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Posted by Xeno on February 28, 2011
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
The first direct observation of the orbital structure of an excited hydrogen atom has been made by an international team of researchers. The observation was made using a newly developed “quantum microscope”, which uses photoionization microscopy to visualize the structure directly. The team’s demonstration proves that “photoionization microscopy”, which was first proposed more than 30 years ago, can be experimentally realized and can serve as a tool to explore the subtleties of quantum mechanics….
The wavefunction is a central tenet of quantum theory – put simply, it contains the maximum knowledge that is available about the state of a quantum system. More specifically, the wavefunction is the solution to the Schrödinger equation. The square of the wavefunction describes the probability of where exactly a particle might be located at a given time. Although it features prominently in quantum theory, directly measuring or observing the wavefunction is no easy task, as any direct observation destroys the wavefunction before it can be fully observed.
In the past, “Rydberg wavepacket” experiments have tried to observe the wavefunction using ultrafast laser pulses. In these experiments, the atoms are in a superposition of their highly excited “Rydberg states”. These experiments show that the periodic electron orbitals around nuclei are described by coherent superpositions of quantum-mechanical stationary states. The wavefunction of each of these states is a standing wave with a nodal pattern (a “node” is where there is zero probability of finding an electron) that reflects the quantum numbers of the state. While previous experiments have attempted to capture the elusive wavefunction or the nodal patterns, the methods used were not successful. Direct observation of the nodal structure of a single atom being most difficult to achieve…
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
A new study finds that frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians in the U.S. are dying off so quickly that they could disappear from half of their habitats in the next 20 years. For some of the more endangered species, they could lose half of their habitats in as little as six years. The nine-year study, published on May 22 in PLoS Oneby scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), examined population trends for 48 species at 34 sites across the country.
The researchers found that on average amphibian populations were shrinking a surprising 3.7 percent per year. “Even though these declines seem small on the surface, they are not,” lead author Michael Adams, a USGS ecologist, said in a prepared release. “Small numbers build up to dramatic declines with time. We knew there was a big problem with amphibians, but these numbers are both surprising and of significant concern.”
Worse yet, the scientists found that species currently classified as “endangered,” “vulnerable” or “near threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were declining much faster, at an average of 11.6 percent. Species listed as “least concern” on the Red List were declining at a slightly slower-than-average rate of just 2.7 percent.
The researchers did not look at specific causes of death—although past experience tells us amphibians suffer from habitat loss, climate change, pollution, invasive species and the deadly chytrid fungus. But they did discover that populations dwindled throughout the country, even in national parks and wildlife refuges that are supposedly protected for conservation purposes. “The declines of amphibians in these protected areas are particularly worrisome because they suggest that some stressors—such as diseases, contaminants and drought—transcend landscapes,” Adams said. “The fact that amphibian declines are occurring in our most protected areas adds weight to the hypothesis that this is a global phenomenon with implications for managers of all kinds of landscapes, even protected ones.”
A FAQ published in conjunction with the study explains why the drop in amphibian species matters: “[Amphibians] control pests, inspire new medicines, feed other animals and help make ecosystems work. They are inherently valued by people of all ages—watching tadpoles and listening to frog calls are some of the most accessible interactions we have with the natural world.” …
Father: “Kermit the Frog.”
Son: “What’s a frog?”
Father: “Oh, right, well … we used to have those before the pesticide use skyrocketed when GMO crop started to fail.”
Son: “Monsanto killed Kermit?”
Father: “Yes, son, sorry, but you’re 5 now and you should know the truth.”
Don’t scratch the itch: Scientists find neuro-transmitter that could be key to stopping the sensation
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
Scientists have discovered a key substance in the central nervous system responsible for transmitting the sensation of an itch from the skin to the brain – a finding that raises the prospect of new treatments for serious itching conditions.
Medical researchers have found that the neuro-transmitter, a small molecule that transmits signals between nerve cells, plays a crucial role in the perception of an itch, which in some people can lead to chronic, long-term scratching.
