The human brain is far too complex to replicate currently. It is theoretically possible though. It raises a huge philosophical question: What is it that is you? All of your memories, thoughts, ideas are really just data stored in or generated by your brain. If I could copy every bit of this data to an artificial brain, is that still you? And what of the original biological you? If you then destroyed the artificial brain have you committed murder, suicide, or just wrecked an expensive machine? What if, instead of destroying the brain I simply delete the data? And this completely ignores any religious implications.
I think Chris made a small mistake when he estimated the amount of rubber that is worn off of car tires. He stated that the tires would wear out in just one year. This is a huge underestimate. Competitive quality tires typically last for between 50000 and 100000 miles, lets say 60000 miles on average. I've found that I drive about 1000 miles per month (which is average for Americans, don't know the average for Europeans, Asians, Africans Australians... but I'd think it would be a little less in Europe, probably the same for Australian because they have a better public transit in Europe so more people commute by train in Europe. Lets just guess 750 miles per month average in Europe. So tires should last about 5 years in the US and Australia and a little more than 6.6 years in Europe. Which makes Chris's estimate about 5-6 and a half times greater than it would be in reality.
Helium isn't just for balloons and making silly voices. It's a rather important industrial gas, and we are running out. I'm wondering, short of fusion power plants (or H-bombs) can we make it? Helium is a light, highly inert gas. If it's not manufactured where do our current supplies come from. Could it be made in large enough quantifies if we can ever develop fusion nuclear power?
Coral is one of the oldest extant groups of animals. It has survived most of the extinction events that have caused the extinction of so many other groups. Clearly it's tough. So why does it seem to be dieing now? If it's climate change how did it survive past climate change?
I've had this happen too. Never by months, but sometimes by hours. I always figured it was sent to Pluto by mistake and whoever got it on Pluto sent in back out of kindness. Way to pay the Plutonians back for their kindness! "Demoting" their home to a "Dwarf Planet".
When I bought my new laptop last year it was advertised as having a 300Gb hard drive. In fact it only has a 273Gb. A few weeks ago I spent $100 on a 1Tb (1000Gb) hard drive. When I hooked it up I found it is only 931Gb.
This seems to be a common practice with computers and computer assessors. Is there a good reason why we only get about 90% of the advertised memory?
I'm just hearing about the "weird shiny thing on Mars" and so I looked up a picture. I'm wondering if it could be part of a spacecraft? NASA, ESA, the Russians and the Soviets have sent many probes to Mars, many of witch failed. There MUST be refined metal scattered around the surface of Mars.
I do agree that when we do learn what it is it will likely be boring. But how cool would it be to find a bit of refined metal on Mars?
On the Naked Scientist podcast I'm listening to (Transparent electronics) one person was talking about using DNA for extremely long term storage of data. Recently NASA had a problem with stored DATA. Records from the Apollo program had been stored on computer tape on a type no longer used today. A private citizen had to build a 1960's era computer from scratch so these records could be retrieved. Fortunately the plans to build the computer were still available. This data was only 40 years old (about 1/2 a human lifetime) so there were plenty of people still alive who knew how to build such a machine, and or knew where to find the plans for it. What chance is there that a DNA data reader will exists in 30 thousand years? After that long, not only will the people who know the technology be long dead but and paper record will be dust. It will be like the Egyptian Hieroglyphs except there will be no Rosetta Stone. Further, at least the modern archeologists knew there was data available in the writing, even if they were unable to read it. What clues will be available to archeologists in 30 thousand years (assuming they exists) that will tell them there is data encoded in these chemicals?
I'm having an argument with a friend who lets his dog lick his spoon. He arguers that this is not gross because humans have quite a lot more bacteria in our mouths than dogs do. I argue that it is not the number of microbes that is important, but rather the species.
Because dogs use their tong for toilet paper they are likely to have fecal bacteria in their mouth, while humans use warm water or disposable paper to clean ourselves, then we (should) wash our hands after.
