Wierd Science

From NEW YORK, an outage has disconnected BlackBerry smart phones across North America.


AT&T Inc. says the disruption Monday is affecting all wireless carriers. AT&T first learned about the problem at about 3:30 p.m. ET.

There’s no word on the cause or when the problem might be fixed.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion did not immediately return a phone call.


This is a video that I thought some of my GREEN Baby Boomers, out there, would like to see.

They say that there is no green house effect…

I say that they lied then and that they are still lying! When in truth, we are not getting closer to the sun…

We are ruining our planet…chopping down the forests and not replanting them, at an alarming rate. Still sucking up gases for transportation, still using aerosols, not using mass transportation.

How many of you, Baby Boomers thought that you would have to buy water because the water is so nasty from your tap that you don’t dare drink it.

The list is incredible of things we should and should not be doing.

The Arctic ice is melting faster than previously thought, according to new research. As a result, the fabled Northwest Passage may become a reality.


World peace and green peace!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Fading Out


Analog Cellphone Users Are About to Lose the Signal…

On Feb. 18, Jay Sincavage will make one last phone call to say goodbye.

He’ll bid farewell to the network technology that powered his first cellphone, an old StarTac, once considered the technologist’s model of choice, that’s bulkier than his wallet. At midnight that day, wireless networks across the country will start shutting down the old analog networks that launched the cellphone business 25 years ago. Now, with the vast majority of the country’s quarter~billion cellphone users calling and texting over digital networks, only about 1 million customers still use analog networks.

The Federal Communications Commission authorized carriers to phase out those networks to free more airwaves for digital services. So the non~tech~savvy who haven’t upgraded their phones in several years, as well as people in areas too remote to receive digital signals, could end up without a lifeline.

Sincavage, who lives in Sterling, plans to summon power to his StarTac and, with a few dozen other analog loyalists, make a final call with the obsolete technology.

“Maybe we’ll overload the network and make it crash one last time, for old times’ sake,” Sincavage said.

The demise of a mainstream technology often happens under the radar, as companies and consumers embrace new formats. The record player and the tape recorder faded gradually. DVD rentals phased out VHS tapes. Now the CD appears to be making a slow exit, replaced by digital and downloadable music.

For the past seven years, mobile phone companies have pushed people to upgrade their analog cellphones by offering discounts and rebates on new digital phones. Each successive generation of the network was more efficient, sending more calls, pictures, videos, and text messages over the airwaves. Maintaining the old networks became an expensive chore.

The cellular switch off is the first phase of a larger transition to digital technology that will culminate next year with the end of analog television signals.

Other widely used technologies also rely on analog cellular networks. Older versions of OnStar, the communications system installed in many cars, will stop working next month. General Motors, which owns OnStar, said some cars made as recently as 2005 cannot be upgraded.

About 400,000 security systems use analog networks as back ups to land lines, according to the Alarm Industry Communications Committee. In homes without land lines, the analog network is the only connection.

Sincavage, for example, recently paid $250 to have the ADT alarm system in his dry-cleaning business upgraded to digital.

AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Alltel say less than 1 percent of their customers use analog services, which the companies plan to phase out over the next year. Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile already use all-digital networks, but their customers may be affected if they roam on other carriers’ analog networks.

Over the past year, Verizon Wireless has been contacting thousands of customers using analog phones to offer them digital models. Spokeswoman Debi Lewis said the company hasn’t reached some of those people.

“The people most at risk are glove box users, the people who bought a phone 10 years ago to use in case of an emergency,” Lewis said. “Pretty soon, those phones won’t work anymore, and we want to let them know.”

Analog signals translate voice communications through a series of radio waves that require a lot of airwave capacity. Digital signals convert voice and data, e~mail, text messages, photos, into bits of data that can be compressed, allowing the information to travel more quickly and requiring less capacity.

While digital signals are considered more reliable than their analog predecessors, they don’t travel as far and may not reach sparsely populated areas, such as mountains and deserts.

