Quake prediction model developed

The third in a series of papers in the journal Nature completes the case for a new method of predicting earthquakes.

The forecasting model developed by Danijel Schorlemmer, of the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, aims to predict the rough size and location of future quakes. Testing of the model is underway.


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See original: Science News Quake prediction model developed

Birds call to warn friends and enemies

Birds' alarm calls serve both to alert other birds to danger and to warn off predators. And some birds can pull a ventriloquist's trick, singing from the side of their mouths, according to a UC Davis study.


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See original: Science News Birds call to warn friends and enemies

LHC Smash! [Starts With A Bang]

You're making me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. -Bruce Banner

Hey, LHC, what did those protons ever do to you? You take them, accelerate them to the fastest speeds we've ever accelerated protons to on Earth, and then smash them into one another with more energy than ever before!

imagecmshiggsevent.jpg

The Large Hadron Collider takes bunches of protons, accelerates them in opposite directions inside its giant ring, and smashes them together -- ideally -- at the centers of these giant detectors.

cms_neu3.jpg

At Fermilab, each proton would come in with an energy up to about 1.0 TeV, for a total collision energy of 2.0 TeV. Each TeV, remember, is a Tera-electron-Volt, or 1012 electron-Volts.

At the LHC, they just broke that record, as each proton came in with an energy of 1.18 TeV, for a total of 2.36 TeV. In theory, the LHC can support a maximum energy of 7 TeV for a total of 14 TeV, although practically it won't get there anytime soon.

Atlas.jpg

So you might reasonably ask yourself the following:

Why do I need all that energy to find the Higgs, which should have a mass that needs less that 0.2 TeV of energy to create?

I mean, wouldn't it make sense that Fermilab should've found the Higgs already? It's just a question of energy, isn't it?

Well, it's only a little bit more complicated than that. Your reasoning would be perfect if -- instead of protons -- you were colliding electrons with positrons.

006PositronAnn2_600by600.jpg

Before they had the LHC (the Large Hadron Collider), they had LEP (the Large Electron-Positron... collider) in the same underground tunnel! They made many discoveries there, including the Z0 boson, but only got up to 110 GeV of energy total.

But there's a big difference between electrons and protons. Electrons are -- as far as we can tell -- just points with mass and charge. You smash a 55 GeV electron with a 55 GeV positron, and you're guaranteed to get 110 GeV of energy available to create new particles, whether they're photons, bosons, quarks, or anything else.

Feynman_EP_Annihilation.png

But protons don't work that way. Protons are made up not only of three quarks each, but also countless gluons and many sea quarks. Although each proton may have a tremendous amount of energy, it isn't the protons, per se, that collide. It's just a single quark or gluon inside each proton that goes "smash!"

r_muon_top.jpg

Well, each collision, if you're lucky, will give you maybe 10% of the total energy available for creating new particles. So you can get to higher energies with protons than electrons, but they're also far less efficient. They're also significantly messier! The top image is what a proton-proton collision looks like, while an electron-positron collision looks like this:

60144-004-99DE09BE.jpg

So clean in comparison! But so limited in energy, too. So we can get more energy, eventually, out of proton-proton collisions. But the trade-off is that you have to put a lot more work in to get the same results as electron-positron collisions, including sifting through billions of useless collisions to get the one useful one.

So be patient; it's going to take a long time for any new discoveries to come to light. But the payoff? If the Higgs exists, the LHC is going to find it!

990707.jpg

(Eventually.) Good luck to everyone over there; I hope to hear the good news soon! In the meantime, smash away!

hulk-smash1.jpg

Read the comments on this post...

Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Applied Statistics

See original: ScienceBlogs Select LHC Smash! [Starts With A Bang]

State of the Archives, Dec. 3, 2009 by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States http://ff.im/coy8q

mrgunn: State of the Archives, Dec. 3, 2009 by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States http://ff.im/coy8q

See original: Twitter State of the Archives, Dec. 3, 2009 by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States http://ff.im/coy8q

@Comprendia Yep, did that myself recently, also set up gmail labels and "skip the inbox" for others.

mrgunn: @Comprendia Yep, did that myself recently, also set up gmail labels and "skip the inbox" for others.

See original: Twitter @Comprendia Yep, did that myself recently, also set up gmail labels and "skip the inbox" for others.

