The unseen 3D atlas of the universe

history of the universe 718x1024 The unseen 3D atlas of the universe: Video

For the last 12 years, Carter Emmart has been coordinating the efforts of scientists, artists and programmers to build a complete 3D visualization of our known universe. He demos this stunning tour and explains how it’s being shared with facilities around the world.


Outstanding! 200 countries, 200 years in just 4 minutes

You might have seen some extraordinary teachers in your life or you might be lucky enough to be a student of one but Hans Rosling in this video is a Swedish professor of international health and also director of the Gapminder Foundation. Besides other achievements professor is famous for his unique way of teaching.

Video below shows us the history of the world in 200 countries, over the past 200 years. This presentation includes 120 numbers and revels much all info in just 4 minutes. One of the things shown in this video is how the world we live in is radically different world than most of us imagine, So why not give a click to the video for rest of info.

Amazing Chinese straddling bus

Its time when big auto makers are busy in Detroit Auto Show to unveil their latest road runners and to catch more customers. Previously I posted about future of Chinese trains at AMAZING : Chinese Concept – The train that never stops. With its increasing population and booming economy China is facing serious problems with its current transportation systems. Although increasing traffic and constant road jams are problems of almost every country but China is committed to give solution to this ever increasing problem. With this amazing concept called Straddling Bus China is revolutionizing the modern transport system on Chinese roads.

It would be about 20 feet wide and 13 feet high. The bus that will drive over cars. Cars have to be under 2 meters high to travel underneath the upper level carrying passengers.

24 Hours A Day Through A Picture Show

We are living our days but how it look when we have an outer look on a complete 24 hour day. This is what photographer Chris Kotsiopoulos wants tell us. Impressive panorama photographs of Chris Kotsiopoulos contains 35 images and the way the sun and stars move in the Earth’s rotation.

Kotsiopoulos started shooting from 3.12 am. He put the camera on tripod and oriented east to west and then move gradually in the direction of the sun and took a gape of about 15 minutes.

After sunset, the camera pointing to the west – northwest to capture moments from day to night. When night falls, the direction of the camera movement is from west to east.

Then, Kotsiopoulos take 12 hours to process on his computer to launch this impressive panoramic photos.

Dumping friends on Facebook helps make you secure

WORRIED about loose-tongued friends sharing your private details with the world? Culling the least discreet members of your social network will help you feel more secure, but it's not a perfect solution. What if your best friend is an offender?
Lonely, but secure (Image: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features)Google's social networking site, Google+ had been running for less than a week when it turned out there was nothing to stop your friends "resharing" posts with the entire internet. Google now lets users disable reshares, but the problem is indicative of how little control you have over what your friends do.
Pritam Gundecha at Arizona State University in Tempe has a technique for working out which friends are most likely to leak private information so you can remove them, if you choose. Gundecha examined the relative importance of data 2 million Facebook users elect to share with the world and calculated the privacy risks friends pose to each other.
For example, around 80 per cent of users are happy to disclose their gender, but less than 1 per cent share their home address. That suggests people publicising their address aren't particularly privacy-conscious and you might want to avoid them.
Using these statistics, the researchers gave each user a vulnerability score and worked out which friends will cause your vulnerability score to go down should you unfriend them.
It turns out that unfriending the least discreet friend increases your security by an average of more than 5 per cent - worth it for a casual acquaintance, but perhaps not so easy if your best buddy is a blabbermouth. "There are some friends you cannot remove, irrespective of their vulnerability," admits Gundecha. While the existing technique doesn't take this kind of social importance into account, he is now working on a version that does. The preliminary work will be presented at the Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining conference in San Diego, California this week.
Randy Baden at the University of Maryland says unfriending people based on how vulnerable they make you is an intriguing take on the problem. But he adds that the vulnerability scores are "based on how much potential there is for someone to leak information, not whether that person actually is leaking information".

