Thursday, September 06, 2007

How to Make a Test-Tube Baby

Author: Daniel Todd

IVF is the scientific approach to getting pregnant. Originally termed ""test-tube"" babies by the Press, embryos are fertilized in the lab, removed from a human body. One attempt at pregnancy through IVF is termed a cycle, and can be divided into 5 general phases.

1. Preparation

You're body is manipulated with drugs. Doctors prescribe a medication such as Lupron to shut down your ovaries for two weeks.

2. Stimulation

Following the Lupron series you will receive a set of up to 14 shots of another medication, such as pergonal, to hyperstimulate egg production. At the conclusion of these shots you will be given a final medication to boost maturity of your eggs.

3. Harvesting

Once the eggs have reached maturity you are heavily sedated and between 5-15 eggs are suctioned from your ovaries via ultrasound guided vaginal retrieval.

4. Fertilization

Egg and sperm meet each other for the first time in the lab. Approximately 100,000 motile sperm are introduced to each egg. Fertilization is documented and the growing embryos are carefully observed in vitro for up to 6 days. The growing trend is to observe growth longer, past the 6-8 cell stage, and blastocyst or advanced stage embryo transfer is not uncommon. There are several benefits to a blastocyst transfer, you might wish to ask your Reproductive team about them.

5. Embryo Transfer

Mom comes back in the picture as 3 or 4 growing embryos are transferred back into your uterus in a procedure that resembles a PAP smear. With any luck a new baby begins growing. On average it takes 3 IVF cycles to establish a pregnancy.

This is a very brief draft of a typical IVF cycle, and it can be an expensive, invasive procedure. But for couples who are having trouble conceiving, IVF is a well-established, proven method to overcoming infertility. There are a million people out there who walking proof it works.

About the author: Dan Todd, esq. is a full-time father. When they had trouble conceiving thier youngest daughter, Victoria, Dan and Donna began investigating fertility and reproductive issues. Today they run thier website from thier home in Tennessee.

Benefits of Human Growth Hormone - HGH Enhancing Supplements

Author: Danna Schneider

Human Growth Hormone has often been referred to as the ""fountain of youth hormone"". So, have we stumbled upon the proverbial ""fountain of youth"" with these new HGH enhancement supplements that claim to reduce fat, relieve ""aging symptoms"" such as wrinkles, increase energy and sex drive, promote sounder and deeper sleep cycles, and rejuvenate the body? Well, there are several faithful users of products in this arena (and I'm one of them) that will swear that since they have started taking HGH enhancing products, they've experienced a wide range of pleasing and desirable benefits, and it's not placebo.

If your goal is to proactively slow your body's aging process and optimize your personal longevity and quality of life, a quality HGH supplement may be just the thing for you. So, let's take a look at what these HGH products propose to do for you, and how they propose to offer such life-changing benefits to anyone who has the inclination to buy such products, and faithfully take the supplement as prescribed.

As we age, the amount of HGH secreted by our body's pituitary gland decreases, resulting in the symptoms of aging you see in your skin (wrinkles, loss of tone and firmness), energy level, libido, hair color (loss of hair color, or graying of hair), weight gain, and muscle to fat ratio. We could go on forever on the symptoms of aging, but we'll leave it at that for the sake of brevity, and because I'm sure you don't have all day!

HGH supplements do not contain actual Human Growth Hormone - for this you would actually need to go to a doctor who does this type of thing, pay about $10,000 a year, and get injections of real Human Growth Hormone.

Rather, most HGH supplement products employ the use of homeopathic medicine and stimulate the pituitary gland into producing more Human Growth Hormone, increasing it's levels in the blood (usually a big difference will be noticed within a month to two month's time, which allows for the HGH-promoting agents to gain higher levels in the blood and become effective).

These HGH stimulating agents are what we call non prescription amino acid secretagogue supplementation. These compounds stimulate the pituitary gland and encourage it to secrete more HGH into the blood stream, hence the anti-aging benefits that are a direct result of increased HGH in the body. Studies have shown that amino acids such as arginine, glutamine and lysine can significantly increase the production of HGH. The tricky part is, many of these amino acid compounds can be destroyed by the digestive acids in the stomach, rendering any HGH enhancing abilities useless. If you are going to consider an HGH supplement in pill form, be sure there is a technology used to coat or protect the amino acids from being destroyed by your stomach acids. Most quality supplements in pill form will indicate that they employ this type of protective technology, just be sure to look for that information.

