Weird Science Thread

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Max Peck
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:28 am

Relativity is relatively weird (my brain is hardwired for the Newtonian world)...

The hunt for Albert Einstein's missing waves
In the Italian countryside, not far from Pisa, a vast experiment is about to be switched on. If it's a success, one of Albert Einstein's greatest predictions will have been directly observed for the first time. If it fails, laws of physics might have to be reconsidered. The experiment is called Advanced Virgo, and it will be hunting for the most elusive of astrophysical phenomena. "Maybe we have the opportunity for the first time to detect gravitational waves on the Earth," explains Dr Franco Frasconi, from the University Pisa, who is part of Virgo's international team. This would be a clear demonstration that what [Einstein] said 100 years ago is absolutely correct."

On 25 November 1915, Albert Einstein presented the final version of his field equations to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. They underpinned his Theory of General Relativity - a pillar of modern physics that has transformed our understanding of space, time and gravity. From it, we have been able to understand so much - from the expansion of the Universe, to the motion of the planets and the existence of black holes. But he also proposed the presence of gravitational waves, essentially ripples of energy that distort the fabric of space-time. Think of them as a bit like the waves that radiate out when you throw a stone into a pond. Any object with mass should generate them when it's on the move. Even us. But the greater the mass, and more dramatic the motion, the larger the waves. And Einstein predicted that the Universe was awash with them.

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  • The waves are an inevitable consequence of the Theory of General Relativity
  • Their existence has been inferred by science but not yet directly detected
  • They are ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events
  • Accelerating masses will produce waves that propagate at the speed of light
  • Detectable sources ought to include merging black holes and exploding stars
  • Virgo bounces laser beams down tunnels; the waves should disturb the light
  • Detecting the waves opens up the Universe to completely new investigations
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:10 pm

Magnetic diamonds
Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, which is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.
...
"We've now created a third solid phase of carbon," says Jay Narayan, the John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State and lead author of three papers describing the work. "The only place it may be found in the natural world would be possibly in the core of some planets."

Q-carbon has some unusual characteristics. For one thing, it is ferromagnetic – which other solid forms of carbon are not.

"We didn't even think that was possible," Narayan says.
...
Researchers start with a substrate, such as such as sapphire, glass or a plastic polymer. The substrate is then coated with amorphous carbon – elemental carbon that, unlike graphite or diamond, does not have a regular, well-defined crystalline structure. The carbon is then hit with a single laser pulse lasting approximately 200 nanoseconds. During this pulse, the temperature of the carbon is raised to 4,000 Kelvin (or around 3,727 degrees Celsius) and then rapidly cooled. This operation takes place at one atmosphere – the same pressure as the surrounding air.

The end result is a film of Q-carbon, and researchers can control the process to make films between 20 nanometers and 500 nanometers thick.

By using different substrates and changing the duration of the laser pulse, the researchers can also control how quickly the carbon cools. By changing the rate of cooling, they are able to create diamond structures within the Q-carbon.

"We can create diamond nanoneedles or microneedles, nanodots, or large-area diamond films, with applications for drug delivery, industrial processes and for creating high-temperature switches and power electronics," Narayan says. "These diamond objects have a single-crystalline structure, making them stronger than polycrystalline materials. And it is all done at room temperature and at ambient atmosphere – we're basically using a laser like the ones used for laser eye surgery. So, not only does this allow us to develop new applications, but the process itself is relatively inexpensive."

And, if researchers want to convert more of the Q-carbon to diamond, they can simply repeat the laser-pulse/cooling process.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:30 pm

Image shows what dolphins see when they look at humans underwater via echolocation:
In a scientific first, researchers have just reproduced what a dolphin saw as it encountered a male diver.

This “what the dolphin saw” image of the submerged man reveals that dolphin echolocation results in fairly detailed images. What’s more, it’s now thought that dolphins may share such images with each other as part of a previously unknown marine mammal language.
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That is creepy as hell.

