A ‘vein-viewer' works by using infrared light to image the presence of veins underneath the skin: The IR light is absorbed by the deoxygenated haemoglobin within veins. The locations of absorption and reflection are detected and the machine generates a corresponding projection using visible light. Find out more about how these devices are used in medicine in this video: http://youtu.be/lk0HMqwreIo
Big scientific discoveries—the kind that shift our view of the world and our place within it—don’t come along very often.
This week, though, one did.
New data seem to offer, for the first time, direct evidence of the entities Einstein predicted in his general theory of relativity: gravitational waves. Which is a finding that, if it holds up, sheds new light on nothing less than the origins of the universe. The discovery is, according to one expert, “an amazing achievement.” It is also, according to another, “one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science”—“a sensational breakthrough involving not only our cosmic origins, but also the nature of space.”
So, basically: This is big, you guys! Einstein big! Nature-of-space big! Big Bang-big!
There’s just one small thing, though. The findings shared this week also share a significant caveat: They haven’t yet been peer-reviewed. They are discoveries that are, as far as scientific institutionalism is concerned, provisional. They’re stuck in a kind of epistemological limbo—as information that has not yet been converted into fact, and data that have not yet been codified into knowledge. Official status: truthy.
Read more.[Image: Reuters]
A helical TALE protein molecule wrapped around a double helix of DNA. TALE stands for “Transcription Activator-Like Effectors”, they are produced by Xanthomonas bacteria when entering a plant cell. They manipulate the host cell by switching on certain genes that make the plant cell more susceptible to infection. TALE subunits bind to the nucleotides of DNA in a 1:1 ratio, and each subunit has a pair of amino acids that is specific to a single DNA base. This enables the TALEs to recognize and activate specific sequences of DNA.
As my old professor Carl Sagan said, ‘When you’re in love, you want to tell the world’. And I base my beliefs on the information and process that we call ‘science’. It fills me with joy to make discoveries everyday of things I’ve never seen before. It fills me with joy to know that we can pursue these answers. It is a wonderful and astonishing thing to me that we are - you and I are - somehow at least one of the ways that the universe knows itself. You and I are a product of the universe. Its astonishing that we have come to be because of the universe’s existence. And we are driven to pursue that - to find out where we came from…
The process of science, the way we know nature, is the most compelling thing to me.
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