Monthly Archives: July 2013
Looking into the future: A stem cell development to cure blindness, plus a playlist of visionary talks
Scientists in London have achieved a significant breakthrough on the road to curing blindness this week.
Certain kinds of blindness are caused when photoreceptors — the cells in the retina that react with light and send an electrical signal to the brain — die off. Researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital and University College London have, for the first time, created a technique to transform stem cells into photoreceptors and inject them into the eyes of mice. The BBC reports that studies of this technique in humans are not terribly far off. Says lead researcher Robin Ali, “Five years is a now a realistic aim for starting a clinical trial.”
Stem cell research is a hot topic in science and TED has had many speakers on the topic. At TEDGlobal 2012, the founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), Susan Solomon, spoke on the incredible promise of research…
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Don’t miss this photograph! –will be so great to know “YOU WE’RE THERE!” –even if (as is usually the case) you can’t be “seen” with “unassisted” human eyes!
Today may go down in history as The Day the Earth Smiled. Or, at least, that is what TED speaker Carolyn Porco (watch her talk) is hoping. Today from 9:27 to 9:42 pm GMT, the Cassini spaceship — an unmanned ship studying Saturn — will be taking a photograph of Saturn and its ring system. And because of the angle of the photo, Earth will be photobombing it. In other words, the entire planet needs to go outside for that 15 minute window and smile for the camera, which is a billion miles away.
In the video below, actor Morgan Freeman urges you to be part of this exciting day. Want to know what time the Cassini photograph will be taken in your time zone? This time zone locator will help. United States East Coast — we’ve got about two hours to go.
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Using “Pages” in iCloud! –so far, I’m enjoying this feature!
Veta La Palma takes sustainable fish farming to a whole new level. In 1982, the company bought up marshlands adjacent to the Guadalquivir River in Southern Spain. The land had been drained to raise cattle, which destroyed the natural habitat and decimated the local bird population. Veta La Palma re-flooded the area and went to work restoring the wetlands.
Now, the company’s aquaculture farm uses natural filtration to clean the water, and encourages biodiversity — even that of predators. “They take about 20 percent of our annual yield,” farmer and biologist Miguel Medialdea told TIME Magazine as a bird scooped up a sea bass. “But that just shows the whole system is working.”
Inspired by chef Dan Barber’s TED talk on the subject, we made the trek out one windy afternoon to learn about this holistic approach to growing fish.
Coronal mass ejections help to offer understandings about evolutions and “limited forking”.
Rating: Must see for any science buff.
Summary: This documentary had detailed the correlation between solar maximum, sun spots and coronal mass ejections set to climax in 2013. This 2012 release had provided graphic depictions of the sun’s various layers with their importance of projecting energy. The various speakers had illustrated the delicate balance of sun’s magnetic forces and fusion. With video from the SDO project, the sun’s natural imagery has far surpassed any Hollywood cgi depiction. At 53 minutes it had provided relevance to the UK Telegraph’s story Nasa launches Iris space craft to study’s sun’ energy and my previous blog: Solar Flares + Western Theology.
More information on Nasa’s: SDO project,