And on the sixth day God created Man…

Life from inorganic mixture? It’s a science project you can do in a high school chemistry lab. Speculation suggests that maybe “God” used clay after all.

“Graham Cairns-Smith, a chemist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, has speculated for many years that life on our planet may not have started with organic (carbon-based) molecules. He suggests life may have begun with inorganic ingredients, such as clay minerals that can carry heritable information in the stacking sequence of their sheets of atoms. Such ‘clay organisms’ might be able to replicate, Cairns-Smith argues.”

For the serious science geek find out more about “Spontaneous Formation of Cellular Chemical System that Sustains Itself far from Thermodynamic Equilibrium“.

physics Science

Aerogel Photos

Aerogel will be used on the STARDUST spacecraft to capture comet particles from Comet Wild 2. The pics are amazing. They look fake, but they come from the NASA web site.

To collect particles without damaging them, Stardust uses an extraordinary substance called aerogel. This is a silicon-based solid with a porous, sponge-like structure in which 99.8 percent of the volume is empty space. By comparison, aerogel is 1,000 times less dense than glass, which is another silicon-based solid. When a particle hits the aerogel, it buries itself in the material, creating a carrot-shaped track up to 200 times its own length. This slows it down and brings the sample to a relatively gradual stop. Since aerogel is mostly transparent – with a distinctive smoky blue cast – scientists will use these tracks to find the tiny particles.


NASA Altering the true colours Mars Photos Update

It turns out NASA is not Photoshopping pictures of mars, but that, “The answer is that the color chips on the sundial have different colors in the near-infrared range of Pancam filters.”


Evidence that NASA is altering the true colors of the pictures of Mars

Investigation shows (google cache) that there are several indications that the NASA is tampering with the colours of the Mars Photo’s and changing them from a mildly red but Earth-like environment into a dark red Sci-Fi looking environment.

These links are DEAD. I tried looking at for a copy but there is nothing.


Nano Techonology Update

I came across a story in Wired this evening about the World’s Best Preforming Microscope. “The SuperSTEM microscope at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, England, is so sensitive that it requires a special building capable of protecting it from the vibrations caused by raindrops. Its resolution is so sharp that researchers can count atoms on its images.”