first_imgMany astronomy articles have a bad habit of assuming star formation without demonstrating or explaining it.In Hollywood, A Star Is Born by intelligent design. Out in the near vacuum of space, however, it’s complicated. The laws of physics don’t cooperate. Gravity may begin condensing gas and dust toward a hopeful career in the lights, but then those darn laws of heat and pressure take over, pushing the gas back out. Something has to give the gas an extra push to make it over the pressure barrier. Maybe a supernova explosion could do it. That appeal, however, is likely to get philosophers of science smirking. They will ask, “If that is your answer, where did the first stars come from, before there were no supernovas?” [For purists, that’s supernovae.] “You can’t require stars to make stars.”Let’s review; here are previous CEH stories on the subject of star formation.In 2005, star formation was described as a “very rich problem” in astronomy (11/18/05).In 2007, one “elegant” theory of quiet star formation was judged “wrong” (6/30/07).In 2011, we learned there is “still much that astronomers don’t understand” about star formation, including what triggers it (2/22/11).In 2014, star formation theory was caught in a fast-and-furious scandal (9/30/14).In 2015, we caught astronomers lying about star formation (6/20/15).Many astronomers and science reporters like to waltz around these issues, simply assuming that stars form somehow. There are lots of stars, after all. Obviously they formed, right? It seems justifiable to talk about “star formation” without having to explain it. Here are some recent examples of how astronomers leap over the difficulties, speaking of star formation without explaining how stars can form by natural processes.First TryOne might think‘s article “Forming stars in the early universe” would talk about forming stars. Let’s search on “form” in the article.The first stars appeared about one hundred million years after the big bang, and ever since then stars and star formation processes have lit up the cosmos.When the universe was about three billion years old, star formation activity peaked at rates about ten times above current levels. Why this happened, and whether the physical processes back then were different from those today or just more active (and why), are among the most pressing questions in astronomy.Since stars are made from gas, the gas content of galaxies is a measure of their star formation potential and (at least in the local universe) the fraction of matter in form of gas, the “gas fraction”, is a measure of the star formation capability.Gas in galaxies is depleted as new stars are formed and as some of it is blown out of the system by supernovae or by winds; gas can also be added by infall from the intergalactic medium.You see a pattern developing; star formation is spoken of as a matter-of-fact process – but without the process. It doesn’t do any good to speak of “star formation activity” or “star formation potential” when you can’t explain the origin of a single star.Try AgainMaybe that’s a bad example. Instead of a layman’s science site, let’s look at Nature, the world’s premiere science journal. Here’s a short news item titled, “Star Formation: Star-rich early galaxy clusters.” Look carefully for an explanation of how stars form.When a galaxy becomes part of a cluster — a group of galaxies bound together by gravity — its crowded surroundings often cause it to stop producing stars, an effect called environmental quenching. Using the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Very Large Telescope in Chile, a team led by Julie Nantais at the Andres Bello University in Santiago observed four galaxy clusters nearly 10 billion years old. They found that, in these early clusters, only about 30% more of the galaxies had stopped producing stars than had the surrounding galaxies, compared with a difference of about 50% in newer clusters.Knowing how quenching changes over the history of the Universe may help scientists to determine why the cluster environment causes the phenomenon.No help here. That was about stopping star formation. There’s no explanation of how it starts, or how it works. Again, the writer merely assumes star formation occurred somehow. Same in Science Daily‘s lengthier coverage of the survey. “The paper concludes that about 30 percent of the galaxies which would normally be forming stars have been quenched in the distant clusters, compared to the much higher value of about 50 percent found in nearby clusters.”Try, Try AgainLet’s try again. Science Daily presents another story titled, “New stars discovery shed new light on Galaxy’s formation.” Sounds like a good article to look for explanations, considering it comes from the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute. While primarily about galaxy formation, it includes star formation, because obviously you can’t have a galaxy without stars (ever heard of a “gas galaxy”?). We search on “form” again:An astronomer from LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute has discovered a new family of stars in the core of the Milky Way Galaxy which provides new insights into the early stages of the Galaxy’s formation.The discovery has shed new light on the origins of globular clusters — which are concentrations of typically a million stars, formed at the beginning of the Milky Way’s history.This means that a substantial fraction of the old stars inhabiting the inner parts of the Galaxy today may have been initially formed in globular clusters that were