New Scientist: Superhero suit to strengthen astronauts’ bones.
“Made of an elastic material, the suit is deliberately cut too short for the wearer, and has stirrups that wrap around the feet so that it stretches when the wearer puts it on. The elasticity of the stretched material then pulls the wearer’s shoulders towards their feet just as gravity would.” I wonder if the addition of vibration would serve to mimic impact; vibration has been shown to increase density of bones here on earth.
Discovery Magazine: The boiling, erupting Sun.
Reuters: Pancreatic cancer grows slowly, could be caught.
Begs the question, when will full-body scans be cheap enough for yearly use? We’re piss-potting around with other solutions, while the future is sitting in our laps.
BBC News: Dream recording device ‘possible’ researcher claims.
I once had a dream. Such a dream. I dreamed I completely and clearly understood — and could put into simple terms — the meaning of the universe. What I was here for, what I was meant to do. Then I woke up. And in that split second of complete happiness and peace ... I lost it. I could not remember the ‘answer’. I spent the remainder of the weekend bereft, until I realized that if it had made me so happy, I should just overlook the dream and have faith in the results. I wish I’d had this.
New Scientist: Caught on video: Why BA 009 rose from the ashes.
Ash collects in engine, kills engine. Dead engine cools, and ash falls off. Engine comes back to life.
Slate: V.S. Naipaul’s The Masque of Africa dares to discuss indigenous beliefs.
Cosmos Magazine: Giant crater may have been extinction trigger.
“Discovered by geothermal researchers, it is now buried deep under sedimentary rock. While the crater itself has probably eroded away, the land still bares the scars of the impact. ‘This impact structure is likely to prove one of the largest found on Earth, as it’s minimum diameter is 80 km and it’s likely size larger than 160 km.’” I’m no expert, but it sounds more and more to me like multiple impacts combined to create some of our extinction events.
PhysOrg: Nature’s backbone at risk.
“The most comprehensive assessment of the world’s vertebrates confirms an extinction crisis with one-fifth of species threatened. However, the situation would be worse were it not for current global conservation efforts.”
NPR: The World’s Most Beautiful Bark (Or: Trees Worth A Closer Look).
Actually, I find myself surprised. And I really shouldn’t be surprised that bark is so interesting.
Radioactive thyroid cancer treatment is getting a lot of press, suddenly.
Once you’ve gotten the radioactive iodine, you’re radiactively ‘hot’, and many patients are not being educated in the risks they pose to others. So hot you can set off radiation detectors in the Lincoln Tunnel [see the Times article below]! The issue is, should you be confined to a safe area of a hospital, or released while radiant? Two current articles, one from the NY Times, another from a Congressman.
CNN: Acid gargles, amputations aboard 19th-century navy sailing ship.
“A young girl sick with a seven-foot intestinal worm, men struck dead by bolts of lightning and a child so transfigured by illness that nurses said she’d been ‘substituted by the fairies.’ These are just a few of the bizarre and exotic episodes revealed by more than 1,000 British Royal Navy Medical Officer journals — compiled between 1793 and 1880 — that have been made accessible to the public following a two-year cataloguing project by Britain’s National Archives.” So you can fact-check Dr. Maturin now.
Discover: Incredible all-sky picture.
Cool. This is what the guys up at Chaco Culture NHP were doing when I created a night sky website for them. Got to sit on top of a cold steel water tower while they ran their CCD camera around the sky, measuring light leakage from various ‘perps’ around the perimeter (all-night stop and shops, mining concerns, interstates). Why do they do it? Because the Chacoan people considered the night sky essential to their lifestyle, timing of their rituals. So the Park Service sees a dark sky as a ‘resource’, just like any other resource they manage.
The Observer.UK: British art restorer uncovers a lost Giotto masterpiece.
“Visible beneath the paintwork were preparatory sketches which allowed Giotto specialists to attribute the work as the 14th-century artist’s own. It is now thought the crucifix must have been painted around 20 years after Giotto finished his other well-known monumental crucifix in Florence’s Santa Maria Novella church.” We seem to be discovering an awful lot of ‘great master’ works these days via modern scanning techniques. I keep waiting for the ‘forgery’ shoe to fall on a couple of ‘em - can’t help it. Can’t believe in the sheer number of ‘miracles.’
Discover: Spaceport America Dedicates Its Runway; Flights *Could* Begin in 2011.
“Its construction is being funded by New Mexico taxpayer dollars and commercial space companies; it has already been designated the home of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism operations. But the spaceport, located 45 miles outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is able to support a variety of spacecraft, and other commercial space companies are beginning to get involved. The spaceport is scheduled to be fully operational in 2011.” Yet it is being portrayed in-state as an albatross, a needlessly-expensive boondoggle. If it’s such a success, it needs more positive local press.
Nope, creationists are right.
CNN: Ancient door, in tip-top shape, found in Zurich.
‘Stone Age’ is just a smidge misleading. Neolithic (end of Stone Age) would be a more accurate placement. I was expecting a ‘Fred Flintstone’ stone door, instead of a nice poplar one, given the tag line in RSS. This specimen would fit right in with many old residences we have in Santa Fe.
New Scientist: Sun flares up again.
Discover: Flying a 747 with a gaping hole in the side.
ThinkGeek: Monolith Action Figure.
Oh, excellent. I’ve been thinking about building a life-size one in my yard, just to boggle the neighborhood.
New Scientist: Universal cancer marker shows new treatment options.
“This receptor [follicle stimulating hormone receptor] — typically involved in controlling women’s reproductive cycles — appears in unusually large amounts in prostate tumours. So Aurelian Radu at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and colleagues looked for it in 1336 human tumour samples, including prostate, breast, lung and liver cancers.”
Washington Post: Post-menopausal hormones boost breast cancer risk, study finds.
“The new analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative, published in Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that women who took the hormones were more likely to have tumors that appeared to be larger, were just as hard to treat and had begun to spread. Coupled with research published last year that found women who took hormones were about 70 percent more likely to die from lung cancer, the findings underscore the risks posed by the therapy. Millions of women still take hormones.” You just shouldn’t screw with hormones. That’s why the effects of pesticides, unfermented soy and BPA (to name a few) need to be more discursively researched.
BBC News: ‘Ten years’ to solve nature crisis, UN meeting hears.
“At the heart of the idea is the belief that if governments understand the financial costs of losing nature, they can adopt new economic models that reward conservation and penalise degradation.” Unfortunately, anything the UN declares is parsed in America by nuts who think black helicopters are coming to round them up in internment camps. In some circles, you can’t even bring up the UN without starting shouting matches. Completely frustrating.
newswise: Vitamin B12 May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Don’t go chugging it yet. B-12’s damned hard to absorb. There are populations who get very little of this, or have difficulties maintaining healthy levels of B-12, so confirmation of this research should be relatively simple. Wait. In the meantime, keep your brain healthy by learning a new language or something ...
MedPage Today: ACG: Abdominal Pain May Be Traced to Fructose.
Children (and, I assume others) can be fructose intolerant. “The study also revealed a potentially valuable finding — a substantial proportion of the fructose-intolerant children were overweight or obese.”
CNN: New CPR is spelled C-A-B.
“The new catch-phrase is “C-A-B”—as in start pushing on the chest before doing anything else. The AHA guidelines also uphold a 2008 recommendation that untrained responders call 911 but then forget rescue breathing completely, and simply press on the victim’s chest until help arrives.” Time to get my ratings renewed anyway. If you’ve never taken the course(s), you should contemplate doing so. Consider it another ‘social media channel.’ Keeping your society alive and kicking.