Michael Hammer at the University of Arizona in Tucson tracked the DNA of three separate populations and found there was less variation in the male chromosome DNA. His findings, published in Nature Genetics, suggest that over the years half as many men as women have passed on their genes. [F]emales also tend to be similar in their tastes, which means some males get chosen far more often than others, and therefore have more offspring. Females, by contrast, tend to have about the same number of offspring each….
New Scientist covers NASA’s planned Mars-Earth communication by infrared laser. The Mars Telecommunications Orbiter will transmit an infrared laser with a wavelength of 1.06 microns from a 0.3-meter telescope. The tough part is picking up that signal on Earth. Even with a spread of a few hundred kilometers and clear skies the aim would have to be very accurate or the data could be lost. The laser will undergo a design review early next year….
Enwave’s Deep Lake Water Cooling is now cooling the downtown core of Toronto. Cold water is drawn from the icy waters 83-meters below Lake Ontario. The water pipes cool a closed system of water pipes that cool downtown. Enwave has enough capacity to air condition 32 million square feet of building space capacity: approximately 8000 homes. 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide are removed from the air. Enwave has a video online explaining the system in more detail. (via Metafilter)…
For $50,000 Genetic Savings and Clone will clone your household cat. For a one-time fee of $900 plus $150 annually you can store tissue from your cat or dog for future cloning just in case nine lives are not enough. The company plans to start cloning dogs next year. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the Sausalito company. Reminds me of The 6th Day starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. As governor he should pay a visit to Genetic Savings and Clone, preferably by helicopter….
The Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center in Maryland will receive a new supercomputer named Stryker to model the behavior of new weapons materials. Stryker will contain 2304 AMD Opteron 2.2 GHz processors in 1186 separate systems. Capable of a peak performance of 10 teraflops, Stryker will be one of the most powerful Linux computers in the world. Linux Networx currently powers Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Lightning computer with a peak performance of 11 teraflops….
BBC News: “Pickberry in Sonoma County is using a wireless net to gather data from sensors in its fields that monitor key conditions such as temperature, humidity and soil moisture.”…
Mike Melvill piloted SpaceShipOne to an altitude 100 kilometers, opened a bag of M&Ms, and returned to the Mojave Desert. The first non-governmental rocket ship to reach the edge of space….
The Mars Opportunity Rover will attempt a 25-degree slope next week as it enters Endurance Crater. Risky move, and the rover will have to reverse out. Hopefully it hits solid rock the whole way and does not slide on sand….
John Colapinto wrote a really interesting article in Slate about the life of David Reimer. David Reimer was born a male, had a bothced circumcision, and Dr. John Money of Johns Hopkins performed a surgical sex change. David was raised as a girl. He had an identical twin, perfect for nature versus nurture research. He later had his female parts removed and male parts and hormones added. Mind bending stuff! David Reimer committed suicide on May 5….
Space.com: “The Federal Aviation Administration’s Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) is expected next month to certify that the Mojave Airport Civilian Flight Test Center as a non-federal spaceport to handle horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft.”…