Another popular method of delivery is powder and spray form. Whatever your preference, just make sure you purchase the supplement from a reputable homeopathic and/or herbal company that has a wide range of successful products, plenty of customer testimonials, and a money back or quality guarantee. I can personally testify that I have been using an HGH supplement for about two months, and I'm no scientist, but I can definitely tell you, I feel great and I haven't gotten sick once since I've been on it, even with several stomach flu viruses and cold bugs going around the office.

I've also notice that my sleep quality has improved and I wake up feeling more refreshed, my skin seems to be smoother and more toned, my fatty areas and cellulite seem to be improving/diminishing more and more every day, my appetite has decreased, I have more energy and can think more clearly at work without the typical fogginess I used to get halfway through my day, and my eyes are brighter and more full of life. Overall, my quality of life has definitely improved since about a month after I started the supplement.

Coincidence? Maybe - but I doubt it. I'm what you might call an herbal-product-of-the-moment junkie. I've experimented with many of the fads of the moment in the herbal and alternative medicine field, and I've never experienced such noticeable and obvious results as I have with HGH as I have with any of these other products. Try it - it may be just what you're looking for to slow the aging process, improve your quality of life overall, and get the youthful edge back.

About the author: Danna Schneider is the founder of HGH Enhancer . Visit HG H Enhancing Supplement for more information on this effective antiaging HGH stimulating product.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Stingray - life of stingray fish in the wild

Author: Art Inion

Stingrays are neither threatened nor endangered species. They derive their name from their slender, whip-like tails equipped with venomous spines. Stingrays are neither threatened nor endangered species. They've been hunted for centuries for their meat and also today stingrays are marketed for food in various countries around the world, principally in Europe and Asia.

General characteristics of stingrays

Stingrays can be found in the major oceans; Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Most stingrays are marine, living in salt water but they can be found in freshwater and where salt and fresh water mix (brackish water). The shape as can be seen in the pictures, the side of the head has a continuous shape with the outer side margin of the pectoral fin, the fins that look like wings.

They breath by drawing water through a small hole behind the eye and expel the water through gill slits on the underside of the disc. The dorsal fin or backward fin, does not exist or sometimes are hard to distinguish. The disc is about 1.2 times as broad as the length.

The stingray does not have a tail fin (cuadal fin). Instead it has a tail and it looks like a whip with a long venomous spine on the tail. The spine is replaced every four months. Most species have at least 1 long venomous spine on the tail, and some stingrays that are seen to have two.

Injuries to humans from stingrays occur when an unsuspecting person steps on a ray, causing the creature to reflexively strike out with its tail. The stinger apparatus then injects a toxin, causing immediate shooting pain. Although there is no known antidote for their toxin, it's rarely fatal for humans.

The largest of these is the specie is Trygonidae with a total length of about 4 meters and is approximately 4.8 meters in total width.

Behavior of stingrays

They live in the bottom parts of shallow tropical waters. Looking carefully, you are likely to find them lying on a seabed, buried or partially covered with sand. They can move very rapidly when threatened or in pursuit of a passing fish. They also eat mollusks and crustaceans, crushing then with their flat, strong teeth.

Most of stingrays are not especially afraid of humans. When approached, they swim gently to another place naturally avoiding too close contact. In many places around the world they became tourist attraction, where people can swim together or even feed them.

Stingray leather

There are very few

stingray species that provide suitable leather hides. These are called ""scaly species"". The skin of these stingrays consists of thousands of tiny rock-hard pearls or scales. This

stingray leather is exceptionally strong and by many is called the most durable leather in the world. It's definitely fire, water, tear and ""cut"" resistant.

The reason of these features lies in the structure of the leather. In regular leather, the fibres of the leather run parallel to each other, whereas in stingray leather the fibres run in all directions. In addition, all the tiny pearls with their roots are grown into the bottom layer of the leather, to the effect that you can neither tear the leather apart, nor cut it easily with the knife.

There are many products that can be made from

stingray leather ; handbag s , purses and wallets for example. There are also coin purses and key wallets , too. One can choose from a variety of colors and sizes, all genuine exotic stingray leather.