Analog signals rescued Jorge Torralba when he broke his foot while hiking in a remote area east of Seattle. Unable to get a digital signal with his cellphone, a friend climbed a nearby hill and found an analog network for just long enough to call Torralba’s wife in Portland, Ore. She gave their location to a rescue squad, which picked up the hikers in a helicopter.

“I was bummed out that we’re going to be losing analog because when you’re out in the middle of the woods, that’s the only way to get help,” he said. “I know digital’s the way to go, but analog is a lifesaver.” Andrew Moreau, vice president of corporate communications for Alltel, which serves many rural areas, said analog towers will be replaced by digital ones before the service is shut off.

Still, some analog users are afraid they’ll be left in a lurch.

Cody Toy lives in Rodeo, Calif., a tiny town tucked between mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and still uses analog signals for every call he makes on his cellphone. He’s concerned that digital towers won’t keep up with the demise of analog.

“Digital is like . . . a highway with potholes . . . and analog . . . is the tar that . . . patches the holes,” Toy said over an analog cellphone, interrupted by frequent bouts of static. “It’s good for city slickers . . . but bad for folks in the boonies.”

Roger Entner, senior vice president for the communications sector at IAG Research, said he expects few people to mourn analog networks since most new devices do not use the technology.

“It’s a nostalgic event because it’s the first wireless standard to be put underground,” he said. “But nobody will show up at the funeral.


Thank you The Washington Post

and Kim Hart Washington Post Staff Writer

Boy, do I feel out of date…I don’t even know what my cell phone is…it is just a phone I keep in my purse…I hate all cell phones…I wouldn’t mind one that has a camera in/on it…but I probably wouldn’t use that either!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks
FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks
FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks
FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks


A long awaited final report from the Food and Drug Administration concludes that foods from healthy cloned animals and their offspring are as safe as those from ordinary animals, effectively removing the last U.S. regulatory barrier to the marketing of meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats.

The 968-page “final risk assessment,” not yet released but obtained by The Washington Post, finds no evidence to support opponents’ concerns that food from clones may harbor hidden risks.

But, recognizing that a majority of consumers are wary of food from clones and that cloning could undermine the wholesome image of American milk and meat, the agency report includes hundreds of pages of raw data so that others can see how it came to its conclusions.

The report also acknowledges that human health concerns are not the only issues raised by the emergence of cloned farm animals.

“Moral, religious and ethical concerns . . . have been raised,” the agency notes in a document accompanying the report. But the risk assessment is “strictly a science-based evaluation,” it reports, because the agency is not authorized by law to consider those issues.

In practice, it will be years before foods from clones make their way to store shelves in appreciable quantities, in part because the clones themselves are too valuable to slaughter or milk. Instead, the pricey animals, replicas of some of the finest farm animals ever born, will be used primarily as breeding stock to create what proponents say will be a new generation of superior farm animals.

When food from those animals hits the market, the public may yet have its say. FDA officials have said they do not expect to require food from clones to be labeled as such, but they may allow foods from ordinary animals to be labeled as not from clones.


Opponents of the approval, including some concerned about the welfare of the clones themselves, expressed dismay upon learning about the FDA’s intentions.

Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, a Washington advocacy group that petitioned FDA to restrict the sale of food from clones, said his group is considering legal action.

“One of the amazing things about this,” Mendelson said, “is that at a time when we have a readily acknowledged crisis in our food safety system, the FDA is spending its resources and energy and political capital on releasing a safety assessment for something that no one but a handful of companies wants.”

Others countered that public opinion and politics should play no bigger role in the decision on clones than it should in the approval of a drug or a contraceptive.

“In fact, cloned animals have been studied much more than naturally produced animals,” said Cindy Tian, who has analyzed milk and meat from clones at the University of Connecticut. “We have more data on them than for any other animal that we eat.”

FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food

The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that milk and meat from cloned animals, such as these cows, should be allowed on the market. That stance has raised a debate over whether food from clones that are raised organically could still carry the organic label.

Release of the analysis was slowed for years by several forces, including the dairy industry, concerned about the potential impact on exports of U.S. whey solids, foreign sales of which are growing for use as a protein supplement.

