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Sat, 30 Apr 2016
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New species of primate, the White-cheeked macaque discovered in northeast India

A new species of primate, the White-cheeked macaque, has been spotted in Arunachal Pradesh by a team of researchers from North East India.

The White-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys), a species new to science, was first discovered in Arunachal Pradesh's Anjaw district, bordering the Tibet region of China by a group of biologists and wildlife photographers last year, during a bird watching trip. However it took nearly a year for the scientific community to acknowledge that it was a new species different from macaques normally found in this region.

They narrowly missed being the first in the world to formally report the species after spotting the primate. A group of Chinese researchers, led by Cheng Li had beaten them to it by days reporting the discovery of the species in the American Journal of Primatology. Formally reporting a find in a journal takes precedence over spotting a species.

Blue Planet

Newly-discovered subglacial lake in Antarctica may hold prehistoric life

© Deborah Zabarenko / Reuters
A newly discovered lake in Antarctica, sealed off from the outside world for millions of years, could hold previously-undiscovered life, scientists believe.

The giant underground body of water will be the second largest found on the continent, if confirmed, and is located conveniently close to a research station, making it ideal for study.

The lake could potentially hold undiscovered or prehistoric life left to evolve on its own due to its subglacial state, covered in a sheet of ice.

Water in the lake remains in liquid form due to geothermal activity heating it from underneath.


The night watch hypothesis: Why we sleep badly on our first night in a new place

© Nicky Loh/Reuters
When you check into a hotel room or stay with a friend, is your first night of sleep disturbed? Do you toss and turn, mind strangely alert, unable to shut down in the usual way? If so, you're in good company. This phenomenon is called the first-night effect, and scientists have known about it for over 50 years. "Even when you look at young and healthy people without chronic sleep problems, 99 percent of the time they show this first-night effect—this weird half-awake, half-asleep state," says Yuka Sasaki from Brown University.

Other animals can straddle the boundaries between sleeping and wakefulness. Whales, dolphins, and many birds can sleep with just one half of their brains at a time, while the other half stays awake and its corresponding eye stays open. In this way, a bottlenose dolphin can stay awake and alert for at least five days straight, and possibly many more.


Study reveals unique microbial life buried deep beneath ocean floor

© Flickr/Rafae|
How deep does life go? Researchers from the Marine Biological Laboratory have, for the first time, examined unique microbial life in a cold crustal aquifer site known as North Pond.
What would seem like a barren, inhospitable environment completely devoid of light and low in oxygen is actually flourishing with life. Researchers from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have, for the first time, described an active microbial community buried deep in cold oceanic crust at North Pond, an isolated sediment pond on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Surprisingly, little is actually known about life in the planet's dark, dense, rocky crust, as the only way to get there is by drilling through meters of sediment.

Now, a team led by MBL Associate Scientist Julie Huber has delved into this buried marine biosphere to shed new light on the nature of life way down under.

With seawater running through its rocky crevices, the oceanic crust is anything but static. Researchers say that this natural flow creates a dynamic aquifer through which the ocean's entire volume of water circulates every 200,000 years.

A subseafloor observatory was installed at North Pond in 2011 as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. For the recent study, Huber's team examined crustal fluid samples collected in 2012 from 50 to 250 meters beneath the seafloor.


Chernobyl wildlife, three decades on

© University of South Carolina
Tim Mousseau, director of the Chernobyl + Fukushima Research Initiative, joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina in 1991 after earning a Ph.D. at McGill University and completing a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of California, Davis.
It was 30 years ago that a meltdown at the V. I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station in the former Soviet Union released radioactive contaminants into the surroundings in northern Ukraine. Airborne contamination from what is now generally termed the Chernobyl disaster spread well beyond the immediate environs of the power plant, and a roughly 1000-square-mile region in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia remains cordoned off, an exclusion zone where human habitation is forbidden.

The radiation spill was a disaster for the environment and its biological inhabitants, but it also created a unique radio-ecological laboratory. University of South Carolina professor of biological sciences Tim Mousseau and longtime collaborator Anders Møller of the CNRS (France) recognized that the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which comprises areas with a wide range of background radiation levels, was essentially the first place in the world where it would be possible to study the effects of ionizing radiation on animals living in the wild.

Since the atomic bomb was developed during WWII, laboratory testing has been used to assess toxicological effects of ionizing radiation on life, but Mousseau and Møller wanted to examine the effects on free-ranging organisms. In contrast to their laboratory brethren, wild animals have to forage for food and fend for themselves, likely leaving them more vulnerable to new stressors. With that in mind, Mousseau and Møller began studying the natural inhabitants of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in 2000. Their scope expanded after Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011, and they have established the USC Chernobyl + Fukushima Initiative, through which they and colleagues have now published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers.

Comment: Knowledge protects. See:


The mystery of numbers: How did they get woven into the fabric of reality?

The source of pi discovered!
We all learned pi in school in the context of circles. Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It is an irrational number approximated by 3.14.

It turns out that pi shows up all over the place, not just in circles. Here is just one instance. Take a piece of paper and a stick. Draw several lines along the paper so that the lines are the length of the stick from each other. Then randomly drop the stick on the paper. The probability that the stick will land so that it cuts a line is exactly 2/pi, or about 64%. If one were to perform millions of trials, one could use the results to perform a very precise calculation of the value of pi without ever considering its relation to circles.

