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Wed, 26 Jun 2019
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Scientists spot 1,800 new supernovae in remarkable discovery using the Subaru Telescope

1,800 new supernovae
© N. Yasudu et al
Scientists have spotted thousands of dying stars in the process of exploding out of existence. A team operating the 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope in Hawaii say they’ve identified roughly 1,800 new supernovae sitting as far as eight billion light years away
Scientists have spotted thousands of dying stars in the process of exploding out of existence.

A team operating the 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope in Hawaii say they've identified roughly 1,800 new supernovae sitting as far as eight billion light years away.

The trove of new data, including several supernovae of a type known to be useful in calculating star distance, could help to unlock new clues on the expansion of the universe, researchers say.

A team including researchers from the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the universe (Kavli IPMU), Tohoku University, Konan University, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, School of Science, the University of Tokyo, and Kyoto University published the findings this week in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.

Microscope 2

Evolution's Struggle with Complexity and New Genes

One of Darwin's famous quotes is:
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."
Such complex organs, not mentioning processes, exist in abundance, and they do absolutely break Darwin's theory down. His theory is about as broken as it gets, and this has been obvious for decades. Yet Darwinists refuse to accept it because they are more focused on maintaining their ideology and dogma than on the facts. In order to preserve the dogma, they usually ignore things that are inconvenient for them or misrepresent facts so that they can explain them away.

One of the many things that show the impossibility of organisms evolving step by step is the concept of Irreducible Complexity (IC). The point of the IC argument is that each part of a particular organ or process is necessary for the whole organ or process to work. If you take any one part away, the whole system stops functioning. It is not possible for parts of a system to be selected, step by step, when most of those steps do not produce a functional system. Several (or all of the) parts would have to evolve together, which contradicts the Darwinian model.

Eye 1

No boarding cards here: Facial recognition is transforming these airports

Face recognition
© Reuters / Thomas Peter
Facial recognition has been heralded a key innovation in surveillance and security, but the technology may be coming to an airport near you in a bid to cut queues and speed up passenger travel.

Its detractors warn that facial recognition systems could wind up going full Skynet, resulting in some kind of robo-apocalypse even Arnie can't save us from. But it's supporters say that it could transform travel by allaying security concerns while making for a much smoother passenger experience.

Here are some of the airports having a run at the futuristic tech in a bid to banish passenger backlogs:

Trendsetting Singapore

Singapore was among the first in the world to pioneer such technology to shuttle passengers through its airports more swiftly. Changi Airport launched its facial recognition support systems in late 2017, using biometric technology to free up passenger queues from check-in, through to immigrant checks and boarding.


NASA to form artificial night-time clouds over Marshall Islands to study atmosphere

WINDY Launcher
© Space Daily
File image of a WINDY payload launcher.
A NASA rocket mission to study disturbances in the upper atmosphere, which interfere with communication and technology systems, will form night-time white artificial clouds visible by residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands during two rocket flights to occur between June 9 - 21, 2019.

This the second flight of the Waves and Instabilities from a Neutral Dynamo, or WINDY, mission. The mission this time is referred to as Too-WINDY - it's catchier than WINDY 2.

Too-WINDY will study a phenomenon that occurs in the ionosphere - a layer of charged particles in the upper atmosphere. Known as equatorial spread F, or ESF, these disturbances occur after sunset at latitudes near the equator in part of the ionosphere known as the F region. The disturbances can interfere with radio communication, navigation and imaging systems and pose a hazard to technology and society that depends on it.

The Too-WINDY mission consists of two NASA suborbital sounding rockets that will be launched five minutes apart in a window between 8 p.m. and 3.a.m. local time (4 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT) June 9 - 21 from Roi-Namur. The Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands is near the magnetic equator, where post-sunset ionosphere storms are more intense, making the site an ideal location for these studies.

Microscope 2

New "dual" immune cell discovered in type 1 diabetes research

ABOVE: Colorized scanning electron micrographs of B and T lymphocytes (left, right) shown with a fluorescent microscopy image of the newly discovered DE cell, also called the X cell to denote its crossover nature between B cells and T cells (center).

