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Ancient Footprints reveals earliest signs of modern feet

footprintAncient footprints discovered in northern Kenya are believed to be the oldest sign that early humans had feet like ours.The footprints were found in two sedimentary layers, 1.5 million years old, near Ileret in the eastern African nation.

“These rarest of impressions yielded information about soft tissue form and structure not normally accessible in fossilized bones. The Ileret footprints constitute the oldest evidence of an essentially modern human-like foot anatomy,” according to a team of anthropologists who detailed the discovery in the February 27 issue of the journal Science.

According to the authors of the journal article, there were three footprint trails in the upper sediment layer. Five meters deeper, another sediment surface preserved one trail of two prints and a single, smaller print, likely from a child.

“In these specimens, the big toe is parallel to the other toes, unlike that of apes where it is separated in a grasping configuration useful in the trees. The footprints show a pronounced human-like arch and short toes, typically associated with an upright bipedal stance,” the scientists said. The size, spacing and depth of the impressions were the basis of estimates of weight, stride and gait, all found to be within the range of modern humans.

The size and other characteristics of the prints led the authors to conclude the prints belonged to the hominid Homo ergaster, or early Homo erectus. This is the first hominid to have had the same body proportions with longer legs and shorter arms called as modern Homo sapiens.

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April 14, 2009 Posted by | Fact, Life, Personal, science | | 7 Comments

Is Split Personality a Reality?

split1I am sure that everyone living in this world is aware of this term Split Personality. But my question is this split personality just a myth or a reality? I was really curious to know more about the cause and effect of this split personality. Yesterday I had a deep discussion with my friend’s uncle who is a pshycatrist in order to know about this issue in depth.

The discusion started. He explained me that this is a Mental Disorder which can defined as a Dissociative Identity Disorder in which a single person exhibit  multiple distinct identities or personalities each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment.  This state of mental disorder can also be called as Multiple Personality Disorder.

He also explained me the statistics which revealed that Possible cases of split personality have been reported in the medical literature since the early 19th century, and the condition was formally defined in the first years of the 20th.

Then the discussion went more deep. I asked him about the causes for it. He told that the causes of dissociative identity disorder have not been identified, but are theoretically linked with the interaction of overwhelming stress,  insufficient childhood nurturing, and an innate ability to dissociate memories or experiences from consciousness.

Then i was curious to know how will that individual who is affected by the mental disorder will feel and also about the symptoms. He replied that the individual affected by this disease will suffer from Head ache, Body pain, Depression, Amnesia etc. The individual will lose his memory from time to time and his behaviour and attitude will reflect those of other persons but at that time he will be totally unaware of what is happening around him. I feel that this state is possibly the worst part.

He also added that such an individual must be free of stress and must have peace of mind. Also he must undergo pshycotherapy for treatment. It is better to treat at the early stage of this mind disorder. If not it will take some time to enable him to get rid of this disorder.

I thanked him for helping me to know more about split personality.Thus the discussion came to an end. The clock ticked 10 pm and we dispersed from the coffee shop. I feel that this is really a strange disease related to mind which is dangerous. Thinking about that i made my way to house.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Fact, Issues, Life, Personal, science | , , , , | 7 Comments

Brahmos II Missile by 2013

missile Brahmos Aerospace was working on hypersonic missile project, Brahmos II, and it was expected to be ready by 2013.”Once developed, the Missile would have a speed between Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound) and Mach 7″, Chief Controller of Defence Research Development Organisation, A Sivathanu Pillai, told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of an exhibition of armoured vehicles by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment , organised as part of the DRDO Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Pillai, also the CMD of Brahmos, said the future wars would be fought with minimum people using high-powered weapons. “It will be a network centric and fought with intelligent and autonomous systems”, he said, adding cyber warfare and robotic systems would dominate the battlefield.

March 1, 2009 Posted by | News, Personal, science | , , , | 7 Comments

Green Comet Approaching the Earth

Comet Lulin will streak by the earth within 38 million miles 160 times farther than the moon and is expected to be visible to the naked eye. Discovered only a year ago, the comet gains its green colour from poisonous cyanogen and diatomic carbon gases in its atmosphere.This will be the comet’s first visit to the Earth’s inner solar system- and will enable the team from the University of Leicester to gain valuable insights into the comet.

They are using NASA’s Swift satellite to monitor Comet Lulin as it closes on Earth. The spacecraft has recorded simultaneous ultraviolet and X-ray images of a comet.

A comet is a clump of frozen gases mixed with dust. These “dirty snowballs” cast off gas and dust whenever they venture near the sun. Comet Lulin, which is formally known as C/2007 N3, was discovered last year by astronomers at Taiwan’s Lulin Observatory.

Swift can’t see water directly. But ultraviolet light from the sun quickly breaks apart water molecules into hydrogen atoms and hydroxyl molecules. Swift’s UVOT detects the hydroxyl molecules, and its images of Lulin reveal a hydroxyl cloud spanning nearly 250,000 miles, or slightly greater than the distance between Earth and the moon.