In the past month, as an announcement neared, members of Congress, led by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski D~Md., sought to delay approval through legislation.

Trade related agencies including the Foreign Agricultural Service and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which for years have struggled to get countries to accept U.S. gene-altered crops, also raised red flags.

A final blitz of meetings with FDA officials last week brought grudging acquiescence, insiders said. And it is possible, sources said, that even after the risk analysis is released, there will be calls for farmers to voluntarily refrain from selling products from clones until the trade issues can be resolved.

To create its final risk assessment, the FDA gathered data on nearly all of the more than 600 U.S. farm animal clones produced and hundreds of their offspring, as well as many from overseas. But it faced challenges in the process.

Those animals were made by scientists scattered among various universities and companies using different methods that in many cases were difficult to compare.

Moreover, many of those animals were not just clones but also had genes added to them for projects unrelated to food production.

In those cases, it was difficult for FDA reviewers to decide whether any problems were caused by those animals being clones or by their particular genetic alterations. The FDA has said it will not approve gene-altered animals as food without additional tests for safety.

Finally, there was the overarching problem of deciding which measures would best predict whether the food was safe. Most puzzling was whether to take into account the subtle alterations in gene activity, called epigenetic changes, that are common in clones as a result of having just one parent.

In the end, facing the reality that epigenetics have never been a factor in assessing the wholesomeness of food, agency scientists decided to use the same simple but effective standard used by farmers since the dawn of agriculture: If a farm animal appears in all respects to be healthy, then presume that food from that animal is safe to eat.

Scientists inside and outside the agency studied thousands of pages of veterinary reports describing weight, size, organ function, blood characteristics and other measures of clones and offspring. For cattle, the animals for which the most data exist, full health assessments were conducted for each of five different stages of the animals’ life: fetal, newborn, juvenile, sexually mature, and old.


They concluded that newborn cattle are often unhealthy, probably because of epigenetic changes. They are usually extremely overweight and have respiratory, gastrointestinal and immune system problems. Cloned pigs and goats are mostly healthy from the start.

FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food

The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that milk and meat from cloned animals, such as these cows, should be allowed on the market. That stance has raised a debate over whether food from clones that are raised organically could still carry the organic label.

Studies of cloned farm animal behavior, including mating behavior, also showed them to be the same as ordinary animals. One exception: On one farm, clones showed a peculiar preference not for the surrogate mother that gave birth to them but to the animal from which they were cloned.

Scientists also looked at nutrient levels in meat and milk from a few dozen cattle and pig clones and hundreds of their progeny, and compared them with values from conventional animals. They measured vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6 and B12 as well as niacin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, 12 kinds of fatty acids, cholesterol, fat, protein, amino acids and carbohydrates including lactose.

For almost every measure, the values were virtually the same. The few that differed were still within the range considered normal.

Separately, the agency looked at studies in which milk and meat from clones were fed to animals for up to 3 1/2 months. There was no evidence of health effects, allergic reactions or behavioral changes.

In the end, the agency concluded that it did not have enough information to rule on the safety of food from cloned sheep. It also decided that edible products from newborn cattle clones, which often are metabolically unstable, “may pose some very limited human food consumption risk.”

But it found no safety hazards for meat from healthy cattle clones more than a few weeks old, milk from cloned cows, or meat from cloned pigs or goats of any age.


“Food from cattle, swine, and goat clones is as safe to eat as that from their more conventionally bred counterparts,” the FDA risk assessment concludes.

Looking ahead, the report says FDA is collaborating with veterinary and scientific organizations, notably the International Embryo Transfer Society, to create a database on the health of new clones, which will help the agency track the field as the industry grows.

Working with the FDA, the International Embryo Transfer Society is also creating the first manual of animal care standards for clones, to be made available to farmers and the public later this year.
Thank you Washington Post News
and Rick Weiss Washington Post Staff Writer

What do you think Baby Boomers…are you going to eat it…will we even know…what will the reprocussions be as far as Mother Nature is concerned?

