NASA isn’t meeting its own requirements for matching cost and schedule resources with the congressional requirement to launch the first SLS in December 2017. NASA usually uses a calculation it calls the “joint cost and schedule confidence level” to decide the odds a program will come in on time and on budget. “NASA policy usually requires a 70 percent confidence level for a program to proceed with final design and fabrication,” the GAO report says, and the SLS is not at that level. The report adds that government programs that can’t match requirements to resources “are at increased risk of cost and schedule growth.”
In other words, the GAO says SLS is at risk of costing more than the current estimate of $12 billion to reach the first launch or taking longer to get there. Similar cost and schedule problems – although of a larger magnitude – led President Obama to cancel SLS’s predecessor rocket system called Constellation shortly after taking office.
The current $12 billion estimate for the program’s cost to achieve one unmanned launch. That is four times what it is costing NASA to get SpaceX, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada to build their three spaceships, all scheduled for first manned launch before 2017. SLS not only can’t get off the ground before 2017, it can’t even get built for $12 billion!
If this isn’t the definition of a wasteful, boondoggle designed merely as pork, then what is? There is no way SLS is going to ever get the USA back into space. It should be shut down, now.
No depth of troposphere can turn a Neptune or Pluto warmer than Earth.
Neptune's interior temperature is thought to be 7000K. Venus, a bit smaller than Earth, has a surface >500K hotter than its tropopause. I see no physical reason that this super-Earth couldn't have much more atmosphere than Venus. 220K from tropopause to surface would get you to liquid water.
Someone in molecular and computational biology (like me) would also call the controlling element a gene. Science journalism is far too often full of such odd definitions and misunderstandings.
The "gene encodes a protein" idea still seems quite common in educational efforts that at least *ought* to have real scientists behind them. See, for example, page 4 of http://www.genome.gov/Pages/Ed.... One who monitors the science news also will frequently encounter press releases like "We sequenced organism X's genome and it contains (pick a number) genes, compared to the (human gene count du jour)." Presumably molecular biologists provided these numbers, but they appear to refer to protein coding sequences only. Oh, well, it's no sillier than counting galaxies (I'm an astrophysicist, and we pretend to do that frequently).
ORF (Open Reading Frame) is typically used for the case you described, and has been for some time now.
I don't think that's what I'm getting at. To switch to a different set of metaphors, "ORF" is a syntactic term while "gene" is a semantic term. Only a subset of ORFs are transcribed, as I understand it. A sequence of letters and spaces ending with a period is not necessarily a meaningful sentence.
In any case, the original article claimed that blondness was not controlled by a "gene". But by the old definition of "gene" that's nonsense. Someone working in, say, evolutionary dynamics would certainly call the controlling element here a "gene".
If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.