According to textbooks, cells of the adaptive immune system must be either B cells or T cells-they can't be both, or anything in between. But proving once again that nature is full of surprises, scientists have now discovered a novel type of lymphocyte in type 1 diabetes patients that combines characteristics of B cells and T cells.
The researchers suggest that these hybrids could play an important role in the disease by encouraging the immune system to attack the body's own insulin-producing cells, they report today (May 30) in Cell.

"The presence of a cell that expresses both B-cell receptors and T-cell receptors in and of itself is very novel," remarks Jane Buckner, an immunologist and president of the Benaroya Research Institute, a Seattle-based nonprofit that conducts research on diseases of the immune system. However, more research is needed to establish its role in type 1 diabetes, adds Buckner, who wasn't involved in the study.

The research team came across the rogue cells while they were looking for a specific type of B cell they had previously studied in the blood of type 1 diabetes patients. Using flow cytometry, they observed cells that present both B-cell and T-cell receptors on their cell surface, and upon further investigation, they revealed that the cells also express genes specific to both B and T cell lineages. These "dual expresser" (DE) cells were significantly more abundant in type 1 diabetes patients than in controls, explains Abdel Hamad, an immunologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the senior author of the study.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:

Bizarro Earth

Scientists detect an ancient rock structure hidden beneath Antartica, shifting the ice

Ross Ice Shelf
© Michael Van Woert/NOAA/NESDIS/ORA
New research suggests the front line of the Ross Ice Shelf is uniquely susceptible to melting caused by warm summertime water.
Deep below the frozen wastelands of Antarctica, scientists have discovered ancient tectonic plate structures that are having a huge impact on melting patterns around the continent's largest ice shelf.

The hidden rock, in place for hundreds of millions of years, is controlling water flow around the gigantic Ross Ice Shelf. This shelf currently acts as a crucial buffer preventing more of Antarctica's ice floating out into the wider ocean.

Researchers detected said rock thanks to observations carried out by the IcePod, a dedicated scanning system which measures ice shelf height, thickness and internal structure, and the magnetic and gravity signals of the underlying rock.

Essentially, the IcePod can peer through hundreds of metres (thousands of feet) of ice to detect underlying rock structures that satellites can't spot.

As researchers report in their newly published study, a geological boundary between East and West Antarctica has created a division underneath the continent, which is protecting the Ross Ice Shelf from warmer waters and further melting.

"We could see that the geological boundary was making the seafloor on the East Antarctic side much deeper than the West, and that affects the way the ocean water circulates under the ice shelf," says marine geologist Kirsty Tinto from Columbia University.


Pocket of ancient seawater discovered in core samples drilled off Maldives: Over 20,000 years old, untouched since the last Ice Age

glacial sea water
© nightman1965 via iStock/Getty Images Plus
Glacial sea water
Twenty thousand years ago, life on Earth was a lot cooler. It was the tail end of a 100,000-year ice age - also called the Last Glacial Maximum - and massive sheets of ice covered much of North America, Northern Europe and Asia. (If they had been around at the time, New York City, Berlin and Beijing would all have been entombed in ice.)

Scientists are used to studying this chilly spell in Earth's history by looking at things like coral fossils and seafloor sediments, but now a team of seafaring researchers may have found a piece of the past that blows all the others out of the water: an actual sample of 20,000-year-old seawater, squeezed out of an ancient rock formation from the Indian Ocean.

Comment: More from the Daily Mail:
A virtually undisturbed sample of 20,000-year-old seawater that represents the first direct remnant from Earth's last Ice Age has been found in the Indian Ocean. Researchers found the ice while drilling sediment core samples out of the underwater limestone deposits in the Maldives archipelago in South Asia. Their work revealed distinct water properties only seen in glacial seawater from the last Ice Age, or the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The team, from the University of Chicago, say that their work could lead a better understanding of out changing world and improved climate models.

