Friday, April 30, 2010

Water Found On Asteriod

For the first time in history water has been found on an asteroid. There have been two teams studying this asteroid which are known as 24 Themis. They say that there seems to be frost mixed with carbon-bearing metal. Humberto Campins has stated,"We report the first detection of water ice and of organic molecules on an asteroid, and they are both on the same asteroid. The water was found when the teams were studying asteroids in Hawaii to watch how sunlight reflected off the asteroid at different wavelengths. Due to this discovery scientist are proposing that the water we drink came to Earth from impacting space rocks.

To me this seems like a really good discovery. It could help us better understand how the world was made and how the water got here. It could also help us figure out if there is places out in the universe that we could live on as well. The asteroids could have also brought life with them. The only way to find out is to study. This is a great discovery.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coast Guard considers lighting oil spill on fire

The Coast Guard is thinking about setting fire to a large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. They want to do this to try and keep the oil away from shore as efforts to cap a spewing well fail. There is still oil spilling in to the Gulf from the April 20th explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. They Coast Guard says that the controlled burns would be done during the day far from shore and that marine life and people would be protected. They also say that they are unsure if the burns would work. Ed Overton, a professor at Louisiana State University says "It can be effective in calm water, not much wind, in a protected area," but "When you're out in the middle of the ocean, with wave actions and currents pushing you around, it's not easy." This has been tried before in Newfoundland in 1993 and the burn eliminated 50 to 99 percent the oil. However, burning the oil also creates air pollution, and the effect on marine life is unclear.

I am not sure what the best way to clean the oil spill would be but I do not think setting it on fire is the best way. I think the fire would be too unpredictable and hard to control. There is also the issue of the pollutants the fire would put in the air. Then we would be dealing with two problems instead of on. Officials also say they are not ever sure if burning the oil would work or not. I think that this should be the last thing they try so more damage will not be done to the environment.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Deadly New Fungus Emerging in Oregon Expected to Spread

A new airborne strain of fungus has been found in Oregon. It has killed nearly one out of four affected so far and is all so making animals ranging from dogs to dolphins sick. Researchers fear that it is likely to spread. The new fungus is called VGIIc of the fungus Cryptococcus gatti. The Fungus is spread by inhaling spores released by trees that are infected and can not be spread from animal to animal. Scientists are not sure how infectious the fungus may be, they caution the new strain will most likely expand to California and other neighboring areas. What worries Scientist the most is that this fungus appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people. Treatment for the fungus is months to years of antifungal medications, and even surgery, and there is no vaccine.

This is just another sign of how the world around us continues to change. Not only do we continue to find new species of animals and plants but also things that are not so good like deadly fungi. It is really scary to think that this fungus is transmitted to humans from trees. You may not even realize that you have came in contact with it until you get sick. Hopefully a vaccine will be found before too many people loss their lives.

New Killer Whale Species Proposed

Scientists think that more than one species of killer whale have existed for some time. They believe this because of differences in behavior and physical variations of the whales. They believe that each species, at least four, each have their own prey, live in there on kinds of groups and even communicate in distinct ways. This is all according to new genetic research. In the North Pacific alone, there are three types of killer whales the resident orcas that eat fish and squid, the transient orcas that eat seals and dolphins, and the offshore orcas that eat schooling fish and sharks. Scientist say that knowing how many species of killer whales there are can be used to determine their role in the oceans and will help with conservation of them. If you look at Killer Whales as a global species, their numbers are strong, but if you looking at them as many species they could be endangered.

I think that scientists classifying different killer whale species will be a good thing for the whales and the ocean. I think that dividing up the killer whale population will allow scientist to concentrate on the problems that the whales face more easily because they will be able to pin point where the problems occur. It will also help governments provide better protection to the whales with more specific laws. Killer whales are one of the top predators found in the ocean and play a large roll in keeping the ocean’s ecosystem in balance. Anything that helps keep the killer whale population and the oceans health is a good thing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A small world

Deep in underwater canyons small creatures live and feed off of microscopic debris from the surface. Their are many different types of these mini organisms underwater including; clams, many types of worms, and crustaceans. These creatures have some predators, but are usually in a good healthy numbers. Scientist have taken samples over 2,500 meters deep and have founded only half the number of these organisms that recorded before. The cause of this is larger animals like crabs or urchins, they scrape and move the ground which makes it harder for the mini organisms to live.

