Thursday, October 26, 2017
An amazing site involved with brain-mapping is alive and well, doing cutting edge research on what resides in the skulls of us rubes. :)
The Allen Brain Atlas at www.brain-map.org now contains cells from the human cortex in the Allen Cell Types Database, as well as more cells from the mouse visual system and additional cortical areas. A new version of the Allen Mouse Common Coordinate Framework is available, with more detailed anatomical structures, and new data in the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas.
Any questions? :)
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
Video: This artist’s view shows the moments before and the nine days following a kilonova. Two neutron stars spiral inward, creating gravitational waves (pale arcs). After the merger, a jet produces gamma rays (magenta), while expanding radioactive debris makes ultraviolet (violet), optical (blue-white) and infrared (red) light.
Collisions between neutron stars are thought to be 1,000 times brighter than a typical nova, and they are the universe’s primary source of such elements as silver, platinum and gold. But much like gravitational waves, kilonovas have long been strictly theoretical. No scientist had ever seen one. Until this summer.
At 8:41 a.m. Eastern time on Aug. 17, a gravitational wave hit the Virgo detector in Italy and, 22 milliseconds later, set off the LIGO detector in Livingston, La. Three milliseconds after that, the distortion rippled through Hanford, Wash.
Awesome video save that there is no sound in space. :)
Artist’s rendering of the neutron-star merger depicting a gamma-ray burst and ejected material swirling around the merging stars.
Before August, the only other gravity waves detected by LIGO were generated by colliding black holes. But black holes let no light escape, so astronomers could see nothing.
Gravitational wave from black hole collision 1.8 billion light-years away sensed in U.S. and Italy
This time there was plenty to see, measure and analyze: matter, light, and other radiation. The Hubble Space Telescope even got a snapshot of the afterglow.
"The completeness of this picture from the beginning to the end is unprecedented," said Columbia University physics professor Szabolcs Marka. "There are many, many extraordinary discoveries within the discovery."
The colliding stars spewed bright blue, super-hot debris that was dense and unstable. Some of it coalesced into heavy elements, like gold, platinum and uranium. Scientists had suspected neutron star collisions had enough power to create heavier elements, but weren't certain until they witnessed it.
"We see the gold being formed," said Syracuse's Brown.
How cool is that?
Saturday, October 14, 2017
The 8/21/17 Solar Eclipse was pretty stellar and NASA did some predictive analytics to see what the real deal would look like. Looks pretty amazing without question.
When the total solar eclipse swept across the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, NASA satellites captured a diverse set of images from space. But days before the eclipse, some NASA satellites also enabled scientists to predict what the corona — the Sun’s outer atmosphere — would look like during the eclipse, from the ground. In addition to offering a case study to test our predictive abilities, the predictions also enabled some eclipse scientists to choose their study targets in advance.
Ain't science grand? :)
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Years ago, yours truly went to Yellowstone and was stunned at how truly beautiful the national park was with boiling lakes containing the colors of the rainbow combined with blue sky that almost hurts the eyes to look at. At the time, there was no sense of fear that the underlying cause of all this beauty could wake up and transform 1/2 of the US into an ash pile 2500 times greater than the Mt. St Helen's eruption or incinerate goodly parts of Wyoming, Utah and Montana in a NY minute until now.
Beneath Yellowstone National Park lies a supervolcano, a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once — 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.
Yellowstone’s last supereruption occurred 631,000 years ago. And it’s not the planet’s only buried supervolcano. Scientists suspect that a supereruption scars the planet every 100,000 years, causing many to ask when we can next expect such an explosive planet-changing event.
To answer that question, scientists are seeking lessons from Yellowstone’s past. And the results have been surprising. They show that the forces that drive these rare and violent events can move much more rapidly than volcanologists previously anticipated.
Mt St. Helens' crater after the eruption
Seen below is the size of the Yellowstone super volcano.
An ominous beauty indeed.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Monday, October 09, 2017
Saturday, October 07, 2017
When seeing a dashboard layout like this, one is struck by not only sensory overload, created by the displays in question, but also on just how poorly laid out this design set truly is. Adding fuel to the fire is the use of the smart phone as texting and talking device while driving, a deadly combination resulting in traffic deaths rising more than 13% in 2016 alone.
The AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers at the University of Utah to investigate the time drivers’ eyes spend away from the road, and the mental demand that tasks require when using these dashboard systems. They also tested how long it takes drivers to complete tasks like calling someone, sending a text, and programming navigation while driving. The researchers tested 30 different 2017 vehicles from a wide variety of carmakers, and found that 23 of these had “high” or “very high” demand on the driver–including the Tesla Model S, the Honda Civic Touring, and the Ford Fusion Titanium. Not a single car of the 30 required only “low” demand.
This is insane. BRT has talked about this problem before but car manufacturers just keep mindlessly loading up tech in a device that requires 100% concentration if one doesn't want to die or get injured going from point A to point B when some numbnuts forgets to realize why the 100% rule applies to driving 24/7.
The smart phone vendors are beginning to wise up by turning off phones when one gets in a car. What can be done about onboard tech poses a design problem of little complexity because all they have to do is turn said tech off when the car is in motion as this will save lives and money for all of us rubes involved with "happy motoring" 24/7.
According to the AAA, the solution could be to shut down elements of these systems entirely while people are driving–meaning you couldn’t tweet and drive, even if you wanted to. Doney says that car infotainment systems should be about as mentally draining as listening to the radio or an audiobook–and halting drivers’ tendency to multitask on the road would make cars safer. The designers of these systems also have the responsibility of ensuring that the interactions they’re building aren’t going to result in accidents. More research is needed to ensure carmakers aren’t cramming technology into cars without thinking through the consequences.