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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 11 July 2009 at 11:27am

"Space Internet" to Link Worlds by 2011?

For all its might, the World Wide Web is still limited to, well, our world.

But that's quickly changing with the advent of an "interplanetary internet" that planners say will revolutionize space communication.

The Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) system, which entered another phase of testing this week, will allow astronauts to Google from the moon or tweet their observations from space.

But DTN provides far more than a connection to check your email. It's also essential for simplifying space command and control functions—such as power production or life-support systems—crucial for future space initiatives.

(Related: "'Rocket NASCAR,' Moon Base Part of 50-Year Space Vision.")

"You need an automated communications technology … to sustain planetary exploration on the scale that NASA and others want to perform over the next decade," said Kevin Gifford, a senior research associate at BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

"DTN enables the transition from a simple point-to-point network, like a walkie-talkie, to a true multimode network like the Internet."

After a decade of development DTN has advanced quickly over the past year, and NASA missions are planning to adopt the network by 2011. In November 2008 NASA test-drove the network by sending space images to and from the EPOXI spacecraft, some 20 million miles (32 million kilometers) from Earth.

DTN protocols were also installed on the International Space Station in May, and summer testing began the first week of July.

Houston, We're Fixing a Problem

Though tweeting astronauts have gotten a lot of press, "the reality is that they [don't really] tweet or have browsing capability on the International Space Station," explained Gifford, who is part of a large, cooperative DTN effort that has also included NASA and Internet veterans.

"Right now they actually voice down a simple blurb, and the tweet is operated manually from Houston," he said. In fact most current space communication involves humans manually scheduling each and every link, sometimes weeks or even months in advance for distant spacecraft, and dictating exactly which data are sent and when.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 12 July 2009 at 1:37pm

Positive Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction By Building Resilience

 People who seed their life with frequent moments of positive emotions increase their resilience against challenges, according to a new study by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill psychologist and colleagues.
 
This study shows that if happiness is something you want out of life, then focusing daily on the small moments and cultivating positive emotions is the way to go,” said Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and the principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory. “Those small moments let positive emotions blossom, and that helps us become more open. That openness then helps us build resources that can help us rebound better from adversity and stress, ward off depression and continue to grow.”

In the month long study, 86 participants were asked to submit daily “emotion reports,” rather than answering general questions like, “Over the last few months, how much joy did you feel?”

“Getting those daily reports helped us gather more accurate recollections of feelings and allowed us to capture emotional ups and downs,” said Fredrickson, a leading expert in the field of positive psychology.

Building up a daily diet of positive emotions does not require banishing negative emotions, she said. The study helps show that to be happy, people do not need to adopt a “Pollyanna-ish” approach and deny the upsetting aspects of life.

“The levels of positive emotions that produced good benefits weren’t extreme. Participants with average and stable levels of positive emotions still showed growth in resilience even when their days included negative emotions.”

Fredrickson suggested focusing on the “micro-moments” that can help unlock one positive emotion here or there.

“A lot of times we get so wrapped up in thinking about the future and the past that we are blind to the goodness we are steeped in already, whether it’s the beauty outside the window or the kind things that people are doing for you,” she said. “The better approach is to be open and flexible, to be appreciative of whatever good you do find in your daily circumstances, rather than focusing on bigger questions, such as ‘Will I be happy if I move to California?’ or ‘Will I be happy if I get married?’”

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708184544.htm

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Artificial Leaf Development: Structure Of Artificial Light Harvesting Antenna Determined

 An international team of researchers has modified chlorophyll from an alga so that it resembles the extremely efficient light antennae of bacteria. The team was then able to determine the structure of these light antennae. This is the first step to converting sunlight into energy using an artificial leaf.

The researchers will be publishing an article on their research findings in the online Early Edition of the PNAS journal in the week starting 29 June. Leiden researcher Swapna Ganapathy has obtained her PhD based on this subject, under the supervision of Professor Huub de Groot, one of the initiators of the research.