I find it amazing that their are many different worlds so close to us. Some creatures are so small you can only see them with a microscope. Creatures like these are important for the animal food chain, without small organisms like plankton or the mini creatures, bigger creatures would die and this would cause a chain reaction.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear readers,
Im glad to be reporting back to you again from Canada and though im starting to become a little home sick im still having loads of fun out here. So anyway, i wanted to talk about something that hit me last sunday while i was attempting to go to church. I noticed that religion back at home is not as big in my religious believes as they are in others. So i decided to base my blog on Religion in Canada . To be brief im only going to hit the highlights of all the main religions in the whole country. To begin with religions in canada consist of : Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (including United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (2001 census). But due to the vast Majority of religions im only goin to talk about Roman catholic & baptist churchs. To start Roman catholic church's are the most commonly found church is all of the country. R.C. is considered part of christianity they believe in confession and that the priest is the only way to talk to god and that you could not have a personal relationship with god. and that is basically what i have on that. Baptists are also considered part of Christianity, but are way different from catholics. Baptists believe that in order to get to heaven you must have a personal relasionship as well as they believe that you must be saved and baptized. THat is basically all have for now. Until next time: Dylan Wood

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Supersonic Jet

A Navy jet known as the Green Hornet is a n "eco friendly" Jet that has plans to break the speed of sound. Fifty percent of it's tank is filled with an oil that comes from the crushed seeds of the Camelina sativa plant. It's meant to show the efforts put into using renewable energy. In the future they plan to use more nuclear and electrical power, but for now they are fine with petroleum based fuel. Though this fuel is hard to obtain, what with crop calendars and what not, scientists did their best to find a more sturdy plant. Camelina sativa should stand up to the cold, and need little fertilizer.

Pretty sweet eh? I love that we're actually doing something for the problem with fuel instead of just talking about it. We put all this money into the research of this problem, and now something is happening. I hope the Green Hornet flys for a long time. Proving that the research put into it was worth it. It would be disappointing if it wasn't.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Orbiting the Wrong Way

Scientists have found about a baker's dozen of planets outside our solar system that are orbiting in the opposite direction of their star rotation. This could mean less Earth-like planets in space. The planets that are doing this are hot Jupiters. Hot Jupiters are planets with a larger mass then Jupiter, and are circulating close to their parent stars. The strange planets seem to be battling gravity with their parent stars, described in the article as a game of "tug-oh-war". More is to be found out on the subject, but it may as well be long out of our life time.

We've been talking about the circulation around the sun, so I found this appropriate. Honestly though, I found this article extremely confusing. It's seemed like the guys writing it were confused too. Like, why are these planets going backwards? Also, it a planet goes out of orbit, does that mean it will hit us? (not it our life time, probably) It's sad really, it's like being so close to the truth, but so far from the answer.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Multicelled Animals May Live Oxygen-Free

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we did not need oxygen to live? Scientists have been conducting studies on multicellular organisms, due to the fact that they think they do not need oxygen to breathe. They have discovered a cartoon looking organism that can go its whole life without oxygen! The type of creature they discovered is called a Loriciferans, which look like tiny cups with tentacles sticking out. Not only can these Loriciferans live without oxygen they appear to be able to grow and reproduce in this environment.

I find these magnificent creatures quite lucky because image all the possibilities humans could have if we did not need oxygen. We could do so many things, such as travel space beyond ever imagined and live on other planets. Just think how much more we could do if we had these creature’s abilities and how much we could improve the human race! We as humans could do things beyond belief and make life so much simpler. It will be interesting to see what additional information scientists learn about these creatures and potentially others.

Lung Function Still Impaired by Dust From World Trade Center

Have you ever been involved in an incident where you breathed in large amounts of dust for a long period of time? That is what the employees of emergency services in New York City did during the 9/11 attacks. Studies have shown an increase in lung diseases or a decrease in lung functionality. Scientists did research on firemen and emergency services workers and discovered that those workers that arrived to the scene first are experiencing more issues. This means that nine years later the effects from the dust mixed with smoke, cement and glass fibers are causing people to still have lung dysfunctions.

To me this is a very interesting, surprising, and well written article. This article should affect everyone who reads it because it is a very emotional issue. I say this because knowing that this event is still affecting people in New York not only mentally but physically as well is very sad. I was not even there and just reading this article makes me wonder about the tragedy that innocent people witnessed that day. I hope to find more about this topic and learn more about the 9/11 terrorists attack affects.

