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  #201  
Old 01-08-2014, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Odor receptors discovered in lungs (https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/26271.aspx)


quote: When a mammal inhales, volatile chemicals flow over two patches of specialized epithelial tissue high up in the nasal passages. These patches are rich in nerve cells with specialized odorant-binding molecules embedded in their membranes.

If a chemical docks on one of these receptors, the neuron fires, sending impulses along the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb in the brain, where the signal is integrated with those from hundreds of other similar cells to conjure the scent of old leather or dried lavender.

Aware that airway diseases are characterized by hypersensitivity to volatile stimuli, Ben-Shahar and his colleagues realized that the lungs, like the nose, must have some means of detecting inhaled chemicals.

Earlier, a team at the University of Iowa, where Ben-Shahar was a postdoctoral research associate, had searched for genes expressed by patches of tissue from lung transplant donors. They found a group of ciliated cells that express bitter taste receptors. When offending substances were detected, the cilia beat more strongly to sweep them out of the airway. This result was featured on the cover of the Aug. 28, 2009, issue of Science.

But since people are sensitive to many inhaled substances, not just bitter ones, Ben-Shahar decided to look again. This time he found that these tissues also express odor receptors, not on ciliated cells but instead on neuroendocrine cells, flask-shaped cells that dump serotonin and various neuropeptides when they are stimulated.
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  #202  
Old 01-18-2014, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

I just found out about this while looking for weekend outing opportunities

Rare Elasmosaur Fossil Found by Teenager in Rural Alabama : Animals : Nature World News
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  #203  
Old 01-21-2014, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Some new material, something about quantum something something. I only understand this in parts.

Natural 3-D Counterpart to Graphene Discovered: New Form of Quantum Matter
Quote:
The discovery of what is essentially a 3D version of graphene -- the 2D sheets of carbon through which electrons race at many times the speed at which they move through silicon -- promises exciting new things to come for the high-tech industry, including much faster transistors and far more compact hard drives.
Yes, go on.
Quote:
"Because of its 3D Dirac fermions in the bulk...
Oh, wait, could you please repeat that? Sorry, I must not have been paying attention. Is this Star Trek?
Quote:
PAY ATTENTION! THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!
Oh right, right. You were saying?
Quote:
:glare: a 3DTDS also features intriguing non-saturating linear magnetoresistance that can be orders of magnitude higher than the materials now used in hard drives, and it opens the door to more efficient optical sensors.
Nice! Anything else I need to know?
Quote:
Two of the most exciting new materials in the world of high technology today are graphene and topological insulators, crystalline materials that are electrically insulating in the bulk but conducting on the surface. Both feature 2D Dirac fermions (fermions that aren't their own antiparticle), which give rise to extraordinary and highly coveted physical properties. Topological insulators also possess a unique electronic structure, in which bulk electrons behave like those in an insulator while surface electrons behave like those in graphene.
mmm, yes, aren't their own...antiparticle... I see. Okay. Well, I need to get going now. :) We can talk about this later, yeah? kthxbye
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  #204  
Old 01-21-2014, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

What I get out of "3-dimensional dirac semi-metal" is

1) This didn't exist before, ergo they pulled that acronym out of their rear, therefore don't bother trying to look it up

2) Graphite/graphene is conductive for much different reasons than most conductors or semiconductors -- you wouldn't usually expect organically-bonded carbon to conduct electricity. It conducts electricity because of its arrangement of "dirac points", which I don't totally understand, but that's why it's a "dirac conductor" and not a "regular" conductor.

3) Graphene sheets only conduct in 2D. Stack them on top of each other and they won't transfer electricity between them. That's why this new one is "3D", instead of "2D", since it doesn't do that.

So they have a new compound which conducts like graphene without its 2D limitations.

Oh and it's magnetoresistant too, which makes it really nice for hard drive sensors and stuff.
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  #205  
Old 01-23-2014, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Quote:
Originally Posted by SR71 View Post
mmm, yes, aren't their own...antiparticle... I see. Okay.
Every fundamental particle can have its own antiparticle, with the same mass but opposite charge.

But not all particles are charged! Photons, for instance, are not charged.

Now, for bosons (integer spin particles), any particle that doesn't have any charge is it's own antiparticle. And particles with a charge can't be their own antiparticle (as their electric charge is reversed).

But the equations get weirder for non-integer spin particles. But it's still true that particles with a charge can't be their own antiparticle. So, for example, electrons can't be. These are called Dirac fermions.

Majorana pointed out that if you had a chargeless fermion, you could write down an equation where it was its own antiparticle. These are called Majorana particles. There are clever but subtle ways to tell between the two cases. For instance, nobody is quite sure if neutrinos are their own antiparticle.

And that's the difference between Majorana and Dirac fermions.
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Last edited by Dragar; 01-23-2014 at 10:18 PM.
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  #206  
Old 02-04-2014, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Thanks for the additional informations, Dragar and Corona! :)

The next thing I stumbled on was this anthropology thing! I was surprised because it states bluntly that we carry Neanderthal gene segments, but last I was aware it wasn't even clear they could pass beyond a single generation. It really is a fascinating time to be alive. From BBC -

BBC News - Neanderthals gave us disease genes
Quote:
Gene types that influence disease in people today were picked up through interbreeding with Neanderthals, a major study in Nature journal suggests.

