Friday, November 20, 2009

The Most Important Religious Question

Magnetic Portals Connect Sun And Earth

ScienceDaily (Nov. 2, 2008) — During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn't believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page.

"It's called a flux transfer event or 'FTE,'" says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Ten years ago I was pretty sure they didn't exist, but now the evidence is incontrovertible."

Indeed, today Sibeck is telling an international assembly of space physicists at the 2008 Plasma Workshop in Huntsville, Alabama, that FTEs are not just common, but possibly twice as common as anyone had ever imagined.

Researchers have long known that the Earth and sun must be connected. Earth's magnetosphere (the magnetic bubble that surrounds our planet) is filled with particles from the sun that arrive via the solar wind and penetrate the planet's magnetic defenses. They enter by following magnetic field lines that can be traced from terra firma all the way back to the sun's atmosphere.

"We used to think the connection was permanent and that solar wind could trickle into the near-Earth environment anytime the wind was active," says Sibeck. "We were wrong. The connections are not steady at all. They are often brief, bursty and very dynamic."

Several speakers at the Workshop have outlined how FTEs form: On the dayside of Earth (the side closest to the sun), Earth's magnetic field presses against the sun's magnetic field. Approximately every eight minutes, the two fields briefly merge or "reconnect," forming a portal through which particles can flow. The portal takes the form of a magnetic cylinder about as wide as Earth. The European Space Agency's fleet of four Cluster spacecraft and NASA's five THEMIS probes have flown through and surrounded these cylinders, measuring their dimensions and sensing the particles that shoot through. "They're real," says Sibeck.

Now that Cluster and THEMIS have directly sampled FTEs, theorists can use those measurements to simulate FTEs in their computers and predict how they might behave. Space physicist Jimmy Raeder of the University of New Hampshire presented one such simulation at the Workshop. He told his colleagues that the cylindrical portals tend to form above Earth's equator and then roll over Earth's winter pole. In December, FTEs roll over the north pole; in July they roll over the south pole.

Sibeck believes this is happening twice as often as previously thought. "I think there are two varieties of FTEs: active and passive." Active FTEs are magnetic cylinders that allow particles to flow through rather easily; they are important conduits of energy for Earth's magnetosphere. Passive FTEs are magnetic cylinders that offer more resistance; their internal structure does not admit such an easy flow of particles and fields. (For experts: Active FTEs form at equatorial latitudes when the IMF tips south; passive FTEs form at higher latitudes when the IMF tips north.) Sibeck has calculated the properties of passive FTEs and he is encouraging his colleagues to hunt for signs of them in data from THEMIS and Cluster. "Passive FTEs may not be very important, but until we know more about them we can't be sure."

There are many unanswered questions: Why do the portals form every 8 minutes? How do magnetic fields inside the cylinder twist and coil? "We're doing some heavy thinking about this at the Workshop," says Sibeck.

Meanwhile, high above your head, a new portal is opening, connecting your planet to the sun.

My Comment: This question is always overlooked, but I find it to be the most important religious question—that is, what universe do we live in? How does the universe function, what are the rules? The scientists are immensely helpful in answering this, because they always surprise themselves and us along the way. Right now, the puzzle pieces are falling on the card table, eventually some of us might see the picture. That picture, if it’s accurate, will then form the foundation of religious understanding.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Science Contributes Vital Information to the Religious

Skeleton Is An Endocrine Organ, Crucial To Regulating Energy Metabolism

ScienceDaily (Aug. 10, 2007) — Bones are typically thought of as calcified, inert structures, but researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have now identified a surprising and critically important novel function of the skeleton. They've shown for the first time that the skeleton is an endocrine organ that helps control our sugar metabolism and weight and, as such, is a major determinant of the development of type 2 diabetes.

The research, published in the August 10 issue of Cell, demonstrates that bone cells release a hormone called osteocalcin, which controls the regulation of blood sugar (glucose) and fat deposition through synergistic mechanisms previously not recognized. Usually, an increase in insulin secretion is accompanied by a decrease in insulin sensitivity. Osteocalcin, however, increases both the secretion and sensitivity of insulin, in addition to boosting the number of insulin-producing cells and reducing stores of fat.

In this published research, authors show that an increase in osteocalcin activity prevents the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity in mice. This discovery potentially opens the door for novel therapeutic avenues for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

"The discovery that our bones are responsible for regulating blood sugar in ways that were not known before completely changes our understanding of the function of the skeleton and uncovers a crucial aspect of energy metabolism," said Gerard Karsenty, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center, Paul Marks Professor in the Basic Sciences, and senior author of the paper. "These results uncover an important aspect of endocrinology that was unappreciated until now."

Karsenty and his colleagues had previously shown that leptin, a hormone released by fat cells, acts upon and ultimately controls bone mass. They reasoned that bones must in turn communicate with fat, so they searched bone-forming cells for molecules that could potentially send signals back to fat cells.

The researchers found that osteocalcin, a protein made only by bone-forming cells (osteoblasts), was not a mere structural protein, but rather a hormone with totally unanticipated and crucial functions. Osteocalcin directs the pancreas' beta cells, which produce the body's supply of insulin, to produce more insulin. At the same time, osteocalcin directs fat cells to release a hormone called adiponectin, which improves insulin sensitivity.

This discovery showed for the first time that one hormone has a synergistic function in regulating insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, and that this coordinating signal comes from the skeleton. Additionally, osteocalcin enhances the production of insulin-producing beta cells, which is considered one of the best, but currently unattainable, strategies to treat diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes have been shown to have low osteocalcin levels, suggesting that altering the activity of this molecule could be an effective therapy. That hypothesis is supported by the Columbia research, which showed that mice with high levels of osteocalcin activity were prevented from gaining weight or becoming diabetic even when they ate a high fat diet. Analysis of mice lacking the osteocalcin protein showed that they had type 2 diabetes, increased fat mass, a decrease in insulin and adiponectin expression, and decreased beta-cell proliferation.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The researchers are now examining the role of osteocalcin in the regulation of blood sugar in humans and are continuing investigations into the relationship between osteocalcin and the appearance of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

My Comment: Thus far I’ve shown how religious thinking is somehow (zeitgeist) creeping into scientific thought. Now, let’s look at how scientific thinking can change and influence religious thought. Here we have a finding that can change the way that Hindus view Chakras, and how Jews view the complex correspondence between the 7 days, the 7 endocrine glands, and the 7 winds of the shel yad Tefillin. Basically, you have to rethink your idea of the endocrine system, which in fact will change the way the system works. And therefore, if you are religious, it’s got to change your fundamental intention when working with the Chakras or when davening with tefillin. (Unless in both cases you’re just going through the motions, in which case, just forget you even read this.) And of course, by working through these common and important physical ailments with spiritual technology--well, that's a good thing. Of course, it would be in an experimental stage, and would require an increasing level of skill. But it would be good if we could.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is This the Biggest Elephant of the Herd Living in the Living Room?

DNA Found to Have "Impossible" Telepathic Properties

DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn't be able to. Explanation: None, at least not yet.

Scientists are reporting evidence that contrary to our current beliefs about what is possible, intact double-stranded DNA has the “amazing” ability to recognize similarities in other DNA strands from a distance. Somehow they are able to identify one another, and the tiny bits of genetic material tend to congregate with similar DNA. The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible.

Even so, the research published in ACS’ Journal of Physical Chemistry B, shows very clearly that homology recognition between sequences of several hundred nucleotides occurs without physical contact or presence of proteins. Double helixes of DNA can recognize matching molecules from a distance and then gather together, all seemingly without help from any other molecules or chemical signals.

In the study, scientists observed the behavior of fluorescently tagged DNA strands placed in water that contained no proteins or other material that could interfere with the experiment. Strands with identical nucleotide sequences were about twice as likely to gather together as DNA strands with different sequences. No one knows how individual DNA strands could possibly be communicating in this way, yet somehow they do. The “telepathic” effect is a source of wonder and amazement for scientists.

“Amazingly, the forces responsible for the sequence recognition can reach across more than one nanometer of water separating the surfaces of the nearest neighbor DNA,” said the authors Geoff S. Baldwin, Sergey Leikin, John M. Seddon, and Alexei A. Kornyshev and colleagues.

This recognition effect may help increase the accuracy and efficiency of the homologous recombination of genes, which is a process responsible for DNA repair, evolution, and genetic diversity. The new findings may also shed light on ways to avoid recombination errors, which are factors in cancer, aging, and other health issues.

Posted by Rebecca Sato.

My Comment: Heckuva anomaly. Now, if you are a scientist do you overlook this? If you are a theologian or just plain religious, you might want to make this a cornerstone of your worldview.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Science Really Really Really Wants to Discover Chi

A Rosetta Stone For Traditional Chinese Medicine

ScienceDaily (Oct. 30, 2007) — Scientists in the United Kingdom have "decoded" the inscrutable language of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), revealing its strong chemical foundation in a way that may help scientists mine age-old Chinese medicines to develop tomorrow's new drugs.

David J. Barlow, Thomas M. Ehrman, and Peter J. Hylands point out that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) - regarded by many Western experts as an archaic system doomed to extinction 50 years ago - has undergone a "remarkable renaissance" in recent years.

However, the arcane language used to describe categories of medication in TCM has hindered effective understanding of one of the most developed and mature systems of alternative medicine in existence.

To overcome that barrier, the researchers analyzed patterns among 8411 compounds from 240 Chinese herbs in relation to the categories found in traditional Chinese medicine. Organizing their findings in a kind of herbal "map," their results reveal that many categories in Chinese medicine are amenable to translation to Western terminology. TCM's "fire poison" group, for example, is comparable to today's family of anti-inflammatory medicines.

Now, future researchers will better understand the chemical basis of remedies that have been in use for thousands of years, the study indicated.

"This is likely to be of benefit both in the search for new drugs and, equally significantly, in understanding how Chinese medicine works," say the authors.

The study is "Phytochemical Informatics of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Therapeutic Relevance" is scheduled for the Nov./Dec. issue of ACS' Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling.

My Comment: This is pretty much what I’m talking about with every post, that the major threads of world thought seem to converge if you don’t get hung up on language and jargon. The idea here is for YOU to become a Rosetta Stone. It’s fun and the whole family can play.

Monday, November 2, 2009

An Important Question

Scientists Control Living Cells With Light; Advances Could Enhance Stem Cells' Power

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2009) — University of Central Florida researchers have shown for the first time that light energy can gently guide and change the orientation of living cells within lab cultures. That ability to optically steer cells could be a major step in harnessing the healing power of stem cells and guiding them to areas of the body that need help.

The results, presented at the 2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/International Quantum Electronics Conference, were discovered by a research team led by Aristide Dogariu, an optical scientist at the College of Optics and Photonics, and Kiminobu Sugaya, a stem cell researcher at the College of Medicine's Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences.

Long-term implications of the work include stimulating and controlling tissue regeneration for cleaner wound healing and the possibility of altering the shapes of cells and preventing malignant tumors from spreading throughout the body.

While optical techniques such as drilling microscopic holes with light or using the light as tweezers have shown promise in manipulating small pieces of matter, the UCF team explored the use of a gentler light energy. Their work showed for the first time that optically induced torques can affect components within cells that drive their motility -- their ability to move spontaneously -- and change the orientation of cells within cultures.

While earlier studies of cell manipulation have emphasized shielding the cell from the power of the light, Dogariu and Sugaya focused on using that energy to stimulate the cells' natural tendencies.

Living cells use energy to move actively and spontaneously. To influence them without jeopardizing their chemical makeup was a tremendous challenge. Dogariu and Sugaya began exploring the idea of moving an entire cell by focusing on its inner mechanisms. Inside the cells there are slender rods made up of a protein called actin.

"Actin rods are constantly vibrating, causing the cells to move sporadically" Sugaya said. The researchers demonstrated that low-intensity polarized light can guide the rods' Brownian motion to ever-so-slowly line up and move in the desired direction.

"Stronger light would simply kill them," Dogariu said. "We wanted to gently help the cells do their job the way they know how to do it."

A time-lapse video shows that after more than two hours of exposure to light with specific characteristics, a group of stem cells migrates from a seemingly random mix of shapes, movement and sizes to a uniform lineup.

My Comment: A question really. Is human consciousness a form of light? And are we again hinting at the existence of Chi? Seems like it.

Poet Wanted

My Comment: Where's a poet when you need one? And it would ADD to the beauty of the science. Of course poet's usually don't want to write about this, rather they would write about how suicide is the most dramatic and meaningful way to live life. And to think the poets used to kick out butts in the annual poet, fiction writers football game. It's a shame.

Describe This

My Comment: There are subtitles that describe the scenes with nouns. But isn't it just as logical to describe it with metaphors. And this is the Rosetta Stone that allows you to transition between ancient writings and modern science, the use of metaphors. There is a difference between understanding the Torah literally, AND understanding as precise metaphors too. And there's definitely no interpretative postulate against doing this.