Liked "Nature Insight on biomaterials" http://ff.im/cgtI0

EvoMRI: Liked "Nature Insight on biomaterials" http://ff.im/cgtI0

See original: Twitter Liked "Nature Insight on biomaterials" http://ff.im/cgtI0

2009 December 3

2009 December 3



Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 Credit & Copyright: Immo Gerber
and
Dietmar HagerTAO

NGC 660 lies near the center of
this
intriguing field
of galaxies
swimming within the boundaries of the
constellation
Pisces
.

Over 20 million light-years away, its peculiar appearance marks it as
a polar ring galaxy.

A rare galaxy type, polar ring galaxies have a substantial population
of stars, gas, and dust
orbiting in rings nearly perpendicular
to the plane of a flat galactic disk.

The bizarre
configuration
could have been caused by the chance capture
of material from a passing galaxy by the disk galaxy, with the captured
debris strung out in a rotating ring.

Polar
Ring galaxies
can be used
to explore the shape of the galaxy's otherwise unseen
dark matter
halo
by calculating the
dark matter's gravitational
influence on the rotation of the ring and disk.

Broader than the disk, NGC 660's ring spans about 40,000 light-years.

cosmic crustacean

See original: Astronomy Picture of the Day
 - Page2RSS 2009 December 3

An Open Letter to OSU [Neurotopia]

Addressing the Board of Oklahoma State University

To Whom it May Concern,

It has recently come to my attention that the president of Oklahoma State University, Dr. Hargis, has canceled a National Institute of Health-approved project on pathogen testing in primates, presumably caving in to vocal minority pressure concerning the use of animals in research. Despite the full approval of veterinary boards, the steps taken to maximize animal welfare, and the full backing of the National Institute of Health, the project was canceled in an abrupt and seemingly-arbitrary manner.

I personally find this sudden reversal of an approved study surprising. The primate facilities at OSU are well known, particularly their baboon facility, which the study intended to utilize. The baboon research facilities have previously yielded many high-impact papers in areas such as pathology, and results from these studies have been and are currently being taken into account in the search for treatments for human disease. The study which was itself canceled is one that could provide key understanding to the development and propagation of highly dangerous diseases such an anthrax, and thus which could provide results with a highly important impact on human health. Given the excellent animal welfare rules in place at OSU, the history of the baboon program, and the valuable research that has emerged from the university on these topics, it is therefore concerning that the president of OSU have given in to personal pressures and opinions in halting the study.

I would also like to point out that the cancellation of this study sets a disturbing precedent for animal research programs in place at OSU as well as at other universities. It is very worrying that the president of a public university should cancel a government-funded research study due to personal concerns. This precedent could place the research of other investigators at OSU and at other schools in jeopardy, potentially endangering studies that are essential to the understanding of human and animal health and disease.

I therefore would call upon you to urge Dr. Hargis to reconsider his ban on this government-approved study, and not to cave to the pressure of a vocal few which would attempt to halt many animal studies necessary for the understanding of animal and human disease. It is imperative that studies to improve human and animal survival and quality of life go forward, and in the past, OSU has ensured that these studies proceed with maximum quality control and concern for animal welfare. Please do not jeopardize the excellent research reputation of OSU by allowing the personal concerns of a vocal minority to prevent necessary and appropriately performed research.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

Scicurious

For more coverage of this issue, see Drugmonkey and the ever-perspicacious erv. Additional coverage and addresses of the board (please write!) at Speaking of Research.

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

See original: ScienceBlogs Select An Open Letter to OSU [Neurotopia]

Refraction

Refraction is the deflection or bending of electromagnetic waves when they pass from one kind of transparent medium into another. The index of refraction of a material is the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in the material. Electromagnetic waves passing from one medium into another of a differing index of refraction will be bent in their direction of travel. In 1621, Dutch physicist Willebrord Snell (1591-1626), determined the angular relationships of light passing from one transparent medium to another.

Air and glass have different indices of refraction. Therefore, the path of electromagnetic waves moving from air to glass at an angle will be bent toward the perpendicular as they travel into the glass. Likewise, the path will be bent to the same extent away from the perpendicular when they exit the other side of glass (Figure 1).

Refraction is responsible for many useful devices which bend light in carefully determined ways, from eyeglasses to refracting telescope lenses.

Refraction can cause illusions. This pencil, in Figure 2, appears to be discontinuous at the boundary of air and water. Spacecraft may appear to be in different locations in the sky than they really are.

Electromagnetic waves entering Earth's atmosphere from space are bent by refraction. Atmospheric refraction is greatest for signals near the horizon where they come in at the lowest angle. The apparent altitude of the signal source can be on the order of half a degree higher than its true height. As Earth rotates and the object gains altitude, the refraction effect reduces, becoming zero at the zenith (directly overhead). Refraction's effect on the Sun adds about 5 minutes of time to the daylight at equatorial latitudes, since it appears higher in the sky than it actually is.

If the signal from a spacecraft goes through the atmosphere of another planet, the signals leaving the spacecraft will be bent by the atmosphere of that planet. This bending will cause the apparent occultation, that is, going behind the planet, to occur later than otherwise expected, and to exit from occultation prior to when otherwise expected. Ground processing of the received signals reveals the extent of atmospheric bending, and also of absorption at specific frequencies and other modifications. These provide a basis for inferring the composition and structure of a planet's atmosphere.

Further Reading



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See original: Featured Articles - Encyclopedia of Earth Refraction

Paulo Nuin: Climategate: How vital to our understanding of climate change are the data from the United Kingdom?

Paulo Nuin
Climategate: How vital to our understanding of climate change are the data from the United Kingdom? - http://www.slate.com/id...
That's the real question, isn't it? - Mr. Gunn

See original: FriendFeed - search Paulo Nuin: Climategate: How vital to our understanding of climate change are the data from the United Kingdom?

Afghanistan, Vietnam and the Question of Expansion [The Primate Diaries]



Bill Moyer's Journal - LBJ's Road to War, Part 2
November 20, 2009

Part 1 / Part 2

It is interesting to note that the suggestion I made earlier about creating "shovel ready" projects in Afghanistan was one of the key approaches that Johnson originally considered but was unable to adopt forty years ago. The reference made to a "Vietnamese New Deal" as a means to end the civil war was made impossible thanks to the US support for a series of corrupt client regimes in South Vietnam. Today, the Hamid Karzai government has made Afghanistan "the fifth most corrupt country in the world" according to the United States Agency for International Development. As they concluded in their March, 2009 report "Assessment of Corruption in Afghanistan" (pdf here):

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Afghanistan, Vietnam and the Question of Expansion [The Primate Diaries]

953. Mentioned the NIH grant in the roundup section. Which references to take? re: http://ff.im/beKZB

EvoMRI: 953. Mentioned the NIH grant in the roundup section. Which references to take? re: http://ff.im/beKZB

See original: Twitter 953. Mentioned the NIH grant in the roundup section. Which references to take? re: http://ff.im/beKZB