Accretion: The Missing Link in Planetary Evolution
February 3, 2004
Every school child has seen artwork of planets evolving from a disk of dust and gas around a star like our sun, but there’s a missing link in the story. How did the dust particles stick together?
Must Life Drink Water?
December 30, 2003
Star Trek used to portray aliens made up of different stuff than the carbon and water chemistry which comprises Earth-based life. For years, most scientists who considered the possibility of life in space, including Carl Sagan and Stanley Miller, admitted, somewhat reluctantly, that the periodic table of the elements admits no practical alternatives to water […]
The Magnetic Sky Is Falling
December 15, 2003
Space.Com reports that the strength of Earth’s magnetic field has dropped 10% over the last 150 years. At that rate of decline, it could vanish in 1500 to 2000 years. Scientists gathered recently at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union pondered whether a reversal is occurring, but a Harvard scientist claimed that would be […]
Cells Find Signal in the Noise
December 20, 2002
Parents at an amusement park know the challenge of picking out their child’s voice, or even hearing their own hollering, in the noise of the crowd. Yelling won’t help much if the rest of the crowd is yelling also. Acoustic engineers know that raising the volume while playing back a noisy tape amplifies the noise […]
Radioactive Dating: Science or Alchemy?
September 20, 2002
Richard Kerr had some surprising things to say about uranium-lead dating in the Sept. 17 issue of Science1 – surprising, because as a believer in the method and an evolutionist, he admitted there is a fair amount of unscientific methodology and controversy involved. “For years, different laboratories using uranium-lead radiometric dating—the gold standard of geochronology—have […]
Mars Methane May Be Geological, Not Biological
September 20, 2002
Just when the ESA Mars Express spacecraft was collecting data on methane emissions on Mars, leading some to speculate it might be a biomarker, Science Now reported new findings that indicate methane can form naturally in Earth’s mantle by heating water, iron oxide and calcite under pressure (see also Physics Web). This demonstrates […]
Harnessing Cellular Machines for Humans
July 20, 2002
The cell is loaded with molecular machines, so why reinvent the wheel? or the whole truck? Martin G. L. van den Heuvel and Cees Dekker wrote in Science that engineers ought to put the existing technology to work.1 The biological cell is equipped with a variety of molecular machines that perform complex mechanical tasks such […]
Sunshine Is for Health
June 20, 2002
51; The old wisdom: stay out of the sun. The new wisdom: your life could depend on getting sunshine: about 10-15 minutes of exposure three times a week. Science Daily reported that Vitamin D, produced in the skin by exposure to sunlight, provides more health to the body than previously thought. Health professionals […]
Cellular Machines Coming to Light
May 20, 2002
51; As imaging techniques improve, cells are yielding up their secrets. Scientists are getting closer to watching the processes in cellular factories in real time. Dynein: PhysOrg reported, “Biologists capture cell’s elusive ‘motor’ on videotape, solving the mystery of its deployment.” The article began, “Their experiments can be likened to restoring never-before-seen footage to a […]
Is Dark Matter Going Out of Style?
January 20, 2002
Dark matter has been a staple in cosmological theories for decades. One of the initial reasons was that galaxy rotation curves could not be explained without it. Another was that galaxy clusters, to be held together over long ages, needed more “stuff” to bind them. Finally, Big Bang cosmologists invoke copious amounts of dark matter […]