science + technology news

Cost of gene sequencing falls, raising hopes for medical advances

March 8, 2012

Human genome sequence

In Silicon Valley, the line between computing and biology has begun to blur in a way that could have enormous consequences for human longevity.

Bill Banyai, an optical physicist at Complete Genomics, has helped make that happen. His digital expertise was essential in designing a factory that automated and greatly lowered the cost of mapping the three billion base pairs that form the human genome.

The… read more

Cost of evolution runs into billions

September 14, 2001

Humans are causing evolution on a grand scale – and it is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars each year, says a Harvard biologist.Every time a strain of bacteria becomes resistant to an antibiotic, or a weed mutates so it can thrive after being sprayed with a herbicide, there is a financial cost to humankind, Stephen Palumbi points out. He estimates that cost to be at least $100 billion… read more

Cost of Decoding a Genome Is Lowered

August 11, 2009

Stanford engineer Stephen R. Quake has invented a new technology for decoding DNA and used it to decode his own genome for less than $50,000.

Cosmos At Least 250x Bigger Than Visible Universe, Say Cosmologists

February 1, 2011

Applying Bayesian model averaging to various cosmological models of the universe, astrophysicists at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London have found that the most likely model is that the Universe is flat.

A flat Universe would also be infinite and their calculations are consistent with this too. These show that the Universe is at least 250 times bigger than the Hubble volume (similar to the size of… read more

Cosmologists ‘see’ the cosmic dawn

February 11, 2009

Images that show the “Cosmic Dawn” — the formation of the first big galaxies in the Universe 590 million years after the Big Bang — have been produced by scientists at Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology.

The work combined a massive simulation showing how structures grow in dark matter with a model showing how normal matter, such as gas, behaves to predict how galaxies grow.

Cosmologists Predict A Static Universe In 3 Trillion Years

May 24, 2007

Case Western Reserve University and Vanderbilt University physicists predict that trillions of years into the future, the information that currently allows us to understand how the universe expands will have disappeared over the visible horizon.

What remains will be “an island universe” made from the Milky Way and its nearby galactic Local Group neighbors in an overwhelmingly dark void.

Cosmologists ponder the puzzle of black rings

May 6, 2009

Masashi Kimura at Osaka City University in Japan has looked at the possibility of black rings — a variant of black holes — or other shapes forming in higher dimensional space.

Cosmologists aim to observe first moments of universe

February 17, 2009

During the next decade, the South Pole Telescope will study the cosmic background radiation to test the validity of inflation theory, which proposes that a random, microscopic density fluctuation in the fabric of space and time gave birth to the universe in a big bang.

Cosmo Wenman’s mind-blowing 3D-printed sculptures

October 22, 2012

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Cosmo Wenman is a California artist who has just reminded us not to limit our imaginations when it comes to what can be made, MakerBot Blog reports.

The horse head and human bust you see here were made entirely of MakerBot PLA Filament (White) on the original MakerBot Replicator.

“We believe so strongly in the potential of the… read more

Cosmic web imaged for the first time

January 20, 2014

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Astronomers have discovered a distant quasar illuminating a vast nebula of diffuse gas, revealing, for the first time, part of the network of filaments thought to connect galaxies in a cosmic web.

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz led the study, published January 19 in Nature.

Using the 10-meter Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the researchers detected a… read more

Cosmic ‘train wreck’ defies dark matter theories

August 20, 2007

Disturbing evidence has emerged from the wreckage of an intergalactic pile-up suggesting that the already mysterious substance known as dark matter may be even less well understood than astronomers thought.

The observations come from a massive galaxy cluster called Abell 520 that lies 3 billion light years away. Abell 520 turns out to hold a massive dark core, empty of bright galaxies.

The observation may rule out the… read more

Cosmic strings observed in background radiation

January 22, 2008

A controversial new study from Imperial College London scientists says traces of vast cosmic strings have been found in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

If confirmed to exist, cosmic strings could offer an unprecedented window into the extreme physics of the infant universe.

Cosmic Soccer Ball? Theory Already Takes Sharp Kicks

October 10, 2003

The just-announced model of the universe as a kind of 12-sided hall of mirrors, in which the illusion of infinity is created by looking out and seeing multiple copies of the same stars, has already been disproven, say some scientists.

Cosmic radiation found harmful to astronauts during space travel

NASA-funded study shows exposed mice develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
January 2, 2013

This NASA shapeship design may no longer be able to protect astronauts during a trip to and from Mars (credit: NASA)

Cosmic radiation — which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars — could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE shows.

“Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts,” said M. Kerry O’Banion, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurobiology and… read more

Cosmic Laws Like Speed of Light Might Be Changing

August 20, 2001

The basic laws of nature may be changing slightly as the universe ages, an international team of astrophysicists has discovered.Observations of the behavior of metallic atoms in gas clouds 12 billion light years away revealed patterns of light absorption that the team could not explain without assuming a change in a basic constant of nature involving the strength of the attraction between electrically charged particles.

If confirmed, the finding… read more

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