Remember and look what hormones has done to our bodies and minds…and they thought that safe as well. Yet since the 50’s we have eaten them in our meats.

Vegans…you are safe as far as this one goes! Lucky you!

You are what you eat!

REMEMBER…”it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”

2002509953_7512cbd9af.jpg Art by ViaMoi.com

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Popular culture is loaded with myths and half-truths. Most are harmless. But when doctors start believing medical myths, perhaps it’s time to worry.


In the British Medical Journal this week, researchers looked into several common misconceptions, from the belief that a person should drink eight glasses of water per day to the notion that reading in low light ruins your eyesight.

“We got fired up about this because we knew that physicians accepted these beliefs and were passing this information along to their patients,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “And these beliefs are frequently cited in the popular media.”

And so here they are, so that you can inform your doctor:

Myth: We use only 10 percent of our brains.

Fact: Physicians and comedians alike, including Jerry Seinfeld, love to cite this one. It’s sometimes erroneously credited to Albert Einstein. But MRI scans, PET scans and other imaging studies show no dormant areas of the brain, and even viewing individual neurons or cells reveals no inactive areas, the new paper points out. Metabolic studies of how brain cells process chemicals show no nonfunctioning areas. The myth probably originated with self-improvement hucksters in the early 1900s who wanted to convince people that they had yet not reached their full potential, Carroll figures. It also doesn’t jibe with the fact that our other organs run at full tilt.

Myth: You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Fact: “There is no medical evidence to suggest that you need that much water,” said Dr. Rachel Vreeman, a pediatrics research fellow at the university and co-author of the journal article. Vreeman thinks this myth can be traced back to a 1945 recommendation from the Nutrition Council that a person consume the equivalent of 8 glasses or 64 ounces of fluid a day. Over the years, “fluid” turned to water. But fruits and vegetables, plus coffee and other liquids, count.

Myth: Fingernails and hair grow after death.

Fact: Most physicians queried on this one initially thought it was true. Upon further reflection, they realized it’s impossible. Here’s what happens: “As the body’s skin is drying out, soft tissue, especially skin, is retracting,” Vreeman said. “The nails appear much more prominent as the skin dries out. The same is true, but less obvious, with hair. As the skin is shrinking back, the hair looks more prominent or sticks up a bit.”


Myth: Shaved hair grows back faster, coarser and darker.

Fact: A 1928 clinical trial compared hair growth in shaved patches to growth in non-shaved patches. The hair which replaced the shaved hair was no darker or thicker, and did not grow in faster. More recent studies have confirmed that one. Here’s the deal: When hair first comes in after being shaved, it grows with a blunt edge on top, Carroll and Vreeman explain. Over time, the blunt edge gets worn so it may seem thicker than it actually is. Hair that’s just emerging can be darker too, because it hasn’t been bleached by the sun.

Myth: Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight.

Fact: The researchers found no evidence that reading in dim light causes permanent eye damage. It can cause eye strain and temporarily decreased acuity, which subsides after rest.

Myth: Eating turkey makes you drowsy.

Fact: Even Carroll and Vreeman believed this one until they researched it. The thing is, a chemical in turkey called tryptophan is known to cause drowsiness. But turkey doesn’t contain any more of it than does chicken or beef. This myth is fueled by the fact that turkey is often eaten with a colossal holiday meal, often accompanied by alcohol, both things that will make you sleepy.

Myth: Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals.

Fact: There are no known cases of death related to this one. Cases of less-serious interference with hospital devices seem to be largely anecdotal, the researchers found. In one real study, mobile phones were found to interfere with 4 percent of devices, but only when the phone was within 3 feet of the device. A more recent study, this year, found no interference in 300 tests in 75 treatment rooms. To the contrary, when doctors use mobile phones, the improved communication means they make fewer mistakes.


“Whenever we talk about this work, doctors at first express disbelief that these things are not true,” said Vreeman said. “But after we carefully lay out medical evidence, they are very willing to accept that these beliefs are actually false.”
Thank you Robert Roy Britt, LiveScience Managing Editor and LiveScience.com

Just in from SYDNEY, Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo~style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, researchers say.


Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas.

While the usual image of greenhouse gas pollution is a billowing smokestack pushing out carbon dioxide, livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions in some countries.

“Fourteen percent of emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep,” said Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland state government.

“And if you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they’re actually up around 50 percent,” he told AFP.

Researchers say the bacteria also makes the digestive process much more efficient and could potentially save millions of dollars in feed costs for farmers.

“Not only would they not produce the methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 percent more energy out of the feed they are eating,” said Klieve.

Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that’s nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering.

“In a tight year like a drought situation, 15 percent would be a considerable sum,” said farmer Michael Mitton.

But it will take researchers at least three years to isolate the bacteria, before they can even start to develop a way of transferring it to cattle and sheep.

Another group of scientists, meanwhile, has suggested Australians should farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos.

The idea is controversial, but about 20 percent of health conscious Australians are believed to eat the national symbol already.

“It’s low in fat, it’s got high protein levels it’s very clean in the sense that basically it’s the ultimate free range animal,” said Peter Ampt of the University of New South Wales’s institute of environmental studies.

“It doesn’t get drenched, it doesn’t get vaccinated, it utilizes food right across the landscape, it moves around to where the food is good, so yes, it’s a good food.”

It might take a while for kangaroos to become popular barbecue fare, but with concern over global warming growing in the world’s driest inhabited continent, Australians could soon be ready to try almost anything to cut emissions.


Thank you AFP News

Let me see…the Austailan drought is caused by bovine farts???


And eating cute kangaroos would solve some of that problem???

This is really word science!

Sorry Mates…no KANGAROO meat for this Baby Boomer!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Scientists Get Rare Look at Dinosaur Soft Tissue…
Fossil May Shed New Light on the Creatures

A high school student hunting fossils in the badlands of his native North Dakota discovered an extremely rare mummified dinosaur that includes not just bones but also seldom seen fossilized soft tissue such as skin and muscles, scientists will announce today.

The 25 foot long hadrosaur found by Tyler Lyson in an ancient river flood plain in the dinosaur rich Hell Creek Formation is apparently the most complete and best preserved of the half dozen mummified dinosaurs unearthed since early in the last century, they said.

Much scientific investigation remains to be done, and no peer reviewed studies of it have yet been published, but the discovery appears to be yielding tantalizing new clues about the size, body mechanics and appearance of the reptilian beasts that ruled the Earth millions of years ago, said paleontologists studying the specimen.

“He looks like a blow up dinosaur in some parts,” said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in England who is leading the inquiry. “When you actually look at the detail of the skin, the scales themselves are three dimensional. . . . The arm is breathtaking. It’s a three dimensional arm, you can shake the dinosaur by the hand. It just defies logic that such a remarkable specimen could preserve.”

Although it is described as “mummified,” the 65 million year old duckbilled dinosaur that scientists have named Dakota bears no similarity to the leather skinned human mummies retrieved from ancient tombs in Egypt. Time long ago transformed Dakota’s soft tissue into mineralized rock, preserving it for the ages.

“It’s a dinosaur that was turned into stone, essentially,” said Lyson, 24, now a graduate student in paleontology at Yale University.

A lifelong dinosaur enthusiast, Lyson has been strapping on a backpack and hunting (and finding) dinosaur bones in the arid outback of his home state ever since elementary school. He even started an organization, the Marmarth Research Foundation http://www.mrfdigs.com, in his home town of Marmarth, N.D., to support education and research on dinosaur fossils.

On an expedition in 1999, Lyson noticed some bone fragments at the base of a hill and traced their origin to a point farther up. There he spotted three vertebrae from the tail of a hadrosaur, a common plant eater that traveled in herds and is sometimes described as the cow of the Cretaceous Period. A pretty good find, Lyson thought, but not outstanding. He marked the location in his notes and moved on.

But in 2004, after leading a team of amateur researchers in an excavation that did not pan out, a disappointed Lyson turned his attention again to the vertebrae he had left behind five years before.

