Saturday, September 12, 2009

Random Linkage

A Boy For Every Girl? Not Even Close: Scientists Trace Evolution Of Butterflies Infected With Deadly Bacteria
'"We were surprised at the speed with which change in sex ratio could occur," said Emily Hornett of the University of Liverpool. "Between 1886 and 1894 in Fiji, the male-killing bacterium rose from 50 percent to over 90 percent frequency, changing the sex ratio from 2:1 to 10:1."'
(Here’s your real-life precedent for female-only utopias.)

LCROSS Mission Selects Crater Cabeus A As Target for October 9 Impact
'NASA announced this morning that the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission has selected the target for its planned impact. The selected crater is Cabeus A, which is centered on the lunar nearside at 82.2 degrees south, 39.1 degrees west. The actual target site is offset from the crater's center to the north, within a permanently shadowed area. Data from Lunar Prospector suggests that the targeted part of the crater could contain as much as two percent water in the upper meter of soil.'

Dandelion rubber
'Most natural rubber comes from rubber trees in Southeast Asia, but this source is now underthreat from a fungus. Researchers [at the Fraunhofer-Instituts für Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Oekologiehave] optimized the Russian dandelion to make it suitable for large-scale rubber production.'

Physicists propose 'Schrödinger's virus' experiment
'Suspending a cat between life and death is one of the best-known thought experiments in quantum mechanics. Now researchers from Germany and Spain are proposing a real experiment to probe whether a virus can exist in a superposition of two quantum states. Such superpositions are typically the domain of smaller, inanimate objects such as atoms. But the team believes that their technique, using finely tuned lasers, will soon allow for the superposition of something much
closer to a living organism.'

Plasmobots
'Though not famed for their intellect, single-celled organisms have already demonstrated a surprising degree of intelligence. Now a team at the University of the West of England (UWE) has secured £228,000 in funding to turn these organisms into engineering robots.'
(Isn’t this kind of how Blood Music started?)

Astronomers spot space shuttle’s massive leak


'Sky watchers across North America witnessed a strange event on Wednesday night. As space shuttle Discovery glided silently overhead, the orbiter sprouted a flamboyant comet-like tail.'

2 Comments:

Blogger Jason said...

Viruses in quantum superposition - isn't that kind of how Teranesia ended?

September 13, 2009 11:43 am  
Blogger PeteY said...

Here is another cool link for the space fans here. What a little cutie!

September 13, 2009 6:14 pm  

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