later destroyed.Ricardo Schiavon, lead researcher on the project said: “This is a very exciting finding that helps us address fascinating questions such as what is the nature of the stars in the inner regions of the Milky Way, how globular clusters formed and what role they played in the formation of the early Milky Way — and by extension the formation of other galaxies.”This article turns out to be less than helpful. It talks primarily about the destruction of globular clusters that should have formed but are not seen.Try, Try, Try AgainLet’s give Science Daily one more pitch. In “Large number of dwarf galaxies discovered in the early universe: Astronomers have discovered a large number of dwarf galaxies in the early universe by using the gravitational lensing phenomenon” we look once more for a scientific explanation of star formation. We’re getting warmer! This article promises science that “could reveal important details about a productive period of star formation in the universe billions of years ago.” It teases with a discussion of “the most productive time for star formation in the universe.” Together we peer into the crystal ball of the early universe. We see faint, dwarf galaxies. They speak:Despite their faintness, these dwarf galaxies produce more than half of the ultraviolet light during this era. As ultraviolet radiation is produced by young hot stars, dwarf galaxies host a significant fraction of newly-formed stars at these cosmic times.Is that it? Stars are producing UV light all right, but where did stars come from? “Newly-formed stars” – how is that possible? Who formed them? What formed them?If you saw a lot of cakes in bakeries, but never saw one being made, you would assume some process of cake formation exists. You might be justified writing about “cake formation” in articles. But what if you wrote that cakes spontaneously appear by some unknown natural process? That’s the point where you open yourself up to criticism, especially if you are a scientist.Stars obviously exist, and there is some process of star formation, whether natural or designed. Astronomers may some day put together a coherent, testable theory of natural star formation. But they need to prove it, not assume it.Let’s all sing the cosmology song from 12/05/2008:When you wish upon a star, nature makes you what you are,Anything your heart concocts is science true.If your heart is in your dream, no proposal’s too extremeWhen you hyper-speculate as scientists do.Fate is kind, she gives reality,The sweet fulfillment of our observing.Like a bolt out of the blue, observation creates you,When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true. (Visited 108 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgBrand South Africa has partnered with Sunday Times Generation Next on this year’s Sunday Times Generation Next youth marketing conference, which looks at how youth affect marketing and advertising, and explores how they can drive the growth of local brands.According to the Sunday Times Generation Next, youth between the ages of eight and 23 account for more than R120-billion of South Africa’s yearly spend. (Image: Sunday Times Generation Next, via Facebook)Mathiba MolefeBrand South Africa and Sunday Times Generation Next host the 13th instalment of the annual Sunday Times Generation Next youth marketing conference on 11 May, at The Pavilion at the Sandton Convention Centre.Sunday Times Generation Next was established in 2004 to keep track of how youth interact with, and respond to, brands in order to help brands cater to their needs and wants. It offers marketers an in-depth look at the buying and consumption habits of people between the ages of eight and 23.A wide range of South African brands will be represented at the conference, which will help local brands market themselves better to people in this age group.In turn, this will help to raise the profile of local brands among the youth and provide local alternatives to cater to their needs by connecting the customer directly to the producer.One of the event’s main objectives, through its youth brand preference and consumer behaviour survey, is to teach young people about brand purchases. It highlights the many opportunities that South Africa has to offer and encourages them to support local brands.This ties in tidily with Brand South Africa’s ongoing efforts to promote and enhance the country’s nation brand and to build pride and patriotism in South Africans.Youth between the ages of eight and 23 account for an average of more than R120-billion of South Africa’s yearly expenditure, according to Sunday Times Generation Next, making this demographic of great significance to local business and marketers.Join usThe Sunday Times Generation Next youth marketing conference offers marketers insight into the perceptions and consumption habits of the youth. It also offers youth the opportunity to interact with and share their views on local and imported brands. Finally, it recognises successful brands voted for by the youth.There is also ready access to some of the country’s leading advertising, marketing and branding experts under one roof, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.For more information about Sunday Times Generation Next and the upcoming marketing conference, visit the website here or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.You can also join in the conversation on social media; keep an eye out for the hashtag #GenNext2017 and find out what Sunday Times Generation Next and Brand South Africa have in store for you.Tickets to this year’s conference are available on the Sunday Times Generation Next website, click here to book yours now: Ticketslast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Members of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), USA Rice, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) and the National Barley Growers Association (NBGA) welcomed a joint statement issued this week from 17 countries participating in the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The statement emphasized the importance of supporting farmer access to the full range of tools and technologies available and opposing regulatory barriers lacking sufficient scientific justification.