Science & Technology
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 16:32 UTC
The two shared similar obsessions. Both were scientists, but each feared that physics would always be missing something if it neglected the inner workings of the mind.
Jung obsessed over mental archetypes - primitive, subconscious symbols hard-wired into our perception of the world - and was fascinated by the Kabbalah, a fiendishly complex branch of Jewish mysticism.
Pauli, for his part, was enamoured by Johannes Kepler, who tried (unsuccessfully) to explain the structure of the solar system in terms of geometry alone. He was also intrigued by a lesser known contemporary of Kepler - Robert Fludd, a member of the Rosicrucian secret society, who believed that simple geometrical forms held the key to unlocking the cosmos. As Pauli struggled with problems in quantum physics, Miller explains, he felt "the need for a fusion of physics with Jung's analytical psychology in order to understand first the unconscious and then the conscious".
Neutral atoms, mostly of hydrogen, formed about 380,000 years after the big bang, when the universe cooled enough for electrons and nuclei to combine. Most astronomers suspect that the hydrogen was reionised by the first generation of stars (see diagram below). No telescope has ever peered far enough back in time to see the first stars form, but they are thought to have been giants, and their ferocious ultraviolet light could have done the trick.
But Dan Hooper and Alexander Belikov of Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, think that dark matter - the unseen stuff that makes up about 85 per cent of all matter - could have reionised the universe. Dark matter is thought to be made of massive particles that are predicted to annihilate when they collide, spewing out radiation.
When dark matter clumped together under gravity in the early universe, some of the particles would have annihilated, resulting in high-energy gamma rays. Each gamma ray would have knocked out an electron from a hydrogen atom, which in turn would have dislodged an electron in another atom, and so on. "A single gamma ray might reionise 1000 hydrogen atoms," says Hooper. "The mechanism could easily have reionised the universe."
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:46 UTC
A team led by Byeong-Chun Lee of Seoul National University in South Korea created the dogs by cloning fibroblast cells that express a red fluorescent gene produced by sea anemones.
Lee and stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang were part of a team that created the first cloned dog, Snuppy, in 2005. Much of Hwang's work on human cells turned out to be fraudulent, but Snuppy was not, an investigation later concluded.
This new proof-of-principle experiment should open the door for transgenic dog models of human disease, says team member CheMyong Ko of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. "The next step for us is to generate a true disease model," he says.
However, other researchers who study domestic dogs as stand-ins for human disease are less certain that transgenic dogs will become widespread in research.
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 06:57 UTC
Wilson's achievement was actually pretty trivial. He used a system called BCI2000, found in hundreds of laboratories across the globe, that can do the job of a keyboard for any software program. But it was significant precisely because it was trivial: mind-reading tech is going to have a massive impact this year.
In the coming months, cheap headsets that let you control technology with the electrical signals generated by your firing neurons will go on sale to the general public. Our relationship with technology - and our brains - will never be the same again.
Pope Benedict earlier this week said the heated U.N. forum, which several Western powers are boycotting to avoid giving legitimacy to criticism of Israel, was an important initiative to confront all forms of modern discrimination.
The technique may be useful for manufacturing super-tough textiles and high-tech medical materials, including artificial bones and tendons.
"It could make very strong thread for surgical operations," researcher Seung-Mo Lee of the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle, Germany, said in a telephone interview.
Wed, 22 Apr 2009 18:06 UTC
The new phone is a waterproof, sunlight-powered device which will be sold by the Japanese mobile phone company KDDI from June.
Ten minutes of explosure to sunlight is sufficient for a one minute call or to power the handset in standby mode for two hours.
The regularly spaced yellow grid depicts the harmonic structure in Saturn's inner Ring A, and the image on the bottom right shows an actual observed frequency pattern (spectrogram). Color represents the observed signal strength. The structure acts like an enormously extended natural diffraction grating that separates the signal frequency into the three distinct components shown. The frequencies determine the regular spacing of the diffraction grating, 160 meters (500 feet) in this case. The image of Saturn was taken with Cassini's cameras and is shown here to illustrate the occultation. For additional information on the radio observations see PIA10233.
The finding was made by two instruments on Cassini, both of which have European involvement: the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) has co-investigators from USA and Germany, and the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) instrument has co-investigators from US, Finland, Hungary, France, Norway and UK.
Saturn's rings consist largely of water ice mixed with smaller amounts of dust and rocky matter. They are extraordinarily thin: though they are 250 000 kilometres or more in diameter they are no more than 1.5 kilometres thick.
They are military robots and their rapidly increasing numbers and growing sophistication may herald the end of thousands of years of human monopoly on fighting war. "Science fiction is moving to the battlefield. The future is upon us," as Brookings scholar Peter Singer put it to a conference of experts at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania this month.
Singer just published Wired For War - the Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, a book that traces the rise of the machines and predicts that in future wars they will not only play greater roles in executing missions but also in planning them.
Numbers reflect the explosive growth of robotic systems. The U.S. forces that stormed into Iraq in 2003 had no robots on the ground. There were none in Afghanistan either. Now those two wars are fought with the help of an estimated 12,000 ground-based robots and 7,000 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the technical term for drone, or robotic aircraft.