The Large Hadron Collider Will Finally Start Smashing in September
Neanderthal DNA Shows They Rarely Interbred With Us Very Different Humans
Neanderthal DNA For the first time, scientists have sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of a Neanderthal. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analyzed the genetic material from a 38,000-year-old leg bone found in Croatia and published their findings today in Cell.
The mitochondria are only passed down the female line, so can be used to trace the species back to an ancestral “Eve”, the mother of all Neanderthals. The team analysed the DNA of 13 genes from the Neanderthal mitochondria and found they were distinctly different to modern humans, suggesting Neanderthals never, or rarely, interbred with early humans. The genetic material shows that a Neanderthal “Eve” lived around 660,000 years ago, when the species last shared a common ancestor with humans [Guardian].
It’s difficult to know exactly when one species diverges into two—the sceintists estimated their date by comparing the Neanderthal DNA to that of modern humans, chimps, and bonobos. Starting with the commonly-held idea that chimps and humans diverged six to eight million years ago, and factoring in the rate of mitochondrial DNA evolution, the team dated Neanderthal separation from humans back 660,000 years.
According to John Hawks, a University of Wisconsin-Madison biologist not involved in the study, the work further dispels the idea that modern humans are closely related to Neanderthals. “Comparing the complete mitochondrial DNA genomes of a Neandertal and many recent humans presents a very different picture,” Hawks says. “Humans are all more similar to each other, than any human is to a Neandertal. And in fact the Neandertal sequence is three or more times as different, on average, from us as we are from each other” [Science News].
However, much remains to be learned about Neanderthal DNA: The mitochondrion – a structure often dubbed the cell’s powerhouse – contains a mere 16,565 DNA letters that code for 13 proteins, whereas the nucleus holds more than 3 billion letters that produce more than 20,000 proteins [New Scientist]. Still, study leader Richard Green says he hopes to be well on the way to a complete Neanderthal genome by year.
Reprinted from Discover
Northern Lights’ Source Found in Giant “Magnetic Ropes”
* By John Borland Email Author
* December 12, 2007 |
* 12:06 am |
* Categories: Physics
An eight-month old NASA mission to unravel the source of the Northern Lights’ energy has made startling progress, discovering giant magnetic “ropes” that connect the Earth to the Sun.
The NASA Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission consists of five separate satellites, along with supporting ground-based cameras. This system began observing an enormous substorm, or Northern Light event, on March 23, which helped trigger the discoveries.
The storm moved faster than anyone had expected, crossing 15 degrees of longitude in a single minute, about 400 miles per hour. The entire two-hour event released about five hundred thousand billion Joules, or about as much energy as a magnitude 5.5 earthquake, researchers said.
Which, well and good, but where did the energy come from?
Over the next few months, the spacecraft encountered what researchers call magnetic ropes, essentially bundles of magnetic fields that are twisted together like twine. The first to be mapped by the THEMIS satellites was located about 40,000 miles above the Earth’s surface, in the magnetopause, and about as wide as the Earth itself.
The magnetopause is the region where the solar wind – electrically charged particles that flow away from the sun at incredible speeds –
crashes into the Earth’s magnetic field. The “rope” formed there and unraveled again over the course of just a few minutes, but in the process proved to be a significant conduit for solar wind energy.
Here’s researcher David Sibeck, project scientist for the mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
“The satellites have found evidence of magnetic ropes connecting
Earth’s upper atmosphere directly to the sun,” Sibeck said. “We believe that solar wind particles flow in along these ropes, providing energy for geomagnetic storms and auroras.”
The scientists have also observed the equivalent of a “bow shock,” as at the leading edge of a boat, where the front edge of Earth’s magnetic field first encounters the solar wind. Occasionally a burst of electrical current in the solar wind will hit this “bow shock,”
creating an explosion, researchers said.
The team’s early findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco in this month.
Reprinted from Wired Science
The James Donahue Column — Header
Has A Time Vortex Been Found?
A disturbing story in the March 1 issue of Pravda suggests that the U. S. Government is working on the discovery of a mysterious point over the South Pole that may be a passageway backward in time.
According to the article, some American and British scientists working in Antarctica on January 27, 1995, noticed a spinning gray fog in the sky over the pole. U. S. physicist Mariann McLein said at first they believed it to be some kind of sandstorm. But after a while they noticed that the fog did not change its form and did not move so they decided to investigate.
They sent up a weather balloon, at the end of a rope, with some equipment attached. To their surprise the balloon immediately disappeared after entering the fog, although the rope hung there, as if still attached. After a few minutes the team pulled on the rope and the balloon reappeared. When they brought it back to the ground they were surprised to find that a chronometer on the balloon displayed the date as January 27, 1965, exactly 30 years earlier.
The team repeated the experiment several times, and each time the chronometer’s date changed to the earlier time. The phenomenon was reported to the White House under the name “Time Gate.”
According to the story the CIA and FBI are fighting to gain control over this project, which seems to be a link to a tunnel that permits penetration into the past. Experiments have advanced to the point of actually sending people through the rift. Their safe return is an unknown.
Of course the Russians are watching all of this with great interest. The story talked about various Russian experiments with time machines and theories about the possibility of slowing or speeding up time.
Russian author Gennady Belimov published an article in which he described experiments led by Vadim Chernobrov, the inventor of a time machine in 1987. Chernobrov claims his machine can slow or speed up the course of time by tinkering with the Earth’s magnetic field. His biggest success was the slowing of time for 1.5 seconds.
While all of this sounds a bit like one of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, I have to give the report some level of credibility. I know that time does not seem to exist in the spiritual or astral realm outside of our three-dimensional existence on this planet. Time appears to be an invention of third dimensional reality to allow humans to keep their bearings as we proceed through the brief life spans allowed in these bodies.
