Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is There A Moore's Law For Science?

The first Earth-like exoplanet discovery could be made in less than a year
(Image: NASA/JPL/Caltech/R. Hurt)

From New Scientist:

Can the rate of past discoveries be used to predict future ones? We may soon find out. Two researchers have used the pace of past exoplanet finds to predict that the first habitable Earth-like planet could turn up in May 2011.

In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors that fit on a chip doubles about once every two years – a trend now known as Moore's law. Samuel Arbesman of Harvard Medical School in Boston wants to see if scientometrics – the statistical study of science itself – can similarly be used to not only study past progress but also to make predictions.

Read more ....

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

'We Don't Know What 96% Of The Universe Is Made Of

Professor Brian Cox is helping us understand the solar system.
Photograph: Mike Hogan/Antonio Saba

From The Guardian:

Pop star-turned-physicist Brian Cox speaks about his new TV series on the solar system.

It's big space, isn't it?

It's 93 million miles to the Sun: that's a long way. It takes light eight minutes to do that. There are 100bn galaxies in the observable universe. If you take a 5p coin and hold it 75 feet away, the space in the sky it would obscure would hold 10,000 galaxies. It's mindblowing. I don't think anyone has a grasp of that other than to say: it's big.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Scientists Freeze Water With Heat

From Live Science:

Imagine water freezing solid even as it's heating up. Such are the bizarre tricks scientists now find water is capable of.

Popular belief contends that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). Surprisingly, if water lies in a smooth bottle and is free of any dust, it can stay liquid down to minus 40 degrees F (minus 40 degrees C) in what's called "supercooled" form. The dust and rough surfaces that water is normally found in contact with in nature can serve as the kernels around which ice crystals form.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Scotland 'World Leader' In Scientific Research

From The Telegraph:

Scotland is a world leader in research but needs to start reaping the commercial benefits of its scientific discoveries, Alex Salmond has said.

The First Minister was unveiling a new report showing more research is conducted in Scotland than any other country, relative to wealth per head of population.

Findings from Scottish universities and other institutions have influenced work across the globe, being cited in 1.8 per cent of all scientific publications.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Animal Research Study Shows Many Tests Are Full Of Flaws

Marmoset monkeys used in animal research are given marshmallows at a testing centre. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

From The Guardian:

Whether you support or detest such experiments, it's important to know if they are well conducted.

Like many people, you're possibly afraid to share your views on animal experiments, because you don't want anyone digging up your grandmother's grave, or setting fire to your house, or stuff like that. Animal experiments are necessary, they need to be properly regulated, and we have some of the tightest regulation in the world.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Year Ahead: Science

After 10 years of study, the Census for Marine Life will finally publish its report into ocean life. Photograph: Mark Conlin/Alamy

From The Guardian:

Is this finally the year that artificial life will be created?

The year ahead is shaping up to be one long celebration for the world's oldest science academy. The Royal Society formed on a dreary night in London 350 years ago, when the acquisition of scientific knowledge was little more than a hobby for amateurs and polymaths. As part of the celebrations, world-leading researchers have been invited to Britain to thrash out the most pressing questions facing science today: what is consciousness? Where did the universe come from? How are we ever going to feed everybody? Whatever the scientists decide, it will reflect the agenda for the next two decades.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The 9 Strangest News Stories Of 2009

From Live Science:

Weirdness takes many forms, and 2009 had its share of weird events. Here's a look back at the strangest news stories of the year drawn from the realms of pseudoscience, the paranormal, media hype, outright lies and the just plain strange.

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A Decade Of Scientific Discovery

Dr Henry Gee, Senior Editor at Nature Magazine, holding the only cast of the Homo Floresiensis
Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith

From The Telegraph:

What were the most exciting scientific developments of the past 10 years – and what comes next?

Colin Blakemore - Professor of Neuroscience at the Universities of Oxford and Warwick and president of the Motor Neurone Disease Association

"My scientific moment of the last decade came on February 12, 2001, when the journal Nature published the 'working draft' of the entire three-billion-letter sequence of human DNA. One third of that massively expensive international enterprise – comparable in its significance to splitting the atom, or discovering radioactivity – was produced at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, near Cambridge.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Your Guide To The Year In Science: 2010

Exclusive Patent Rights Countdown

From Popular Science:

A deeper look at polar ice. An electric-car renaissance. The death and rebirth of major scientific experiments. Read on to discover what this year has in store.

