Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oldest DNA Found...for now

Just recently scientist in spain have unearthed two cavemen who are about 7,000 years old. This is awesome. We are talking about the modern human genome here. Complete DNA. The oldest fragments found that is. The most interesting thing though, is the fact that these two cavemen are not genetically linked to the current population of spain and surrounding areas. They are in fact similar to the population of northern Europe. And so many interesting thing could account for this. 

Check it out: 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Primordial Soup (5 final)

 Scientists are like politicians at times. When one expresses a new idea, there are a whole heard who try and disprove it, some because they actually believe that what the founding researcher idea is incorrect, and others simply because they wish to make a name for themselves in doing so. But let us explore the question proposed here, how did life begin? This is hardly an easy question to rectify with a few experiments and squabbling scientists. The whole process will involve a tremendous amount of work and collaboration. And even if we do ever find an answer for this, it will still be question that will plague use for quite a while. Finding that which began life, and caused all that we now know, will really just be the tip of the ice berg, per se, in the humongous world of evolution and formation. The question of life is just one of those things that humans never really want to agree on. It is almost like asking use to view the sky and, with utmost certainty, name the number of stars in the sky, but we are not at that stage yet. While Miller’s experiment does not hold up to what current scientists believe was the true nature of the early Earth, it did plant the seed for a new way to look at how life formed. Millers experiment shows that organic compounds and amino acids have the potential to be made out of material that was present on prebiotic Earth and in outer space. And other scientist have been able to prove that amino acids could be made out of the CO, CO2, and N2 that is now believed to be the major composition of early Earth as long as no oxygen is present (Origin). Miller led to the understanding that producing amino acids is much easier than first thought. While his methods may have not been utilized the right gases and such, without him, scientists may still not be exploring this avenue of thought. The origin of life is baffling, and its discovery shall indeed take a lot of work.

Deamer, David. First Life: Dicovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began. London:
University of California Press, 2011. Print
“Four Facts That Invalidate Miller's Experiment.” Darwinism Refuted. Molecular Biology and The Origin
of Life. 2005. Web. 2 May 2012.
“Miller/Urey Experiment.” Cruising Chemistry. Duke University. 2012. Web.    
 26 April 2012.   
“Origin of Life: the Early Atmosphere.” BestBibleScience. Bible Science. 2012. Web. 26 April 2012.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Primordial Soup (part 4)

See, scientists had a big problem when it comes to investigating the origins of life on the primordial Earth. And they are not as accepting of Miller’s experiment do to many problems associated with the atmosphere of Earth. The problem is our life supporting oxygen. See, an atmosphere with oxygen equaled no amino acids and thus so critters. This is because amino acids and sugars will react with oxygen to form good old carbon dioxide (CO2). But, on the other hand, an atmosphere without oxygen equaled no ozone, and yet again, no life, since without an ozone layer (O3), ultraviolet rays would soon break down organic life (Origin). So scientists have to come up with a way to allow for the formation of amino acids in an environment that will all for its formation and protect it from radiation.     Some scientists are skeptics of it because they do not believe that many of the condition were accurate with that of early Earth. For one, while it is believed that lightning storms were very common, they did not occur in a continuous supply of energy that Miller used in his experiment to form amino acids and other organic compounds (Miller/Urey). It is now believed that the early earth's atmosphere did not contain predominantly reductant molecules either. In the 1980’s, “scientists agreed that nitrogen and carbon dioxide” would have been present in high qualities because “Earth was very hot at those times and composed of nickel and iron” (Four). One of the most criticized aspects of the Miller- Urey experiment was the fact that is was conducted in a closed system not exposed to the primordial atmosphere which would most likely have destroyed that which was vital for life.  Another argument was the fact that the amino acids that were found on Earth could also be found in outer space. In 1969, “a meteorite recovered in Australia, was shown to be rich in amino acids.”  About 90 different amino acids were identified and nineteen of the amino acids could also be found on the Earth (Miller/Urey). So in theory, our amino acids could have stolen a ride to Earth via a meteorite. Or, since amino acids were proven to survive in the unfriendly depths of space, it also raised the question; could the amino acids have formed and survived while the Earth was undergoing its planet developing stage?And thus we come across the problems that Miller is facing with his experiment. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Primordial Soup (part 3)

