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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Savant syndrome explains how a normal person develops prodigious abilities after a severe injury or disease. Other people have developed remarkable musical or artistic abilities, but Jason Padgett a furniture salesman from Tacoma, Washington, has acquired mathematical faculties. In 2002, two men savagely attacked Jason Padgett outside a karaoke bar, leaving him with a severe concussion and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the incident also turned Padgett into a mathematical genius who sees the world through the lens of geometry.

Padgett had very little interest in academics, developed the ability to visualize complex mathematical objects and physics concepts intuitively. The injury, while devastating, seems to have unlocked part of his brain that makes everything in his world appear to have a mathematical structure.

Now, researchers have figured out which parts of the man’s brain were rejiggered to allow for such savant skills, and the findings suggest such skills may lie dormant in all human brains.
Berit Brogaard, a philosophy professor now at the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, Florida, and her colleagues scanned Padgett’s brain with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand how he acquired his savant skills and suspects synesthesia is the cause for his suddenly acquired genius. (Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which one sense bleeds into another.)(ack:live science)

benny

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The genome is the sequence of 3 billion molecules that constitute all of a person’s DNA. Nine-tenths of our genes are identical to that of a mouse. It doesn’t tell much. Neither would this: sixty percent of DNA found in the humans is also found in a banana. Where lies the mystery then?

DNA in a molecule is a genetic universe. A difference of .1 in a molecule would make some 3 million genetic differences.

According to recent discovery more light has been thrown into genes by comparing modern humans with the Neanderthal cousins. Present-day humans and their extinct Neanderthal cousins are 99.84 percent identical genetically.

Four years after scientists discovered that the two species’ genomes differ by a fraction of a percent, geneticists said on April 17,2014 they have an explanation: the cellular equivalent of “on”/”off” switches can activate DNA or silence genes. Hundreds of Neanderthals’ genes were turned off while the identical genes in today’s humans are turned on, the international team announced in a paper published online in Science. They also found that hundreds of other genes were turned on in Neanderthals, but are off in people living today.

That may explain anatomical differences between archaic and present-day humans, including Neanderthals’ shorter legs and arms, bowleggedness, large hands and fingers, and curved arm bones. Ancient humans were able to build stronger bodies, better adapted to the physical rigors of Stone Age life. And one might say body enhancing without using steroids or invasive surgeons knife certain genes were switched on. The discovery also underlines the power of those on/off patterns. Together, they add up to what is called the human epigenome, to distinguish it from the human genome.

Chief among the epigenetic differences: a cluster of five genes called HOXD, which influences the shape and size of limbs, including arms and hands. It was largely silenced in both ancient species, the scientists found.One person’s epigenome can vary markedly from another’s due to diet, environment and other factors. It is therefore impossible to know whether the on/off patterns found in Neanderthal genes are typical of the species overall or peculiar to the individual studied.

Other DNA with big differences in on/off patterns between the extinct and present-day humans is associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. More of the Neanderthal versions were silenced.

In an interview, Liram Carmel of Hebrew Uni., Jerusalem speculated that any given gene might “do many things in the brain.” When dozens of brain-related genes became more active in today’s humans, that somehow produced the harmful side effect of neurological illness.

But the main effect might have been the astonishing leap in brain development that most distinguishes modern Homo sapiens from our extinct cousins.

(ack: reuters/April 17-science)

benny

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Stars run out of their fuel and die. Supernovae is but the beginning. New stars emerge from debris.

We are made up what stars have sent out willy-nilly and considering these could have come from anywhere we might say Cosmos is our cradle. When we speak of earth is our home planet we are abridging many details and giving more focus on life form than our true state. We would hold stars as our family and we live among stars dying and being.

How on earth death can be any different for star children? There is nothing I brought myself save what my father bequeathed. Of course he merely passed what dying stars bequeathed to him down through several generations of his forebears. He passed on secrete packets of information encoded in his genes and my usefulness in these times is not much I can do about the past but what I adapt and use to be relevant from my time and place.

ii

Here I am quoting from Space.com news of March,14-Every black hole conceals a secret — the quantum remains of the star from which it formed, say a group of scientists, who also predict that these stars can later emerge once the black hole evaporates.

The researchers call these objects “Planck stars” and believe that they could solve a very important question in modern physics: the information paradox, or the question of what happens to information contained in matter that falls into a black holes.

Black holes are regions of space so incredibly dense that nothing, not even light, can escape from them. Most are thought to form at the end of a big star’s life, when its internal pressure is insufficient to resist its own gravity and the star collapses under its own weight.

Since the laws of physics no longer apply in a region of infinite density, no one knows what could possibly happen inside a black hole.

Stephen Hawking suggested in the early 1970s that black holes can slowly evaporate and disappear. But in this case, what happens to the information that describes an object that falls into a black hole? According to general relativity, information cannot simply disappear; inside a black hole, however, information apparently does. This “information paradox” has puzzled researchers for decades. “The quantum gravitational effects produce an effective repulsive force, so that matter wouldn’t have collapsed into a singularity.

