Washington (AFP) – A “strong signal” detected by a radio telescope in Russia that is scanning the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial life has stirred interest among the scientific community.
“No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study,” said Paul Gilster, author of the Centauri Dreams website which covers peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration.
The signal is from the direction of a HD164595, a star about 95 light-years from Earth.
The star is known to have at least one planet, and may have more.
The observation is being made public now, but was actually detected last year by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, he said.
Experts say it is far too early to know what the signal means or where, precisely,it came from.
“But the signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target,” wrote Gilster.
The discovery is expected to feature in discussions at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 27.
“Working out the strength of the signal, the researchers say that if it came from an isotropic beacon, it would be of a power possible only for a Kardashev Type II civilization,” Gilster wrote, referring to a scale-system that indicates a civilization far more advanced than our own.
“If it were a narrow beam signal focused on our Solar System, it would be of a power available to a Kardashev Type I civilization,” indicating one closer to Earth’s capabilities.
Gilster, who broke the story on August 27, said he had seen a presentation on the matter from Italian astronomer Claudio Maccone.
“Permanent monitoring of this target is needed,” said the presentation.
Nick Suntzeff, a Texas A&M University astronomer told the online magazine Ars Technica that the 11 gigahertz signal was observed in part of the radio spectrum used by the military.
“If this were a real astronomical source, it would be rather strange,” Suntzeff was quoted as saying.
“God knows who or what broadcasts at 11Ghz, and it would not be out of the question that some sort of bursting communication is done between ground stations and satellites,” Suntzeff said.
“I would follow it if I were the astronomers, but I would also not hype the fact that it may be at SETI signal given the significant chance it could be something military.”
“God knows who or what broadcasts at 11Ghz.
The historic race that reawakened the promise of manned spaceflight
Alone in a Spartan black cockpit, test pilot Mike Melvill rocketed toward space. He had eighty seconds to exceed the speed of sound and begin the climb to a target no civilian pilot had ever reached. He might not make it back alive. If he did, he would make history as the world’s first commercial astronaut.
The spectacle defied reason, the result of a competition dreamed up by entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, whose vision for a new race to space required small teams to do what only the world’s largest governments had done before.
Peter Diamandis was the son of hardworking immigrants who wanted their science prodigy to make the family proud and become a doctor. But from the age of eight, when he watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon, his singular goal was to get to space. When he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, Diamandis set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn’t send him to space, he would create a private space flight industry himself.
In the 1990s, this idea was the stuff of science fiction. Undaunted, Diamandis found inspiration in an unlikely place: the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn’t the same be done for space flight?
The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt, is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. It is driven by outsized characters—Burt Rutan, Richard Branson, John Carmack, Paul Allen—and obsessive pursuits. In the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn’t just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry and a new age.
Business and Vacation Property Rentals
Not great, guys. By Andrew Moseman
America has no shortage of idiots who pass the time by shining lasers at planes and helicopters. Thankfully, today’s awesome camera technology means that our nation’s worst and dimmest are caught pretty easily.
Take this recent clip at LiveLeak. As it opens you can see a blue light at the bottom, clearly people shining a laser at the news chopper. The thing about shining a bright laser at somebody, though, is that it gives away your position. The news chopper guys call it in, and pretty soon the cops come for these geniuses.
Don’t be these guys. If you’re not swayed by the very real danger of blinding pilots, then take a moment to consider the people who decided to point a laser at a police helicopter. Yeah. They didn’t get away.
One small step for man, one giant leap for mousekind.
Scientists have painstakingly mapped the connections in a tiny segment of the mouse’s brain. The stunningly intricate picture provides an unprecedented level of detail of an organ smaller than a pebble and lighter than the average cotton ball.
“At the end of the day, we want to understand the human brain. Understanding the mouse brain is an important step toward that goal,” Lydia Ng, senior director of technology at the nonprofit Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, told Live Science in an email.
The resulting 3D structure, called the Mouse Common Coordinate Framework, is the equivalent of leveling up from simple paper maps to a Google Maps or GPS for the mouse brain, Ng said.
“Maps of the brain have always been created in two dimensions, but even a stack of flat maps sitting on top of each other does not necessarily align with the complex three-dimensional nature of the brain,” neuroscientist Christof Koch, the president and chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, said in a statement. [See Images of the Mouse Brain Up Close]
The new map, however, doesn’t just track the firing between different brain cells; it also allows researchers to visualize how different genes are expressed in teensy portions of the brain as well as the physical connections between anatomical structures in the brain.
To create this detailed map, researchers carefully measured and examined 1,675 mouse brains and then created a 3D image of an “average mouse brain.” From there, the scientists used fluorescently labeled brain cells from the mouse brain as clues to help draw the boundaries between different brain regions. Ultra-high-resolution images of individual brain cells were then translated into digital images.
The ultimate goal for this project, as well as for the the National Institutes of Health’s larger BRAIN Initiative, which helped fund the current project, is to create a detailed map of all the connections in the human brain. Though the mouse brain is an important first step, there are many more to go. The human brain weighs about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms), whereas the mouse brain weighs just 0.02 ounces (0.5 grams) — or about the weight of a paper clip. What’s more, the mouse brain contains just 70 million neurons, whereas the human brain contains a whopping 86 billion neurons, according to a study published in 2012 in the journal Nature.
Any researcher interested in using the framework or looking at the data can do so at brain-map.org, Ng said.
Original article on Live Science.
A large global study of more than 12,000 first-time heart-attack patients found a strong link between the attack and what the patients were doing and feeling in the hour preceding the event.
The study, published in the journal Circulation, found that being angry or emotionally upset more than doubled the risk of suffering a heart attack. Performing heavy physical activity in a highly emotional state more than tripled the risk. The researchers compared people’s behavior in the 60 minutes before the onset of heart-attack symptoms with the same one-hour period 24 hours earlier.
The results, based on an analysis of heart-attack patients in 52 countries, were consistent regardless of other, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diet.
Intense physical activity and negative emotions can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, the researchers said. This can cause arterial plaque to rupture and trigger an acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack, they said.
Previous studies have found links between heart-attack risk and anger, stress, physical activity—even extreme happiness. But these mostly involved a small number of subjects from Western countries, the researchers said.
Researchers at the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, analyzed data from patients who were examined and interviewed at 262 health centers around the world as part of a larger study. The patients, about three-quarters of whom were men, were 58 years old, on average.
In the hour before the first symptoms, 13.6 percent were engaged in heavy physical exertion, compared with 9.1 percent on the previous day. Feelings of anger or being emotionally upset were reported by 14.4 percent and 9.9 percent during the same periods, respectively. The majority of heart attacks occurred between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.