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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 33,666

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Infrared photosynthesis: A potential power source for alien life in sunless places

Photosynthesis—the harvesting of sunlight to produce energy—is the ultimate driver of virtually all life on the surface of our planet. Most photosynthetic creatures rely on optical light, the kind we see, to energize their biological machinery. Yet some can make use of lower-energy (and invisible to our eyes) infrared light. And in the case of one kind of bacteria—discovered years ago, deep underwater near a hydrothermal vent—this light need not even come from the Sun.

A new study explores the potential for photosynthetic life to persist in such sun-starved conditions. The research aims to shed light, as it were, on how organisms could live off of the dim infrared emissions from hydrothermal vents on alien worlds. Tantalizingly, such vents are theorized to exist beneath the surface of Jupiter's ice-covered, oceanic moon Europa.

"When we became aware of bacteria using infrared light to photosynthesize, we felt very curious about checking the photosynthetic potential with this light because this is one measure of whether life could thrive around hydrothermal vents," said Rolando Cardenas, a physicist at Central University "Marta Abreu" de Las Villas in Santa Clara, Cuba and a coauthor of the paper published in the May issue of Astrophysics and Space Science.

The new findings suggest that photosynthetic life as we know it would struggle to flourish given the small amount of available light in hydrothermal vent environments. But organisms that could make use of lower-energy infrared light might find themselves with plenty to get by on in sunless circumstances.

more
http://phys.org/news/2013-06-infrared-photosynthesis-potential-power-source.html

New 311mph maglev train in Japan passes initial tests



(Phys.org) —Engineers with Central Japan Railway Co. have put their newest maglev L0 train through initial testing and report the new high-speed train is on course for commercial deployment by 2027. The train will eventually carry up to 1000 passengers at a time in 16 carriages (traveling at speeds up to 311mph / 500kmph) between Tokyo and Nagoya, cutting current travel time from 90 to 40 minutes.

The initial test of the train was a simple trial to ensure soundness—the lead car and four other carriages were pulled along a track using a maintenance vehicle. An official test of the train is expected to be carried out in September. The maglev train, like others of its kind, is held in the air by magnets as it's traveling cutting down on friction between wheels and rails.

Japan was the first country to introduce maglev trains. They built and used one to transport spectators at speeds up to 130mph to and from venues at the 1964 Olympics held in that country. Since that time, virtually all other technically advanced countries have built so-called bullet trains and have put them into service. The title of worlds fastest is currently held by China's Shanghai maglev train—it's capable of running at speeds of up to 268mph, though it generally operates at closer to 150mph due to track length restrictions. A train running at 311mph would set a new bar, likely prompting others to see if that speed can be topped.

Japan has set itself apart in high speed rail—its current network of trains run at speeds averaging a world-best 199mph over 1,400 miles of track. Nagoya, Japan's third largest city is approximately 218 miles west of Tokyo—the the span between them is currently serviced by the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. Plans call for the rail line to be extended all the way to Osaka by 2045. Government officials have indicated that the overall plan is to add high-speed service between all of the major cities on Honshu, the country's main island.

more
http://phys.org/news/2013-06-311mph-maglev-japan.html

Miracles, but for other countries. We spend our resources here in the USA on spying and killing.

Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents

Chris Mills - Gizmodo UK

In the wake of last night’s revelation that everyone in the world has a creepy NSA-shaped stalker, defenders of online liberty and generally angry internet people Anonymous have leaked a treasure trove of NSA documents, including seriously important stuff like the US Department of Defense’s ‘Strategic Vision’ for controlling the internet.

The documents — 13 in total — were posted online, along with an accompanying message full of the normal Anonymous bluster: people won’t be silenced, they have the memory of trivia-master elephants, the governments of the world will fall, your average press release really.

The documents seem to mostly relate to PRISM and supporting operations, and mostly date from around 2008, supposedly not long after PRISM first reared its ugly head. One of the key things Anonymous has highlighted from the documents is the existence of an “intelligence-sharing network” that shares data gleaned from PRISM with “intelligence partners” around the world. Although we’re still in the process of combing through the documents, you can bet your last Bitcoin that ‘intelligence’ has been shared with British security services.

Hit up the documents for further details; just be warned that although this might look like the plot of a B-list movie starring Aston Kutcher, the docs themselves are incredibly dry and full of more acronyms than whatever presentation you should be working on.

http://gizmodo.com/anonymous-just-leaked-a-trove-of-nsa-documents-511854773

Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest

USA USA




DNA





Dingell


Porn


Taxes


Midwest


Friday TOON Roundup 2 -Repubs








Friday TOON Roundup 1 -Spying on our own, sadly


































Luckovich Toon: Surveillance State

Thursday TOON Roundup 4- the rest






Protests





Environment





Spying


China





Europe


Teachers



Taxes



1%



Baseball






Mouse


Newz




RIP



Thursday TOON Roundup 3- Court

Nominations




Court











Thursday TOON Roundup 2- Republicans

GOP







Minnesota






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