This way, the universe would “bounce” when the energy density of matter reached the Planck scale, the smallest possible size in physics, causing the universe to expand again, and then possibly collapse again, and so on, back and forth.

Because of old age I drag my feet and I cannot bounce anymore. If my information cannot ever be lost I shall be around even though my soul is clothed with a new set of clothes and speak altogether new ‘lingo’ that as children have secret language to throw off parents from clueing in, I shall be still relevant.   

 

Death is but a change of worlds.

benny

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If you were to use the physical distance in terms of size as a model, the height a fly can in one jump will for man work out as high as the Empire State building. This is only a hypothetical model. The different flavors quarks come up with, do indicate space in such infinitesimal confines: correspondence principle gives space a yardstick on which infinite or the least can be held up.

At the level of quarks is there time or space? We might tag so many flavors make up proton or neutron just as we would lay a sheet in vast expanse of grass to have a picnic and call it as our space. Once picnic is over and sheet is taken out, folded and we drive away the so called space is dissolved. So is time. These are only related to us. Yet its reality as a memory(of a picnic on Sunday for example) is swallowed up in space where in we create our realities of everyday life in space. It is only relevant to the observer like finding parking space for your car.

Time is similarly related to the observer.

If God is to conceived as eternal, infinite and omnipresent He must hold as real to me as in the cosmos. As a Christian I believe essence of God is achieved in space regardless of such an infinitesimal space. ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ Gluons are stronger nuclear force binding realities of sub-atomic particles ie quarks. What makes us believe in physical reality of our bodies and ideas? Do we not believe in our world or in our bodies? Just the same these come up as ever with otherworldly tags.

Our faith though as small as mustard seed can grow as large as to cover as the will of God covers the entire cosmos. God has inscribed truth in our inward parts.

Benny

 

 

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Atoms are made of protons and neutrons, which in turn are made of even smaller pieces called quarks. There are six flavors of quarks: up, down, top, bottom, strange and charm. They’re held together by gluons to make protons and neutrons and by extension, everything else.. A proton, for instance, is made of three quarks, two up and one down. Gluons, which carry the strong nuclear force, are also made of quarks.

In such infinitesimal space can any instrument tinker with flavor of quark? In a collision between protons, the energies are high enough that the quarks can be recombined into other particles called mesons which do not last long. These decay into other kinds of particles in just trillionths of a second. With such random nature of quarks it is far fetched to imagine a flavor to fit our predetermined design.

Does this hold any relevance to us? Flavor of quarks may when translated into human terms it may be ambition, aggression, preeminence or glory. Whoever pursues these shall learn randomness is part of the deal and glory shall last for a short duration indeed.

War might serve as Nature’s strategy to get rid of the weak, old and useless but anyone who sets out to write his name on the annals of history taking that route may take lesson from Napoleon or Hitler who barely managed 13 years instead of a 1000 year Reich.

In the micro world of atoms, such an array of flavors and electron that does not decay in manner of quarks, are a law unto themselves. I hazard to think this state underpins the cluster principle of our visible universe.

benny

 

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Physicists still have no proof that dark matter exists at all, but the evidence for it is substantial. The movements of stars and galaxies can apparently be explained only if there is much more gravitating matter in the universe than the visible stuff of atoms and molecules. Attempts to correct the discrepancy by rewriting the rules of gravity in Einstein’s general theory of relativity have repeatedly failed.

WMIPs (weakly interacting massive particles) and Theoretical particles called axions are other oft-mentioned candidates. Dark Matter must be the hand that rocks the cradle of Cosmos, the verb in the sentence I AM THAT I AM.

This reminds me of the lines:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy..’ (Hamlet Act I. Sc.v)

Shall we insert Science in place of the last word?

 

 benny

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There is a Standard Model by which we have nearly explained how the Universe works – all of the particles that make up atoms and molecules and all the matter we see, along with more exotic particles.We also have theorized supersymmetry by which matter must hold its anti-matter.

Most theories state that 13.8 billion years ago when the universe emerged, equal amounts of the two forms of matter should have existed. Since matter and antimatter, which has an opposite charge and spin, annihilate when they touch each other, the universe should be left with just photons and elementary particles. That isn’t the case.

So-called “charge-parity violation,” which suggests matter and antimatter behave differently from one another, may explain the lopsided outcome. Such slight differences we see all through our visible universe. The slight tilt of the earth gives us seasons and if it should lead to a oceanic conveyor belt where one half of the loop is warm while the other carries cold currents we may be sure the supersymmetry of matter is theoretically allowed but in practice gives positive aspect of matter a slight edge. Thus man made up of matter and given to rational thinking, who consciously stands for actions conducive to further life all around is aligned with truth. Be it truth of matter it still counts.

Truth of matter in utility and man as an idea saying yea to life must have a quality far beyond his or her material nature would strictly define. From its fundamental level truth is given a shape that cosmos cannot ignore nor check its fecundity. A little lump of leaven would change the whole meal. An act of kindness shall yet add color to the face of cosmos, and render it as benign face of heaven.

benny

 

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