Posted by Informant_News on Friday, July 13, 2012 @ 12:41:19 MDT (2871 reads) (Misc | Score: 5)
Misc: Jerusalem hospital shows off vaccine that destroys cancer in 2 shots.
Early human test results suggest a vaccine can train cancer patients' bodies to seek out and destroy tumour cells.
The therapy, which targets a molecule found in 90 per cent of cancers, eventually could provide an injection that would allow patients' immune systems to fight off common cancers including breast and prostate cancer.
The first results of trials in people, at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem, suggest the vaccine can reduce levels of disease. The human work is so preliminary it has yet to be published in a scientific journal.
The scientists behind the vaccine hope to conduct more extensive trials to prove it can be effective against a range of cancers. They believe it could be used to fight small tumours if they are detected early or to help prevent the return and spread of disease in patients who have undergone conventional treatment.
In the safety trial at Hadassah, 10 patients with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, received the vaccine. Seven have finished the treatment and the developer, drug company Vaxil Biotherapeutics, reported all had greater immunity against cancer cells compared with before they were given the vaccine. Vaxil added that three patients were free of detectable cancer following the treatment.
Cancer cells usually evade a patient's immune system because they are not recognized as a threat. While the immune system usually attacks foreign cells such as bacteria, tumours are formed of the patient's own cells that have malfunctioned.
Scientists have discovered that a molecule called MUC1, which is found on the surface of cancer cells, can be used to help the immune sys-tem detect tumours. The new vaccine, ImMucin, developed by Vaxil and researchers at Tel Aviv University, uses a section of the molecule to prime the immune system so it can identify and thus destroy cancer cells.
Vaxil suggested that if large-scale trials prove as successful, the vaccine could be available within six years. Initial research on the vaccine, in mice, was published in the journal Vaccine, and suggested the treatment induced "potent" immunity in mice and increased their survival from cancer.
Cancer charities gave the vaccine a cautious welcome. Dr. Kat Arney, at Cancer Research UK, said: "These are very early results that are yet to be fully published, so there's a lot more work to be done to prove that this particular vaccine is safe and effective in cancer patients."
May 6th marks the 75th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster. The Hindenburg, a German zeppelin, burst into flame while attempting to dock at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey on May 6, 1937, killing 36 people.
The dirigible Hindenburg is shown in its final stages of construction in Friedrichshafen, Germany, on March 6, 1936. (AP Photo)
The fabric-covered walls in the main lounge aboard the zeppelin Hindenburg were decorated with a map of the world showing the routes of famous explorers, seen in this undated photograph. (AP Photo)
The German zeppelin Hindenburg flies over Manhattan on May 6, 1937. A few hours later, the ship burst into flames in an attempt to land at Lakehurst, USA. (AP Photo)
This May 6, 1937 file photo, taken at almost the split second that the Hindenburg exploded, shows the 804-foot German zeppelin just before the second and third explosions send the ship crashing to the earth over the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, N.J. (AP Photo)
In 1952 Ruz Lhuillier was excavating the staircase of the Pyramid Temple when he found a sealed passageway that led to the burial crypt and sarcophagus of King Pakul. This was the first burial crypt found in Central America, let alone in a pyramid, and fueled a debate that the Incas were in some way connected to Egypt. The lid of the sarcophagus is the depiction of King Pakul.
Pacal the Great ruled over the Mayan city of Palenque, in what is now southern Mexico, during the seventh century. Upon his death, he was buried inside a pyramid called the Temple of Inscriptions. The intricately carved lid of his sarcophagus has become a classic work of Mayan art—and an oft-cited piece of evidence for ancient alien theorists. In their view, Pacal is pictured in a spaceship during takeoff, with his hand on a control panel, his foot on a pedal and an oxygen tube in his mouth.
In the center of that frame is a man sitting, bending forward. He has a mask on his nose, he uses his two hands to manipulate some controls, and the heel of his left foot is on a kind of pedal with different adjustments. The rear portion is separated from him; he is sitting on a complicated chair, and outside of this whole frame, you see a little flame like an exhaust.
Pakal’s tomb has been the focus of attention by some “ancient astronaut” enthusiasts since its appearance in Erich von Däniken’s 1968 best seller, Chariots of the Gods?. Von Däniken reproduced a drawing of the sarcophagus lid (incorrectly labeling it as being from “Copan”) and comparing Pacal’s pose to that of 1960s Project Mercury astronauts, interpreting drawings underneath him as rockets, and saying it is supposed evidence of extraterrestrial influence on the ancient Maya.
Posted by Informant_News on Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 11:27:56 MDT (2632 reads) (Read More... | 2285 bytes more | Strange | Score: 4.5)
The Green Children of Woolpit
by Dr. Karl P. N. Shuker
Dr. Karl P. N. Shuker is a cryptozoologist who lives in West Bromwich, England. He is the author of Mysteries of Planet Earth.
English medieval history and legend are sometimes so intricately interwoven that it can be exceedingly difficult to delineate with any degree of certainty the facts from the fantasy. The fascinating story of the green children of Woolpit is a particular case in point.
The date was the 12th century a.d., but has been variously placed by chroniclers within the reign of King Stephen (1135-54) or King Henry II (1154-1189). The setting was the small Suffolk village of Woolpit, named after the deep trenches in which wolves were formerly captured. One day, the villagers were amazed to see two very unusual children crawling out of one of these trenches. A girl and a slightly younger boy, they were both dressed in strange clothing and spoke an unintelligible language. But by far the most striking characteristic of these children was their skin-it was green!
Unable to communicate with them, and thoroughly perplexed as to what should be done, the villagers took the girl and boy, who were weeping and very forlorn, to the home of Sir Richard de Calne, a local landowner. Here they remained, treated with great care and kindness by Sir Richard and his servants. But the boy fell ill, and in less than a year he had died. Happily, however, the girl survived, and as she grew older her skin’s green hue gradually disappeared. She eventually married a man from King’s Lynn in Norfolk, a senior ambassador of Henry II according to some sources, and became known as Agnes Barre.
During her years in Sir Richard’s household, Agnes learned English and was eventually able to reveal something about where she and her brother had come from and the manner in which they had reached Woolpit. She claimed that they were from a Christian place called St Martin’s Land, where it was always twilight (and also where, according to one medieval chronicler of this story, everything was green), and which was separated from a much sunnier place by a wide river. One day, while tending their father’s flocks in a field, Agnes and her brother had been led away by the sound of church bells into an underground realm, and then somehow found themselves in Woolpit.
This peculiar account has lent itself to many different interpretations. Eminent British folklorist Dr. Katharine Briggs noted in A Dictionary of Fairies (1976) that it contained a number of themes prevalent in Faerie lore-the color green, a twilit land, subterranean worlds. Could this entire story thus be nothing more than another legend of elves or fairies visiting mankind?
In 1997, astronomer Duncan Lunan, assistant curator at Scotland’s Airdrie Observatory, offered a much more dramatic solution. Speaking in London at the annual conference (UnConvention) held by the popular British magazine Fortean Times, he proposed that the green children were actually aliens who had accidentally been transported to Earth from another planet by a malfunctioning matter transmitter.
Other theories proffered at one time or another include:
• The possibility that our planet is hollow and that the green children had emerged from a hidden world contained within Earth’s interior.
• They were immigrants from northern Scandinavia, where there is less light than in sunny Suffolk.
• They are personifications of Nature, hence akin to the Green Man or Jack-in-the-Green.
• Traditional Woolpit belief claims that they were real-life “babes in the wood,” having been abandoned in the nearby forest by an evil uncle seeking to claim their inheritance for himself.
