3D Printing an Extinct Mollusk

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I don’t want GATM to become ALL 3D PRINTING ALL THE TIME!, but I just love this stuff. A mollusk known as “Protobalanus spinicoronatus” went extinct about 390 million years ago. The little critter had an impressive ring of spikes for protection, and a single suction foot. The fossils are all fragmentary, and thus paleontologists [Read More...]

Are Warp Drives Possible? Definitely Maybe, in Theory

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The sci-fi idea of a “warp drive” is based on simple physics: nothing can move faster than the speed of light. (There may be exceptions, such as in certain kinds of quantum tunneling, but this seems unlikely.) So, if we want a vessel to travel faster than light, we need to create a bubble that [Read More...]

Beyond the Cloud: DNA is the Next Storage Frontier

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I try to resist computer-to-human analogies like “the brain is just an organic computer!” They’re facile and, ultimately, inaccurate. One role of DNA, however, is to act as a kind of data storage. It’s a wild oversimplification to compare genetic code to computer code, but there’s a kernel (geek pun: sorry) of truth in there. [Read More...]

The Singing Mouse

No, it’s not the title of a new animated musical feature, although it should be. It’s the nickname of this little fella (turn down your speakers: it gets loud): This is Scotinomys teguina, another of God’s weird and wonderful little masterpieces. He chirps a single note about 20 times a second in order to woo a [Read More...]

Higgs Boson: Sort of Confirmed

Waffles: they’re not just for breakfast any more. The announcement about the Higgs boson was today, and the folks giving the press conference were twisting themselves in knots to avoid saying they have proof! of the elusive particle, when it’s quite clear that they’re fresh off high-fiving and fist-bumping every physicist they encounter saying, “Yeah, [Read More...]

Big Physics News Due July 4th

A big announcement is scheduled for Wednesday from the scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). The internet scuttlebut is that they finally have proof of the existence of the Higgs boson,  the particle which gives all other particles their mass. They allegedly have a “four sigma level” (about 99.99%) certainty of the particle’s existence. [Read More...]

Bulgarian Relics of John the Baptist are Probably Authentic

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First it’s vampire graves, and now the relics of John the Baptist: Bulgaria is just totally cornering cool archaeological news for the month of June. Go Bulgaria! It almost makes us want to forgive you for trying to kill Bl. John Paul the Great. Almost. Two years ago, in an altar in the ruins of [Read More...]

Our Dwindling Food Variety

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This astonishing graphic from National Geographic shows the sharp decrease in seed variety over the past hundred years. Take a look: Seeds vanished because farmers found they got higher yields and more protection against drought and blight with other varieties. However, this narrowing of crop diversity has been shown to reduce the ability of crops [Read More...]


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