Wednesday, August 20, 2014

astro picture for the day


Image credit,  Michael Jaeger. (Comet Jacques)

Science news extra,

Dust reveals ancient origin for Saturn's rings

Such a delecate structure in existence for so long!(Saturn's rings).  Now, if we can just determine how long Jupiter's red spot has been raging!

A bit of a mysterious northern Greece(ancient Mycenae) tomb has been discovered.  It dates to 4th century B.C.  We should know who's tomb it is.  Knowing who's tomb this is could prove a little bit interesting; and who knows what else they find!

Massive Hellenistic Tomb Discovered in Northern Greece


astro picture for the day


Image credit: ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope

astro picture for the day


Image credit: ESO



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

astro picture for the day


Contrasting Terrains on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Image Credit: ESA / Rosetta / MPS for OSIRIS Team; MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA



Pretty good history of the Poincare conjecture.  How the conjecture led to all kinds of other problems and concepts. As Josh Morgan and mathematicians well known, Henri Poincare is considered the first to make topology a field of mathematics like algebra, geometry, and analyses(calculus). The history of topology goes back to Leondard Euler and the famous Konigsberg bridge problem. Frederick Gauss had some vague notions about it - specifically about genus of a curve. His student Bernard Riemann derived much topology from complex analyses. He mapped a sphere onto a plane and showed that the two valued complex numbers leads to a two sheeted surface.  Or, a sphere is topologically a two sheeted surface.  Riemann surfaces classify complex analyses functions. The Mobius strip was also invented back in the 1800s before Henri Poincare's work.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

astro picture for the day


Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope

Science/Technology news extra,

Scientists fold RNA origami from a single strand

Paul Rothemund innovated dna-origami, and it's been exciting; now, he's back with Rna-origami.

Synthetic biology could solve medical and energy problems that nanotechnologists hoped/thought nano-manufacturing would solve. But, nanomanufacturing is still desired for manufacturing of materials on both a nanoscale and macroscale. Synthetic biology cannot do this; the question in my mind was always, how can we combine synthetic biology with dna-nanotechnology?

Well, maybe dna-nanotechnology still isn't quite combined with synthetic biologoy; but, here, we have rna-nanotechnology combined with synthetic biology!
and from the article,

"The primary application for these molecular shapes is to build scaffolds for arranging other microscopic components, such as proteins, into groups that allow them to work together. For example, using the scaffolds as a foundation to build a microscopic chemical factory in which products are passed from one protein enzyme to the next." Andersen explains.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

astro picture for the day


Image Credit & Copyright: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

some thought for the day extras.  these are notes from conversations elsewhere,

"
Without the feedback loop to the real world that comes from being embodied there will be no AI. Ungrounded symbol-shuffling attempts at AI such as Cyc have always failed. Simulations are and will always be crude due to scaling laws. Only the real world has the complexity, coherence and detail needed. Certainly a lot of overhead can be eliminated in the autonomic nervous system, but there is a good deal needed to operate a body in the real world.
These researchers are operating with an oversimplified and wrong idea of how neurons operate, which is even further simplified in the hardware design to the point of being a useless caricature of real brains. They haven't even begun to model the sonic and mechanical-resonance aspects of neural transmission and plasticity. They still use the disproven Hodgkin-Huxley model (rather than Heimburg's soliton model) as their base, and virtually ignore the necessity of low-speed impulses to neural function, substituting high-speed communications that do not fulfill timing and phase coordination functions. Cytoskeletal dynamics and their effects on morphology and connectivity are entirely ignored, the synapse connections being put in by hand and with crude rules-of-thumb.
Maybe some way can be found to make it work to some extent, but they don't even seem to know what they're sweeping under the rug. They have an infinitesimal chance of success at producing a real AI no matter how many billions of these poor approximations to neurons they manage to pile up." - MUltan( that's what he calls himself) 

for which I replied,

"I've always agreed that life is a stable non-equilibrium structure as Ilya Prigogine argues.
I'm surprised the A.I. guys don't get into Ilya Prigogine's stable structures ideas; seems to me the idea that life is connected to the environment through numerous feedback loops fits in with Marvin Minsky's 'Society of Mind' idea. The society of mind . . . ideas mixing and matching(some would say competing) would come from these numerous feedback loops;" - Flashgordon!