“Having in mind the importance of transparency and predictability to international trade, we call on all Members to strengthen the implementation of the WTO [Sanitary and Phytosanitary] Agreement by reinforcing the work of relevant international standards organizations and ensuring the scientific basis of SPS measures is sound,” the statement reads. “The development and application of sound SPS measures is needed to support farmers’ choice in tools that can expand agricultural production and facilitate access to food and agricultural products, and also to safeguard human, animal and plant health.”Government officials from Kenya, Uganda, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, and the United States delivered remarks in favor of the joint statement of understanding on Dec. 12, 2017, during a side event to the main WTO meetings.Representatives from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), the International Soy Growers Alliance and MAIZALL, an international maize alliance, also provided supporting comments.The statement demonstrates global support for all farmers and the tools and innovations they need to protect their crops from devastating diseases and destructive pests while delivering safe food sustainably to the world’s consumers. The signatories take a step forward in calling out countries that undermine farmer choice through regulatory barriers that are not scientifically justified.Recognizing the “central importance of risk analysis to assess, manage and communicate risks of concern associated with pesticide use in order to protect public health while enabling the safe use of pesticides and facilitate trade in food and ag products,” these countries remained committed to expanding knowledge and capacity for developing countries in pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs). Ultimately, common understanding will help facilitate bilateral and multilateral efforts to assess and manage risk concerns in a more scientific, transparent and harmonized manner.last_img read more

first_imgSamsung Galaxy Home Juan Garzon/CNET When Samsung first started talking about making a Bixby-powered smart speaker last year, it said it would arrive in the second half of 2018. Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Home at its Galaxy Note 9 event in August 2018 and promised to share more details at the company’s developer conference in November. It showed off the speaker again then, but didn’t give specifics on its launch date.Then at the Galaxy S10 Unpacked event in February 2019, Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh told CNET that it would launch the speaker by April. (Samsung’s US PR department, though, would only say it would launch in the first half of 2019.)Now it’s mid-May and, and the world remains without a Bixby-powered cauldron. What gives? Share your voice Amazon Google Samsung Samsung’s first Bixby speaker, the Galaxy Home, revealed 0 2:23 Galaxy Home: Samsung’s answer to the HomePod News • Samsung Galaxy Home reportedly delayed to later this year Now playing: Watch this:center_img Samsung Galaxy Home In a statement provided to CNET on Friday, a Samsung spokesperson said it’s “planning to launch Galaxy Home in the first half of 2019,” making it clear that Samsung still intends to release the device. But the company didn’t share any specifics, and it hasn’t yet detailed the Galaxy Home’s pricing.  Bixby is Samsung’s homegrown digital voice assistant that launched with the Galaxy S8 about three years ago. It initially was geared as an interface to control the phone, but Samsung since then expanded the technology into its various appliances and televisions. A smart speaker is aimed to be the latest home for Bixby, taking advantage of the expertise of Samsung’s Harman audio expertise. For Samsung and numerous others, artificial intelligence is the next big wave of computing. Every tech heavyweight is investing in these assistants because they’re heralded as the future of how we’ll interact with our gadgets. But it’s already a crowded arena, with Google and Amazon largely dominating the smart speaker market. The Galaxy Home’s lateness could make it even tougher to compete. The delay of the Home comes as Samsung struggles to get its flashy Galaxy Fold out the door. A number of devices tested by journalists ahead of the $1,980 foldable phone’s release suffered from broken or damaged tablet displays, leading Samsung to postpone its planned April 26 launch. More smart speakers: Sonos readying Google Assistant update for next weekThis week the company emailed those who preordered the device saying that it would cancel their orders if the phone doesn’t ship by May 31 unless customers tell the company that they want to keep them. With a little over a month to go until the first half of the year ends, time is certainly ticking to see if Samsung hits this latest target. CNET’s Shara Tibken contributed to this report. Preview • A Galaxy far, far away? Samsung’s Bixby speaker is still a no-show Smart Speakers & Displays Tags 12 Photos Post a commentlast_img read more