“I didn’t have very high hopes for the animal,” Lyson said. “I figured the excavation would take two or three weeks, I’d have a hadrosaur tail, it would make a nice museum piece, but scientifically it would not be that impressive.”

After finding a small piece of fossilized skin, however, Lyson knew he was onto something special. A friend at the dig knew Manning, and within months, Lyson and he had agreed to pursue the project.

ph2007120300579.jpg Unearthing a Dinosaur Mummy
The discovery of a mummified dinosaur in North Dakota reveals fossilized soft tissue, such as skin and muscles, providing scientists with new clues about the size, body mechanics and appearance of the 25-foot long

They completed the excavation in summer 2006, removing a 10 ton block containing most of Dakota’s body and a four ton block with most of the tail. These were later whittled down to about four tons and less than a ton, respectively. Researchers are studying them with common tools such as tweezers but also with massive CT scanners at a facility near Los Angeles formerly used by NASA and Boeing.

Already, the scientists say they have made fascinating discoveries. The skin around the tail and on large swaths of the body appears generally in its original shape rather than squashed flat against the bones, giving researchers a three dimensional look at Dakota. They can see both legs and arms and the chest cavity. The head and neck are not visible, but the researchers think they may be folded within the body block. They do not know whether the internal organs are there, nor have they determined the creature’s sex, although they refer to it as a male.

The scientists have felt the scales near Dakota’s elbow, noticing that they vary in size, an indication, perhaps, of changes in skin color, texture or flexibility. They found a fleshy pad on its palm, an indication that it did not permanently walk on all fours, and keratin hooves on its feet.

The areas of uncollapsed skin have aided researchers in reconstructing Dakota’s muscle sizes and allowed them to see, for instance, that a hadrosaur’s backside was about 25 percent larger than previously thought. They estimate that Dakota could run as fast as 28 mph, faster than a Tyrannosaurus rex, the top predator of the time.

“It’s almost as if we’ve geochemically preserved this dinosaur laboratory, and we’ve only just unlocked the door,” said geochemist Roy Wogelius of the University of Manchester.

How Dakota perished is a mystery, but his death came near a river, and his body, curled in the fetal position, was quickly covered in water, wet sand and other sediment. The carcass was visited by at least one scavenger, a crocodile of the era that, Manning said, may have become stuck while feeding and died. Scientists found its preserved arm poking through Dakota’s chest.

“It’s a fossil within a fossil,” Manning said. “We were over the moon when we found it.”

Over time, weak acids in the sediment probably helped form the siderite, or iron carbonate, that encased both bodies and preserved them for millions of years, the researchers said.

Three experts said Dakota sounds like a potentially significant find, but they cautioned that there is no way to know until scientific studies are published. One expressed disappointment that the National Geographic Channel already plans to air a documentary about the case, “Dino Autopsy,” Sunday, and that the team has already written two laymen’s books [one for children] about it.

“It’s never been published scientifically, and so it’s all just hearsay,” said paleontologist Jack Horner of Montana State University. “The job of a scientist is to be skeptical until evidence is presented. . . . We try not to put stuff out to the public before it’s been peer-reviewed. Otherwise you get all kinds of crazy stuff out there.”

The Dakota researchers have one scientific paper in peer-review now and two others nearly ready for submission, said Lyson, who expects one or more to be published in the next few months. He said the documentary merely walks viewers through the process of the science and shows them the excitement of it.

“We don’t have many conclusions in there because that wasn’t really the point of it,” said Lyson, who plans to display Dakota someday in a nonprofit museum he is creating in Marmarth. “I totally agree that before we go out and say, ‘Oh look, this is the greatest dinosaur ever, and it has showed us this and showed us that,’ we have to prove it to the scientific community. We’re still waiting on a lot of that.”
Thank you The Washington Post and Christopher Lee a Washington Post Staff Writer

How cool would that be to be a high school student who found a mummied dinosaur that could help science…!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Scientists urge $2-3 billion study of ocean health


In from OSLO, Marine scientists called on Sunday for a $2 to 3 billion study of threats such as overfishing and climate change to the oceans, saying they were as little understood as the Moon.