Forests at nano scale

They are the subject of dreams: artificial forests at nano scale. Or pavements and motorways where gaps in the surface are filled with pigment molecules that collect sunlight and convert it into fuel and other forms of – clean – energy. But before this can happen, artificial photosynthesis systems first have to be developed that work both quickly and efficiently.

Two things are needed to generate fuel from sunlight: an antenna that harvests light, and a light-driven catalyst. The article in PNAS is about the first of these: the antenna.

Imitating light antennae of bacteria

The fastest light harvesters are to be found in nature: in green leaves, algae and bacteria. The light antennae of bacteria – chlorosomes – are the fastest of all. They have to be capable of harvesting minimal quantities of light particles in highly unfavourable light conditions, such as deep in the sea. These chlorosomes are made up of chlorophyll molecules. The art is to imitate these systems very precisely.

German colleagues from the University of Würzburg in Huub de Groot's team modified chlorophylls from the alga Spirulina, such that they resembled the pigments of bacteria. De Groot's Leiden group then studied the structure of these semi-synthetic light antennae.

Nanotechnology

De Groot: ' Nanotechnology and supramolecular systems are becoming increasingly important, but it is very difficult to determine their structure. So-called cartoons are frequently made that give a schematic indication of what their structure could be.'

 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 14 July 2009 at 12:33pm
Fog Catchers Harvest Air's Water in Arid Places
When dense fog sweeps in from the Pacific Ocean, special nets on a hillside near Lima, Peru, catch the moisture and provide precious water to an area that gets very little rainfall--about half an inch (1.5 centimeters) a year.

The nets stand perpendicular to the prevailing wind, which blows fog into the coarse, woven plastic mesh. From there, drops of fog-water fall into gutters that carry the water to collection tanks.

 

When people from rural Peru move to Lima, the capital, they're looking for a better life. But things can be tough.

It's hard to find a job in the city. The jobs they can get—bus driver, street vendor, construction worker—don't pay well

And the cheapest area to live is high on steep hills on the edge of the city, where landslides are common and water is scarce.

German conservationists and biologists Kai Tiedemann and Anne Lummerich, who run Alimón, a small nonprofit that supports Latin American development, are trying to help with the last of those problems. Since 2006 they've been working with new settlements on the outskirts of Lima to set up special nets that scoop water directly from the air.

Rain rarely falls on these dry hills. The annual precipitation in Lima is about half an inch (1.5 centimeters), and the city gets its water from far-off Andean lakes.

But every winter, from June to November, dense fog sweeps in from the Pacific Ocean.

With a few thousand dollars and some volunteer labor, a village can set up fog-collecting nets that gather hundreds of gallons of water a day—without a single drop of rain falling.

Ancient Technique, Modern Salvation?

As far back as 2,000 years ago, desert villages and other rain-starved communities around the world may have started harvesting fog that collected as water and dripped from trees, said Robert Schemenauer, executive director of FogQuest, a Canadian nonprofit organization that helps communities set up simple collection devices.

Serious work on collecting fog started about a hundred years ago. Since then, fog catchers have been used successfully—though on a small scale—all over the world.

Fog collection will never be practical on a large scale. "You aren't going to put up thousands of fog collectors and try to provide water to Los Angeles," Schemenauer said.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090709-fog-catchers-peru-water-missions.html
 
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 15 July 2009 at 11:52am
Major Breakthrough With Water Desalination System
 
Science Daily (July 14, 2009)

"Our M3 water desalination system provides an all-in-one mobile testing plant that can be used to test almost any water source," said Alex Bartman, a graduate student on the M3 team who helped to design the sensor networks and data acquisition computer hardware in the system. "The advantages of this type of system are that it can cut costs, and because it is mobile, only one M3 system needs to be built to test multiple sources. Also, it will give an extensive amount of information that can be used to design the larger-scale desalination plant."

The M3 demonstrated its effectiveness in a recent field study in the San Joaquin Valley in which it desalted agricultural drainage water that was nearly saturated with calcium sulfate salts, accomplishing this with just one reverse osmosis (RO) stage.

