NASA Hosts Its First Google+ Hangout Connecting with Space Station 
WASHINGTON — NASA will host its first Google+ Hangout live with the International Space Station from 11 a.m. to noon EST, Friday, Feb. 22. This event will connect NASA’s social media followers with astronauts on the ground and living and working aboard the laboratory orbiting 240 miles above Earth.  Google+ Hangouts allow as many as 10 people to chat face-to-face, while thousands more can tune in to watch the conversation live on Google+ or YouTube.
Astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn of NASA and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will answer questions and provide insights about life aboard the station. Crews conduct a variety of science experiments and perform station maintenance during their six-month stay on the outpost. Their life aboard the station in near-weightlessness requires different approaches to everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and exercising.

NASA Hosts Its First Google+ Hangout Connecting with Space Station

WASHINGTON — NASA will host its first Google+ Hangout live with the International Space Station from 11 a.m. to noon EST, Friday, Feb. 22. This event will connect NASA’s social media followers with astronauts on the ground and living and working aboard the laboratory orbiting 240 miles above Earth.

Google+ Hangouts allow as many as 10 people to chat face-to-face, while thousands more can tune in to watch the conversation live on Google+ or YouTube.

Astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn of NASA and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will answer questions and provide insights about life aboard the station. Crews conduct a variety of science experiments and perform station maintenance during their six-month stay on the outpost. Their life aboard the station in near-weightlessness requires different approaches to everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and exercising.

(via itsfullofstars)

Alright, tumblr. Nemo is here. Nemo is happening. We’ll be covering the storm and its aftermath on our website, but wanted to see if our readers—yes, you guys!—wanted to be a part of it. So here’s the thing. We’ll be publishing a gallery of your photographs all weekend! The snow. The drifts. The snowmen. Just snap a pic (be safe out there though!) and send it to dailybeastsubmit@gmail.com, and include your name and location. If you have a website or tumblr you’d like us to link to, inclue that as well. Stay warm tumblr!
[top photo: AP]

Alright, tumblr. Nemo is here. Nemo is happening. We’ll be covering the storm and its aftermath on our website, but wanted to see if our readers—yes, you guys!—wanted to be a part of it. So here’s the thing. We’ll be publishing a gallery of your photographs all weekend! The snow. The drifts. The snowmen. Just snap a pic (be safe out there though!) and send it to dailybeastsubmit@gmail.com, and include your name and location. If you have a website or tumblr you’d like us to link to, inclue that as well. Stay warm tumblr!

[top photo: AP]

Patented technique key to new solar power technology
For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power. The technology would be a vast improvement over the silicon solar panels in widespread use today. Even the best silicon panels collect only about 20 percent of available solar radiation, and separate mechanisms are needed to convert the stored energy to usable electricity for the commercial power grid. The panels’ limited efficiency and expensive development costs have been two of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of solar power as a practical replacement for traditional fossil fuels. But while nanosized antennas have shown promise in theory, scientists have lacked the technology required to construct and test them. The fabrication process is immensely challenging. The nano-antennas – known as “rectennas” because of their ability to both absorb and rectify solar energy from alternating current to direct current – must be capable of operating at the speed of visible light and be built in such a way that their core pair of electrodes is a mere 1 or 2 nanometers apart, a distance of approximately one millionth of a millimeter, or 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.

Patented technique key to new solar power technology

For years, scientists have studied the potential benefits of a new branch of solar energy technology that relies on incredibly small nanosized antenna arrays that are theoretically capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power. The technology would be a vast improvement over the silicon solar panels in widespread use today. Even the best silicon panels collect only about 20 percent of available solar radiation, and separate mechanisms are needed to convert the stored energy to usable electricity for the commercial power grid. The panels’ limited efficiency and expensive development costs have been two of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of solar power as a practical replacement for traditional fossil fuels. But while nanosized antennas have shown promise in theory, scientists have lacked the technology required to construct and test them. The fabrication process is immensely challenging. The nano-antennas – known as “rectennas” because of their ability to both absorb and rectify solar energy from alternating current to direct current – must be capable of operating at the speed of visible light and be built in such a way that their core pair of electrodes is a mere 1 or 2 nanometers apart, a distance of approximately one millionth of a millimeter, or 30,000 times smaller than the diameter of human hair.

