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Comet

New wrinkle? Study suggests Ancient Earth got a 'face-lift'


Earth got a "face-lift" early in its history, wiping out most of its original crust, according to a new model of the ancient barrage of asteroids called the Late Heavy Bombardment.

Earth itself is about 4.5 billion years ago, but it's rare to find rocks older than those formed about 3.8 billion years ago. One reason older rocks may be missing is that they were destroyed when asteroids and comets pummeled the Earth, moon and inner planets of the solar system, scientists report today (July 30) in the journal Nature.

"The surface of the Earth was heavily affected by all these collisions," said lead study author Simone Marchi, a planetary scientist with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "There's no doubt the crust was excavated, mixed and buried as a result of this bombardment." [Photo Timeline: How the Earth Formed]


Comment: Such cyclical planetary 'face-lifts' can be caused by the overhead explosions of 'space rocks', as well as direct impacts. See also: Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls

For more information on the winning Electric Universe theory, and how electrical discharges may determine 'asteroids' from 'comets'; and other related phenomena, read Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk's new book, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

Beaker

Ebola rages in Africa while West ponders the ethics of vaccine and drug testing

unicef workers guinea
© Reuters
Workers from Unicef in Guinea speak with local families on how to best protect themselves against Ebola.
In 2002, scientists writing in a leading American medical journal discussed the possibility that the Ebola virus could be used in a biochemical weapon. It would be technically difficult and unlikely to cause mass destruction because those infected quickly die and the virus is not as transmissible as many assume. But, the scientists warned, if it could be done, there would be no protection. No vaccine or drug treatment exists.

They were writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association in the wake of 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks in New York. Since then, fear of viruses raining out of US skies has diminished - and so has any sense of urgency over the development of vaccines or treatment for a disease that manifests itself in unpredictable outbreaks and kills relatively small numbers of people in remote parts of Africa.

Neglected tropical diseases, of which Ebola is one, become visible in the west only when they appear to threaten it. Ebola has had more attention than many, probably because of the dramatic nature of the disease and the need for full body suits and face masks for those caring for its victims. The names of other such diseases - the parasitic leishmaniasis and lymphatic filariasis, for example - hardly trip off the tongue in London or San Francisco.

Yet Ebola is not a priority for the not-for-profit Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, which works with the World Health Organisation and others to incentivise and encourage pharmaceutical companies to research and develop treatments. It affects far fewer people than parasitic diseases, and the outbreaks, although appalling, are sporadic.

Comment: The truth is that no drugs or vaccines are being developed that will help in the current epidemic. And, considering that independent studies have shown that vaccines often cause the diseases they were designed to prevent, a far safer course of action would be to improve one's overall health by having a strong immune system. Following a ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to prevent disease.

Polish study: No historical benefit in vaccines
Historical Data Shows Vaccines are Not what Saved Us
If you think your kid's vaccines are safe, don't watch this!
Vaccines: Crossing Immunological Boundaries

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview
Solve Your Health Issues with a Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic Diet (high-fat, low-carb) Has Neuroprotective and Disease-modifying Effects

Beaker

Scientists admit progress slow on potential drug treatments for Ebola

research ebola
© dpa picture alliance/Alamy
Research into vaccines and treatments for Ebola is ongoing
Ebola is continuing to kill people across West Africa, but there is still no cure.

Available treatments only ease the symptoms of the disease. People with Ebola are given supportive care, such as intravenous fluids to combat the dehydration caused by bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Several potential drugs and vaccines are working their way through animal studies and clinical trials, but progress has been slow. On-the-ground trials are almost impossible to conduct, largely because outbreaks in Africa are sporadic and unpredictable. "It is difficult to do conventional clinical trials," says Thomas Geisbert of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, who is developing vaccines and therapies.

Comment: Probably the most effective preventative is to improve the immune system to be able to fight off infections before they take hold. Following a ketogenic diet (high-fat / low-carb) is one of the most effective ways to prevent or ameliorate a host of diseases.

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview
Solve Your Health Issues with a Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic Diet (high-fat, low-carb) Has Neuroprotective and Disease-modifying Effects
Diet for cancer cure: Starving cancer ketogenic diet a key to recovery

Bad Guys

Scientist fired for daring to report soft tissue found on dinosaur fossil

© ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
A Triceratops greets visitors at the 14,000 square foot Dinosaur Hall permanent exhibition at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
Attorneys for a California State University, Northridge scientist who was terminated from his job after discovering soft tissue on a triceratops fossil have filed a lawsuit against the university.

While at the Hell Creek Formation excavation site in Montana, researcher Mark Armitage discovered what he believed to be the largest triceratops horn ever unearthed at the site, according to attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute.

Upon examination of the horn under a high-powered microscope back at CSUN, Dacus says Armitage was "fascinated" to find soft tissue on the sample - a discovery Bacus said stunned members of the school's biology department and even some students "because it indicates that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago."
Question

Welcome to quantum wonderland: Neutron 'Cheshire cats' created

© Credit: © Disney
The Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland" had a smile that could disconnect from its body.
The Cheshire Cat of the classic children's book "Alice in Wonderland" had a smile that could disconnect from its body. And now, in the spirit of Lewis Carroll, scientists have created quantum Cheshire Cats in the form of neutrons separated from their magnetism.