first_imgBithiri Sathi and Savitri on TV show TeenmaarScreenshot of V6 News Telugu’s YouTube videoJyothi, who is popularly known as Savitri, is said to have quit hit TV show Teenmaar to take part in Akkineni Nagarjuna’s Bigg Boss Telugu 3. Bithiri Sathi is shocked to learn about her decision.Jyothi and Chevella Ravi rose to fame with their stint as a news presenter Savitri and reporter Bithiri Sathi, respectively, on TV show Teenmaar. Sathi was recently seen judging TV show Joolakataka along with Udayabhanu. Now, Savitri is rumoured to be entering Bigg Boss Telugu 3 as a contestant.Bigg Boss Telugu 3 is set to go on air from July 21 and the makers are yet to announce the names of participants of the show. Rumour-mongers have named several celebs as the contestants of the reality TV show and Savitri is one among them. The speculations doing the rounds after she quit TV show Teenmaar.Talking about her decision, Bithiri Sathi said that it was a big surprise for him as well as the owners of the TV channel, which airs Teenmaar. “It was very shocking but it can happen any day. All we can do now is wish her the best for her future endeavours,” Ravi recently told the Times of India.Bithiri Sathi said that he does not have any official confirmation on Savitri entering Bigg Boss Telugu 3, “I was aware of the speculations too. But I never believed in them. I don’t know if these speculations are true too. But again, who doesn’t want to see a popular face like Savitri on a show like Bigg Boss?” he added.When asked about Jyothi’s chances of success in Bigg Boss Telugu 3, Bithiri Sathi said, “Keeping success and failure aside, she is a good human being and I’m sure people will also get to know the same through Bigg Boss. She will be her charming self in the show as well.”last_img read more

first_img Share Courtesy of Office of Homeland Security & Emergency ManagementDarrell Pile, CEO of the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (first from the right), participates in the 2018 Annual Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition Symposium held at the Galveston Island Convention Center.Officials with the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management are participating this week in a symposium on health care preparedness that will analyze emergency situations that have impacted Texas, such as Hurricane Harvey and the shooting at Santa Fe High School.The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC) are hosting the three-day symposium, which started Wednesday and is taking place at the Galveston Island Convention Center.More than 400 health care professionals, first-responders, emergency managers and government officials will attend the three-day event, which will focus on experiences and lessons learned from recent natural disasters and mass casualty incidents.“Leveraging these peer resources can help us gain valuable insight on how we can better prepare for the next major disaster,” said SETRAC Chief Executive Officer Darrell Pile. “We all know how crucial it is to strengthen and enhance the capabilities of our healthcare systems to be able to respond to evolving threats and other emergencies.”Southeast Texas Regional Advisory CouncilCaptain Amy Taylor, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, participates in the2018 Annual Regional Healthcare Preparedness Coalition Symposium held at the Galveston Island Convention Center.Besides Harvey and the Santa Fe shooting, Hurricane Maria and the Las Vegas shooting, as well as the Washington, D.C. Amtrak derailment, the Thailand cave rescue and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will be other topics discussed and analyzed at the event.“Our goal is to provide health professionals with the opportunity to exchange ideas and concepts that will improve emergency public health preparedness in their communities,” said SETRAC Regional Director of Emergency Management Operations Lori Upton. “It is also important to establish open dialogue between local health departments and other agencies.”Keynote speakers include Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as well as speakers from organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security and the National Association of State EMS Officials.Following is the Agenda for the symposium:last_img read more

first_imgCredit: NASA (—Members of the International Astronomical Union have voted to approve a change to the definition of the famous “astronomical unit” aka, AU, from one based on variable data, to a definite number. The change has been a long time coming and will allow those in the field to describe their work more easily and will allow professors to forego the lengthy explanation of the prior definition to new students. New solar system formation models indicate that Jupiter’s foray robbed Mars of mass Citation: IAU votes to redefine the astronomical unit – giving it a constant value (2012, September 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img © 2012 The AU is at its root a measure of the distance between the Earth and the sun; which was first calculated by the famous astronomer Giovanni Cassini who noted the position of Mars while standing in Paris and compared it to its angle in the sky when viewed from a site in South America at the same moment in time. Using parallax he was