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Confirmed: An Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs –– Date confirmed to accuracy of +/- 11,000 years

Confirmed: An Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs –– Date confirmed to accuracy of +/- 11,000 years | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Scientists have unearth credible evidence to confirm a large asteroid was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs over 66 million years ago, it has been announced. This particular extinction event, which paved the way for the evolution of our species, has been attributed to several different things over the years. From climate change, a nuclear winter caused by basaltic lava eruptions of massive volcanoes in western India, an influx of radiation from a nearby supernova explosion (or perhaps a gamma-ray burst) to finally, an asteroid impact, which has been a favorite of biologist and paleontologist over the course of the past few decades.


According to Paul Renne, the director at Berkeley University’s Geochronology Center in California, the asteroid impact was quite likely one of several contributing factors to the downfall of the prehistoric animals, as many of them were already on their way to extinction; however, Renne claims that this was the main catalyst that “pushed Earth past the tipping point.”


The collision was never in question, but the exact date of it is. Scientists have been trying to determine if the impact took place more than 300,000 years after the last of the dinosaurs had already died off in the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, which is where Renne and his team comes in: Using high-precision radiometric dating analysis, in this case “argon-argon dating,” the team were able to determine the most precise date yet of the impact: 66,038,000 years ago – give or take 11,000, which coincides with the impact of an asteroid or a comet in the Caribbean off the Yucatan coast of Mexico. “We have shown that these events are synchronous to within a gnat’s eyebrow,” Renne continued. Potassium-argon dating is perhaps, one of the most reliable means of determine how long a sample of materials have been decaying, as it utilizes the fact that potassium, a naturally radioactive element, decays into argon with regularity.


It only takes a relatively small asteroid to cause quite a bit of destruction on our planet, as any object large enough to survive the descent through Earth’s atmosphere would acquire quite a bit of kinetic energy before it hits the surface of the planet, traveling at VERY fast speeds. Just to throw out one example of this, if an object had a diameter of about 10 kilometers and was traveling at speeds between [approximately] 15 to 20 kilometers per second, it would have a kinetic energy equal to 300 million nuclear bombs, going off simultaneously.


Almost instantly after the impact, the Earth would undergo rapid changes, including; “intense blinding light, severe radiation burns, a crushing blast wave, lethal balls of hot glass, winds with speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour, and flash fires.” The rubble would be forced into the stratosphere, where it would block a majority of the sunlight from the plants and animals on the ground, which becomes problematic for the photosynthesis plants must undergo to derive energy to survive. With no plants converting sunlight into energy, our oxygen levels would decrease dramatically. I don’t have to explain why that is not an ideal situation to find ourselves in.

The asteroid that hit our planet at the end of the Mesozoic Era was almost 6 miles (10 km) across, generating more energy than nearly 100 trillion tons of TNT, which is more than a billion times more energetic than the bombs that destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima during WWII — ultimately leaving behind a crater named Chicxulub, which is more than 110 miles (180 kilometers) wide.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them

Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Electronic devices that become soft when implanted inside the body and can deploy to grip 3-D objects, such as large tissues, nerves and blood vessels have been created by researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.

 

These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors might one day help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and also could be used to stimulate the body for treatments.

 

The research, published in Advanced Materials, is one of the first demonstrations of transistors that can change shape and maintain their electronic properties after they are implanted in the body, said Jonathan Reeder, a graduate student in materials science and engineering and lead author of the work.

 

“Scientists and physicians have been trying to put electronics in the body for a while now, but one of the problems is that the stiffness of common electronics is not compatible with biological tissue,” he said.

 

“You need the device to be stiff at room temperature so the surgeon can implant the device, but soft and flexible enough to wrap around 3-D objects so the body can behave exactly as it would without the device. By putting electronics on shape-changing and softening polymers, we can do just that.”

 

Shape memory polymers (plastics) developed by Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering and an author of the paper, are key to enabling the technology.

 

The polymers respond to the body’s environment and become less rigid when they’re implanted. In addition to the polymers, the electronic devices are built with layers that include thin, flexible electronic foils first characterized by a group including Reeder in work published last year in Nature.