"In this specific field study by our team, in the first part of the reverse osmosis process, 65 percent of the water that was fed in was recovered as drinking water, or potable water," said Yoram Cohen, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and lead investigator on the team. "We can potentially go up to 95 percent recovery using an accelerated chemical demineralization process that was also developed here at UCLA. This first field study with the M3 was a major achievement and the first phase of our high-recovery RO process demonstration program."

 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 16 July 2009 at 1:29pm
 

Satellites Can Spot Tsunamis, US Study Finds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellites can spot the leading edge of a tsunami, U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday in a study that might lead to better ways of detecting the giant waves and get people out of their way.

They went back and looked at satellite images in the Indian Ocean as the December 2004 tsunami raced across to destroy coastlines in Thailand, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. They found clear patterns in the water.

"We've found that roughness of the surface water provides a good measure of the true strength of the tsunami along its entire leading edge," Oleg Godin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, said in astatement.

"This is the first time that we can see tsunami propagation in this way across the open ocean." .....

Tsunamis can only usually be seen when they enter shallow water. In the depths of an ocean, the water they displace barely shows -- although this tiny movement can also be detected by satellites.

The satellites that can do this, however, do not cover all the world's seas.

Godin's team found that tsunamis crossing the open ocean stir up and darken the surface waters along the leading edge of the wave. Many ordinary satellites can detect the dark pattern, they reported in the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences.

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1246346367590&pagename=Zone-English-HealthScience%2FHSELayout

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 17 July 2009 at 1:23pm

Hydrogen Technology Steams Ahead

ScienceDaily (July 17, 2009) — Could the cars and laptops of the future be fuelled by old chip fat? Engineers at the University of Leeds believe so, and are developing an energy efficient, environmentally-friendly hydrogen production system.

The system enables hydrogen to be extracted from waste materials, such as vegetable oil and the glycerol by-product of bio-diesel. The aim is to create the high purity hydrogen-based fuel necessary not only for large-scale power production, but also for smaller portable fuel cells. ..............

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708073944.htm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 17 July 2009 at 1:54pm

Quite interesting ....one less reason to feel guilty about having french fries:)

This Document Will Self-Erase in Five Minutes

from New Scientist

This article will self-erase in 10 seconds. At least it would if it had been written on a film that exploits the colour-changing ability of nanoparticles. The technology could make it possible to create documents that wipe themselves clean after they've been read.

A team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, coated gold nanoparticles with a layer of hair-like molecules called 4-(11-mercaptoundecanoxy)azobenzene or MUA. When zapped with ultraviolet light, these filaments change their shape and charge distribution, causing the nanoparticles to congregate together and change colour.

"The colour of the nanoparticles depends on how close they are to one another," says lead researcher Bartosz Grzybowski. "For instance, gold nanoparticles are red when separated, but become violet, then blue, then colourless as they cluster together."

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 19 July 2009 at 9:37pm

Solar Cycle Linked To Global Climate

ScienceDaily (July 17, 2009) — Establishing a key link between the solar cycle and global climate, research led by scientists at the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., shows that maximum solar activity and its aftermath have impacts on Earth that resemble La Niٌna and El Ninٌo events in the tropical Pacific Ocean

The research may pave the way toward predictions of temperature and precipitation patterns at certain times during the approximately 11-year solar cycle.

"These results are striking in that they point to a scientifically feasible series of events that link the 11-year solar cycle with ENSO, the tropical Pacific phenomenon that so strongly influences climate variability around the world," says Jay Fein, program director in NSF's Division of Atmospheric Sciences. "The next step is to confirm or dispute these intriguing model results with observational data analyses and targeted new observations."

The total energy reaching Earth from the sun varies by only 0.1 percent across the solar cycle. Scientists have sought for decades to link these ups and downs to natural weather and climate variations and distinguish their subtle effects from the larger pattern of human-caused global warming.

Building on previous work, the NCAR researchers used computer models of global climate and more than a century of ocean temperature to answer longstanding questions about the connection between solar activity and global climate.

