Results 26 to 50 of 767

  1. Post
    BBC interview on a girl who lived among the Taliban - dad and brother ran a suicide-bombing business, of sort.
    Drives like an Asian till he gets behind the wheel of a holden

  2. Post

  3. Post
    Forum Whore Deluxe with Everything

  4. Post
    KiwiTT wrote:

    End of the series

    Evolution Explained -> Religion is Bullshit -> We are all Equal -> Saving the Planet
    FFS, we've just had 4 damn threads about this. You want Glug posting videos from his POV in here?

  5. Post

    Budget Tax cuts
    Lift American Spirits

  6. Post

  7. Post
    Interesting article about how we're trying to revive species we've rendered extinct:

    The only place to see an aurochs in nature these days? A cave painting. The enormous wild cattle that once roamed the European plains have been extinct since 1627, when the last survivor died in a Polish nature reserve. But this could soon change thanks to the work of European preservationists who are hoping they can make the great beast walk again. If they succeed — through a combination of modern genetic expertise and old-fashioned breeding — it would be the first time an animal has been brought back from extinction and released into the wild.

    The aurochs was a massive creature, standing more than six feet tall at the shoulder and weighing more than a ton. It had forward-facing horns and a white stripe running down its spine. The prehistoric animal was domesticated about 8,000 years ago, but some aurochs also remained in the wild until the end of the Middle Ages, when scientists believe they became extinct due to overhunting and loss of habitat.

    The hope for its resurrection now lies in its tame descendants, domesticated cattle. Here's how the process is expected to work: Scientists will first scour old aurochs bone and teeth fragments from museums in order to glean enough genetic material to be able to recreate its DNA. Researchers will then compare the DNA to that of modern European cattle to determine which breeds still carry the creature's genes and create a selective-breeding program to reverse thousands of years of evolution. If everything goes as planned, each passing generation will more closely resemble the ancient aurochs. "Everything will be put together in a genetic mosaic," says Donato Matassino, head of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology in Italy and one of the scientists involved in the project. "Once we have all the roads, we'll try to follow them back to Rome."

    Stichting Taurus, the Dutch preservationist group leading the project, is hoping a reborn aurochs could help restore the European countryside to a more natural state. To that end, the group would eventually like to replace the domesticated cattle that currently graze in Holland's nature reserves with the recreated wild cattle. "The aurochs was part of an ecosystem," says Henri Kerkdijk, manager of the project. "If you want to recreate the flora of the ecosystem, you also have to recreate the fauna." The idea came to Kerkdijk during a trip to Africa, where he was struck by the abundance of giant herbivores, even in areas where people were living. "It just bothered me that we don't have that in Europe anymore," he says. His group has already introduced English Exmoor ponies — the closest living representatives of the wild horses painted alongside aurochs on cave walls — to the Netherlands' nature reserves. "You could also talk about recreating the giant deer," Kerkdijk says. "But there, we don't have a modern animal to work from."

    The current effort isn't the first attempt to resurrect the ancient cattle. The aurochs played an important role in early German culture, and in the early 20th century the Nazi government funded an attempt to breed them back as part of its propaganda effort. The result, known as Heck cattle, may to some extent resemble the ancient aurochs, says Kerkdijk, but they're genetically quite different. "We want a breed that resembles the aurochs, not only in phenotype, but in genotype," he says. Heck cattle, for example, are more aggressive than aurochs because they were bred, in part, using Spanish fighting bulls. "They will attack without a prior threat display," says Kerkdijk. "When I'm in Africa, herbivores won't attack me. They give some type of warning: Back off, one step further or you're dead meat."

    Other groups are also trying to bring different animals back from extinction through breeding. In South Africa, scientists are attempting to recreate the quagga, an extinct subspecies of the zebra, and in the U.S., breeders are trying to bring back a giant Galápagos tortoise that was killed off in the 1800s — a process that could take close to a century.