Our annual sci-tech forecast looks at what 2010 has in store for medicine, space, aviation, the environment, technology and entertainment.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

When ‘Back To Basics’ Leads To Breakthroughs In Science

(James Kelleher/The Orange County Register)

From The Christian Science Monitor:

Two examples of researchers finding amazing things by reconsidering the fundamentals.

Sometimes scientists need to take a fresh look at fundamentals to improve familiar materials. That means getting down to the basic molecular and atomic structures.

When a research group that calls itself “Liquid Stone” recently did that with cement, it found that what scientists thought they knew about the fundamental structure of that ubiquitous material just isn’t so. One team member likens the implications of their new understanding of that structure to the boost biologists got when they discovered the basic structure of the DNA molecule.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mobile App Sees Science Go Global

The interface collates information from many sources and presents statistics

From The BBC:

A mobile phone application will help professional and "citizen" scientists collect and analyse data from "in the field", anywhere in the world.

The EpiCollect software collates data from certain mobiles - on topics such as disease spread or the occurrence of rare species - in a web-based database.

The data is statistically analysed and plotted on maps that are instantly available to those same phones.

Read more ....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Six Mind-Blowing Ideas

From Cosmic Log/MSNBC:

Is "life as we don't know it" closer than we think? Are microbes behind the world's biggest extinctions? Is most of our morality bound up in hidden "dark morals"? Blow your mind with six flights of scientific fancy from the Origins Symposium, presented by Arizona State University.

The weekend forum, organized to inaugurate ASU's Origins Initiative, focused on the beginnings of life, the universe and everything - including consciousness and culture. Among the luminaries in attendance were biologist Richard Dawkins, neuroscientist Steven Pinker, anthropologist Donald Johanson and a basketball team's worth of Nobel laureates. (On Saturday I almost got lost as I wandered around The Boulders resort with two of the nicest Nobelists you ever did meet, Frank Wilczek and John Mather.)

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What Shortage of Scientists and Engineers?

From Tierney Lab/New York Times:

If the United States really has a critical shortage of scientists and engineers, why didn’t this year’s graduates get showered with lucrative job offers and signing bonuses?

That’s the question that comes to my mind after reading about Barack Obama’s plans to address the “shortage” we keep hearing about from blue-ribbon commissions of scientists and engineers. He wants to pay for the training of 100,000 more engineers and scientists over the next four years, as my colleagues Bill Broad and Cory Dean note in their excellent analysis of the presidential candidates’ plans to encourage technological innovation.

Now, I’m all in favor of American technological innovation, and I’m glad to see Mr. Obama promising to review the export restrictions that have been so damaging to the aerospace industry (and that were promoted by John McCain because of what he called national-security risks). I’m also all in favor of American scientists and engineers, especially the ones in my family. (My father is a chemical engineer; my brother is an electrical engineer.) I’d love to see American corporations and universities frantically competing to offer them the kind of salaries paid to M.B.A.’s and lawyers.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Science On The 'Fringe'

From Live Science:

FRINGE takes viewers on a wild ride using sciences that traditionally lie on the "fringe" of mainstream science, such as mind control or teleportation. But with so much research being done in these fields, many of the show’s ideas are actually ripped from science magazines and journals.

"We start by finding ideas right out of the headlines from a science magazine or the announcement for new research grant and we think, 'what is the next step or how can we push the boundaries?'" said Whitman. "For example, in episode three one of the characters was receiving messages in his brain telepathically and the Monday before the show aired, we saw an article on the CNN website that explained how the U.S. Army was developing a helmet that uses brain waves to help soldiers talk to each other."

Whitman and Chiappetta are "media consultants," not scientists, and while they’ve been advisors on several TV shows, they note their expertise comes from curiosity and researching science journals and the popular press, not formal training. Chiappetta has a law degree from the University of Texas, and Whitman has his PhD in economics from New York University.

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