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Friday, July 06, 2007

Google Encyclopedic & Google Views

If you want more diversity in your search results, this Greasemonkey script replaces Google's ads with results from Image Search, Google Video, Wikipedia articles and definitions from There's no clever algorithm for the order of the panels, so you'll see them for every query that returns results. It's up to you to decide if the slower-loading multimedia results are more useful than Google's sponsored links. To install the script, you need Firefox and Greasemonkey. One additional tip: If you have a specialized search try to use "views". Just try to search for earthquake with the parameter view:timeline or view:map. This can be very useful. (Just click on the pictures to enlarge the image.)
Parts of his was seized 4 u at Google Operating System
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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Synthetic Life or Radically Engineered Life?

Scientists are aiming to build an entire living cell from the basic chemical ingredients. Giovanni Murtas of the Enrico Fermi Centre at the University of Rome 3, Italy, reported last week at the Synthetic Biology 3.0 meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, that his team had taken a step toward this goal by successfully synthesising proteins in cell-like compartments. According to George Church at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who has devised a complete blueprint for a synthetic cell, an investment of around $10 million would be enough to turn the "bottom-up" dream into reality. "Our approach doesn't require any super new technology," he says.
Whichever definition of synthetic life you adopt, it seems now to be a question of when rather than if. "We are at the doorstep of being able to create life," says Steen Rasmussen, a physicist trying to create artificial living systems at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Venter says that efforts to synthesise his minimal genome from scratch are still in progress, but once it is ready, the transplant method should allow the first bacterium with a synthetic genome to be created with little delay. "It could be weeks or months," he says. Not everyone accepts that Venter's bacterium will qualify as a "synthetic" organism. "It's a misnomer," says Deamer, who argues that a better name would be a radically engineered organism. So when are we likely to see unequivocally synthetic life, with the entire cell built from scratch? "It could be five months or 10 years," says Church. "These things aren't so much a question of timescales as the amount of money available." Read more...

This was seized 4 u at New Scientist
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Inhaling from just 1 cigarette can lead to nicotine addiction (or a free Apple iPhone)

A new study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine shows that adolescents who smoke even just a few cigarettes per month suffer withdrawal symptoms when deprived of nicotine...Recent research has revealed that the nicotine from one cigarette is enough to saturate the nicotine receptors in the human brain. "Laboratory experiments confirm that nicotine alters the structure and function of the brain within a day of the very first dose. In humans, nicotine-induced alterations in the brain can trigger addiction with the first cigarette," commented Joseph R. DiFranza, MD, professor of family medicine & community health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and leader of the UMMS research team. "Nobody expects to get addicted from smoking one cigarette." The National Institutes of Health estimates that as many as 6.4 million children who are living today will die prematurely as adults because they began to smoke cigarettes during adolescence. Read the whole article here.
More important studies; The Reseize institute reveals that Suicide rates are rapidly increasing amongst Apple iPhone owners. Stay tuned for more astonishing news!
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Monday, July 02, 2007

What happened before the Big Bang?

New discoveries about another universe whose collapse appears to have given birth to the one we live in today will be announced in the early on-line edition of the journal Nature Physics on 1 July 2007 and will be published in the August 2007 issue of the journal's print edition.
The idea that the universe erupted with a Big Bang explosion has been a big barrier in scientific attempts to understand the origin of our expanding universe, although the Big Bang long has been considered by physicists to be the best model. As described by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, the origin of the Big Bang is a mathematically nonsensical state -- a "singularity" of zero volume that nevertheless contained infinite density and infinitely large energy. Now, however, Bojowald and other physicists at Penn State are exploring territory unknown even to Einstein -- the time before the Big Bang -- using a mathematical time machine called Loop Quantum Gravity. This theory, which combines Einstein's Theory of General Relativity with equations of quantum physics that did not exist in Einstein's day, is the first mathematical description to systematically establish the existence of the Big Bounce and to deduce properties of the earlier universe from which our own may have sprung. For scientists, the Big Bounce opens a crack in the barrier that was the Big Bang.
Read more here...
This was
seized 4 u at Penn State Live
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