Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for November 9th, 2011

Chemists reveal the force within you

Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2011

A new method for visualizing mechanical forces on the surface of a cell, reported in Nature Methods, provides the first detailed view of those forces, as they occur in real-time.

“Now we’re able to measure something that’s never been measured before: The force that one molecule applies to another molecule across the entire surface of a living cell, and as this cell moves and goes about its normal processes,” says Khalid Salaita, assistant professor of biomolecular chemistry at Emory University. “And we can visualize these forces in a time-lapsed movie.”

Salaita developed the florescent-sensor technique with chemistry graduate students Daniel Stabley and Carol Jurchenko, and undergraduate senior Stephen Marshall.

“Cells are constantly tugging and pushing on their surroundings, and they can even communicate with one another using mechanics,” Salaita says. “One way that cells use forces is evident from the characteristic architecture of tissue, like a lung or a heart. If we want to really understand cells and how they work, we have to understand cell mechanics at a molecular level. The first step is to measure the tension applied to specific receptors on the cell surface.”

The researchers demonstrated their technique on the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), one of the most studied cellular signaling pathways. They mapped the mechanical strain exerted by EGFR during the early stages of endocytosis, when the protein receptor of a cell takes in a ligand, or binding molecule. The results showed that the cell does not passively absorb the ligand, but physically pulls it inside during the process. Their experiments provide the first direct evidence that force is exerted during endocytosis.

via eScienceCommons: Chemists reveal the force within you.

Posted in Biology | Leave a Comment »

White House: No Evidence That ETs Have Reached Out To Touch Us — Or Even Exist

Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2011

There’s no evidence of any extraterrestrial life and “no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.”

And there you have it, straight from the White House’s mouth, so to speak. UFO aficionados, skeptics and believers alike have waited patiently since September to see how the Obama administration would respond to two petitions under the new “We the People” program.

According to the official response written and released Friday evening by Phil Larson at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, while the government is saying it has “no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race,” the door is still open to the possibility and search efforts “of life outside our planet.”

And those efforts include the ongoing Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — or SETI — which uses ground-based telescopes to try and tune in to signals from another world.

Larson’s response also mentions the Kepler spacecraft in Earth’s orbit, searching for Earth-like planets, and the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory, a car-size vehicle that will explore the geology of the red planet to look for any of the building blocks of life.

Undoubtedly, the minions who believe that Earth has already been visited by at least one race of extraterrestrials — citing photographic, film, video tape, radar returns and landing traces as evidence — will surely be disappointed with the White House’s “no evidence” stance.

Steven Bassett, who penned the first alien disclosure petition in September, isn’t satisfied with the White House response and has announced on his Paradigm Research Group site his intention of filing another petition.

“The [White House] response was unacceptable. Much feedback is likely. PRG will begin to pre-promote a new petition relevant to the Disclosure process … and will continue to keep the Disclosure issue front and center within this attempt at participatory democracy by the Obama administration,” Bassett wrote.

If someone, like Bassett, isn’t happy with the response given by the Obama administration, he or she can turn right around and file a new petition with no restrictions.

“There’s no reason someone couldn’t submit a second petition,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told The Huffington Post in an e-mail Monday. “If it crosses the threshold [of 25,000 signatures], it will get a response. Obviously, if the petition is very similar, it may garner a similar response.” …

via White House: No Evidence That ETs Have Reached Out To Touch Us — Or Even Exist.

Posted in Aliens, Politics | Leave a Comment »

German TV boldly shows ‘Nazi’ Star Trek episode

Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2011

Photo: A screenshot of the episode.An episode of the original Star Trek series in which Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock dress up as Nazis to infiltrate a far-right alien regime is to be aired on public television in Germany for the first time ever Friday night.State broadcaster ZDFneo has evidently decided that German viewers are now ready for the episode “Patterns of Force,” 43 years after it was first broadcast in the United States in 1968.

The episode, part of the second season of the immensely popular science fiction franchise, sees the Starship Enterprise visit the planet Ekos in the M34 Alpha System to investigate the disappearance of John Gill, Federation historian and one of Kirk’s erstwhile professors at Starfleet Academy.

The Ekosians, at war with the nearby planet Zeon, are intent on wiping out all the Zeons living on their planet – and destroying Zeon itself – in what they call a “Final Solution.” The Ekosians refer to the Zeons as “Zeonist pigs.”

Kirk and Spock (played by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, both Jewish) discover that the Ekosians have adopted all the features and institutions of Nazi Germany – including the salute, brown-shirted Stormtroopers, the SS, and the Gestapo, from their “Führer” – none other than John Gill.

Both Kirk and Spock then steal Nazi uniforms to infiltrate the regime and call Gill to account. At one point Spock comments that Kirk “should make a very convincing Nazi.”

The episode was originally considered unfit for German audiences because it referred to Nazi Germany as “the most efficient society” ever created.

As a result, “Patterns of Force” was excised from the series when ZDF first broadcast the original Star Trek in the mid-1970s, and was also removed when private channel Sat 1 aired the show in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The episode was only dubbed into German in 1995 and was first shown on German pay TV in 1996. …

via German TV boldly shows ‘Nazi’ Star Trek episode – The Local.

Posted in Politics, Science Fiction | Leave a Comment »

Albuquerque residents claim giant owls are eating their pets

Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2011

Large owl, Albuquerque's foothills.Residents in the foothills of the US city of Albuquerque have claimed that giant owls have moved into the area and are snacking on their small cats and dogs.

It is unknown whether there are more than one of the large owls, which are said to roam the area looking for small animals to feast on.

Pet owners living in the foothills are now concerned and are keeping a close eye on their beloved pooches and cats. ‘We’ve seen him 3 or 4 times. He’s huge. One day when we were walking, he swooped down over my husband’s head. He’s a huge owl,’ said local resident, Cindy Hummel.

One dog owner said she found claw marks on the back of her pet and another said that an owl that lives next to her home killed her puppy.

Marie Iverson described how she heard her dog yelping and when she went out to see what had happened, the puppy had disappeared.

The head zookeeper at Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque spoke to local station News 13 and told them that because owls were night hunters, it would be a good idea for owners to keep their pets in after dark.

via Albuquerque residents claim giant owls are eating their pets | Metro.co.uk.

Posted in Strange | Leave a Comment »


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