Friday, January 30, 2009

Unlocking the Mystery of Life


Review of the Intelligent Design video

""Unlocking the Mystery of Life""

Do molecular machines such as the incredible flagellar motor prove an intelligent designer?

How could DNA evolve?

Are the claims of this video valid or just another form of pseudoscience?

This review investigates the claims of this popular video and puts them to the test.

Often called the most researched and documented case for Intelligent Design, ""Unlocking the Mystery of Life"" features state-of-the-art computer animation to question the origins of life. The speakers are a who's who in the Intelligent Design movement such as Phillip Johnson, Paul Nelson, Dean H. Kenyon, Michael J. Behe, Stephen C. Meyer, William Dembski, and Jonathan Wells.

Read the full review at .htm

The conclusions might surprise you.

About the author: None

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nasa's Vomit Comet

Author: David Craig

September 29, 2005

The Vomit Comet is the nickname for Nasa's C-9 airplane used to simulate weightlessness for astronaut training. The C-9 replaced two KC-135's previously used for this function. The Vomit Comet engages in a flight lasting almost three hours entailing 30-40 parabolic loops in which gravity varies from earth's gravitational pull to near weightlessness for a period of 25 seconds. The aircraft flies horizontally for a period of time only to rise in a steep climb followed by the 25 second freefall.

The Vomit Comet received its name from the percentage of its passengers who throw up on its flights. According to John Yaniec, lead test director for NASA's Reduced Gravity Program, roughly one third of its passengers vomit, one third get sick but don't vomit, and the rest don't get sick at all. According to Yaniec, most airsickness is caused by anxiety over the upcoming flight.

The Vomit Comet is used to train future astronauts as well as to carry out microgravity experiments. Many high school and college science experiments have been carried out over the years on the Vomit Comet. One of the original KC-135 Vomit Comets was used to film scenes of the 1995 movie Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks.

About the author: M.S. Physics - University of Minnesota B.S. Computer Science - University of Oregon Owner of Space Stuff - Home of Nasa and General Astronomy Information

Please feel free to visit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do Planets Communicate with Living Organisms?

Author: Thomas Herold

Do you feel any difference if the moon if full? A lot of people, including myself, report that their sleep is different and even during the day they feel a shift in their mood that lasts sometimes a few days.

The moon is responsible for making the tides and has therefore a physical influence on the earth. But what about the other 9 major planets?

Astrology is based on the belief that time has quality. Important here is to mention that astrology does not say the planets are making the qualities or energy patterns. The planets are an indicator of these qualities and if you are familiar with these qualities you can see them manifesting in your daily life.

Our world and our beliefs are still so much indoctrinated by the old paradigm that everything is mechanical - including the human nature. This old belief will soon be replaced by new beliefs and new concepts. Quantum physics is already making such a big shift in our view of the word that soon the public will realize that our mechanical concepts of the world needs to be replaced in order to integrate new findings and experiments.

What we will learn sooner or later is that information takes no time at all to get from one place to another and therefore we can not even say anymore that information is traveling. On a quantum level information could be a singularity, meaning that everything is happening at the same time everywhere.

Does Life has Principles? A study done by a swiss scientist some 50 years ago revealed the principles of life itself. These principles are manifesting themselves in every living form as well as in any other material way.

The amazing result of his study shows the outcome of nearly 10 principles that are almost identical with the qualities of the planets. I like to mention that this study was not influenced in any way by astrology facts.

Each planet is associated with a different energy pattern. The names vary slightly as each astrologer interprets them differently. But overall they represent the same energy pattern. The difference is simply caused by the language. When I mention the color red we all agree on it but there are hundreds of variations.

What are these 10 Qualities?

Moon - Feeling Sun - Identity Mercury - Thinking Venus - Harmony Mars - Energy Jupiter - Expansion Saturn - Integration Uranus - Transition Neptune - Mystery Pluto - Metamorphosis

A Short Explanation of these Qualities:

Feeling - Our emotions and our senses. There are days you may more sensitive for light or sound than others.

Sun - What we identify with, our live force.

Mercury - Our capacity to understand, logic, language, talking.

Venus - Harmony means to reach an optimum, a balance.

Mars - Power, the strength to initiate or do something.

Jupiter - Exploring new areas in your life, growing.

Saturn - Learning something new about yourself.

Uranus - Shifting your work area or your life purpose.

Neptune - Quantum physics, beyond what you see and understand.

Pluto - Transformation, changing your way of life.

The names of these qualities are adapted and modified from Thomas Ring, one of the most popular German astrologers. He lived from 1892 until 1983 and Astrodienst Zurich has dedicated a special website for him.

Also there are some other planets like Chiron, but I'd like to concentrate on the major 10 planets. And for all scientist I want to add that the moon of course is a trabant and the sun is a star, but in astrology terms they are planets as well.

What can we do with these 10 Energy Patterns? We can create a chart from our birthday and see our unique energy pattern in it. Go to a good astrologer and you will be amazed on how precisely your birth chart represents your unique abilities and talents.