Internet databases reveal new uses for old drugs

IT IS a disarmingly simple idea: to find out if a drug might treat a disease it wasn't intended for, check out whether it has an opposite effect on gene activity to the illness itself. How do you find such drugs? By mining large public biological datasets.
For more than a decade, so-called DNA chips have routinely measured the activity of thousands of genes at a time, and researchers have deposited the results online into the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), after their papers were published.
Atul Butte, a bioinformatician at Stanford University in California and colleagues reasoned that it should be possible to find new drug uses by combining data from GEO with information gleaned from another database - the Connectivity Map. In this database, biologists at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have documented how patterns of gene activity in human cells change when they are exposed to a range of drugs.
Butte's team mashed up the two datasets according to a simple hypothesis: drugs that have an opposite effect on gene activity to a particular disease could be good candidates for treating the condition. So the researchers devised algorithms to look for drugs that ramp up the activity of genes that are unusually quiet in tissues affected by a particular disease, and suppress those that are hyperactive in that disease.
Butte admits that colleagues doubted the GEO data would be good enough to provide valuable insights. "When people see something that is free and on the internet, they think it must have no value," he says.
But Butte's team proved the sceptics wrong by taking two of the strongest leads and showing in animal experiments that the drugs could treat the conditions with which they were paired. In one case, the epilepsy drugtopiramate helped rats with inflammatory bowel disease (Science Translational MedicineDOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002648); in the second,cimetidine, used to treat stomach ulcers and acid reflux, reduced tumour growth in mice implanted with human lung cancer cells(Science Translational MedicineDOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001318).
"This shows that simple, elegant ideas really can come through," saysNicholas Tatonetti, also at Stanford, who has used data mining to find combinations of drugs with dangerous side effects (New Scientist, 4 June, p 16). "Researchers will be saying to themselves, 'Why didn't I think of that?'"
One snag is that patents on the two drugs have expired, so firms won't have the financial incentive to run clinical trials to find out if the new uses are viable. But the same approach could also highlight multiple uses for drugs still in development.
"This is a technique that's very promising," says Pankaj Agarwal, director of computational biology at GlaxoSmithKline in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Did Earthquake Or Tsunami cause Fukushima meltdown?

Facts found (Image: TEPCO)
Facts found (Image: TEPCO)

Japan's nuclear safety agency today rejected a claim in British newspaperThe Independent that the earthquake itself, not the subsequent tsunami, destroyed cooling systems leading to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
"It is not correct," a spokesman for Japan's nuclear safety watchdog, theNuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), told New Scientist.
The claim made in The Independent contradicts public reassurances from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) , the company that owns the plant, that its facility stood up to the quake as it should, but was overwhelmed by the tsunami. If the quake did cause the damage, it could call into question theresilience of TEPCO's other nuclear installations in Japan. TEPCO and Japan's nuclear industry as a whole have been criticised for attempting to cover up accidents in the past.
The paper reported that workers said they had seen cooling-water pipes bursting as they were evacuating from the nuclear plant following the quake at 2.52 pm on 11 March – before the tsunami struck about 45 minutes later.
It also quoted nuclear engineers who concluded from data released by TEPCO that coolant systems must have failed shortly after the quake.

Meltdown inevitable

"There was already so much damage to the cooling system that a meltdown was inevitable," Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former nuclear plant designer, is quoted as saying.
Tanaka said that according to TEPCO's own data, emergency water-circulation equipment started up automatically shortly after the quake. "This only happens when there is a loss of coolant," he told The Independent. Likewise, between 3.04 pm and 3.11 pm, water sprayers in the containment vessel of reactor unit 1 were activated; Tanaka says this is a failsafe for when all other cooling systems have failed.
So by the time the tsunami struck at 3.37 pm, "the plant was already on its way to melting down", says the newspaper.
The Independent also quotes the results of a NISA visit to Fukushima nine days before the quake. It says that NISA warned TEPCO about its failure to inspect critical machinery at the plant, including recirculation pumps.

No damage

NISA's spokesman said that the agency's press release about its visit on 2 March may have been misunderstood. "There was no damaged piping in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as claimed in the article," he said.
What the press release actually said was that some of TEPCO's periodic equipment checks were behind schedule, said the spokesman.
NISA also rejected the central claim of the article: that the quake, not the tsunami, caused the critical damage leading to meltdown. "It is not correct," said the spokesman. "Before the tsunami hit, the cooling system was operated by diesel generators in the plant [to compensate for] a loss of external power sources after the earthquake."
So not until the tsunami swept away the diesel generators did the cooling system fail, ultimately causing meltdowns.

Viennese backup

NISA's version of events was backed up yesterday by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, which sent a fact-finding mission to Fukushima in May.
An IAEA spokesman said that a report from the mission – led by Mike Weightman the UK's chief inspector of nuclear installations – contains detailed accounts of the failure of cooling systems in the early hours of the disaster which challenge the idea that the quake caused the damage, as claimed in The Independent.
Meanwhile, TEPCO said on Wednesday that overall radiation released from the three damaged Fukushima reactors is now a 10-millionth of peak levelsrecorded on 15 March, just after the accident.
Wednesday also saw reactor 3 of the Tomari nuclear plant in Hokkaido become the first of Japan's nuclear installations since the disaster to resume full commercial operation.

