Sunday, 30 September 2012

Discovered an old water flow on Mars

Vehicle-robot "Curiosity" NASA is on the surface of Mars just a few weeks, but has already found evidence that the planet's surface in the past flowing water. The robot was sent a picture of classical composition composed of stones, rocks and sand, and from mission control scientists say the size and appearance of rounded pebbles in the rock indicate that it is moved and shaped by water.

The rocks are described at a news conference at NASA's laboratory in Pasadena, California, and scientists say it is water laid to the place "a few billion years."

"Curiosity" is landed sixth on the surface of Mars August tasked with the help of your technical equipment to determine whether, in the past on this planet to provide the conditions for microbial life.

The robot is now generally held to test their systems and appliances, but this is when serious scientific work.

The ultimate goal is a robot vehicle to reach the central mountains Sharp, which is five kilometers high. Scientists expect that the vehicle has layers of rocks at the foot of the mountain from which it will be acquired new insights into the conditions that existed on Mars in the distant past.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Found billion carats of diamonds in Siberia

Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the enormous deposits of industrial diamonds, found in a meteorite crater in Siberia, could initiate a new revolution in the industry.

The statement said that the crater Popigaj in eastern Siberia has "many billions of cards" of diamonds that can be used to make jewelry, but only for technological needs and exceeds all known global reserves of conventional diamonds.

According to the director of the Institute of Geology and Minerals in Novosibirsk Nicholas Pokilenka, carried by RIA Novosti, Siberian diamonds have different molecular forms of carbon, which are twice as strong as conventional diamond industry and have excellent potential.

He was confident that it could lead to a true revolution in several industries, but it will not disrupt the classic diamond market, because it can be used to make jewelry.

Diamonds are found in Meteor Crater Soviet scientists were in the seventies, but never exploited, because then thought to be a better synthetic diamonds for industrial use.

Until the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the site managed as a state secret.

Pokilenko says that this unprecedented hardness of diamonds result of extremely high temperatures as a result of the explosion, which occurred at a time when the meteorite hit the earth 35 million years ago and created a crater 100 kilometers wide.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

"Junk DNA" is useful for the detection of disease

It turned out that the "junk DNA", which scientists have long thought that there is a function, plays an important role in the development of complex diseases such as diabetes, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus and cancer.

This discovery, the largest in molecular biology over the last ten years, it could cause a number of new therapies and drugs. The study, which lasted nine years, involved 440 scientists from 32 laboratories in the UK, U.S., Spain, Singapore and Japan.

The obtained very important clues to follow that science has discovered the key mechanisms that play a role in health and disease. This should be explored in order to be made ​​whole new medications or changed is existing.

The term "junk DNA" must now be discarded. From this research it is clear that this is part of the gene which is biologically more active than expected.

This term, the "non-coding DNA", scientists have figured out 40 years ago to describe the part of genetics that do not contain genes.

When in 1989. under the leadership of Nobel laureate James Watson began three billion-dollar project "Human gene", most scientists believed that the "junk DNA" has an important biological role.

Read of the human genetic code in 2000. years, and three years later published a complete map of the human genome.

Having completed the human genome project secessionist became clear that genes carry information for protein synthesis has about 20,000, which makes it one of only two percent of human DNA.

To be studied function of the remaining 98 percent of human DNA, which is believed to play an important role in the regulation of gene activity, which began in 2003. The program "ENCODE" in order to try to find the "non-coding part of genes", ie. "junk DNA."

Monday, 24 September 2012

Ozone on the slow road to recovery

Agreement on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, 25 years old prevented the disaster, scientists say the United Nations. In the Arctic zone record damaged reported in 2011, but the situation is more stable this year ...

The Montreal Protocol was signed on 16 September 1987. and decisively contributed to the preservation of the ozone layer. This layer of Earth's atmosphere filters out harmful ultra-violet rays, which contribute to global warming, causing skin cancer and damage vegetation.

The agreement was 25 years ago banned the use of substances such as chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform. Some of them were, at the time of signing the protocol, were a standard part of the refrigerator. "The agreement has prevented a huge disaster," says Gael Bråten, a scientist from the World Meteorological Organization.

Recovery for decades

According to the data of the institution, the emission of gases that damage the ozone layer suffered a culmination of the 2000th year - since then the situation has normalized, but the pollution is still there. "Even in this time of the ozone layer slowly disappearing," said Bråten (pictured ozone hole over Antarctica).