About the author: Article written for Exotic Leather Store of crocodile, snakeskin, and stingray leather:

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Finite Element Method: A Four-Article Series - Part 3

Author: Steve Roensch

The following four-article series was published in a newsletter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) . It serves as an introduction to the recent analysis discipline known as the finite element method . The author is an engineering consultant and expert witness specializing in finite element analysis.


by Steve Roensch, President, Roensch & Associates

Third in a four-part series

While the pre-processing and post-processing phases of the finite element method are interactive and time-consuming for the analyst, the solution is often a batch process, and is demanding of computer resource. The governing equations are assembled into matrix form and are solved numerically. The assembly process depends not only on the type of analysis (e.g. static or dynamic), but also on the model's element types and properties, material properties and boundary conditions.

In the case of a linear static structural analysis, the assembled equation is of the form Kd = r , where K is the system stiffness matrix, d is the nodal degree of freedom (dof) displacement vector, and r is the applied nodal load vector. To appreciate this equation, one must begin with the underlying elasticity theory. The strain-displacement relation may be introduced into the stress-strain relation to express stress in terms of displacement. Under the assumption of compatibility, the differential equations of equilibrium in concert with the boundary conditions then determine a unique displacement field solution, which in turn determines the strain and stress fields. The chances of directly solving these equations are slim to none for anything but the most trivial geometries, hence the need for approximate numerical techniques presents itself.

A finite element mesh is actually a displacement-nodal displacement relation, which, through the element interpolation scheme, determines the displacement anywhere in an element given the values of its nodal dof. Introducing this relation into the strain-displacement relation, we may express strain in terms of the nodal displacement, element interpolation scheme and differential operator matrix. Recalling that the expression for the potential energy of an elastic body includes an integral for strain energy stored (dependent upon the strain field) and integrals for work done by external forces (dependent upon the displacement field), we can therefore express system potential energy in terms of nodal displacement.

Applying the principle of minimum potential energy, we may set the partial derivative of potential energy with respect to the nodal dof vector to zero, resulting in: a summation of element stiffness integrals, multiplied by the nodal displacement vector, equals a summation of load integrals. Each stiffness integral results in an element stiffness matrix, which sum to produce the system stiffness matrix, and the summation of load integrals yields the applied load vector, resulting in Kd = r . In practice, integration rules are applied to elements, loads appear in the r vector, and nodal dof boundary conditions may appear in the d vector or may be partitioned out of the equation.

Solution methods for finite element matrix equations are plentiful. In the case of the linear static Kd = r , inverting K is computationally expensive and numerically unstable. A better technique is Cholesky factorization, a form of Gauss elimination, and a minor variation on the ""LDU"" factorization theme. The K matrix may be efficiently factored into LDU , where L is lower triangular, D is diagonal, and U is upper triangular, resulting in LDUd = r . Since L and D are easily inverted, and U is upper triangular, d may be determined by back-substitution. Another popular approach is the wavefront method, which assembles and reduces the equations at the same time. Some of the best modern solution methods employ sparse matrix techniques. Because node-to-node stiffnesses are non-zero only for nearby node pairs, the stiffness matrix has a large number of zero entries. This can be exploited to reduce solution time and storage by a factor of 10 or more. Improved solution methods are continually being developed. The key point is that the analyst must understand the solution technique being applied.

Dynamic analysis for too many analysts means normal modes. Knowledge of the natural frequencies and mode shapes of a design may be enough in the case of a single-frequency vibration of an existing product or prototype, with FEA being used to investigate the effects of mass, stiffness and damping modifications. When investigating a future product, or an existing design with multiple modes excited, forced response modeling should be used to apply the expected transient or frequency environment to estimate the displacement and even dynamic stress at each time step.

This discussion has assumed h-code elements, for which the order of the interpolation polynomials is fixed. Another technique, p-code, increases the order iteratively until convergence, with error estimates available after one analysis. Finally, the boundary element method places elements only along the geometrical boundary. These techniques have limitations, but expect to see more of them in the near future.

Next month's article will discuss the post-processing phase of the finite element method.

© 1996-2005 Roensch & Associates. All rights reserved.

About the author: Steve Roensch is an expert witness and mechanical engineer with more than 20 years of professional experience. He has analyzed hundreds of product designs and has served as an expert witness across many industries, including giving depositions and court testimony. Learn more about mechanical engineer expert witness services at

Monday, September 03, 2007

Metaevolution - Evolution of Evolution

Author: Paras Chopra

I've thought on this concept for the last few months, I thought it was my original concept. But it already exists. Well, 'Metaevolution' is, unsurprisingly, evolution of evolution. But the existing concept of metaevolution is quite different from mine. Existing concept defines meta evolution as evolution of evolution since the big-bang ( i.e. the birth of universe), but I define metaevolution as the evolution of evolution (EoE) since the birth of life (on earth?).

