At MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a couple hundred academics, scientists and biohackers gathered recently for what organizers call the first global biohacker summit. Biohackers is a term for biologists who work outside of traditional labs.
Josiah Zayner, a former NASA scientist turned biohacker, stumbles into the event late, and a bit out of sorts. He’s treated like a bit of a rockstar, lauded by the biohackers in attendance.
But Josiah’s not having it. “People trying to appropriate the biohacker movement. It’s gross. I feel gross being here.” He wants the movement to remain in the hands of the people – away from the influence of the scientific establishment.
A flash of bright light in the skies over California had social media buzzing Friday afternoon, but don’t fret, it’s wasn’t an alien attack. And although seen from the desert, nothing was said about three wise men traveling about.
All indications are that the light came from the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Santa Barbara.
Many in the desert took to Facebook and Twitter to show images of the bright white light that illuminated the clouds over the San Jacinto Mountains.
Even space entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, had some fun with the spectacular sight, taunting the Twitterverse with a video and something about a “nuclear alien UFO from North Korea.”
An article at on Nature.com titled Saturn’s Young Rings (20 December 2017) , touts a presentation at the Fall Meeting of the AGU based on the gravitational effect of the rings on the Cassini probe. The researchers claim that this force is not strong enough to retain the rings. Using the data they calculate that the rings are young, only 100 to 200 million years old!
Although the rings are known to be primairily water ice, modern science cannot determine the origin of all this ice, since the current hypothesis is that Jupiter and Saturn are 90% hydrogen and 10% helium. The leading hypothesis is that two comets, or a comet and a satelllite collided inside the Roche limit and the pieces ended up forming the rings. No concern is offered as to the similarity in the sizes of the chuncks of ice.
Palestinian authorities have condemned the planned construction of new housing units in East Jerusalem as an “Israeli colonial dare,” encouraged by Washington’s controversial recognition of the Holy City as Israel’s capital.
On Sunday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates denounced the plan to construct 300 new housing units in the occupied part of Jerusalem. The plan is “part of Israel’s colonial and expansionist projects implemented by the Israeli government encouraged by the latest announcement of US President Donald Trump’s to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the ministry said. Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant allegedly advocated for the scheme.
The Palestinian ministry said the “Israeli colonial dare” would not have happened was it not for Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem “as the capital of the occupying power.” The statement added that Palestinian authorities would hold the American president and his administration personally responsible “for any crimes” that might stem from Israel’s “expansionist” move.
The alleged “aggressive” settlement plans under the so-called Greater Jerusalem bill have also been condemned by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Department of Jerusalem Affairs. It noted that the construction project aims to fragment the “geographical and demographic unity” of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency.
The good news for many in the Northeast and Midwest was that it has been a white Christmas. The bad news was that a blizzard swept into parts of New England and bitter cold enveloped much of the Midwest.
Even the usually rainy Pacific Northwest got the white stuff. The National Weather Service says it’s only the sixth time since 1884 that downtown Portland had measurable snow — only an inch or two — on a Dec. 25.
A blizzard warning was issued Monday for portions of Maine and New Hampshire, with forecasters saying snow of up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) and wind gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph) could make travel “dangerous to impossible.”
Most businesses were already shuttered on Christmas Day in New England. One of the few open was The Tobacconist cigar shop in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, where area-resident Dwayne Doherty said he welcomed the fresh blanket of snow.
The recent arrest of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi by Israeli soldiers from her family home in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh has sparked protest around the world and refocused light on Israel’s unjust treatment of Palestinian children.
In the five days since her arrest, Israeli authorities have attempted to coerce confession from Ahed, a minor, without access to a lawyer or a parent (her mother Nariman was herself arrested when she arrived to accompany her daughter during questioning); moved her from the occupied West Bank across the 1949 armistice line, also known as the “Green Line,” in contravention of international law; and transferred the sleep deprived teenager between at least three different detention centers and prisons.
All of this and Ahed has not yet been charged with a crime.
The viral rise of Ahed Tamimi to international stardom as the Resistance’s latest hero is to a large extent due to the interest that various parties have in diverting attention from the politically inconvenient fact that Hamas’ Third Intifada never really took off.
Ahed Tamimi, the teenage Palestinian activist who became famous for slapping an Israeli soldier, was arrested in a predawn raid on her home last week in a case that’s since attracted considerable international media attention, made even all the more controversial by the Israeli Education Minister’s suggestion that this legal minor serve a life sentence for her supposed crime. Israeli journalist Ben Caspit fanned the flames of outrage by insinuating that she should be raped in the dark as punishment. Both of these individuals’ reactions are utterly reprehensible, and the Resistance Community that’s opposed to Israel’s occupation of Palestine has seized the moment in capitalizing on these comments as proof of the appalling brutality that Palestinians regularly experience. Moreover, it’s natural that they’d hold this girl up as a hero and celebrate her act of defiance, especially considering that Hamas has declared a Third Intifada in response to Trump’s unilateral recognition of the entirety of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the subsequent killing of Palestinian protesters since that time.
Subtleties in the language people use may reveal physiological stress.
Psychologists found that tracking certain words used by volunteers in randomly collected audio clips reflected stress-related changes in their gene expression. The speech patterns predicted those physiological changes more accurately than speakers’ own ratings of their stress levels.
The research, which is published on 6 November in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1 suggests that changes in language may track the biological effects of stress better than how we consciously feel. It’s a new approach to studying stress, says David Creswell, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and one that “holds tremendous promise” for understanding how psychological adversity affects physical health.
Lockheed Martin is working to develop a high-power fiber laser for fighter jets.
Under a $26.3 million contract from the Air Force Research Lab, the firm will design and produce a directed energy system for aircraft, with plans to test the technology by 2021.
The move comes after a series of successful tests with similar systems in ground-based platforms – but, the experts say developing a laser for a smaller, airborne design will be a challenge.
The AFRL awarded the contract as part of its Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator program.
This program includes three subsystems, addressing beam control to direct a laser to the target, a pod mounted on the jet to cool the laser, and the laser itself.