According to their most persistent researcher, however, the origin of the green children is much more straightforward, and local, than any of those mentioned above. In an extensive paper published by the scholarly periodical Fortean Studies in 1998, Paul Harris produced the following scenario as a comprehensive explanation of the green children episode:
Prior to the time of Henry II (and the most popular date for the green children’s appearance is 1173, which falls within his reign), eastern England had witnessed a steady influx of Flemish merchants and weavers from Belgium. Once Henry II became king, however, they suffered great persecution, and at a battle near Bury St. Edmunds in 1173, many were slaughtered. Harris proposed that the green children were of Flemish parentage and had probably originated from or near the village of Fornham St. Martin (thus explaining their mysterious St. Martin’s Land), situated just a few miles northwest of Woolpit and separated from it by the River Lark.
According to Harris’s theory, it could be that their parents had been killed, but the two children had successfully escaped the carnage by fleeing into Thetford Forest. Its shadowy depths would certainly seem like twilight to two young, scared children. And if they had lingered there for any length of time without obtaining much food, they may well have suffered from malnutrition-one effect of which, called chlorosis, is a gradual greening of the skin.
Eventually, following what Harris believes to have been the sound of the church bells at nearby Bury St. Edmunds, they may have wandered into one of the many underground mine passages associated with Thetford and ultimately leading to Woolpit. Here, when they later emerged in a bewildered state, with starvation-induced greenish pallor, disoriented by the bright sunlight after having spent so long in the forest and underground passageways, dressed in unfamiliar Flemish costumes, and speaking an equally unfamiliar Flemish dialect, they would certainly have presented a very strange spectacle to the Woolpit villagers.
Harris’s theory is very interesting and provides convincing explanations for many of the story’s enigmatic facets. Today, the green children, like the wolves, are long gone from Woolpit, but their memory lives on in a beautiful village sign here, and also in the banner of Woolpit’s church. They may also live on in a much more literal manner. While conducting his own research, Duncan Lunan was contacted by an American who sent him a copy of his family tree, which suggested that he was a descendant of Agnes. If this is indeed true, then the saga of Woolpit’s green children may still have some notable surprises to unfold even today.
Posted by Informant_News on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 @ 19:53:58 MDT (2065 reads) (Read More... | 7017 bytes more | Misc | Score: 5)
Rose Quartz has a gentle energy. It is a heart healer of physical heart ailments as well as emotional heartbreaks. Rose quartz is a timely gift to offer someone who desires to learn self-love.
Fluorite comes in a variety of colors. Fluorite is a beneficial stone to help guard one against picking up negativity or negative energies from those nearby. Basically, the stone absorbs any negativity, keeping it at bay. It is important to cleanse it at least once a week when you are using it as a protective helper.
Egyptian energy. Lapis is a stone that has been said to unlock mysteries as it helps one move through confusion and emotional blocks and dig through fog/muck to the root of problematic issues.
Hematite is a grounding stone. This silver-gray metallic gemstone is often used as a grounding tool to aid those who tend to avoid worldly tasks/events by out-of-body flight.
Jade teaches acceptance. Carries serene and calming energy. It helps a person become less critical of self and others.
This highly spiritual/healing stone is associated with The Christ Consciousness and the Violet Flame of Transmutation. Amethyst helps one tune into a higher awareness of knowing.
Turquoise is a teaching stone can be used to help one learn spiritual lessons through meditation and/or dream visions. My first turquoise was a stone set in a silver ring my grandmother gave me as a souvenir she picked up for me when she vacationed in Arizona. It's little wonder that my grandmother has served as one of my spiritual advisors from the other side since her transition from the physical realm.
Kyanite is best worn near the throat chakra. This blue crystal helps facilitate channeling and will open communications centers to enable contact with your guides and angels. Kyanite is probably best known for its balancing properties that align the chakras. There is no need to cleanse this stone, it clears itself automatically of negative energies.
All varieties of obsidian are good utilized as grounding and protective agents - The snowflake in particular helps us surrender or let go of negative habits or past pathways that no longer the present condition. It will bring about opportunity for change, serenity, and clarity.
Citrine is a wonderful yellow stone. It helps to manifest your goals. Also keeps one cheerful. It attracts abundance and personal power.
Posted by Informant_News on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 @ 13:44:43 MDT (2940 reads) (Read More... | 4540 bytes more | Misc | Score: 5)
Medicinal use of Jewelweed:
Jewelweed was commonly used as a medicinal herb by a number of native North American Indian tribes, and has been widely used in domestic medicine. Its main value lies in its external application for wounds and a range of skin complaints. However, it is little used in modern herbalism and is considered to be dangerous and "wholly questionable" when used internally. The herb is antidote, cathartic, diuretic and emetic. An infusion has been used in the treatment of fevers, difficult urination, measles, stomach cramps, jaundice etc. The juice of the leaves is used externally in the treatment of piles, fungal dermatitis, nettle stings, poison ivy rash, burns etc. The sap is used to remove warts. A poultice of the leaves is applied to bruises, burns, cuts etc.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:
Along the banks of rivers and canals, also in low-lying moist woodlands, avoiding acid soils.
Edible parts of Jewelweed:
The succulent stems, whilst still young and tender, can be cut up and cooked like green beans. Young leaves and shoots - cooked. They contain calcium oxalate crystals. Calcium oxalate is usually destroyed by thorough cooking. Large quantities of the leaves are purgative. See also the notes above on toxicity.
Other uses of the herb:
The fresh juice obtained from the plant is a fungicide. This juice can be concentrated by boiling it. A yellow dye has been made from the flowers. It can be made from the whole plant.
Propagation of Jewelweed:
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Cultivation of the herb:
Along the banks of rivers and canals, also in low-lying moist woodlands, avoiding acid soils.
Known hazards of Impatiens capensis:
Regular ingestion of large quantities of these plants can be dangerous due to their high mineral content. This report, which seems nonsensical, might refer to calcium oxalate. This mineral is found in I. capensis and so is probably also in other members of the genus. It can be harmful raw but is destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.
Posted by Informant_News on Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 19:01:13 MDT (1725 reads) (Read More... | 3232 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.5)
The familiar telephone seems the least likely thing you'd associate with the supernatural, but over the years, there have been literally hundreds of reports of ghosts ringing up people, and that is the subject of this collection of Strange But True tales: phone calls from the dead...
In 1969, a New Jersey rock musician named Karl Uphoff received a phone call from his grandmother; nothing unusual about that you might think, but Karl's Gran had passed away two days earlier. Karl was eighteen at the time of the phantom call, and there had always been a special bond between him and his Gran, who was deaf. She used to phone up Karl's friends and ask: 'Is Karl There?' but because she knew she wouldn't be able to hear the reply, Karl's Gran would then say, 'Tell him to come home at once.' Karl's friends were always irritated by the deaf old woman's constant calling, and used to tell Karl he shouldn't have given his Gran their phone numbers.
One day Karl's Gran passed away and the teenager was naturally upset, but he had no leanings towards spiritualism, and obviously never expected to hear from his Gran ever again. But Karl was wrong. One evening in 1969, Karl was with his friends in the basement of an apartment in Montclair, New Jersey, when the mother of his friend came down and said that Karl was wanted on the phone. When Karl went upstairs he talked to the old woman and realised he was talking to his Gran, who had recently died. Before he could ask her how she could talk to him when she was dead, the woman hung up. Many more calls followed, but on each occasion, when Karl's Gran was asked how she was still able to communicate, or what the 'other side' was like, the old woman would hang up. In the end, the calls stopped, but Karl felt that his Gran was still watching over him.
Another chilling phone call from beyond the grave allegedly occurred in Wilmslow, Cheshire in 1977, when a young woman named Mary Meredith received a call at her home from her cousin Shirley in Manchester. Mary shuddered when she heard Shirley's voice on what sounded like a bad line, because only minutes before, Mary had received a telephone call from her aunt telling her of Shirley's tragic death in a car crash just an hour ago. Again, before the phantom caller could be questioned, she hung up.
