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Comment: Power generation (Score 2) 502

by Tacubaruba (#39293711) Attached to: LED's Efficiency Exceeds 100%
If this result could occur at useful energy levels, it would be revolutionary. But very likely it's just an interesting anomaly that occurs at very low energy levels. My guess is that at such low energy levels, the disordered nature of the energy in the ambient heat doesn't come into play, but at higher energy levels it would. There simply wouldn't be enough heat energy in the surrounding environment to create the same effect at higher energy levels. Please let me know if there's a flaw in my undertsanding of the science.

Comment: Re:Causality (Score 1) 627

by Tacubaruba (#27446111) Attached to: Quantum Setback For Warp Drives
I don't know if you can dismiss a theory of what is possible in the universe because you encounter a paradox. Paradoxes say more about the limits of human comprehension than they do about the reality of the universe. Much of quantum physics involves what we perceive as a paradox and yet there it is - the most successful theory ever devised. In fact, quantum theory provides a possible escape from the causality paradox of FTL travel with its many-worlds interpretation. The MWI gets into the whole parallel univeres thing and I really don't want to try to describe it here. (Google it for an explanation.) It's an interpretation that is being taken seriously by many physicists, though. My point is that too many basic assumptions about our universe are still unresolved and so things like FTL really can't be ruled out.

Comment: The right approach (Score 3, Informative) 193

by Tacubaruba (#26420019) Attached to: Implant Raises Cellular Army To Attack Cancer
When my father had lung cancer, I did a lot of research on cancer treatments and came to believe that the best possible treatment for cancer was to get the body's immune system to attack it. Especially for cancer that has spread, you need a systemic treatment that targets the cancer cells while not damaging the healthy ones and nothing will ever be as effective at doing that as the body's own immune system. This treatment is very encouraging and is on the right track. There are also several cancer vaccines under development that train the immune system to fight cancer before it takes hold. In the future, you may be able to get vaccinated against the kind of cancers that you are genetically vulnerable to.

Comment: Re:Weird might be a better choice than controversi (Score 1) 167

by Tacubaruba (#25806977) Attached to: A Third of Mars Could Have Been Underwater
If Titan is massive enough to have a dense atmosphere, Mars certainly is. I don't think the mystery is how did Mars ever have an ocean in the first place. The mystery is what made the conditions change so that it couldn't have one now. There's a lot of evidence of a catastrophe on Mars in the distant past and I suspect that most of the atmosphere was violently blown off the planet and that the oceans then evaporated away.

Comment: Obama was just more interesting (Score 5, Insightful) 1601

by Tacubaruba (#25704369) Attached to: Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign
If the Democrats had nominated an old guy who'd been around forever and the Republicans had nominated someone fresh and dynamic whose candidacy was historic, the coverage disparity would have been the other way around. It's a mistake to say this is evidence of media liberal bias. Obama was simply more newsworthy and interesting.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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