VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Bacterial Parcel Service Discovered

Bacteria send letters and parcels to one another.  Some of them are love letters, some of them are letter bombs.  This amazing packaged system of communication, separate from the mere sending of diffusible chemicals, was described in Nature1 with the title, “Microbiology: Bacterial speech bubbles.”  Stephen C. Winans described what is known about bacterial communication: […]

Next Generation Microchips Inspired by Nature’s Nanotech

An article in ComputerWorld1 reports that Hewlett Packard, IBM, Fujitsu, and Texas Instruments are putting effort into developing nanotechnologies for chip manufacturing based on a principle found in nature: the tendency of matter to fall into predictable patterns as molecules assume low energy states. There aren’t many structures that can be built today, but researchers are […]

Who Needs a Big Bang?

Noted in passing: there are astronomers who don’t accept the Big Bang theory.  Spaceflight Now had an article denying that the WMAP microwave data supports the big bang.  Also, a small but active Alternative Cosmology Group decries the “unjustified limiting of cosmological funding to work within the Big Bang framework.”  They held their meetings last […]

Shark Glows in the Dark

The “Eye-in-the-Sea” infrared camera (see 08/26/2004) found all kinds of exotic life in the Gulf of Mexico, reported EurekAlert with pictures.  The submersible with its dark-light camera is able to sneak up on organisms without scaring them.  The team from Harbor Branch had to dodge Hurricane Katrina, but scored on its second annual mission with […]

Good Publicity for I.D.:

Michael Behe got interviewed in the UK newspaper The Guardian and was compared to Galileo for being condemned by the NAS curia.  See reprint on Discovery Institute.

Mars and Moons Shed Cocoons

With so many spacecraft touring our solar system, there’s almost too much news to process.  Here are a few highlights, starting with Mars, then comets, asteroids, a Titanic puzzle, and what Cassini found mini moons ago. Mars Ice Age:  Mars Express may have found evidence for deep ice deposits on Mars around the equator in […]

Planets Can Form Rapidly

Observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope, announced in a JPL press release, “pose a challenge to existing theories of giant planet formation, especially those in which planets build up gradually over millions of years.”  Three young stars show clearings in dust disks surrounding them, suggesting that gas giant planets inhabit the clearings and must have […]

Will Hurricane Katrina End Social Darwinism in America?

Harold Evans, writing an op-ed piece for the BBC News, thinks the TV images of destruction from Hurricane Katrina will arouse a new wave “compassion in government” (which he interprets as “the responsibility of government to relieve individual suffering”), and spell the end of Social Darwinism (which he interprets as laissez-faire individualism): My judgment is […]

Are Democrats the Guardians of Science?

Dan Danbom reviewed Chris Mooney’s The Republican War On Science in the Rocky Mountain News.  According to Danbom, Mooney argues “that the Bush administration ignores, subverts, twists and misrepresents science to conform to its political goals.” The review includes these quotes from the book: ….in politicized fights involving science, it is rare to find liberals […]

Are Brains Evolving Bigger, or Fatter?

Two papers in Science Sept. 9 claimed that human brains may still be evolving.  According to the authors, two genes related to brain size appear to be under “positive selection” in certain people groups.  One team said their variant occurred the same time as the emergence of art, music, religious practices and sophisticated tool use, […]

“Beautifully Engineered”: Giant Pterosaur Compared to Aircraft

Imagine an “aircraft engineer trying to convert a Eurofighter into a jumbo jet while it was still flying.”  That’s how David Martill (U of Portsmouth, UK) described the abilities of a baby pterosaur growing into a large adult, a BBC News story says.  Evidence suggests that pterosaurs were capable of flying soon after hatching.  Some […]

Reader Project: Calculate the Speed of Plant Package Delivery

Get out your pencil and hand calculator.  A team of Swedish and French scientists measured the velocity of a message traveling on the intraplant internet (see 08/12/2005, 11/09/2004, 10/04/2004 and 07/13/2001 entries).  Publishing in Science,1 they believe they have witnessed a signaling molecule, in the form of a messenger-RNA (mRNA; see yesterday’s entry) moving through […]

RNA Research Uncovers a Previously Ignored Universe of Genetic Information

A slow revolution is occurring in the study of genetic information.  Until recently, the only interesting items in DNA sequences were the genes – the genetic codes for proteins.  Since these usually represented only a small fraction of an organism’s genome, it was assumed the rest of the material was “junk DNA” – sequences that […]

Comet Theories Vanish in Puff of Powder

They were supposed to be dirty snowballs, those comets, pristine relics from the primordial solar system.  They were supposed to be blasting volatile ices from their interiors as they approached the sun.  What are they doing with aromatic hydrocarbons, olivine, iron, clays and carbonates?  When the Deep Impact probe hit its target July 4, it […]

Controversy is the Fuel of Science, So Teach the Controversy, Educator Says

The Albuquerque Journal published a response from Rebecca Keller after admitting misrepresenting her position.  She did not claim that intelligent design science is looking toward transcendent beings, but rather is asking scientists to become willing to consider design inferences when the data point in that direction.  She clarified the intent of the new science standards […]
All Posts by Date