Now here comes the interesting part. As we know how the planets are moving we can look up the planet positions on a ephemerids. The ephemerids is telling us where the position of a planet is at a certain time. We combine these positions with our birth chart and what we get is a unique energy pattern for each day. We can even look up planet data in the future and can therefore find energy patterns in the future.

The combination of your energy patterns from your birth chart with the energy patterns of the daily planets is called transits. These calculations have been done for thousands of years. But today we have fast and inexpensive computers and calculations can be done in a fraction of a second.

What you will get from this calculation is a long list of relationships between the position of your planets from your birth chart and the position of the planets from a certain day.

The results of this calculation can be shown as a graphic with two circles. The inner circle shows your birth chart and the outer circle the chart from a certain day. Between these two circles you than see lines, which are representing the transits. For someone who understands astrology this graphic is meaningfully - for the rest of us it is meaningless.

How would it look like if we take one quality from our birth chart and combine it with the 10 qualities from a certain date? It would show us all the influences at once. For example I can see my energy (Mars) pattern and therefore may or may not base my decisions. If my energy pattern shows expanding (Jupiter) or shows energy (Mars) as well I know that this would be a good time for actions and starting new projects.

If you pay attention to your feelings and your daily qualities (transits) you may automatically adapt your work or life flow accordingly and you will find yourself having to deal with less resistance.

I am currently working on an application for the Internet, which will be available for free in a few weeks. With this application you will be able to calculate the positions of your planets at your birth time and watch a graphical radar chart of your current transits.

You can see some of the test graphics on my website at:

Quantum Biocommunication Technology

About the author: Thomas Herold is the founder of Quantum Biocommunication Technology, a website dedicated to the exploration of bicommunication.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What are Compound Microscopes?

Author: Peter Emerson

Most of the microscopes used today are compound. A compound microscope features two or more lenses. A hollow cylinder called the tube connects the two lenses. The top lens, the one people look through, is called the eyepiece. The bottom lens is known as the objective lens. Below the two lenses is the stage, with the illuminator below that.

Compound microscopes were among the first magnifying instruments invented. Two Dutch eyeglass makers named Zaccharias and Hans Janssen are credited with making the first compound microscope in 1590 by putting one lens at the top of a tube and another at the bottom of the tube. Their idea was fleshed out by others scientists over the next several centuries, but the basic design remained very similar.

The eyepiece, also known as the ocular lens, is at the top of the compound microscope. It is not adjustable, that is, it only has one strength. Most ocular lenses are 10x, meaning that they magnify objects to ten times their normal size. People look in through the eyepiece through the tube and out through the objective lens.

A compound microscope normally contains several objective lenses. The objective lenses are different lengths, with the longer ones being the strongest. The lenses are situated on a round disk below the tube. Viewers choose which strength lens they want and place it below the tube by turning the disk until the desired lens is in place.

The stage and illuminator are below the objective lens. Specimens are placed over a translucent part of the stage. Light provided by the illuminator shines through the clear part of the stage, making it easier for the viewer to see the magnified details of the specimen. Two adjustment knobs help focus the object on the stage by bringing the lenses and the stage closer together.

Compound microscopes have been around for hundreds of years and are still very useful. A number of scientific disciplines use compound microscopes to discover the wonders of the microscopic world.

About the author: Microscopes Info provides detailed information about electron, compound, stereo, digital, video, and scanning tunneling microscopes, as well as an explanation of the different parts of a microscope, and more. Microscopes Info is affiliated with Business Plans by Growthink .

Monday, January 26, 2009

Genetic Genealogy Research

Author: Garon Yoakum

One of the first

genetic genealogy studies was conducted in the late 1980s by scientists with the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. These scientists Rebecca L. Cann, Mark Stoneking and Allan C. Wilson studied a newly discovered kind of DNA. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is contained not in the nucleus of our cell, but in the mitochondria organelles of our cells. These scientists chose to study Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) because of its three unique properties which they explain as:

First, mtDNA gives a magnified view of the diversity present in the human gene pool, because mutations accumulate in this DNA several times faster than in the nucleus. Second, because mtDNA is inherited maternally and does not recombine, it is a tool for relating individuals to one another. Third, there are about 1016 mtDNA molecules within a typical human and they are usually identical to one another (Cann 31).

They extracted and compared mtDNA from ""147 people, drawn from five geographic populations"" (Cann 31). The researchers discovered that ""All these mitochondrial DNAs stem from one woman who is postulated to have lived about 200,000 years ago, probably in Africa"" (Cann 31). Their findings also agree with the archaeology record as Cann explains ""Studies of mtDNA suggest a view of how, where and when modern humans arose that fits with one interpretation of evidence from ancient human bones and tools"" (36).

Swedish researchers Max Ingman, Henrik Kaessmann, Svante Paabo and Ulf Gyllensten critical of these findings conducted their own study in 2000. They claimed that ""almost all studies of human evolution based on mtDNA sequencing have been confined to the control region, which constitutes less than 7% of the mitochondrial genome"" (Ingman 708). Further they argued that the prior methods of analysis where ""providing data that are ill suited to estimations of mutation rate and therefore the timing of evolutionary events"" (Ingman 708). So they decided to study the complete mtDNA sequence from 53 people of various races.