Removing the neurotransmitter – called natriuretic polypeptide b (Nppb) – causes an itch to disappear while replacing it within the spinal cord results in the re-appearance of the itch, said Mark Hoon, a lead investigator at the US National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in Washington DC.
“Our work shows that itch, once thought to be a low-level form of pain, is a distinct sensation that is uniquely hardwired into the nervous system with the biochemical equivalent of its own dedicated land line to the brain,” Dr Hoon said.
“Overall, a better understanding of the biology of itch and the molecules involved can only mean we are closer to finding a treatment for chronic itching. Most people think of an itch as an inconvenience, but there are patients who have a poor quality of life because of chronic scratching,” he said.
Patients suffering from chronic skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema often experience long-term itching, but it can also be brought about by a variety of temporary conditions such as fungal infections, scabies, sun burn or just dry skin.
There are a number of reports in the medical literature of very severe itching over long periods of time causing serious harm. Some patients have scratched their skin until it bleeds while others have scratched through to the bone, and even through the scalp to the brain.
The study, published in the journal Science, involved testing various neurotransmitters of the central nervous system to study their roles in the perception of temperature, pain and itching. They found that one, Nppb, appeared to be involved only in itch, said Santosh Mishra, a researcher in Dr Hoon’s laboratory.
Laboratory mice that had been genetically modified so that they did not have the gene for making the Nppb protein were incapable of responding to itchy sensations, although they were still capable of feeling other sensations such as pain and heat.
“We tested Nppb for its possible role in various sensations without success. When we exposed the Nppb-deficient mice to several itch-inducing substances, it was amazing to watch. Nothing happened. The mice wouldn’t scratch” Dr Mishra said.
The scientists also found that there were dedicated nerve fibres in the spinal cord that responded to the Nppb neurotransmitter. When their nerve fibres were removed, their ability to feel an itch was also eliminated, Dr Hoon said.
These findings are strong evidence to support the widely-held view that itch is not a special type of pain, but a unique sensation in itself that has its own neurotransmitter and dedicated “landline” to the brain, he said.
An itch pathway makes sense to keep us from being bitten by bugs.
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
The first manned aircraft that can fly day and night powered only by solar energy set a new distance record Thursday when it landed after the second leg of a cross-country US tour.
The Solar Impulse project, founded and led by two Swiss pilots, aims to showcase what can be accomplished without fossil fuels, and has set its “ultimate goal” as an around-the-world flight in 2015.
Solar Impulse landed in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas at 1:08 am (0608 GMT) after an 18 hour and 21 minute flight from Phoenix, Arizona, a distance of 1,541 kilometers (950 miles), organizers said in a statement.
“This leg was particularly challenging because of fairly strong winds at the landing. It also was the longest flight — in terms of distance — ever flown by a solar airplane,” the plane’s pilot Andre Borschberg said.
“You have to understand that the pilot needs to stay awake for more than 20 hours without any autopilot,” added Borschberg, who holds the record for the longest solar-powered flight, at 26 hours.
The previous distance record was attained by Solar Impulse one year ago on a 1,116 kilometer (693 mile) flight from Switzerland to Spain.
The first leg of Solar Impulse’s US tour took place on May 3, when Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard flew the aircraft from the San Francisco, California area to Phoenix.
On the first leg the plane — which has a slim body and four electric engines attached to enormous wings — flew quietly at an average speed of about 30 miles (49 kilometers) per hour.
Energy provided by 12,000 solar cells powered the plane’s propellers.
The plane can fly at night by reaching a high elevation of 27,000 feet (8,230 meters) and then gently gliding downward, using almost no power until the sun comes up to begin recharging the solar cells.
The US itinerary allows for up to 10 days at each stop in order to showcase the plane’s technology to the public. Another stop is planned in the US capital Washington before the trip concludes in New York in early July.
The stopovers will allow Piccard and Borschberg to share duties and rest between flights.
A dashboard showing the live speed, direction, battery status, solar generator and engine power, along with cockpit cameras of both Piccard and his view from the plane, are online at live.solarimpulse.com.
Congratulations to Captain’s Piccard and Borschberg!