One of the problems remote viewers have is acquiring time lines for future or past events that they examine. For example, a viewer might foresee a major catastrophe like a volcanic eruption, airplane crash or hurricane, but pinning down an exact moment when it will occur is extremely difficult. To deal with this problem, Aaron C. Donahue spent years developing an advanced form of viewing, which he calls the acquisition and practical application of non-historical data.
Even with his new technique, Donahue has trouble pinning down exact dates of future events. For example, he said he foresees some kind of explosive thermal event occurring at Yellowstone National Park sometime this year and thinks it might happen this spring. But he can’t give us an exact date.
As an old science fiction buff, I have had years to think and read about the consequences of human travel through time. Traveling forward in time would be strange enough. And we might be able to do something like that without upsetting the balance of things.
But if we could go backwards, even under the strictest of conditions, it is possible that by a single act, we could alter the entire course of history. Simply carrying an evolved bacteria or a genetically modified virus on our shirt sleeve into the distant past might launch a world-wide epidemic that would kill millions of people, some of whom would be the thinkers, inventers and composers of some of the great human offerings of that period.
That the CIA and/or FBI are tinkering with time travel is most distressing. The covert operations they perform could take on a whole new meaning if they are ever given the opportunity to travel into the past and make a few adjustments in world events.
What is troubling is that we have no way of knowing that they aren’t already doing it. For those of us in the daily stream of world events, a shift in history might wipe out thousands of people and change entire governments. But for us, the change would go into our memory of events as they happened during our lives. That good friend we went bowling with last night might disappear before the next morning and we would not notice his loss. By the time we awake, the person never existed.
In the past I have thought how time travel, if available to a few of us, would be a most useful tool for saving the looming fate of our dying world. But then what would any of us do, short of going to war with the angelic realm, to make a significant difference?
Putting this tool in the hands of an angelic-Christian driven team of government agents can only mean worse trouble than we have already have. Come to think of it, that kind of time tinkering might explain how things have become as quickly out-of-whack as theycurrently are.
Reprinted from Far Shores
Space Shuttle Science Shows How 1908 Tunguska Explosion Was Caused By A Comet
ScienceDaily (June 25, 2009) — The mysterious 1908 Tunguska explosion that leveled 830 square miles of Siberian forest was almost certainly caused by a comet entering the Earth’s atmosphere, says new Cornell University research. The conclusion is supported by an unlikely source: the exhaust plume from the NASA space shuttle launched a century later.
The research, accepted for publication (June 24, 2009) by the journal Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union, connects the two events by what followed each about a day later: brilliant, night-visible clouds, or noctilucent clouds, that are made up of ice particles and only form at very high altitudes and in extremely cold temperatures.
“It’s almost like putting together a 100-year-old murder mystery,” said Michael Kelley, the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Cornell who led the research team. “The evidence is pretty strong that the Earth was hit by a comet in 1908.” Previous speculation had ranged from comets to meteors.
The researchers contend that the massive amount of water vapor spewed into the atmosphere by the comet’s icy nucleus was caught up in swirling eddies with tremendous energy by a process called two-dimensional turbulence, which explains why the noctilucent clouds formed a day later many thousands of miles away.
Noctilucent clouds are the Earth’s highest clouds, forming naturally in the mesosphere at about 55 miles over the polar regions during the summer months when the mesosphere is around minus 180 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 117 degrees Celsius).
The space shuttle exhaust plume, the researchers say, resembled the comet’s action.
A single space shuttle flight injects 300 metric tons of water vapor into the Earth’s thermosphere, and the water particles have been found to travel to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, where they form the clouds after settling into the mesosphere.
Kelley and collaborators saw the noctilucent cloud phenomenon days after the space shuttle Endeavour (STS-118) launched on Aug. 8, 2007. Similar cloud formations had been observed following launches in 1997 and 2003.
Following the 1908 explosion, known as the Tunguska Event, the night skies shone brightly for several days across Europe, particularly Great Britain — more than 3,000 miles away.
Kelley said he became intrigued by the historical eyewitness accounts of the aftermath, and concluded that the bright skies must have been the result of noctilucent clouds. The comet would have started to break up at about the same altitude as the release of the exhaust plume from the space shuttle following launch. In both cases, water vapor was injected into the atmosphere.
The scientists have attempted to answer how this water vapor traveled so far without scattering and diffusing, as conventional physics would predict.
“There is a mean transport of this material for tens of thousands of kilometers in a very short time, and there is no model that predicts that,” Kelley said. “It’s totally new and unexpected physics.”
This “new” physics, the researchers contend, is tied up in counter-rotating eddies with extreme energy. Once the water vapor got caught up in these eddies, the water traveled very quickly — close to 300 feet per second.
Scientists have long tried to study the wind structure in these upper regions of the atmosphere, which is difficult to do by such traditional means as sounding rockets, balloon launches and satellites, explained Charlie Seyler, Cornell professor of electrical engineering and paper co-author.
“Our observations show that current understanding of the mesosphere-lower thermosphere region is quite poor,” Seyler said. The thermosphere is the layer of the atmosphere above the mesosphere.
The paper is also co-authored by physicist Miguel Larsen, Ph.D. ’79, of Clemson University, and former student of Kelley. The work performed at Cornell was funded by the Atmospheric Science Section of the National Science Foundation.
On July 1, Kelley will give a lecture, “Two-dimensional Turbulence, Space Shuttle Plume Transport in the Thermosphere, and a Possible Relation to the Great Siberian Impact Event,” at a plenary session of the annual meeting of Coupling, Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions in Sante Fe, N.M.