Scientists report that 1999 will be the hottest year for 1000 years and that global warming is much worse than expected and expected to lead to an astonishing 8C temp rise next century.
Cheering one's side has no effect on the results of the home according to a New Scientist report .
Scientists have figurred out from studies of half lives of isotopes that the Moon was formed 50m years after the birth of the solar system when a planet the size of Mars smashed into the earth and blasted off the lighter parts into space which formed the Moon which is about the size of Africa .
Anti Matter space engine
A pinch of anti matter can replace 20 space shuttle tanks as a source of energy , cutting the joruney times to Mars from 10 months to 2 weeks . Nasa has plans to demonstrate an anti amtter engine within two years . Sunday Times May 3
Geologists have found that Greece is sinking into the sea as rock is really liquid and flows down with the force of Gravity. Also sinking is the Tibetan plateau . A huge area of rock rooting it to has fallen inot the mantle and the plateau rose like a cork sprinign up , but that this was now sinking. The Death valley is also sinking. India however is pushing into Asia at 5cm a year and the Himalayas are still rising.
Farmers have found that aspirin added to fertilises can markedly increase the growth of cucumbers significantly by thinning the walls of the cucumbers and allowing more nutrients to pass.
New brain cells in the elderly
Researchers have found that brain cells in the hippocampus the learning and memory centre of the brain do divide and form new cells in the elderly contrary to earlier beliefs suggesting that life long learning may keep the rain active ( Nature Nov 98) . Meanwhile US scientists ahve grown fetal human brain celss in the la and put them into defective mice where they have corrected faults like lack of enzymes
Dirt free clothes
Durham scientists in England have invented a new type of very thin coating for clothes and other items which have to be put in a chamber where an electric current in a gas is passed over them. This clothing then cant get wet as the water forms spheres are rolls off . Grease which is a solution of water also does not stick. bbc.co.uk
Teaching monkeys to count
Rhesus monkeys have been taught to count up to 9 . This indicates that the language and counting centres of the brain are different .
Scientists have found that the brain uses different areas to learn and once that skill is learnt it stores the skill in different areas of the brain. During this learning period, parts of the brain called the right premotor cortex, the right parietal cortex and the left cerebellum became active, PET images revealed. After 10 minutes of practice, the volunteers provided another set of images. As they moved the pen through the maze quickly and without making errors, the supplementary motor area, near the junction of the brain's two hemispheres, became active. The areas that were active during learning were quiescent now that the volunteers had gained expertise. Some intriguing reports also indicate that we can activate the learning areas just by thinking of the process and accelerate the learning process. For example to be learn swimming fast imagine yourself doing the strokes and mentally move the muscles and limbs in the manner . For more details http://www.sciencedaily.com
Sep 27 98
Melacine is a vaccine which is very effective against melanoma skin cancers and should be on the market in a few months. It is made by Ribi Immunochem of USA
Aug 17 98
Raising new land from the sea
Professor Schilling's technique of injecting chalk which lies hundreds of feet underground with sulfuric acid makes it change to gypsum which has twice the volume . This causes the whole land to rise above sea level giving countries like Holland many square miles of new land. More details on BBC web page.
July 26 98
More animals cloned
Scientists have announced the cloning of even more animals - mice about 30 of them from adult cells implanted into the eggs of surrogate mothers. The Chinese govt will clone the Giant Panda soon and it is hoped that many endangered animals will soon have thousands of copies made.
July 7 98
Scientists have reported to have cried when they saw the results of seeding a few sq miles of ocean with half a tonne of iron -about that contained in two rusting cars . There was such profusion of plankton and other sea life that the water was like 'pea soup'. Within a year tests will be scaled up to cover 800 or so sq miles of ocean around the Marshall Islands. The oceans except for a small strip around the coasts are barren of life because of lack of iron in the surface waters. Adding iron could make South Asian and other countries free of food shortages as fish proliferate .
