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Curated by Kenneth Weene
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Scientists are calling Luca 'the ancestor of all living things'

Scientists are calling Luca 'the ancestor of all living things' | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Scientists have generated a genetic portrait of a four-billion-year-old organism that they say may be the oldest common ancestor of all living things.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The beginnings of life. This is the kind of science that makes my nose itch with excitement. 
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Iceland Carbon Dioxide Storage Project Locks Away Gas, and Fast

Iceland Carbon Dioxide Storage Project Locks Away Gas, and Fast | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Researchers report success in an experiment that keeps a gas tied to global warming out of the atmosphere permanently.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While I love the idea, I do wonder how this will change Iceland over time as its very geological foundation is transformed. Also, of course, the other question is how much CO2 can be handled this way. Anyway, score one for science and another reason for people to hold one of my favorite countries in esteem. 
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How the Sun Protects Earth From Getting Clobbered By an Asteroid

How the Sun Protects Earth From Getting Clobbered By an Asteroid | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A trick of heat and light makes space rocks self-destruct
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Nice to know we have big brothers looking out for us. More to the point, this is interesting science. 

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The strange star that has serious scientists talking about an alien megastructure

The strange star that has serious scientists talking about an alien megastructure | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
“Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider," one astronomer told the Atlantic, "but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I love this story. Genius extraterrestrials harnessing their sun. What else might they have learned about natural science? Must visit. Will we find El Dorado or the uninhabitable wasteland?

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Scientists (sort of) settle debate on low-carb vs. low-fat diets

Scientists (sort of) settle debate on low-carb vs. low-fat diets | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
NIH researchers put 19 volunteers into metabolic chambers (yes, like the ones used for mice) and put them on two different kinds of diets to see what would happen.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One is left to wonder what would happen if the subjects were then switched from low fat to low carb and from low carb to low fat. My own research on takeaway is that Chinese is better than Indian because curry often interacts with Styrofoam and never plan on takeaway chocolate in Phoenix during the summer.

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Scientists in Antarctica photographed a new species of crab. It's extraordinary he even exists.

Scientists in Antarctica photographed a new species of crab. It's extraordinary he even exists. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
He's been waiting for us a long, long time.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

How could I resist this story? One quick question: Has anybody tried steaming them?

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Beyond the lithium ion -- a significant step toward a better performing battery

Beyond the lithium ion -- a significant step toward a better performing battery | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have taken a significant step toward the development of a battery that could outperform the lithium-ion technology used in electric cars such as the Chevy Volt.

They have shown they can replace the lithium ions, each of which carries a single positive charge, with magnesium ions, which have a plus-two charge, in battery-like chemical reactions, using an electrode with a structure like those in many of today's devices.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have for years been saying that the key to the future is the development of better batteries so that renewable energy can be stored and used economically and safely. Hopefully, this is a real step towards that goal.

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Scientists reveal bizarre method sea turtles use to find their way home

Scientists reveal bizarre method sea turtles use to find their way home | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
For decades, scientists have been stumped over how sea turtles can locate their birthplace after having traveled thousands of miles. Now, a new study may have found the answer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While I am fascinated by this answer, it still leave me unhappy. I was sure they just called SpongeBob for directions. Now a real question, with all the microwaves flowing through the atmosphere, will this affect turtle navigation? I can imagine them making their labored way to some secret government installation and being mistaken for cyber-warfare ninja turtles.

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NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Finds 1st Alien Planet of New Mission

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Finds 1st Alien Planet of New Mission | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
NASA's Kepler space telescope is discovering alien planets again. "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to make discoveries," study lead author Andrew Vanderburg, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), said in a statement. The spacecraft has been incredibly successful to date, finding nearly 1,000 confirmed planets — more than half of all known alien worlds — along with about 3,200 other "candidates," the vast majority of which should
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Meanwhile, the key question, does this planet have a red sun? Have we found Krypton? Will there be a superman from the super earth?

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Feathered friends: researchers unveil bird 'family tree'

Feathered friends: researchers unveil bird 'family tree' | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have unveiled the most comprehensive bird 'family tree' ever devised, using genetic data from 48 species to trace how modern bird lineages arose and flourished after the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs. The work by researchers from 20 countries helps clarify the evolutionary relationships of modern bird groups and reveals the genetic underpinning of traits such as singing, toothlessness, colorful feathers and color vision. ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Imagine that hummingbird outside your window, that robin singing, that parrot talking trash: all the wonder of birds. Now thing they all survived and were descended from the dinosaurs. Wow! Will they survive man? Will we cause another mass extinction?

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Study suggests genetic link for male homosexuality

Study suggests genetic link for male homosexuality | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A large study of gay brothers adds to evidence that genes influence men's chances of being homosexual. But the results aren't strong enough to prove it.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is there anyone left who doesn't know that homosexuality is the result of genetics and not some choice? Well, anyone outside of places like Uganda and the American religious right where they don't believe that God actually works through the laws of science?

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European Space Agency confirms comet landing site

European Space Agency confirms comet landing site | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The European Space Agency has confirmed the time and place it will attempt to land the first spacecraft on a comet.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There it is: The "Heaven's Gate" cult should have waited for a better ride. Got to love science.

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Warm blooded or cold? Dinosaurs were somewhere in between

Warm blooded or cold? Dinosaurs were somewhere in between | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The hot question of whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded like birds and mammals or cold blooded like reptiles, fish and amphibians finally has a good answer. Dinosaurs, for eons Earth's dominant land animals until being wiped out by an asteroid 65 million years ago, were in fact somewhere in between. The study, published in the journal Science, assessed 21 species of dinosaurs including super predators Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus, long-necked Apatosaurus, duckbilled Tenontosaurus and bird-like Troodon as well as a range of mammals, birds, bony fish, sharks, lizards, snakes and crocodiles. They did not act like mammals or birds nor did they act like reptiles or fish," said University of Arizona evolutionary biologist and ecologist Brian Enquist.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I wonder if their temperature fluctuated as food supplies changed or perhaps with the weather. Fascinating stuff this.