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
… Pope Francis lays his hands on the head of a young man on Sunday, May 19, 2013, after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square. The young man heaved deeply a half-dozen times, convulsed and shook, and then slumped in his wheelchair as Francis prayed over him. Photo: AP
The Vatican was more cautious. In a statement on Tuesday, it said Francis “didn’t intend to perform any exorcism. But as he often does for the sick or suffering, he simply intended to pray for someone who was suffering who was presented to him.”
Fuelling the speculation is Francis’ obsession with Satan, a frequent subject of his homilies, and an apparent surge in demand for exorcisms among the faithful despite the irreverent treatment the rite often receives from Hollywood.
Who can forget the green vomit and the spinning head of the possessed girl in the 1973 cult classic The Exorcist?
In his very first homily as pope on March 14, Francis warned cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel the day after he was elected that “he who doesn’t pray to the Lord prays to the devil.”
He has since mentioned the devil on a handful of occasions, most recently in a May 4 homily when in his morning Mass in the Vatican hotel chapel he spoke of the need for dialogue – except with Satan.
“With the prince of this world you can’t have dialogue: Let this be clear!” he warned.
Experts said Francis’ frequent invocation of the devil is a reflection both of his Jesuit spirituality and his Latin American roots, as well as a reflection of a Catholic Church weakened by secularisation. …
Sure, wouldn’t the highest ranking member of the church be the best exorcist? I have no doubt that this man was not possessed by Satan after the Pope did his thing. Good job. In fact, anyone who looks at this photo will be similarly not possessed by any demons, Satans, devils, evil spirits or ubermenschers. He’s that good.
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
An 80-year-old Japanese man on Thursday became the oldest person to reach the top of Mt. Everest, officials said.
Yuichiro Miura reached the top of Everest Thursday morning with his physician son Gota, mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha said from the base of Everest.
Miura’s achievement eclipses that of a Nepali man who climbed Everest at age 76 in 2008.
The oldest woman to climb Everest is also a Japanese. She was 73 when she reached the top last year.
Miura broke his hip in an accident two years ago, and he underwent heart surgery in January.
“I am still healthy and strong. I think I have a good chance to reach the summit of Everest,” he said via phone earlier this month.
To prepare, Miura walked three times a week with loads of 25 to 30 kilograms (55 to 66 lbs) on his back.
He reached the top of the 8,848-meter (29,035-foot) peak twice before: in 2003 at age 70, and in 2008 at age 75.
“I have a dream to climb Everest at this age,” he said. “If you have a dream, never give up. Dreams come true.”
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first expedition to reach the summit of Everest: Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay made it to the top of the mountain on May 29, 1953.
Congratulations Mr. Miura for this inspiring achievement! Over 200 much younger people have died trying to climb Everest.
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
The world’s most popular grain is also the deadliest for the human metabolism. Modern wheat isn’t really wheat at all and is a “perfect, chronic poison,” according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, author and leading expert on wheat. … Approximately 700 million tons of wheat are now cultivated worldwide making it the second most-produced grain after maize. It is grown on more land area than any other commerical crop and is considered a staple food for humans.
At some point in our history, this ancient grain was nutritious in some respects, however modern wheat really isn’t wheat at all. Once agribusiness took over to develop a higher-yielding crop, wheat became hybridized to such an extent that it has been completely transformed from it’s prehistorical genetic configuration. All nutrient content of modern wheat depreciated more than 30% in its natural unrefined state compared to its ancestral genetic line. The balance and ratio that mother nature created for wheat was also modified and human digestion and physiology could simply could not adapt quick enough to the changes.
Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn’t the wheat your grandma had: “It’s an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said on “CBS This Morning.” “This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there’s a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It’s not gluten. I’m not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I’m talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.”
Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat – and dropping substantial weight.
“If three people lost eight pounds, big deal,” he said. “But we’re seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day.”
To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating “real food,” such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables. “(It’s) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness,” he said. “Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it’s not barley… or flax. It’s going to be wheat.