 

The Voit and Reeder team from the Advanced Polymer Research Lab in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science fabricated the devices with an organic semiconductor but used adapted techniques normally applied to create silicon electronics that could reduce the cost of the devices.


“We used a new technique in our field to essentially laminate and cure the shape memory polymers on top of the transistors,” said Voit, who is also a member of the Texas Biomedical Device Center. “In our device design, we are getting closer to the size and stiffness of precision biologic structures, but have a long way to go to match nature’s amazing complexity, function and organization.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

A necessary step for posthumanity.

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Using Brain Research to Design Better eLearning...

Using Brain Research to Design Better eLearning... | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Jey principles from neuroscience research paired with tips that will allow course creators to achieve effective eLearning development.

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, May 13, 2014 4:43 PM

This suggests the importance of teaching i.e. help learners.

Audrey Jackson's curator insight, May 14, 2014 7:56 AM

Educational neuroscience is powerful!

Adelia Peña's curator insight, May 17, 2014 10:55 PM

Something that we should consider when teaching  to make knowledge relevant for our students.

 

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Pope: The Bible Demands The Redistribution Of Wealth

Pope: The Bible Demands The Redistribution Of Wealth | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Pope Francis has made moral economics and concern for the poor a chief focus of his ministry since he ascended to the papacy.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

“In the case of global political and economic organization, much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens." --Pope Francis I

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35 Scientific Concepts to Help You Think

35 Scientific Concepts to Help You Think | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

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Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Good resource. I believe I shared this before or some variation based on the same 2012 book. 

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Why The Color Red Revs You Up (But Lowers Your IQ)

Why The Color Red Revs You Up (But Lowers Your IQ) | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Seven studies for designers and marketers about the complex and bizarre science of the color red.
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When an author should self-publish and how that might change | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer's Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

When an author should self-publish and how that might change | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer's Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
From veteran publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin: There is a question that every agent and publisher is dealing with, because authors surely are. And that’s this: when should an author self- (or indie-) publish? The answer is certainly not “never”, and if there...
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

My friend Tracy James has moved forward in the direction of self-publishing and done proudly. I recommend the move, and I will publishing some stuff myself this year.

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600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
This collection features 600 free eBooks, mostly classics, that you can read on your computer, Kindle, iPad or smart phone. It includes great works of fiction, non-fiction & poetry.

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Rainbow Bridges EFL Materials's curator insight, April 30, 2014 11:51 PM

Free classics! Shakespeare, Aristotle, Dostoyevsky, Sun-Tzu, and more.

Fliss Clooney's curator insight, May 1, 2014 11:16 AM

Excellent resource list to free e books, online courses and eaudio.

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Supreme Court Gives Police New Power To Rely On Anonymous Tips

Supreme Court Gives Police New Power To Rely On Anonymous Tips | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
The court ruled that police can stop and search a driver based solely on an anonymous 911 tip. The 5-4 decision split the court's two most conservative justices.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

What a weird line up of votes on the SCOTUS to have liberties truncated a bit more. I mean, a really weird line-up: Scalia siding with Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Kagan while Breyer sided with Thomas, Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy. 

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Unravelling How Planaria Regenerate: Cut into 279 tiny pieces, each one regenerates to a full worm

Unravelling How Planaria Regenerate: Cut into 279 tiny pieces, each one regenerates to a full worm | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Researchers have begun teasing apart the genes behind regeneration.

 

Planarian flatworms are one of nature's little wonders. Although their 'cross-eyed' appearance is endearing, their real claim to fame comes from their regenerative ability. Split a planarian down the middle and you'll soon have two cross-eyed critters staring back at you; cut one up and each piece will regenerate an entire flatworm. How do they pull of such an incredible feat? In 2011, researchers discovered that planarian regeneration depends on the activity of stem cells ('neoblasts') distributed throughout the flatworm's body, but important questions about the process have remained unanswered. Are certain stem cells responsible for each organ? What activates the stem cells when regeneration is needed? An enterprising team of scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has brought us closer to answering these questions by developing a new technique to study planarian regeneration and using it to discover some of they genes involved.

