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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Scientist: Eruption Of Yellowstone Super Volcano Would Be 2,000 Times The Size Of Mount St. Helens « CBS Las Vegas

Scientist: Eruption Of Yellowstone Super Volcano Would Be 2,000 Times The Size Of Mount St. Helens « CBS Las Vegas

Scientists discover secret code hidden within human DNA

What follows is from the RT web site (https://www.facebook.com/RTnews).  Word of warning:  I could find no scientific or other references on the RT site about this, and so can't vouch for its scientific accuracy.
This undated handout illustration shows the DNA double helix (AFP Photo)
This undated handout illustration shows the DNA double helix (AFP Photo)
Scientists have discovered a secret second code hiding within DNA which instructs cells on how genes are controlled. The amazing discovery is expected to open new doors to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, according to a new study.

Ever since the genetic code was deciphered over 40 years ago, scientists have believed that it only described how proteins are made. However, the revelation made by the research team led by John Stamatoyannopoulos of the University of Washington indicates that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages.

“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made,” said Stamatoyannopoulos, according to the press release. “Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture.”
Scientists discovered that the second language instructs the cells on how genes are controlled, according to findings published in Science magazine on Friday. The study is part of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project, also known as ENCODE.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is a nucleic acid that is the main constituent of the chromosomes of all organisms, except some viruses. DNA is self-replicating, plays a central role in protein synthesis, and is responsible for the transmission of hereditary characteristics from parents to offspring.

The second language remained hidden for so long because one language is written on top of the other, scientists said.

Scientists already knew that the genetic code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons. The research team discovered that some of the codons can have two meanings – one related to proteins, the other to gene control. Those codons were given the name ‘duons.’

And it’s those duons that are expected to change the way physicians interpret human genomes, and give clues for the treatments of diseases.

The fact that the genetic code can simultaneously write two kinds of information means that many DNA changes that appear to alter protein sequences may actually cause disease by disrupting gene control programs or even both mechanisms simultaneously,” said Stamatoyannopoulos.
Speaking about the discovery, Stamatoyannopoulos said that the “new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways.”

Could the universe collapse TODAY? Physicists claim that risk is ‘more likely than ever and may have already started’


  • Collapse could be down to a subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson
  • Higgs boson is evidence for an energy field that pervades the universe
  • Shift in field will cause particles in it to become billions of times heavier
  • The new weight will squeeze all material into a small, super-hot and heavy ball, and the universe as we know it will cease to exist
By Ellie Zolfagharifard
|


The universe could be about to collapse and everything in it - including us - will be compressed into a small, hard ball.
The process may already have started somewhere in our cosmos and is eating away at the rest of the universe, according to theoretical physicists.
The mind-bending concept has been around for a while, but now researchers in Denmark claim they have proven it is possible with mathematical equations.
Collapse of universe
Scientists believe sooner or later a radical shift in the forces of the universe will cause every particle in it to become extremely heavy. The new weight will squeeze all material into a small, super-hot and heavy ball, and the universe as we know it will cease to exist

The basis of the theory is that sooner or later a radical shift in the forces of the universe will cause every particle in it to become extremely heavy.
Everything - every grain of sand, every planet and every galaxy – will become billions of times heavier than it is now.
 
The theory suggests that the new weight will squeeze all material into a small, super-hot and heavy ball, and the universe as we know it will cease to exist.
This violent process is called a ‘phase transition’ and is similar to what happens when, for example, water turns to steam or a magnet heats up and loses its power.
Black hole swallowing Earth
The violent process is called a 'phase transition' and is similar to what happens when, for example, water turns to steam or a magnet heats up and loses its power

WHAT WOULD CAUSE OUR UNIVERSE TO COLLAPSE?

The collapse of the universe could all be down to a subatomic particle discovered last year known as the Higgs boson.
The Higgs boson particle is a manifestation of an energy field can be found throughout the universe called the Higgs field.
The Higgs field is thought to explain why particles have mass.
This Higgs field could exist in two states - one that we feel now - and another that is billions of times denser than what scientists have already observed.
If this ultra-dense Higgs field existed, then a bubble of this state could suddenly appear in a certain place of the universe at a certain time, similar to when you boil water.
The bubble would then expand at the speed of light, entering all space, and turning the Higgs field from the state it’s in now into a new one.
All elementary particles inside the bubble will reach a mass, that is much heavier than if they were outside the bubble.
The new weight will squeeze all material into a small, super-hot and heavy ball, and the universe as we know it will cease to exist.
According to something known as the Higgs theory, a phase transition such as this took place one tenth of a billionth of a second after the Big Bang, causing a shift in the fabric of space-time.
During this transition, empty space became filled with an invisible substance that we now call the Higgs field.
Some elementary particles interact with this field, gaining energy in the process, and this intrinsic energy is known as the mass of a particle.
By using mathematical equations, researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have discovered that the Higgs field could exist in two states, just like matter can exist as a liquid or a solid.
In the second state, the Higgs field is billions of times denser than what scientists have already observed.
If this ultra-dense Higgs field exists, then a 'bubble' of this state could suddenly appear in a certain place of the universe at anytime, similar to when you boil water.
The bubble would then expand at the speed of light, entering all space, and turning the Higgs field from the state it is in now into a new one.
All elementary particles inside the bubble will reach a mass much heavier than if they were outside the bubble, and they would be pulled together to form supermassive centres.
‘Many theories and calculations predict such a phase transition– but there have been some uncertainties in the previous calculations,’ said Jens Krog, PhD student at University of Southern Denmark.
‘Now we have performed more precise calculations, and we see two things: Yes, the universe will probably collapse, and: A collapse is even more likely than the old calculations predicted.’
The collapse of the universe could all be down to a subatomic particle discovered last year known as the Higgs boson
The collapse of the universe could all be down to a subatomic particle discovered last year known as the Higgs boson. British physicist Peter Higgs (right) and Belgian physicist Francois Englert (left) received the Nobel prize this year for work on the theory of this particle

