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Science (Non-)Fiction

March 16, 2010

Apparently, limb regeneration is not just for lizards: scientists have shown that by suppressing a single gene, it was possible for mice to regrow lost limbs.  Who needs stem cells?

And just when you thought that science was paving the way for the fountain of youth and immortality, we might want to question whether that’s even a worthwhile goal, what with a star due to crash through our solar system in ONLY 1.5 MILLION YEARS!!!11oneonewon!  EVERYBODY PANIC!

Speaking of things that could destroy us all, who needs the ever-in-disrepair Large Hadron Collider when we have the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider?  The RHIC has really given us some key insights about what happened immediately after the Big Bang (I’m told).  Researchers were able to show that two trillion degree heat can produce a new form of anti-matter that may unlock some of the inconsistencies that had been plaguing theoretical physicists for years, such as the age-old question of “why is there more matter in the universe than anti-matter?”  Aside from facile philosophical explanations like the anthropic principle (i.e., would you or I be here to ask that question if there were more anti-matter than matter?), it could be nice to know.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2010 7:35 pm

    I think it is important to always bear in mind that the “Big Bang” is merely a hypothesis without very much direct experimental evidence.

    While it is our “best guess” at the moment the enthusiastic claims and pronouncements of researchers and speculative musings of theoretical physicists as to the various conditions that might have been representative of our universe at that era need to be taken with a liberal helping of salt.

    This is always true on the fringes of discovery where science and pseudoscience necessarily co-exist.

    Regarding “things that could destroy us”, the almost inevitable evolution by a process of self assembly of the Internet into a new and predominant inorganic life-form within a couple of decades could well result in the virtual extinction of our species.

    Our survival will depend upon forming a non-threatening symbiotic relationship with that entity and in light of our proclivity for aggression, together with possession of nuclear weapons, I have serious doubts if we are up to it!

    Much more on this and related topics in my recent book “Unusual Perspectives”, which can be freely downloaded from the eponymous website.

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