In 1995, a radio station in Liverpool, England featured a medium named James Byrne who came on a phone-in show each week. Mr Byrne was a psychic who claimed he could convey messages from the next world, and was a very popular guest. In fact he was so popular, callers would jam the switchboard at the station whenever he was on air. One woman named Mrs Wilson of Ellesmere Port rang the radio station, desperate to get in touch with James Byrne because her grandfather had died a year ago and she wanted to know if he had any messages for her. Unfortunately, Mrs Wilson couldn't get through to the medium because the lines were jammed solid, and so she just sat back and listened to Mr Byrne on the radio show. Around 10 o'clock that night, just as the News At Ten news programme was starting, Mrs Wilson's phone rang. The woman answered the call, and a familiar, but distant-sounding voice said, 'Look love, I'm all right. It's great over here; I'm with your Grandmother and all the other nice people who have passed on.'
Mrs Wilson was naturally astounded, for she recognised that the caller was her late grandfather. 'Granddad - is that you?' she muttered. Her legs felt weak.
'Yeah love. Now listen: stop living in the past and reminiscing. Go forward. I'm still around looking over you. I've got to go now love. Give my love to the kids. Bye.' said the old man's voice and it faded away until Mrs Wilson could just hear the purring tone.
Mrs Wilson wondered if someone was perpetrating a sick joke, so she dialled 1471 on the phone in order to get the caller's number. But the automated voice on the line quoted Mrs Wilson's own number. In other words, the call had originated from her own telephone. Mrs Wilson had no extension, and was therefore convinced that her grandfather had somehow called her from beyond the grave to let her know he was okay.
In the late 1980s, a Manchester woman in England named Sadie lost her husband in tragic circumstances. Her husband left her a considerable amount of money in his will, and Sadie and her 7-year-old daughter Abigail subsequently moved to a graceful old cottage just outside Sandbach. The landlord asked for a modest sum as a deposit on the cottage, and Sadie wondered why the rent was so low on such a desirable rustic residence. She and Abigail gave the dusty cob-webbed place a good spring-cleaning, and later had it decorated. Sadie fell in love with the peaceful rear garden, which had a sad-looking weeping willow in the middle of its neglected lawn. Three months after moving into the Cheshire country house, Abigail excitedly told her mother one December evening that she had just seen 'a kind old woman' in a long black dress standing beneath the willow tree, smiling at her. Abigail said the woman waved once and faded away.
Abigail was a quiet, honest child who was not in the habit of imagining things and embroidering fanciful stories, so Sadie was a little unnerved by her daughter's tale of the ghostly woman. However, there were no further sightings of the phantom, although many strange things did occur at the cottage not long afterwards.
One night, Abigail said she felt dizzy. Sadie put her daughter to bed earlier than normal and surmised that the girl was just over-tired, as she had risen earlier than normal that day and had helped out in the garden, digging the weeds. Sadie decided she would have an early night herself, and retired to her bedroom with a book. An hour had passed when there was a knock at the door of the cottage. Sadie was naturally alarmed and wondered who could be calling at 11 pm. She went downstairs to the hall in her slippers and night-gown and nervously asked who was there.
A well-spoken man replied that he was a doctor and that he had been called out to examine a girl named Abigail.
Sadie unbolted the door and opened it. A tall grey-haired man stood on the doorstep carrying a briefcase. He looked at a card in his hand and said, 'You are Sadie?' and he apparently knew Sadie's surname.
Sadie explained that she had not called him out, but invited the physician indoors anyway. She took him up to Abigail's bedroom and the doctor gave the child a quick examination. He pointed out the rash on Abigail's arms and after shining his penlight torch in her eyes, he told Sadie it looked as if Abigail had the symptoms of meningitis. The doctor drove the girl and her shocked mother to hospital where Abigail was positively diagnosed as suffering from the potentially fatal condition. Because the brain disease was caught in its early stages, the antibiotics and other medicines luckily overcame the life-threatening condition.
But who had contacted the doctor to call him out to Abigail? Sadie was really puzzled by that mystery. She didn't have an idea at the time, but something later happened which gave her a good idea who the eerie helper was.
In 1989, a handsome middle-aged man called at Sadie's cottage. He said his car had ran out of petrol and he asked the widow if she could possibly lend him a few pounds so he could go and fill his can at the filling station down the road. The man offered to leave an expensive-looking watch as a security and promised he'd return later to repay Sadie. Sadie kindly gave the sincere-looking man a five-pound note and he seemed very grateful. He walked off to the filling station with his can and loaded it with petrol, then returned to his Ford Fiesta, which was parked up at a lane near to Sadie's cottage. When the man had emptied the can of petrol into the Fiesta's fuel tank, he went over to the cottage and gave the widow the change from the five-pound note she had lent him. The man said he would set off right away to get the money he owed her, and although Sadie told him that wouldn't be necessary, the man left. He returned about six that evening with a bunch of carnations and the money he owed Sadie. The cottager was flattered, and when she accepted the roses, the man kissed her hand then turned, ready to walk away. Sadie suddenly said to him: 'Wait; you forgot your wristwatch.'
The man said 'Oh yes,' and walked back up the path to her.
Sadie said to the man, 'Come in and have a cup of tea.'
It had been quite some time since Sadie had had some male company, and she did find the man attractive. Over a cup of tea he told her that he was from Middlewich and that his name was Tim. In the course of the long conversation that stretched until 9 pm, Tim said that the girl he had gone steady with for four years had recently left him for someone else, and that he was now wary of getting involved with the opposite sex again. Sadie advised him not to become a recluse because of his experiences with one girl, and hinted that she was still looking for someone too. Sadie was almost forty but looked about thirty-five. Tim said he was twenty-six. Sadie thought the age gap between them wasn't too big, and she and Tim ended their chat that evening by swapping telephone numbers.
Two days afterwards, Sadie telephoned Tim but got a steady disconnected tone. She wondered if the young man had only given her a 'dead' number just to appease her. She didn't know what to think, but she hoped she would see or hear from Tim again. A few days later, the phone in Sadie's cottage started to ring. Abigail picked it up as Sadie was racing towards it. The girl said, 'It's for you Mum.'
Sadie grabbed the receiver and said :' Hello?'
Tim didn't reply. It was the voice of an old woman, and she said some horrible things about Tim from Middlewich. She said he was a bigamist and a confidence trickster who knew about the large amount of money that had been left to Sadie by her late husband.
Sadie was stunned by the claims and a little heartbroken. She asked the caller to identify herself, and the old woman told Sadie that her landlord would provide her with that answer. Tim paid another visit to Sadie one Sunday evening in the following week. This time he brought more flowers and a bottle of wine to the cottage. Sadie asked Tim about the strange telephone call she had received and what the anonymous old woman had said. When Tim heard about the caller's allegations about him being a bigamist and a conman, the young man suddenly got up, put on his coat, and left the cottage without saying a word. Sadie never set eyes upon Tim again, and several months later she learned from a neighbour that Tim was regarded as a rather shady character who had spent six months in prison for fraud. He was also rumoured to have two wives; one in Crewe and another in Chester. He was also currently living with a mistress in Middlewich.
When Sadie's landlord visited her one day, she told him about the mysterious old woman who had telephoned with her strange tip-offs. The landlord seemed very nervous all of a sudden. Sadie told him that the uncanny caller had said that the landlord knew her identity.