But, what was this black goo? How did Miller know to use the gases that he did under such conditions? And where did this idea come from? Well, for nearly a century, evolutionists have been claiming, with much conviction, that life started on Earth in a "primordial soup" consisting of water chuck full of chemicals necessary for the start of life. This "warm little pond was believed to have been struck by an electrical discharge”, probably from a lightning bolt, which caused the chemicals to make amino acids, and eventually brought forth life on our little blue planet (Evolutioists). From this first soup, they argued, all other life evolved. So Miller got to work on recreating said pond. Miller knew that the “outer planets were very high in hydrogen content, along with water, methane, and ammonia”(Deamer 67). So, he figured that the Earth would have a similar composition after its planetary formation. The only thing that he really needed now was an energy source to drive the reactions. Miller chose to use “an electric spark to simulate the lightning strikes” that were known to bombard early Earth, and the results were extraordinary (Deamer 67). The thing was, Miller expected to get a tarry mass composed of thousands of compounds, but got a surprise when he conducted his chromatography analysis (Deamer 68). Several of the compounds present in Miller’s tare “appeared as distinct spots when separated on paper by chromatography.” These spot appeared purple and blue when they were “sprayed with ninhydrin dye and heated,” and as one might conclude, these spots turned out to be the fundamental monomers of proteins; amino acids (Deamer 67). So Miller proved that amino acids could be synthesized by conditions present in prebiotic Earth, but the real test would come when the scientific community took a closer look at his methods.    

Friday, June 22, 2012

Primordial Soup (part 2)

Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, working at the University of Chicago, stumbled on a concept in 1953 that would change the approach of scientific investigation into the origins of life on early Earth (Miller/Urey). They were both intrigued about the type of environment that would be needed in order for life to begin. So, like any good scientist with the scent of discovery in the air, they formed a hypothesis and tested it. Miller and Urey placed the gases; methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), water (H20), and hydrogen (H2) into a closed system and manipulated them in order to see if these gases could form amino acids. In their experiment,  they placed water and their gases into their closed system apparatus. The water was boiled till it vaporized. This water vapor then would then move into another flask filled with the ammonia, methane, and hydrogen where a continuous electric current ran through the system. Once thoroughly electrocuted, the gases were condensed and moved through a collecting trap. The water would then move back into the boiling flack to start the process all over again (Miller/Urey). See, the purpose of this experiment was to recreate condition of primordial Earth. An atmosphere that Miller and Urey believed to be deprived of oxygen, swarmed with lightning storms, and constantly fluctuating in temperature. They ran this system continuously for a week before analysis. When they observed the inside of their apparatus, they saw, what essentially amounts to, a whole lot of black goo. Through the use of chromatography, Miller “observed that as much as 10-15% of the carbon was now in the form of organic compounds,”a.k.a black goo  (Miller/Urey). That’s right; Miller and Urey successfully produced amino acids and organic material; the necessary components essential for cellular life. This, as you can come to imagine, caused quiet the commotion. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Primordial Soup

 “But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed.”
-Charles Darwin 1871

A primordial soup sounds like some absurd dish served at an upscale New York restaurant.  One that is filled with who knows what, and will end up costing a leg to acquire. While this may be an endeavor a few may wish to act upon; most will forgo it. For primordial soup is not just any old soup, it is the first soup from which life is theorized to have arisen.  Think oceans, amino acids, and the early atmosphere rather than noodles, chicken, and carrots. The concept of a primordial soup is so much more fascinating than any edible soup will ever be. In fact, it is such a fascinating idea that two scientists, and later on others, strived to recreate this soup under an environment much like that seen on the early Earth. The interesting thing is; they succeeded. These scientists were able to recreate an environment that allowed for the formation of amino acids and other organic compounds essential for life. This “Miller -Urey Experiment,” thus called in honor of the first ever conduction carried out by our two scientists Stanley L. Miller and his graduate adviser Harold C. Urey, was mind blowing to say the least (Miller/Urey).  Here we have two scientists who were able to create an environment where amino acids, the building blocks of life as we know it, prospered with nothing more than some gases, an electric current, and some heat. Well, it is a little more complex than that, but we shall explore that later. So, what does this mean? What can this experiment possible uncover about the mysteries swirling around the early Earth and the creation of life? The Miller-Urey Experiment opened many new doors for such inquires, as well as criticism, but really, what scientific discovery does not?  Amino acids, gases, heat, and a spark; interesting concept, but what does it mean? 