‘The phase transition will start somewhere in the universe and spread from there. Maybe the collapse has already started somewhere in the universe and right now it is eating its way into the rest of the universe.
Maybe a collapsed is starting right now right here. Or maybe it will start far away from here in a billion years. We do not know.’
The researchers looked at three main equations that underlie the prediction of a phase transition and showed how these equations can be worked out together and interact with each other.
Although the new calculations predict that a collapse is now more likely than ever before, it is also possible, that it will not happen at all.
It is a prerequisite for the phase change that the universe consists of the elementary particles that we know today, including the Higgs particle.
If the universe contains undiscovered particles, the whole basis for the prediction of phase change would prove false.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2523177/Could-universe-collapse-TODAY-Physicists-claim-risk-likely-started.html#ixzz2nSa5tfV3
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Is God Dying? By Michael Shermer, from SciAm

Is God Dying?
The decline of religion and the rise of the “nones”

Bill Requiring Drug Tests For Welfare Recipients Passed

Bill passed requiring drug tests for welfare recipients.



Universe May Have Been Around Since Forever, According to Rainbow Gravity Theory

When did the clock of the universe start ticking? For decades we’ve believed that 13.8 billion years ago the Big Bang set the universe’s clock in motion. While that’s still the prevailing viewpoint, researchers are now exploring a theory called “rainbow gravity” that, if correct, does away with the Big Bang. In a “rainbow” universe, the clock has been ticking forever.
Behind the scenes of the Big Bang is Einstein’s theory of general relativity. But there’s a problem. Einstein’s theory is at odds with quantum mechanics, the theory of tiny particles. Rainbow gravity was proposed to reconcile the two, and if it were correct, the universe would have no beginning—there is no big treasure at the foot of this “rainbow” because the “rainbow” universe goes back forever.
door-prism-rainbow
According to the theory of rainbow gravity, the force of gravity would split a source's electromagnetic radiation into different wavelengths, just like a prism does with visible white light.
Why is it called rainbow gravity? Because according to the theory, gravity becomes a cosmological prism that can separate different colors of light. Our eyes can’t see that—when we gaze longingly into the night sky, the stars’ white light appears to have streamed smoothly to our eyes. If rainbow gravity is right though, light’s path through outer-space may be more like the famous Pink Floyd poster, where the different colors become spread apart.
So, why don’t we see rainbow stars? Clara Moskowitz, writing for Scientific American, tells us more:
The effects would usually be tiny, so that we wouldn’t notice the difference in most observations of stars, galaxies and other cosmic phenomena. But with extreme energies, in the case of particles emitted by stellar explosions called gamma-ray bursts, for instance, the change might be detectable. In such situations photons of different wavelengths released by the same gamma-ray burst would reach Earth at slightly different times, after traveling somewhat altered courses through billions of light-years of time and space. “So far we have no conclusive evidence that this is going on,” says Giovanni Amelino-Camelia, a physicist at the Sapienza University of Rome who has researched the possibility of such signals. Modern observatories, however, are just now gaining the sensitivity needed to measure these effects, and should improve in coming years.
Rainbow gravity may just be an illusion, a pretty idea that makes science a bit more colorful. But soon we may find out if we’re living in an infinitely old rainbow universe.

Learn more about other alternative theories in "Fabric of the Cosmos: Universe or Multiverse?"


New York: The Front of All Fracking Opposition

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Fracking  - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 
Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy is again using Pennsylvania residents as foils in a campaign against fracking in New York, the font of fracking opposition.


Sometimes, I fear readers will think this site is too New York centric, but the truth is this; the bulk of the fracking opposition, whether it takes place in Colorado, California, Texas or the UK (where Dimock is a well known name) is, ultimately, all about New York.  It is primarily New York money that funds most anti-fracking campaigns.  It is New York based organizations who lead the effort. It is New York activists who gin up the controversy wherever it occurs.  No further proof of this is needed than the continued exploitation of Pennsylvania residents, both pro and con, by a group known as Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.

Who is this Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy? Well, it’s mostly a collection of fairly well-to-do New York City retirees, semi-retirees and trust-funders who have built second homes or retirement homes in the Upper Delaware valley region of Sullivan County, New York. Their address is Fremont Center, New York, where actress Debra Winger resides when she’s not in Manhattan.  Mark Rufalo lives nearby and Jennifer Lopez had a place down the road.

The prime mover in the group is a fellow named Bruce Ferguson, a retired 60 Minutes producer.  It maintains an extensive website and claims to have 1,200 members. Other directors of the organization include Jannette Barth, the art economist who poses as a fracking expert and other close friends of Ferguson.  It is registered as a charity and spent just shy of $150,000 in 2012 fighting fracking, according to its 990 return. Like so many of these organizations, it is inherently political in nature, even claiming one of its purposes to facilitate the contacting of legislators on pending legislation. Yet, it also claims to make no political expenditures. Such is the abuse of the tax-exempt status enjoyed by these groups.

This isn’t the only abuse. Catskill Citizens also, with the help of a disreputable group called the Civil Society Institute, funded by George Soros and others, mailed New Yorkers 190,000 copies of one of the trashiest anti-gas pieces we’ve ever scene. It can only be described as a pack of lies and was purely political, being aimed at encouraging New York towns to pass fracking moratoriums.  Catskill Citizens also worked with Debra Winger on a failed campaign to get second owners to register to vote in upstate New York towns and take them over on behalf of their gentry class, kicking out the locals and sued some of these towns in an attempt to bully them.

Catskill Citizens also loves using Pennsylvania residents as foils for its New York campaign. Two years ago, the organization funded an infamous billboard in Dimock, an hour away from its own base of operations. That billboard showed a dirty pitcher of water against a background of chemical names, suggesting, with no basis in fact, these chemicals had been introduced by fracking and had made the water brown. It was all a fabrication and later testing by the EPA proved it. There was nothing in the water making it unsafe or that could be connected to fracking operations and when Phelim McAleer, producer of FrackNation, asked Craig Sautner to produce dirty water from his faucet, he couldn’t. It was all another fantastic lie engendered and repeated by Catskill Citizens and others for the sole purpose of keeping fracking out of New York.

Now, they’re at it again. We just received a copy of an e-mail invitation from trial lawyer representative Craig Stevens about a rally being organized by Catskill Citizens in Franklin Forks, Pennsylvania on Monday in an attempt to stop WPX Energy from removing water buffaloes from homes placed there before the Commonwealth’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determined methane problems in some water wells had not been caused by gas drilling. Labeled “A Grinch Christmas Christmas in Franklin Forks, PA?” the e-mail includes a distorted history of events that takes issue with the DEP findings and says to contact Catskill Citizens for more information.
 
The Franklin Forks story has been told many times and need not be retold here. Readers unfamiliar with the facts can find a nice summary here and here. Suffice it to say this is another trial lawyer hustle to collect money from a company with deep pockets, combined with a New York anti-fracking campaign. The families involved are being exploited by both. The Mannings, in particular, have been used by Yoko Ono and friends, and now Catskill Citizens, for no other purpose than grabbing attention and lending credibility to their New York fight.

The Mannings probably could have had their well repaired long ago as a courtesy from the gas company, but were convinced to go for the big kill and sue, despite overwhelming evidence drilling had nothing to do with it. They have been encouraged to give continued life to a story that only serves others’ objectives, reducing themselves to role-playing in juvenile acts of attention seeking by the likes of Vera Scroggins and Catskill Citizens.

We see this routine played out over and over again as New York based groups seek out event opportunities everywhere they can in the world to generate controversy and negative press for fracking. Plainly put, they’re simply users. When the blood is sucked out of this little controversy, they’ll simply move onto the next and the Mannings won’t even rise to the level of distant memory for them. If they really cared, they’d raise the money to fix the Manning water well, which only has a mechanical problem caused by flooding a few years ago.  A solution isn’t what’s desired, however, by these groups.  They want the issue and they created the box the Mannings are now in, having encouraged them to sue.

This takes us back to the last time Catskill Citizens and its New York allies interjected themselves into a Susquehanna County matter. That involved the Sautners, who were exploited in a very similar way by trial lawyers and New York fractivists before EPA testing brought the whole charade to a merciful end. Who can forget the scene in FrackNation where Julie Sautner, while threatening Phelim McAleer with the fact she had a gun, said she’d sic the NRDC on him? She obviously thought the NRDC was there for her when needed and, no doubt, had the same view of Catskill Citizens, which gave her the billboard screen, after it was taken down, to place on her roof. Does anyone think the NRDC would take her call today?

Nothing is stopping the NRDC from still talking about the Sautners and their case but their name has, nonetheless, disappeared into that dustbin of history. They are no longer useful foils for the New York campaign and so they’ve been sloughed off.  That fate awaits the Mannings as well.  It will all end with a dull and imperceptible thud when they are no longer useful in supposedly demonstrating the dangers of fracking to New Yorkers.  Catskill Citizens, NRDC, et al will then seek out new foils, because New York is the font of all fracking opposition.