This means that all throughout life's history evolution has not remained same, it itself changes with time to time. See, this is a two way process: evolution changes the organism so that it tries to become perfect for existing environment. But an organism is not separate from environment; it is very well a part of environment. It changes and modifies the environment constantly. Thus, evolution in altered environment doesn't work in the same way. Thus, evolution has been changed. If there is more than one organism in a particular environment, each affects the environment in his own way. So there is more complex change in environment. Each changes the environment in his own way and thus affecting the process of evolution which applies to all organisms in that environment.

The only species which has had major affect on metaevolution has been undoubtedly, Humans!! I say this because humans, thanks to their evolved brains, developed great tools and techniques to alter environments. These all stories of mass extinctions of rare species are demonstrations of nothing but meta-evolution. The humans have changed the course of evolution; therefore, the incapable species don't fit into the environment anymore. Thus they die. I don't see anything wrong with it, but the point is that an organism (us) may change the environment to such an extent which even removes his own food source. Thus the organism is doomed to die.

Meta-evolution is even more interesting concept than evolution. And this is because it involves a complex interplay between organism, environment and evolution itself. Metaevolution may also be influenced by external events such as change in climatic conditions (change of earth from a violent to an earthly place), meteor collision (it wiped out dinosaurs), etc. I wonder what would have been life today if dinosaurs didn't go extinct. Would humans still have arisen???

See, we can very well say that life is helping in the evolution of environment on earth rather than the other way. But it is all the same thing in light of metaevolution. It doesn't matter if we say if organism changes environment or environment changes organism, the fact is that there is a constant change between the two. And due to the change the evolution itself evolves.

But, does evolution also follows the same rules such as survival of the fittest. Maybe, we can know the answer if we can see the affect same organisms on two radically different environments such as two different planets (if life exists beyond earth). Or, we may very well compare the different aspects of metaevolution on a computer simulation. In my view, the essence of evolution in extreme places such as hot-springs or glaciers is very much different than we see at other places on earth. How is the evolution different there? It has been suggested by the researchers that the conditions of Hydrothermal Systems represent early conditions of earth. So by studying, the evolution there we might notice how the evolution has been shaped on the earth. But I truly metaevolution needs more thought and study. But if it is true, we see that evolution has evolved into an entirely different species at places where life exists on the edge.

Can there be metametaevolution?? Yes, of course we can do anything on computer simulations. Or if alternate universes exist!!!

About the author: Paras Chopra was born in Patiala, Punjab, India on 3rd June 1987. His interests lie in subjects ranging from Synthetic Biology to Philosophy to Artificial Intelligence. His goal in life is to achieve immortality. Visit him at:

He also runs NaramCheez. Visit NaramCheez at:

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Why Seven Days in a Week?

Author: Peter Meyer

Wherever the Common Era Calendar (a.k.a. the Gregorian Calendar) is used -- and it is now used by the governments of all countries -- a week of seven days is also used in conjunction with it. But there is no 7-day cycle in Nature from which this could have been derived, so why a week of seven days?

People use a 7-day week because they have been born into a world where this is customary. In other words, the 7-day week has been received from earlier generations. It has a long history. When the Roman emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion early in the 4th Century CE the 7-day week was officially associated with the Julian Calendar, and the association remained after the Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th Century CE.

The Christians received the 7-day week from the Jews. Their explanation for its use is that this was commanded by their god, named by them YHWH (using the Hebrew letters Yod-He-Vav-He). The Jewish Pentateuch (incorporated into the Old Testament of the Christian Bible) contains several injunctions attributed to YHWH which mention ""a seventh day"", upon which no ""work"" is to be done.

So clearly a 7-day week was in use at the time of Moses in the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE, but the 7-day week is much older than that, since it was also used by the Sumerians and Babylonians. Kerry Farmer remarks that ""Some historians believe that around 2350 BC Sargon I, King of Akkad, having conquered Ur and the other cities of Sumeria, instituted a seven-day week, the first to be recorded.""

