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Sun setting on Coal

Via +Jaana Nyström
Solar power is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast. That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance outlook for how fuel and electricity markets will evolve by 2040. #SolarPower

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Science and advances in knowledge depends on being able to delve deep.
Still think that particle physics 'big machines' or supporting basic research are a waste of taxpayer's money? Read this free ebook and think again. "CERN is the world's largest particle physics research laboratory. Since it was established in 1954, it has made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the fundamental particles and their interactions, and also to the technologies needed to analyse their properties and behaviour. The experimental challenges have pushed the performance of particle accelerators and detectors to the limits of our technical capabilities, and these groundbreaking technologies can also have a significant impact in applications beyond particle physics. In particular, the detectors developed for particle physics have led to improved techniques for medical imaging, while accelerator technologies lie at the heart of the irradiation methods that are widely used for treating cancer.

Indeed, many important diagnostic and therapeutic techniques used by healthcare professionals are based either on basic physics principles or the technologies developed to carry out physics research. Ever since the discovery of x-rays by Roentgen in 1895, physics has been instrumental in the development of technologies in the biomedical domain, including the use of ionizing radiation for medical imaging and therapy. Some key examples that are explored in detail in this book include scanners based on positron emission tomography, as well as radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Even the collaborative model of particle physics is proving to be effective in catalysing multidisciplinary research for medical applications, ensuring that pioneering physics research is exploited for the benefit of all."

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And the world was never the same.

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"Paleontologists investigating the sea bed off the coast of southern California have discovered a lost ecosystem that for thousands of years had nurtured communities of scallops and shelled marine organisms called brachiopods.
These brachiopods and scallops had thrived along a section of coast stretching approximately 250 miles from San Diego to Santa Barbara for at least 4,000 years. But they had died off by the early 20th century, replaced by the mud-dwellling burrowing clams that inhabit this seabed today. Paleontologists Adam Tomašových of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Susan Kidwell of the University of Chicago examine the lost ecosystem in a study published online June 7 in the Royal Society Proceedings B.
Evidence indicates that the brachiopod and scallop die-off occurred in less than a century. Because this community disappeared before biologists started sampling the seafloor, its existence was unknown and unsuspected. Only dead shells remain, permitting analysis by paleontologists.
"This loss unfolded during the 19th century, thus well before urbanization and climate warming," said Kidwell, the William Rainey Harper Professor in Geophysical Sciences. "The disappearance of these abundant filter-feeding animals coincided with the rise of lifestock and cultivation in coastal lands, which increased silt deposition on the continental shelf, far beyond the lake and nearshore settings where we would expect this stress to have an impact."
Continental shelves, the submerged shoulders of the continents, are a worldwide phenomenon. They form a distinct environment separated by a steep slope from the much deeper and vaster expanse of ocean floor beyond, and provide key habitats for biodiversity and fisheries".

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This will make a LOT of people happy!
Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have published findings that could lead to the end of allergies.

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The Incognito Fish? ;)
"Faceless fish and other weird and wonderful creatures, many of them new species, have been hauled up from the deep waters off Australia during a scientific voyage studying parts of the ocean never explored before.
The month-long journey off the country's eastern seaboard has been surveying life lurking in a dark and cold abyss that plunges four kilometres (2.5 miles) below the surface, using nets, sonar and deep-sea cameras.
Chief scientist on board "The Investigator" Tim O'Hara from Museums Victoria told AFP Wednesday the search area was "the most unexplored environment on earth".
Bright red spiky rock crabs, puffed-up coffinfish, blind sea spiders and deep sea eels have been collected since the scientists began their voyage—from Launceston in Tasmania north towards the Coral Sea—on May 15.
They also came across an unusual faceless fish, which has only been recorded once before by the pioneering scientific crew of HMS Challenger off Papua New Guinea in 1873.
"It hasn't got any eyes or a visible nose and it's mouth is underneath," O'Hara said from the ship.
At such huge depths, it is so dark that creatures often have no eyes or produce their own light through bioluminescence, he added.
Another find was carnivorous sponges that wield lethal spicules made of silicon, effectively glass. They get small crustaceans hooked on their Velcro-like spines, to be slowly digested in-situ.
This technique differs from most deep-sea sponges, which feed on bacteria and other single-celled organisms filtered from passing currents.
"We've got 27 scientists on board who are leaders in their fields and they tell me that around one-third of what we've found are new species," said O'Hara, with several thousand specimens so far retrieved and two weeks of the trip still to go.
Life at such depths is one of crushing pressures, no light, little food and freezing temperatures, with animals that call it home evolving unique ways to survive".

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New insights into the ancestors of all complex life - A team of scientists led by the University of Bristol has provided new insights into the origins of the Archaea, the group of simple cellular organisms that are the ancestors of all complex life.

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A Whole New Jupiter

Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought.

This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection.

Read more:
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles


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The inquiry into the crash-landing of the #ExoMars Schiaparelli module has concluded that conflicting information in the onboard computer caused the descent sequence to end prematurely. The root causes and future steps have been identified and are now available online - follow the link for more.
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