Friday, August 18, 2006

New Scientist Update I

With the baby and everything I have not had much time to read my favourite Science Magazine.
In a quick blitz I finished the July1-7 and the August 12-18 issues of NS.

The following articles are worth noting:

From July 1-7 Issue:

- An expose on Cloning asks whether we have actually made any progress since the 'Dolly' Breakthrough. The South Korean cloning scam was really a set back for the field. I personally beieve that cloning techniques will improve leading to a re-ignition of the ethical nightmare of human cloning. I have outlined this in my History of the Future Book.
See http://www.forbesbookclub.com/bookpage.asp?prod_cd=IY3M6 or contact me at ideas@lonelythinker.com

- One for the Anti-GM crowd. Modified Tomatoes are to be used to fight two killer viruses.

- Small Nanodiamonds may exist in Space (enough to harvest an engagement setting - probably not?)

- An investigation into Saltwater to Fresh Water Technology. The Israelis have been doing this for some time now. Las Vegas may follow suit.

- A Human Evolutionary Article Questioning the Out of Africa Theory. Early Homins may have left Africa before Homo Erectus evolved. Perhaps as early as 2 million years ago.

- The Power Law behind the Internet apparently may not be as important as we once thought. We need to focus on details in the network instead. My personal take is that where really don't know what we have designed. How safe it is to sabotage is anyone's guess for the moment. This is a perfect case of technology running ahead of itself.

- Life may exist on the moon's orbiting the Great Planets. I always thought this was a possibility. Why do we seem so suprised? Titan, Saturn's largest moon, has a small atmosphere after all.

- Even occasional drinks during pregnancy could be bad for the foetus.


From August 12-18 Issue:

- Quantum Loop Gravity looks more and more like a viable alternative to String Theory. According to QLG heavy particles are made up of complex braids of space-time. Twisting provides for the nature of the charge.

- NASA will fund a probe called ADEPT to test whether Dark Energy exists after all.

- Pregnant woman should be weary of commercialized 'boutique' ultrasound scans. These may damage the foetus. It seems that so much can harm the foetus these days. I wonder how accurate all this reserach is? Or is it just fear mongering?

- Waterproof rice will be engineered to resist the problem of paddy flooding.

- For believers in the Big Crunch Theory of the Universe - apparently structures created in an earlier version of the Universe won't effect the future. I am not sure where researchers are going with one? Seems a bit fuzzy. Big Crunch Theory is 'hokey' at best.

- Life on Earth may have developed in sub-zero temperatures, such as the fine water veins that exist on ice bergs. An interesting suggestion. Since bacteria has also been found in hot geysers it just goes to show you how hardy life can be. The ice theory is therefore not a suprise.

- The race to build robots to mimic the action of human muscle is on. Robot Arm wrestling may become a big sport in the future although at the moment the best robot cannot defeat a 17 year old girl.

- Chinese timber demand is stripping Russia's Far East of valuable resources.

- Kids with imaginary friends develop language and psychological skills faster (I would add to this - and an imagination as well).
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