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Denise Case
Attends Kansas State University
Lived in Minnesota
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Denise Case

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The Missing Ocean on Mars.  Recent measurements indicate that  water once covered ~20% of the planet's surface. 13% of the original water remains in the polar ice caps while 87% has been lost to space. Curiosity found evidence that Mars may had water for 1.5 billion years - plenty of time for something interesting to happen. (It only took about 1 billion for simple-celled life to develop here on Earth.) :)

For decades, planetary scientists have suspected that ancient Mars was a much warmer, wetter environment than it is today, but estimates of just how much water Mars has lost since its formation vary widely. Now, new isotopic measurements by researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center reveal that an ocean once covered approximately twenty percent of the Martian surface. This new picture of early Mars is considerably wetter than many previous estimates, raising the odds for the ancient habitability of the Red Planet.

NASA - Measuring Mar's Ancient Ocean

More videos and images at:

This research was presented in a paper entitled “Strong water isotopic anomalies in the Martian atmosphere: probing current and ancient reservoirs”, by G. VIllanueva et al., to appear online in Science on 5 March 2015.

- from Mars: The Planet that Lost an Ocean’s Worth of Water
European Southern Observatory

Thanks +NASA Goddard+Corina Marinescu , and others for sharing.

#NASA   #ESO #Mars  #stem#scienceeveryday
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+Grumpy Santa faith has less facts than science. faith is used when the facts are not known. 50%fact is way ahead of 100%faith.
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The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic.  An interesting glimpse into the human side and key events in our growing understanding of computation, memory, visual processing, neural nets, AI, and more. 

“None of us would think of publishing a paper without his corrections and approval,” McCulloch wrote. “[Pitts] was in no uncertain terms the genius of our group,” said Lettvin. “He was absolutely incomparable in the scholarship of chemistry, physics, of everything you could talk about history, botany, etc. When you asked him a question, you would get back a whole textbook … To him, the world was connected in a very complex and wonderful fashion.”

Pitts’ despair turned lethal. He began drinking heavily and pulled away from his friends. When he was offered his Ph.D., he refused to sign the paperwork. He set fire to his dissertation along with all of his notes and his papers. Years of work—important work that everyone in the community was eagerly awaiting— he burnt it all, priceless information reduced to entropy and ash. Wiesner offered Lettvin increased support for the lab if he could recover any bits of the dissertation. But it was all gone.

Principia Mathematica, Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead

The Ego and the Id, Freud

A Logical Calculus of Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity, McCulloch and Pitts

First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, von Neumann

What the Frog’s Eye Tells the Frog’s Brain, Lettivin, Maturana, McCulloch, Pitts

In celebration of scientists and #sciencesunday  +ScienceSunday 

#logic #computerscience #cs   #cybernetics   #computation  #turingmachine #brain  #neurophysiology #memory #ai  #ml #neuralnets #ouroboricloops

via the G+ Neuromporphic Engineering Community
Interesting article on McCulloch and Pitts - I had no idea of the back story on their work or personalities...
Walter Pitts was used to being bullied. He’d been born into a tough family in Prohibition-era Detroit, where his father, a boiler-maker,…
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A decade ago, Clive Thompson wrote a book review for the New York Times about a new biography of Norbert Weiner, which touches on aspects of this same story.

'Dark Hero of the Information Age': The Original Computer Geek
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Denise Case

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How well do you know Einstein? Short, interactive quiz that ranges from the basics of his most famous work to some obscure and surprising details of his life.

Thanks physicist +Sabine Hossenfelder​ for sharing.
How well do you know Einstein? Test your knowledge of the 20th century's most celebrated genius.
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Nice +Bob Lai - beats me. :)
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Genetically-engineered asteroid-mining microbes could help prepare asteroids for easier extraction of metals.  Fascinating share from  +Rich Pollett. Bonus: includes many links on the emerging industry of asteroid mining.

Bio-mining is an established practice here on Earth. Finding low-cost ways to ease extraction of resources from asteroids is a useful step to colonizing beyond our home planet. 

Future Mining Conference (Australia 2015 Nov)

Off-Earth Mining Forum References (Australia 2013)

6-min Overview of Asteroid Mining (2014)

#asteroid #mining #biomining #cubesat #nasa #dsi #planetaryresources #newindustries #spaceexploration  

In celebration of #sciencesunday  :)

Asteroid Miners May Get Help from Metal-Munching Microbes

Asteroid mining may become a multispecies affair.

The asteroid-mining firm Deep Space Industries (DSI) is investigating the feasibility of injecting bioengineered microbes into space rocks far from Earth, to get a jump on processing their valuable resources.

