Friday, January 20, 2012

Fears Of Bioterrorism Halts Research On Mutant Bird Flu

Bioterror Fears Halt Research On Mutant Bird Flu -- BBC

Scientists who created a more deadly strain of bird flu have temporarily stopped their research amid fears it could be used by bioterrorists.

In a letter published in Science and Nature, the teams call for an "international forum" to debate the risks and value of the studies.

US authorities last month asked the authors of the research to redact key details in forthcoming publications.

A government advisory panel suggested the data could be used by terrorists.

Biosecurity experts fear a mutant form of the virus could spark a pandemic deadlier than the 1918-19 Spanish flu outbreak that killed up to 40 million people.

Read more ....

More News On Scientists Suspending For 60 Days Their Research On Mutant Bird Flu

Researchers Pause Work on Bird Flu That Could Kill Hundreds of Millions -- ABC News
Fears of mutant virus escape halt bird flu study -- Reuters
Deadly Bird Flu Research to Be Paused Over Concern About Risks -- Bloomberg
Bird flu scientists suspend work amid epidemic fears -- The Guardian
Scientists call moratorium on study of deadly bird flu -- L.A. Times
Scientists Agree to Halt Work on Dangerous Bird Flu Strain -- Time
Scientists to Pause Research on Deadly Strain of Bird Flu -- New York Times
Controversial Killer Flu Research Paused -- Wired
Flu scientists agree to 60-day ‘pause’ in bird-flu research -- Washington Post
Scientists Call for 60-Day Suspension of Mutant Flu Research -- Scientific America

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hackers Retaliate With Massive Cyber Attacks After Shutdown Of Megaupload

U.S. Justice Department Website Attacked By Hackers Over Megaupload Shutdown -- National Post

The U.S. government shut down the content sharing website, charging its founders and several employees with massive copyright infringement, the latest skirmish in a high-profile battle against piracy of movies and music.

The Department of Justice announced the indictment and arrests of four company executives on Thursday as debate in Washington reaches a fever pitch over online piracy. Lawmakers are trying to craft legislation that balances cracking down on violators while avoiding censorship of the Internet.

Read more ....

More News On The Shutdown Of Megaupload And Hacker Retaliation

Anonymous strikes back after feds shut piracy hub Megaupload -- CNN Gets Hit by Mega Piracy Indictment; Hackers Attack Feds, Entertainment Industry -- ABC News
U.S. shutters, arrests founder; hackers retaliate? -- Seattle Times/AP
Megaupload is Megapwned by Gov't, Anonymous Hits Back, Downs DOJ Homepage -- Daily Tech
Anonymous claims DOJ hack attack -- Politico
FBI shuts down, Anonymous shut down FBI --
Anonymous says it takes down FBI, DOJ, entertainment sites -- MSNBC
Hackers attack FBI, Justice Department websites after Megaupload shutdown -- National Post
Hackers’ revenge: Federal -- Miami Herald
Anonymous Claims DOJ, RIAA, MPAA Sites Hit for Megaupload Bust -- Time
The Copyright War- Govt Takes Down Megaupload, Anonymous Takes Down Govt! -- Crazy Engineers
Anonymous DOJ Attack Also Targets RIAA and More in Response to MegaUpload Indictment -- Gather
Anonymous Retaliates With Gov., Media Web Site Shutdowns after Megaupload Arrests -- RedmondMag
Anonymous Retaliates for Megaupload Shutdown, Attacks DOJ, Others -- PC World
US govt, entertainment sites attacked after piracy arrests -- ZDNet
Anonymous hacks DOJ, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music websites -- ZDNet

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gravitational Lensing Helps Redraw the Map of Space

The observations show that dark matter in the Universe is distributed as a network of gigantic dense (white) and empty (dark) regions, where the largest white regions are about the size of several Earth moons on the sky. Van Waerbeke / Heymans / CFHTLens collaboration

A Cosmic Illusion: Gravitational Lensing Helps Redraw the Map of Space -- Time

You can hardly accuse Albert Einstein of being short on imagination. The man who invented General Relativity and helped invent quantum theory probably had more creative thoughts in an hour than most folks have in a year. But one of Einstein's more intriguing scientific papers, which appeared in Science in 1936, wasn't really his idea in the first place. It came instead from a Czech electrical engineer named Rudi Mandl, who was intrigued by one of relativity's implications.

Read more ....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Major Websites Preparing To Go Dark On Wednesday

Wikipedia and other websites plan to go dark in protest. Reuters

SOPA Protest Nears Zero Hour -- Politico

Internet companies and activists are hoping to join the Arab Spring and other online democracy movements by taking an estimated 7,000 websites offline Wednesday to send a message to Washington: Don’t pass a pair of anti-piracy bills.

The websites that have announced plans to go dark include Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit and Wordpress, but some of the most visited websites are conspicuous in their absence.

And supporters of the copyright bills dismissed the blackout as a “stunt.”

Read more ....

My Comment: To understand the issues that are involved, go here. As for myself .... unless Blogger goes offline .... I will be blogging tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Massacre In The Hive

Massacre In The Hive: Amazing Footage Of 30 Giant Japanese Hornets Slaughtering 30,000 Tiny Honeybees To Eat Their Young -- Daily Mail

Tens of thousands are dead, hundreds more of the dying lie writhing on the battlefield, powerless to protect their children.

These horrifying and yet fascinating scenes are the highlights of a three-hour battle between just 30 giant Japanese hornets and 30,000 European honeybees.

The video, from a National Geographic documentary called Hornets From Hell, shows a full-scale attack on the honeybees' comb in order that the hornets can get at their larvae.

Read more ....

My Comment:
I got the chills from just watching the video.

The Hunt for Exomoons Is Heating Up

An artist's impression of a hypothetical exomoon in orbit around a planet in another planetary system. Dan Durda

Forget Exoplanets: The Hunt for Exomoons Is Heating Up

The universe seems almost infinitely reductive: our galaxy rotates around a central hub, planets orbit their planet stars, moons orbit their parent planets, and the odd moonlet may even orbit a moon.

Almost from the moment astronomers began finding planets around distant stars, they thus began talking about the moons that might orbit those alien worlds. It wasn't that they had any hope of discovering something as tiny as a moon: the smallest things they could find at the time were giant planets like Jupiter. But if a Jupiter happened to orbit in its star's Goldilocks Zone, where temperatures were relatively balmy, and if that Jupiter happened to have a moon about the size of Earth — not impossible, surely — then that hypothetical moon might have a chance of harboring life. That's a lot of ifs, which made talk of so-called exomoons seem like more of a marketing gimmick designed to gin up public interest in exoplanet science than a serious area of research.

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The First Ever Saturn-Like Exoplanet Is Found

A Saturn-Like Ringed Planet, 420 Light-Years Away Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester

Found: The First Ever Saturn-Like Exoplanet Surrounded By Orbital Rings -- Popular Science

The hits just keep on coming out of Austin this week as the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society rolls on. Researchers there have announced the discovery of the first Saturn-like ringed object outside our solar system, documented when researchers were trying to diagnose the cause of a strange eclipsing effect emanating from a nearby star.

Read more ....