Social utility of speculative theories about the other universes

Science need not serve any social purpose like better life for the members of the society.Its purpose will be served if it merely satisfies your thirst for knowledge.But the question is whether it serves any purpose if we spend resources on postulating universes other than our own.The multiverse theory propounded by some researchers belongs to this type of hypothetical beliefs.

“A striking consequence of the new picture of the world is that there should be an infinity of regions with histories absolutely identical to ours. That’s right, scores of your duplicates are now reading copies of this article. They live on planets exactly like Earth, with all its mountains, cities, trees, and butterflies. There should also be regions where histories are somewhat different from ours, with all possible variations. For example, some readers will be pleased to know that there are infinitely many O-regions where Al Gore is the President of the United States.”(John Horgan)

Dad puts her off

The patterns of sexual maturation indicate that girls mature earlier in home environments devoid of fathers .Conversely in an environment  where the smells of the fathers dominate the maturation gets significantly delayed. Likewise girls with sisters are likely to have their maturation delayed perhaps because competition for mates reduces chances for mating.. What this means is that nature discourages inbreeding. Where mating takes place between close blood relatives the chances of defective recessive genes occuring become greater .Related parents are more likely to have similar genetic mutations and therefore children of incest are at a high risk for birth defects and disease.

The Pennsylvania State University team which has published these findings attributes the effect to pheromones which are nature’s way of thwarting inbreeding.

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Wild bees increase honey bees’ performance

Wild bees do not by themselves pollinate the crops but increase the efficiency,up to 5 times, of the domestic honey bees, Studies on the pollinating efficiency of the honey bees have revealed this,according to a study by a Priceton University researcher.

Triple sunrise

Triple sunrise

Today, the Sun rises due east at the Equinox, a geocentric astronomical event that occurs twice a year. To celebrate, consider this view of the rising Sun and a lovely set of ice halos recorded on a cold winter morning near Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, planet Earth. Produced by sunlight shining through common atmospheric ice crystals with hexagonal cross-sections, such halos can actually be seen more often than rainbows. The remarkable sunrise picture captures a beautiful assortment of the types most frequently seen, including a sun pillar (center) just above the rising Sun surrounded by a 22 degree halo arc. Completing a triple sunrise illusion, sundogs appear at the far left and far right edges of the 22 degree arc. An upper tangent arc is also just visible at the very top of the view.

The ancestors of birds flew on all fours

The ancestors of birds took to the skies by gliding from trees using feathered wings on their arms and legs, according to a research by a paleontologist from the University of Calgary. Dinosaur-like bird Archiopteryx appears to have taken to the skies with four wings .Nick Longrich , the paleontologist challenges the earlier accepted idea that birds began flying by taking off from the ground while running.

There is light in your heart

A major breakthrough in research has been reported which will lead to improved monitoring of mitochondrial activity in manufacturing a chemical energy called adenosine triphosphate from food. The monitoring will help in the re-starting of the heart after surgery or heart attack.
The researchers made use of luciferase the chemical found in fireflies which lights them up.  Transferring modified forms of the luciferase into heart cells enables production of the chemical within the mitochondria and since luciferase lights up in the presence of ATP the amount of ATP could easily be measured by using microscopes. Such a measurement will help in stabilising the production of the ATP during the re-start of the heart.

Immigrant chidren perform as well as their peers

The Cognews posted by Cloudwatcher reports that research indicates no significant  differences in academic grades between the immigrant children and the second-and -third generation children belonging to the same race. The obvious conclusion is that the economic prosperity or lack of it has made no difference to the academic performance of the children.

The study does not talk about the performance of the immigrant children versus their white counterparts.

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Lucy’s older sister found

Scientists have discovered another “Lucy” type of skeleton,estimated to be 3.30 million years old.Lucy was discovered in 1974 and the present discovery estimated to be 100000 years older is hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. The skeleton , which is of a three year old female is believed to have come from a body which was quickly buried by sediment in a flood. It is a member of the Australopithicus afarensis which lived in Africa between 4 million and 3 million years ago. Most scientists believe that the Afarensis stood upright and walked on two feet but it is still a matter of debate whether it had the tree climbing ability. The fossil find includes complete skull including an impression of the brain and the lower jaw,all the vertebrae from the neck to the just below the torso, all the ribs,both shoulder blades and collar bones,both knees and one complete foot.

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Genetics and energy costs

During drought the farmer cannot pump up enough water, due to the high energy costs, to irrigate his wheat field. This forces him to adopt dryland methods of cultivation.A semi-dwarf variety of wheat would use up less energy in developing the stalks. This is not the best of the solutions.It does not improve productivity either.But this is the  second best solution .More particularly in drought-prone areas of India.

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