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Are Saturn’s Rings Evolving?

Can ring particles grow into moons? And is that how planets grew from rings around stars?

Proteins Fold Who Knows How

One of the biggest mysteries remaining in cell biology is how proteins fold.  Proteins start out as chains of amino acids (polypeptides) as they exit the ribosome.  Most of them spontaneously fold into their “native” three-dimensional structures, where they will go to work as enzymes, structural materials or other key players in cell life.  About […]

Fantasy Island:  Evolutionary Weirdness Does Not Favor Islands

We need “Reality Island,” an evolutionary biologist claims.  Dr. Shai Meiri of Tel Aviv University accuses fellow evolutionists of engaging in “magical thinking” about island habitats: believing that islands are where large animals grow small, small animals grow large, and weird species proliferate.  It’s an illusion, he said in an article on Science Daily.   […]

Is Psychology Adding Scientific Knowledge?

Psychologists have a knack for proving the obvious.  It leads to a question, though: do we really need their help? Broken relationships are bad:  A press release on PhysOrg about a study at the University of Queensland reported that “Separation has an enormous impact on both men and women.” Rudeness at work is bad:  According […]

Productive Science Imitates Nature

Examples continue to accumulate that some of the most interesting and fruitful science projects involve copying design principles found in nature.  This “biomimetics” approach not only pleases the consumers who can look forward to greener, cheaper, better products, but leads to deeper understandings of nature’s workings. Gecko adhesives:  PhysOrg published a story on the ongoing […]

Your Inner Locomotive Revealed

Visualize an old locomotive train roaring down the tracks.  One of the characteristic images that surely comes to mind is the oscillating motion of the coupling rods on the wheels.  The long rods that connected the wheels provided a way to convert heat energy from the steam into mechanical energy (example video on YouTube).  It […]

Do New Fossils Soften the Cambrian Explosion?

Look at the picture of fossils in an article on PhysOrg.  The discoverers claim these fossils from Gabon are 2.1 billion years old, and provide evidence that multicellular organisms began evolving long before the Cambrian explosion.  “Until now, it has been assumed that organized multicellular life appeared around 0.6 billion years ago and that before […]

Artifact Found from Biblical Time of Judges

A chariot linchpin has been found in Israel that appears to date from the time of the book of Judges.  The linchpin (a cover over the axle) contains a carved image of a woman, and is being dated at around 1200 BC.  The discoverer believes the location is the site of ancient Harosheth Haggoyim, the […]

Tibetans Evolved Altitude Tolerance in 3,000 Years

Tibetans and other peoples who live at high altitudes possess a remarkable tolerance to the thin atmosphere.  Now, scientists at UC Berkeley have identified some 30 genes related to oxygen regulation that differ in Tibetans from Han Chinese.  Since those tribes are thought to have diverged 3,000 years ago, natural selection for these changes must […]

Humans Got Birdbrains by Convergent Evolution

Scientists are learning that birds have brains remarkably similar to those of mammals.  This is contrary to a century of belief, PhysOrg said.  How did such similarities evolve for groups of animals so widely separated?  To explain it, evolutionists pulled out one of their common explanations: convergent evolution.     “For more than a century,” […]

Breaking Up an Ice Age Is Hard to Do

“Ice Age 3” the movie is out, and the subject of ice ages deserves some attention.  Atmospheric scientists and geologists seem very confident sometimes about things they know about only indirectly, like ice ages.  At other times, though, the rhetoric turns diffident (opposite of confident).  Take this opening paragraph from PhysOrg: Scientists still puzzle over […]

Heal the Blind with Stem Cells

Have you heard that some cases of corneal blindness can be cured by stem cells #– from the person’s own eyes?  New Scientist recounted some recent successes for victims blinded in one eye by burns or acid.  Stem cells taken from the limbus, a disk surrounding the iris, and transplanted onto the damaged cornea, were […]

Farm Algae for Energy

June 29, 2010 — Why manufacture fuels when microbes can do it faster, better and cheaper?  Researchers at the University of Cambridge are wiring electrodes to algae to produce “green energy” – solar-powered fuel that is carbon-neutral, “cheaper to produce, self-repairing, self-replicating, biodegradable and much more sustainable – real green energy.”     The team […]

Using Aliens to Titillate the Public

Geologists cannot even figure out our own planet (next headline), but some of them claim to know a lot about other planets – their geological history, and even their prospects for life.  Is it fair to tease the public with the L-word life when so much remains to be understood on the ground under our […]

Colorado Plateau Stumps Geologists

Many of the West’s greatest parks and scenic areas lie on the Colorado Plateau, a large basin covering parts of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.  Within its rugged acres are the Grand Canyon, Grand Staircase, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Glen Canyon and Lake Powell, […]
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