The research, published in July in a paper in the Journal of Climate, was funded by NSF, NCAR's sponsor, and by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"We have fleshed out the effects of a new mechanism to understand what happens in the tropical Pacific when there is a maximum of solar activity," says NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl, the paper's lead author. "When the sun's output peaks, it has far-ranging and often subtle impacts on tropical precipitation and on weather systems around much of the world."

The new paper, along with an earlier one by Meehl and colleagues, shows that as the Sun reaches maximum activity, it heats cloud-free parts of the Pacific Ocean enough to increase evaporation, intensify tropical rainfall and the trade winds, and cool the eastern tropical Pacific.

The result of this chain of events is similar to a La Ninٌa event, although the cooling of about 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit is focused further east and is only about half as strong as for a typical La Niٌna.

Over the following year or two, the La Ninٌa-like pattern triggered by the solar maximum tends to evolve into an El Niٌo-like pattern, as slow-moving currents replace the cool water over the eastern tropical Pacific with warmer-than-usual water.

Again, the ocean response is only about half as strong as with El Niٌno.

True La Niٌna and El Ninٌo events are associated with changes in the temperatures of surface waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. They can affect weather patterns worldwide. .............

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716113358.htm

 

 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 21 July 2009 at 10:00am
 

Asia set for total solar eclipse

Millions of people in Asia will see the longest total solar eclipse this century on Wednesday as swaths of India and China are plunged into darkness.

Scores of amateur stargazers and scientists will travel long distances for the eclipse, which will last for about five minutes.

The eclipse will first appear in the Gulf of Khambhat just north of Mumbai.

It will move east across India, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China before hitting the Pacific.

The eclipse will cross some southern Japanese islands and will last be visible from land at Nikumaroro Island in the South Pacific nation of Kiribati.

Elsewhere, a partial eclipse will be visible across much of Asia.

The previous total eclipse, in August 2008, lasted two minutes and 27 seconds. This one will last six minutes and 39 seconds at its maximum point.

Alphonse Sterling, a Nasa astrophysicist who will be following the eclipse from China, scientists are hoping data from the eclipse will help explain solar flares and other structures of the sun and why they erupt.

"We'll have to wait a few hundred years for another opportunity to observe a solar eclipse that lasts this long, so it's a very special opportunity," Shao Zhenyi, an astronomer at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory in China told the Associated Press news agency.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8161578.stm

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 21 July 2009 at 12:52pm
Thank You for posting Brother Tarek...
some more details
 
The timings for it are:
Times (UTC)
Partial eclipse 23:58:18 (Jul 21)
Total eclipse 00:51:16
Central eclipse 00:54:31
Greatest eclipse 02:35:21
 

Nature? Nurture? Scientists say neither

It's easy to explain why we act a certain way by saying "it's in the genes," but a group of University of Iowa scientists say the world has relied on that simple explanation far too long.

In research to be published today in Child Development Perspectives, the UI team calls for tossing out the nature-nurture debate, which they say has prevailed for centuries in part out of convenience and intellectual laziness.

They support evolution -- but not the idea that genes are a one-way path to specific traits and behaviors. Instead, they argue that development involves a complex system in which genes and environmental factors constantly interact.

"You can't break it down and say there's a gene for being jealous, there's a gene for being depressed, there's a gene for being gay. Those types of statements are simplistic and misleading," said UI psychologist Mark Blumberg, a co-author of the paper. "There is no gene for any of those things. At most, one can say there's a system of which that gene and many others are a part that will produce those outcomes."

The UI team believes genes are expressed at every point in development and are affected all along the way by a gamut of environmental factors -- everything from proteins and chemicals to the socioeconomic status of a family. These ideas are unified by a perspective called developmental systems theory.

"The nature-nurture debate has a pervasive influence on our lives, affecting the framework of research in child development, biology, neuroscience, personality and dozens of other fields," said lead author and UI psychologist John Spencer.