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:27 am

'Tis the season for parthenogenesis stories.

We think of virgin births as a miracle, and for humans they would be. But for many animals, virgin births are a choice.
We have written before about the strange but spectacular phenomenon of virgin births, or "parthenogenesis" as it's known.

Some animals are fully asexual and do not need a male to give birth: for instance, some species of whiptail lizards. But there are also animals that can mate with a male, but do not always do so, and they are the ones we are considering.

Here we report four new cases published in the scientific literature in 2015. They all point to the idea that, even in sexually-reproducing species, many animals have long been able to go it alone.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:24 am

We all know that the age of a parent can affect a child due to mutations in the genome, but new research shows that epigenetic effects can also affect children.
The research involved 10 obese men and 13 lean men. The researchers found that the sperm cells in lean and obese men had different biomarkers in gene regions associated with appetite control. The differences, they write, are due to epigenetics—changes in gene expression that are not related to underlying DNA and are instead brought about through environmental factors including diet and exercise.

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:17 pm

I, for one, welcome our cryptobiotic sea-monkey overlords. Finally, we have a challenger to the tardigrade domination of planet Earth.
They fell out of the sky and landed on the pale blue planet with a splash. Many of the crew missed the whole thing. Deep inside the spacecraft, arranged in neat stacks, were rows and rows of sleeping astronauts. Each was curled up inside their own pod, where they could have stayed for 10,000 years.

These were no ordinary space travellers. In the following weeks, they burst from their shells and developed into full-blown aquatic monsters: they are salmon-pink, with three eyes and eleven pairs of thrashing legs.

This really happened. The year was 1972 and the slumbering passengers were brine shrimp, otherwise known as "sea monkeys", returning from the Apollo 16 moon mission. They had been taken into space to test the impacts of cosmic radiation on astronauts.

This treacherous experiment required a near-indestructible guinea pig. Enter the brine shrimp, whose survival skills defy belief.

You can safely dry them out, set them on fire, dissolve them in alcohol, deprive them of oxygen, zap them with ultraviolet light, boil them at 105 °C or chill them to temperatures approaching absolute zero: the point at which atoms stop moving. They can also survive extremes of pH that would dissolve human flesh, water that is 50% salt, or a bath of insecticides. They are happy in the vacuum of space or at the crushing pressures found under 6,000 metres (20,000 feet) of ocean.

We are now starting to understand how they do it.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:42 pm

Brine shrimp vs. tardigrades. Fight!

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:06 pm

People can hear the difference between cold and hot water being poured into a glass.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:35 pm

Researchers stream HD video through chunks of raw meat.

I feel like I've wasted my life. Also, apparently someday people will be able to watch an HD movie inside deer carcass easier than I can stream with my 5 Mbps DSL line. F Century Link. Maybe I should send them this link.

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Mon May 23, 2016 9:18 pm

China has been infiltrated by Daleks! :shock:

Enlarge Image

Explanation: Why is there more matter than antimatter in the Universe? To better understand this facet of basic physics, energy departments in China and the USA led in the creation of the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment. Located under thick rock about 50 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong, China, eight Daya Bay detectors monitor antineutrinos emitted by six nearby nuclear reactors. Featured here, a camera looks along one of the Daya Bay detectors, imaging photon sensors that pick up faint light emitted by antineutrinos interacting with fluids in the detector. Early results indicate an unexpectedly high rate of one type of antineutrino changing into another, a rate which, if confirmed, could imply the existence of a previously undetected type of neutrino as well as impact humanity's comprehension of fundamental particle reactions that occurred within the first few seconds of the Big Bang.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:22 pm

Some lifeforms may have been alive since the dinosaur era
Some corals live for thousands of years. American lobsters can live to at least 140. One tortoise lived to 250. And a mollusc called Ming was the ripe old age of 507 when researchers inadvertently killed him. Forget these babies, though. The oldest living creatures on Earth can easily shatter their longevity records, which is not bad going for organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. In the coldest parts of Siberia, Antarctica and Canada lie soils that have remained permanently frozen for thousands to millions of years. Trapped hundreds of metres down between layers of this frozen earth, known as permafrost, are living bacteria as old as the ice itself. Just how the bacteria survive is unknown, but some claim the microbes' secrets could unlock the key to immortality.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:18 am

Some genes don't turn on until after you die:
Typically, when a person’s heart stops beating, they’re pronounced dead. But don’t tell that to their genes, some of which only come to life two days after they’ve kicked the bucket.