In the end, the landlord said that previous occupants in the Sandbach cottage had reported seeing the ghost of an old woman. The former tenants had also told him of creepy late-night nuisance calls from an old woman who gave advice and warnings. The landlord said he initially thought the stories were just exaggerations and excuses to leave without paying the rent. Sadie promised her landlord she would not move out because she regarded the ghost as helpful and harmless. The landlord then told Sadie that an old spinster named Enid had died at the cottage five years back. She had lived in the cottage for some twenty years, and was something of a recluse. There were rumours that she had been jilted in her youth and had never bothered with men again. The only thing she lived for was the back garden. One afternoon she was found dead beneath the willow tree in the garden she had so lovingly tended. The coroner ruled that Enid had died from a massive stroke, but within months, the new tenants at the cottage reported seeing the spectre of an elderly woman crossing the lawn in the back garden one moonlit night. The landlord confessed that he also glimpsed Enid's shade one wintry evening. He saw her glide across the snow-covered lawn, but when he went to investigate, there were no footprints in the virgin snow.
The ghost hasn't phoned for a while, but whenever the phone rings, Sadie often wonders if its Enid calling. Sadie still hasn't found Mr Right and although Abigail is now married, her mother doesn't feel lonely, because she knows Enid is always around somewhere.
Are you expecting any phonecalls tonight?...
Posted by Informant_News on Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 14:15:44 MDT (1870 reads) (Read More... | 13459 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.75)
Misc: Does Facebook’s Zuckerberg Have Too Much Power?
Google (GOOG), LinkedIn (LNKD), Zynga (ZNGA), and, coming soon, Facebook (FB): four companies among the "new breed," where shareholders have effectively no rights other than the chance to ride along with the founders. This model—taking shareholder money without actually surrendering any power—isn't new, but it's becoming more brazen.
In light of Facebook's S-1 (which explicitly states that Mark Zuckerberg has the right to bequeath his voting control to whomever he so chooses) and Google's recent stock split (which actually increased the controlling interests of its founders), it seems there's a growing trend of business founders have their company and selling it too.
"There's a generational shift, where a lot of innovation is coming from young people," says Michael Eisenberg of Benchmark Capital, pointing out that Zuckerberg was 19 years-old and the Google guys were in their early 20's when starting their companies. "They have a pace of innovation which is fundamentally different from most of the corporations we see in America or the world today."
The people with the ability to innovate have all the power. These entrepreneurs are exercising that power by issuing shares as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. Investors have no obligation to buy shares, but if you do it's on the company's terms.
As Eisenberg says, if you own these stocks "you're along for the ride." Nothing more; nothing less.
In return for yielding control, investors get faster companies that are able to capitalize on opportunities that might, otherwise, be lost. "Taking too little risk leaves you at a greater risk to be disrupted by the next two guys in a garage somewhere else."
Disruption is what Research in Motion's (RIMM) Blackberry did to Motorola and then fell victim to the hands of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone. It's a shift that leaves existing players gasping for air, obsolete and enfeebled.
"The broader trend here is a generational gap between young and fast versus old and slow," says Eisenberg. Embracing youth and erring on the side of risk is why there wasn't boardroom revolt when Zuckerberg paid more than $1 billion for Instagram. Zuckerberg thought Instagram could either add value as part of Facebook or become a potential threat—so he simply bought them.
The Facebook co-founder and CEO reportedly didn't even bother to consult his board about the Instagram acquisition; not that the board would have had any say in the matter even if he had.
Eisenberg says it's "an inversion of the pyramid" in which aged chieftains sit on the throne of power surrounded by youthful drones hoping to replace them. In the new model, L'enfant terrible dictates while his elders curry favor.
Ultimately there are checks to absolute power—even for the Zuckerberg et al, says Eisenberg.
"The first check on power is innovation." Become lazy, and all the voting power in the world won't save you. There was always a faster gun in the old west, and there will always be a better app today.
"The second check is a discussion of values," Eisenberg concludes. CEO's aren't dictators. Underlings can leave and the stock market is open five days a week. If these youthful kings start acting "evil" (as the Google kids once famously said), they will find themselves alone and despised, which is a bad place to be, no matter how large your palace is.
Posted by Informant_News on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 @ 20:01:26 MDT (1764 reads) (Read More... | 4519 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.33)
Misc: Temple at the Center of Time parts 1 - 8 Video Interview
Temple at the center of time part one
Temple at the Center of Time Part Two
Temple at the Center of Time Part Three
Temple at the Center of Time Part Four
Temple at the Center of Time Part Five
Temple at the Center of Time Part Six
Temple at the Center of Time Part Seven
Temple at the Center of Time Part Eight
David Flynn shares "Recent Revelations of Ancient Embedded Knowledge, And Its Impact on Understanding The End Times" in this installment of Future Quake.
Posted by Informant_News on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 @ 18:40:03 MDT (1473 reads) (Read More... | 3249 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.5)
Misc: Possible Meteor Crash in Northern USA - Youtube video
Possible Meteor Crash in Northern USA - Youtube video
People in Northern California and Nevada reported hearing a loud boom in the sky above the Sierra Sunday morning. The Tuolumne County sheriff's department said they are investigating the possibility that it might have been the physical impact of an overnight meteor shower. Some people in the Tahoe area said they saw what they believed to be a meteor just prior to the sound. People who live in in Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Placer County, Tuolumne County, Amador County and Nevada County contacted our sister station in Sacramento. KCRA is reporting that they heard the sound just after 8:30 a.m. A television station in Reno said they received similar calls from the city of Reno and as far away as Incline Village. Meteorologists in California and Nevada including our own Rob Mayeda said there were meteor showers Saturday night that could have still been going on Sunday morning. If the boom was a signal that an outer space rock made it way through the atmosphere, then there could be a rock or rocks now on Terra Firma. So far, no one has called authorities or television stations to report "a hit."
Mayeda said the meteor would likely be a bolide rock and that it likely burned up before getting to the ground. Every year the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet causing the Lyrid meteor shower. The results on a clear night is a meteor shower, which comes in the form of shooting stars streaking across the night sky. The stars are actually debris from the comet as it enters the Earth's atmosphere. According to the International Meteor Organization, the Lyrid meteor shower peaked with a maximum between 20 and 30 meteors per hour. That is not the best of the year's meteor showers, but many observers said they were pleasantly surprised. There was also a reported meteor streak in the South Bay Sunday morning at 7:50 a.m. Don Hirschfeld said he was at the Capitol Flea market when he saw a brilliant green streak race across the San Jose sky in the northeast direction. Hirshfeld said it lasted just a few seconds, but caught bargain shoppers' attention. There was no boom in the San Jose event and the streak ended with burn up flashes.
Read the report here: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_update_read&edis_id=CO-20...
Discuss the Report on the forum: http://earthchangenews.forumotion.co.uk/t8-possible-metor-crashes-in-the-us#8
Visit the website here: http://earthchangenews.com
Posted by Informant_News on Sunday, April 22, 2012 @ 19:02:33 MDT (1645 reads) (Read More... | 3141 bytes more | Misc | Score: 5)
In South Africa, abalone shells covered with pigment and tools for making paints are found in a cave, suggesting humans began thinking symbolically much earlier than previously recognized.
In a tiny South African cave, archaeologists have unearthed a 100,000-year-old art studio that contains tools for mixing powder from red and yellow rocks with animal fat and marrow to make vibrant paints as well as abalone shells full of dried-out red pigment, the oldest paint containers ever found.
The discovery, described in Friday's edition of the journal Science, suggests that humans may have been thinking symbolically — more like modern-day humans think — much earlier than previously recognized, experts said. Symbolic thinking could have been a key evolutionary step in the development of other quintessentially human abilities, such as language, art and complex ritual.