Electric Ice A Shock To The Solar System

Icy planet rings might be highly charged (Image: JPL/NASA)
Icy planet rings might be highly charged (Image: JPL/NASA)

ELECTRIC ice may pervade space. This strange form of water is more persistent than was previously thought, and the discovery could change our understanding of how the solar system formed. It might even give ice a new role in the emergence of the complex organic molecules needed for life.
In a single molecule of water - H2O - there is a charge separation. That's because the two positively charged hydrogen atoms cluster at one end, away from the single negatively charged oxygen.
However, the charges get mixed up when ordinary ice, known as ice Ih, forms. While the oxygen atoms arrange themselves in a repeating pattern, the pairs of hydrogen atoms that extend from them don't. Instead, they randomly take one of a number of positions (see graphic).
Cool ice to about 60 kelvin (-213.15 °C), though, and the hydrogens rearrange themselves so they are aligned. In the resulting, perfectly regular crystal, called ice XI, there are distinct regions of positive and negative charge.
That polarisation makes ice XI clump together much more readily than ordinary ice 1h, in the same way that dust particles are drawn together by static electricity. If the early solar system contained a lot of the stuff, it could mean that planets formed much more quickly than current models assume. Electric ice could also attract organic compounds, possibly accelerating theemergence of complex molecules and eventually life.
While claims that ice XI may exist naturally in Antarctica have yet to be verified, astronomers have long suspected that it hangs out in the outer solar system. They haven't directly detected it there, however.
In 2006, Masashi Arakawa, now at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, and colleagues produced ice XI in the lab between 57K and 66K. This is about the temperature found on Uranus and its moons, but too narrow a range for ice XI to be a major player in planet formation.
But ice XI turns out to be hard to kill. Tiny flecks of the stuff embedded in ordinary ice can help convert all of it to electric ice, a little like the ice dreamed up by Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Cat's Cradle, a single crystal of which could freeze the world's oceans. Crucially, the conversion of ice Ih to ice XI occurs at higher temperatures than if ice XI forms from scratch.
Arakawa's team cooled disordered, run-of-the-mill snowflake ice until it transformed into ice XI at 60 K. Then they warmed it to 100 K so that it reverted to ordinary ice. When they turned the thermostat back down, ice XI returned at a higher temperature than before: 72 K. Yet cooling regular ice to 72 K did not change its structure (Geophysical Research LettersDOI: 10.1029/2011GL048217).
The researchers think that nanoscale regions of ice XI survive the heat, providing a template for neighbouring regions, which then seem to "remember" how to become ice XI. "There are little seeds of XI inside the Ih," says astrochemist Rachel Mastrapa of NASA's Ames Research Center in California, who was not involved in the work. "Given the right conditions, those seeds can grow."
Further experiments revealed that this memory effect happens even when ice XI is heated to 111 K, the sort of temperature found on the moons of Jupiter. That suggests ice XI may be far more common in space than thought.
Cool to order
There is at least one lingering doubt, though. Switching phases is a glacially slow process - pure water ice can take thousands of years to convert from the Ih form to ice XI. To speed things up, Arakawa's team doped their ice with a tiny amount of sodium. That is relatively rare in space but if they can demonstrate that some more common substance, such as ammonia or methane, can also catalyse ice XI's formation, "I'd be a lot more convinced", Mastrapa says.

Introduction: HIV and AIDS

AIDS has now surpassed the Black Death on its course to become the worst pandemic in human history. At the end of 2004, 20 million people had been killed by it, and twice that number are currently infected with HIV. Barring amedical breakthrough, it could claim the lives of some 60 million people by 2015. AIDS exerts a terrible toll on societies, crippling their economies, decimating their labour forces and orphaning their children.
An AIDS patient in hospital (Image: Burger/Phanie/Rex Features
An AIDS patient in hospital (Image: Burger/Phanie/Rex Features
Nine out of 10 people living with HIV are in the developing world; 60 to 70% of those are in Sub-Saharan Africa. But the disease is spreading in every region, with fierce epidemics threatening to tear through countries such as India,ChinaRussia and the islands of the Caribbean. The statistics are sobering - in some Southern African towns 44% of pregnant women are HIV positive, in Botswana 37% of people carry the virus.

Immune assassin

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus - a virus built of RNA instead of more typical DNA. It attacks the very cells of the immune system that should be protecting the body against it - T lymphocytes and other white blood cells with CD4 receptors on their surfaces. The virus uses the CD4 receptor to bind with and thereby enter the lymphocyte. HIV then integrates itself into the cell's own DNA, turning the cell into a virus-generating factory. The new viruses break free, destroying the cell, then move on to attack other lymphocytes.
HIV kills by slowly destroying the immune system. Several weeks after initial infection, flu-like symptoms are experienced. Then the immune system kicks-in, and the virus mostly retreats into hiding within lymph tissues. The untreated, infected individual usually remains healthy for 5 to 15, years, but the virus continues to replicate in the background, slowly obliterating the immune system.
Eventually the body is unable to defend itself and succumbs to overwhelmingopportunistic infections that rarely affect healthy people. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the name given to this final stage of HIV infection, and is characterised by multiple, life-threatening illnesses such asweight loss, chronic diarrhoea, rare cancers, pneumonia, fungal conditionsand infections of the brain and eye. Tuberculosis has become especially prevalent in AIDS victims.

