Posts

October 10, 2014

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4:00 AM | Plasma quark-gluoni, un nuovo metodo per lo studio del ‘jet-quenching’
Alcuni ricercatori del Berkeley Lab hanno trovato un modo per analizzare ancora più da vicino il cosiddetto plasma quark-gluoni, un tipo di materia esotica che si ritiene abbia caratterizzato lo stato fisico dell’Universo immediatamente dopo il Big Bang. Grazie ad una serie di verifiche, dopo aver combinato i dati ottenuti degli esperimenti di due acceleratori […]
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1:07 AM | Talk : Is Vitamin D the elixir of health?
Went to a talk recently about Vitamin D, but instead of being from an expert researcher (as is usually the case from organisers), it was actually from a person who was being VERY selective in the sources he chose to refer to. For the purposes of this post, lets just call him "Pete". Pete began by explaining a few facts about Vitamin D:1) It is oil soluble - which means it can be stored by the body2) It is one of only a few chemicals that all body cells have a receptor for.3) When activated, it […]

October 09, 2014

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11:37 PM | JPL Releases a Big, Bold Website Redesign
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a major overhaul of its website. Here's a closer look.
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10:43 PM | Throwback Thursday: Why Observatories Shoot Lasers at the Universe (Synopsis)
“But certainly the laser proved to be what I realized it was going to be. At that moment in my life I was too ignorant in business law to be able to do it right, and if I did it over again probably the same damn thing would happen.” -Gordon Gould, inventor of the LASER…
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10:39 PM | Throwback Thursday: Why Observatories Shoot Lasers at the Universe
And how, in the end, they help us gain the resolution of a space-based telescope without leaving the ground!Continue reading on Medium »
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8:53 PM | What did Dawn learn at Vesta?
It's now been two years since Dawn wrapped up its work at the second-largest asteroid. What else did we get from the Vesta encounter besides great photos? Recently, I asked Dawn's deputy project scientist, Carol Raymond, for help in summarizing a few of the big things Dawn taught us.
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7:57 PM | There are no free quarks (Synopsis)
“In physics, you don’t have to go around making trouble for yourself — nature does it for you.” -Frank Wilczek Freedom is an easy thing for almost all the particles we think of. Want a free photon? Just let it go in a place where there’s nothing that’s going to absorb it. A free electron? Just keep…
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7:57 PM | There are no free quarks
Other particles — electrons, neutrinos, photons and more — can exist on their own. But quarks never will. Here’s why.Continue reading on Medium »
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7:54 PM | Cheops on a Comet
Close-up of a Boulder Named Cheops  The Rosetta mission keeps slowly cranking out good images of features on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the latest being this close-up of a 45-meter-long boulder on the surface of the comet. The blocky chunk was first spotted in images taken in August, but it has taken the OSIRIS imaging team at […]
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5:58 PM | Cosmic Minute: “You Cannot Leave” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek's Lt. Uhura, describes how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. personally responded to her desire to leave the show. Listen as she recounts history in the making to Neil deGrasse Tyson. If you like this track, check out the whole StarTalk Radio “A Conversation with Nichelle Nichols” episode at http://www.startalkradio.net/show/a-conversation-with-nichelle-nichols/.
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4:57 PM | Protest Mires Hawaii Groundbreaking for Giant Telescope
Construction of what is billed to be the most advanced and optically powerful telescope on the planet got off to a rough start this week by protesters objecting to the observatory’s location at the summit of Mauna Kea, on Hawaii’s Big Island. Continue reading →
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4:23 PM | Mars Orbiter Mission shifts orbit to take cover from Siding Spring
With only 10 days remaining until the arrival of Comet Siding Spring at Mars, ISRO has shielded the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) from the comet. On Tuesday MOM’s orbit was altered so as to move it behind the Red Planet when the comet arrives. MOM will carry out observations of the comet and its Mars Colour Camera will click images of it.