So-called health experts in nutrition who continue to promote the health benefits of wheat are extremely uninformed about the nature of modern wheat and its evolution from growth to consumption. It is shocking how many professionals in public health still recommend wheat products without an assessment of their individual requirements, especially considering the amount of evidence regarding its lack of nutrition and health risks for proportionally large segments of the population. …
I’ve got the wheat belly and I’m trying to quit. Like the GMO soy, it’s everywhere these days.
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
An eyewitness has spoken of the horrific scenes in Penryn on Friday when a man chopped his penis off with a kitchen knife in front of horrified onlookers.
The 43-year-old man, who lives in the town, could be seen running along Mutton Row at around 8.45pm, allegedly naked.
He then brandished the knife and cut off his penis, before collapsing to the ground.
An eyewitness said he found the severed penis in a neighbouring garden.
It is reported that the witness, a student in the town, said that the man looked him in the eye, “started screaming and then cut”, adding he did not stay to watch.
Three police officers called to the scene, PC Kim James, PC Jules Evans,and PC James Tompson gave first aid at the scene after finding the man in his house. With their swift actions credited as avoiding what would most likely have been a “fatal incident”.
A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service said paramedics arrived just before 9pm the man was “bleeding heavily” and had fallen unconscious when they found him.
The police received the initial call from a member of the public, to say there was concern for a man.
A spokesperson confirmed that there was no one else involved in the incident.
The man was taken by land ambulance to the emergency department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, where he was later described as being in a “stable” condition. His injuries are not thought to the life threatening.
It is thought the man may suffer from a mental health issue.
It is understood that two women saw the incident unfold and ran terrified to a nearby house, where a man took them in and called the police.
Jesus Christ, stop the Chopocalypse!
Posted by Xeno on May 24, 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.
The disclosure of the attorney general’s role came as President Barack Obama, in a major speech on his counterterrorism policy, said Holder had agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve journalists.
“I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable,” Obama said. “Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.”
Rosen, who has not been charged in the case, was nonetheless the target of a search warrant that enabled Justice Department investigators to secretly seize his private emails after an FBI agent said he had “asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information.”
Obama’s comments follow a firestorm of criticism that has erupted over disclosures that in separate investigations of leaks of classified information, the Justice Department had obtained private emails that Rosen exchanged with a source and the phone records of Associated Press reporters.
Holder previously said he recused himself from the AP subpoena because he had been questioned as a witness in the underlying investigation into a leak about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen. His role in personally approving the Rosen search warrant had not been previously reported.
A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Department of Justice later issued a statement about the review of media guidelines: “This review is consistent with Attorney General Holder’s long-standing belief that freedom of the press is essential to our democracy,” it said. “At the same time, the attorney general believes that leaks of classified information damage our national security and must be investigated using appropriate law enforcement tools. We remain steadfast in our commitment to following all laws and regulations intended to safeguard national security as well as the First Amendment interests of the press in reporting the news and the public in receiving it.” …
The law enforcement official said Holder’s approval of the Rosen search, in the spring of 2010, came after senior Justice officials concluded there was “probable cause” that Rosen’s communications with his source, identified as intelligence analyst Stephen Kim, met the legal burden for such searches. “It was approved at the highest levels– and I mean the highest,” said the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said that explicitly included Holder.
Kim has since been indicted on charges that he leaked classified information to Rosen about how North Korea would respond to a United Nations resolution condemning the country’s nuclear program. He has denied the charges.
In an affidavit in support of a search warrant to Google for Rosen’s emails, an FBI agent wrote that the Fox News journalist — identified only as “the Reporter” — had “asked, solicited and encouraged Mr. Kim to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information.”
“The Reporter did so by employing flattery and playing to Mr. Kim’s vanity and ego,” it continued. “Much like an intelligence officer would run a clandestine intelligence source, the Reporter instructed Mr. Kim on a covert communications plan that involved” emails from his gmail account.
The affidavit states that FBI agents had tracked Rosen’s entrances and exits of the State Department in order to show that they had coincided with Kim’s movements. Based on that and other findings, the affidavit by FBI Agent Reginald B. Reyes, stated, “There is probable cause to believe that the Reporter has committed a violation” of the Espionage Act “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator of Mr. Kim.”
It also said that Google was specifically instructed not to notify “the subscriber” — Rosen — that his emails were being seized.
In new documents disclosed Thursday, the Justice Department sought and obtained approval to keep the search warrant, which was approved by a federal magistrate, under seal. It was unsealed in November 2011, but never made a part of the docket of Kim’s case and went unnoticed until this week.
Justice officials have since said they do not intend to criminally charge Rosen, but media groups have condemned the issuance of the search warrant itself.”The Justice Department’s decision to treat routine newsgathering efforts as evidence of criminality is extremely troubling and corrodes time-honored understandings between the public and the government about the role of the free press,” said Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. …
Who oversees the Justice Department, you know, to make sure they are following the Constitution? I mean I know no one does this right now, but who is supposed to do it?
Posted by Xeno on May 23, 2013
Sprouts are an authentic “super” food that many overlook or have long stopped using. In addition to their superior nutritional profile, sprouts are really easy to grow if you’re an apartment dweller, as they don’t require an outdoor garden.
A powerhouse of nutrition, sprouts can contain up to 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables grown in your own garden, and allow your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats from the foods you eat. During sprouting, minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, bind to protein, making them more bioavailable. Furthermore, both the quality of the protein and the fiber content of beans, nuts, seeds and grains improves when sprouted. The content of vitamins and essential fatty acids also increase dramatically during the sprouting process.
Sunflower seed and pea sprouts tend to top the list of all the seeds that you can sprout and are typically each about 30 times more nutritious than organic vegetables. While you can sprout a variety of different beans, nuts, seeds and grains, sprouts in general have the following beneficial attributes:
- Support for cell regeneration
- Powerful sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and enzymes that protect against free radical damage
- Alkalinizing effect on your body, which is thought to protect against disease, including cancer (as many tumors are acidic)
- Abundantly rich in oxygen, which can also help protect against abnormal cell growth, viruses and bacteria that cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment
Planting and Harvesting Sprouts at Home
I used to grow sprouts in Ball jars over 10 years ago but stopped doing that. I am strongly convinced that actually growing them in soil is far easier and produces far more nutritious and abundant food. It is also less time consuming. With Ball jars you need to rinse them several times a day to prevent mold growth. Trays also take up less space. I am now consuming one whole tray you see below every 2-3 days and to produce that much food with Ball jars I would need dozens of jars. I simply don’t have the time or patience for that.
I am in the process of compiling more specific detailed videos for future articles but I thought I would whet your appetite and give you a preview with the photos below. For now you can get instructions on how to grow them by viewing a step-by-step guide at rawfoods-livingfoods.com.11
About to plant wheat grass and sunflower seeds – 2 days after soaking
Wheat grass and sunflower seeds – 3 ½ days post germination
Sunflower seeds and pea sprouts – 3 days until ready for harvest
Sunflower seed sprouts and wheat grass – ready to harvest
My two favorites are sunflower sprouts and pea. They provide some of the highest quality protein you can eat. Sprouted sunflower seeds also contain plenty of iron and chlorophyll, the latter of which will help detoxify your blood and liver. Of the seeds, sunflower seeds are among the best in terms of overall nutritional value, and sprouting them will augment their nutrient content by as much as 300 to 1,200 percent! Similarly, sprouting peas will improve the bioavailability of zinc and magnesium.
I have been sprouting them now for a few months and they have radically improved the nutrition of my primary meal, which is a comprehensive salad at lunch. They are a perfect complement to the fermented vegetables. My current salad consists of about half a pound of sunflower sprouts, four ounces of fermented vegetables, half a large red pepper, several tablespoon of raw organic butter, some red onion, a whole avocado and about three ounces of salmon or chicken. It is my primary meal. In the late afternoon, I typically only have macadamia nuts and coconut candy in addition to drinking 16-32 ounces of green vegetable juice. I break it up occasionally by going to a restaurant with friends.
If the food situation become super bad, remember spouts. They can save your life.