- Mar 20 Tue 2018 18:28
- Jan 07 Sun 2018 20:23
- Sep 20 Thu 2018 17:57
The Earth's magnetic field is generated as the molten iron of the Earth's outer core revolves around its solid inner core; when surges in the molten iron occur, magnetic tempests are created. At the Earth's surface, these tempests can be detected by changes in the strength of the Earth's magnetic field. For reasons not fully understood, the field itself reverses periodically every million years or so. Clearly, geophysicists who seek to explain and forecast changes in the field must understand what happens in the outer core. Unlike meteorologists, however, they cannot rely on observations made in their own lifetimes. Whereas atmospheric storms arise in a matter of hours and last for days, magnetic tempests develop over decades and persist for centuries.
- Sep 20 Thu 2018 15:12
It has long been known that during an El Nino, two conditions exist: (1) unusually warm water extends along the eastern Pacific, principally along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru, and (2) winds blow from the west into the warmer air rising over the warm water in the east. These winds tend to create a feedback mechanism by driving the warmer surface water into a "pile" that blocks the normal upwelling of deeper, cold water in the east and further warms the eastern water, thus strengthening the wind still more. The contribution of the recent model is to show that the winds of an El Nino, which raise sea level in the east, simultaneously send a signal to the west lowering sea level. According to the model, that signal is generated as a negative Rossby wave, a wave of depressed, or negative, sea level, that moves westward parallel to the equator at 25 to 85 kilometers per day.
- Sep 19 Wed 2018 17:56
It is frequently assumed that the mechanization of work has a revolutionary effect on the lives of the people who operate the new machines and on the society into which the machines have been introduced. For example, it has been suggested that the employment of women in industry took them out of the household, their traditional sphere, and fundamentally altered their position in society. In the nineteenth century, when women began to enter factories, Jules Simon, a French politician, warned that by doing so, women would give up their femininity. Friedrich Engels, however, predicted that women would be liberated from the social, legal, and economic subordination of the family by technological developments that made possible the recruitment of "the whole female sex into public industry." Observers thus differed concerning the social desirability of mechanization's effects, but they agreed that it would transform women's lives.
- Sep 17 Mon 2018 18:45
Researchers are finding that in many ways an individual bacterium is more analogous to a component cell of a multicellular organism than it is to a free-living, autonomous organism. Anabaena, a freshwater bacteria is a case in point. Among photosynthetic bacteria, Anabaena is unusual: it is capable of both photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation. Within a single cell, these two biochemical processes are incompatible: oxygen produced during photosynthesis, inactivates the nitrogenase required for nitrogen fixation. In Anabaena communities, however, these processes can coexist. When fixed nitrogen compounds are abundant, Anabaena is strictly photosynthetic and its cells are all alike. When nitrogen levels are low, however, specialized cells called heterocysts are produced which lack chlorophyll ( necessary for photosynthesis ) but which can fix nitrogen by converting nitrogen gas into a usable form. Submicroscopic channels develop which connect the heterocyst cells with the photosynthetic ones and which are used for transferring cellular products between the two kinds of Anabaena cells.
- Sep 14 Fri 2018 18:07
For some time scientists have believed that cholesterol plays a major role in heart disease because people with familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic defect, have six to eight times the normal level of cholesterol in their blood and they invariably develop heart disease. These people lack cell-surface receptors for low-density lipoproteins (LDL‘s), which are the fundamental carriers of blood cholesterol to the body cells that use cholesterol. Without an adequate number of cell-surface receptors to remove LDL‘s from the blood, the cholesterol-carrying LDL‘s remain in the blood, increasing blood cholesterol levels. Scientists also noticed that people with familial hypercholesterolemia appear to produce more LDL‘s than normal individuals. How, scientists wondered, could a genetic mutation that causes a slow-down in the removal of LDL‘s from the blood also result in an increase in the synthesis of this cholesterol-carrying protein?
- Sep 14 Fri 2018 00:22
When speaking of Romare Bearden, one is tempted to say, "A great Black American artist." The subject matter of Bearden's collages is certainly Black. Portrayals of the folk of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, whom he remembers from early childhood, of the jazz musicians and tenement roofs of his Harlem days, of Pittsburgh steelworkers, and his reconstruction of classical Greek myths in the guise of the ancient Black kingdom of Benin, attest to this. In natural harmony with this choice of subject matter are the social sensibilities of the artist, who remains active today with the Cinque Gallery in Manhattan, which he helped found and which is devoted to showing the work of minority artists.
- Sep 11 Tue 2018 23:30
A long-held view of the history of the English colonies that became the United States has been that England‘s policy toward these colonies before 1763 was dictated by commercial interests and that a change to a more imperial policy, dominated by expansionist militarist objectives, generated the tensions that ultimately led to the American Revolution. In a recent study, Stephen Saunders Webb has presented a formidable challenge to this view. According to Webb, England already had a military imperial policy for more than a century before the American Revolution. He sees Charles II, the English monarch between 1660 and 1685, as the proper successor of the Tudor monarchs of the sixteenth century and of Oliver Cromwell, all of whom were bent on extending centralized executive power over England‘s possessions through the use of what Webb calls “garrison government.” Garrison government allowed the colonists a legislative assembly but real authority, in Webb‘s view, belonged to the colonial governor, who was appointed by the king and supported by the “garrison,” that is, by the local contingent of English troops under the colonial governor‘s command.
- Sep 09 Sun 2018 20:02
Viruses, infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid packaged in a protein coat (the capsid), are difficult to resist. Unable to reproduce outside a living cell, viruses reproduce only by subverting the genetic mechanisms of a host cell. In one kind of viral life cycle, the virus first binds to the cell's surface, then penetrates the cell and sheds its capsid. The exposed viral nucleic acid produces new viruses from the contents of the cell. Finally, the cell releases the viral progeny, and a new cell cycle of infection begins. The human body responds to a viral infection by producing antibodies: complex, highly specific proteins that selectively bind to foreign molecules such as viruses. An antibody can either interfere with a virus's ability to bind to a cell, or can prevent it from releasing its nucleic acid.