Monthly Archives: December 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Parasitic DNA & the Evolution of Human Pregnancy

According to a recent article in Slate, researchers believe the evolution of human pregnancy may be linked to a parasitic DNA (10-07) that infected our ancestors by replicating itself throughout their genomes 100 million years ago (10+08). Scientists studied the uterine cells of three contemporary mammals, specifically opossums, armadillos and humans. Their goal was “… [...]

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Sun Joules

15,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules (or 1.5×1022 joules) represents the total energy released by the Sun striking the face of the Earth each day.

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Planets Beyond Our Solar System

Scientists have made an important discovery in their search for life outside of our solar system.  NASA announced yesterday that its Kepler mission discovered two planets, roughly the size of Earth, called Kepler-20e  and Kepler-20f. “They are the smallest exoplanets ever confirmed around a star like our sun.”  Part of a five-planet system called Kepler-20, [...]

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Challenging Leading Social Behavior Theories

A recent study published by scientists from the University of Oxford challenges well established theories about social behavior, according to an article in The New York Times today.  The findings, published in the journal Nature are based on the research of over 200 primate species whose social organization has already been determined. “[The] new survey [...]

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Snow Crystals

A 2010 article in National Geographic News explores the idea that no two snowflakes are alike.  There are “10,000,000,000,000,000,000 [or 10+19] water molecules in a typical snow crystal,” and each one forms when a supercooled cloud droplet (roughly 10-05 meters in diameter) freezes.  While it’s true that each snow crystal sparkles in its own unique [...]

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Sizing up the Moon

Universe Today offers a few fascinating ways to consider the size of the moon: “The volume of the Moon is 2.195 x 1010 km3 [almost 22 billion km3]. That sounds like a huge number, but it’s actually only 2% the volume of the Earth.  In other words, you could fit 50 moons inside the volume [...]

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Fog Rolling into Kaysville: 10-to-minus05

A friend of mine has a house just outside of Salt Lake City in Kaysville, Utah.  The history of the people who lived there before her peel back in colorful layers dating back to the 1800s.  Outside her door, chickens lay eggs, dogs chase goats, and foliage rolls down a long, steep hill. On this [...]

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Memory Shift

According to Scientific American, “The human brain consists of about one billion neurons [10+09]. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections [10+03] to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections [10+12].  If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem.  You might have only a [...]

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  • Countdown to Powers of Ten Day

    • 10/10/10 1506 days ago