Magma May Be Melting Greenland Ice

LiveScience | Andrea Thompson | Dec. 13, 2007

Global warming may not be the only thing melting Greenland. Scientists have found at least one natural magma hotspot under the Arctic island that could be pitching in.

In recent years, Greenland’s ice has been melting more and flowing faster into the sea—a record amount of ice melted from the frozen mass this summer, according to recently released data—and Earth’s rising temperatures are suspected to be the main culprit. [Read more…]


Scientists Cure Mice with Adult Stem Cells

Significant progress on the use of adult stem cells (non-embryonic) in finding cures.

AP/AAAS | Lauran Neergaard | Dec. 6, 2007

Scientists have the first evidence that those “reprogrammed stem cells” that made headlines last month really have the potential to treat disease: They used skin from the tails of sick mice to cure the rodents of sickle cell anemia.

At issue: Turning adult cells into ones that mimic embryonic stem cells, master cells that can turn into any type of tissue. When scientists announced last month that they had successfully engineered embryo-like stem cells from human skin, it was hailed as a possible alternative to ethically fraught embryo research. [Read more…]


Stem Cell Vindication

Washington Post | Charles Krauthammer | Nov. 30, 2007

“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.” — James A. Thomson

A decade ago, Thomson was the first to isolate human embryonic stem cells. Last week, he (and Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka) announced one of the great scientific breakthroughs since the discovery of DNA: an embryo-free way to produce genetically matched stem cells.

Even a scientist who cares not a whit about the morality of embryo destruction will adopt this technique because it is so simple and powerful. The embryonic stem cell debate is over.

[Read more…]


Trading Places, Pro-Science Religious Beliefs Were Right

Will the secular left soon attack the religious right for being pro-science?
Opinion Journal | Joseph Bottum | Nov. 28, 2007

If the news of major breakthroughs in cell research should turn out to be correct, we are about to witness something like victory in the fight over embryonic stem cells.

And that will open a nest of interesting questions, beginning with this one: All those editorialists and columnists who have, over the past 10 years, howled and howled about Luddites and religious fanatics thwarting science and frustrating medicine–were they really interested in technology and health, or were they just using all that as a handy stick with which to whack their political opponents?

[Read more…]


A Tale of Two Houses

Veterans Day | Nov. 14, 2007

See if you can identify the specific owner of each of the houses described in this story. Then ask yourself, which owner really cares about the environment and who is a big hypocrite?

House #1 – A 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool, and a pool house, and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400 per month. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home.

[Read more…]


Hurricane Forecasters Wrong for Two Years in a Row

For the second year in a row forecasters are wrong on predicting the weather. The 2007 Hurricane season may rank as most ‘inactive’ in 30 years.

Florida State University | Ryan N. Maue | Oct. 29, 2007

Unless a dramatic and historical flurry of activity occurs in the next 9 weeks, 2007 will rank as a historically inactive TC year for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole. During the past 30 years, only 1977, 1981, and 1983 have had less activity to date. For the period of June 1 – TODAY, only 1977 has experienced LESS tropical cyclone activity than 2007. For the North Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Noel is currently too weak to impact any of these results.

[Read more…]


Researcher: Humans Will Wed Robots

Ed. (Banescu) The spiritual darkening of our age deepens. Picture this: “Do you computer program take this human as your lawfully wedded spouse?”

UPI | July 25, 2007

MAASTRICHT, Netherlands, Oct. 11 (UPI) — The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands is awarding a doctorate to a researcher who wrote a paper on marriages between humans and robots.

David Levy, a British artificial intelligence researcher at the college, wrote in his thesis, “Intimate Relationships with Artificial Partners,” that trends in robotics and shifting attitudes on marriage are likely to result in sophisticated robots that will eventually be seen as suitable marriage partners.

[Read more…]


Oil: Protecting the Earth from Renewable Energy for 148 Years

Ed. A must read.

Mac Johnson Energy Tribune March 6, 2007

In the environmental Dark Ages before the discovery of oil, man’s energy needs had to be extracted from the living world. Whole continents were deforested in the quest for firewood. Priceless wetlands were strip-mined for peat. Bees were robbed of their wax to make candles. Even when millions were starving, valuable animal fats and plant oils were rendered into fuel to illuminate the homes of the rich.

[Read more…]