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Fri, 28 Jan 2022
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Science & Technology

Easter Egg 2

Exquisitely preserved embryo found inside fossilized dinosaur egg

© Ma et al, 2021
Photo of the oviraptorosaur embryo ‘Baby Yingliang’. It is one of the best-preserved dinosaur embryos ever reported.
A 72- to 66-million-year-old embryo found inside a fossilized dinosaur egg sheds new light on the link between the behavior of modern birds and dinosaurs, according to a new study.

The embryo, dubbed Baby Yingliang, was discovered in the Late Cretaceous rocks of Ganzhou, southern China and belongs to a toothless theropod dinosaur, or oviraptorosaur. Among the most complete dinosaur embryos ever found, the fossil suggests that these dinosaurs developed bird-like postures close to hatching.

Scientists found the posture of Baby Yingliang unique among known dinosaur embryos — its head lies below the body, with the feet on either side and the back curled along the blunt end of the egg. Previously unrecognized in dinosaurs, this posture is similar to that of modern bird embryos.

Comment: See also:


Air bubbles in Antarctic ice point to cause of oxygen decline

Glacial erosion likely caused atmospheric oxygen levels to dip over past 800,000 years.
Air Bubble
© Photo by Yuzhen Yan
Researchers studied Earth’s ancient atmosphere by capturing tiny bubbles of air that were preserved in Antarctic ice for up to 1.5 million years.
Houston - An unknown culprit has been removing oxygen from our atmosphere for at least 800,000 years, and an analysis of air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice for up to 1.5 million years has revealed the likely suspect.

"We know atmospheric oxygen levels began declining slightly in the late Pleistocene, and it looks like glaciers might have something to do with that," said Rice University's Yuzhen Yan, corresponding author of the geochemistry study published in Science Advances. "Glaciation became more expansive and more intense about the same time, and the simple fact that there is glacial grinding increases weathering."

Weathering refers to the physical and chemical processes that break down rocks and minerals, and the oxidation of metals is among the most important. The rusting of iron is an example. Reddish iron oxide forms quickly on iron surfaces exposed to atmospheric oxygen, or O2.

"When you expose fresh crystalline surfaces from the sedimentary reservoir to O2, you get weathering that consumes oxygen," said Yan, a postdoctoral research associate in Rice's Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences.

Another way glaciers could promote the consumption of atmospheric oxygen is by exposing organic carbon that had been buried for millions of years, Yan said.

During Yan's Ph.D. studies in the labs of Princeton University's Michael Bender and John Higgins, Yan worked on a 2016 study led by Daniel Stolper, now an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, that used air bubbles in ice cores to show the proportion of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere had declined by about 0.2% in the past 800,000 years.


Another outburst from Comet Leonard as it approaches the sun, 'with a noticeable jet of material emerging from core'

comet Leonard
© Jan Hattenbach on December 20, 2021 @ La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
A brightened comet Leonard and Venus: "If it hadn't been for the news of an ongoing outburst, I wouldn't have taken my camera out this stormy night on La Palma. Glad I did! Leonard has brightened substantially, it was clearly visible as a "star" left of Venus. I estimated it to 3.0mag or brighter, difficult to say without suitable comparison stars at the same level of atmospheric extincion. Nice 1° tail in binoculars, too. Never write off a comet too early! "
Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1) is bright again. On Dec. 20th, astronomers witnessed an outburst from the comet's core. In a matter of hours, it multiplied in brightness almost 10-fold. "Tonight it was clearly visible as a 'star' to the left of Venus," reports Jan Hattenbach, who sends this picture from La Palma in the Canary Islands:

"I estimate magnitude 3 or brighter," he says.

The outburst might signal a fragmentation event in the comet's core. This would come as no surprise. The comet is heading for its closest approach to the sun (0.61 AU) on Jan. 3rd. Increasing heat may be liberating new jets of gas and dust from the comet's core--or worse, blowing away huge chunks of ice and rock.

Comment: As detailed in Comet Leonard, the brightest of the year, is fading and 'acting strange' the change in behaviour is likely due to its electrical differential that is not taken into account by the mainstreams theory of cometary activity. And, as noted in the link, it goes some way towards explaining why megacomet Bernardinelli-Bernstein sprouted a tail remarkably far from the sun.

Comment: Another photograph from today showing in higher definition comet Leonard's two streamers:

See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Brain cells in petri dish learn to play Pong in 5 mins, beating AI in comparison, study shows

pong player
© Flickr / Axel Tregoning
In the past couple of decades, the development of artificial intelligence - a machine capable of performing creative functions almost like a human - has taken such a leap that many scientists warn that the moment when machines will dominate us is not far off. For now, however, it seems that we, humans, can be at ease.

Australian AI scientists found out that when living brain cells in a dish are placed in what researchers call a "virtual game world," they can learn to play the old-school video game Pong, New Scientist reported.

"We think it's fair to call them cyborg brains," Brett Kagan, chief scientific officer of Cortical Labs, is quoted in the report as saying.

According to the publication, many researchers from all over the world have been researching networks of neurons in dishes, often forming brain-like organoids. But the Cortical Labs findings are the first time that mini-brains have been discovered to undertake goal-directed tasks.

Cloud Precipitation

New meteorological phenomenon dubbed "atmospheric lakes" identified by researchers

atmospheric lakes
© Brian Mapes/ NOAA ERA-Interim reanalysis data set.
Atmospheric lakes start as filaments of water vapor in the Indo-Pacific that become their own measurable, isolated objects.
A new meteorological phenomenon has been identified drifting slowly over the western Indian Ocean. Dubbed "atmospheric lakes," these compact pools of moisture originate over the Indo-Pacific and bring water to dry lowlands along East Africa's coastline.

