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Comment: Nitrogen is Organic Chemistry (Score 2) 228

You learn in Sci Fi and in dull HS Science that you are a carbon based life form. Now this is a very coal based thing to say; one could also very well say we are nitrogen based beings (or hydrogen/Phosphorus/oxygen etc). There's a whole lot of carbon in the inner solar system in many extractable forms but Nitrogen is the fixer. Why is it that acquiring enough nitrogen from the 78% that is in the air happens to be the one of the rate limiting steps for life? That 0.04% CO2 is not limiting.
The outer solar system is different, fixed nitrogen ammonia is abundant. Titan, Europa, and possibly Ceres?
Mars on the other hand had its Nitrogen blown away by the solar wind and since it is an essential ingredient for you nitrogen based life forms it would not be my first choice to set up shop.
For that matter, why not truck water and ammonia from Ceres to the moon and live in a warm place with a great view?

Comment: Re:I don't get super hero movies. (Score 1) 98

by Yergle143 (#49030101) Attached to: Spider-Man Finally Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Not your imagination: unless the movie writers love the character enough to let them use their skills to solve problems (see any James Bond film for example) the cheapest story arcs that you will see over and over again in these blockbusters are
1) The origin Story
2) The origin story of the villain
3) The hero loses his powers
4) The hero goes bad.
5) Doomed love.

The X-files, Columbo, even Buffy...these shows feed off interesting plotlines in which the hero gets to be themselves in coping with situations.

The studios do not love their character properties enough to make art.

Comment: Or even learn to make tea (Score 1) 958

by Yergle143 (#48970523) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

Take an average Joe, give 'em a glass of tea. Give them a sugar bowl and have them sweeten it to taste. Now unless you're in the south (they do things different down there) the subject will add a gram or so. Now show that person the contents of a Snapple, a whopping 41 grams. On so many levels this exemplifies everything. Premade food is diabetic by design.

Comment: A Word to the young bright kids out there (Score 5, Interesting) 153

by Yergle143 (#48777803) Attached to: Fewer Grants For Young Researchers Causing Brain Drain In Academia

The science job system is broken. The main problem is the federal subsidy of Graduate Student Stipends and Postdoctoral Fellowship salaries from grants. This has led to the situation of an oversupply of bright people in what amount to full time jobs with no benefits with little chance to achieve a rare faculty post. The fix is to stop the subsidy. Institutions need to take on fewer graduate students, pay them more and train them fully. Bolster the Master's degree for the less committed. The Postdoc should be eliminated and replaced with the term Contract Researcher which should be treated like a job. These people should be paid market rates so they can move to whomever is smart enough to get a grant.
For the kids out there, the current system is a sort of feudal concoction built to maximize imperious egos and is fundamentally exploitive.
Advise: go into science if you have the desire. Go to a good undergraduate school but if you do not get into one of the best institutions for grad school DO NOT GO.
It's that bad out there and it's winner take all.

Comment: Magic Powers and Interstellar (Score 1) 289

by Yergle143 (#48492369) Attached to: Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

The Newtonian Physics was far more compelling than the Einsteinian Physics in that film. For example the space station link up scene and of course the part where Matt Damon punches Matthew McConaughey in the face. I only wish they could have had it that Matt Damon was punching Matthew McConaugheyin the face near the Event Horizon so it could last forever to an outside observer.

Comment: Life Lessons from Kerbal (Score 2) 223

by Yergle143 (#48386691) Attached to: Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Hey Kerbal has taught me a lot about this kind of thing
1) Solar panels everywhere..hates it when I run outta power
2) Put a protruding strut on the top of the lander just in case your lateral motion causes you to topple
3) To stick the landing a bit of mystery goo can me most efficacious.
4) Get some mods...Philae looks like it was crafted from Vanilla parts.

Comment: What about the Plants (Score 1) 78

by Yergle143 (#48360999) Attached to: Earth's Oxygen History Could Explain "Darwin's Dilemma" In Evolution

There's still a big problem that low oxygen concentration does not solve.
If life began 4 billion years ago...
And first photosynthesis goes to 3.2 billion.
Imagine then a long period of low O2 until
Precambrian explosion 500 million years ago...
First land plants 450 million years ago.
Why couldn't land plants have evolved much much sooner? The complex bodyplans
of animals are not required for the development of large plant life.
My guess is that two things limited life early on, cold temperatures and dangerous UV
radiation.

Comment: Sometimes nothing is a pretty cool hand (Score 2) 571

by Yergle143 (#48150291) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

I agree with you that this is hype until proven.

There are now a dozen or so "alternative" fusion designs out there pursuing the dream of fusion energy and almost all have the property of predicating the work on a sound theoretical foundation but with little practical experimental support. Modeling plasma is notoriously hard.

Why didn't Lockheed Martin just build the prototype and then announce Q > 1 when there were actual results?

Comment: Re:Rising Tide Lifts All Boats Falling Tide Sinks (Score 1) 283

by Yergle143 (#48089155) Attached to: Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Cancer --> paradigm targeted immunotherapy --> CLEOPATRA
http://www.gene.com/media/pres...

Cardiovascular --> paradigm mAb targeted cholesterol knockdown --> Regeneron
http://www.fiercebiotech.com/s...

Advanced genomic typing of chronic conditions plus harnessing of an arsenal of immunotherapeutic approaches coupled with targeted inhibitors could IMHO pave the way to lasting benefit for a good number of patients. This is 21st century impact medicine...it took a while to develop

You asked, I have my delusional opinions too. The grant money is indeed hard to come by.

Comment: Re:Rising Tide Lifts All Boats Falling Tide Sinks (Score 1) 283

by Yergle143 (#48088689) Attached to: Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

I lump stroke in with cardiovascular. Restoring motor function to the paralyzed would impact about the same percentage of those afflicted by schizophrenia so ...touche....although it can be argued that one is worse for society than the other.

In no uncertain terms I think that some great advances are in the pipeline in all of these areas but that the current crop of hyperspecialized underemployed scientists are casualties of a lost decade of gross over promises to both policymakers and the public.

I mean a few years ago it kinda sounded like squirting in a bunch of stem cells would have Chris Reeve up in no time. Who would have thought it would be much much harder?

People will buy anything that's one to a customer.

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