The Search for Dark Energy Just Got Easier

The Victor M. Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO) in the Chilean Andes. Credit: Berkeley Lab

The Victor M. Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO) in the Chilean Andes. Credit: Berkeley Lab

Since the early 20th century, scientists and physicists have been burdened with explaining how and why the Universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate. For decades, the most widely accepted explanation is that the cosmos is permeated by a mysterious force known as “dark energy”. In addition to being responsible for cosmic acceleration, this energy is also thought to comprise 68.3% of the universe’s non-visible mass.

Much like dark matter, the existence of this invisible force is based on observable phenomena and because it happens to fit with our current models of cosmology, and not direct evidence. Instead, scientists must rely on indirect observations, watching how fast cosmic objects (specifically Type Ia supernovae) recede from us as the universe expands.

This process would be extremely tedious for scientists – like those who work for the Dark Energy Survey (DES) – were it not for the new algorithms developed collaboratively by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley.

“Our algorithm can classify a detection of a supernova candidate in about .01 seconds, whereas an experienced human scanner can take several seconds,” said Danny —> Read More Here

Asher Jay’s T-shirt for Big Cats Conservation

By Anika Rice

“The unique power of art is that it can transcend differences, connect with people on a visceral level, and compel action,” says creative conservationist and 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Asher Jay.

Through her cause-driven artistic projects and campaigns, Jay sheds light on the world’s threatened wildlife and the causes behind the madness that puts them at risk. For this reason, she designed the Hear Me Roar t-shirt, a stylish garment with a higher purpose that spreads awareness about declining lion populations.

The Cause

A portion of the proceeds from the t-shirt will go to National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative which works to create awareness and implement change so big cats don’t disappear in the wild forever.

Jay creates the artwork featured on the t-shirt while explaining her passion for wildlife in the video “The Wild Creative,” above. The t-shirt has arrived just in time for Big Cat Week (starting on Nat Geo Wild November 28 in the United States) as well as the holiday season.

A portion of the proceeds from Asher Jay’s “Hear Me Roar” t-shirt will go towards helping National Geographic save big cats through the Big Cats Initiative. (Art by Asher Jay)

The Artist

Since —> Read More Here

Link between DNA transcription, disease-causing expansions

Researchers in human genetics have known that long nucleotide repeats in DNA lead to instability of the genome and ultimately to human hereditary diseases such Freidreich’s ataxia and Huntington’s disease. Scientists have believed that the lengthening of those repeats occur during DNA replication when cells divide or when the cellular DNA repair machinery gets activated. Recently, however, it became apparent that yet another process called transcription, which is copying the information from DNA into RNA, could also been involved. —> Read More Here

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