A better network of satellites, tsunami monitors, drifting robotic probes or electronic tags on fish within a decade could also help lessen the impact of natural disasters, pollution or damaging algal blooms, they said.

“This is not pie in the sky … it can be done,” said Tony Haymet, director of the U.S. Scripps Institution of Oceanography and chairman of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans {POGO}.

He told Reuters that a further $2 to 3 billion would roughly match amounts already invested in ocean research, excluding more costly satellites. New technologies were cheaper and meant worldwide monitoring could now be possible.

“Silicon Valley has come to the oceans,” said Jesse Ausubel, a director of the Census of Marine Life that is trying to describe life in the seas.

“Lots of cheap disposable devices can now be distributed throughout the oceans, in some cases on animals, in some cases on the sea floor, others drifting about,” he told Reuters.

POGO wants the 72~nation Group on Earth Observations {GEO}, meeting in Cape Town from November 28-30, to consider its appeal for a $2 to 3 billion study of the oceans as part of a wider effort to improve understanding of the planet by 2015.

GEO is seeking to link up scientific observations of the planet to find benefits for society in areas including energy, climate, agriculture, biodiversity, water supplies and weather.


The ocean “has been relatively ignored” compared to land or the atmosphere, said Howard Roe, a director emeritus of the British National Oceanography Centre and former chairman of POGO.

“It’s a hoary phrase that we know more about the surface of the moon than the deep ocean. It’s true. The oceans are virtually unexplored,” he told Reuters.

Among ocean projects, POGO wants to raise the number of drifting robotic probes, know as “Argos” and which measure conditions driving climate change, to 30,000 from 3,000 now.

And the scientists said they wanted to expand a network of electronic tagging of fish to understand migrations and give clues to over-fishing.

“By my estimates for $50 to 60 million a year the world could have a global system, an ocean tracking network that could follow sharks from Cape Town to Perth or follow tuna from Miami to Southampton, Ausubel said.

And better monitoring of the oceans could give more advance warnings of storms, such as a November 15 cyclone that struck Bangladesh and killed 3,500 people. It could also send tsunami alerts, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed up to 230,000 people.


“2012 will be the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic. I think Captain Smith would be disappointed by the continuing hesitation to firm up our ocean observing system,” Ausubel said.
Thank you Reuters, Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent and editor Charles Dick
WOW, do you think there really is GLOBIAL WARMING…DAH!
We all knew this in the 60’s, didn’t we Baby Boomers…almost 50 years ago…we could have made such a difference. Big commerce won out though!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

STUDY: Blonde women make men dumb


From LONDON…Encounters with blonde women such as U.S. film icon Marilyn Monroe make men’s mental performance decline, a study has found.

University of Paris X~Nanterre professor Thierry Meyer said the study he co~authored found that when men are around blonde women, their mental performance declines due to prevailing social stereotypes, The Sunday Times of London reported.

The social psychology professor said study subjects were given general knowledge tests after being exposed to a variety of women, and seemed unconsciously to begin to “think blonde.”

“This proves that people confronted with stereotypes generally behave in line with them,” Meyer said. “In this case blondes have the potential to make people act in a dumber way, because they mimic the unconscious stereotype of the dumb blonde.”

Although the finding appeared to reinforce the influence of stereotypes on behaviors and abilities, “EastEnders” and “Doctor Who” star Michelle Collins had a different take.

“I don’t think it’s to do with hair at all; it’s all about the breasts,” the blonde actress told the newspaper.

Thank you United Press International
Well, there you have it Baby Boomers…the English had done a study that says that men react differently to blondes…LOL

I could have told them that…with out a case study…

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

The secret to why male organisms evolve faster than their female counterparts comes down to this: Males are simple creatures.

In nearly all species, males seem to ramp up glitzier garbs, more graceful dance moves and more melodic warbles in a never ending vie to woo the best mates. Called sexual selection, the result is typically a showy male and a plain Jane female.

