Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Science Miscellany

The disappearance of bees in North American, what has been called "colony-collapse disorder" may be caused by a virus that has been transmitted: IAPV, or Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (the virus is not Israeli, but was first described there). National Geographic, the NY Times, CNN, and New Scientist have good summaries. The journal article on the virus was published online yesterday in Science and they have also published a news article on the bee-disappearing phenomenon. The Science content is behind a subscription wall, however.

The big news yesterday was the discovery of the asteroid collison in the belt between Mars and Jupiter that sent a large asteroid towards earth 65 million years ago, changing the Earth's climate and wiping out all the dinosaurs. Check out online stories about this at National Geographic, and Scientific American. A paper published in Wednesday's Nature (again, behind a subscription wall), describes a "family" of asteroids that appear to have come from the destruction of a 40-mile wide progenitor. One of the pieces from that explosion, which occurred 160 million years ago, headed toward Earth. Another impacted on the moon and created the crater Tycho.

I've posted on Craig Venter's personal genome yesterday, but if you aren't tired of Venter yet, Issue 221 of Edge: The Third Culture is out featuring an event called "Lief: What a Concept!" with Venter as one of the invited speakers. Other speakers were Freeman Dyson, George Church, Dimitar Sasselove, Robert Shapiro, and Seth Lloyd. Together and separately they discussed the concept of life, how it originated, did it exist outside Earth, and other related idea. The fall issues of Edge will feature transcriptions of all of the talks as well as video.

Happy Friday!

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