GeekSpeak for 2013-08-31

Preempted Geekiness

Alas, GeekSpeak was preempted this week for a Syrian update from NPR and President Oboma. Here is what we would have covered in 7min.

HalfPics - pics of things cut in half

Welcome to the society for things cut in half. We have made much progress, but there are still many things not cut in half.

Shark Walk! - Video

A new Shark that walks with it’s fins! (underwater)

Greenland Ice Sheet Hides ‘Great Canyon’

At 460 miles long, the chasm bests the Grand Canyon (277 long)
Depth 2,600 feet — half that of the Grand Canyon (Colorado River).

Led by Jonathan Bamber, a geographer at the University of Bristol
decades of radar imagery, much of it from
NASA’s Operation IceBridge program (studies polar ice)

All this will help us understand global warming more.
Great Video of this : http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/video/p2p-77219745/

Project DriveIn

The corporate philanthropy goes beyond underwriting for pubcasting to ‘goodworks’ for feel good points.

More Research leads to Mars origin of life on earth

Prof Steven Benner, of the Westheimer Institute of Science and Technology in Gainesville, US.
Reported his research at the Goldschmidt Meeting in Florence, Italy.
Building blocks of life: Molecules – RNA, DNA and proteins.
“Simply adding energy such as heat or light to the more basic organic molecules in the “soup” does not generate RNA. Instead, it generates tar.”
RNA for example could be formed by “templeting” atams into the shape – by use of a Crystal base.
Prof Benner argues that: minerals most effective at templating RNA would have dissolved in the oceans of the early Earth, but would have been more abundant on Mars.

boron and molybdenum are key in assembling atoms.
boron minerals help carbohydrate rings to form
molybdenum can take that intermediate molecule and rearrange it to form ribose, and hence RNA.