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March 2009
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20 Million Genes: Design Components of Future Life Forms

Slided1_2 "We have 20 million genes which I call the design components of the future. We are limited here only by our imagination."

Craig Venter, Geneticist

Craig Venter has been making headlines over the past years for a wide variety of genetic “miracles”. The controversial scientist has made a lot of wild claims, but surprisingly most of them have panned out. But his latest “crazy” idea might just top them all. Venter recently disclosed that he is creating a life form that feeds on climate-ruining carbon dioxide to produce fuel. It’s hard to imagine a better win-win, and he says he’s very close to making the dream a reality. Such a feat could be world changing.

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Harvard-Smithsonian Center Reports Massive Black Holes Roaming the Milky Way (VIDEO)

Star-milky-way Hundreds of rogue black holes should be traveling the Milky Way's outskirts, each containing the mass of 1,000 to 100,000 suns.

Avi Loeb -Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

New calculations by Ryan O'Leary and Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggest that hundreds of massive rogue black holes, left over from the galaxy-building days of the early universe, may wander the Milky Way.

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Has Climate Changed the Fate of Great Empires -New Research Says "Yes"

13602_fall_of_the_roman_empire_scre The decline of the Roman and Byzantine Empires in the Eastern Mediterranean more than 1,400 years ago may have been driven by unfavorable climate changes.

Based on chemical signatures in a piece of calcite from a cave near Jerusalem, a team of American and Israeli geologists pieced together a detailed record of the area's climate from roughly 200 B.C. to 1100 A.D. Their analysis reveals increasingly dry weather from 100 A.D. to 700 A.D. that coincided with the fall of both Roman and Byzantine rule in the region.

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"The Apocalypse, What Now?" Instructional Video

GeorgiaGuidestones-407x699 Wired recently looked at the Georgia Guidestones, and if you just went "what?" you should read on.  Anything so genuinely weird and effective made by human hands deserves your attention.  It's basically a "So there's been an Apocalypse: What Now?" instructional video, for a world where the cutting edge of entertainment technology is a chisel.

The "Guidestones" are six twenty-ton, five meter tall granite slabs covered in inscriptions.  The stones are arranged to line up with various astrological phenomena, obviously to make people pay attention (it works pretty well for Stonehenge), while the instructions are intended to guide the survivors of some unnamed catastrophe in rebuilding civilization.  They were erected in 1979 and things immediately got stupid, because in case you haven't noticed, you can't run an ad for butter these days without offending

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The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Science (4/30)

Obama_superman_awesome Swine Flu Is Evolution in Action

Obama’s 100 Days: High Marks for Science, Low for Privacy

Laser-Controlled Humans Closer to Reality

Humans Halfway to Causing Dangerous Climate Change

Did Comets Contain Key Ingredients For Life On Earth?

New Details About Mysterious Giant Virus Uncovered

Fire Influences Global Warming More Than Previously Thought

Google Could Have Caught Swine Flu Early

Space Junk Forcing More Evasive Maneuvers

Is a "Hypercane" Mega-Katrina Possible? MIT Scientist Says "Yes"

Hurricanejj001 MIT's Kerry Emanuel describes the worst nightmare hurricane that could ever happen -a "hypercane" with  winds raging around its center at 500 miles an hour. Water vapor; sea spray and storm debris are spewed into the atmosphere, punching a hole in the stratosphere 20 miles above the Earth's surface; at landfall, its super-gale-force winds would flatten forests and toss boulders with a  60-foot tsunami-like storm surge flooding nearby shores. The water vapor and debris could remain suspended high in the atmosphere for years, disrupting the climate and the ozone layer.

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Darwin's Radio: Prehistoric Gene Reawakens to Battle HIV

Darwinsradio_full 'The next great war will start inside us. 'In the next stage of evolution, mankind is history'.

Greg Bear, Darwin's Radio

About 95% of the human genome has once been designated as "junk" DNA. While much of this sequence may be an evolutionary artifact that serves no present-day purpose, some junk DNA may function in ways that are not currently understood. The conservation of some junk DNA over many millions of years of evolution may imply an essential function that has been "turned off." Now scientists say there's a junk gene that fights HIV. And they've discovered how to turn it back on.

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"78 Billion": Journey to the Beginning of Time -A Hubble VIDEO

Nasa_hubble_space_telescope_2_2 It helps to put things in perspective here on our frenetic little planet with a look at this extraordinarily powerful and moving video of the Hubble Space Telescope mapping of the Universe, whose known size is 78 billion light years across.

The video of the images is the equivalent of using a "time machine" to look into the past to witness the early formation of galaxies, perhaps less than one billion years after the universe's birth in the Big Bang.

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