"You could come back [to the asteroids] in 10 to 20 years and have a preprocessed pile of materials," Joseph Grace, of DSI and NASA’s Ames Research Center, told last month at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.

The scientists working on the concept envision launching a small probe that DSI is developing, called Mothership, out to a promising near-Earth asteroid in deep space. Mothership would be carrying a number of tiny CubeSats, one of which would deploy and spiral down to the asteroid’s surface.

The CubeSat would then inject into the asteroid a low-temperature fluid laden with bacteria, which would propagate through cracks and fissures generated by the injection process. Over time, the microbes — genetically engineered to process metals efficiently — would break down harmful compounds within the asteroid and/or transform resources into different chemical states that are more amenable to extraction.

This work would be slow, but the bacteria would be doing it for free (after the initial expenditure of getting them out to the asteroid, of course).

"The use of self-sustaining biomining mitigates the need for sustained docking, anchoring, drilling, processing or other technically challenging traditional mining approaches," Grace and his colleagues wrote in a poster they presented at AGU. "If shown to function, the use of life to preprocess valuable deep-space resources could change the economic practicality of a large range of human activity in space."


Related reading:

Mining An Asteroid? You’ll Need A Space Lawyer For That:

NASA awards contracts for potential asteroid mining:

Asteroid Mining 101: A New Book by World-Renowned Expert Dr. John S. Lewis:

How Asteroid Mining Could Work (Infographic)

Want to colonise space? It’s time to start off-Earth mining:

Image: Harvestor-class spacecraft concept by Deep Space Industries
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Anymore cool pictures on space exploration? 
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Denise Case

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Our most-distant landing. In 2005, the Huygens probe landed on Saturn's moon, Titan. This short, narrated video provides a front-row seat as humans take a closer look.

The probe was launched as part of the Cassini-Huygens craft in 1997. The heavy spacecraft used two loops around the sun to get the gravity assist needed to fling it out to reach the larger planets.


Mission News


DISR Website

(Surprising) List of Moons


For the probe landing’s 10th anniversary, a new sequence has been rendered from Huygens’ Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR) data. The craft landed on Saturn’s largest moon on 14 Jan 2005.

Landing Animation:

Credit: Erich Karkoschka, DISR team, University of Arizona

Thanks +Ed S and +Daniel Suarez and others for sharing.

In celebration of #ScienceSunday.  :)

#nasa #esa #asi #huygens #saturn #titan  
Huygens Probe On Titan - New Image Processing

While the Mars rovers are fascinating, let's not forget that the ESA landed the Huygens probe on a moon of Saturn back in 2005. This new imagery compiles data from the mission into a video of the descent and ground view after landing.  Water ice: check. Strange materials never replicated in a lab: check.

If I was a billionaire, my hobby would be sending space probes all over the solar system. I'd have the best Flickr stream in the galaxy...
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That is just amazing. It gives me hope for our species.
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Brilliant, beautiful dragon. I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighborhood. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fáfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril.
― J.R.R. Tolkien

I love the the idea and the execution - thanks +Ninja On Rye for sharing. 

#dragon #projection #art  #design
A brilliant dragon projection on a building, looks as if it's smashing in and out of the walls.  Fire jets are timed to actually shoot out from the building in sequence with the projected dragon breathing flames.
One minute long.
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Coolbeans - wonder how they got that past the insurers...
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Skunk Works claims continued progress on compact fusion.

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works claims the ability to generate cheap energy from nuclear fusion with little waste or global warming is within its grasp.

This is the same Skunk Works created by the near-mythical Kelly Johnson, an aerospace engineer able to head teams that built the SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance jet years before any other organization even thought Mach-3 flight was possible.

The Lockheed Martin project is designed to take advantage of the practice of rapid prototyping that the Skunk Works pioneered by building relatively small, easily improved incremental projects that lead to a finished product that actually works.

Currently Lockheed Martin is in the process of testing a magnetic confinement bottle, where the Skunk Works team has apparently made significant progress. In terms of how a fusion reactor would be created, the magnetic bottle is the primary hurdle.
If that's accomplished successfully most of the science and engineering is known. However, that doesn't mean that building the prototype fusion reactor is a done deal. Lockheed Martin is looking for industry partners to help develop the Compact Fusion reactor into a real product.



Lockheed Martin: Compact Fusion Research & Development


Nuclear fusion is the process by which the sun works. Our concept will mimic that process within a compact magnetic container and release energy in a controlled fashion to produce power we can use.

- from their website:

How did Skunk Works® get its name?

[EDIT] I couldn't find any other "new news" - this might be based on the same announcement that came out last October. 