able to come up with a very close estimate of just how far the Earth was from Mars, and then the Earth from the sun, which he said should be about 140 million kilometers. That eerily accurate figure came to be used throughout astronomy as a standard for describing distances in the visible solar system. To make it more accurate, the calculation was changed in 1976 to include a tie to the sun’s mass, which for newcomers to the field only made things more difficult to understand. It also didn’t take into account the fact that the sun is gradually shrinking.Subsequent new developments in science and technology have led to much more precise ways to measure the distance between solar objects, which served to make using the old calculation even more obsolete. The only reason it’s lingered as long as it has, astronomers say, is because everyone was used to it and thought changing things might be too disruptive.That line of thinking apparently gave away to common sense at the latest meeting of the IAU, as members voted to make the AU an exact 149,597,870,700 meters, which is the average mean distance between the Earth and sun when viewed from the Earth. This last point is important because the old calculation violated Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in that using it should have given different answers depending on where the measurement was taken, i.e. from different objects in the solar system.Most in the field seem to be relieved to finally have the AU changed to a constant, believing it will help make their work more accurate and because it will, of course, require a lot less explaining to those new to astronomy. Explore furtherlast_img read more

first_img(—A trio of researchers working in Germany has discovered that male spiders do indeed have nerves in their genitalia, overturning prior research that has suggested otherwise. In their paper published in The Royal Society Biology Letters, Elisabeth Lipke, Jörg Hammel and Peter Michalik describe the various techniques they used to discover nerves in the arachnid palpal organ and their ideas on what purpose they serve. Citation: Nerves found to exist in male spider genitalia (2015, July 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further More information: First evidence of neurons in the male copulatory organ of a spider (Arachnida, Araneae) The Royal Society Biology Letters, Published 8 July 2015.DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0465AbstractSpider males have evolved a remarkable way of transferring sperm by using a modified part of their pedipalps, the so-called palpal organ. The palpal organ is ontogenetically derived from tarsal claws; however, no nerves, sensory organs or muscles have been detected in the palpal bulb so far, suggesting that the spider male copulatory organ is numb and sensorily blind. Here, we document the presence of neurons and a nerve inside the male palpal organ of a spider for the first time. Several neurons that are located in the embolus are attached to the surrounding cuticle where stresses and strains lead to a deformation (stretching) of the palpal cuticle on a local scale, suggesting a putative proprioreceptive function. Consequently, the male copulatory organ of this species is not just a numb structure but likely able to directly perceive sensory input during sperm transfer. In addition, we identified two glands in the palpal organ, one of which is located in the embolus (embolus gland). The embolus gland appears to be directly innervated, which could allow for rapid modulation of secretory activity. Thus, we hypothesize that the transferred seminal fluid can be modulated to influence female processes. Cutting a bugs’ penis shorter found to reduce reproduction chances Araneus diadematus. Credit: André Karwath/Wikipedia © 2015 For many years scientists have believed that the palpal organ in male spiders—the organ responsible for delivering sperm to the female spider—had no nerves in it. That would mean that the male would not be able to feel anything during intercourse, which some observers have likened to attempting sex with a fingernail in the dark. It appears prior researchers did not look hard enough, however, because the trio working on this new effort report that they have found evidence of nerves in the palpal organ.To make their discovery, the team first cut up several of the organs (from a male Tasmanian cave spider) into extremely thin slices. They then looked at the samples using three different types of microscopes, one of which was a transmission electron microscope—and that allowed them to spot a tiny nerve. More work revealed two clusters of nerves in the bulb. They also spotted two previously unknown glands also in the palpal bulb which appeared to be connected the nerves they found. Using data from the microscopes, the team built a 3D model of the palpal showing where the nerves are in the organ.The researchers suggest that the nerves in the palpal bulb might serve to allow the male spider to feel stress on the organ during copulation, helping to improve placement and thus chances of successful fertilization. It is also possible, they note, that the nerves help with guiding the palpal to the female sex organ. They believe that it is unlikely that such nerves exist only in the species they studied, which means other spiders likely have them too. More research will be needed to find out. The team also plans to study the nerves they found to see if they can determine their true purpose. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more