The UVOT includes a prism-like device called a grism, which separates incoming light by wavelength. The grism’s range includes wavelengths where the hydroxyl molecule is most active.In the Swift images, the comet’s tail extends off to the right. Solar radiation pushes icy grains away from the comet. As the grains gradually evaporate, they create a thin tail of hydroxyl molecules.

Farther from the comet, even the hydroxyl molecule succumbs to solar ultraviolet radiation. It breaks into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen atoms.The solar wind, a fast-moving stream of particles from the sun interacts with the comet’s broader cloud of atoms. This causes the solar wind to light up with X-rays.

This interaction, called charge exchange, results in X-rays from most comets when they pass within about three times Earth’s distance from the sun. Because Lulin is so active and is losing a lot of gas, its X-ray emitting region extends in a large cloud far sunward of the comet.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Fact, Personal, science | , , , | 6 Comments

Great Red Spot on JUPITER!!!

Fifth Planet from the sun???

Closest to Mars???

Largest planet within the Solar System???

Fourth Largest Object in the Sky???

jupiter

Of course it’s JUPITER… Great Red Spot.. What is it??? Exploration Starts…

Scientists recently noticed a GREAT RED SPOT on JUPITER which is a persistent anticyclonic storm on the planet that lasted atleast 300 years.

The Red Spot is huge as the storm is large enough to be visible through earth based telescopes. The red spot is large enough to contain TWO or THREE PLANETS of EARTH’s SIZE.

Jupiter also has white ovals and brown ovals, which are lesser unnamed storms. White ovals tend to consist of relatively cool clouds within the upper atmosphere. Brown ovals are warmer and located within the “normal cloud layer“. Such storms can last hours or centuries.. Thus storm created big spot on the largest planet of our solar system.

February 1, 2009 Posted by | Fact, Personal, science | , , | 27 Comments

Life on MARS???

Scientists have convinced that Water existed on Mars, atleast in it’s history. So considering the fact that water acts as the only source for many lives, provokes us with a thought..

Whether life existed on Mars???

Or

Can life exist on Mars???

Mars

Lets move deep into this topic and explore

What is less known is how much water occupied the red planet and what happened to it during its geological march to the present. Mostly, evidence has pointed to a period when clay-rich minerals were formed by water, followed by a drier time, when salt-rich, acidic water affected much of the planet. Assuming that happened, the thinking goes, it would have been difficult for life, if it did exist, to have survived and for scientists to find traces of it.

Now a research team has provided a evidence for the presence of carbonates on Mars that shows that Mars could have been the home for watery environments in the past. The red planet close to the earth is neither too hot nor too cold. At the same time it is not too acidic. So it’s just the right place.

Finding carbonates indicates that Mars had neutral to alkaline waters when the minerals formed in the mid-latitude region more than 3.6 billion years ago. Carbonates dissolve quickly in acid, therefore their survival challenges suggest that an exclusively acidic environment later cloaked the planet.This could open up a range of environment on Mars.

So the researchers say that the presence of carbonate mineral bolsters chances of environment on Mars.

January 31, 2009 Posted by | Personal, science | , , , | 12 Comments

Helium Rains in SATURN and JUPITER!!!

Hydrogen and helium are the two lightest and most common elements in the universe. Because of their ubiquitous nature, they are critical in cosmological nucleosynthesis and are essential elements of stars and giant planets. Hydrogen by itself in the observable universe provides clues to the origin and large-scale structures of galaxies.

However, scientists have struggled to determine what conditions are needed for the two elements to mix.

The simulation results are consistent with the idea that a large portion of the interior of Saturn has conditions such that hydrogen and helium phase separate. “This can account for the apparent discrepancy between the current evolutionary models for Saturn and observational data.”

In addition to being made mostly of hydrogen and helium, a characteristic of Jovian planets is that they radiate more energy than they take in from the sun. Various models of their evolution and structure have been developed to describe a relation between the age, volume and mass of the planet and its luminosity.

While this model works for Jupiter by modeling the energy radiation left over from its formation 4.55 billion years ago, it doesn’t exactly work for Saturn. Instead, the model seriously underestimates the current luminosity of Saturn.

helium-rain

So the researchers decided to try something different. They determined where helium and hydrogen mix as well as at what temperature they don’t mix.

It turned out the temperature where the two elements don’t mix is high enough that helium is “partially mixable over a significant fraction of the interior of the Jovian planets with the corresponding region of Saturn being larger than in Jupiter. “This, in fact, could change the current interior models of Saturn and Jupiter.”

January 29, 2009 Posted by | Personal, science | , , , | 20 Comments

New Species???

A new species of fish from tropical South America is confirming suspected roots to the loricariid catfish family tree. Lithogenes wahari shares traits with two different families of fish: the bony armor that protects its head and tail, and a grasping pelvic fin that allows it to climb vertical surfaces.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | Personal, science | , , | Leave a comment