Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

Who? Me?!

shatner.gif Star Trek star William Shatner has reportedly turned down an offer to boldly go into space for real. Shatner, who played Captain Kirk, is too nervous to take up Sir Richard Branson’s offer of joining Virgin Galactic’s first passenger flight in 2008, reports The Sun.

Shatner, 75, said: “I’m interested in man’s march into the unknown but to vomit in space is not my idea of a good time. Neither is a fiery crash with the vomit hovering over me.”

Shatner has been offered his £114,000 ticket free. But he insists Virgin boss Branson also pays him. He added: “I do want to go up but I need guarantees I’ll definitely come back.”

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Monet, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Who? Me?!

Dinosaurs hiding

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New Scientist
They are natural history’s superstars, yet we know surprisingly little about the diversity of dinosaurs. Now a mathematical model provides an estimate of how many different genera of dinosaurs there were.

The good news is that at least 70% are still be waiting to be found, the analysis suggests. The work could also stoke the debate about what killed the dinosaurs off in the first place.

Steve Wang, a statistician at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, and Peter Dodson, a palaeontologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US, totted up the skeletons found so far from each known dinosaur genus and plugged the figures into an established mathematical model that links observed data to unseen genera.

Only 527 genera have so far been described, but the model estimated that there should be about 1850 in total – leaving plenty yet to be discovered.

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dinosaurs hiding

Redneck Limo?

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September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bacteria provide horsepower for tiny motor

Science News Online
bacteriamotor.jpg For millennia, people have hitched beasts to plows to exploit the animals’ strength and energy. In a modern variant of that practice, scientists have chemically harnessed bacteria to a micromotor so that they can make the device’s rotor slowly turn.

When bacteria crawl clockwise in the circular groove underlying this motor, they brush past the tabs that support the motor’s star-shaped rotor. Molecular bonds between the microbes and a coating on the rotor tug the device around.

The new work might lead to improved lab-on-a-chip devices and engines to propel microrobots, says Yuichi Hiratsuka, now of the University of Tokyo, who codeveloped the bacteria-powered micromotor. He and his colleagues describe the research in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The novel micromachine “is an important step in integrating biological components into microengineered systems,” comments bioengineer William O. Hancock of Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

To make the motors, Hiratsuka’s team, led by Taro Q.P. Uyeda of the National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan, borrowed fabrication techniques from the microelectronics industry.

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bacteria provide horsepower for tiny motor