In fact, hundreds of genes suddenly started churning out messenger RNA, which sends a signal to various cellular machines to start making the stuff of life, such as proteins. Peter Noble and Alex Pozhitkov, both at the University of Washington, discovered this life-after-death scenario in mice and zebrafish.
Whoa.

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by AWS260 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:03 pm

My name is Luca. I live on the ocean floor.
The New York Times wrote:A surprisingly specific genetic portrait of the ancestor of all living things has been generated by scientists who say that the likeness sheds considerable light on the mystery of how life first emerged on Earth.

This venerable ancestor was a single-cell, bacterium-like organism. But it has a grand name, or at least an acronym. It is known as Luca, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, and is estimated to have lived some four billion years ago, when Earth was a mere 560 million years old.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Paingod » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:15 pm

Smoove_B wrote:Whoa.
I sometimes pause and look at my hand as I flex it, and imagine the control I'm exerting over a massive number of individual cells that have bonded together in a specific pattern for survival. They're still just cells, though. It's really cool that they might keep on doing what they think they need to do until they run out of juice, even when "I" am gone.

They don't seem to know exactly why this is happening ... it could be attempts at healing, it could be deliberate breakdown processes, or it could be like tires spinning on a car that's flipped over. It's even cooler that they think it might help detect cancer genes that may activate when a liver is harvested and then transplanted.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by coopasonic » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:23 pm

AWS260 wrote:My name is Luca. I live on the ocean floor.
The New York Times wrote:A surprisingly specific genetic portrait of the ancestor of all living things has been generated by scientists who say that the likeness sheds considerable light on the mystery of how life first emerged on Earth.

This venerable ancestor was a single-cell, bacterium-like organism. But it has a grand name, or at least an acronym. It is known as Luca, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, and is estimated to have lived some four billion years ago, when Earth was a mere 560 million years old.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by stessier » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:14 pm

Wow, there is a shark that we believe doesn't even begin reproducing until it is more than 100 years old. :shock:

And we think one of the ones scientists tested is between 270 - 510 years old (392 +/- 120 years). :shock: :shock:
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:18 pm

Methusharkaleh.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:05 pm

The foxes that turned into dogs.
From the richly-plumed red fox to the big-eared fennec fox, foxes look adorable. Because of this, people are sometimes tempted to keep them as pets.

However, those who have tried have struggled. Unlike dogs and cats, the different species of fox have not been domesticated.

Domestication only happens over a long period of time through selective breeding. Cats and dogs were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago to be pets and companions. Sheep, goats and other animals were domesticated for food.

But there may be more to it than that. People who have tried to simply tame individual foxes often speak of a stubborn wildness that is impossible to get rid of. This suggests that foxes harder to tame than other animals.

However, one extraordinary experiment has found a way to domesticate foxes. This one study could help us understand how our ancestors domesticated other animals, and indeed what domestication is.
The foxes at the fox-farm were never trained to become tame. They lived in cages and had minimal contact with humans. Belyaev's aim was to create a genetically-distinct population, so he simply selected for particular behavioural traits.

"Belyaev had one main goal at the beginning of experiment: to reproduce the process of historical domestication at the experiment, during a short time," says Trut. "This goal didn't change. But during the experiment the understanding of evolutionary process changed."

By the fourth generation, the scientists started to see dramatic changes.