In many European languages the names of the days of the week are derived from the names of planets/gods. According to Dr Kelley Ross the names for the planets/gods in Sumerian, Babylonian, Greek, Latin and English, with the English name of the corresponding day of the week in parentheses, are as follows:

Utu, Shamash, Helios, Sol, Sun (Sunday) Nanna, Sin, Selene, Luna, Moon (Monday) Gugalanna, Nergal, Ares, Mars, Mars (Tuesday) Enki, Nabu, Hermes, Mercurius, Mercury (Wednesday) Enlil, Marduk, Zeus, Iuppiter, Jupiter (Thursday) Inanna, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus, Venus (Friday) Ninurta, Ninurta, Kronos, Saturnus, Saturn (Saturday)

It is plausible to suppose that the association of planets and days of the week arose in prehistoric times as follows:

At some point in the evolution of humans, perhaps as far back as 100,000 years ago, they acquired sufficient intelligence to observe their environment and start to think about it. Obviously the night sky would have been of interest to early humans. The more intelligent among them would have observed that all of the luminous objects in the night sky maintained their positions relative to each other except for a few. Those that did not appeared to wander across the night sky (relative to the fixed stars), and thus eventually came to be called ""wanderers"". (The English word ""planet"" is derived from the Greek ""planetes"", which means exactly ""wanderers"".)

We may assume that tens of thousands of years ago humans did not think of the physical world as we do today, and in particular did not have an idea of the Earth as a large spherical object within a vast 3-dimensional space in which other large spherical objects moved. For them the nature of the luminous objects which they observed to wander along a band of the night sky, and the cause of their movement, was unknown. But since (by observation of the natural world) it was only living things which moved of themselves, it would be reasonable for early humans to assume that the wanderers, the planets, were living beings of some kind -- beings of a very unusual nature, what we might now call ""gods"".

So for early humans the planets were gods. And obviously the Sun and the Moon belonged to their company. So how many gods were there? As many as could be observed (perhaps more). In addition to the Sun and the Moon there were five others (what we now call Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). If days somehow became associated with these gods then we have the basis for a period of seven days. Perhaps a particular god was venerated each successive day without a break, which would give rise to repeated periods of seven days.

It is plausible to suppose that the earliest calendars were simple tallies of days from one new moon to the next (where ""new moon"" means the reappearance of the moon after two or three days of invisibility). Bones with 29 and 30 scratches have been found which are at least 40,000 years old, suggesting (since a lunation is approximately 29.5 days) that the scratches were a record of days (or nights) in a lunation. This was probably the first attempt by humans to divide the sequence of days into periods. They would quickly have noted that four successive 7-day periods were almost, but not quite the number of days from one new moon to the next. This might have given rise to a calendar (such as is known to have been used by the Sumerians and Babylonians) in which the days of a lunation (a ""month"") were divided into four 7-day periods beginning with a new moon, followed by one or two days (not part of any 7-day period) until the next new moon.

The origin of the 7-day week is sometimes attributed to dividing the 29 or 30 days of a lunation by four, to get a number close to seven. But a concept of division, which we find easily understandable, is not a concept that we can attribute to the earliest thinking humans. Counting and addition may have been the most advanced mathematical concepts for many thousands of years before the idea of division (as a numerical operation) was discovered.

On the basis of this explanation of the development of the idea of the week it is obvious why there are seven days in a week: This is the number of visible planets plus the Sun and the Moon.

An immediate corollary is that there is nothing sacred (except in the minds of some people) about the fact that a week has seven days.

If, instead of an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, there had been a planet, then there would have been six visible planets, not five, so the number of celestial entities would have been eight, not seven. In that case humans would have developed a week of eight days, not seven.

The Moon is thought by many astronomers to have been formed as a result of a collision of the Earth with a planet-sized object shortly after its formation over four billion years ago. If (assuming that is what happened) that collision had never occurred, and that no large body was subsequently captured by the Earth, then the Earth would have no moon, in which case the number of celestial entities would have been six, not seven. In that case humans would have invented a week of six days, not seven.

The planet Uranus was first observed by telescope in 1690 (by Flamsteed) but was recognized as a planet (by Herschel) only in 1781. Neptune was first observed in 1846. Had the solar system formed in such a way that these planets came close enough to Earth to be observable with the naked eye then the number of celestial entities would have been nine, and we would have a 9-day week. Actually the Maya had a 9-day week, with the days assigned to nine gods, called the Lords of the Night. One might speculate that the Maya knew (or were informed) that there were two more ""gods"" which were invisible (Pluto perhaps not being regarded as a fully accredited planet/god), though there is no other evidence supporting this idea.