Inside The Largest Simulation Of The Universe Ever Created | Popular Science
Simulating Matter Distribution Across The Cosmos  Joe Insley and the HACC team, Argonne National Laboratory.
Sometime next month, the world’s third-fastest supercomputer —known as Mira—will complete tests of its new upgraded software and begin running the largest cosmological simulations ever performed at Argonne National Laboratory. These simulations are massive, taking in huge amounts of data from the latest generation of high-fidelity sky surveys and crunching it into models of the universe that are larger, higher-resolution, and more statistically accurate than any that have come before. When it’s done, scientists should have some amazing high-quality visualizations of the so-called “cosmic web” that connects the universe as we understand it. And they’ll have the best statistical models of the cosmos that cosmologists have ever seen.

Inside The Largest Simulation Of The Universe Ever Created | Popular Science

Simulating Matter Distribution Across The Cosmos Joe Insley and the HACC team, Argonne National Laboratory.


Sometime next month, the world’s third-fastest supercomputer —known as Mira—will complete tests of its new upgraded software and begin running the largest cosmological simulations ever performed at Argonne National Laboratory. These simulations are massive, taking in huge amounts of data from the latest generation of high-fidelity sky surveys and crunching it into models of the universe that are larger, higher-resolution, and more statistically accurate than any that have come before. When it’s done, scientists should have some amazing high-quality visualizations of the so-called “cosmic web” that connects the universe as we understand it. And they’ll have the best statistical models of the cosmos that cosmologists have ever seen.

We Are All Born Scientists, Study Finds | Popular Science
Young kids think and learn about their surroundings much the way that scientists think and learn in advanced experiments, a new study says. They form hypotheses, test them, analyze their findings and learn from their actions and the actions of others — all in child’s play.
A growing body of evidence about this style of learning shows yet again that early childhood education is crucial — but it also shows making preschool more academic could actually be detrimental, according to scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

We Are All Born Scientists, Study Finds | Popular Science

Young kids think and learn about their surroundings much the way that scientists think and learn in advanced experiments, a new study says. They form hypotheses, test them, analyze their findings and learn from their actions and the actions of others — all in child’s play.

A growing body of evidence about this style of learning shows yet again that early childhood education is crucial — but it also shows making preschool more academic could actually be detrimental, according to scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.

Astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Also see Robert Sapolsky on science and wonder and Richard Feynman on the cultural role of science.

( It’s Okay To Be Smart)

joshbyard:

The Gamification of Synthetic Biology Continues: Creators of FoldIt Follow up With RNA Transformation Game

Meet eteRNA, your new internet addiction. Not only is it a super-fun way to procrastinate on that thing you should be doing, it also helps to advance biology’s understanding of RNA and its synthesis- in a big way.

Scientists from Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University have developed eteRNA as a successor to Foldit, a popular internet-based game that proved the pattern-matching skills of amateurs could outperform some of the best protein-folding algorithms designed by scientists.

They’re hedging their bets that eteRNA will work similarly - and are even funding the real-life synthesis of the weekly winner’s RNA molecule to see if it really does fold the same way the game predicts it should. 

The scientists hope to tap the internet’s ability to harness what is described as “collective intelligence,” the collaborative potential of hundreds or thousands of human minds linked together.

Using games to harvest participation from amateurs exploits a resource which the social scientist Clay Shirky recently described as the “cognitive surplus” - the idea that together, as a collection of amateurs, we internet people make a very good algorithm because we react to information presented in a game, get better at it as we go along, and make informed decisions based on what has or hasn’t worked for us in the past. 

“We’re the leading edge in asking nonexperts to do really complicated things online,” says Dr. Treuille, an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon and one of the original masterminds behind the game. “RNA are beautiful molecules. They are very simple and they self-assemble into complex shapes. From the scientific side, there is an RNA revolution going on. The complexity of life may be due to RNA signaling.”

“This [project] is like putting a molecular chess game in people’s hands at a massive level,” he continues. “I think of this as opening up science. I think we are democratizing science.”

And, so far, the democratisation is working. Although the creators warn that game players may start to see legal and ethical issues in gameplay down the road, for now, the collective intelligence is trumping professionally designed algorithms. Significantly, not only do humans outperform their computer adversaries, but the human strategies developed during the course of the game are significantly more flexible and adaptable than those of the algorithms they’re pitted against.

fuckyeahmolecularbiology: