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The Lounge>Science is Cool....
Fish 09:43 PM 05-21-2012
This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

Why should I care?:

Cephalic Trauma 08:44 PM 04-05-2013
Originally Posted by beach tribe:
You try so hard to look smart that it makes you look stupid.
Did you read my post after that? I didn't remember since it's been so long since I posted that, but I assumed there was a pressure change in the absence of sound.

Of all threads, I thought surely this would be one that was accepting of intelligent scientific dialogue.

Enter Beach tribe, who I didn't know existed before this dickhole post, to buzz kill.

What is so wrong with having scientific conversations? I wasn't an ass to him. Damn.
Dave Lane 10:43 PM 04-05-2013
Originally Posted by Fish:
This is why you cannot win the Cinnamon Challenge. And why it's a bad idea...

Have already won twice. It's a total piece of cake. Will accept wagers :-)
Easy 6 11:13 PM 04-05-2013
Originally Posted by Fish:
It really is amazing... how on Earth, did we make such a technological jump in such a short time.

Its almost like we had a shortcut

AussieChiefsFan 06:59 PM 04-06-2013

RedDread 10:26 PM 04-06-2013
White House confirms NASA plan to ‘lasso’ and bring asteroid near Earth.

President Barack Obama’s administration will seek $100 million in funding for a mission to tow an asteroid closer to Earth for the purpose of helping future expeditions to Mars, NBC News reported on Saturday.

This corroborates an announcement made by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on Friday. As the Associated Press reported, Nelson, who chairs the Senate Science and Space Subcommittee, said the request would be made in Obama’s proposed budget for 2014, with $78 million set aside for the mission to grab the asteroid and $27 million for helping NASA identify asteroids that could endanger the planet, a $7 million increase from current spending.

NASA’s mission proposal, adapted from a scenario (PDF) designed by the Keck Institute for Space Studies, calls for a robotic probe to grab an asteroid measuring approximately 500 tons and 25 to 35 feet in width in 2019 and bringing it into orbit near the moon, which would shorten future asteroid expeditions by months, on top of providing access to the asteroid’s natural resources.

Donald Yeomans, who leads the agency’s Near Earth Object program, told the AP those dimensions would make the designated asteroid unlikely to damage Earth even if it entered the atmosphere, since it would burn up before reaching the ground.

Watch Newsy Science’s report on the potential benefits of NASA’s budding asteroid hunt, posted on Saturday, below.

America, **** yeah!!!!
Fish 03:18 PM 04-10-2013

Fire up the HAL 9000.... NASA is going to Europa!

NASA Receives Seed Money For Europa Mission

Two weeks ago President Barack Obama signed a bill that outlines government spending for the remainder of the fiscal year (until September 30). The bill, H. R. 933, which was passed by the House and Senate before reaching President Obama, includes an increase in funding for NASA’s planetary science research program. One line in particular is peeking the interest of planetary scientists. On page 64, the bill reads: “$75,000,000 shall be for pre-formulation and/or formulation activities for a mission that meets the science goals outlined for the Jupiter Europa mission in the most recent planetary science decadal survey.” NASA has received $75 million to begin developing technology for a mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.

Europa is slightly smaller than our own moon. It is primarily made out of silicate rock, likely has an iron core, has a thin atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen, and its surface is composed of icy water. Recently Europa made headlines after planetary scientists, led by Mike Brown from the California Institute of Technology, discovered the presence of magnesium sulfate salt (Epsom salt) on Europa’s surface. The presence of magnesium sulfate suggests a cycling of Europa’s salty oceans, and possibly an ecosystem beneath the surface.

The “Jupiter Europa mission” hasn’t been specified yet, but many supporters of a mission to Europa believe this indicates government support for the Europa Clipper mission. The Europa Clipper is a concept mission that is currently under study by NASA. This mission would require placing a spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter that would gather information visually about Europa and investigate whether the moon is suitable for life. This theorized Europa Clipper mission would perform 32 flybys of Europa with altitudes varying from 25 km to 2700km.

This is great news, but NASA can’t make it to Europa on $75 million. Last year NASA’s planetary budget was cut by 20%. This is an optimistic step forward, but don’t stop advocating. Keep telling Congress to double NASA’s budget.
Fish 04:00 PM 04-10-2013
Take a look inside the brain. Without making a mess with the hatchet and hacksaw....

See-through brains clarify connections
Technique to make tissue transparent offers three-dimensional view of neural networks.

A chemical treatment that turns whole organs transparent offers a big boost to the field of ‘connectomics’ — the push to map the brain’s fiendishly complicated wiring. Scientists could use the technique to view large networks of neurons with unprecedented ease and accuracy. The technology also opens up new research avenues for old brains that were saved from patients and healthy donors.

“This is probably one of the most important advances for doing neuroanatomy in decades,” says Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, which funded part of the work. Existing technology allows scientists to see neurons and their connections in microscopic detail — but only across tiny slivers of tissue. Researchers must reconstruct three-dimensional data from images of these thin slices. Aligning hundreds or even thousands of these snapshots to map long-range projections of nerve cells is laborious and error-prone, rendering fine-grain analysis of whole brains practically impossible.

The new method instead allows researchers to see directly into optically transparent whole brains or thick blocks of brain tissue. Called CLARITY, it was devised by Karl Deisseroth and his team at Stanford University in California. “You can get right down to the fine structure of the system while not losing the big picture,” says Deisseroth, who adds that his group is in the process of rendering an entire human brain transparent.

