- A Major Victory for the Open Web
- As Dawn Spacecraft Approaches, A Second Mysterious Light Emerges on Planet Ceres
- Bees Do It, Humans Do It ~ Bees can experience false memories, scientists say
- “Seedling” For Supermassive Black Holes Found
- Another Problem for Evolution Theory? 'Big Brain' Gene Found in Humans, But Not in Chimps
- The ancient myth of Prometheus ~ The God Banished from Earth ~ An animated presentation
- Telescopes: Crash Course Astronomy #6
- Which telescope to buy?
- 10 Terrifying Cursed Objects That Actually EXIST!
- Breaking Up Over A Stupid Argument
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 05:56 PM PST
This is an important victory for the world’s largest public resource, the open Web. Net neutrality is a key aspect of enabling innovation from everywhere, and especially from new players and unexpected places. Net neutrality allows citizens and consumers to access new innovations and judge the merit for themselves. It allows individual citizens to make decisions, without gate-keepers who decide which possibilities can become real. Today’s net neutrality rules help us protect this open and innovative potential of the Internet.
Mozilla builds our products to put this openness and opportunity into the hands of individuals. We are organized as a non-profit so that the assets we create benefit everyone. Our products go hand-in-hand with net neutrality; they need net neutrality to bring the full potential of the Internet to all of us.
Today’s net neutrality rules are an important step in protecting opportunity for all. This victory was not inevitable. It occurred because so many people took action, so many people put their voice into the process. To each of you we say “Thank you.” Thank you for taking the time to understand the issue, for recognizing it’s important, and for taking action. Thank you for helping us build openness and opportunity into the very fabric of the Internet.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:46 PM PST
Excerpt from sciencetimes.com
Originally discovered in 1801 by an astronomer in Sicily, Ceres has had quite an interesting history to date. Originally believed to be a shining star in the sky, when it was first observed to move, it was redesignated as a comet.
"I have announced this star as a comet" astronomer who discovered Ceres, Giuseppe Piazzi de Palermo said. "But since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet."
Piazzi fell ill and passed away before he could ever find Ceres again, but thanks to his preliminary research, astronomers today have verified that the beaming light in the sky is something better than a comet-it's a dwarf planet. And though it is largely composed of ice and rock, lying in-between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres continues to fascinate astronomers with its strange and unanswerable features.
To better answer Piazzi's original questions, and some new ones that have arisen in the more than two centuries since it was first discovered, researchers with NASA developed the Dawn Spacecraft mission which was originally launched in 2007. After a successful 14-month-orbit around Vesta in the asteroid belt, Dawn is now moving onto the next dwarf planet and will arrive to Ceres within the next week. And the first question that the Dawn mission would like to answer is a glaring one, visible on the surface.
When astronomers first peering into the telescope to view Ceres, a glaring spot of light seemed to illuminate through the rocky surface. Data has been collected, and though researchers have made educated guesses as to what it may be, they have not met an answer that could quite fit the bill. Today this question is even further complicated as with Dawn's close approach NASA has captured an even closer glimpse of the surface of Ceres, and now it appears that two shining spots are visible on the surface-not just one.
Captured on last Thursday, Feb. 19, the two bright spots appeared when Dawn was only 29,000 miles away from Ceres. But while NASA researchers are still pondering the question of two spots, the team is expecting even a few more surprises as Dawn will orbit the dwarf planet a mere 233 miles from its surface, detailing it entirely to develop a detailed 3D image of Ceres.
"We knew from Hubble observations that there was variation in the colouration and reflectivity of the surface" lead scientist with the Dawn mission, Chris Russell says. "But when we got [near] Ceres we saw bright spots, and they are really, really bright."
So what could the spots be?
While researchers are just speculating, until they can gain a better view of the surface, NASA astronomers say that the two spots may be patches of ice reflecting sunlight, who became exposed when objects from the nearby asteroid belt collided. Another posited theory is that shiny minerals or ice could be pushed to the surface by subterranean volcanic activity. But they're still not ruling out that the lights may be evidence of Ceres hiding liquid water. And if it is, that means that life on the distant dwarf planet may exist.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:42 PM PST
Excerpt from csmonitor.com
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:35 PM PST
Excerpt from clapway.com
By William Large
A recently discovered black hole may help astronomers to piece together the family tree of these enigmatic cosmic objects. While most black holes are classified as either stellar-mass or the supermassive black holes that can be found at the center of some galaxies, this new find fits into neither category.
The discovery, called the intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH), has proved to be a tricky proposition. With a mass somewhere between a few hundred to a few hundred thousand times that of our own Sun, the size of these intermediates can vary widely.
This particular black hole was found in an arm of the spiral galaxy NGC-2276, and has been sensibly named NGC-2276-3c. Lying about 100 million light-years from earth, astronomers were able to tease images through the use of NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network.
Although researchers have theorized about the existence of these IMBHs, locating one has proven elusive until now. A recent to-be-published paper by an international team of researchers delves into the specifics of NGC-2276-3c.
“Astronomers have been looking very hard for these medium-sized black holes,” study co-author Tim Roberts, of the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. “There have been hints that they exist, but the IMBHs have been acting like a long-lost relative that isn’t interested in being found.”
So what was found? It appears that the recently discovery has characteristics of both the smaller stellar-mass and the much larger supermassive black holes. It serves as an intermediary between the two, and some think that these intermediaries are the beginnings of what could very well become a supermassive.
The team of researchers also noted that the black holes is firing off super powerful blasts of radio jets. Think of these as material, traveling at nearly the speed of light and emitting radio waves, which are thrown out of dense objects. Our newly found black hole is shooting them out almost 2000 light-years into space. Within a radius of approximately 1000 light-years around NGC-2276-3c there are no new star formations, suggesting that the radio jets are pushing out all the gas necessary for star creation.
The full report on NGC-2276-3c should be appearing shortly in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:30 PM PST
Excerpt from nbcnews.com
By Tia Ghose
ave the way for the rise of human intelligence by dramatically increasing the number of neurons found in a key brain region.
This gene seems to be uniquely human: It is found in modern-day humans, Neanderthals and another branch of extinct humans called Denisovans, but not in chimpanzees.
By allowing the brain region called the neocortex to contain many more neurons, the tiny snippet of DNA may have laid the foundation for the human brain's massive expansion.
"It is so cool that one tiny gene alone may suffice to affect the phenotype of the stem cells, which contributed the most to the expansion of the neocortex," said study lead author Marta Florio, a doctoral candidate in molecular and cellular biology and genetics at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.
She and her colleagues found that the gene, called ARHGAP11B, is turned on and highly activated in the human neural progenitor cells, but isn't present at all in mouse cells. This tiny snippet of DNA, just 804 genetic bases long, was once part of a much longer gene. Somehow, this fragment was duplicated, and the duplicated fragment was inserted into the human genome.
In follow-up experiments, the team inserted and turned on this DNA snippet in the brains of mice. The mice with the gene insertion grew what looked like larger neocortex regions.
The researchers reviewed a wide variety of genomes from modern-day and extinct species — confirming that Neanderthals and Denisovans had this gene, while chimpanzees and mice do not. That suggests that the gene emerged soon after humans split off from chimpanzees, and that it helped pave the way for the rapid expansion of the human brain.
Florio stressed that the gene is probably just one of many genetic changes that make human cognition special.
The gene was described in a paper published online Thursday by the journal Science.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:19 PM PST
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Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:05 PM PST
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Posted: 27 Feb 2015 03:02 PM PST