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February 2010
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Prehistoric Fossils Point to Future Climate Change


The first comprehensive reconstruction of an extreme warm period shows the sensitivity of the climate system to changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels as well as the strong influence of ocean temperatures, heat transport from equatorial regions, and greenhouse gases on Earth's temperature.

New data allows for more accurate predictions of future climate and improved understanding of today's warming. Past warm periods provide real data on climate change and are natural laboratories for understanding the global climate system.

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Darwin's "Molecular Machines" -Proof of Evolution at Cellular Level


"Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine. How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat mysterious, and highly controversial." 

Trevor Lithgow Lithgow of Australia's Monash University.

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Uploading the Mind for Extended Space Exploration -Is It Possible?


The idea of uploading out of these meatsacks has always appealed to certain people, and you can tell an awful lot about them by their use of the phrase "meatsacks."  Athena Andreadis recently wrote an article on why we can't be uploaded, explaining how any ghosts in the machine would just be copies.  But we ask the more important question: is that a problem?

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Image of the Day: Glowing Skeleton of a 'Dead', Pulsing Star


A new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the dusty skeleton of a collapsed star engulfing a nearby family of stars. Scientists think the stars in the image are part of a stellar cluster in which a supernova exploded. The white source near the center of the image is a dense, rapidly rotating neutron star, or "pulsar," left behind after a core-collapse supernova explosion. The pulsar generates a wind of high-energy particles -- seen in the Chandra data -- that expands into the surrounding environment, illuminating the material ejected in the supernova explosion.

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Predicting Space Impacts on Earth and Their Frequency

Red_cometNew research by the University of Kansas' Adrian Melott and colleagues reveals a promising new method of detecting past comet strikes upon Earth and gauging their frequency. This could be a timely and important enhancement considering the disaster epic that played out on Jupiter this past summer.

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The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (3/31)

Pearl jam Pearl Jam: The Next Big Green Business?

Pearl Jam, one of the most iconic 90's rock bands, isn't just another idealist group offsetting its carbon footprint with pricey carbon credits. No, Pearl Jam is a Washington-area regional green business--at least according to guitarist Stone Gossard. In an interview with Reuters, Gossard explained: "Pearl Jam is a band but we are also a business," guitarist and co-founder Gossard told Reuters in a telephone interview. "We're seeing ourselves as a Washington business, a regional business that is acknowledging its carbon footprint and hoping to inspire other businesses. To that end, Pearl Jam has chosen to invest $210,000 in planting trees in Washington State to offset 7,000 tons of CO2 from the band's 2009 tour. The trees will offset both the band's transportation footprint as well as the CO2 racked up by fans traveling to concerts.

Google-china China Severs Access to Google Search

This really does look like the final blow in the war between Google's Search Engine and the censorship-loving Chinese authorities: The sword has fallen, severing all access to Google Search from inside China. Even the mobile site is being partly blocked. According to the Telegraph newspaper, in "almost every major Chinese city" users are reporting back that they simply cannot access Google's search engine results, even via Google's Hong Kong work-around. The government demands that companies comply with "self-regulation" censorship rules, and Google recently made good on its threat to stop censoring its service inside mainland China--part of a series of events that began with an allegedly Chinese-based hack attack at the end of 2009.

3745754523_d7b31afe67_o Only a Few of Us Can Multi-Task

Scientists have known for decades that the human brain has trouble simultaneously processing more than one stream of information. A growing body of more recent research has reinforced the notion there are serious cognitive challenges posed by various kinds of multitasking. But a few brains may do better than others. That is the finding of a new study from the University of Utah where researchers say they’ve discovered a class of “super-taskers.” The researchers found that about 2.5 percent of the college students they studied were able to simultaneously talk on the phone while navigating in a driving simulator. By comparison, the other students in the study saw their driving performance on fall 20 to 30 percent, according to David Strayer, a psychology professor involved in the study.

Tony-fadell iPod Creator Leaving Apple for Greentech Startups

Is greentech hotter than Apple? Tony Fadell, the so-called godfather of the iPod, stepped down from his role as special adviser to Steve Jobs this week to focus on work with consumer greentech companies. The reason, Fadell, told The New York Times, is that he wants to tell his kids and grandkids stories "beyond my iPod and iPhone ones."

Large Hadron Atom Smasher Reaches Near Speed of Light

Cheerserupte Scientists celebrated at the world's biggest atom smasher at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva on Tuesday as they started colliding particles at record energy levels mimicking conditions close to the Big Bang, opening a new era in the quest for the secrets of the universe.

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Does The Earth Harbors a Huge, Natural Nuclear Reactor at its Core -New Discovery Proves "No"

6a00d8341bf7f753ef0120a81f3477970b-320wi Using a delicate instrument located under a mountain in central Italy, two University of Massachusetts Amherst physicists are measuring some of the faintest and rarest particles ever detected, geo-neutrinos, with the greatest precision yet achieved. The data reveal, for the first time, a well defined signal, above background noise, of the extremely rare geo-neutrino particle from deep within Earth.

The small number of anti-neutrinos detected, however, only a couple each month, helps to settle a long-standing question among geophysicists and geologists about whether our planet harbors a huge, natural nuclear reactor at its core. 

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