The artifacts were uncovered at a well-studied site called the Blombos Cave, which sits by the edge of the Indian Ocean about 180 miles east of Cape Town. The two shells, lying about 6 inches from each other, had a red residue from a soft, grindable stone known as ochre. Ochre is rich in iron compounds that usually give it red or yellow hues, and it is known to have been used in ancient paints. A residual stain line in one of the shells indicated that the mixture had at one time been wet, rather like the brown ring left around the edge of a coffee cup that's been sitting out for too long.
Previous finds had established that early humans made paint to adorn walls and decorate artifacts. But the suite of intact tools and ingredients found in the studio was a rare find that suggested a degree of planning and a basic knowledge of chemistry.
"In general we find pigment," said study coauthor Francesco d'Errico, an archaeologist at the University of Bordeaux in France. "But you never find the container with the residue. We were able to study microscopically all the elements in the recipe."
Along with ground-up red ochre, the mixtures contained charcoal and crushed spongy bones that were probably once rich in fat and marrow. The team also found rock fragments from the grinding stones that were used to make the mixture. One of the stones had remnants of a yellow pigment, perhaps from a previous batch of paint, that was not present in the reddish batches from the abalone shells.
By measuring the damage to quartz sediments caused by radioactive isotopes in the soil around the ochre containers, researchers were able to calculate that the paint tool kits were about 100,000 years old.
The cave was isolated; researchers found few artifacts associated with constant human activity from the same period when the paints were being mixed. Perhaps only one or two artisans from a nearby community came here to mix their paints, the team speculated.
Modern humans are thought to have evolved around 200,000 years ago, but much of the archaeological evidence of humans painting with ochre goes back only 60,000 years, D'Errico said. Examples of ochre use and other complex behaviors from around 100,000 years ago are few and far between, he said.
But the ability to mix and use paint signals a lot of important behaviors that are key to social and cognitive development, said Alison Brooks, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University who was not involved in the study. Unlike weapons, utensils or other artifacts, paint has little utilitarian value. Paint could be used to decorate objects, clothing or the body, often to send a social message in an increasingly complex society.
A nocturnal light with a 100-year history glows along the Missouri Oklahoma border.
A gusty wind stirs tree branches along the country road where we wait this mild November night. We stand beside our cars, looking westward where the road takes a rising and falling course over the hills.
"There! Is that it?" We can't believe our good fortune; not everyone who comes here sees this mysterious glow. It's above the place where the road disappears over the brow of a hill, maddeningly obscured by near and far trees.
We are genuine adults in terms of years-myself, my husband Jim Mueller, who is a photographer, and Roger "Buck" Buchanan, a high school art teacher and accomplished amateur astronomer-and we're saying, "Wow! Oh, yeah! Whoaaaa!" We're bobbing and weaving, seeking vantage points, looking through binoculars and a six-inch reflector telescope.
What we watch for the next hour is a conglomeration of light that waxes and wanes, disappears and reappears. Full of surprises, it shimmers, or looks like a necklace of lights or shrinks to mere twinkles. Is its shape due to leaves in the way? And it's far away, but how far?
The experience renders us somewhat inarticulate. Buck, looking through the telescope, says, "It's really, oh, it just fills, it's like a bright star that, it's not clear, oh, come here, there's four. Hello! Good grief!"
This is exciting. This is just plain fun. We have seen the Hornet Spooklight. Or have we? Our experience is only one way this light phenomenon has been seen.
The Spooklight has a nomadic history that may go back over 100 years in an area on either side of the Missouri-Oklahoma line, about three miles west of Hornet, a small community south of Joplin.
The nocturnal light glows in the distance or moves up the road toward you as fast as a person could walk. At closer ranges, people have seen it as round, spherical or diamond-shaped, the size of a lantern light or large as a washtub. You can see trees and bushes through it, says one observer. It may float past you, dance around or split and shoot off in different directions. This itinerant mystery is in the road, in a field, in the woods, at the window of a house. It's golden or red, or it appears as multiple lights in various combinations of yellow, orange, red, green and blue.
Sterling Barnett had a surprise encounter with the light around 1979, when he was a teenager living on the Missouri side of State Line Road. "My dad was always on me to get my chores done before it got dark, and I would put it off," says Sterling. In the barn one evening, he suddenly had light to work by and assumed his father had arrived with a flashlight.
"But I turned around, and there it was, big as life, right there in the door. It gave me quite a start. I was probably about 15 feet from it. It illuminated enough that I could see pretty good. It stayed there for 15 or 20 seconds, and then it went out." He thought, "Holy smoke!"
The Barnett farm is in an area where people saw the Spooklight in horse and buggy days, before some of the present roads were cut through. Ralph Bilke says his grandfather, Lloyd "Dutch" Bilke, told him of encountering the Spooklight around 1910. It was so bright, his grandfather told him, "I could count the buttons on your granny's dress."
Oral tradition says the light was seen as early as the mid-1880s. In "Tri-State Spooklight," a booklet published in the mid-1950s, Juanita Kay reported, "Many settlers camped here on our property overnight when they used to travel by wagon. After investigating the place where they had seen campfires the night before, my mother and father became aware of the light because they found no ashes where the fiery lights had appeared. This was back in the 1800s."
The tri-state marker where Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri meet is three miles north of the light's neighborhood. To generations of area families, the Spooklight is a delightful and mystifying part of growing up. Their stories conjure up a hundred years of images-those couples in buggies, families watching from cars, farm kids riding bicycles around in the dark, carloads of teenagers in a Spooklight rite of passage, hayrides, tourists from afar, lost Spooklight-seekers knocking on doors, characters alarming enough to bring the sheriff, skeptics chasing an elusive glow or being chased by it and scientists prowling for the answer.
To wrestle with the Spooklight mystery, you need to know the lay of this land on the northern edge of the Ozarks. From Hornet, West Hymer Road runs west and ends at State Line Road. There, the Spooklight area of horse and buggy days is just to the south on the Missouri side, toward Warren Branch. If you jog north on State Line about .2 mile, you can turn west again where Oklahoma's E 40 Road begins. Or, if you jog south about .8 mile, you can go west on E 50 Road. Both of these east-west roads have been prime viewing spots. The hills in the region step down gradually from Hornet westward to Spring River in Oklahoma.
My father-in-law, Byron Mueller, laughs about his partial view of the light on E 40 Road, the place to see it around 1939. A friend had persuaded Byron to go on a double date and arranged a blind date for him. The night turned out to be too cool for anyone to ride in the roadster's rumble seat, and Byron's date turned out to be rather plump. With four people squashed into the seat inside the car, Byron could barely see down the road, but he glimpsed the approach of a washtub-sized light.
Karen Allen Morgan, Joplin, says her older sister Rita took her and their brother to that same road around 1944. Their outings required a cooler of pop and some popcorn, as there was usually a wait. Karen sat on the car fender and saw the light top a hill to the west, travel down through a valley and then uphill toward her. "I can remember probably three occasions when it actually came right by us," she says. "I would be terrified at that point and would dive into the window of the car. It was a goldish-red glow when it was close, and translucent."
Her sister Rita Livingston, rural Riverton, Kan., relates another adventure around 1950. After watching without success, she and her husband Robert discovered their car had a flat tire. "My husband took the tire off," she says, "and here comes the Spooklight, right up the road. It was about the height of the top of the car, coming like a big orange ball of fire. It was scary, spinning like a ball, revolving. The light came on up, went over the top of the car and on down the road behind us."
Until it closed in 1962, the general store in Hornet was a jumping-off place for Spooklighters. Proprietors Olivia Buzzard and her late husband O. W. "Bud" Buzzard gave out directions and sold the "Tri-State Spooklight" booklet. "We sent books everywhere, California, Chicago," Olivia recalls. "I've been on the bus down in Florida, and people have said to me, 'Oh, you live at the Hornet Spooklight' when they found out where I live." During World War II, she and her husband took Camp Crowder soldiers to see the Spooklight.