Surprisingly their attempt to discredit the previous research failed as they also came to roughly the same conclusions. They conceded to the likely hood of a common ancestor shared by all the subjects despite being ""geographically unrelated"" (Ingman 712). They estimated ""The age of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for mtDNA, on the basis of the maximum distance between two be 171,500"" (Ingman 712) instead of the earlier estimate of 200,000 years ago. But they refused to align their findings with archeologists by stating ""Whether the ancestors of these six extant lineages originally came from a specific geographic region is not possible to determine"" (Ingman 712). Lastly they agreed on the potential of

genetic genealogy by summarizing:

Our results indicate that the field of mitochondrial population genomics will provide a rich source of genetic information for evolutionary studies. Nevertheless, mtDNA is only one locus and only reflects the genetic history of females. For a balanced view, a combination of genetic systems is required. With the human genome project reaching fruition, the ease by which such data may be generated will increase, providing us with an evermore detailed understanding of our genetic history (Ingman 712).

Their call for a more balanced view was shortly answered because in 2000 a team of researchers from the Department of Genetics at Stanford University lead by Peter A. Underhill published their results of studying Y-chromosome DNA. Only males have the Y-chromosome which has unique properties as explained by Underhill:

Binary polymorphisms associated with the non-recombining region of the human Y chromosome (NRY) preserve the paternal genetic legacy of our species that has persisted to the present, permitting inference of human evolution, population affinity and demographic history (358).

Their report was based upon ""the analysis of 1062 globally representative individuals"" (Underhill 358). They concluded that the subjects ""represent the descendants of the most ancestral patrilineages of anatomically modern humans that left Africa between 35,000 and 89,000 years ago"" (Underhill 358).

So far

genetic genealogy research has focused on these two kinds of DNA. As mentioned previously mtDNA is passed along the maternal line and Y-Chromosome DNA is passed along the paternal line. These two kinds of DNA effectively encompass all of our ancestors. Yet they provide no information about our ancestors inside the encompassed area. For example our maternal grandfather (mother's father) couldn't contribute any mtDNA or Y-Chromosome DNA to our mother. Yet he did contribute a third type of DNA called autosomal DNA. This type of DNA has yet to be studied for Genetic Genealogy purposes because of its inherent difficulties.

The main reason autosomal DNA is just now being studied is because scientists aren't sure how to determine which autosomal DNA came from mom and which came from dad without testing one or both of our parents. This situation is illustrated by the mathematical equation X = Xm/2 + Xd/2 where our autosomal DNA (X) is half of our mom's (Xm/2) and half of our dad's (Xd/2). By testing ourselves we identify our autosomal DNA but can't determine which part came from mom or dad. Additionally testing one of our parents is necessary to determine exactly which parent contributed which part of our autosomal DNA. This type of testing is currently used for Paternity and near relationship testing. But quickly becomes impractical after a few generations because of the difficulty of obtaining DNA samples from probably deceased ancestors.


Genetic Genealogy is the science of analyzing DNA for genealogical purposes. Studies have shown that we all stem from a common female and male ancestor. Because this emerging science is so new, benefits of this research are still being identified. Currently I believe Genetic Genealogy offers three categories of benefits. First is entertainment value. Finding out you're related to famous people like George Washington, Julius Caesar or Genghis Khan is just plain fun. Imagine the bragging rights and small-talk fodder this provides at social gatherings. Second is scientific value. Current studies have corroborated other scientific findings such as the human archaeological record. Medical sciences will benefit from correlating DNA studies with family genealogies to isolate hereditary diseases. Third is relatedness value. Finding out you're related to a wealthy individual like Bill Gates may entail a financial windfall. Most importantly of all is the ability to reunite families. Millions of displaced war torn families and adopted children can now turn to Genetic Genealogy to find their relatives.


Cann, Rebecca L. et al. ""Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution."" Nature 325 (1987): 31-36

Carmichael, Terrence and Alexander Kuklin. How to DNA Test our Family Relationships? California: AceN Press, 2000

Cavalli-Sforza, L. Luca et al. The History and Geography of Human Genes. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994

Ingman, Max et al. ""Mitochondrial genome variation and the origin of modern humans."" Nature 408 (2000): 708-713

Tooker, Elisabeth. An Ethnography of the Huron Indians, 1615-1649. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1991

Underhill, Peter A. et al. ""Y chromosome sequence variation and the history of human populations."" Nature Genetics 26 (2000): 358-361

Walsh, Bruce. ""Estimating the Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor for the Y chromosome or Mitochondrial DNA for a Pair of Individuals."" Genetics 158 (2001): 897-912

Zimmer, Carl. ""After You, Eve."" Natural History 3 (2001): 32-35

About the author: Garon Yoakum is a representative for Relative Genetics .

For more information on

genetic genealogy , contact us Toll Free at (800)956-9362