Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Creationists should take cover

We now have clear evidence that life started by itself. When the right chemicals are present life is inevitable just like any other chemical reaction. All life on this planet is based on the same precursor molecules that can spontaneously arise.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Even the deep teems with life

Ocean depths that lack oxygen have been found to be full of other kinds of life forms. Some may contain the oldest DNA an the planet. It should also change our view of what we put into the deep ocean.
"Samples taken from the deep seabed have revealed an astonishing variety of life. 'Far from being a lifeless desert, the deep sea rivals such highly diverse ecosystems as tropical rainforests and coral reefs,' said Pedro Marinez Arbizu, one of the scientists working on the Census.
'Given these new insights, we cannot possibly use the deep-sea floor as a waste dump or subject it to unlimited resource extraction without massively impacting the marine communities living there,' Dr Arbizu added."

Friday, April 16, 2010

The March to Oppression Begins

Nebraska's new law moves back the threshold for abortions to 20 weeks. This is aimed squarely at one of the few doctors who performs late-term abortions. It expected that the cases generated by this law will thread their way up the appellate chain until in lands in the Supreme Court. The No-choice people are hoping that Roe v. Wade will be overturned and they can regain control over women and their reproductive decisions.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Black Hole in a Lab

This is rather cool. Using a charged carbon nanotube an atomic 'black hole' can be simulated. An atom spirals toward the tube until an electron tunnels into the tube. At that point the resultant ion is repelled away. In a real black hole a mass is accelerated as it orbits closer and closer to the event horizon. Eventually tidal forces causes it to disintegrate and a portion crosses the horizon. The remaining portion has enough velocity to escape. As black holes accumulate matter they also radiate much of it away.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A New Yucca Mountain Alternative

Now that we have the drilling technology to go to 5 kilometer depths, disposing of radioactive wastes may be as simple as drilling deep holes into the bedrock. A hole 5 kilometers deep could store 2 kilometers worth of waste and seal it with a 3 kilometer plug. At that depth things don't move for millions of years. That's plenty of time for the waste to decay back to background radiation levels.