June 9th, 2007

Fungi, Thriving on Radiation, Shed Light on Earth's Early Years

clipped from www.bloomberg.com
Fungi, Thriving on Radiation, Shed Light on Earth's Early Years

By Elizabeth Lopatto

The study was inspired by fungi growing on the radioactive
reactor at Chernobyl, the Ukrainian power station that was the
site of the worst nuclear accident 21 years ago.

``We've discovered some other minor sources of energy like
bugs that eat minerals, and bacteria that live on hydrothermal
vents under the ocean, so far down the sun doesn't shine,'' he
said. ``And now we've discovered another molecule that allows you
to capture energy.''

``To find that melanized fungi actually exploit the
radiation to promote growth is unexpected,'' he said.

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Casadevall urged caution in interpreting the results. That the fungi were ``eating'' the radiation didn't mean they were cleaning the radiation out of the sites, he said.

``What we know for sure is that radiation is associated with faster growth,'' he said. ``We are going to need to do a huge amount of research.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in New York at elopatto@bloomberg.net

Walls of Chernobyl reactor : Melanin

clipped from fungalgenomes.org
melaninized c.neoformans
walls of Chernobyl reactor and in the ground nearby and all were blackened with melanin. In some areas the ground itsself is turning black with the melanized fungi. Melanin expression is a protective response, it is highly stable and does not readily degrade even in boiling acid. Melanin is utilized by plant pathogens, free living fungi, and pathogenic fungi for a variety of purposes that mainly is thought to be absorbing free radicals and reactive oxygen species to protect the organism from damage
A recent paper in PLoS One entitled Ionizing Radiation Changes the Electronic Properties of Melanin and Enhances the Growth of Melanized Fungi describes some pretty amazing results that have gotten some press lately. The lead author, Dr Dadachova, spoke on NPRâ™s Science Friday last week

Melaninized fungi use ionizing radiation for energy

Arturo Casadevallâ™s lab using C. neoformans.
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While this is the first report of such as result, the fact that innovation occurs wherever there is free energy is not surprising. As mentioned by Arturo Casadevall this story in the spring when he was gave a seminar at Berkeley, marine organisms that live near undersea hydrothermal vents have been able to photosynthesize the infrared light emitted from the vent. He discussed the radiation utilization of melanized fungal work at the end of his talk, and said that it has been an epic process to get it published â” that this work had been in review for four years at several high profile journals, but I guess that it was controversial enough to not be accepted there. I guess Nature and Science get it now since they wrote news briefsâ¦

âœNevada Solar Oneâ

clipped from www.glassonweb.com
âœNevada Solar Oneâ Parabolic Trough Power Plant To Go On Line - Receivers From Schott At The Heart
In early June, the âœNevada Solar Oneâ parabolic trough power plant located in Boulder City, near Las Vegas, Nevada (USA), will begin supplying power to the grid. This 64 megawatt (MW) power plant is the first large solar thermal power plant to be built in 15 years and it will generate approximately 129 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar electricity annually. This will sufficiently cover the power requirements of 15,000 American households. âœNevada Solar Oneâ takes up an area of 1.4 million square meters and is roughly the same size as 212 soccer fields. Acciona Solar Power Inc., a subsidiary of the Spanish Acciona group that is becoming increasingly active within the energy sector, has been responsible for building the plant and will operate it. Solar receivers from SCHOTT, the German technology group, are at the heart of âœNevada Solar Oneâ.
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âœWe are convinced that parabolic trough power plants are on their way to achieving a global breakthrough, thanks to Nevada Solar One. The technology has already proven itself and the costs of generating electricity will soon be competitive. Therefore, parabolic trough power plants will offer immense potential for generating power in an environmentally compatible and climate friendly manner. We are pleased that we were able to contribute the key component of this high-potential technology by supplying our receivers,â commented Professor Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG.

Meatpacking Faux Pas

The culprit isnâ™t a law against buying additional testing equipment, nor was it a shortage of the kits. No, the shadowy movers behind this decision was none other than big business advocacy groups. They even admitted to pressuring the USDA into withholding additional testing kits. The president of the National Cattlemenâ™s Beef Association (a non-governmental advocacy group put together by the big players in meat packing) went so far as to say,

If testing is allowed at Creekstone, we think it would become the international standard and the domestic standard, too.

All Creekstone is doing is banking an initial $0.5 million, and a $0.10 per pound price increase on their beef, on the fact that Americans will pay for higher levels of testing and safety on their beef. If they are wrong, Creekstone will lose big time, but if they are right, prosperity will shine on them, just like it has other innovators in other eras.
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If testing is allowed at Creekstone, we think it would become the international standard and the domestic standard, too.

Beef eaters beware -- safety may be sent packing by Courtney Haden

clipped from www.bhamweekly.com

Column

Beef eaters beware -- safety may be sent packing

By: Courtney Haden


Since the BSE test is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose strategy plan includes âœenhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of foodborne hazards from farm to table,â one might have expected rapid approval of Creekstoneâ™s plan.

They could test more cattle, more cheaply and more quickly. They had to be stopped.   

So thatâ™s why too much safety is a dangerous thing. If Creekstone were able to advertise their meat as 100 percent safe, whoâ™d buy anything less?