It must be remembered that seas are three dimensional so that even from the top mile of ocean water ( the average depth is five miles) there could be layers and layers of food production enough to satisfy needs for hundreds of years . The prescence of iron may be the reason why iron shipwrecks are so full of sea life.More details on tomorrow's world web site at www.bbc.co.uk
Scientists at Monsanto labs have managed to put the gene of a blue flower into cotton plants and so can grow blue cotton for jeans etc. which do not need dyeing. There are close to another gene for Khaki for military clothes ( Indpendent May 27)
May 17 98
Black hole devours galaxy
Astronomers have discovered a galaxy about 10 million light years away which is being devoured by a black hole in the center. Our own Milky Way also has a black hole in the middle.
May 10 98
All Cancers Cured
Scientists are excited about two new drugs that block angiostatin and endostatin produced by cancer cells. These cancer chemicals normally cause new blood vessels to form to supply the cancer cells with nutrition and blocking them stops that and causes the cancer tumor to shrink and die without any harm to normal cells. In trials it has got rid of all cancers especially the hard to cure solid ones like breast , colon and lung , in mice over six months and trials with humans will start this summer in Britain. The original idea for the research came from the observation that when large cancers were removed , smaller ones started in different sites , so the large tumour must have been producing some chemicals to stop the growth of the smaller ones and these chemicals turned out to be the ones above.
May 3 98
Yellowstone may explode
The whole park is actually the bottom of a very active volcano. Measurements show that it has risen 8 meters and there are now rumblings which indicate that it might explode soon with a force of thousands of atomic bombs , hundreds of times more powerful than Mt St Helens. It could kill millions , blanket the whole of the USA with ash a foot deep and cut off sunlight for a year causing loss of all crops. Following summers round the world could be very cold for a few years , further affecting plant life.
Life on Earth to End
Temperature measurments of the atmosphere of Betelgeuse a red giant star in the shoulder of Orion the hunter , indicate that the star is about to explode as a supernova -Dr Lim writes in Nature. The star is only 430 light years from earth and the cosmic rays let loose will strip away the earth's ozone layer and lead to death from UV radiation of all life on earth. In fact it might have exploded 400 years ago but we might only see it happen soon when the radiation reaches us.
End of flies
And cockroaches. A scientist has discovered that their feet have a positive charge and by making a powder with negative charge and coating fly paper with this , the flies drop down into a container. More info on www.bbc.co.uk
April 5 98
Frogs predict danger
Tadpoles have been growing with deformities in the wild. When scientists hatched some indoors protecting them from sunlight they turned out to be normal. This suggests that the loss of the ozone is damaging the DNA of living beings and is an early sign of a great disaster about to befall humankind.
Scientists soon hope to drill into an huge and very deep underground lake cut off from the rest of the world for millions of years under the Antarctic ice filed. They have already found many new types of life forms in the ice above. The techniques will come in useful when exploring the oceans of Europa (Sunday Times Mar 22) . The asteroid mentioned in Mar 15 report is now predicted to pass within 600,000 km of earth , still a very close call only 6 hours where the earth would be but more details will be availaible soon.
Asteroid on a collision course
Worried scientists are using all their technologies to keep an eye on a huge asteroid, found in 1997 on a possible collision course with earth which will hit on October 6 in the year 2028 . It will certainly come closer than the moon, which itself is only about 30 earth diameters away, and could be deflected inwards by the earth's gravity. Being over a mile in diameter it would hit the earth with a force of 1.5 trillion tons of TNT - thousands of times greater than that of all the world's nuclear weapons together and would wipe out humankind. This asteroid would dig a crater 25 miles( 40km) deep and 80 miles across and blow off 4000 cubic miles of matter into space. This matter would ignite as it fell and set fire to the world's forests.Some of the material would remain in space orbiting the earth and block off sunlight for tens of years. A new ice age would put most of the Northern Hemisphere under 2 miles of ice for hundreds of years. Without sunlight most plants would die .If it hit the oceans it would send a tidal wave four miles high all over the earth ! However a colony on the moon could save some humans to repopulate the earth.