Science Profiles Keeping track of breakthroughs in science…

16Apr/03Off

A Clone Is Not A Twin After All

Two new studies have shown that cloned pigs act and look different from the animal whose original DNA they carry. In fact, clones can vary in physical appearance and behavior as much as animals bred conventionally do. The findings debunk the popular myth clones are carbon copies of their "parents." Researchers said the public has been fed the notion cloning technology can create cookie-cutter animals -? pets, for example. "The implication is that your cloned pet is going to behave and look like the one you already have and that will not be the case," said Jorge Piedrahita, researcher at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Some characteristics might not be the same as parent traits because genetic errors can be introduced during the cloning process -? a good reason, Piedrahita said, for cloning researchers to proceed carefully. He added some clones will be very healthy while others will not be able to survive.

Source: United Press International
16Apr/03Off

irst a Gamma-Ray Pulse then a Star-Shattering Kaboom!

Ok, I am impressed... Instant-replay to be installed soon. Astronomers predict stellar explosion - BBC

Filed under: Astronomy Comments Off
15Apr/03Off

A Parallel Universe Where Science Profiles is #1

If the universe is infinite, then there are an infinite number of possibilities. If only this was taught in kindergarten... Oh well, we can't have everyone being happy and fulfilled. Scientific American brings home the goods with this bit of scientific exploration (i.e. what shamen have always known).

7Apr/03Off

Scientists Discover Electrostatic Rotation

Researchers have identified a new physical phenomenon -- electrostatic rotation -- that in the absence of friction can lead to spin. This adds to the understanding of how the smallest building blocks in nature react to form solids, liquids and gases. University of California, Riverside, researchers first observed the electrostatic rotation in static experiments using three metal spheres suspended by thin metal wires. When a DC voltage was applied to the spheres they began to rotate until the stiffness of the suspending wires prevented further rotation. The researchers said experimental and theoretical work suggested the cumulative effect of electric charges would be an asymmetric force if the charges sitting on the surface of spheres were asymmetrically distributed but the experiments showed they could control the charge distribution by controlling the relative position of the spheres. Spin is used in quantum mechanics to explain phenomena at the nuclear, atomic and molecular domains for which there is no concrete physical picture.

Source: United Press International
7Apr/03Off

Slow Light Easy To Create

University of Rochester researchers have developed a small device to create slow light -- at 127 miles per hour more than 5 million times slower than the normal speed of light. They say it could pave the way for slow light to move from a physical curiosity to a useful telecommunications tool. Researchers used a laser to "punch a hole" in the absorption spectrum of a ruby. To slow light the team used a quantum quirk called "coherent population oscillations" to create a gap in the frequencies of light a ruby absorbs. When the second beam, called the probe laser, shines into the ruby the probe beam has a different frequency than the first laser, and these offset frequencies interact, causing variations. Chromium ions respond to this new frequency of rhythmic highs and lows by oscillating in sympathy, which allows the probe laser to pass through the ruby more slowly than light otherwise would travel.

Source: United Press International
Filed under: Breakthrough Comments Off
7Apr/03Off

Humongous Fungus Challenges Scientists

The world's biggest fungus -- almost 6 square miles -- is in Oregon's Blue Mountains, challenging traditional notions about individual organisms, say U.S. Forest Service researchers. The clone of Armillaria ostoyae -- the tree-killing fungus that causes Armillaria root disease -- is estimated to be between 2,000 and 8,500 years old. "It's one organism that began as a microscopic spore and then grew vegetatively, like a plant," says Catherine Parks, a research plant pathologist. "From a broad scientific view, it challenges what we think of as an individual organism." Researchers thought individual fungus organisms grew in distinct clusters marked by the ring-shaped patches of dead trees. No one expected to find the well-separated clusters represented one contiguous organism, Parks adds.

Source: United Press International
Filed under: Eclectic Comments Off
5Apr/03Off

Amplified Instabilities Key to Anti-Gravity?

Now here's a potentially usefull phenomenon... Wobbling wire defies gravity

4Apr/03Off

Europe to Explore the Moon

Hurray... Maybe the Europeans, being more experienced at colonization, will be the first to create an outpost on the moon. Europe Unveils New Moon-Orbiting Craft

4Apr/03Off

Autonomic Computing

Who needs faster computers when you can have smarter ones? IBM wants tobuild computer systems that regulate themselves much in the same way our autonomic nervous system regulates and protects our bodies.
IBM Unveils Autonomic Computing Blueprint

Filed under: Breakthrough Comments Off
4Apr/03Off

Movie ‘The Core’ Based Upon Solid Science?

Earth, says geophysicist J. Marvin Herndon, is a gigantic natural nuclear power plant. Nuclear Planet The science community is hesitant to embrace this new theory due to the Galilean implications of having to rewrite the books. Leave it to Hollywood, however, to advance new ideas and bring us all up to speed so that we can tackle these tough questions. The Core