Creekstone sued the USDA in 2006, and in the case of David v. Goliath, the little guy unaccountably won. A decision handed down by a U.S. district judge in March decreed that Creekstone must be permitted to start its own testing June 1. However, thanks to its Hail Mersey call last week, the USDA can appeal the ruling and prevent Creekstone from testing indefinitely.
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Creekstone sued the USDA in 2006, and in the case of David v. Goliath, the little guy unaccountably won. A decision handed down by a U.S. district judge in March decreed that Creekstone must be permitted to start its own testing June 1. However, thanks to its Hail Mersey call last week, the USDA can appeal the ruling and prevent Creekstone from testing indefinitely.

Police Investigating Husainâ™s â˜nakedâ™ Mother India Painting

clipped from www.indiadaily.org

MF HusainMF Husainâ™s unending fetish to flirt with controversies went a step further with his latest work. After portraying Hindu deities in nude before, his latest work shows a naked woman in front of a wheel resembling the one used in Indiaâ™s national flag â“ the â˜Chakra. The painting is a part of a series to be auctioned in aid of Indian victims of last yearâ™s Tsunami.

Now the police are investigating a complaint against him. Ramesh Shinde, a spokesman for the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti that lodged the police complaint said;

Now the question is, should artistic liberty be protected and let things run as they had been or should there be a guideline at least demarking the lines that one shouldnâ™t cross.


Police Investigating Husainâ™s â˜nakedâ™ Mother India Painting

Jonty, New Delhi, INDIA
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Police Investigating Husainâ™s â˜nakedâ™ Mother India Painting

Digital Himalaya Project

The
Digital Himalaya Project is digitising archival collections of
ethnographic information from the Himalayan region. Five major anthropological
collections were selected for digitisation in the first phase of
the project to reflect a range of different media and a wide coverage
of geographical areas and ethnic populations from across the Himalayas.
Alongside these visual and audio collections, we have more recently digitised an
extensive set of back issues of Himalayan journals and maps and have created
layered GIS maps of Nepal's 75 districts. Our newest collection is an interactive online version of the 2001 Census of Nepal. Click
on one of the icons below to enter a collection.


Census of
Nepal 2001



Thangmi
Archive

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The Digital Himalaya Project is digitising archival collections of ethnographic information from the Himalayan region. Five major anthropological collections were selected for digitisation in the first phase of the projec

Guru as Deus Ex-machina by RamRani

clipped from neemkarolibaba.com
Guru as Deus Ex-machina by RamRani
One warm February afternoon in 1973, I met Neem Karoli Baba-ji at the Sankata Mochana Hanuman Mandir on Parikrama Road in Vrindaban. Early the next morning Maharaj-ji left for His ashram at Kainchi Dham in Nainital Jila, Kumoan.
A few months before meeting Baba, I had received funds from the USA. When I left the Brajbasi plains for Kumoan to follow Baba, I passed through New Delhi where I cashed $100 into rupees, which left me with $300 in American Express traveler's checks. The exchange rate was Rs/7.38 rupees to the dollar. In my bag I had some rupees and fifteen travelerâ™s checks in twenty-dollar denomination. The checks had come in a blue plastic AmEx envelope, which I kept in an inside pocket of my shoulder bag.
randomMaharajji_16.jpg
neemkarolibaba.com Sri Neem Karoli Baba - Miracle Saint of Northern India
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A few months before meeting Baba, I had received funds from the USA. When I left the Brajbasi plains for Kumoan to follow Baba,

Songs of the Humpback Whale,Columbia Records, 1970,

clipped from www.frieze.com
Issue 108 Issue 108, Humpback Whale

Songs of the Humpback Whale


Columbia Records, 1970,

Kodwo Eshun

In 1969, National Geographic magazine gave away a free flexidisc of humpback whale song recorded off the coast of Bermuda by Roger Payne, an American marine bioacoustician. In the next decade, an astonishing ten and a half million readers sent off for copies. Released on Columbia Records in 1970 under the title Songs of the Humpback Whale, the recordings made by Payne, his then wife Katie and his colleague Frank Watlington went on to sell another 100,000 copies on vinyl by the decadeâ™s end.
To understand it would require listening again to the songs of the humpback whale with this question in mind: what, after all, do whales think of us?
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As an artefact, the album tells us as much about sensibilities of the era as it does about whales themselves. Payne had opened up an undersea world previously restricted to marine biologists; an eerie submarine space of basso profondo groans and solitary, echoing moans which could not but resonate with listeners buffeted by the socio-political shocks of the late 1960s. Audiences were fascinated to learn that only male humpback whales sing, that they can sing continuously for more than 24 hours, that whales have no vocal chords and generate sound by forcing air through their massive nasal cavities, and that different herds in various parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans produce distinct songs, which change over a number of years never to return to the same sequence of notes.

kailash manasarovar experiences by Shrilatha Puthi

Shrilatha Puthi
Bangalore, Karnataka, IN


Kailash Manasarovar experiences: Part 3

After our stint at Manasarover, we proceeded further that day early in the evening to Tarchen, the place considered as base camp for parikrama (parikrama is walking around Mt. Kailash in clockwise direction, like a pradakshiNa). This place looks decent, better than other places we had stayed - Subha and me exchanged thoughts once we reached Tarchen. We were supposed to go to a place called Ashtapad to get closer view of Mt. Kailash. We went halfway through and found out that the way is blocked. While returning we saw a nice-looking shrine, and we decided to go exploring in Tarchen.
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I had tough time moving up and down, and it made me tired. I was getting worried how I would do parikrama. We started walking back to our campsite.