The Daily Flash -Sci, Space, Tech

Theory of Everything - String Theory 1 Fahrenheit -459: Neutron stars and string theory in a lab

Using lasers to contain some ultra-chilled atoms, a team of scientists has measured the viscosity or stickiness of a gas often considered to be the sixth state of matter. The measurements verify that this gas can be used as a "scale model" of exotic matter, such as super-high temperature superconductors, the nuclear matter of neutron stars, and even the state of matter created microseconds after the Big Bang.The results may also allow experimental tests of string theory in the future. Duke physicist John Thomas made the viscosity measurements using an ultra-cold Fermi gas of lithium-6 atoms trapped in a millimeter-sized bowl made of laser light. When cooled and placed inside a magnetic field of the correct size, the atoms interact as strongly as the laws of quantum mechanics allow. This strongly interacting gas exhibits "remarkable properties," such as nearly frictionless fluid flow, Thomas said.

20070828BizReligion_dm_500 'Secret Ingredient' in religion that makes people happier

While the positive correlation between religiosity and life satisfaction has long been known, a new study in the December issue of the American Sociological Review reveals religion's "secret ingredient" that makes people happier. "Our study offers compelling evidence that it is the social aspects of religion rather than theology or spirituality that leads to life satisfaction," said Chaeyoon Lim, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who led the study. "In particular, we find that friendships built in religious congregations are the secret ingredient in religion that makes people happier." In their study, "Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction," Lim and co-author Robert D. Putnam, the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, use data from the Faith Matters Study, a panel survey of a representative sample of U.S. adults in 2006 and 2007. The panel survey was discussed in detail in the recently published book American Grace by Putnam and David E. Campbell.

Pomegranates Scientists identify pomegranate juice components that could stop cancer from spreading

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified components in pomegranate juice that both inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone. The research could lead to new therapies for preventing cancer metastasis. Performed in the lab of Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology, the research was presented today (Dec. 12, 2010) at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology taking place in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

Apple-ipad-5 iPad Ushers in Tablet Era!

Yearning for an Internet-linked gadget bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop merged with always-connected lifestyles to make tablet computing a defining trend for 2010. The iPad launched in April by Apple became the must-have device of the year and has rivals intent on dethroning the culture-shifting California company before it can lock in the market the way iPods became the ruling MP3 players. "Apple nailed it and made tablet computers a success," said Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. "There are going to be a lot of people trying to beat them but it will turn out like iPods; everybody wants one."

240px_PersianGulf_vue_satellit Lost civilization under Persian Gulf?

A once fertile landmass now submerged beneath the Persian Gulf may have been home to some of the earliest human populations outside Africa, according to an article published today in Current Anthropology. Jeffrey Rose, an archaeologist and researcher with the University of Birmingham in the U.K., says that the area in and around this "Persian Gulf Oasis" may have been host to humans for over 100,000 years before it was swallowed up by the Indian Ocean around 8,000 years ago. Rose's hypothesis introduces a "new and substantial cast of characters" to the human history of the Near East, and suggests that humans may have established permanent settlements in the region thousands of years before current migration models suppose.

Mg20827903.700-1_300 Scorpions glow in the dark to detect moonlight

Scorpions may use the mysterious green glow they emit in ultraviolet light as a crude tool for deciding when the night is too bright for them to go out safely. As scorpions are nocturnal hunters, it seems odd that they fluoresce instead of camouflaging themselves. Carl Kloock of California State University in Bakersfield now thinks he has the explanation. The animals produce a limited amount of fluorescing pigment, which degrades as it fluoresces. So Kloock overexposed 15 scorpions to UV light until their pigment was used up, and then compared their night-time behaviour with that of 15 untreated scorpions when exposed to a level of UV that mimicked the moon and stars. The fluorescent ones stuck to one small area, while the others wandered around at random (Journal of Arachnology, vol 38, p 441).

CheeseA Monty Python inspires the first space-matured cheese

If you were launching a spacecraft on a historic voyage, what would you choose as your secret payload? For SpaceX of Hawthorne California, it was this wheel of Le Brouere cheese. The firm launched its Dragon Capsule into low earth orbit on Wednesday and landed it safely – a first for a commercial company – bringing the cheese back to Earth in one piece. The cheese was stashed in a payload secretly bolted to the spacecraft's floor. You may well ask why, and it turns out to be a tribute to a Monty Python sketch – presumably the one in which John Cleese attempts to buy cheese from a cheese shop that, it transpires, has no cheese.

"The Galaxy" in Your Inbox, Free, Daily