September 7th, 2012
Pioneering experiments have cast doubt on a founding idea of the branch of physics called quantum mechanics.
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is in part an embodiment of the idea that in the quantum world, the mere act of observing an event changes it.
But the idea had never been put to the test, and a team writing in Physical Review Letters says “weak measurements” prove the rule was never quite right.
That could play havoc with “uncrackable codes” of quantum cryptography.
Quantum mechanics has since its very inception raised a great many philosophical and metaphysical debates about the nature of nature itself.
The experiment requires preparing pairs of “entangled” photons, the particles from which light is made (BBC)
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April 22nd, 2012
Original post by BBC Science & Technology.
Researchers have succeeded in mimicking the chemistry of life in synthetic versions of DNA and RNA molecules. The work shows that DNA and its chemical cousin RNA are not unique in their ability to encode information and to pass it on through heredity. The work, reported in Science, is promising for future “synthetic biology” and biotechnology efforts. It also hints at the idea that if life exists elsewhere, it could be bound by evolution but not by similar chemistry.
In fact, one reason to mimic the functions of DNA and RNA – which helps cells to manufacture proteins – is to determine how they came about at the dawn of life on Earth; many scientists believe that RNA arose first but was preceded by a simpler molecule that performed the same function.
However, it has remained unclear if any other molecule can participate in the same unzipping and copying processes that give DNA and RNA their ability to pass on the information they carry in the sequences of their nucleobases – the five chemical group “letters” from which the the two molecules’ genetic information is composed.
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November 14th, 2011
The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies. The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.
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