Regeneration isn't a uniquely planarian trait; starfish are well-known for growing back lost body parts, and even humans can regenerate to some extent (think of a wound healing). Planarians certainly excel at it, though; a flatworm can recover from being cut up into a staggering 279 tiny pieces, each of which regenerates into a new worm! Here's a fun conundrum for those inclined to such things: which worm, if any, can claim to be the 'original worm'? What if it were only two pieces instead of over 200? Would it make a difference if the two pieces were different sizes?


Using this technique, which they termed 'chemical amputation', the team induced lesions in planaria and investigated which genes were activated over the course of the regeneration process. The pharynx lacks neoblasts, but cells near the wound quickly start dividing and regenerate the amputated organ. To identify genes which were interesting, the team combined two screening approaches. First, a microarray picked out genes which were active during regeneration, providing a list of 356 candidates. Next, the team used RNAi to block the activity of each gene in amputated flatworms and checked whether the pharynx still regenerated. This narrowed the list down to twenty genes, which the team divided into different sets. Some genes affected stem cells in general, other affected feeding behaviour, and a handful directly affected the development of the pharynx. Of these, the transcription factor FoxA seemed to play the greatest role in regenerating the pharynx.

The team next looked at how regeneration went wrong in planaria with FoxA knocked down. They found that stem cells still migrated to the wound site and multiplied there, but the resulting outgrowth failed to become a pharynx. They also tried amputating the tails or heads of FoxA knock-downs, which then successfully regenerated. "Targeting FoxA completely blocked pharynx regeneration but had no effect on the regeneration of other organs," said Adler in a press release. “Currently, we think that FoxA triggers a cascade of gene expression that drives stem cells to produce all of the different cells of the pharynx, including muscle, neurons, and epithelial cells.” FoxA is known to play a role in specifying the pharynx in the sea anemone and in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, as well regulating the development of the intestine in vertebrates, so it makes sense that it's a central player in pharynx regeneration in planaria. More importantly, its identification can serve as a wedge to pry apart the details of regeneration; coupled with the other genes picked up in this study, it offers an exciting opportunity to expand our understanding of this important process.

 

References:

Adler C, et al. Selective amputation of the pharynx identifies a FoxA-dependent regeneration program in planaria. eLife 3:e02238. (2014) doi:10.7554/eLife.02238


Rossant J. Genes for Regeneration. eLife 3:e02517. (2014) doi:10.7554/eLife.02517


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The serious business of gamification

The serious business of gamification | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Companies are using carefully constructed online games to change customer habits, motivate staff and seed innovation

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Bill Moyers on America's Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy | Blog, Commentary | BillMoyers.com

Bill Moyers on America's Mad Dash Toward Oligarchy | Blog, Commentary | BillMoyers.com | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Bill reflects on the forces that are causing inequality to skyrocket, why it matters and where we're headed in the future.
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Papyrus Referring to Jesus’ Wife Is More Likely Ancient Than Fake, Scientists Say

Papyrus Referring to Jesus’ Wife Is More Likely Ancient Than Fake, Scientists Say | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
The test results do not prove that Jesus had a wife, only that the fragment of papyrus with the phrase, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife,’” is most likely not a forgery.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

"...Dr. King presented the fragment with fanfare at a conference in Rome in September 2012, but wasbesieged by criticism because the content was controversial, the lettering was suspiciously splotchy, the grammar was poor, its provenance was uncertain, its owner insisted on anonymity and its ink had not been tested.

 

An editorial in the Vatican’s newspaper also declared it a fake. New Testament scholars claimed the text referred to the “bride of Christ,” which is the church — an interpretation Dr. King said was entirely possible..."

