Black holes gorging at excessive rates

Date:May 3, 2015  Science Daily

Source:NASA

Summary: A group of unusual giant black holes may be consuming excessive amounts of matter, according to a new study. This finding may help astronomers understand how the largest black holes were able to grow so rapidly in the early Universe.”

Illustration of an extremely ravenous black hole devouring material.
Credit: Illustration: CXC/M. Weiss; X-ray images: NASA/CXC/Penn State/B. Luo et al.

A group of unusual giant black holes may be consuming excessive amounts of matter, according to a new study using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This finding may help astronomers understand how the largest black holes were able to grow so rapidly in the early Universe.

Journal Reference:

  1. B. Luo, W. N. Brandt, P. B. Hall, Jianfeng Wu, S. F. Anderson, G. P. Garmire, R. R. Gibson, R. M. Plotkin, G. T. Richards, D. P. Schneider, O. Shemmer, Yue Shen. X-ray Insights into the Nature of PHL 1811 Analogs and Weak Emission-Line Quasars: Unification with a Geometrically Thick Accretion Disk? The Astrophysical Journal, 2015 [link]

Conversations in Genetics History

Oral History of Genetics Now Available Online

“The Genetics Society of America (GSA) and Executive Producer Rochelle Easton Esposito, PhD, are pleased to announce that Conversations in Genetics, an oral history of our intellectual heritage in genetics, is now available for free online viewing at http://www.genestory.org/.”

Source:  Newswise SciWire for 30-Apr-2015

Other interviewees to come:  King, Cavalli-Sforza, Meyerowitz, Horowitz

National Science Foundation YouTube Channel

“National Science Foundation YouTube Channel

  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRuCgmzhczsm89jzPtN2Wuw

    Nearly 13,000 viewers have subscribed to the National Science Foundation’s YouTube channel. It’s not a secret why. These well-produced and often poignant presentations have managed to pack so much into such a small space. Nearly all the videos clock in at less than four minutes. Many of the clips are just two or three minutes long so readers can easily learn about the birth of planets, the details of the tropospheric ozone, and the wonders of biomedical engineering – all within the timespan of a quick coffee break. The hundreds of available videos are broken into categories such as Computer Science, Brain Research, and Education, among others. Whether you are looking for an interesting tidbit to add to your lecture on Geoscience or you are simply curious about conservation efforts in Central Africa, there is much to enjoy here. [CNH]

  • Source:  Scout Report, University of Wisconsin, Mar. 27, 2015, Vol. 21(12)

Addressing our Greatest Engineering Challenges

From today’s WhatsNew@National-Academies.org:

Engineering Schools throughout the U.S. are committing to educate certain numbers of engineers with special interests and talents in helping to solve our greatest challenges.

“In a letter of commitment presented to President Obama today, more than 120 U.S. engineering schools announced plans to educate a new generation of engineers expressly equipped to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing society in the 21st century. Read More

Princeton University’s Prof. Robert Socolow is a member of this Committee on Grand Challenges.

There is also a 6-min video at http://engineeringchallenges.org/

Viruses: Timeline, Structure, Biology

From Genetic Engineering &  Biotechnology News (GEN), March 15, 2015

URL:virologyhistory.wustl.edu/index.htm

“Sure, the year 1941 may best be remembered for being the year of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but it was also the year in which X-ray diffraction patterns were obtained for the tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). You can find this and other world history/structural biology history side-by-side comparisons in the nifty timeline feature on the Viruses: From Structure to Biology website. This site—the creation of Sondra and Milton Schlesinger at Washington University School of Medicine —provides some nice background on key milestones in structural virology and the resulting biological breakthroughs in the field. There isn’t a ton of information on the site—one might call it a single-serving website—but within that serving you’ll be able to chew on some interesting science history.”

Climate change myths — addressed by John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow, Australia

Skeptical Science: Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism

  • http://www.skepticalscience.com

    “This website gets serious about addressing climate change skepticism. Using only peer-reviewed research, John Cook, the Climate Communication Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia, takes the time to seriously consider the doubts that people might have about the state of the earth’s climate. Readers might like to start with the sidebar that addresses the ten most common climate myths, including the idea that the climate has changed before, that warming is due to the sun, that climate change isn’t bad, that there is no scientific consensus, that the earth is actually cooling, and five others. The site also offers a variety of interesting tabs to explore, including an excellent Resources page. [CNH]

  • Source:  The Scout Report, University of Wisconsin, Vol. 21(7), Feb. 20th

Symbols in physics & astronomy — videos

URL:www.sixtysymbols.com

Source:  GEN:  Best of the Web Jan 15, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 2) Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News   Mouse over symbol to see 5 or 10 min. video explanations.

Created by the University of Nottingham.

 

NBC LEARN: a free resource — for most all ages

“Our Mission:  NBC Learn believes in the power of great stories — historic news reports, original video content, and current events coverage — to engage, inspire and educate K-12 and Higher Ed students.”  Among the free resources there are those that deal with the science of sports,  chemistry, and environmental issues.

Featured this month is: “Finishing the Dream”  — Martin Luther King Jr’s “Dream”

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson is going to have a new series, “Star Talk”

“Daily Kos” picked this up from the Hollywood Reporter”, for Jan. 8, 2015

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/neil-degrasse-tyson-gets-a-761680

Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Inspired by Car Talk”, it will be shown on the National Geographic beginning in April.  Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”, will get a platform every episode.

“The show launches in April and will be filmed at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City.”

EPA Coal Plant Emissions Data included in TOXMAP

10 Dec 2014

*NLM Technical Bulletin, Nov-Dec 2014, NLM Resource Update: TOXMAP Now Includes EPA Coal Plant Emissions Data

Data was obtained from the Air Markets Program Data (AMPD) tool, a publicly-available data system for searching and downloading data collected as part of EPA emissions trading programs. In 2013, about 2.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions were attributable to electricity generated from coal.

TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from NLM that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund Programs.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/nd14/brief/nd14_epa_coal_plant_emissions_data.html