Brian Mapes, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Miami who recently noticed and described the unique storms, will present his findings on Thursday, 16 December at AGU's Fall Meeting 2021.

Like the better-known streams of humid, rainy air called atmospheric rivers that are famous for delivering large amounts of precipitation, atmospheric lakes start as filaments of water vapor in the Indo-Pacific. These phenomena are defined by the presence of water vapor concentrated enough to produce rain, rather than being formed and defined by a vortex, like most storms on Earth. Unlike the fast-flowing atmospheric rivers, the smaller atmospheric lakes detach from their source as they move at a sedate pace toward the coast.

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

Blue Planet

Hundreds of well preserved dinosaur footprints discovered in clay mine in Poland

dinosaur print poland

The tracks were found in an opencast clay mine in Borkowice.
The tracks were found in an opencast clay mine in Borkowice.

Warsaw, PolandHundreds of dinosaur footprints, so well-preserved that even the scaly skin can be seen, have been found in Poland, giving insight into a complex ecosystem around 200 million years ago, geologists said.

Described by the Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute as a treasure trove, the fossilized tracks and bones were found in an opencast clay mine in Borkowice, 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Warsaw.

"In the traces left by dinosaurs, you can read their behavior and habits... we have traces left by dinosaurs running, swimming, resting and sitting," said geologist Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki.

Comment: See also: We still don't know why the reign of the dinosaurs ended


Luskin: The dead talk back to Darwin

© H. Raab (User: Vesta), CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.
In his review of Return of the God Hypothesis, I was struck by Leonard Sax's quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, the year before Darwin's death. Nietzsche reflected on the meaning of Darwinism for man:
Formerly one sought the feeling of the grandeur of man by pointing to his divine origin: this has now become a forbidden way, for at its portal stands the ape, together with other dreadful beasts, grinning knowingly as if to say: no further in this direction!
The image of "dreadful beasts" blocking the way is vivid and seemed correct at the time. The fossil record, in particular — a record of beasts (and other life forms) that lived and died — has often been presented by Darwinists as confirmation of their theory. Charles Darwin himself recognized that the voices of the dead were not entirely with him. Events like the Cambrian Explosion were not at all what was predicted by his theory of gradual, unguided change over time.

Comment: See also:


Astronomers observe stars moving around Milky Way's supermassive black hole

stars orbit massive black hole milky way
© ESO/GRAVITY collaboration
These annotated images, obtained with the GRAVITY instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) between March and July 2021, show stars orbiting very close to Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way.
One of these stars, named S29, was observed as it was making its closest approach to the black hole at 13 billion kilometres, just 90 times the distance between the Sun and Earth. Another star, named S300, was detected for the first time in the new VLTI observations. To obtain the new images, the astronomers used a machine-learning technique, called Information Field Theory. They made a model of how the real sources may look, simulated how GRAVITY would see them, and compared this simulation with GRAVITY observations. This allowed them to find and track stars around Sagittarius A* with unparalleled depth and accuracy.

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (ESO's VLTI) has obtained the deepest and sharpest images to date of the region around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The new images zoom in 20 times more than what was possible before the VLTI and have helped astronomers find a never-before-seen star close to the black hole. By tracking the orbits of stars at the center of the Milky Way, the team has made the most precise measurement yet of the black hole's mass.


ExoMars discovers hidden water in Mars' Grand Canyon

Valles Marineris

The ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has spotted significant amounts of water at the heart of Mars’ dramatic canyon system, Valles Marineris.
The water, which is hidden beneath Mars' surface, was found by the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO)'s FREND instrument, which is mapping the hydrogen - a measure of water content - in the uppermost metre of Mars' soil.

While water is known to exist on Mars, most is found in the planet's cold polar regions as ice. Water ice is not found exposed at the surface near the equator, as temperatures here are not cold enough for exposed water ice to be stable.

Missions including ESA's Mars Express have hunted for near-surface water - as ice covering dust grains in the soil, or locked up in minerals - at lower latitudes of Mars, and found small amounts. However, such studies have only explored the very surface of the planet; deeper water stores could exist, covered by dust.

"With TGO we can look down to one metre below this dusty layer and see what's really going on below Mars' surface - and, crucially, locate water-rich 'oases' that couldn't be detected with previous instruments," says Igor Mitrofanov of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia; lead author of the new study; and principal investigator of the FREND (Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector) neutron telescope.


California's new lab-grown meat facility is the most advanced in the world

lab-grown meat
© studiocasper/iStock
If you weren't aware of it, the amount of meat that humans consume globally has rapidly risen over the decades and meat production is now at an all-time high. According to the Worldwatch Institute, meat production has tripled over the last forty years, increasing by 20 percent in just the last decade. And more meat production leads to more carbon emissions that feed climate change.

Comment: This misnomer has been thoroughly debunked already - but is still being trotted out as truth by the lab-grown meat industry and their bought-and-paid-for media shills:

Lab grown meat could produce more 'damage' than the real thing, scientists warn

Since the issue has become a major problem, companies around the world have been working on green alternatives to meat products. Perhaps you might remember our previous coverage of Impossible Foods' Impossible Burgers and how they're nearly identical to regular patties and Redefine Meat's 3D-printed steaks.

One such company is Upside Foods, a cultured meat company that is headquartered in Berkley, California, and it claims that its vast 53,000-sq ft (16,154-m²) facility is the world's most advanced lab-grown meat facility, so far.

Comment: The lab-grown meat industry is not only based on the bogus notion of creating fewer greenhouse gases that traditional cattle-rearing (which is itself part of the con of the "Climate Crisis" agenda) - but also, further, puts food production into the hands of those who would seek to control our food supply choices ala 'The Great Reset'. See also: