Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Science Links

Here are a few more interesting science links submitted by you guys.

First, from Sirius, a story about the journey to the center of the Earth:
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The small gray and black rocks stored in 3-foot-long clear plastic tubes at a Texas A&M University lab could be mistaken for the leftovers after a kitchen countertop installation.

But the surprisingly heavy pebbles are much more significant. They're part of the only intact section of oceanic crust ever recovered, pulled from beneath the Pacific Ocean by geologists drilling more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) into the sea floor.

...The pebbles, known as gabbros, were found in the crust below the Pacific Ocean about 400 miles (640 kilometers) west of Costa Rica. They were once red-hot magma boiling from deep within the earth that formed the sea floor when it contacted water 15 million years ago.

Here's the full link.

Next, from Ryan Brandt, a link to a story about scientists developing electrically conductive tissue from a patient's own cells as a replacement for a pacemaker. Here's more:
Patients with complete heart block, or disrupted electrical conduction in their hearts, are at risk for life-threatening rhythm disturbances and heart failure. The condition is currently treated by implanting a pacemaker in the patient's chest or abdomen, but these devices often fail over time, particularly in infants and small children who must undergo many re-operations. Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have now taken preliminary steps toward using a patient's own cells instead of a pacemaker, marking the first time tissue-engineering methods have been used to create electrically conductive tissue for the heart. Results appear in the July issue of the American Journal of Pathology (published online on June 19).

Here's the full story.

Joe Craig submitted a link to a video of a meterorite impacting on the Moon. Here are the details:
June 13, 2006: There's a new crater on the Moon. It's about 14 meters wide, 3 meters deep and precisely one month, eleven days old.

NASA astronomers watched it form: "On May 2, 2006, a meteoroid hit the Moon's Sea of Clouds (Mare Nubium) with 17 billion joules of kinetic energy—that's about the same as 4 tons of TNT," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL. "The impact created a bright fireball which we video-recorded using a 10-inch telescope."
Lunar impacts have been seen before--"stuff hits the Moon all the time," notes Cooke--but this is the best-ever recording of an explosion in progress.

Awesome, and the link to both the story and the video is here.

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