Forecasts say that at this rate the ozone layer could recover in mid-century - then again, the quality was the level before 1980. year. However, recover layer over Antarctica is much longer. "The gases that harm the ozone remains in the atmosphere for a long time - because the fill layer will take decades," he added Bråten.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Crickin of the crickets indicates the temperature of the air

According Dolber law is necessary to count the number of votes per minute crickets, subtract that number from 40, then divide the resulting figure by seven and finally add up to the 10th And that's the current air temperature.

The old folk wisdom says that crickets advertise more as the heat increased. Or to put it another way, their activity increases with increasing air temperature.

What you probably did not know is that the American physicist and inventor in the 19th Amos Dolber Century published an article "Cricket as a thermometer," in which he presented a formula expressing the coupling crickin "enthusiasm" and temperature conditions. This however only applies to the North American crickets Oecanthus Fulton, but approximately might also affect the field crickets.

According Dolber law is necessary to count the number of votes of small bites per minute, of that number, subtract 40, then the resulting figure divided by 7, and finally add up to the 10th The formula for computing in Celsius is: T> 10 + (N - 40) / 7

This means that according to this formula cricket at a temperature of about 40 degrees Celsius supposed to sound about 250 times per minute, or about four times per second. How does that sound plausible, let readers judge for themselves.

Crickets are insects related grasshoppers, and many of them are mixed with crickets. And an article in which Dolber 1897th published his remarkable formula was originally titled "The Cricket as a Thermometer" which means "cricket as a thermometer", although it is known that the story refers to the crickets.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Intel wants to "kill" password

During his 2012 IDF conference in San Francisco, Intel demonstrated a new interesting technology called Secure Palm. This concept allows you to log on to your system using a secure method of access, with your hands.

Instead of having to remember all the passwords you can just put your hand in front of a sensor, and Windows will not let you inside. This is definitely still a prototype so we will Intel be given time to develop the concept, but all it takes in this technology is to keep your hand in front of the sensor and are signed.

This technology makes sense if each day you spend a lot of time typing your user name and password in Yahoo Mail, Twitter, Skype, Amazon, Steam, Facebook, your bank and other systems. The major problem here may be privacy, and the question is how many users will be willing to print it so easy.

In any case, Palm Secure seems interesting, but whether they will be able to replace the fingerprint scanner that comes with many business notebooks remains to be seen.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Wormholes exist all around us

Many physicists believe wormholes (a "shortcut" through space and time) exist all around us but they are smaller than atoms.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Found in Orbit Around a Young Sunlike Star: Sugar

Water, oxygen and now sugar molecules have been found floating around in space, in the right place and at the right moment to wind up on newly forming planets. Astronomers have found sugar
molecules around a star for the first time, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array.

The team found molecules of glycolaldehyde, a simple sugar, in the gas around a star called IRAS 16293-2422. This young binary star has roughly the same mass as our sun. The sugars were found in relatively the same location as Uranus’ orbit, according to the European Southern Observatory. It is falling in toward one of the stars in the binary system, which astronomers said is the right direction for it to wind up on a future planet.

Glycoaldehyde is the simplest possible sugar, so it’s not exactly the same stuff you would put in a muffin or your morning coffee. But it is a key ingredient in the construction of RNA, notes Jes Jørgensen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, the lead author of a new paper about the space sugar. If the gas and dust cloud surrounding IRAS 16293-2422 coalesces into a planetary system, the new worlds could contain some of this sugar, and perhaps other amino acid chains and complex molecules. The star system is about 400 light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus.

Astronomers are trying to determine how large molecules can become in the tumultuous environments around new stars. “This could tell us something about how life might arise elsewhere, and ALMA observations are going to be vital to unravel this mystery,” Jørgensen said.

Friday, 14 September 2012

A Warming Earth Creates More Biodiversity, But Only In The Long Term

Global warming is a scientific reality, whether we want to ascribe it to natural processes or man-made effects. One of the questions raised by this phenomenon is how will
it affect biodiversity on the planet.

A new study by the Universities of York, Glasgow and Leeds, reveals answers that conflict with past studies. The new research involved analysis of fossil and geological records going back 540 million years and it suggests that biodiversity on Earth generally increases as the planet warms.

The catch, according to the researchers, is that this increase in biodiversity depends on the evolution of new species over millions of years. This is normally accompanied by extinctions of existing species.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that current warming trends are unlikely to boost global biodiversity in the short term because of the long timescales necessary for new forms to evolve. The speed of current changes in temperature is actually expected to cause diversity loss, instead.

This research is a refinement of an earlier study that analyzed biodiversity over the same time interval, but with a less sophisticated data set. The earlier study concluded that a warming climate would lead to drops in overall biodiversity. Using the improved dataset, the research team re-examined patterns of marine invertebrate biodiversity over the last 540 million years.