The fact that humans have long used a week of seven days is thus the result of accident, namely, the fact that the solar system is the way it is, with five of the nine planets being sufficiently close to Earth to be visible with the naked eye.

The ""sacredness"" of the number seven is due to the association of the seven celestial beings (the visible planets plus the Sun and the Moon) with gods in the minds of early humans. This ""sacredness"" is thus illusory. And thus so too is the ""sacredness"" of the 7-day week. Accordingly there is no reason to preserve it, except from an exagerated respect for tradition. Those who adhere to some religion within which a 7-day week is given prominence will, of course, wish to retain a 7-day week in any new calendar. But for those whose minds are not constrained by religious (or astrological) tradition there is no reason to preserve a 7-day week. A week of 6 or 8 days may be considered on its merits, or even a week with a variable number of days. Such a week -- of 6, 7, 8 or 9 days, in accord with the variable length of quarter-lunations as they actually occur -- is part of a calendar invented in 2005 called ""the Hermetic Lunar Week Calendar"".

About the author: Peter Meyer is the author of the Hermetic Systems website (, containing articles on calendars and information about his calendar software . This article previously appeared on his website.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Elliptical Galaxies

Author: James Monahan

Elliptical galaxies are ellipsoidal agglomerations of stars, which usually do not contain much interstellar matter, and look smoothly like small wads when viewed through a telescope.

Some disk galaxies without much structure can hardly be distinguished from elliptical galaxies and thus are sometimes misclassified.

Elliptical galaxies are unlike spiral galaxies and hence unlike our own Milky Way Galaxy.


The most popularly used classification of galaxies is due to Hubble (1925) and according to this categorization, there are two major groups: the spiral and elliptical galaxies, but there are also lenticulars and irregulars.

Before hitchhiking to and through elliptical galaxies, one must first familiarize themselves with all the other types of galaxies.

Spiral coils in space

Spirals like our own galaxy, fall into several classes depending on their shape and the relative size of their bulge or how they curve.

Spiral galaxies are characterized by the presence of gas in the disk which means star formation remains active at the present time, hence the younger population of stars. Spirals are usually found in the low density galactic field where their delicate shape can avoid disruption by tidal forces from neighboring galaxies.

The egg in space

Ellipticals on the other hand are placed in sub categories depending on their degree of ellipticity. They have a uniform luminosity and are similar to the bulge in a spiral galaxy, but with no disk. The stars are old and there is no gas present. Ellipticals are usually found in the high density field, at the center of clusters.

Irregular Lentils

The last two other types of galaxies are called Lenticular and Irregular. Lenticulars also possess both a bulge and a disk, but they have no spiral arms. There is little or no gas and so all the stars are old. They also appear to be an intermediate. Irregulars on the other hand are small galaxies, with no bulge and an ill-defined shape. Spots in the universe

Galaxies are like islands in the Universe, made of stars as well as dust and gas clouds. They come in different sizes and shapes.

Galaxies are not only distinct in shape, they also vary in size: some may be as ""light"" as a stellar globular cluster in our Milky Way (i.e. they contain about the equivalent of a few million Suns) while others may be more massive than a million Suns.

Presently, more than half of the stars in the Universe are located in massive spheroidal galaxies.

One of the main open questions of modern astrophysics and cosmology is how and when galaxies formed and evolved starting from the primordial gas that filled the early Universe.

In the most popular current theory, galaxies in the local Universe are the result of a relatively slow process where small and less massive galaxies merge to gradually build up bigger and more massive galaxies.

In this scenario, dubbed ""hierarchical merging"", the young Universe was populated by small galaxies with little mass, whereas the present Universe contains large, old and massive galaxies, the very last to form in the final stage of a slow assembling process.

If this scenario were true, then one should not be able to find massive elliptical galaxies in the young universe. Or, in other words, due to the finite speed of light, there should be no such massive galaxies very far from us. And indeed, until now no old elliptical galaxy was known beyond a radio-galaxy that was discovered almost ten years ago.

And so the mystery of the elliptical galaxy continues. Continue hitchhiking through galaxies to understand things better and whatever happens, remember not to panic.

About the author: James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about ellipticals .