Another important question would be is there any kind of significant transfer of microbes shared between the two? In a Mythbusters episode they tested double dipping and discovered there was very little (if any) microbial transfer into the tub of dip.
In a Naked Science Podcast a man was interviewed who worked on the effects of estrogen in fish. This is a world wide problem so I'm not sure it matters what species of fish he used, but Id does matter how the fish are exposed. Is he using real treated sewage or is he adding the chemicals directly. I know in the 70's they were testing food additives in animals exposing them to thousands of times normal rates. Some of the animals developed cancer which lead to laws (at least in the States) requiring labels warning of the link. However the levels of food required to reach cancer thresholds would be so high as to lead to other health problems long before you got cancer. A little later California passed a law requiring signs on buildings accessed by the public warning of chemicals that MAY cause cancer or birth defects. This was a boon to sign makers but not very helpful to the public. Now EVERY building has such a sign. No information is provided telling you about how much real risk you are exposed to, just that their MAY be some level of risk. Things like this lead me to wonder how real these threats really are. Possibly also why so many people don't believe in global warming. "Wolf" has been cried far too many times.
In the 80's I had a text based PC computer game. I don't remember what it was called but it started out with the adventure (you) in a cellar with a sword and some armor. You faced a crazy guy with "an unkempt beard" that you had to kill, then you faced a dragon (I was never able to get past the dragon). When you got close to a fight your sword would start to glow. When the fight was on, your sword glowed brightly! Any help you could provide would help. Thanks.
I've sometimes heard humans referred to as "primates". To me the term "primate" means something like "top relative". This would cover the other great apes, chimps, bonobos, gorillas, orangutangs, ect. As people are not normally considered "related" to themselves then calling humans "primates" seems misleading.
It really depends on how the genes are spliced. Done randomly probably nothing would happen. Some time ago the genes responsible for making eyes in mice was spliced into a fly. The result was a perfectly normal fly eye. Even though the coding was for making a much more complex mammal eye, the genes still made an eye that the bug would use! The chance of making a crime fighter would be very small. A human with the ability to spin spider silk would not have it coming out of his writs. More likely it would be in his urine, even then it would just be the proteins to MAKE spider silk rather than the silk itself, so even running around with parts of his body out that are normally covered in polite society it would not help. Gaining the ability to climb walls is also unlikely. Spiders are really light compared to humans. The things they use to climb walls would not work for something as heavy as a person.
When I was a welder a very big deal was to weld in an enclosed space. All kinds of safety measures need to be taken. Even a completely brand new, virgin tank (that has never contained anything) can be really dangerous because the iron absorbs ALL the oxygen inside leaving just the nitrogen. (this can happen really quickly) Even deadlier is an environment with pure carbon dioxide. In a pure nitrogen environment you take a breath you pass out but if someone can get you out in time, you should be okay. Pure CO2, one breath and you're stone dead. Why?
A potato is made of many different elements, many of them volatile, like water. Volatile basically means it evaporates (turns to a gas) at low temperature.
The first thing that happens as you heat the potato is proteins in the vegetables begin to unfold and tangle. This process is called "cooking" and is used widely by humans to make food easier to digest and to kill harmful pathogens.
As the temperature climes the water in the potato will boil off along with most of the other volatile chemicals that make the potato good to eat. What you're left with is a lump of carbon. Carbon doesn't melt at atmospheric temperature. It has a triple point of ~4,330 °C or 7,820 °F at 10.8MPa. In an oxidizing environment (like your campsite) however the carbon will burn, combining with atmospheric oxygen to form carbon dioxide.
Well if it's not in a cave is it cave art? I've seen prehistoric art not in caves, but it's very rare as it needs to be protected from weathering and other forms of destruction, such as vandalism.
Apollo astronauts left marks on the moon, including one man's daughter's initials. Assuming these places are not revisited by people these marks will last millions of years. Much longer than even the most durable art on Earth.