Dr Peter Mayhew, of the Department of Biology at York, said, “The improved data give us a more secure picture of the impact of warmer temperatures on marine biodiversity and they show that, as before, there is more extinction and origination in warm geological periods. But, overall, warm climates seem to boost biodiversity in the very long run, rather than reducing it.”

Dr Alistair McGowan, of the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow said, “The previous findings always seemed paradoxical. Ecological studies show that species richness consistently increases towards the Equator, where it is warm, yet the relationship between biodiversity and temperature through time appeared to be the opposite. Our new results reverse these conclusions and bring them into line with the ecological pattern.”

Professor Tim Benton, of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds, added: “Science progresses by constantly re-examining conclusions in the light of better data. Our results seem to show that temperature improves biodiversity through time as well as across space. However, they do not suggest that current global warming is good for existing species. Increases in global diversity take millions of years, and in the meantime we expect extinctions to occur.”

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Global Warming Could Be Linked to the Number of Exploding Stars in the Sky

As we enter the high season of electoral politics, you’re going to hear things about global warming that may seem a bit dubious--that it doesn’t exist, that it exis
ts and George W. Bush invented it, that cataclysmic climate change has already occurred and we are all doomed, that climate change is the result of the failed stimulus, etc. But an astrophysicist working on one of the cosmos greatest mysteries has another theory that might sound equally implausible on its face, but actually makes some sense: that we can measure future global warming based on the number of exploding stars we see in the sky.

Dr. Charles Wang of the University of Aberdeen has put forth a new theory concerning supernova that involves a Higgs Boson-like mystery particle that is scheduled to be tested at CERN. That’s interesting, but perhaps more intriguing is the idea that his theory could aid in our understanding of where global warming originates and where it is going.

It turns out exploding stars elsewhere in the universe have an effect on the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. When stars explode elsewhere, the massive amount of cosmic rays created affect space weather in that corner of the cosmos, making it cloudier. That cloudiness shades Earth from other cosmic waves that are likely impacting the atmosphere here. The cloudier it is out there, the cooler Earth’s atmosphere is. So, the theory goes, fewer star explosions equals a warmer atmosphere. And a warmer climate.

That doesn’t help us much from a policy perspective. We don’t yet fully understand the mechanisms by which individual stars go supernova, and we certainly don’t have the means to control star explosions. But since we do record these explosions--roughly one per year--we could use that data to help predict future changes in climate.

Original story on:

Monday, 10 September 2012

How Quantum Teleportation Can Bring Us Secure Communications

Why are all these world records for quantum teleportation so important?

New advances in quantum teleportation keep coming with greater frequency. Today, a team of European phys

icists sets the bar higher than ever before. After officially reporting teleportation across nearly 90 miles, through the turbulent ocean atmosphere of the Canary Islands, physicists could be ready to take on the greatest challenge yet — an attempt to teleport particles into space. But why?

Because quantum teleportation, though it's as complex as the sky is blue, could be a useful, secure way to transmit information. Not people, unfortunately -- Star Trek this is not. But in 2012, teleportation of data, in an unhackable, purely encrypted form, could be closer than ever.

On Thursday, Nature published an advance online paper by quantum wizard Anton Zeilinger and colleagues at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Vienna. The team teleported photons 89 miles between the two Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife. And last month, the same journal published a Chinese team's newest teleportation record, a total demolition of their own previous feat, teleporting photons across 60 miles. Both teams first reported these accomplishments within days of each other in May.

But the record-breaking masks the complexity of what's really going on here. After all, the particles didn't really, technically, go that distance.

Some photons did physically traverse the distance between the two places, but they were used only as a preparatory tool, to build up what physicists call an "entangled resource," explains Philippe Grangier of the Institut d'Optique in Palaiseau, France. Then, the information describing the actual photons to be teleported -- their polarization, especially, along with other characteristics -- was moved. The teleported particles existed in one place, and then they existed somewhere else instead.

This is possible because the photons in a teleportation experiment share an inextricable bond, so tight that whatever happens to one particle happens to the other, no matter how separated they are. This is what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance." Getting them entangled is a challenge in and of itself; more on that in a moment. Then teleporting them relies on creating a remote copy of one of them, Grangier said. Think of it somewhat like a fax, but one in which the original is destroyed -- and in the moment the copy is received. You must relay the information somehow, and quantum entanglement makes this possible.