The cubs were beginning to behave more like dogs. They wagged their tails and "eagerly" sought contact with humans. They whined, whimpered and licked researchers just like puppies would.

The process was surprisingly quick. "By intense selective breeding, we have compressed into a few decades an ancient process that originally unfolded over thousands of years," wrote Trut in 1999.

These foxes were called the "elite of domestication", and as the generations passed the proportion of these elite cubs grew. By 2005-2006, almost all the foxes were playful, friendly and behaving like domestic dogs. The foxes could "read" human cues and respond correctly to gestures or glances. The vocalisations they made were different to wild foxes.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:35 pm

Eusocial parasitic flukes!
Parasitic worms may possess warrior castes just as social insects do — fearsome soldiers that rip and swallow enemies with their mouths to protect their colonies.
Past studies had revealed the flatworm species known as Himasthla species B, which infects the California horn snail, Cerithidea californica, had reproductive breeders roughly 1.5-to-2-millimeters long. (For comparison, a pinhead is 2 mm in diameter.) However, in addition to these "primary morphs," the investigators discovered smaller, thinner "secondary morphs," which possessed relatively huge mouths they used as weapons.

"These sleek, agile soldiers defend the worm colony from invaders," said researcher Ryan Hechinger, a zoologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "The other caste is comprised of reproductives, which are slow, big, fat, slug-like things that specialize on creating offspring."

In experiments, warriors attacked seven different species of trematodes 100 percent of the time, either tearing at their bodies or eating them outright. They attacked trematodes of the same species from different colonies in other snails almost all the time as well.
:shock:

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Paingod » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:49 am

Sounds like a worthwhile horror plot. Nature makes the bestest plot twists.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:46 pm

From the, "Well, duh!" files: Less attractive friends might help your rating
Uglier friends might make you more attractive, according to a research published last in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers from Royal Holloway University of London found that an averagely attractive face surrounded by undesirable faces becomes more appealing than when the face is by itself.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Hyena » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:42 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:From the, "Well, duh!" files: Less attractive friends might help your rating
Uglier friends might make you more attractive, according to a research published last in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers from Royal Holloway University of London found that an averagely attractive face surrounded by undesirable faces becomes more appealing than when the face is by itself.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:24 pm

Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is now extending its PRE-SAFE® technology with PRE-SAFE® Sound. It will be debuted in the new E-Class, model series 213, available from 2016. The system is the first to harness a natural reflex to condition the ear – when a collision is imminent – for the loud noise that is anticipated from the impact. If an impending collision is detected that would be expected to produce a loud crash, the vehicle’s sound system plays a short interference signal. This causes the stapedius muscle in the ears to contract, which for a split second changes the link between the eardrum and the inner ear and so better protects it against high acoustic pressures. Most importantly, the reflex reduces the damage to hearing.
...
That may sound simple enough, but as is so often the case with advanced technology, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. “People have long been aware of the stapedius reflex and its protective effect,” says Wilfried Bullinger, who works in Mercedes-Benz Cars development on innovative occupant protection systems. “To make sure you trigger the reflex, however, you normally need high sound pressures, typically around 100 decibels. This would be like listening to a trumpet playing from around one metre away. But this volume would definitely be too much for use in a car.” Then the experts discovered a way of tricking the body.

The triggering of the stapedius reflex is contingent not only on how loud the noise is, but also on the spectral composition of the signal that is used. An individual tone carries the required energy only on a single frequency, meaning that this frequency has to be transmitted to the ear at a very high volume. However, if this energy is spread out across as many tones, i.e. frequencies, as possible, it can be transmitted at a much lower volume.