They passed on variants involved in type 2 diabetes, Crohn's disease and - curiously - smoking addiction.

Genome studies reveal that our species (Homo sapiens) mated with Neanderthals after leaving Africa.

But it was previously unclear what this Neanderthal DNA did and whether there were any implications for human health.

“When Neanderthals and modern humans met and mixed, they were at the very edge of being biological compatible”

Prof David Reich
Harvard Medical School
Between 2% and 4% of the genetic blueprint of present-day non-Africans came from Neanderthals.
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  #207  
Old 02-08-2014, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

800,000-year-old footprints found in England -- then they washed away - latimes.com
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  #208  
Old 02-08-2014, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
then they washed away
Like the rest of England :sadcheer:
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  #209  
Old 02-08-2014, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
then they washed away
Like the rest of England :sadcheer:
Don't worry, the Daily Mail says there's nothing to worry about. :)
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  #210  
Old 02-10-2014, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Until they hear that FLOODING CAUSES CANCER
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  #211  
Old 02-13-2014, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Dynamic Periodic Table
p.table is p.cool! Tons of information about elements in a dynamic interface that allows you to see the similarities and differences between the elements as you adjust settings.
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  #212  
Old 02-13-2014, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

:prettycolors:
Another thing that's better than working!
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  #213  
Old 02-13-2014, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Heads Up: Crocodiles Climb Trees : Discovery News
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  #214  
Old 02-14-2014, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

This sounds promising.

UTMB scientists successfully grow human lungs in lab in just 3 days
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  #215  
Old 02-14-2014, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Pretty impressive
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  #216  
Old 02-17-2014, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

1-in-4-americans-thinks-sun-orbits-earth/

I wonder about those surveys. Is it perhaps the phrasing they get wrong or something? Surely it is not the case that 25% actually think the earth is the center of the solar system?

Last edited by Vivisectus; 02-17-2014 at 10:48 AM.
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  #217  
Old 02-18-2014, 12:44 AM
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Has anyone ever noticed that you usually turn the lights on at night, when it's dark outside, after they turn the Sun off? Does anyone think that's more than just a coincidence?
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  #218  
Old 02-18-2014, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Drive by science

I just rather like this project:

Robo-termites :)

Robotic construction without a centralized guiding program: each robot is autonomous. There are some simple instructions to avoid collisions, and some instructions that allow them to build temporary ramps as well. It is still early days and so far and the constructions they can make are still relatively simple, but I think it would be a great idea to create some simple software simple simulators for these fellows, and then have a competition: let random net-denizens come up with the most impressively complex design you can make them build with the least amount of actual code and see what happens.
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  #219  
Old 02-18-2014, 02:49 PM
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I joke but...uh...that's one step further down the road to both the gray goo and Terminator flavors of apocalypse.
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  #220  
Old 02-18-2014, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivisectus View Post
let random net-denizens come up with the most impressively complex design you can make them build with the least amount of actual code and see what happens
See also: recursion, Von Neumann Machine

(obviously I am in favor of this)
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  #221  
Old 02-18-2014, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Drive by science

OMG!!!! REPLICATORS!!!! :panic:
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  #222  
Old 02-25-2014, 01:28 PM
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4.4 billion-year-old crystal is oldest piece of Earth - CNN.com
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  #223  
Old 02-27-2014, 07:31 PM
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Physicist Rongjia Tao of Temple University thinks a thousand foot high wall built along the Oklahoma-Kansas border and another in the Dakotas and between Texas and Louisiana would diminish the tornado threat in so-called Tornado Alley.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA
Dr. Tao says because there are no west-to-east mountains in Tornado Alley to weaken the air flow, collisions between warm and cold air create turbulence and supercells that spawn tornadoes.

Dr. Rongjia Tao estimates the costs of building the walls to be about $60 billion per 100 miles.
Is that all? When do we get started? We may have to use immigrant labor.
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  #224  
Old 02-27-2014, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingfod View Post
Physicist Rongjia Tao of Temple University thinks a thousand foot high wall built along the Oklahoma-Kansas border and another in the Dakotas and between Texas and Louisiana would diminish the tornado threat in so-called Tornado Alley.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA
Dr. Tao says because there are no west-to-east mountains in Tornado Alley to weaken the air flow, collisions between warm and cold air create turbulence and supercells that spawn tornadoes.

Dr. Rongjia Tao estimates the costs of building the walls to be about $60 billion per 100 miles.
Is that all? When to we get started? We may have to use immigrant labor.

No, No, a wall is way too much trouble with doors and everything, just build one of those air walls that some stores use where a blast of warm air separates the outside air from the inside air, you just need a row of nozzles pointed straight up to create the wall of air. Then you get all the liberal democrats to talk into a tube and you'd have a blast of hot air that would stop any supercell from forming.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:14 PM
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Where do you find liberal democrats outside of an Occupy slum-camp?
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