The method of entanglement you choose depends on the type of particle you want to teleport. If you want to teleport charged atoms, for instance, you would use entangled ions. For photons, you would entangle polarized photons. Or it may be a quantized state of light, which Noriyuki Lee and colleagues pulled off last year. The latter is an exquisitely complicated scenario, in which you're teleporting a little packet of photons that is in two quantum states at once. (That's called quantum superposition, and it's best described by the example of Schrödinger's cat -- once placed in a theoretical box, it is both dead and alive simultaneously, until you open the box to check it, and then it's only one or the other.) Whatever the subject, you've got to entangle some particles first, entwining their fates so they share the same outcomes no matter what happens to them.

This entanglement can happen in a number of ways, which are getting increasingly detailed and complicated with every new study. But more importantly, the entangled photons must not be interfered with, lest their entanglement be interrupted before your teleportation time. This is very hard to do when the teleportation covers tens or hundreds of miles -- rain, clouds, sand and even wind can disrupt the transmission of light.

"The real-life long-distance environment provided a number of
challenges for the present teleportation experiment. These challenges resulted most significantly in the need to cope with an extremely low signal-to-noise ratio when using standard techniques," Zeilinger and colleagues write.

In the Canary Islands experiment, Zeilinger and colleagues used two optical links, one classical and one quantum, across the islands of La Palma and Tenerife. They wanted to teleport the polarization of photons between two sites, usually referenced in information-transmission experiments with the alphabetized names "Alice" and "Bob."

The classical link enables two photons to be sent, one to Alice and one to Bob, to create the entangled resource. Simply put, the photons are created with a sapphire laser and move through a fiber optic cable to A and B. The quantum link allows Alice and Bob to share the polarization information about these photons, which are called photons 2 and 3 (#1 comes in a moment). Alice has photon 2, and Bob has photon 3 -- this is the "entangled resource." Then a third party, "Charlie," puts in photon 1. This new photon's polarization is unknown to either Alice or Bob. Then Alice has to make what's called a Bell-state measurement, the outcome of which will determine every photon's fate.

"The result of the measurement destroys the initial system. What you get out of this measurement is one result, a numerical result," Grangier said. "Then you send this result to the other side, where you want to recreate your new system."

Alice's measurement of photon 1 dictates how Bob's photon will be transformed. Alice sends her measurement to Bob using that classical photon-relay channel. When Bob gets the information, he can perform the photon-transformation dictated by Alice's measurement of photon 1, and then voila -- Bob has photon 3, but now it's in the same state as the newly inputted photon 1. It's a perfect copy.

This forwarding of measurement info is called active feed-forward, and it's also the technique Lee et al. used in the light-packet Schrödinger's cat experiment last year. It has never been done before on this scale, Grangier said. The Canary Islands team also made a new breakthrough by synchronizing the clocks at both Alice's and Bob's locations, which improved the accuracy of their measurements.

"What's original is the combination of everything, very long-distance feed-forward and high quality of the transmission," Grangier said.

What's the point of all this quantum confusion? Secure communications, Grangier explains. Teleporting photons in a specific, measurable state that can only be received when a proper transformation-measurement is made -- that's good security. Proving it can be done with high fidelity across the ocean is quite a feat, too. This research holds promise for future ground-to-satellite quantum relays, transferring encrypted data, Zeilinger and his colleagues say.

The distances achieved here are actually more difficult than those required to link Earth and a satellite, the team said. "Our experiment represents a crucial step towards future quantum networks in space, which require space-to-ground quantum communication," they write. "The technology implemented in both experiments has certainly reached the required maturity for both satellite and long-distance ground communication."

The only difficulty is that this only works inside very carefully controlled quantum systems. For instance, quantum teleportation might work as an internal "wiring" element, within a quantum computer. But it won't work for physical objects.

To beam up a person, you'd have to create a suitable -- but not easily conceivable -- entangled resource, a second "person." Then you would have to destroy the original self of the teleported living thing, Grangier said.

"It's quite possible to teleport photons and ions, maybe many of them within a very carefully controlled quantum computer. But beyond that, the complexity of the resource and its vulnerability to decoherence make it completely impossible," he said.

"For usual macroscopic objects, the complexity of the entangled resource becomes just incredible and unmanageable, and it will be instantaneously destroyed by decoherence."

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

MIT-Developed ‘Microthrusters’ Could Propel Small Satellites

A penny-sized rocket thruster may soon power the smallest satellites in space.

