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Supernova!!

Today's Hubble Release, a 30th Anniversary image of Supernova 1987A. Which you may recall took place in the Magellanic Cloud which is really about as close as i care to be to a supernova... :)

Here is what years of expanding supernova cloud looks like...

Meanwhile, what the &*)( happened to the embed video system here?  Not EVERYTHING is on You Tube, guys...

OK, hadn't thought of that one...

It started when I looked up DNA base pairs since for some reason one of the names had slipped my memory (for the record, Adenine - Thymine, Cytosine - Guanine [or Uracil with some RNA]) and found this Wikipedia article.  Now look down the page to "Unnatural Base Pair" to see what got my attention...  Yeppers, if you work at it you can find other bases that you can fit into the double helix.  In fact if you'll look near the end of that section, someone actually inserted some into a strain of E Coli and lo and behold, they have remained in the organism's genome for a number of generations.  Don't CODE for anything, but still impressive.  An article in Popular Mechanics of all things: New Organisms With Synthetic DNA Could Lead to Entirely New Life Forms

Down in the further reading section, you find among other references, these two which cost $$$ to read, but all you really need to see are the abstracts which are free.  Yeppers, if this works out you get nano power cables for nano constructions....


Clever, Guido H.; Shionoya, Mitsuhiko (2012). "Chapter 10. Alternative DNA Base-Pairing through Metal Coordination". Interplay between Metal Ions and Nucleic Acids. pp. 269–294.

Megger, Dominik A.; Megger, Nicole; Mueller, Jens (2012). "Chapter 11. Metal-Mediated Base Pairs in Nucleic Acids with Purine and Pyrimidine-Derived Neucleosides". Interplay between Metal Ions and Nucleic Acids. pp. 295–317.

Heads Up!

Darryl Hughes and Monique MacNaughton have an Indiegogo campaign up for producing the last two books in the Chevalier the Queen's Mousketeer series (yeppers, two more!)   Especially if you aren't familiar with this series of children's stories, go look at the site which has a lot of examples, reviews and whatnot.  This is the same series the on-line version of which appeared in the Recommended List for years.

Filk (not mine for a change)

Apparently Marcus has asked this to be shared around, so I suspect that includes posting it in here:

The Battle Hymn of the Bowling Green Massacre
Marcus Bales•Sunday, 5 February 2017

No eyes have seen a massacre occur at Bowling Green
As non-existent soldiers met with students never seen
Where Kellyanne's imagination lit her silver screen
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don't believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

Her fictional protesters faced her fancied fascist troops
Her tragic death-toll changed into a legendary 'Oops'
As all they did was wave their well-spelled signs in peaceful groups
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don't believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

She said it went uncovered by reporters of the news
That stations pulled their on-air talent with their camera-crews
But worse, she's acting pouty that there's no deaths she can use.
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don't believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

She has offered up her bullshit as if lying were a sport;
Each time she moves her lips she tells a tale that lacks support.
Is there no fact she won't traduce, no truth she won't distort?
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don't believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.

In the mists of ghostly silence such a massacre occurred
That its trumped-up date is celebrated by no deed nor word --
And to find that she’s not fired for this kind of shit's absurd.
Her lies go marching on.

Dilatory allegory
Predatory oratory
Don't believe her lying story
Her lies go marching on.
©2017 Marcus Bales

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New Bug Order...

Now that looks interesting....

Ancient, scary and alien-looking specimen forms a rarity in the insect world—a new order
January 25, 2017 by David Stauth


Ancient insect in amber.

This strange insect found preserved in amber represents a new species, genus, family and order of insects. Credit: George Poinar, courtesy of Oregon State University

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a 100-million-year-old insect preserved in amber with a triangular head, almost-alien and "E.T.-like" appearance and features so unusual that it has been placed in its own scientific "order" - an incredibly rare event.

There are about 1 million described species of insects, and millions more still to be discovered, but every species of insect on Earth has been placed in only 31 existing orders. Now there's one more.

The findings have been published in the journal Cretaceous Research and describe this small, wingless female insect that probably lived in fissures in the bark of trees, looking for mites, worms or fungi to feed on while dinosaurs lumbered nearby. It was tiny, but scary looking.

(more)

What a way to disseminate!!

Spotted this on NPR. Apparently there is a yearly student painting competition, the winners of which get hung in the Capitol in DC for about a year until the next set of winners. One such, "Untitled#1" by David Pulphus went up last June, and apparently a group of Republicans have decided it was "offensive" and have been alternating taking it down with members of the Congressional Black Congress putting it back up. I can see what "offended" them, I also rather like the painting myself; nice use of symbolism. Follow the link for the story and a look at the painting. Great way to make sure everybody sees it, guys!

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Sing

Went and saw "Sing" today - sorta Zootopia goes to the Theatre. Plot's familiar enough (Theater manager and general impressario fallen on hard times gambles on a singing contest to save the theater.) but as always the proof is in the details and particularly in the characters. Not to mention some really great music throughout from a variety of sources, as you'd probably expect. Oh - and squid. I LOVE the squid. All in all a great deal of fun and I recommend it.

Crossposting

This is a test post from Dreamwidth, to see if it turns up on LJ.

Lichens = fungus+alga+...yeast?

Just to prove life is full of surprises, even life you thought you knew about pretty well...

Lichens aren't quite what we thought, shocked scientists discover

New yeasts found to be secret partners with known fungi and algae

By Emily Chung, CBC News Posted: Jul 21, 2016 2:35 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 22, 2016 8:42 AM ET

Most people know lichens, such as this wolf lichen, as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark. You probably learned in school that they're a mutually beneficial partnership or "symbiosis" between fungi and algae, but many lichens have now been found to include a third partner, a yeast.

Most people know lichens as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark, and learned in school that they're a mutually beneficial partnership or "symbiosis" between fungi and algae.

But lichen scientists have made the shocking new discovery that many lichens are also made up of a previously undiscovered third partner — a new kind of yeast.

Not only does that potentially alter the fundamental definition of what a lichen is, but it "should change expectations about the diversity and ubiquity" of the organisms that form them, says a new study published Thursday in Science.  (more)



See also the Christian Science Monitor article here.

Thank you, Krypton Radio!


Sony Files Patent for Contact Lenses That Shoot Video, Take Pictures
Krypton Radio May 2, 2016Sci / Tech, Science Fiction / Fantasy / Steampunk

You may soon be able to cross one more prediction of science fiction off the list. Sony has just filed a patent application for a smart contact lens that can not only record video and images but play them back for you as well. The patent even suggests that the video and images would be stored directly in the contact lens itself, with the option to download the images and movies to a smart phone. That’s what separates the Sony patent from one recently obtained by Samsung in South Korea for a similar device. The Samsung lens doesn’t feature on-board storage.

The patent hasn’t been approved yet, but it describes describes the lens as being capable of taking photos using eyeblinks as a trigger. It’s supposed to be able to tell the difference between an autonomic eye blink and one you meant to do consciously. The playback display is to be controlled by what they describe as a “tilt sensor”. The lens may even feature aperture control, autofocus and image stabilization to address the blur caused by the eyeball’s motion.

(more)

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