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Volume 20 – April 26, 2010


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Anousheh's Favorite Quote

Mother Teresa had put  8 of the original ten Paradoxical Commandments by Kent M. Keith, on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home in Calcutta.”  Here are those eight: 

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight,
People really need help but may attack you if you help them,
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth,

Here is a link to all ten commandments:

Supernovae and Calcium in Our Body

Until recently, astronomers had identified two main classes of supernovae, the Type Ia supernovae when old, white dwarf stars collect extra matter from a neighboring companion until they undergo a thermonuclear explosion that blows them apart entirely; and Type Ib/c  when hot, massive and short-lived stars explode and leave behind black holes or neutron stars.

However Supernova (SN) 2005E, discovered by the University of California, Berkeley's Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT), is one of eight known "calcium-rich supernovae" that seems to differ from the 2 known types.

According to Filippenko, KAIT director and UC Berkeley Professor of astronomy, these supernovae can explain the abundance of calcium in galaxies and in life on Earth. "All the atoms in your body -other than hydrogen and helium- were cooked up by nuclear reactions billions of years ago inside stars. Some of those stars exploded and eventually became our solar system, which formed from a cloud of hydrogen and helium that was chemically enriched by previous generations of exploded stars...That's why we have a rocky, Earth-like planet, carbon in our cells, oxygen we breathe, iron in our blood,.. It was all cooked up in the stars."

To read and learn more, please visit:
To read and see a supernova explosion recreated in 3D, you can visit: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/supernova-recreated-in-3-D-100518.html 

6 to Travel to Mars

Well, technically they are not traveling to Mars, ...YET!  Russia's Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP), with extensive participation by Europe Space Agency (ESA), will soon begin their Mars500 mission on Earth. 6 men have enlisted for this simulation to mimic a full mission to Mars and back as accurately as possible without actually going there. Next summer, in a special facility near Moscow, the crew of six will be isolated in confined space with limited consumables and communication only via the Internet, occasionally disrupted and with a 20-minute delay for 520 days.

The crew will be monitored and their psychological, medical and physical signs recorded throughout the mission. During the "surface operations" after 250 days, the crew will be divided in half, three will move to the martian surface simulator and three will remain in the "spacecraft".

to learn more and see pictures of the facility, please visit:



Creating "Synthetic" Life

Just in case you missed it, the big scientific news this month was the creation of life! For nearly 15 years the  scientists at JCVI (J. Craig Venter Institute) have worked to accomplish this profound and important feat. The team has succeeded to construct the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell. They first built the genome of a bacterium and then incorporated it into a cell to create the first synthetic life form. This seems to be the proof of principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome.

Although this accomplishment has started old and new debates, but it also offers many possibilities such as engineering new fuels, improving methods of cleaning polluted water, and faster vaccine production, to name a few.

To read more and see a video of Craig Venter talking about this accomplishment, please visit:


No more Oil!

With the very recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill, commonly known as BP or Gulf of Mexico oil spill, on April 20, the necessity for alternative fuel production is once again highlighted. Conducting a search on internet, one can find many innovative ideas, and methods, already in use or in experimental stages. 
Scientists and people from all walks of life have been turning their kitchen fryer oil, wood, plants such as soy, sugar cane, corn, as well as flowering plants, natural gas, animal fats, and even old computer parts into means of producing fuel.  

To see some of these articles, and the pros and cons of some of the methods, please visit:





Anousheh's Favorite Quote:

"Never underestimate the ability of a small group of dedicated people to change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

   Margaret mead (1901-1978)