The technique, published online in Nature on 10 April, turns the brain transparent using the detergent SDS, which strips away lipids that normally block the passage of light (K. Chung et al. Nature; 2013). Other groups have tried to clarify brains in the past, but many lipid-extraction techniques dissolve proteins and thus make it harder to identify different types of neurons. Deisseroth’s group solved this problem by first infusing the brain with acryl*amide, which binds proteins, nucleic acids and other biomolecules. When the acrylamide is heated, it polymerizes and forms a tissue-wide mesh that secures the molecules. The resulting brain–hydrogel hybrid showed only 8% protein loss after lipid extraction, compared to 41% with existing methods.

Applying CLARITY to whole mouse brains, the researchers viewed fluorescently labelled neurons in areas ranging from outer layers of the cortex to deep structures such as the thalamus. They also traced individual nerve fibres through 0.5-millimetre-thick slabs of formalin-preserved autopsied human brain — orders of magnitude thicker than slices currently imaged.

“The work is spectacular. The results are unlike anything else in the field,” says Van Wedeen, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a lead investigator on the US National Institutes of Health’s Human Connectome Project (HCP), which aims to chart the brain’s neuronal communication networks. The new technique, he says, could reveal important cellular details that would complement data on large-scale neuronal pathways that he and his colleagues are mapping in the HCP’s 1,200 healthy participants using magnetic resonance imaging.

Francine Benes, director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, says that more tests are needed to assess whether the lipid-clearing treatment alters or damages the fundamental structure of brain tissue. But she and others predict that CLARITY will pave the way for studies on healthy brain wiring, and on brain disorders and ageing.

Researchers could, for example, compare circuitry in banked tissue from people with neurological diseases and from controls whose brains were healthy. Such studies in living people are impossible, because most neuron-tracing methods require genetic engineering or injection of dye in living animals. Scientists might also revisit the many specimens in repositories that have been difficult to analyse because human brains are so large.

The hydrogel–tissue hybrid formed by CLARITY — stiffer and more chemically stable than untreated tissue — might also turn delicate and rare disease specimens into re*usable resources, Deisseroth says. One could, in effect, create a library of brains that different researchers check out, study and then return.
AussieChiefsFan 10:30 PM 04-11-2013

Baby Lee 03:42 AM 04-12-2013
Originally Posted by AussieChiefsFan:
child's play

AussieChiefsFan 04:11 AM 04-12-2013
Originally Posted by Baby Lee:
child's play

Wow, that's really incredible. Thanks for posting.
Fish 11:56 AM 04-12-2013
Originally Posted by Baby Lee:
child's play

That was awesome!

And the best part was at the end, where he said that they made the entirety of their experiment available online for free, in hopes that someone will decide to invest in it. THAT'S how it's done!
AussieChiefsFan 08:45 PM 04-15-2013

Dave Lane 10:58 PM 04-15-2013

AussieChiefsFan 11:00 PM 04-15-2013
Originally Posted by Dave Lane:
That's another great one. Vsauce really is the best.
Fish 04:56 PM 04-16-2013
Scientists have been actively searching for Dark Matter for about 12 years now. And these guys are 99.81% certain they've found it. 99.81...LOL...

Dark Matter Signals Recorded in Minnesota Mine
Detectors at the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search have recorded three events that may represent collisions from weakly interacting massive particles

More hints of dark matter have emerged from the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS), which hunts for the theorized particles from the depths of a mine in Minnesota.

Eight silicon detectors recorded three events that may represent collisions from weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. Physicists have found hints of the existence of WIMPs before, but they remain elusive. Two other possible detections from the CDMS search, reported in 2010, turned out to be indistinguishable from background collisions from other, non-WIMP, sources. The same may yet hold true for the latest findings.

The work was reported on 13 April at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver, Colorado, and is published at “We do not believe this result rises to the level of a discovery, but it does call for further investigation,” said Kevin McCarthy, a CDMS team member from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

CDMS-II, the second generation of the search, ran between 2003 and 2008. The earlier WIMP suspects were spotted in its 19 germanium detectors. The new work comes from a subset of its 11 silicon detectors, which are more sensitive than germanium to collisions from low-energy particles.

Cooled to a temperature of just 40 millikelvins, the CDMS-II detectors sense heat given off when a particle collides with one of their crystals. The challenge is distinguishing a possible WIMP collision from the many collisions of other particles, such as neutrons.

The CDMS tries to get around that by shielding its detectors as much as possible and by precisely calculating the rate of expected collisions from other, background sources. The three possible WIMP events popped out of data in which 0.7 similar events would be expected from background, McCarthy said. Two of them occurred in the same detector.

He reported the signal at a 99.81% confidence level, or around three sigma in statistical language. “We favor the WIMP plus background hypothesis,” he said.

But the CDMS-II result would imply a WIMP with a mass of 8.6 gigaelectronvolts, far lighter than physicists might expect. The experiment’s successor, SuperCDMS, is now running in the Soudan mine and may yet yield more insight.

Other dark-matter experiments are searching for WIMPs with tanks of liquid xenon. These include LUX in South Dakota’s Homestake mine and XENON1T in Gran Sasso, Italy. They may soon help to narrow down the possibilities for WIMP dark matter, says Tom Shutt of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
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