"People have tried for centuries to shift the debate one way or the other, and it's just been a pendulum swinging back and forth. We're taking the radical position that the smarter thing is to just say 'neither' -- to throw out the debate as it has been historically framed and embrace the alternative perspective provided by developmental systems theory."

The UI researchers illustrate the inadequacies of the debate by examining recent studies of imprinting, spatial cognition and language development that support the nature point of view.



Edited by a well wisher - 21 July 2009 at 12:54pm
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How Many Dimensions In The Holographic Universe?

Viennese scientists are trying to understand the mysteries of the holographic principle: How many dimensions are there in our universe?
 

Some of the world's brightest minds are carrying out research in this area -- and still have not succeeded so far in creating a unified theory of quantum gravitation is often considered to be the “Holy Grail” of modern science.

Daniel Grumiller from the Institute of Theoretical Physics, Vienna University of Technology, can now at least unravel some of the mysteries of quantum gravitation. His results on black holes and gravitational waves are pretty mind-boggling - to say the least. Only recently he won the START prize and will use these funds to engage even more young physicists at the TU Vienna.

We perceive the space around us as three-dimensional. According to Einstein, time and space are inseparabely linked. Adding the time axis to our three-dimensional space makes our space-time-continuum four-dimensional. For decades, scientists have been wondering about the existence of additional dimensions so far hidden to our senses. Grumiller and his colleagues are trying the opposite approach: Instead of postulating additional dimensions, they believe that our universe could in fact be described by less than four dimensions.

“A hologram, as you find it on bank notes or credit cards, appears to show a three-dimensional picture, even though in fact it is just two-dimensional,” Grumiller explains. In such a case, reality has fewer dimensions than we would think it appears to have. This “holographic principle” plays an important role in the physics of space time. Instead of creating a theory of gravity in all the time and space dimensions, one can formulate a new quantum theory with one fewer spatial dimension. That way, a 3D theory of gravitation turns into a 2D quantum theory, in which gravity does not appear any more. Still, this quantum theory correctly predicts phenomena like black holes or gravitational waves.

“The question, how many dimensions our world really has, does probably not even have a proper answer probably cannot be answered explicitly,” Grumiller thinks. “Depending on the particular question we are trying to answer, either one of the approaches may turn out to be more useful.”

Grumiller is currently working on gravitational theories which include two spatial dimensions and one time dimension. They can be mapped onto a two-dimensional gravitationless quantum theory. Such theories can be used to describe rapidly rotating black holes or “cosmic strings” – spacetime defects, which probably appeared shortly after the Big Bang.

 
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Quake moves NZ towards Australia

 

A massive earthquake last week has brought New Zealand closer to Australia, scientists say

 

 

The 7.8 magnitude quake in the Tasman Sea has expanded New Zealand's South Island westwards by about 30cm (12in).

Seismologist Ken Gledhill, of GNS Science, said the shift demonstrated the huge force of the tremor.

But correspondents say that with more than 2,250km (1,400 miles) separating the countries, the narrowing will not exactly be visible.

Nor, as the New Zealand media have observed, is it likely to bring cheaper air fares.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8162628.stm

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Asia Solar Eclipse Video: Longest Eclipse Darkens China And India
 
 
A bright idea: Philips lets flat lights out of lab
 

In this June 17, 2009 photo, flat panel lights are displayed at a Philips plant in Aachen, Germany. In the future, our homes may be lighted not by bulbs, but by light emanating in natural colors from luminous walls, windows and ceilings. (AP Photo/Ermindo Armino)

(AP) -- Someday, our ceilings and walls might radiate light, illuminating indoor spaces as brightly and evenly as natural daylight.

Though that possibility remains years off, the Dutch electronics company Philips is letting people tinker with the technology that would enable it.

The world's biggest lighting maker has begun selling do-it-yourself kits with little glowing wafers called "Lumiblades." They come in red, white, blue or green for anyone who wants to pay nearly $100 per square inch.

It's one of the first chances people outside research labs have had to get their hands on lights made from organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs.

 
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