It was once thought that vacuums--like the vacuum of space--contained nothing. No particles, no sound, just empty darkness. But it has since come to light, thanks to discoveries in quantum physics, that virtual sub-atomic particles constantly and spontaneously appear and disappear, even in the void. Which doesn’t mean a whole lot unless you’re trying to build the ultimate random number generator.
Back in 2009 when the H1N1 pandemic was sweeping the globe--it would leave about 17,000 people dead by the beginning of 2010, with confirmed cases in more than 200 countries--waves of anxiety followed in its wake. For most, it was a fear of an illness that seemed at the time indiscriminate, unstoppable, and incurable. For the virologists and drug developers trying to battle the virus, it stemmed from the fact that H1N1 was so poorly understood. This new strain of influenza A was a hybrid borrowing genetic elements from a handful of flu viruses, and researchers weren't just without tools--they didn't even know for sure what tools might be useful.
Del Toro begins his creature creation with "the National Geographic approach"
By Steve DalyPosted 06.14.2011 at 10:02 am 3 Comments
Consider the plant monster from Hellboy II or the eyeless creep in Pan’s Labyrinth: Director Guillermo del Toro has a genius for putting bizarre beings on screen. But no matter how grotesque the vision, he always begins his creations with what he calls “the National Geographic approach.” Start with a nightmarish idea, and then look to nature for details. “You want to make the creatures outlandish enough that they’ll thrill the imagination,” he says, “but recognizable enough that they feel real.”
For decades, astronomers have known that the vast regions of intergalactic gas and dust known as nebulae served as the womb of stars. They theorized that under the relentless pull of gravity, the gas of a nebula condenses until critical mass ignites the gas and sparks the birth of a new sun. But while that theory explained the general genesis of stars, no one ventured a guess at which nebula would become a new star when.
New software predicts where structures could crack under strain
By Gregory MonePosted 03.20.2008 at 9:50 am 0 Comments
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Florida International University have developed a technique that enables them to identify the weak spots in a structure from afar.
The program they developed, Scan and Solve, uses 3D data of an object to predict where it is most likely to fracture, and how its faulty spots will be affected by outside forces such as gravity or other forms of strain.