This new finding suggests that future experiments could split other properties of particles from each other, such as their charge and mass, helping to solve mysteries regarding the fundamental bits of matter that make up the universe.

In the strange wonderland of quantum physics, the particles that make up everything can behave in bizarre ways. For instance, a particle can apparently exist in two or more places at once or spin two opposite directions at the same time, a property known as superposition. [The 9 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]
Network

Hypocrite Google wants it's privacy! Media outlets fighting to keep lawsuit documents in public domain

google
© inconnu
Back in May, Google settled a giant class action suit over its mining of Gmail user data. Now it faces another fight: Major media outlets fighting to convince the judge to keep public the documents generated during the case.

Google's attorneys argue that there is no reason to make the documents public, given that the court refused to certify the class and the case didn't proceed. Meanwhile representatives for a ragtag band of media companies - referred to in court docs as "The Media Intervenors," which is a great name for a band - argue that the public has a right to know details of the case: "Under the First Amendment and the federal common law, the press and the public have a presumptive right of access to court proceedings and documents."

In a case management conference scheduled for tomorrow, Judge Lucy Koh (who Pando readers will remember as the judge presiding over the Techtopus wage fixing suit) will decided whether to seal the documents.
Beaker

FBI too quick to condemn: Decades old botched forensic lab evidence may affect thousands of convictions

forensic lab
© Reuters / Mike Brown
Nearly every criminal case the FBI and US Justice Department has reviewed during a major investigation that began in 2012 regarding an FBI lab unit has involved flawed forensic testimony, The Washington Post reported.

The review - originally spurred by a Post report in 2012 over flawed forensic testimony by Federal Bureau of Investigation lab technicians that may have led to convictions of hundreds of innocent people - was cut short last August when its findings "troubled the bureau," according to the Post. The review was ordered by the Justice Department (DOJ) to resume this month, government officials said.

Most of the defendants in cases that involved possibly-botched testimony over microscopic hair matches were never told that their case was part of the review, which includes 2,600 convictions and 45 death-row cases from the 1980s and 1990s. In these cases, the FBI's hair and fiber unit claimed it found a match to crime-scene samples prior to the age of DNA testing of hair.

The FBI reviewed around 160 cases before halting the investigation 11 months ago, officials said. The probe resumed once the DOJ inspector general lambasted the FBI for the delay in this investigation and another involving the same forensic unit.
Music

Earworms: Why songs get stuck in your head

music
© unknown
Whether yours is "Call Me Maybe," "Who Let the Dogs Out," "Mickey," or something equally infectious, at one time or another, you've probably had a fragment from a catchy (or obnoxious) tune stuck in your head.

Where Do Sticky Songs Come From?

Due to the involuntary nature of songs getting stuck in people's heads, it is notoriously difficult to study. As such, the exact mechanism in the brain that causes this phenomenon isn't yet fully understood. At a higher level, some scientists see humanity's ancient practice of passing down knowledge through song as a possible source for this tendency.
Saturn

Scientists discover 101 geysers erupting at Saturn's intriguing icy moon Enceladus

Enceladus’ geyser basin
© NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
This dramatic view looks across the region of Enceladus’ geyser basin and down on the ends of the Baghdad and Damascus fractures that face Saturn. The image, which looks approximately in the direction of Saturn, was taken from a more elevated viewpoint than other Cassini survey images of this area of the moon’s south pole.
Scientists analyzing the reams of data from NASA's Cassini orbiter at Saturn have discovered 101 geysers erupting from the intriguing icy moon Enceladus and that the spewing material of liquid water likely originates from an underground sea located beneath the tiny moons ice shell, according to newly published research.

The geysers are composed of tiny icy particles, water vapor and trace amounts of simple organic molecules. They were first sighted in Cassini imagery snapped during flyby's of the 310-mile-wide (500 kilometers wide) moon back in 2005 and immediately thrust Enceladus forward as a potential abode for alien life beyond Earth and prime scientific inquisition.

Liquid water, organic molecules and an energy source are the key requirements for life as we know it.
Magnet

Physicists unlock the magnetic nature of high-temperature superconductivity

© Credit: Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services
This is UIC physicist Dirk Morr, who worked with researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, says the findings were the result of 'the close collaboration of theory and experiment.'
Physicists have identified the "quantum glue" that underlies a promising type of superconductivity -- a crucial step towards the creation of energy superhighways that conduct electricity without current loss.

The research, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a collaboration between theoretical physicists led by Dirk Morr, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and experimentalists led by Seamus J.C. Davis of Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The earliest superconducting materials required operating temperatures near absolute zero, or −459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. Newer unconventional or "high-temperature" superconductors function at slightly elevated temperatures and seemed to work differently from the first materials. Scientists hoped this difference hinted at the possibility of superconductors that could work at room temperature and be used to create energy superhighways.

Comment: For information on the Electric Universe model and much more related phenomena, read Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk's new book.

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