In the 1950s, word went around that the light had moved south to E 50 road, currently considered "Spooklight Road," even though sightings continue on E 40. For years, successive proprietors Arthur "Spooky" Meadows and Garland "Spooky" Middleton ran a small Spooklight museum/pinball parlor on the Missouri side of State Line Road with soft drinks, a view down E 50 and a telescope that cost a quarter to use. On weekends, parked cars lined the road.
L. J. Perkins of Carl Junction can laugh now about her Spooklight outing with out-of-town visitors: "It was a great experience, one I never believed would happen. We saw it off in the distance, and we thought, well, that's it. And then this light just kept getting closer and kind of danced in front of us. That was when I got kind of paranoid. We wanted to get away from it. It kept bouncing along beside us and on us and over us, circled around us. My husband took a dirt road, and the car was never quite the same; we damaged the oil pan getting away."
Aside from such human mishaps, I've heard no stories of the light harming anyone. Most local residents seem to coexist easily with the phenomenon. "I grew up with it and saw it a thousand times," says Charles Dawes, whose family lived on E 40 Road. "I never paid much attention to it." Yet many visitors have watched for it in vain, and a couple living near the Spooklight area on State Line for 37 years have never seen it.
During the 1980s, Ralph and Josie Bilke lived on the north side of E 50, one-eighth mile back from the road. Twice, after having bulldozer work done in back of the house, Ralph saw "a big green glow out over the trees." Another night, after they turned out the lights, Josie says, "We thought someone had pulled up in our drive. It was the Spooklight, and it just lit up our bedroom. It was right on our porch, and then it went out."
One morning an hour before daylight, as Ralph drank a cup of coffee, he saw at the front window "two big red-it looked like eyes - within ten feet of the house."
The lights to the north and south of the Bilkes' house contradict the idea that you must stare westward down a road to view the Spooklight. And as a child, when Ralph visited his grandfather just north of E 40, they'd sit on the front porch and watch the Spooklight in the pasture across the road. They were looking east.
All the accounts I've heard leave me longing to see the Spooklight moving toward me, dancing in the woods or zipping over my head. And I wonder: are the far-away Spooklights and the close-up personal ones completely different phenomena? What did I see that November night? Something explainable, such as car headlights miles away, or a hesitant Spooklight that kept its distance?
Not that I want the Hornet Spooklight explained. It's better to have that capricious glow remain everyone's mystery, promising delight, amusement and a few chills to generations to come.
Suzanne Wilson lives near Joplin and has a long acquaintance with the Hornet Spooklight.
Mysterious lights have appeared around the world throughout history. Humans have proposed explanations: ball lightning, fox fire (bioluminescence of decayed vegetation), marsh gas (burning methane), peizo electricity created by pressures on crystalline substances in the earth. Observers in Norfolk, England in 1907 were convinced they saw "luminous owls" which had contracted a fungal disease or had come in contact with phosphorescent wood.
Descriptions from many countries will sound familiar to Hornet Spooklighters: fiery colored, amber, yellow or white globes of light; shifts in color and shape; swinging motions; no rays. Some lights appear to interact with people, approaching them, retreating when approached, reappearing behind observers as if playing a game.
Legends are similar too, often based on the theme of lantern-carrying ghosts. Hornet "Spooklore" includes stories about a cruel Confederate sergeant, executed by cannon fire, searching for his head, and a miner seeking his kidnapped children. Another tale tells of a Quapaw Indian couple, forbidden to marry and pursued by warriors. When they leaped from a cliff into Spring River, their spirits merged in a wandering light.
Missouri has been host to other strange lights. During the New Madrid earthquake of 1811, bright flashes burst from the earth. Lights in the sky in the Piedmont area sparked "UFO fever" in 1973; sightings dwindled by 1980. Dr. Harley D. Rutledge, then a physics professor at Southeast Missouri State University, wrote about his study of the phenomenon in Project Identification.
Paul Devereux, an English researcher, included the Hornet Spooklight in Earth Lights Revelation along with nine other persistent light phenomena in his chapter "American Spooklights." He suggests the cause of what he calls earth lights may be a complex matrix of conditions, not necessarily identical for all light phenomena. "We are looking at an end product that is challenging and must ultimately extend branches of our understanding beyond their current reach," Devereux writes.
Posted by Informant_News on Sunday, April 22, 2012 @ 18:46:07 MDT (1813 reads) (Read More... | 13216 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.66)
Misc: Healing properties of Quartz and Quartz Crystals
Natural Quartz Crystal: crystal healing and energy
Quartz crystal points and quartz crystal clusters should be in every home to bring harmony to the life force in the home. Quartz crystals are used for:
Changing bad vibrations
Quartz crystals are used in expanding the mind to touch the spirit world. Crystals are used to enhance the beneficial life force. Crystal water (water that a quartz crystal has been placed) has been drunk for its healthy benefits for centuries.
Some people think crystals are new age. How can something that has been used since cave living man be new age?
It has been said Atlantis was destroyed by the incorrect use of quartz crystals. Edgar Cayce spoke about an energy stone in Atlantis. Mr. Cayce's description of the energy stone fits quartz crystal. The Bible mentions many gemstones, including quartz. There is much disagreement on the stones used in the Breastplate of Aaron (Ex. 28). In some translations of the Bible the sixth stone, which is the third stone of the second row is the diamond. Some scholars believe the sixth stone is rock crystal or quartz crystal. The diamond was not used until about 800 B.C.
All quartz crystals have 6 primary properties. They are able to structure, store, amplify, focus, transmit and transform energy, which includes matter, thought, emotion and information.
Metaphysical quartz formations possess additional properties, based on their geometry and other specific features.
Quartz naturally harmonises and energizes our gross and subtle bodies. Kirlian photography has shown that holding a small, double terminated quartz doubled the photographable portion of the aura.
The chakras can be activated, cleansed, balanced and energized, and all psychic abilities can be initiated and strengthened.
Chakra: Crown, 7th. Can be used on all chakras.
Vedic Astrological Information:
Ruling Planet: Venus
Gemstones: Diamond, clear quartz, clear zircon, clear topaz.
Metal to be used: Silver, gold.
Affected Element: Water
Affected Chakra: 3rd, Vishuddhi
Day for Invocation: Friday
Time for Invocation: Sunrise
Mantra of Invocation: “Om shum shukraya namah”
Repeat 16 times.
Pronunciation: “Owm shoom shookra-ya nama-ha”
Quartz is natural silicone, S102, without which, you would now be gazing sadly at a blank screen!
Quartz, referred to as the "ice of the gods" by many ancients, has always been recognized as having extraordinary physical and metaphysical properties.
Posted by Informant_News on Friday, April 20, 2012 @ 14:37:06 MDT (1696 reads) (Read More... | 3794 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.66)
Global News: NASA Celebrates Earth Day 2012 in the Washington Area
NASA is taking part in the celebration of Earth Day's 42nd anniversary on the National Mall in Washington from April 20 through April 22. The agency's involvement includes three consecutive days of activities and exhibits open to the public. Additional activities are scheduled at nearby NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
NASA's Earth Science Mission seeks to understand Earth's systems and their responses to natural and anthropogenic (human-made) changes. A fleet of satellites in NASA's Earth Observing System gives scientists the global, long-term measurements they need to connect the atmosphere (air), lithosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), cryosphere (snow/ice), and biosphere (life) as a single system. NASA works with many other partners from government, industry, academia, and international space agencies on the satellite missions that make up the EOS series. (Credit: NASA)
The "NASA Village" on the National Mall will contain activities and exhibits in three tents that highlight the use of NASA science and technology to advance knowledge and awareness of our home planet. The area is located one block west of 12th Street and the Smithsonian Metro station entrance.