    Back-breeding has an advantage over cloning in that it creates a whole population, rather than just an individual animal. Last year, Spanish scientists used cloning to successfully recreate an ibex that disappeared in 2000, and in Poland another group is trying to clone the aurochs using DNA from bone and teeth samples. But for a species to survive once it's brought back to life, it must have enough genetic variability to reproduce. "A population needs to be adaptive," says Johan van Arendonk, a professor of animal-breeding and genetics at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, adding that the Dutch project probably needs to produce at least 100 animals to succeed in the long term.
    That's not the only obstacle. Recreating the aurochs from modern cattle won't work if any of its DNA was lost as breeds split apart, experts say. And it will take a lot of time. "The only way we can make recombinations is by having the animals produce a new generation," says van Arendonk. "It's still a very open question if it all can be done.",00.html

  8. Post

  9. Post
    I've always liked this video, seems like an appropriate place to put it.

    Part II:

  10. Post
    Pretty cool, a device which can kill 50-100 mosquitoes a second using parts from old laser printers and such. Look at em mossies fry.

  11. Post
    See, now I really don't think that's a good idea to use something as dangerous as a laser on something as trivial as a mosquito. If that beam is powerful enough to vapourise a mozzie, it's probably quite capable of vapourising your retina.

  12. Post
    They can probably make it so it only focuses at a single point at x distance, while being relatively harmless before or after that point.

  13. Post
    Marados. wrote:
    See, now I really don't think that's a good idea to use something as dangerous as a laser on something as trivial as a mosquito. If that beam is powerful enough to vapourise a mozzie, it's probably quite capable of vapourising your retina.
    Apparently the system can distinguish between mossies and something as small as a bumble bee.

  14. Post
    See, that's all well and good, but all it takes is for a reflective object (like, say, a watchface) to cross the beam for literally a split-second and someone can lose their sight in one eye. I certainly wouldn't have the technology in my house, at least not without wearing a welding mask


    I'm no expert in lasers, but I don't think you can really do this with a single laser. With two, perhaps, but the nature of the coherent light a laser produces makes me think something like that would be difficult to achieve. Then again, I'm not entirely sure though.

  15. Post
    When an invading insect is detected, our software identifies it by training a nonlethal laser beam on the bug and using that illumination to estimate the insect’s size and also to measure how fast its wings are beating. Using this method, the system can not only distinguish among mosquitoes, butterflies, and bumblebees, but it can even determine whether a mosquito is male or female! (Females are significantly larger than males and have slower wingbeats.) This is useful because only female mosquitoes bite humans.

    Our software is able to track a mosquito in flight once it establishes that it is a valid target. After running safety checks to ensure no unintended object is in view, the system activates a second, more powerful laser that zaps the mosquito, causing death either by damage to its DNA (an unconfirmed hypothesis) or by overheating. The energy levels and light frequencies used are not capable of damaging human tissue, but even so, we’ve built in safeguards that ensure that the system doesn’t fire when anything much larger than a mosquito is in the photonic fence.

  16. Post
    Interesting excerpt. I would question how they have determined that the 'energy levels' and light frequencies aren't capable of damaging human tissue. I mean, for one it's intensity rather than energy levels which causes blindness, and unless I'm mistaken it looks like those lasers made a pretty puff of smoke when it hit the mozzies. What's more, it depends on what they mean by 'human tissue'. All tissue, or just skin/flesh?

    Interesting stuff, for sure. I'm sure in reality it really is quite safe; I just have an intrinsic distrust of lasers, to be honest

  17. Post
    Marados. wrote:
    What's more, we all know the CIA are running drugs themselves.

    Was pretty amusing when this happened.

  18. Post
    Staire wrote:
    Full Length interview with Jon Stewart and O Reilly.
    I thought that was great, they're both funny.

  19. Post
    I am a nerd who likes Starwars and urban decay (especially in Dubai):

  20. Post
    Scientists say they have confirmed that a meteorite that crashed into earth 40 years ago contains millions of different organic compounds.

    It is thought the Murchison meteorite could be even older than the Sun.
    Forum Whore Deluxe with Everything

  21. Forum Whore Deluxe with Everything

  22. Post
    Story on a South Korean economist who defected to North Korea with his family, then promptly defected back to South Korea... without the family:
    Drives like an Asian till he gets behind the wheel of a holden

  23. Post
    ^A lovely story.

    Forum Whore Deluxe with Everything

  24. Post
    wow, no attempt to infiltrate and rescue? I would rather die trying to save my wife/daughter than spend the rest of my days hoping they would be released. That is a sad story

  25. Post
    Sorry, a little big, but interesting IMO.