I guess we will just have to find out later this week ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Chemistry of a Bullet

A gunman pulls the trigger and a bullet flies out the barrel in a split second. So the question is, how? What goes on in that very short period of time when the cartridge is hit to when the bullet leaves the barrel? To understand this we have to get down to the basics.

 In order for the shot to exit the barrel there must be a force exerted, this force is seen in Newton’s second low of motion, “When a body is acted upon by a constant force, the resulting acceleration is inversely proportional to the mass of the body and is directly proportional to the applied force.” The force that is used to expel the shot from the barrel is achieved through the use of gunpowder. Gunpowder is the propellant used and at a homogeneous mixture of “KNO3 at 74.0%, sulfur at 10.4%, and charcoal at 15.6%,” it is very flammable (23, Rinker). But this is just a portion of the material used, because in order for the gunpowder to light a primer must be used. 
When the firing pin of the rifle hits the center of the case compressor (the extended bump at the back of the cartridge), it will ignite the primer which will then ignite the powder when the “flame passes through vents in the anvil”(19, Rinker). Primers used today consist mainly of “lead styphnate” and, depending on the manufacturer, a mixture of some of the following; “TNT, lead or copper sulphocyanide, lead peroxide, sulfur, tetryl, barium peroxide, and barium nitrate” (19, Rinker). The gunpowder, as a propellant, has “chemical energy” which is converted to move the projectile down the barrel. 
    This conversion involves three steps; chemically the propellant “converts or decomposes almost completely into a gas.” Thermodynamically the energy is “changed into heat which in turn creates motion-power,” and physically the “hot gas pushes the projectile, [then] it reacts to the friction and creates a [sic] recoil” that will force the rifle up and back against the shooter(21, Rinker). Once this process has occurred, it will cause a buildup of a great amount of pressure behind the bullet due to the expansion of the gases. This gas will propel the bullet down the rifled interior of the barrel, which give the bullet spin, and out into the air.

Rinker, Robert. Understanding Firearm Ballistics. Fourth ed. U.S.A.: Mulberry House Publishing,1996. Print.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide

To: Major Governments all Around the World,

This petition is for the complete ban of Dihydrogen monoxide. 

Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

Dihydrogen monoxide:
- is the major component of acid rain
- contributes to the "greenhouse effect"
- it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
- contributes to erosion
- accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals
- may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes
- has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

Despite the dangers, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
- as an industrial solvent and coolant.
- in nuclear power plants.
- in the production of styrofoam.
- as a fire retardant.
- in many forms of cruel animal research.
- as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal.

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

A concerned citizen 

Lol you just have to love the people that come up with this stuff. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012


 "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'"
--Isaac Asimov

The Universe, as we know it, is a vast abyss filled with an infinite number of subatomic particles and waves that work as one; the other, or at times both in an intricate coordinated harmony. They work in this harmony in order to make the elements that combine, react, and form everything that we see, know, and are. Scientists are currently trying to fit this harmony of movements, interactions, and masses into a perfect equation that will finally answer many of the multitudes of phenomena that we experience every day; thing such as the notion that some objects have mass while some quantum entities seem to lack it. The current theory that has captured the attention of the scientific community is the Standard Model.

 Up till know, this model has passed every inspection and test, but there is one major problem that is plaguing this model at the moment. The major part of the Standard Model that is missing is the foundation that it stands on. The Higgs Field which is, theoretically speaking, the ocean of the universe, has to be found, and the hunt for this mysterious field has been going on for many years. But in order for the Higgs field to be found, scientists must first find the fundamental makeup of the Higgs field. While the Higgs Field is theorized as the ocean that the universe is submersed in, the Higgs Boson is its water molecule (Possible Hints Particle). If the Higgs Boson is found, then the Higgs field must exist. When the Higgs Boson is found, it will bring new meaning to the Standard Model, the big bang, and everything we thought we knew about mass.