The NASA Village science tents features many "hands on" demonstrations, activities, and handouts to illustrate the capabilities of Earth Science Research. (Credit: NASA/Christopher Chrissotimos)
The Earth and Activities tents will host exhibits and hands-on demonstrations throughout the weekend. Activities include the Weather Versus Climate game, a "Go Green" environment challenge, and Earth Science Pursuit. The Green Theater will feature large satellite images and presentations by NASA scientists and others.
On Earth Day, April 22, a performance stage hosted by the Earth Day Network will feature presentations by NASA along with a wide variety of entertainment.
View of the line of visitors to the NASA Village exhibits. The Washington Monument is visible in the background. (Credit: NASA/Christopher Chrissotimos)
Below is a schedule of NASA Earth Day events on the Mall.
Friday, April 20
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. EDT -- NASA Village: Presentations in Green Theater, demonstrations and activities for students. Topics include: satellite imagery, ozone, forests, water, auroras, atmosphere, shrinking sea ice, dust, pollution and severe storms.
Saturday, April 21
12 - 5 p.m. EDT -- NASA Village open to the public. Demos and exhibitions in all three tents.
1 - 2 p.m. EDT -- NASA UStream broadcast in the Green Theater: featuring scientists talking about how NASA helps us see and understand Earth in new ways.
Sunday, April 22
12 – 7 p.m. EDT -- Official Earth Day activities
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT -- NASA Village open to the public
NASA will also be hosting the following Earth Day activities at the Goddard Space Flight Center Visitor Center:
Wednesday, April 18
12 - 1 p.m. EDT -- "The Next Generation Blue Marble from Suomi NPP," Robert Simmon, NASA Earth Observatory
1 - 2 p.m. EDT -- Digital Learning Network presentation: "Beautiful Earth Multimedia Performance and Science Dialogue." Kenji Williams, Jim Rock and Thorsten Markus present a multimedia and musical online performance: http://www.dln.nasa.gov
For information about other Earth Day activities on the Mall, visit:
Alien message 'may be in our DNA' ( article for the archives)
09 August 2004 09:03
Forget waiting for ET to call -- the most likely place to find an alien message is in our DNA, according to an expert in Australia.
Professor Paul Davies, from the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University in Sydney, believes a cosmic greeting card could have been left in every human cell.
The coded message would only be discovered once the human race had the technology to read and understand it.
Writing in New Scientist magazine, Davies said the idea should be considered seriously.
For more than 40 years astronomers have been sweeping the skies with radio telescopes hoping to catch a signal from an alien civilisation.
So far the search has been in vain. But Davies believes it is wrong to assume that extraterrestrials who may be hundreds of millions of years ahead of us technologically will have chosen to communicate by radio.
Leaving artefacts for humans to find once they are sufficiently evolved -- like the obelisk in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey -- might be a more attractive strategy, he said.
But ensuring the survival of such an artefact over possibly millions of years would be difficult.
A better solution would be to incorporate information into the human genome, allowing it to be copied and maintained over immense periods of time.
One way to do this might be to deliver alien viruses which could infect cells with message-laden DNA, said Davies.
Scientists have recently discovered large sequences of "junk" DNA that contain no genes and appears to be very stable.
"If ET has put a message into terrestrial organisms, this is surely where to look," said Davies.
A computer could be used to find obvious attention-grabbing patterns within these stretches of DNA, he said. If a sequence of junk units of DNA were displayed as an array of pixels on a screen and produced a simple image "the presumption of tampering would be inescapable".
The DNA code was easily big enough to contain a decent-sized novel or a potted history of the rise and fall of an alien civilisation.
Davies added: "Trying to second-guess alien communication strategies is fraught with uncertainty, so we should try everything we can afford. The truth may be out there somewhere. Or it could be a lot closer to home." – Sapa-DPA
Posted by Informant_News on Friday, April 20, 2012 @ 13:49:06 MDT (1182 reads) (Read More... | 2864 bytes more | Misc | Score: 5)
Misc: Study reveals 'extraordinary' DNA of people in Scotland
The DNA of people living in Scotland has "extraordinary" and "unexpected" diversity, according to a new study.
The study revealed that actor Tom Conti is related to Napoleon Bonaparte
The Scotland's DNA project, led by Edinburgh University's Dr Jim Wilson, has tested almost 1,000 Scots in the last four months to determine the genetic roots of people in the country.
The project discovered four new male lineages, which account for one in 10 Scottish men.
It also found that actor Tom Conti is related to Napoleon Bonaparte.
Scotland's DNA was set up by Dr Wilson along with historian Alistair Moffat, the current rector of St Andrews University.
Using new technology, scientists were able to pinpoint a participant's DNA marker, from which they tracked the person's history and lineage.
Conti and Napoleon both share the M34 marker, which is Saracen in origin.
The project found that Scotland has almost 100 different groups of male ancestry from across Europe and further afield.
More than 150 different types of female DNA from Europe, Asia and Africa were discovered.
Researchers believe that Scotland's location could be a factor in the "astonishing and unique" origins of people from the country.
In a statement, Dr Wilson and Mr Moffat said: "Perhaps geography, Scotland's place at the farthest north-western end of the European peninsula, is the reason for great diversity.
"For many thousands of years, migrants could move no further west. Scotland was the end of many journeys."
Scotland's DNA also found that more than 1% of all Scotsmen are direct descendants of the Berber and Tuareg tribesmen of the Sahara, a lineage which is around 5600 years old.
Royal Stewart DNA was confirmed in 15% of male participants with the Stewart surname. They are directly descended from the royal line of kings.
Scientists believe comedian and presenter Fred MacAuley's ancestors were slaves, sold at the great slave market in Dublin in the 9th Century, despite his name suggesting a Viking heritage.
They said MacAuley's slave ancestor was taken by ship to the Hebrides and had an affair with his owner's wife, thereby intruding DNA into the MacAulay line.
Scotland's DNA will soon be renamed Britain's DNA as the project aims to widen its genetic study to include the English, Welsh and Irish.
Posted by Informant_News on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 @ 15:32:38 MDT (1688 reads) (Read More... | 3020 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.33)
Tech: Subterranean bacteria are prepared to survive antibiotics
Microbiologist Hazel Barton, left, collected bacteria from deep inside Lechuguilla Cave at New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park. (Hazel Barton)
No place on Earth demonstrates the resilience or inventiveness of life quite like Lechuguilla Cave, whose subterranean tunnels stretch for 130 miles through Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.
Deep in the cave's most arid recesses, deprived of all sunlight and mostly starved of life-giving water, a lush garden of bacteria grows. Untouched by humans for all of their 4 million years, these strains of bacteria thrive on the harsh minerals of the geological formations to which they cling and fend off other life forms that would prey on them.
It is a simple life. But new research suggests it could tell us volumes about the medicines doctors rely upon to combat infection and why, increasingly, they are failing.
Scientists who collected 93 strains of bacteria from the forbidding depths of Lechuguilla found that all were resistant to at least one of the antibiotics that modern medicine uses to fight bacterial infections and some were resistant to at least 14. In addition, virtually all of the 26 antibiotics tested as part of the study proved useless in killing at least one of the strains of bacteria collected.
That these life forms evolved in ways that appear to anticipate medicines attests to bacteria's remarkable powers of survival. It also suggests that the rise in antibiotic- resistant diseases isn't due entirely to the runaway use of these drugs; rather, try as you might to kill them, bacteria are programmed to endure.