The possibility holds enough benefit that it's worth watching. :)

#energy #innovation #compact #fusion #skunkworks  
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What is gravity, really? Physicist +Brian Koberlein writes an interesting and accessible article on our understanding of gravity. 

"...we found gravity wasn’t a force at all...[it's] a warping of spacetime. Basically, mass tells space how to bend, and space tells mass how to move."

[emphasis mine]

#physics  #gravity #spacetime
Cradle to Grave

Gravity is perhaps the best known of the four fundamental forces. It’s also the one that’s easiest to understand. At a basic level, gravity is simply the mutual attraction between any two masses. It’s the force that lets the Sun hold the planets in their orbits, and the force that holds the Earth to you. The force is always attractive, and the strength of the force between two masses depends inversely on the square of their distances, making it an inverse square force. But gravity’s simplicity is just a veneer that hides a deeply subtle and complex phenomenon.

When Newton proposed his model of universal gravity, one criticism of the model was how gravity could act at a distance. How does the Moon “detect” the presence of Earth and “know” to be pulled in Earth’s direction? A few ideas were proposed, but never really panned out. Since Newton’s model was so incredibly accurate, the action-at-a-distance problem was largely swept under the rug. Regardless of how masses detected each other, Newton’s model let us calculate their motion. Another difficulty came to be known as the 3-body problem. Calculating the gravitational motion of any two masses was straight forward, but the motion of three or more masses was impossible to calculate exactly. The motion could be approximated to great precision, and was even used to discover Neptune, but an exact, general solution for three masses would never be found. Newton’s idea was simple, but it’s application was complex.

In the early 1900s, we found that gravity wasn’t a force at all. In Einstein’s model, gravity isn’t a force, but rather a warping of spacetime. Basically, mass tells space how to bend, and space tells mass how to move. General relativity isn’t just a mathematical trick to calculate the correct forces between objects, it makes unique predictions about the behavior of light and matter, which are different from the predictions of gravity as a force. Space really is curved, and as a result objects are deflected from a straight path in a way that looks like a force.

But despite its simple approximation as a force, and its beautifully subtle description as a property of spacetime, we’ve come to realize over the past century that we still don’t know what gravity actually is. That’s because both Newton’s and Einstein’s models of gravity are classical in nature. We now know that objects have quantum properties, with particle-like and wave-like behaviors.  When we try to apply quantum theory to gravity, things become complicated and confusing. In most quantum theory, quantum objects exist within a background framework of space and time. Since gravity is a property of spacetime itself, fully quantizing gravity would require a quantization of space and time. There are several models that attempt this, but none of them have yet achieved a fully quantum model.

Usually our current understanding of gravity is just fine. We can accurately describe the motions of stars and planets. Seemingly odd predictions such as black holes and the big bang have been confirmed by observation. Every experimental and observational test of general relativity has validated its accuracy. Large objects with strong gravity can be described just fine by classical gravity. For small objects with weak gravity we our approximate quantum gravity is good enough. The problem comes when we want to describe small objects with strong gravity, such as the earliest moments of the big bang.

Without a complete theory of quantum gravity, we won’t fully understand the earliest moment of the universe. We know from observation that the early observable universe was both very small and very dense. From general relativity this would imply that the universe began as a singularity. Most cosmologists don’t think the universe actually began as a singularity, but without quantum gravity we aren’t exactly sure. Even if we put the quantum aspects of gravity aside, there is still a part of gravity we don’t understand. Within general relativity it is possible to have a cosmological constant. Adding this constant to Einstein’s equations causes the universe to expand through dark energy, just as we observe. While general relativity allows for a cosmological constant, it doesn’t require one. The cosmological constant agrees with what we observe, but there are other proposed models for dark energy that agree as well (at least for now). If dark energy is really due to the cosmological constant, then the constant must be very close to zero, at about 10-122. Why would a constant be so incredibly close to zero? Why does it even exist when general relativity doesn’t require it?

We don’t know, and without that understanding, both the origin and fate of the universe remain mysteries.

Tomorrow: Electromagnetism was the first unified theory, combining the forces of magnets and charges. The result gave us a new understanding of light, and led us down a path toward a theory of everything.
We often speak of gravity as a force. More accurately it is a feature of spacetime. Even more accurately, we don't know what it is.
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Well said +Steve Barker! Many of us learn about Newton's apple and gravity at a pretty young age...and generally, it makes sense.  But understanding what it really is (e.g. a "feature of spacetime") seems much more challenging. :)
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Denise Case

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Back to the Moon For Good - The New Space Race.  Beautiful, informative overview of our history on the moon and the plans and prize for getting back.  Highly recommended.