A frequency spectrum known in physics as pink noise is ideally suited for this purpose. It sounds like a bit like diffuse traffic noise, the breaking of waves or a waterfall. “This finding was the breakthrough,” says Bullinger. “100 decibels was too much. But around 80 decibels, as now deployed by PRE-SAFE Sound®, was perfect. This is equivalent to the level of noise at the side of a busy road.” At the end of 2011 human trials of the pink noise method proved that the concept worked – a major milestone had been reached.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:48 pm

Sewage oil
It may sound like science fiction, but wastewater treatment plants across the United States may one day turn ordinary sewage into biocrude oil, thanks to new research at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The technology, hydrothermal liquefaction, mimics the geological conditions the Earth uses to create crude oil, using high pressure and temperature to achieve in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years. The resulting material is similar to petroleum pumped out of the ground, with a small amount of water and oxygen mixed in. This biocrude can then be refined using conventional petroleum refining operations.

Wastewater treatment plants across the U.S. treat approximately 34 billion gallons of sewage every day. That amount could produce the equivalent of up to approximately 30 million barrels of oil per year. PNNL estimates that a single person could generate two to three gallons of biocrude per year.

Sewage, or more specifically sewage sludge, has long been viewed as a poor ingredient for producing biofuel because it's too wet. The approach being studied by PNNL eliminates the need for drying required in a majority of current thermal technologies which historically has made wastewater to fuel conversion too energy intensive and expensive. HTL may also be used to make fuel from other types of wet organic feedstock, such as agricultural waste.
Of course, that would take the solidified waste carbon, turn it into liquid, which would then be released into the atmosphere, so....
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by LordMortis » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:06 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Sewage oil
It may sound like science fiction, but wastewater treatment plants across the United States may one day turn ordinary sewage into biocrude oil, thanks to new research at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The technology, hydrothermal liquefaction, mimics the geological conditions the Earth uses to create crude oil, using high pressure and temperature to achieve in minutes something that takes Mother Nature millions of years. The resulting material is similar to petroleum pumped out of the ground, with a small amount of water and oxygen mixed in. This biocrude can then be refined using conventional petroleum refining operations.

Wastewater treatment plants across the U.S. treat approximately 34 billion gallons of sewage every day. That amount could produce the equivalent of up to approximately 30 million barrels of oil per year. PNNL estimates that a single person could generate two to three gallons of biocrude per year.

Sewage, or more specifically sewage sludge, has long been viewed as a poor ingredient for producing biofuel because it's too wet. The approach being studied by PNNL eliminates the need for drying required in a majority of current thermal technologies which historically has made wastewater to fuel conversion too energy intensive and expensive. HTL may also be used to make fuel from other types of wet organic feedstock, such as agricultural waste.
Of course, that would take the solidified waste carbon, turn it into liquid, which would then be released into the atmosphere, so....
The last time they tried this anything into oil concept, the company got a lot of money from government and then never delivered. I followed them for a long time. As far as I know the plant in Missouri is still turning tukey slurry in to oil. Maybe if gas had stayed at $4 a gallon things would be different?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changing_ ... chnologies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization

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Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:12 pm

It's still nice to have the clubs in the bag, even if the current economic structure doesn't make it worth taking them out.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:57 pm

Artificial leaves
Dutch scientists have developed an artificial leaf that can act as a mini-factory for producing drugs, an advance that could allow medicines to be produced anywhere there is sunlight.

The work taps into the ability of plants to use sunlight to feed themselves through photosynthesis, something industrial chemists have struggled to replicate because sunshine usually generates too little energy to fuel chemical reactions.

The leaf-inspired micro factory mimics nature's efficiency at harvesting solar radiation by using new materials called luminescent solar concentrators with very thin channels through which liquid is pumped, exposing molecules to sunlight.

"Theoretically, you could use this device to make drug compounds with solar energy anywhere you want," said lead researcher Timothy Noel at Eindhoven University of Technology.

By doing away with the need for a power grid, it may be possible one day to make malaria drugs in the jungle or even medicines on Mars in some future space colony, he believes.

The device, made from silicone rubber, can operate even when there is diffuse light, which means it will work under cloudy skies. However, there is still a way to go to scale up the process to make it commercially viable.
...
Because the artificial leaf relies on micro-channels to bring chemicals into direct contact with sunlight, each unit needs to be small - but they could be easily linked together to increase production.