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Sharla Shults's curator insight, June 16, 2014 2:29 PM

If you missed it on Awakenings journey across America, we have encountered that Maryland has a state dinosaur! Check out Maryland: Crossroads @ http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/2014/04/428-maryland-crossroads.html History...how fascinating!

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New Microscope Shows Coral Colonies Kissing, Fighting and Eating

Scientists use a new underwater microscope to observe coral in its natural habitat for the first time.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
These underwater, microscopic pictures put the world of coral into a new light. Kissing, cooperating, and competing: they behave like the tiny animals they are. 
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Justin Trudeau Explains Quantum Computing, And the Crowd Goes Wild

Justin Trudeau Explains Quantum Computing, And the Crowd Goes Wild | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
But should we really be so impressed by a politician’s grasp of basic science?
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It's great to see a political leader who has at least a basic understanding of and thinks about science and technology. Go Mr. Trudeau. 
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Titanosaur unveiled in New York City

Titanosaur unveiled in New York City | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
One of the biggest dinosaurs ever discovered at 122 feet long, it doesn't even fit in the museum's gallery
Kenneth Weene's insight:

WOW! I remember being wowed when this beast was discovered. Now that the skeleton has been prepared for display, I'm in total awe. 

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New Species of Human Relative Discovered in South African Cave – National Geographic Society Press Room

New Species of Human Relative Discovered in South African Cave – National Geographic Society Press Room | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
JOHANNESBURG—The discovery of a new species of human relative was announced today (Sept. 10) by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University), the National Geographic Society and the South ...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I love the mystery of human evolution and the archaeological and paleontological studies that elucidate it. So welcome, H. Naledi to my  to my  genus.

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Inside Facebook’s Quest for Software That Understands You | MIT Technology Review

Inside Facebook’s Quest for Software That Understands You | MIT Technology Review | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A reincarnation of one of the oldest ideas in artificial intelligence could finally make it possible to truly converse with our computers. And Facebook has a chance to make it happen first.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you are into Artificial Intelligence (AI), this is a fascinating article. For my part, I believe that true AI will only be developed when the crucial balance of inhibitory circuits and excitatory circuits is found. Also, these circuits will have to integrate multiple banks of purposed nodes so that different types of knowing can be simulated, i.e. emotional, active, perceptive, verbal. and vectored (the interconnection of occurrences which is referenced in this article). Still, they are getting closer and that's exciting and terrifying at the same time.

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Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest humans - BBC News

Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest humans - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Stones tools that are 3.3 million years old have been unearthed pre-dating the earliest-known humans in the Homo genus.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Fascinating, especially since I can't use a hammer or screwdriver without hurting myself. Got to love physical anthropology and archeology.

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CERN restarts Large Hadron Collider, seeks dark universe

CERN restarts Large Hadron Collider, seeks dark universe | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
By Robert Evans GENEVA (Reuters) - Scientists at Europe's physics research center CERN on Sunday restarted their "Big Bang" Large Hadron Collider (LHC), embarking on a bid to probe into the "dark universe" they believe lies beyond the visible one. CERN reported that particle beams were successfully pushed around the LHC in both directions after a two-year shutdown for a major refit described as a Herculean task that doubled its power -- and its reach into the unknown. Study of many billions of c
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Mankind explores the beginnings of the universe, but are we capable of using the knowledge for the betterment of our world?

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Scientists Find The Secret To Staying Faithful - Natural News Blogs

Scientists Find The Secret To Staying Faithful - Natural News Blogs | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Recent research examines the role Oxytocin plays in fidelity and how meditation can increase its production.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Forget poetry. Forget love letters (well, now a text—preferably no more than 140 characters). Forget romantic dinners. Just pass the chemicals and love will follow. There is a powerful short story to be written based on this information; but I don't want to be the one to write it.

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Here's What Really Killed the Dinosaurs

Here's What Really Killed the Dinosaurs | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It wasn't just an asteroid
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Perhaps the asteroid's impact started the volcanic process. Or perhaps both theories are wrong and it was over-hunting by humans. I do wonder how Adam and Eve survived in the garden with Tyrannosaurus Rex. Oh well, I'm sure they'll make a movie to explain it all. 

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2 Futures Can Explain Time's Mysterious Past

2 Futures Can Explain Time's Mysterious Past | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
New theories suggest the big bang was not the beginning, and that we may live in the past of a parallel universe
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Backward, oh backward, turn time in thy flight. Well maybe time is already going in two directions. Got to love cosmology.

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In 125 Years, Millions Of People Have Looked At This Painting. No One Really Saw It Until Now.

In 125 Years, Millions Of People Have Looked At This Painting. No One Really Saw It Until Now. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.

 

But I found this and I thought, "Oh, what a vaguely interesting thing." And then I got to the part about the Hubble Space Telescope, and, let me tell you: Mind. Blown.

 

We've got the set up here, but you have to watch the video for the full effect. It's all the way at the bottom.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Although Van Gogh's ear was cut off in a dual, not a psychotic state, the rest of this piece is great for those who love art and those who love science.

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The Domestic Cat Genome Has Been Fully Sequenced, and It's Fascinating

The Domestic Cat Genome Has Been Fully Sequenced, and It's Fascinating | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Felis catus genome has been fully sequenced and annotated, which means your pet kitty is about to give up its genetic secrets to science.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Meanwhile on the subject of cat-human symbiosis. Cats started out as independent contractors getting rid of vermin (most likely in China), but figured out that they could get better benefits with a few purrs. 

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