funding they could use freely.  Industry was similarly enlightened.  Their results included the transistor, the maser-laser, the electronics and telecommunications revolutions, nuclear power, biotechnology and medical diagnostics galore that enriched the lives of virtually everyone; they also boosted 20th-century economic growth.

After 1970, politicians substantially expanded academic sectors.  Peer review's uses allowed the rise of priorities, impact etc, and is now virtually unavoidable.  Applicants' proposals must convince their peers that they serve national policies and are the best possible uses of resources.  Success rates are about 25%, and strict rules govern resubmissions.  Rejected proposals are usually lost.  Industry too has lost its taste for the unpredictable.  The 500 major discoveries, almost all initiated before about 1970, challenged mainstream science and would probably be vetoed today.  Nowadays, fields where understanding is poor are usually neglected because researchers must convince experts that working in them will be beneficial.

However, small changes would keep science healthy.  Some are outlined in Donald Braben's book, Promoting the Planck Club: How Defiant Youth, Irreverent Researchers and Liberated Universities Can Foster Prosperity Indefinitely.  But policies are deeply ingrained.  Agencies claiming to support blue-skies research use peer review, of course, discouraging open-ended inquiries and serious challenges to prevailing orthodoxies.  Mavericks once played an essential role in research.  Indeed, their work defined the 20th century.  We must relearn how to support them, and provide new options for an unforeseeable future, both social and economic.  We need influential allies.  Perhaps Guardian readers could help?

Donald W Braben - - University College London
John F Allen - - Queen Mary, University of London
William Amos - - University of Cambridge
Richard Ball - - University of Edinburgh
Tim Birkhead FRS - - University of Sheffield
Peter Cameron - - Queen Mary, University of London
Richard Cogdell FRS - - University of Glasgow
David Colquhoun FRS - - University College London
Rod Dowler - - Industry Forum, London
Irene Engle - - United States Naval Academy, Annapolis
Felipe Fernández-Armesto - - University of Notre Dame
Desmond Fitzgerald - - Materia Medica
Pat Heslop-Harrison - - University of Leicester
Dudley Herschbach - - Harvard University, Nobel Laureate
H Jeff Kimble - - Caltech, US National Academy of Sciences
Sir Harry Kroto FRS - - Florida State University, Tallahassee, Nobel Laureate
James Ladyman - - University of Bristol
Nick Lane - - University College London
Peter Lawrence FRS - - University of Cambridge
Angus MacIntyre FRS - - Queen Mary, University of London
John Mattick - - Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney
Beatrice Pelloni - - University of Reading
Martyn Poliakoff FRS - - University of Nottingham
Douglas Randall - - University of Missouri
David Ray - - Bio Astral Limited
Sir Richard J Roberts FRS - - New England Biolabs, Nobel Laureate
Ken Seddon - - Queen's University of Belfast
Colin Self - - University of Newcastle
Harry Swinney - - University of Texas, US National Academy of Sciences
Claudio Vita-Finzi FBA - - Natural History Museum

Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 13:03:08 -0000
Subject: FWD - "The Future of Particle Physics

Ha!  Here's a quote about the make-believe `science' of particle physics:
Problem #3 - They've promised the politicians that ultimate power will be found by their particle experiments - and the politicians, always hungry for power (and new ways of killing people), have thrown billions, or trillions now, of our tax-money into these very expensive particle-collider tunnels.
Now the "business" of particle physics is riding a tiger, and daren't stop, for an obvious reason.
They _have_ to keep on announcing `new discoveries' of "new particles", because otherwise they would be forced to tell the politicians, and eventually us, that the whole mess of particle physics is unusable and impractical nonsense, based on misconceptions and a false `Standard Model'.

UNQUOTE [full article]
The future of particle physics?
If we want to continue to probe the structure of matter, to understand what the smallest constituents of nature are and how they interact, we have to think big and plan for the long term. Possibilities include machines that would dwarf the Large Hadron Collider, and neutrino beams crossing half a continent
The year 2012 saw not only the Higgs boson discovery, but also the measurement of a key parameter, ?13, describing the way that neutrinos behave, and numerous other significant results. These results have a big impact of what we might do next in our exploration of fundamental physics.

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2014 09:54:59 -0000
Subject: FWD - Sci-info on Fluoride (and other brain-poisons

A bit shocking - Ray
'Putting the next generation of brains in danger'
By Saundra Young, CNN - February 15, 2014 -- Updated 0022 GMT (0822 HKT)

(CNN) -- The number of chemicals known to be toxic to children's developing brains has doubled over the last seven years, researchers said. Dr. Philip Landrigan at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Dr. Philippe Grandjean from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, authors of the review published Friday in The Lancet Neurology journal, say the news is so troubling they are calling for a worldwide overhaul of the regulatory process in order to protect children's brains.
Now, after further review, six more chemicals have been added to the list: manganese; fluoride; tetrachloroethylene, a solvent; a class of chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or flame retardants; and two pesticides, chlorpyrifos, which is widely used in agriculture, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT.
To examine fluoride, which is in tap water in many areas, Landrigan and Grandjean looked at an analysis of 27 studies of children, mostly in China, who were exposed to fluoride in drinking water at high concentrations. The data, they said, suggests a decline on average of about seven IQ points.
(more ...)

Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 14:39:21 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Stephen Hawking: 'There are no black holes'

Ha!  First step on a long retreat [from stupid, opportunist "black hole theory"], and not before time (but notice he - and big-sci `experts' - try to pretend they _weren't_ talking thru their backsides all those years).
NATURE | NEWS - Zeeya Merali - 24 January 2014
Stephen Hawking: 'There are no black holes'
Notion of an 'event horizon', from which nothing can escape, is incompatible with quantum theory, physicist claims.

Most physicists foolhardy enough to write a paper claiming that "there are no black holes" - at least not in the sense we usually imagine - would probably be dismissed as cranks. But when the call to redefine these cosmic crunchers comes from Stephen Hawking, it's worth taking notice. In a paper posted online, the physicist, based at the University of Cambridge, UK, and one of the creators of modern black-hole theory, does away with the notion of an event horizon, the invisible boundary thought to shroud every black hole, beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape.

In its stead, Hawking's radical proposal is a much more benign "apparent horizon", which only temporarily holds matter and energy prisoner before eventually releasing them, albeit in a more garbled form.

"There is no escape from a black hole in classical theory",
Hawking told Nature. Quantum theory, however, "enables energy and information to escape from a black hole". A full explanation of the process, the physicist admits, would require a theory that successfully merges gravity with the other fundamental forces of nature. But that is a goal that has eluded physicists for nearly a century. "The correct treatment," Hawking says, "remains a mystery."

Hawking posted his paper on the arXiv preprint server on 22 January. He titled it, whimsically, `Information preservation and weather forecasting for black holes', and it has yet to pass peer review. The paper was based on a talk he gave via Skype at a meeting at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, in August 2013.

Fire fighting
Hawking's new work is an attempt to solve what is known as the black-hole firewall paradox, which has been vexing physicists for almost two years, after it was discovered by theoretical physicist Joseph Polchinski of the Kavli Institute and his colleagues (see 'Astrophysics: Fire in the hole!').
(more at page ..)

Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:24:46 -0000
Subject: FWD - "Water found in stardust suggests life is universal

Yup, Fred Hoyle (and Chandra Wickramasinghe) said as much decades ago - and got jeered at by the sci luminaries (like Carl Sagan after he became cynical).
[And it seems that gov't agencies wanted to suppress the idea!]
New Scientist - 20:00 20 January 2014 by Catherine Brahic
Water found in stardust suggests life is universal

A sprinkling of stardust is as magical as it sounds. The dust grains that float through our solar system contain tiny pockets of water, which form when they are zapped by a blast of charged wind from the sun.

The chemical reaction causing this to happen had previously been mimicked in laboratories, but this is the first time water has been found trapped inside real stardust.

Combined with previous findings of organic compounds in interplanetary dust, the results suggest that these grains contain the basic ingredients needed for life. As similar dust grains are thought to be found in solar systems all over the universe, this bodes well for the existence of life across the cosmos.

"The implications are potentially huge," says Hope Ishii of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, one of the researchers behind the study. "It is a particularly thrilling possibility that this influx of dust on the surfaces of solar system bodies has acted as a continuous rainfall of little reaction vessels containing both the water and organics needed for the eventual origin of life."

Dust rain
Solar systems are full of dust - a result of many processes, including the break-up of comets. John Bradley of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and his colleagues inspected the outer layer of interplanetary dust particles extracted from Earth's stratosphere.

Ultra-high-resolution microscopy allowed them to probe the 5- to 25-micrometre specks of dust to reveal small pockets of trapped water just beneath the surface.

Laboratory experiments offer clues to how the water forms. The dust is mostly made of silicates, which contains oxygen. As it travels through space, it encounters the solar wind. This stream of charged particles including high-energy hydrogen ions is ejected from the sun's atmosphere. When the two collide, hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water.

As interplanetary dust is thought to have rained down on early Earth, it is likely that the stuff brought water to our planet, although it is difficult to conceive how it could account for the millions of cubic kilometres of water that cover Earth today. "In no way do we suggest that this was sufficient to form oceans," says Ishii.

Universal water
A more likely origin for the huge volume of water on our planet is wet asteroids that pummelled early Earth. Comets are also a candidate: the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, due to send a lander to a comet later this year, is tasked with probing their role.

However, the Bradley team's results are relevant to the quest for life on other planets. The water-producing reaction is likely to be universal, and to happen in any corner of the universe with a star, or even a supernova, says Ishii.

What's more, interplanetary dust in our solar system - and in others - contains organic carbon. If stardust contains carbon and water, it means the essentials of life could be present in solar systems anywhere in the universe and raining down on their planets.

"These are the types of processes that we expect to occur in other planetary systems," says Fred Ciesla of the University of Chicago in Illinois, who was not involved in the work. "Water and organics are not uncommon."

Journal reference: PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1320115111

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