"It's awe-inspiring," said Gerard D. Wright, a microbiologist from the Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University in Canada and senior author of the study, which was published online Wednesday by the journal PLoS ONE. "It gives you real respect for the genetic diversity and the ability of these organisms to evade toxic molecules."
The study appeared on the same day that the Food and Drug Administration announced it would ask drug makers and veterinarians to drastically reduce the widespread use of antibiotics to promote the growth of commercial livestock. And it suggests that while such measures may slow the rate at which infectious diseases gain the upper hand against medicines, they cannot stop that process.
Scientists have long believed that the ability of disease-causing bacteria to outwit antibiotic medicines was a man-made phenomenon, said Eileen Choffnes, director of the Institute of Medicine's forum on microbial threats. The growing use of antibiotics derived from plants and synthesized in laboratories was thought to have spurred adaptations that made many of these bacterial pathogens less vulnerable to drugs used to fight tuberculosis, malaria, gonorrhea, influenza, pneumonia and AIDS.
But the new research demonstrates that antibiotic resistance emerged millions of years before those medicines were used — and in an environment far too forbidding for the bacteria to have come into any contact with the drugs, Choffnes said.
The findings make it clear that humans will always have to contend with the problem of antibiotic resistance, no matter what steps are taken to prevent it, said Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center: "There's never going to be a point where we can say, 'OK, we're up, we're ahead, they're done.' "
Researchers have harvested bacteria on the Earth's surface that was thousands of years old and reported last year that some of them were resistant to antibiotics. That might have been due to exposure to natural antibiotic threats in their environment.
"This pushes it way back," Spellberg said.
For the new study, about 500 strains of bacteria from three sites in the cave were brought to the surface by Hazel A. Barton, a spelunker and microbiologist at the University of Akron in Ohio. To harvest them, she burrowed into areas of the cave where the National Park Service could ensure that no more than six humans had ever been near.
Barton's samples were kept alive in lab dishes that approximated their nutrient-poor origins. The 93 strains that survived and were chosen for evaluation were subjected to 26 antimicrobial agents, ranging from natural products such as vancomycin to completely synthetic agents such as ciprofloxacin and linezolid.
In one group of bacterial strains — the "gram-positive" strains — 70% of the samples were resistant to between three and four classes of antibiotics, on average. The same was true of 65% of the "gram-negative" strains.
Tetracycline antibiotics were effective against all of the bacterial samples. But sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim and fosfomycin were not. Three ancient strains of bacteria in the Streptomyces genus proved resistant to daptomycin, the newest class of antibiotic approved for clinical use.
In an interview, Barton said that the discovery that ancient bacteria were immune to so many modern medicines was "a eureka moment."
"As a scientist, that's what you live for," said Barton, who combined a childhood passion for caving with her microbiology research. "Just like in cave exploration, it's the discovery of the unexpected that keeps you going back for more."
Barton added that the study's findings should help scientists developing antibiotics for future use to anticipate ways in which bacteria might adapt to resist the effects of new medicines.
Spellberg said the findings underscore the need for measures like the one taken Wednesday by the FDA. In 2010, the agency said that nearly 29 million pounds of antibiotic agents were fed to the nation's livestock each year. That practice accelerates bacteria's adaptation to the drugs, he said.
But Spellberg added that the federal government should take a more activist role in ensuring that the development of new antibiotic agents — a risky and expensive enterprise that has scared off many pharmaceutical companies — continues. The Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act, a bill now pending in Congress, would create economic incentives for drug companies to invest in developing new antibiotics, he said.
Posted by Informant_News on Thursday, April 12, 2012 @ 15:23:06 MDT (1245 reads) (Read More... | 7059 bytes more | Tech | Score: 4.33)
Misc: Locust Inspired Technology Could Prevent Car Crashes
LOCUST INSPIRED TECHNOLOGY
No more vehicle accidents
MAY PREVENT CAR ACCIDENTS
It is calculated tha upward of half the number of accidents could be prevented with effective crash-avoidance technologies, which the automobile industry views as the future of car safety. Now wouldn't that be great!
Together with colleagues from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, the National Center of Microelectronics in Seville, Spain, and the Volvo Car Corporation in Göteborg, Sweden, Rind is developing crash-avoidance technology based on locusts' navigational skills.
Locusts have a large neuron called the locust giant movement detector (LGMD) located behind their eyes. The LGMD releases bursts of energy whenever a locust is on a collision course with another locust or a predatory bird.
These spikes of energy, called action potentials, prompt the locusts to take evasive action. The entire process from motion detection to reaction takes about 45 milliseconds-or 45 thousandths of a second. This means they can react in time to things that are approaching very rapidly and so make their escape before collision.
The locusts' ability to see many more images per second than humans gives them a remarkable view of the world. For humans, it would be like watching everything go by in slow motion.
And because the insects only detect things that are on a collision course with them, the locusts are ignorant of all other movements. It's a particularly useful trait, as the locusts travel in dense swarms akin to rush hour traffic.
"The [LGMD] system is complemented by the brain of the locust, which provides the necessary experience and knowledge to really react according to the situation," said Jorge Cuadri, a project engineer with Spain's National Center of Microelectronics. Cuadri is helping to develop the circuitry for the locust-inspired crash avoidance technology.
Posted by Informant_News on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 19:23:39 MDT (1265 reads) (Read More... | 2455 bytes more | Misc | Score: 4.4)
A bronze, Viking-era "piggy-bank" containing thousands silver coins dating from the 11th century has been unearthed on the Baltic island of Gotland in what Swedish archaeologists have described as a "fantastic" treasure find.
The silver treasure was found last Thursday during an archaeological examination of a field in Rone, on southern Gotland.
"We had an expert out there with a metal detector who got a signal that he's found something pretty big," Per Widerström, an archaeologist with the Gotland Museum, told The Local.
The same field has yielded previous treasure finds, including a well-known discovery from the 1880s, when a collection of nearly 6,000 coins dating from the 11th century were uncovered.
The field's reputation made it a target for amateur treasure hunters and plunderers, prompting the Gotland county administrative board to commission a survey of the area as a preventative measure against any further plundering of valuable archaeological finds.
After being alerted to the new find, Widerström and colleague Majvor Östergren went back out to the field to figure out exactly what lay beneath the surface.
"What we found was a bronze, Viking-era bucket filled with silver coins," he said.
A preliminary analysis of one of the coins revealed that it was likely minted in Germany some time between 1000 and 1040.
"It's fantastic," museum head Lars Sjövärd told the local helagotland.se news website.
X-rays also indicate that the bucket, which measures 23 centimetres in diameter and has a depth of about 17 centimetres, likely contains "thousands" of coins.
"We can't say for sure because the x-rays couldn't penetrate all the silver. There might be other silver artefacts in there, but as it looks now, the bucket appears filled to the brim with coins," said Widerström.
He explained that the find is unusual in that it was a complete treasure was found intact, something which is likely due to the fact that it was nestled just over 30 centimetres deep in the earth.
"Ploughs only go down about 29 centimetres, which means this treasure has managed to escape damage from all agricultural activity over the centuries," Widerström explained.
He compared the bronze bucket to a Viking-era "piggy bank" or "cash box", adding that the size of the find may be one of the first indications of a consolidation in the market of Viking merchants.
"Treasures found before this time are usually much smaller, while those found after, while fewer in number, tended to be much larger," Widerström said.
"We hope to be able to determine if the bucket was filled all at once, or one several occasions over time."
He refused to place a monetary value on the find, although museum head Sjövärd explained that even one of the silver coins could be worth "thousands" of Swedish kronor.
Widerström hopes to commence with more detailed examination of the treasure next week assuming additional resources are made available from the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet).
He added that the field where the coins were found has likely yielded its last Viking-era treasure.
"We're certain there isn't anything left there," Widerström told The Local.