Evolution speeds along in the males compared to females.

The idea that males evolve more quickly than females has been around since 19th century biologist Charles Darwin observed the majesty of a peacock’s tail feather in comparison with those of the drab peahen.


How and why males exist in evolutionary overdrive despite carrying essentially the same genes as females has long puzzled scientists.

New research on fruit flies, detailed online last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds males have fewer genetic obstacles to prevent them from responding quickly to selection pressures in their environments.


“It’s because males are simpler,” said lead author Marta Wayne, a zoologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. “The mode of inheritance in males involves simpler genetic architecture that does not include as many interactions between genes as could be involved in female inheritance.”

The finding could also shed light on why diseases show up differently in men and women.

Complicated chromosomes

Wayne and her colleagues examined more than 8,500 genes shared by both sexes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Of those genes, about 7,600 have different expressions [alleles] that do different jobs in males and females.

The flies were identical genetically, except for their sex chromosomes.

In flies and humans, thousands of genes made up of DNA are packaged into tiny units called chromosomes. Each parent contributes one set of 23 chromosomes to offspring, resulting in little ones with 23 father given chromosomes and 23 mother chromosomes 46 total. One pair of these is called the sex chromosome. In this case, the females have two X chromosomes [XX] and males, XY.

Many genes are found on the X chromosome, whereas few are associated with the Y chromosome. For female fruit flies, the X~chromosome genes can come in two flavors called alleles that not only interact with each other but also with other genes.

For instance, if one allele is dominant over the other, that allele would get “expressed” while the recessive allele would stay hidden. Though under cover, the recessive allele kind of hitches a ride on the X chromosome and can be passed on to future generations.

Genetic simpletons

That’s not the case with males.
“We find direct evidence that the expression of the genes on the X has this covering behavior in females whereas in males they’re out in the open,” said study team member Lauren McIntyre, also of UF.
Males only have one X chromosome, so what you see is what you get. If that particular gene gives the male a boost in terms of sexual selection, say a gene responsible for fluffier feathers, the gene would be selected for in the game of natural selection over successive generations. But if the gene is no good for males, it would get selected against over time.

“Having one X means your genes are more open to selection in males,” UF researcher Marina Telonis~Scott said in a telephone interview. “So in a female if you have a recessive allele that confers a sickness, it can be concealed within the two X’s but if you’ve only got one, such as the male, you’re more open to selection.”
And the reason males are gevetic simpletons, it turns out, is sex. The researchers suggest this uncomplicated [compared with females] genetic pathway allows males to respond at the drop of a hat to the pressures of sexual selection. That way they can win females, produce more offspring and start the cycle over again.

While not as prominent a trend, they also found a similar pattern in so~called autosomal genes, which are those found on any chromosome save the sex chromosomes. Many of the fruit-fly autosomal genes, however, did work in concert with genes located on the X chromosome.

Human implications

The “elephant lurking in these results,” of course, is how they would apply to men and women.
The researchers caution the results don’t directly translate to humans. “The X function is thought to be quite different in flies than humans,” McIntyre told LiveScience. In humans, one of the X chromosomes gets inactivated in females, though research is finding this inactivation isn’t always absolute.

However, the results could help explain differences in symptoms and responses to diseases in men and women, the authors say. Sexual selection does occur in humans, they note. In addition, fruit flies and humans share an evolutionary history, the authors point out, which is the reason why we share more than 65 percent of our genes with the tiny insects.
“If we see a mechanism in flies it may also be true in everything that shares that evolutionary history,” McIntyre said.

On a basic level, the genetic machinery works in a similar manner in flies and us.
“There’s a health aspect in figuring out differences in gene expression between the sexes,” Wayne said. “To make a male or a female, even in a fly, it’s all about turning things on either in different places or different amounts or at different times, because we all basically have the same starting set of genes.”
Thank you LiveScience.com and Jeanna Bryner
That breaks it down pretty simple…when we are compared to a fruit fly…doesn’t it…all creatures. large or small…

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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