Google Lunar XPrize Website

Prize Deadline:  31 December 2016
Total prizes: $30 million

Congratulations! $6 million milestone prizes awarded to teams from US, India, Japan, and Germany:

Lunar Exploration History

#google   #lunarxprize  #apollo #spaceexploration #backtothemoon
The +Google Lunar XPRIZE race to the moon feels like science fiction, but it's real, and the race is on. #GLXP  
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Let's start the next Lunar XPRIZE.
> Telepresence controlled lunar working robots.
> Lunar materials processing.
> Lunar solar panel manufacturing.
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Denise Case

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Nano-patrol: Tiny in-body sentinels could rat out cancer cells. Nanoparticles patrolling in our bloodstream could snag cancer cells and report via wrist band. :) 

"So imagine that you swallow a pill [You would take a pill maybe twice a month] and that pill has small things called nanoparticles in it, decorated on their surface with markers that attach to cancer cells, We have them circulate through your whole body, and we collect them in the vasculature of the arm with a magnet, and you ask them what they saw."

Seems a bit strange?

"It's way weirder," said [head of Google Life Sciences Dr. Andrew] Conrad, "to have cancer cells floating through your body that are constantly trying to kill you." :)

Read more at:

Includes link to +The Atlantic video with more information.

Help wanted (Life Sciences)

More about nanotech (June in DC)

#google #x #life #sciences #nanotechnoloy #cancer #research

In celebration of #ScienceSunday . :)
Google is making a wristband which can detect disease

Google is trying to develop a wristband that would be able to detect signs of cancer and other diseases as they appear in your body. All you have to do is swallow a pill that has magnetic nanoparticles with surface markers that will circulate in your bloodstream and bind to cancer cells. A wristband monitor would attract and count the particles, collecting information about what the particles had detected. Wow…talk about diagnostics.


#Google #magneticparticle #nanoparticle #wearablemonitor
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inspiring research, when I grow up I want to be like them :D fantastic idea
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Denise Case

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Energy industry changes could happen faster than expected. “Should solar continue on its exponential trajectory, the energy infrastructure will be 100-percent solar by 2030,” [Tony] Seba said. “The only reason for this not to happen is that governments will protect or subsidize conventional coal, nuclear, oil, gas generating stations—even when this means higher prices for consumers.”

Although the exact time may be debated, the idea that the cross-over point may come sooner than expected is interesting. 

Author of The Great Disruption, [Paul] Gilding said that “it’s the systemic interactions of software, new players, disruptive business models and technology that accelerates the shift,” and which “will be self reinforcing”—not just cheap prices.

As a rule, Seba said, when a technology product achieves critical mass (historically defined as about 15-20 percent of the market), its market growth accelerates further, and sometimes exponentially, due to the positive feedback effects. In hundreds of markets around the world, unsubsidized solar is already cheaper than subsidized fossil fuels and nuclear power. A new Deutsche Bank report just made headlines at the end of October for predicting that solar electricity in the US is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuels as early as 2016.

Within just 15 years, he said, solar and wind power will provide 100 percent of energy in competitive markets, with no need for government subsidies.


Read more:

Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation: How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030

#energy #electric #power #renewables #economics
#sciencesunday #scienceonG + #tech   #stem
In just 15 years, the world as we know it will have transformed forever. The ​age of oil, gas, coal and nuclear will be over. A new age of clean power and smarter cars will fundamentally, totally, and permanently disrupt the existing fossil fuel-dependent industrial infrastructure in a way that even the most starry-eyed proponents of ‘green energy’ could never have imagined ...
A Stanford business professor predicts that today’s energy and automobile industries will be swept away in just over a decade by solar and wind power, and electric cars.
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The biggest bottleneck is politics and those damn lobbyists.
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Brilliant engineers and the OmniProcesser turn biowaste into water. :)

From Bill Gates' blog:

Potable water is safe for human consumption. :)

#reinventingthetoilet   #renewable   #waterandenergy   #sustainability   #stem   #engineersrule     
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“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both. ” ― James A. Michener
  • Consulting Engineer, present
  • Adjunct Asst. Professor, present
  • Kansas State University
    Graduate Student, present
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Minnesota - California - Kansas
The secret of life is two words: not always so :)
A Few Favorite Quotes

"A ship in harbor is safe. But that is not what ships are for." 
- Rear Admiral (and Computer Scientist) Grace Hopper

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." 
- Gautama Buddha

"There should be no boundary to human endeavor."
- Stephen Hawking

"My undergraduate experience convinced me that I was not smart enough to be a physicist, and that computers were quite neat."
- Dennis Ritchie
  • Kansas State University
    PhD Candidate Computer Science, 2013 - present
  • Kansas State University
    MSE Software Engineering, 2013
  • University of Missouri–Columbia
    BS Chemical Engineering
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