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20,000+ FREE Online Science and Technology Lectures from Top Universities

20,000+ FREE Online Science and Technology Lectures from Top Universities | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

The following topics are covered:

 

Aerospace, Anthropology, Astrobiology, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Cognitive Science, Computers, Cosmology, Dentistry, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, Environment, Future, General Science, Geoscience, Machine Learning, Material Science, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Metallurgy, Mining, Nanotechnology, Oceanography, Philosophy, Physics, Physiology, Robotics, and Sociology.

 

Lectures are in Playlists and are alphabetically sorted with thumbnail pictures. No fee, no registration required - learn at your own pace. Certificates can be arranged with presenting universities.

 

NOTE: To subscribe to the RSS feed of Amazing Science, copy http://www.scoop.it/t/amazing-science/rss.xml into the URL field of your browser and click "subscribe".

 

This newsletter is aggregated from over 1450 news sources:

http://www.genautica.com/links/1450_news_sources.html

 

All my Tweets and Scoop.It! posts sorted and searchable:

http://www.genautica.com/tweets/index.html

 

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NOTE: All articles in the amazing-science newsletter can also be sorted by topic. To do so, click the FIND buntton (symbolized by the FUNNEL on the top right of the screen)  and display all the relevant postings SORTED by TOPICS.

 

You can also type your own query:

 

e.g., you are looking for articles involving "dna" as a keyword

 

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♥ princess leia ♥'s curator insight, December 28, 2014 11:58 AM

WoW  .. Expand  your mind!! It has room to grow!!! 

Arturo Pereira's curator insight, August 12, 9:01 AM
The democratization of knowledge!
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Does the World Care About Young, Black Girls?

Does the World Care About Young, Black Girls? | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Social activist and feminist writer bell hooks reflects on why the world isn’t more outraged by the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls, and what it means when young girls become the battlefield for larger political struggles.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

From Nebraska to Nigeria, bell hooks says society lacks a broader conversation about female enslavement.

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Chris Hedges | Capitalism, Not Government Is the Problem

Chris Hedges | Capitalism, Not Government Is the Problem | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Our corporate masters have set in place laws that, when we rise up, will permit the state to herd us like sheep into military detention camps. Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act is but one piece of the legal tyranny now in place to ensure total corporate control.
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This is What Happens Every Single Minute Online ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

This is What Happens Every Single Minute Online ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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ANA's curator insight, May 5, 2014 9:45 AM

WOW!

Candice Blount's curator insight, June 8, 2014 7:45 PM

A visual representation on one minute on line.

Craig Crossley's curator insight, June 19, 2014 6:36 PM

Wow!...4 Million google searches a minute!!.....Bing has no hope...

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Soul Spelunker: The Changing Face of the Daimon

Soul Spelunker: The Changing Face of the Daimon | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
The World Soul is a being-at-work, just as all entities are, and will continue to be a being-at-work until there is a state of completion of earth's destiny. This earthly telos may be viewed in many different ways. None of us know what the future holds for our world. There is one thing we may be sure of, however. The World Daimon has a changing face.
Via Zeteticus
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:
As ever, awesomeness from the Soul Spelunker.
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 30, 2014 2:40 PM

I am just starting to read James Hillman's work and it appears to fit the world we live in with a focus on an ever-changing landscape. Some have used his work in education.

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Ravens have social abilities previously only seen in humans

Ravens have social abilities previously only seen in humans | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Humans and their primate cousins are well known for their intelligence and social abilities. You hear them called bird-brained, but birds have demonstrated a great deal of intelligence in many tasks.

 

However, little is known about their social skills. A new study shows that ravens are socially savvier than we give them credit for. They are able to work out the social dynamics of other raven groups, something which only humans had shown the ability to do.

Jorg Massen and his colleagues of the University of Vienna wanted to find out more about about bird's social skills, so they studied ravens, which live in social groups. In their study, published in Nature Communications, they looked at whether ravens were intelligent enough to understand relationships in their own social groups, as well as if they could figure out social groups that they had never been a part of.

 

Ravens within a community squabble over their ranking in the group, as higher ranked ravens have better access to food and other resources. Males always outrank females and confrontations mostly occur between members of the same sex.