During an expedition of the Indian Ocean on research vessel JOIDES Resolution, the researchers drilled deep below the Indian Ocean and extracted rock cores. It was inside these cores that they found the traces of the ancient ocean, absorbed into porous rock formations and preserved there ever since. The small sample was squeezed out of an ancient rock formation from the Indian Ocean and sliced into pieces before being put into a hydraulic press which squeezes the moisture remnant out of its pores.

The team tested the samples aboard their ship and found that the water was far saltier than that found in the Indian Ocean today. Back in the lab, they did more specific testing to examine the elements and isotopes, or variants of a particular element.

The team found that all of their results seemed out of place in the modern ocean, according to the New Scientist.

They said that the samples indicated that they came from a time when the ocean was significantly saltier, colder and more chlorinated.

These are conditions that scientists think sea water would have been during the Last Glacial Maximum, when sea levels dropped to hundreds of feet below current levels. At the time of the last Ice Age, massive sheets of ice covered much of North America, Northern Europe and Asia. Researchers found the ice while drilling sediment core samples out of the underwater limestone deposits in the Maldives in South Asia

If all of the results are valid, the new samples could provide scientists with clues on how the ocean reacted to the geophysical swings of the last ice age.


Scary - Animated Mona Lisa created by AI

Mona Lisa
© Wikimedia Commons
The enigmatic, painted smile of the "Mona Lisa" is known around the world, but that famous face recently displayed a startling new range of expressions, courtesy of artificial intelligence (AI).

In a video shared to YouTube on May 21, three video clips show disconcerting examples of the Mona Lisa as she moves her lips and turns her head. She was created by a convolutional neural network - a type of AI that processes information much as a human brain does, to analyze and process images.

Researchers trained the algorithm to understand facial features' general shapes and how they behave relative to each other, and then to apply that information to still images. The result was a realistic video sequence of new facial expressions from a single frame.

For the Mona Lisa videos, the AI "learned" facial movement from datasets of three human subjects, producing three very different animations. While each of the three clips was still recognizable as the Mona Lisa, variations in the training models' looks and beh avior lent distinct "personalities" to the "living portraits," Egor Zakharov, an engineer with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, and the Samsung AI Center (both located in Moscow), explained in the video.

Cell Phone

Russian new 'quantum phone' promises 'unmatched' security using photon shared key

Russian Quantum Phone
© АГН Москва / Сергей Ведяшкин
Russian scientists have taken secure communication to the next level after presenting Russia's first phone with quantum protection of connection. The price per set bites but the innovative gadget promises perfect security.

The IP phone demonstrated at the presentation on Tuesday looked like an ordinary landline machine, but it employs quantum encryption protocols which make the phone impossible to bug.

The quantum encryption uses photons to generate a shared key between two collocutors. A potential eavesdropper would need to measure photons to hear the conversation. However, the nature of photons doesn't allow somebody to measure them without changing their state, thus the collocutors will always know if a call is bugged. This provides an "unmatched level of confidentiality," the developers said.

Microscope 2

Could 'soil-free farms' be the solution to the planet's soil crisis?

soil-free farming

Soil-free farms could help take some of the pressure off traditional agricultural systems while we instigate a much needed step-change in farming policy.

By the time you've finished reading this paragraph, the world will have lost another football pitch of soil. At current rates of erosion, 90 percent of our planet's soil could be gone by 2050, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Natural soil erosion is being accelerated by deforestation, mining, urban sprawl and - ironically - the intensive agriculture that simply couldn't function without it.

The increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts, floods and storms that come with climate breakdown only make matters worse - damaging crops, ruining livelihoods and sending food prices soaring around the world.

Comment: Soil degradation is very big problem, but one that is rarely spoken about. With veganism now firmly entrenched as the solution to all our environmental issues, no one is pointing out that mass mono-crop farming, on which veganism depends, is only accelerating our downward trajectory. We need real solutions, not ideological suppositions.

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