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4:16 PM | Of Möbius strips and Klein bottles
On October 11 and 12, I’ll be helping my friends bring SCIENCE to GeekGirlCon. My contribution: making Möbius strips and Klein bottles out of paper! If you couldn’t make it to GeekGirlCon in Seattle, or maybe you came to my station, but you want the instructions on how to do this activity at home? Well, […]
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4:00 PM | The Future Looks Bright For These Space Robot Battling High Schoolers.
On Monday, high school students from across the country assembled in a lecture hall at MIT, patiently awaiting a call from NASA. For four months, these students worked in teams as part of MIT’s Zero Robotics Challenge, a competition in which high school students program small robots to fly aboard the International Space Station (ISS). … Continue reading →
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3:43 PM | The Blood Moon Eclipse of October  2014
There are approximately eleventy bazillion pictures of the recent lunar eclipse on the web right now, but a few in particular struck me, and I love to share. The first is from Teoh Hui Chieh (who took one of the most amazing videos of last year’s annular solar eclipse I’ve ever seen). For the lunar eclipse she was in New South Wales, Australia, and took this phenomenal shot of the eclipsed Moon over one of the dishes of the Australia Telescope Compact Array: That’s the Moon […]
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2:50 PM | Week 20: Flying High Over the Sierra Nevadas
Flight! Taking to the air with Soaring NV. (All photos by author). You’ve never truly flown until you’ve taken to the air in a glider. This past week saw us cross the state of California from west to east, and depart Santa Rosa after last week’s adventures and cross over the Sierra Nevadas into the Silver [...]
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2:37 PM | Eterologa, troppi paletti sulla strada della donazione
Nonostante la recente sentenza della Cassazione, per le coppie italiane che vorrebbero ricorrere alla fecondazione eterologa, cioè con ovociti o seme di donatori, la strada continuerà a essere in salita. Il documento passato alla Conferenza Stato-Regioni, e adottato da tutte queste ultime, prevede infatti alcuni paletti che renderanno assai complicato l’iter in Italia. “Nelle linee di attuazione sono stati inseriti alcuni criteri che di fatto rallenteranno di molto, […]
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1:55 PM | Webs In The Garden
A couple of days ago I woke to notice we were under a Dense Fog Advisory. I googled the term ‘Dense Fog Advisory’ thinking maybe I would learn some cool sciency weather facts to include in this post. I learned that a Dense Fog Advisory means there will be fog, it will be dense, and […]
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1:52 PM | Come muta forma il virus dell'Hiv
A rendere tanto pericoloso l’hiv è la sua capacità di mutare forma, rendendo impossibile per il nostro sistema immunitario combatterlo efficacemente. Grazie a una nuova tecnica di microscopia, un team di ricercatori di diverse università americane è riuscito oggi, per la prima volta, ad osservare i mutamenti che il virus sfrutta per infettare l’organismo, identificando le forme precise che assumono le proteine esterne dell’hiv prima di fondersi […]
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1:35 PM | Il piano di azione contro ebola in Italia
Il paziente con ebola diagnosticato negli Usa è morto. Era stato il primo a ricevere una diagnosi di malattia al di fuori dell’Africa, e sebbene il Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cdc) abbia provato a rassicurare la popolazione su bassi rischi corsi dagli Stati Uniti, sottolineando l’efficacia del proprio sistema sanitario in confronto a quello del continente africano, il dubbio che tutto non abbia funzionato alla perfezione […]
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1:29 PM | NuSTAR identifica la prima pulsar ‘superluminosa’
Gli astronomi che lavorano con il Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) della NASA, guidati da Fiona Harrison del Caltech, hanno identificato un oggetto stellare incredibilmente brillante che emette l’energia di circa 10 milioni di soli. In precedenza, i ricercatori pensavano che si trattasse di un buco nero, essendo la sua radiazione estremamente potente, ma in realtà è una pulsar, cioè […]
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11:57 AM | Will the Blood Moon harm my unborn baby?