RT @amcunningham: Yes, good to know, I think [just kidding ;-)]

mrgunn: RT @amcunningham: Yes, good to know, I think [just kidding ;-)]

See original: Twitter RT @amcunningham: Yes, good to know, I think [just kidding ;-)]

Dust Sculptures in the Rosette Nebula

What creates the cosmic dust sculptures in the Rosette Nebula?  What creates the cosmic dust sculptures in the Rosette Nebula?


See original: APOD Dust Sculptures in the Rosette Nebula

NGC 6992: Filaments of the Veil Nebula

Wisps like this are all that remain visible of a Milky Way star.  Wisps like this are all that remain visible of a Milky Way star.


See original: APOD NGC 6992: Filaments of the Veil Nebula

Experts' meeting on the Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and its Applications

Last summer UNESCO joined with other organizations to convene an expert meeting on the rights of people to enjoy the benefits of science and the applications of science. Now a brochure has been published with the findings of that meeting.

The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications (REBSP) is enshrined in various international and regional instruments. It was proclaimed for the first time in Article 13 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (1948) which states that “every person has the right […] to participate in the benefits that result from intellectual progress, especially scientific discoveries.”

The REBSP was further enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) which stipulates that “everyone has the right […] to share in scientific advancements and its benefits.”

This right became a binding norm when it was included in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), which recognizes “the right of everyone to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.”

See original: UNESCO in the Spotlight: Science and Communications Experts' meeting on the Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and its Applications

Photodynamic therapy induces microRNA-210 and -296 expression in HeLa cells.

J Biophotonics. 2009 Dec 1;
Kushibiki T

Apoptosis-related microRNAs (miRNAs), the expression levels of which were observed to increase after photodynamic therapy (PDT), were identified as markers of PDT efficacy. miRNAs form a class of small endogenous RNAs that play important regulatory roles by targeting mRNA for cleavage or translational repression. miRNAs contribute to diverse biological processes, including development, cell growth, apoptosis, and hematopoiesis, which suggests a role in cancer development. However, no previous reports have described a relationship between apoptosis and miRNA expression after PDT. In this study, apoptosis-related miRNA levels were characterized by real-time PCR after PDT in HeLa cells. miR-210 and miR-296 expression levels increased 1 hour after PDT, although the other apoptosis-related miRNA (miR-7, miR-148a, miR-204, and miR-216) expression levels were unchanged. Since miR-210 is the most prominent miRNA consistently stimulated under hypoxic conditions and VEGF is capable of increasing miR-296 expression levels, these data suggest that hypoxia induced by PDT induces miR-210 expression, followed by an increase of VEGF expression and miR-296 expression. These results constitute the first report of an analysis of miRNA expression after PDT using talaporfin sodium as a photosensitizer, demonstrating that miR-210 and miR-296 expression levels are markers of PDT efficacy in HeLa cells. ((c) 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim).

See original: HubMed - "young researchers" Photodynamic therapy induces microRNA-210 and -296 expression in HeLa cells.

Intracranial displacement of the eye after blunt trauma.

J Neuroophthalmol. 2009 Dec; 29(4): 311
Miabi Z, Nezami N, Midia M, Midia R

A 67-year-old man fell from an agricultural vehicle and struck his right eye on a protruding element. Eight hours later, he was brought to the emergency unit of an ophthalmology hospital where examiners could not find the right eye and believed it to have been completely destroyed. However, CT disclosed that the eye, apparently still intact, had been displaced into the anterior cranial fossa through a fracture in the orbital roof. This is the first documentation of such a phenomenon.

See original: HubMed - "young researchers" Intracranial displacement of the eye after blunt trauma.

World Science Forum Wound Up on a Cautiously Optimistic Note


Great responsibility rests on scientists in giving help to politicians enabling them to bring good long-term political decisions in Copenhagen at the coming climate summit.

In this respect the World Science Forum held in Budapest certainly has its merits, said Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai at WSF’s 7 November closing session. WSF had a message to players outside the scientific field, to representatives of government, decision-makers in business, but also to the average person. Everyone should understand what an important role science plays in forming the future.

Read more!

See original: UNESCO in the Spotlight: Science and Communications World Science Forum Wound Up on a Cautiously Optimistic Note

Novel carbon-trading scheme could stop large-scale extinctions

A new strategy for saving tropical forest species was published in the leading journal Science on the eve of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, by a team of researchers, including William Laurance, senior staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and distinguished professor at James Cook University.


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See original: Science News Novel carbon-trading scheme could stop large-scale extinctions