"You can make a whole tree with many, many different leaves placed in parallel," Noel told Reuters. "These are very cheap things to make, so there is a lot of potential."
...
It is not the first time that scientists have drawn inspiration from plants when considering novel ways to manufacture pharmaceuticals.

In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug called Elelyso from Pfizer and Protalix Biotherapeutics for Gaucher disease, a rare genetic condition, made with genetically modified carrot cells.

Other researchers are also cultivating crops that have been specially bred to produce useful medicines and vaccines in their leaves.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Paingod » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:52 pm

I don't know if we have this one here or not, but it was fun to just watch.

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by LordMortis » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:33 pm

https://phys.org/news/2017-01-scientist ... hetic.html
Until now. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have announced the development of the first stable semisynthetic organism. Building on their 2014 study in which they synthesized a DNA base pair, the researchers created a new bacterium that uses the four natural bases (called A, T, C and G), which every living organism possesses, but that also holds as a pair two synthetic bases called X and Y in its genetic code.

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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Paingod » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:46 pm

They didn't use a decoded alien signal to do this, did they? 'Cause I've seen that movie. It didn't end well.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by killbot737 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:37 pm

Now are they building Sil, Ripley 8, or the tentacled turtles from Island of Terror, or that other weird one from Splice?
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:51 pm

Telegraph
Sharing pictures, however, is something everyone is comfortable with. But research has revealed that these can also be used to glean telling information. Posing for a picture while holding your hands up in a peace sign could pose a security threat, with hackers able to recreate prints that are the key to phones, computers and tablets.

Researchers at Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) have found that fingerprints can be easily recreated from photos taken up to three metres away without the need for advanced technology. So long as the picture is clear and well-lit, prints can be mimicked.

"Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available," Professor Isao Echizen, a security and digital media researcher at the NII, told local paper Sankei Shimbun.

It isn't the first time the security of biometrics has been called into question. Back in 2015, hacker Jan "Starbug" Krissler recreated Angela Merkel's iris from a photo and managed to unlock a test.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:11 am

New shrimp species named after Pink Floyd
A new species of shrimp has been named after Pink Floyd thanks to a pact between prog rock-loving scientists.

The synalpheus pinkfloydi uses its large pink claw to create a noise so loud it can kill small fish.

The team behind the discovery vowed years ago if it ever found a new pink shrimp it would "honour" the rockers.

Sammy De Grave, head of research at Oxford University Museum of National History, said he has been a fan of the band since he was a teenager.

He has previous for naming crustaceans after rock legends, having already named a species of shrimp after Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger - Elephantis jaggerai.

He said: "I have been listening to Floyd since The Wall was released in 1979, when I was 14 years old.

"The description of this new species of pistol shrimp was the perfect opportunity to finally give a nod to my favourite band.

"We are all Pink Floyd fans, and we always said if we would find a pink one, a new species of pink shrimp, we would name it after Pink Floyd."

The pistol, or snapping shrimp, has an ability to generate sonic energy by closing their enlarged claw at rapid speed.

It can reach 210 decibels - louder than your average rock concert - and results in one of the loudest sounds in the ocean.

The description of the species, found off the Pacific coast of Panama, has been published in the Zootaxa journal and was co-authored with the Universidade Federal de Goiás in Brazil, and Seattle University in the US.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:36 pm

There are good reasons that mole-rats fare so well in Fallout.
If you take away a mouse's oxygen, the mouse is going to die within 20 seconds. If you take away a naked mole-rat's oxygen, though, it will be fine for up to 18 minutes.

Naked mole-rats are marvelous and bizarre rodents, arguably the world's weirdest mammals. The East African critters do not get tumors. They're immune to types of chronic pain and the irritant in chili peppers. They live like social insects, in 300-strong underground colonies where a mole-rat queen gives birth to worker children (the offspring themselves will never bear young). Though the mole-rats are mammals, they do not internally regulate their body temperature — they are coldblooded, so to speak, in the manner of frogs. Mice live a maximum of three years. Old Man, the world's oldest mole-rat, died at 32.