Dear Urban Astronomer I am pregnant, and am worried that all these Blood Moons are harming my baby. I have asked around in my community, but everybody has their own scary story about what will happen to my baby if I go outdoors during the blood moon. Please let me know what precautions I must take. Yours, Hypothetical Reader     Okay so nobody actually mailed this question to me.  But at the time of writing, my wife is pregnant and spends a lot of time online in pregnancy […]
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11:40 AM | Week 20: Flying High Over the Sierra Nevadas
Flight! Taking to the air with Soaring NV. (All photos by author). You’ve never truly flown until you’ve taken to the air in a glider. This past week saw us cross the state of California from west to east, and depart Santa Rosa after last week’s adventures and cross over the Sierra Nevadas into the Silver [...]
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11:15 AM | Time's Up for Astrology
I can’t believe that right now, more than 10% of the way into the 21st century, I have to write these words, but here we are: Astrology doesn’t work. It really is that simple. I need not go into detail here; I’ve already said what I have to say showing exactly why astrology is wrong; astrologers fail to show there’s any evidence that astrology works even when the tests were devised by astrologers themselves! Astrology has no predictive power, no physical cause to believe […]
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11:07 AM | La cometa di Rosetta si stampa in 3D
È sicuramente un oggetto di design che non si troverà nei negozi. Geek e astrofili di tutto il mondo hanno un'opportunità unica per impreziosire i propri salotti: una stampa tridimensionale della cometa 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, quella su cui tra un mese atterrerà Philae, il lander dell'Agenzia Spaziale Europea. In scala, naturalmente. Per produrre il curioso soprammobile basterà avere, racconta la Bbc, una stampante 3D con relativo software, grazie alle […]
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11:00 AM | Weird Bright X-Ray Source Caused by Hungry Black Hole?
A black hole is eating a star faster than scientists had thought was possible, and it's unleashing unusually bright X-ray signals that may help scientists understand a group of weird, superbright objects in deep space.
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10:07 AM | LHC, in attesa del grande ‘risveglio’
Dopo la sorprendente scoperta della particella di Higgs del 2012 (post), che ha determinato l’assegnazione nel 2013 del Nobel per la Fisica a François Englert e a Peter Higgs, i fisici sono in trepidante attesa perchè sperano di imparare nuove cose nel momento in cui il Large Hadron Collider (LHC) entrerà nuovamente in funzione nel 2015 […]
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8:10 AM | In Indonesia le forme più antiche di arte rupestre
Raffinati esempi di arte rupestre, dipinti, disegni, incisioni e un gran numero di figurine scolpite: sono la ricchissima raccolta di sofisticate opere d'arte che hanno fatto la loro comparsa in Europa tra i 40 e i 35mila anni fa, e che hanno per molto tempo lasciato gli archeologi perplessi. Come mai? A causa dell'assenza di testimonianze artistiche simili in qualsiasi altra parte del pianeta, specialmente lungo i percorsi migratori nel sud dell'Asia e nell'estremo Oriente e in Australia, dove […]
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8:09 AM | Tumore al seno, come funziona il gene Brca2
Una delle cause principali della familiarità genetica per il cancro al seno è una mutazione di Brca2 (la stessa che ha convinto Angelina Jolie a sottoporsi ad una doppia mastectomia preventiva), una proteina responsabile della riparazione dei cromosomi danneggiati. Un cattivo funzionamento del gene che codifica per questa proteina porta infatti a una mancata riparazione del Dna, che a sua volta aumenta da 4 a 7 volte il rischio di sviluppare un tumore al seno. Grazie a una ricerca […]
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8:00 AM | Off Our Meds: Physician, Screw Thyself (Or, Um, Not)
This week LWON presents “Off Our Meds,” an examination of some scary issues in medicine. We won’t resort to fear mongering, because we don’t have to. Medicine is scary enough as it is. The doctor was sitting in a chair next to the window, gazing out. His features were grim. I watched him from my hospital bed, […]
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