Together, the array of spiky tips creates a small puff of charged particles that can help propel a shoebox-sized satellite forward The finalized device is at the bottom right, measuring 1 cm by 1 cm and 2 mm in thickness. This image shows an example of the different parts comprising a thruster. Instead, Lozano’s design is a flat, compact square — much like a computer chip — covered with 500 microscopic tips that, when stimulated with voltage, emit tiny beams of ions. The device, designed by Paulo Lozano, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, bears little resemblance to today’s bulky satellite engines, which are laden with valves, pipes and heavy propellant tanks. Mini ion thrusters are manufactured using micro-manufacturing techniques.

“They’re so small that you can put several [thrusters] on a vehicle,” Lozano says. He adds that a small satellite outfitted with several microthrusters could “not only move to change its orbit, but do other interesting things — like turn and roll.”

Lozano and his group in MIT’s Space Propulsion Laboratory and Microsystems Technology Laboratory presented their new thruster array at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ recent Joint Propulsion Conference.

Cleaning up CubeSat clutter

A magnetically levitated small satellite inside a vacuum chamber simulates space-like conditions to test the performance of mini ion thrusters in the laboratory Today, more than two dozen small satellites, called CubeSats, orbit Earth. These petite satellites are cheap to assemble, and can be launched into space relatively easily: Since they weigh very little, a rocket can carry several CubeSats as secondary payload without needing extra fuel. Each is slightly bigger than a Rubik’s cube, and weighs less than three pounds. After a mission concludes, the satellites burn up in the lower atmosphere. Their diminutive size classifies them as “nanosatellites,” in contrast with traditional Earth-monitoring behemoths. But these small satellites lack propulsion systems, and once in space, are usually left to passively spin in orbits close to Earth.

Lozano says if CubeSats were deployed at higher orbits, they would take much longer to degrade, potentially creating space clutter. As more CubeSats are launched farther from Earth in the future, the resulting debris could become a costly problem.

“These satellites could stay in space forever as trash,” says Lozano, who is associate director of the Space Propulsion Laboratory. “This trash could collide with other satellites. … You could basically stop the Space Age with just a handful of collisions.”

Engineering propulsion systems for small satellites could solve the problem of space junk: CubeSats could propel down to lower orbits to burn up, or even act as galactic garbage collectors, pulling retired satellites down to degrade in Earth’s atmosphere. However, traditional propulsion systems have proved too bulky for nanosatellites, leaving little space on the vessels for electronics and communication equipment.

Bioinspired propulsion

To explain how the thruster works, Lozano invokes the analogy of a tree: Water from the ground is pulled up a tree through a succession of smaller and smaller pores, first in the roots, then up the trunk, and finally through the leaves, where sunshine evaporates the water as gas. The microchip is composed of several layers of porous metal, the top layer of which is textured with 500 evenly spaced metallic tips. Lozano’s microthruster works by a similar capillary action: Each layer of metal contains smaller and smaller pores, which passively suck the ionic liquid up through the chip, to the tops of the metallic tips The bottom of the chip contains a small reservoir of liquid — a “liquid plasma” of free-floating ions that is key to the operation of the device. In contrast, Lozano’s microthruster design adds little to a satellite’s overall weight.

The researchers found that an array of 500 tips produces 50 micronewtons of force — an amount of thrust that, on Earth, could only support a small shred of paper. But in zero-gravity space, this tiny force would be enough to propel a two-pound satellite. The group engineered a gold-coated plate over the chip, then applied a voltage, generating an electric field between the plate and the thruster’s tips. Lozano and co-author Dan Courtney also found that very small increases in voltage generated a big increase in force among the thruster’s 500 tips, a promising result in terms of energy efficiency In response, beams of ions escaped the tips, creating a thrust.

“It means you have a lot of control with your voltage,” Lozano says. “You don’t have to increase a lot of voltage to attain higher current. It’s a very small, modest increase.”

Timothy Graves, manager of electric propulsion and plasma science at Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo, Calif., says the microthruster design stands out among satellite propellant systems for its size and low power consumption.

“Normally, propulsion systems have significant infrastructure associated with propellant feed lines, valves [and] complex power conditioning systems,” says Graves, who was not involved in the research. “Additionally, the postage-stamp size of this thruster makes it easy to implement in comparison to other, larger propulsion systems.”
When the satellite needs to propel out of orbit, onboard solar panels would temporarily activate the thrusters. In the future, Lozano predicts, microthrusters may even be used to power much larger satellites: Flat panels lined with multiple thrusters could propel a satellite through space, switching directions much like a rudder, or the tail of a fish The researchers envision a small satellite with several microthrusters, possibly oriented in different directions.

“Just like solar panels you can aim at the sun, you can point the thrusters in any direction you want, and then thrust,” Lozano says. “That gives you a lot of flexibility. That’s pretty cool.”