And naked mole-rats thrive in oxygen-poor air, even at levels that would be lethal to mice or humans. If the naked mole-rats behave like a strange medley of wrinkled rodent, termite and toad, throw vegetable into that mix, too: When oxygen is scarce, as scientists report Thursday in the journal Science, the mole-rats switch their energy source from glucose — what humans and virtually all other mammals use — to fructose. That's the sugar that plants use.

The air you're breathing right now is, in all likelihood, just about 21 percent oxygen. The Occupational Health & Safety Administration defines “oxygen-deficient” air as less than 19.5 percent. Humans, unless they go through a careful acclimation process, stop functioning well at around 10 percent. Thrust into a cage with air at 5 percent oxygen, humans would die.

When Thomas Park, an expert on naked mole-rats, placed the first animal in a chamber containing only 5 percent oxygen, the mood, he said, was “tense.” The scientists began their stopwatches and waited for the slightest twitch of distress. The animal, though, seemed unaware that three-fourths of the oxygen in its environment had vanished. Fifteen minutes passed. The animal was unperturbed. Minutes bled into hours. The scientists called time after 300 minutes.

“They didn’t even go to sleep,” Park, a University of Illinois at Chicago neurobiologist and co-author of the new study, told The Washington Post.

The researchers tested the animals at even less oxygen: 0 percent. The mole-rats fell into a sort of suspended animation while totally oxygen-deprived. Their heart rate dropped from 200 beats per minute to about 50. Once the scientists added oxygen back into the mole-rats' atmosphere, the rodents made a swift recovery.

“They were able to survive up to 18 minutes without any apparent neurological damage,” said Jane Reznick, a study co-author and molecular biologist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Paingod » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:23 am

Nature was grooming them to become the dominant species on Earth and develop sentience, but wasn't paying close enough attention to monkeys to stop them from picking up sticks.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by stessier » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:49 am

Who says they aren't the dominant species? We live on the crust - they live in it and thus have way more space to hide. They could just be giving us sacrificial members to keep us off their scent. Or they could be the one's who set up this simulation in the first place.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:51 am

Somewhere, a magnificently mad genius is labouring away to genetically engineer the mole-rat/tardigrade hybrid that will one day rule the cosmos. I, for one, welcome our new water-mole-rat-bear overlords.
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Max Peck » Mon May 29, 2017 11:28 am

The quietest place on Earth:
The specially constructed chamber is hidden in the depths of Building 87 at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where the firm’s hardware laboratories are based. Products like the Surface computers, Xbox and Hololens have all been developed here. Microsoft’s engineers built the room – known as an anechoic chamber – to help them test new equipment they were developing and in 2015 it set the official world record for silence when the background noise level inside was measured at an ear-straining -20.6 decibels.

To put that in context, a human whisper is about 30 decibels while the sound of someone breathing normally comes in at just 10 decibels. It gets close to the limit of what should be possible to achieve without creating a vacuum – the noise produced by air molecules colliding with each other at room temperature is estimated to be about -24 decibels. The limit of human hearing is thought to be around 0 decibels, although just because our ears cannot pick it up, it does not mean no sound present, hence it is possible to get a negative value.

“It is a very unique experience inside with the door closed,” says Munroe. “When you stop breathing, you can hear your heart beating and the blood flowing in your veins. I don’t stay inside with the door closed very often.”
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Re: Weird Science Thread

Post by Paingod » Tue May 30, 2017 7:49 am

Max Peck wrote:Article wrote: “It is a very unique experience inside with the door closed,” says Munroe. “When you stop breathing, you can hear your heart beating and the blood flowing in your veins. I don’t stay inside with the door closed very often.”
I've heard that it can be very unsettling to be in a room this quiet. I've always wanted to try it.
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