Natural born killer

Genetic analyses hint that ancestral primate HIV may have been born a million years ago when a chimpanzee virus hybridised with a related monkey variety. However researchers believe it was not until the 1930s that thisjumped to humans eating chimp meat in Central Africa. That variety becameHIV-1 - the most widespread type. A second type, HIV-2restricted to West Africa, was probably contracted in the 1960s from monkey meat.
Another theory was that the AIDS pandemic was accidentally started by doctors testing a polio vaccine in the 1950s - detailed in Edward Hooper's book The River - but this has been severely criticised by other researchers.
AIDS must have been circulating in the US and Africa during the 1970s. But it was not recognised until 1981 when young gay men and injecting drug users, in New York and California, started to be diagnosed with both an unusual skin cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma, and lethal pneumonias. By the end of that year 121 people in the US had died - that number would rise to 17,000 over the next six years.
Government scientists predicted that the mysterious immune-debilitating illness was due to an infectious agent. In 1984 that agent was identified as HIV by Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, and Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute in Washington DC, US.
Soon after the appearance of AIDS in the US, the disease was detected in Europe too and epidemics affecting heterosexual men and women sprang up at an alarming rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today one in five people in that region are living with the virus. AIDS epidemics also threaten to devastate the world's most populous nations - India and China - and other Asian nations, if action is not taken to bring them under control.

Defensive measures

HIV is found in body fluids such as: blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. It can be passed on through penetrative sexoral sex and sharing contaminated needles when injecting street drugs or in hospitals. It can also be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancychildbirth orbreastfeeding - though many children escape infection. HIV cannot be passed on through kissing, coughing, mosquito bites or touching.
Health authorities are focusing on prevention as a key method to limit the spread of the epidemic. Educational programs preach abstinence from sex, monogamy and safer sex using condoms, as ways to protect against infection. Many countries give away free condoms and offer needle exchange programs to try and limit transmission among injecting drug users.Microbicides in the form of creams that prevent transmission of HIV may soon offer another method of protection.
vaccine, as an alternative method to prevent HIV infection, may still bemany years away. This is partly because the virus mutates so rapidly. A vaccine may not only have to prime antibodies to attack the virus (the way most vaccines work) but might also need to increase T-cell production. Vaccine trials have been undertaken in South AfricaKenya, the US andThailand - though most have yet to yield promising results. Controversial vaccines made from the blood of HIV carriers, have been tested in Nigeria andThailand.

Anti-retroviral cocktails

There is no cure for AIDS, but a range of drugs - some of which haveunpleasant side-effects - are available to slow its progress. Other drugs are used to treat opportunistic infections or AIDS symptoms. Even some herbal treatments have been investigated.
Most anti-HIV drugs aim at stalling viral replication. Nucleoside analoguessuch as AZT (zidovudine) and also non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), attack the action of the viral enzyme reverse transcriptase. This prevents it from creating functional DNA which would otherwise integrate into the DNA of infected cells.
A third class block protease, an enzyme essential for generating functional virus particles. Protease inhibitors are the most effective of the three types of drugs, and AIDS mortality fell dramatically in the US when they were first licensed during the late 1990s. Fusion inhibitors are a newer type of drug that work by stopping HIV from binding with CD4 receptors that it uses to enter cells. Drugs that block another enzyme, integrase, are also under development.
AIDS drugs are often administered in combination cocktails cocktails of three or more kinds simultaneously, as this helps slow the rate at which HIV develops resistance to drugs. But the virus is able to evolve rapidly and can eventually outpace the drugs if treatment regimens are not followed rigorously.
Though drugs are widely available in western countries, their expense means they are unavailable to the vast majority of AIDS sufferersInternational bodiesare working towards widening access to treatment in the developing world. Some companies in countries such as India and Thailand are now producingcheap generic copies of drugs.

Staggering toll

The economic and social burden of AIDS exerts a great toll on developing nations in addition to that exerted by mortality itself. AIDS is hindering development and leading to negative population growth in some of the most seriously affected nations, such as Botswana.
This excessive AIDS mortality is causing a great demographic shift, wiping out young adults in the prime of their lives. This leaves children orphaned, and is destroying workforces and economies. Some predict that 50 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa will have been orphaned by 2010. The labour forces of 38 AIDS ravaged countries will be up to 35% smaller by 2020, because of AIDS.
The effect of AIDS on agricultural communities in Southern Africa is even leading to food shortages. Social stigma and discrimination is yet another problem for many AIDS sufferers, especially in Asian nations.
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