This is just one of many places pi pops up in reality, and pi is just one of several mathematical constants that appear to be woven into the fabric of the universe. One mathematician likened it to looking out over a mountain range, where the bases of the mountains are shrouded in fog, and the symbol for pi is etched into the top of each mountain - one intuitively knows that it is all connected at some basic level even if one has no idea why.

Comment: The reality of numbers is actually a big mystery in philosophy. The problems come down to four basic questions: Do numbers really exist? If so, where do they exist? How do we perceive them? How do they exert their effects on the world and on our reason? Materialistic philosophy, the doctrine behind all 'official' science today, cannot answer any of these questions. And yet mathematics (without which there would be no physics) is central to our scientific knowledge. How do you square that?


Researchers say gravitational waves provide 'sixth sense' to understand universe

© Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
Visual of gravitational waves from two converging black holes is depicted on a monitor behind Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Co-Founder Kip Thorne as he speaks to members of the media following a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
Two young US-based Indian researchers working on gravitational wave project say these waves, predicted by Einstein a hundred years ago but only recently discovered, can act as a sixth sense for humans to comprehend the universe.

Gravitational waves — cosmic ripples that distort the fabric of space-time itself — were predicted by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity in 1916. But they were only actually proved a century later, September 14, 2015 and announced on February 11, 2016 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration.

Physicists have shown how a collision between two black holes about 1.3 billion light-years from Earth, that merged into a single, more massive spinning black hole have created gravitational waves big enough to be felt on earth.

These "ripples in the distortion of space and time" will provide information on the cosmos that wouldn't have been possible by peering through any kind of telescope, Karan P. Jani and Nancy Aggarwal, Indian student scientists who work with the LIGO told IANS.

"Gravitational waves are a completely new way of seeing the universe. It's like humans can now perceive the sixth sense beyond the five, to comprehend the universe," said Jani, a fourth year PhD researcher in astrophysics at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


'Magic of bird flight' yields insights for creating windproof drones

© Jose Miguel Gomez / Reuters
A black-throated mango hummingbird, Anthracothorax nigricollis, flies in a garden in San Francisco, near Bogota.
Drone technology never stays still for long, and scientists at Stanford University are taking tips from the avian world to create hardy flying robots able to withstand powerful gusts of wind

Stanford engineering professor David Lentink has already begun using a new state of the art wind tunnel to devise "better" drones that can power through more than a slight breeze.

By gaining insight into how birds respond to unpredictable weather, it is hoped that their natural instincts can be embedded in future delivery drones or rescue copters.

Bizarro Earth

The global warming scam, Paris climate agreement and NWO global rule

"Global warming is the biggest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it."

Longtime meteorologist and Weather Channel founder John Coleman
With last Friday's Earth Day marked by the US among 170 nations out of the planet's 190 nations signing last December's UN Paris climate change agreement at the United Nations, the topic "global warming/climate change" is once again all abuzz these days. Additionally, in less than a week a documentary entitled "The Climate Hustle" is being released in movie theaters nationwide on May 2nd debunking the notion that humans have caused global warming from the alleged increased CO2 greenhouse effect. This new film arrives as the answered rebuttal exactly a decade after ex-VP Al Gore's Oscar winning "Inconvenient Truth" pushed the global warming agenda to unprecedented heights. Gore was rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize for his propagandist sci-fi movie. Recall his "true planetary emergency" calling for "drastic measures" to reduce the greenhouse gases before "reaching the point of no return" within ten years. Well, his ten years have come and gone and for all his over-predicting of end-of-the-world crises due to global warming, Gore and his alarmist minions have virtually no evidence of any warming to show for all their doom and gloom catastrophic warnings.

Comment: Unfortunately, the film Climate Hustle is less than objective about global cooling - a process that few seem to be addressing.

That said, the global warming industry stakes are now worth an annual $1.5 trillion. Yet despite the global elites adapting a climate change agreement, a vast array of critics are blasting their Paris climate accord as merely a $100 billion boondoggle lacking any specific strategies or methods for reducing CO2 levels nor any mandated authority to enforce recommendations hinging on voluntary participation from all nations. Even the father of the global warming movement former NASA climatologist and green activist James Hanson trashes the Paris agreement:
It's just bullshit for them to say 'we'll have a 2 C. warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.' It's worthless words. There is no actions, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.
The earth's global warming that Al Gore and his movement attribute to humans burning fossil fuels over the last century has absolutely nothing to do with the global warming presently being observed on every planet in our solar system. Scientists are blaming it on solar warming and the sun's electromagnetic field is becoming more intense. The fact that solar warming is heating up all the planets strongly suggests that global warming on our planet is not being caused by human activity at all.

Airplane Paper

A glimpse of the future: Dutch students open a drone cafe

© AFP Photo/Bart van Overbeeke
A drone brings drinks to customers in the world's first drone cafe in Eindhoven.
Would you like a drone with your cocktail? The world's first cafe using the tiny domestic unmanned aircraft as servers has opened in a Dutch university.

The pop-up drone cafe will be serving up all weekend as part of celebrations for the "Dream and Dare" festival marking the 60th anniversary of the Eindhoven University of Technology.

The 20 students behind the project, who spent nine months developing and building the autonomous drone, aim to show how such small inside craft could become an essential part of modern daily life.

"It has potential as a useful tool for human kind. We see it as the next mobile phone. You choose and you programme it like you want," student and project leader Tessie Hartjes told AFP.