Archive for the ‘science’ category: Page 58

Jul 27, 2015

How to save the planet: environmental conflicts in a new light — By Justin Farrell | Financial Times

Posted by in categories: environmental, science


One of the most symbolic and substantively important examples of environmental conflict is over Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is the first national park in the world, and perhaps the most important natural treasure in the US. More recently it has become a site for bitter and long-lasting environmental conflict. And it has made me wonder how the scientific arguments around the issues sit with the emotional reactions inspired by the landscape and history.

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Jul 14, 2015

The ‘Indispensable Soma’ theory of ageing

Posted by in categories: evolution, health, life extension, science, transhumanism

OK. In scientific terms, it is only a ‘hypothesis’ — the reverse of the ‘Disposable Soma’ theory of ageing. Here how it goes.

For the past several decades, the Disposable Soma theory of ageing has been enjoying good publicity and a lively interest from both academics and the public alike. It stands up to scientific scrutiny, makes conceptual sense and fits well within an evolutionary framework of ageing. The theory basically suggests that, due to energy resource constraints, there is a trade-off between somatic cell and germ cell repair. As a result, germ cells are being repaired effectively and so the survival of the species is assured, at a cost of individual somatic (bodily) ageing and death. To put it very simply, we are disposable, we age and die because all the effective repair mechanisms have been diverted to our germ cell DNA in order to guarantee the survival of our species.

The theory accounts for many repair pathways and mechanisms converging upon the germ cell, and also for many of those mechanisms being driven away from somatic cell repair just to ensure germ cell survival. In the past two or three years however, it is increasingly being realised that this process is not unidirectional (from soma to germ), but it is bi-directional: under certain circumstances, somatic cells may initiate damage that affects germ cells, and also that germ cells may initiate repairs that benefit somatic cells!

I can’t even begin to describe how important this bi-directionality is. Taking this in a wider and more speculative sense, it is, in fact, the basis for the cure of ageing. The discovery that germ cells can (or are forced to) relinquish their repair priorities, and that resources can then be re-allocated for somatic repairs instead, means that we may be able to avoid age-related damage (because this would be repaired with greater fidelity) and, at the same time, avoid overpopulation (as our now damaged genetic material would be unsuitable for reproduction).

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Jul 12, 2015

Some new ideas for fixing science — Cathleen O’Grady | Ars Technica

Posted by in category: science

“It’s much easier to replicate experiments and catch fraud if you have access to the original data. Some journals currently reward researchers for sharing the data that they used in an experiment. In the highest level of this new framework, data sharing would not only become compulsory, but independent analysts would conduct the same tests on it as those reported by the researchers, to see whether they get the same results.” Read more

Jul 5, 2015

Researchers Sharing Data Was Supposed to Change Science Forever. Did It? — Lily Hay Newman | Slate

Posted by in category: science

“If goodwill and curiosity aren’t motivating researchers to work with open-source data on their own, there is still something that probably will: human limitation. ‘We have tiny little brains. We can’t understand the big stuff anymore,’ said Paul Cohen, a DARPA program manager in the Information and Innovation Office. ‘Machines will read the literature, machines will build complicated models, because frankly we can’t.’ When all you have to do is let your algorithms loose on a trove of publicly available data, there won’t be any reason not to pull in everything that’s out there. ” Read more

Jun 26, 2015

Allegra Fuller Synder Talk at the 2015 IX Symposium

Posted by in categories: architecture, chemistry, education, engineering, nanotechnology, science, sustainability

Jun 23, 2015

Strings Are Dead

Posted by in categories: anti-gravity, cosmology, defense, general relativity, gravity, innovation, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, quantum physics, science, space travel

In 2014, I submitted my paper “A Universal Approach to Forces” to the journal Foundations of Physics. The 1999 Noble Laureate, Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft, editor of this journal, had suggested that I submit this paper to the journal Physics Essays.

My previous 2009 submission “Gravitational acceleration without mass and noninertia fields” to Physics Essays, had taken 1.5 years to review and be accepted. Therefore, I decided against Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft’s recommendation as I estimated that the entire 6 papers (now published as Super Physics for Super Technologies) would take up to 10 years and/or $20,000 to publish in peer reviewed journals.

Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft had brought up something interesting in his 2008 paper “A locally finite model for gravity” that “… absence of matter now no longer guarantees local flatness…” meaning that accelerations can be present in spacetime without the presence of mass. Wow! Isn’t this a precursor to propulsion physics, or the ability to modify spacetime without the use of mass?

As far as I could determine, he didn’t pursue this from the perspective of propulsion physics. A year earlier in 2007, I had just discovered the massless formula for gravitational acceleration g=τc^2, published in the Physics Essays paper referred above. In effect, g=τc^2 was the mathematical solution to Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft’s “… absence of matter now no longer guarantees local flatness…”

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Jun 23, 2015

Honda’s Gravity Modification Research

Posted by in categories: anti-gravity, business, cosmology, defense, disruptive technology, engineering, general relativity, gravity, innovation, particle physics, physics, quantum physics, science, space travel

Gravity modification, the scientific term for antigravity, is the ability to modify the gravitational field without the use of mass. Thus legacy physics, the RSQ (Relativity, String & Quantum) theories, cannot deliver either the physics or technology as these require mass as their field origin.

Ron Kita who recently received the first US patent (8901943) related to gravity modification, in recent history, introduced me to Dr. Takaaki Musha some years ago. Dr. Musha has a distinguished history researching Biefeld-Brown in Japan, going back to the late 1980s, and worked for the Ministry of Defense and Honda R&D.

Dr. Musha is currently editing New Frontiers in Space Propulsion (Nova Publishers) expected later this year. He is one of the founders of the International Society for Space Science whose aim is to develop new propulsion systems for interstellar travel.

Wait. What? Honda? Yes. For us Americans, it is unthinkable for General Motors to investigate gravity modification, and here was Honda in the 1990s, at that, researching this topic.

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Jun 23, 2015

Is Photon Based Propulsion, the Future?

Posted by in categories: anti-gravity, defense, general relativity, gravity, innovation, particle physics, physics, quantum physics, science, space travel

I first met Dr. Young Bae, NIAC Fellow, at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored 2011, 100 Year Starship Study (100YSS) at Orlando, Fla. Many of us who were there had responded to the NASA/DARPA Tactical Technology Office’s RFP to set up an organization “… to develop a viable and sustainable non-governmental organization for persistent, long-term, private-sector investment into the myriad of disciplines needed to make long-distance space travel viable …”

Yes, both DARPA and NASA are at some level interested in interstellar propulsion. Mine was one of approximately 35 (rumored number) teams from around the world vying for this DARPA grant, and Dr. Bae was with a competing team. I presented the paper “Non-Gaussian Photon Probability Distributions”, and Dr. Bae presented “A Sustainable Developmental Pathway of Photon Propulsion towards Interstellar Flight”. These were early days, the ground zero of interstellar propulsion, if you would.

Dr. Bae has been researching Photon Laser Thrust (PLT) for many years. A video of his latest experiment is available at the NASA website or on YouTube. This PLT uses light photons to move an object by colliding with (i.e. transferring momentum to) the object. The expectation is that this technology will eventually be used to propel space crafts. His most recent experiments demonstrate the horizontal movement of a 1-pound weight. This is impressive. I expect to see much more progress in the coming years.

At one level, Dr. Bae’s experiments are confirmation that Bill Nye’s Light Sail (which very unfortunately lost communications with Earth) will work.

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Jun 23, 2015

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction | Science Advances

Posted by in categories: education, environmental, ethics, governance, law enforcement, science, security


“The evidence is incontrovertible that recent extinction rates are unprecedented in human history and highly unusual in Earth’s history. Our analysis emphasizes that our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate, initiating a mass extinction episode unparalleled for 65 million years. If the currently elevated extinction pace is allowed to continue, humans will soon (in as little as three human lifetimes) be deprived of many biodiversity benefits.”

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Jun 22, 2015

Unveiling the ancient climate of Mars By Larry O’Hanlon | Harvard Gazette

Posted by in categories: astronomy, science, space travel


“The high seas of Mars may never have existed. According to a new study that looks at two opposite climate scenarios of early Mars, a cold and icy planet billions of years ago better explains the water drainage and erosion features seen today.”

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