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AFP | British scientist Stephen Hawking has branded heaven a "fairy story" for people afraid of the dark, in his latest dismissal of the concepts underpinning the world's religions. The author of 1988 international best-seller "A Brief History of Time" said in an interview with The Guardian published on Monday that his views were partly influenced by his battle with motor neurone disease.
Dail Mail | The world's largest atom smasher is rumoured to have found the Higgs boson, the subatomic particle otherwise known as the 'God particle'. The speculation is based on a leaked internal note, said to be from physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17 mile-long particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland.
Telegraph | Previous efforts in the 1990s to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost failed because they had been too badly damaged by the extreme cold.
AP | Israeli archaeologists said Monday they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man, and if so, it could upset theories of the origin of humans. A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said teeth found in the cave are about 400,000 years old and resemble those of other remains of modern man, known scientifically as Homo sapiens, found in Israel. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half as old.
breitbart | An expert panel convened by President Barack Obama advised vigilance and self-regulation as scientists seeks ways to create new organisms that could spark useful innovations in clean energy, pollution control and medicine. The White House on Thursday said the controversial field of synthetic biology, or manipulating the DNA of organisms to forge new life forms, poses limited risks and should be allowed to proceed.
Cnet | The human brain is truly awesome. A typical, healthy one houses some 200 billion nerve cells, which are connected to one another via hundreds of trillions of synapses. Each synapse functions like a microprocessor, and tens of thousands of them can connect a single neuron to other nerve cells. In the cerebral cortex alone, there are roughly 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies.
PopSci | Evolution Done Gone Wrong This will turn out well Syfy. It's been a long time since a Pentagon project from the DARPA labs truly evoked a "WTF DARPA?!" response, but our collective jaw dropped when we saw the details on a project known as BioDesign. DARPA hopes to dispense with evolutionary randomness and assemble biological creatures, genetically programmed to live indefinitely and presumably do whatever their human masters want. And, Wired's Danger Room reports, when there's the inevitable problem of said creatures going haywire or realizing that they're intelligent and have feelings, there's a planned self-destruct genetic code that could be triggered.
my.Telegraph.com | The following is a letter to the American Physical Society released to the public by Professor Emiritus of physics Hal Lewis of the University of California at Santa Barbara.
DailyFinance.com |Don't kid yourself. Real privacy no longer exists in this country. We've long had government organizations collecting data that paints a pretty clear picture of what we do with our time. The Internal Revenue Service knows everything about what you earn and any major transactions you make. It can access every bit of information it needs to determine how much money you should be sending on April 15.
BBC | Scientists have identified a previously unknown type of ancient human through analysis of DNA from a finger bone unearthed in a Siberian cave. The extinct "hominin" (human-like creature) lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago.
Reuters | God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.
io9.com | The strength of the electromagnetic interaction, one of physics's most fundamental constants, is actually very slowly changing, and has different values in different parts of the universe. This amazing find could help us find a grand unified theory of physics.
LRC Blog | It always starts out with the MSM doing a puff piece on some “wonderful” new technology which will make our lives “safer” and more “efficient.” From the broadcasting arm of the number one New World Order industrial corporation, General Electric, comes this story about the “convenience” of being microchipped for identification. (I know all of us have a serious problem about “not” carrying around any identification with us when we go outdoors with our wallets. Don’t worry—with the microchip implant we won’t even need our wallets anymore because all of our personal and financial information will be stored on this “convenient” chip.)
CNN | When we showed our appreciation for our Facebook fans by bringing the 'like' button to the real world, we didn't expect a horde of Coca-Cola-crazed teenagers to go one better. The kids were issued with an RFID bracelet that allowed them to 'like' the things they were doing in the real world. Everything's better with RFID.
Pysorg.com | By suggesting that mass, time, and length can be converted into one another as the universe evolves, Wun-Yi Shu has proposed a new class of cosmological models that may fit observations of the universe better than the current big bang model. What this means specifically is that the new models might explain the increasing acceleration of the universe without relying on a cosmological constant such as dark energy, as well as solve or eliminate other cosmological dilemmas such as the flatness problem and the horizon problem.
The Guardian | An Austrian archaeological team has used radar imaging to determine the extent of the ruins of the 3,500-year-old one-time capital of Egypt's foreign occupiers, according to the country's antiquities department.
Popsci.com | Fingerprints They've been used in security schemes forever, but now UK schools are scanning the 'prints of kids as young as four in order to check out library books. Vince Alongi
Mail Online | For the old Kurdish shepherd, it was just another burning hot day in the rolling plains of eastern Turkey. Following his flock over the arid hillsides, he passed the single mulberry tree, which the locals regarded as 'sacred'. The bells on his sheep tinkled in the stillness. Then he spotted something. Crouching down, he brushed away the dust, and exposed a strange, large, oblong stone.
Discover | The good news: By combining the DNA of parents with genetic material from a third person, scientists might have developed a way for women with rare genetic disorders to have healthy children. The bad news: The ethical complications involved are so messy that it might be a long time coming.