 

These confrontations are initiated by high-ranking ravens, who square up to low-ranking birds and emit a specific call to assert their dominance. Normally, the lower-ranking, or submissive, raven typically makes a specific call to recognise the high-ranking raven's social superiority. Through this process, the dominant raven ensures that its social position is maintained.

But sometimes, the lower-ranking bird does not respond in a submissive way to a dominance call – this is known as dominance reversal call. These situations often result in confrontations, and can result in changes in the social structure of raven communities.

 

When presented with a dominance reversal recording taken from their own group, ravens displayed behavior associated with stress, because they expected a disturbance in the social order. This stress is typically expressed by the raven either running around or pecking at its own feathers.

 

Ravens showed even higher levels of stress when they were played a dominance reversal call from members of the same sex. This makes sense, because ranking disputes only occur between members of the same sex. A confrontation between two females, for example, would not have a big effect on the social status of a male raven – but would affect any females who were listening.

 

Female ravens in general were more stressed than males when they were played dominance reversal recordings. This may be because females are always lower ranked than males, so changes in community structure pose more risks to females at the bottom, which have reduced access to food in the first place.


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The Meritocracy Myth: How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money

The Meritocracy Myth: How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Azureon2, bayat)PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT Warren Buffett once claimed that the "geni...
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Case in point: "Checking the Stock Portfolio Every Morning... In one year the Forbes 400 'earned' more than the total combined budget for SNAP, WIC (Women, Infants, children), Child Nutrition, Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Housing. These lucky 400 were the main beneficiaries of a stock market that grew by $4.7 trillion in just one year."

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What Should We Focus On Learning In An Age Where Almost All Information Is At Your Fingertips?

What Should We Focus On Learning In An Age Where Almost All Information Is At Your Fingertips? | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
What should we focus on learning in an age where almost all information is at your fingertips? This question was originally answered on Quora by Robert Frost and Balaji Viswanathan.

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What the 1% Don't Want You to Know | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

What the 1% Don't Want You to Know | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Economist Paul Krugman explains how the United States is becoming an oligarchy - the very system our founders revolted against.
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

A new book that’s the talk of academia and the media, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, shows that two-thirds of America’s increase in income inequality over the past four decades is the result of steep raises given to the country’s highest earners.

This week, Bill talks with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, about Piketty’s “magnificent” new book.

“What Piketty’s really done now is he said, ‘Even those of you who talk about the 1 percent, you don’t really get what’s going on.’ He’s telling us that we are on the road not just to a highly unequal society, but to a society of an oligarchy. A society of inherited wealth.”

Krugman adds: “We’re seeing inequalities that will be transferred across generations. We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagined we’re nothing like.”

 
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Princeton University - 'MOOC World': Experts clash over differing visions of education technology

Princeton University - 'MOOC World': Experts clash over differing visions of education technology | Pahndeepah Perceptions | Scoop.it
Keith Wayne Brown's insight:

Very much worth the read for all who are concerned about their own future after leaving the network of Higher Instruction or for those who live within the Network as facilitators (both instructional and administrative staff. 

 

"...William Lawton, director of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education in London, said MOOCs and online learning do not threaten the core values of higher education. Rather, the threats are commercial imperatives forcing universities to run as businesses and equating education goals with those of government.

 

"The real revolution will come when there are digital platforms everywhere that are providing hundreds and thousands of courses that are designed specifically for the needs in those places," Lawton said, and when employers and society in those countries recognize and accept such credits as valid.

 

Lawton predicted that rather than going to extremes, most institutions will combine traditional and online practices. "The future is basically blended," he said.

 

Bruno Latour, scientific director at the Sciences Po Médialab in Paris and who has taught online, likened the expansion of digital education to a brain expanding its capacity upon its development of a nervous system.

 

"The title of my MOOC and the motto of my MOOC on scientific humanity is taken from Latin," he said. "Not 'cogito ergo sum' but 'cogitamus ergo civitas sumus.' We think, thus we form a collective together. And that, I think, is a good motto for the university of the future."..."

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