Walnuts Slow Prostate Cancer Growth

Guys did you know eating about 500 calories in walnuts a day could possibly save your life one day? Scientists have done studies on mice that show that eating walnuts could help slow down the growth associated with prostate cancer. It is not clear what in the walnuts may be assisting in this process, but speculation is that the omega-3 fatty acids, mineral and even some proteins may play a role. They also believe other foods such as tomatoes, pomegranates, selenium-rich foods and tea can slow down or prevent the growth of a tumor. Scientists say that it may not be a cure, but they are well on their way to finding one.

I found this article very interesting because I know someone that had prostate cancer and won the fight. I think if we had this information before we could have prevented the cancer or made it easier to fight. I hope that scientists can find a cure for cancer because it would save many lives. Currently 1 in 6 men will end up with prostate cancer. I also found this topic interesting because it could happen to me or any other guy and we should be informed about it.

ABE, Pioneering Robotic Undersea Explorer, Is Dead At 16

ABE was a robot that was a new and successful way for scientists to explore the deep ocean floor. The name of this invention is the “ABE” which is similar to a remote control submarine. This vehicle was around for sixteen years and has helped many scientists learn more about the depths of the ocean. It is believed that the vehicle was destroyed most likely due to the water pressure at the depth it was at in the ocean. ABE is survived by newer vehicles that have newer advances giving them better speed, range, and sensing capabilities. Without the inventing of this vehicle scientists would not know near as much information about the sea surface. It costs over 1.1 million dollars to invent in the 1990s.

This machine interests me greatly because I love underwater vehicles. I think it is fascinating that this vehicle was able to explore the depths of the ocean on its own for so many voyages. It also amazes me how much knowledge scientists were able to gather with this single invention. Without this vehicle and now others like it we would not know near as much as we do today. How incredible is it that we have invented vehicles that can explore the ocean and space without anyone inside?

Homework Makes The Grade

Scientists say that copying homework can be one of the major reasons a student will fail a class or not understand a certain subject. They conducted a study at MIT on students to see how many copy homework utilizing their online homework system. They found out that 10 percent of students copied more than half of their homework and 40 percent copied from 10 to 50 percent of the time. The other 50 percent only copied about 10 percent of the time. They also concluded that the students who copied the most homework were more likely to have grades that were a lot lower than the students who did their own work and in many cases they were more likely to fail the class. They also found that male students copied homework more frequently and that many of these students end up as business majors.

I feel that this study was very accurate because I believe a lot of students do cheat or copy homework. I feel that copying is wrong and teachers should examine their students work more carefully at an earlier age so that it may make students think twice. If teachers would do this I believe that students would get better grades and would help America’s future. I have only once cheated or copied on an assignment and sure enough, I got caught and was glad I did. I will never copy again and try to encourage my friends not to copy other peoples work. We all need to spread the word!

Hawaiian Caterpillars Are First Known Amphibious Insects

Is this a land insect or water insect, actually it is both! This insect is commonly known as a “caterpillar”, and there are 400 different species in the world. These caterpillars though are only found in Hawaii and even though they can survive in water or on land they spend most of their lives as moths flying around. These caterpillars don’t have gills they breathe in oxygen that running water sets off. To survive in the water the caterpillars need fast-flowing waters. These caterpillars typically eat snails and wood just like termites.

I find the fact that some caterpillars can live on both land and underwater very interesting. I say this because I wish I could do both of those things for however long I wanted to. It would be fascinating if scientists could figure out how to help other species of insects and animals survive on land and in the water. I would love to be able to assist one of these scientists in Hawaii so that I could learn more about their research and also see what other differences in species exist in other parts of the country. I may just have to experiment with some caterpillars here this summer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Zebra Finch Deciphering

Scientists have deciphered the Zebra Finches genetic blue print. It is the first song bird to have this happen, and the second bird next to the chicken. Within the DNA they can find clues about the finches vocal chords and how it may be used for communication, like humans. They believe that vocal communication is how they learn. Understanding the vocalization can also help scientist understand communication disorders in humans, such as autism and stuttering. They can tell by seeing what part of the bird's brain is active with vocalization. This discovery could be a new step into vocal learning.

At first into reading this, I wondered why scientist were messing with these birds just to learn about they're talking. Then they mentioned understanding autism, and it made sense. I guess these people don't do these things because they feel like it. I've met autistic people, and it is easy to understand, they need a little help. Hopefully this can be the help they need. Otherwise, it'd be kind of a waste of time.