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XI-2005: 08 08-2 18 XI-2005: 02 02-2

New translation, the Magna Carta

 

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barcoding dna to find new species
Link to barcodinglife.org home-page. From there you may find many pages on the use of barcoding for dna recording, as well as information on many dna-barcoding projects in progress.

The quote below is from Barcoding Initiative:

“The Problem: Although traditional taxonomy and taxonomic identification methods have provided a wealth of information about the organisms around us, the rate of progress is greatly exceeded by our growing need for fast and economical species identification and new species discovery.
The Solution: DNA barcoding - read this brief article about how the Barcode of Life Initiative is providing a powerful and revolutionary toolset to aid in rapid species identification and diagnosis.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science0511.php#barcoding_dna_021205

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“string theory is textbook post-modernism fueled by irresponsible expenditures of money”

Seems about right.

“[...] but every time he comes close to the kill he stops to make nice with his colleagues. Last year, Krauss told a New York Times reporter that string theory was "a colossal failure." Now he writes that the Times quoted him "out of context." In spite of himself, he has internalized the postmodern jargon. Goodbye, Department of Physics. Hello, String Studies.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science0511.php#string_theory_021205

led technology catching up with butterfly technology

black swallowtail. Image credit: community.webshots.com
black swallowtail. Image credit: community.webshots.com
[This large website has many good photos of swallowtails and much else.]

“After years of research, physicists recently overcame these limitations with "high-efficient LEDs." The new breed of LEDs uses specialized mirrors and tiny structures called photonic crystals to generate more usable light from the semiconductor materials.

“Pete Vukusic and Ian Hooper, physicists at the University of Exeter in the U.K., report that nature perfected this method in the African swallowtail butterfly long ago.

“The butterfly has natural versions of these specialized mirrors and photonic crystals, which brighten the fluorescent blue and green splotches on their wings.”

“Fluorescence is the process by which high-energy ultraviolet radiation is absorbed and reemitted as a lower-energy visible radiation. In the case of the butterflies, sunlight is reemitted as blue or green light.” [Quoted from nationalgeographic.com - page 2]

Three swallowtails. Image credit: www.butterflyutopia.com
Three swallowtails. Image credit: www.butterflyutopia.com
[Brilliant website for rather unusual, pretty presents.]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science0511.php#butterfly_led_181105

alleged forensic evidence

“The paper pointed out that when one looked at 86 cases where later DNA evidence freed or exonerated convicted criminals, the second leading cause of error after eyewitness mistake was forensic science testing errors. These were singled out in 63 per cent of cases.

“Just as damning were the 27 per cent of the cases where false or misleading evidence by forensic scientists was seen as a reason the wrong person got put away.

“Forensics' biggest problem appears to be the ego of its experts. What they don't want to tell juries is how error-prone their supposedly liar-proof evidence is. Remember those damning bite marks on a CSI victim's neck? Matching them to a potential criminal biter only produces a correct correlation 64 per cent of the time, reported the Science paper. Supposed matches of the handwriting on threatening letters to the scribbles of a suspect are wrong anywhere from 40 to 100 per cent of the time.

“And even forensic TV's evidentiary pop star - the aha-we-got-you-now fingerprint match - can be misidentified up to 20 per cent of the time.”

related material
cause, chance and Bayesian statistics

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science0511.php#forensics_081105

new animation package under trial

QuickTime movie demo [10Mb]

“K-Sketch will allow ordinary computer users to create informal animations from sketches” [Quoted from DuB]

pdf 4-page description

“We are designingK-Sketch, an informal 2D animation tool that uses sketching and demonstration to radically reduce the time needed to create an animation.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science0511.php#animations_081105
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