Science
Wednesday, August 4, 2021

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

How can we save our dying coral reefs?   On a global scale, though, the prognosis for reefs and those that depend on these vital, protective fish nurseries, is grim. Rising sea temperatures and increased acidification mean that vivid coral reefs as we know them could be entirely wiped out within decades.

oceans2

The only serious way to protect this hugely productive marine ecosystem is to slash our carbon dioxide emissions – and many believe we won't achieve this in time.  "By 2050, we may still have corals, and things we'll call 'reefs', but they will be massive limestone structures that were built in the past, with tiny patches of living coral struggling to survive on them," says coral ecologist Peter Sale. By 2100, he thinks there will be no calcium carbonate reefs visible. "We're talking here about killing off a whole integrated community of organisms that as been with us throughout our existence and long before there were people of any type on Earth," says Sale.  The world will go on without reefs, he adds, but it is going to be very much inferior to the planet we have now.

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Scientists at CERN now believe that they've seen the Higgs. Not with their own eyes, but with massive computer systems hitched up to the Large Hadron Collider, a circular tube 16.8 miles (27 kilometers) in circumference that accelerates raw protons and other particles in opposite directions around the ring 11,000 times per second. At the perfect moment, they slam into each other, producing a massive explosion thought to rival the Big Bang, except on a much smaller scale. Only a particle collider can produce that much energy—the amount needed to produce a viewable Higgs.

Higgs_Particle_God

British scientist Peter Higgs, and Francois Englert of Belgium have won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on the theory of the Higgs boson. In the 1960s they were among several physicists who proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass.

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Researchers at the University of Washington report they have decoded the entire genome of a fetus using only a blood sample from the mother and a saliva sample from the father.  The scientists said prenatal genome sequencing using the noninvasive method could one day be used to determine if a fetus has any of the thousands of genetic disorders that are caused by a single, often devastating, mutation on one gene.

fetal_genome

The researchers checked the accuracy of their genetic predictions using umbilical cord blood collected at birth.  The findings are quite revealing bringing to the forefront many ethical issues including the possibility of "selecting" the make-up of future generations. 

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia for which there is no cure and it worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.

Alzheimer-la-crisis-cabeza-e1326677275267    

In a clinical trial that could lead to treatments that prevent Alzheimer's disease, people who are genetically guaranteed to suffer from the disease years from now — but who do not yet have any symptoms — will for the first time be given a drug intended to stop them from developing it.  

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Leonardo Fibonacci was the greatest European mathematician of the Middle ages. He was born in Pisa in Italy circa 1170 and died some time after 1240. In addition to being famous for the Fibonacci sequence, he also published a book called Liber Abaci, or Book of Calculation in 1202 AD, where he describes the rules we all now learn in elementary school for adding numbers, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. He was one of the first people to introduce the Hindu-Arabic number system into Europe. This is based on ten digits with its decimal point and a symbol for zero.

fibonacci_in_shels

The Shell of the Chambered Nautilus is a Logarithmic Spiral

  While the aesthetics and symmetry of Fibonacci spiral patterns has often attracted scientists, a mathematical or physical explanation for their common occurrence in nature is yet to be discovered. Recently, scientists have successfully produced Fibonacci spiral patterns in the lab, and found that an elastically mismatched bi-layer structure may cause stress patterns that give rise to Fibonacci spirals. The discovery may explain the widespread existence of the pattern in plants.