Thursday, May 31, 2012


Scientist creates lifelike cells out of metal
Researcher says he has created living cells made of metal instead of carbon — and they may be evolving;

Scientists trying to create artificial life generally work under the assumption that life must be carbon-based, but what if a living thing could be made from another element?

One British researcher may have proven that theory, potentially rewriting the book of life. Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow has created lifelike cells from metal — a feat few believed feasible. The discovery opens the door to the possibility that there may be life forms in the universe not based on carbon, reports New Scientist. 

Even more remarkable, Cronin has hinted that the metal-based cells may be replicating themselves and evolving.

"I am 100 percent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology," he said.

The high-functioning "cells" that Cronin has built are constructed from large polyoxometalates derived from a range of metal atoms, like tungsten. He gets them to assemble in bubbly spheres by mixing them in a specialized saline solution, and calls the resultant cell-like structures "inorganic chemical cells," or iCHELLs.The metallic bubbles are certainly cell-like, but are they actually alive? Cronin has made a compelling case for the comparison by constructing the iCHELLS with a number of features that make them function much as real cells do. For instance, by modifying the outer oxide structure of the bubbles so that they are porous, he has essentially built iCHELLs with membranes capable of selectively allowing chemicals in and out according to size, much as what happens with the walls of real cells.

Cronin's team has also created bubbles inside of bubbles, which opens the door to the possibility of developing specialized "organelles." Even more compelling, some of the iCHELLs are being equipped with the ability to photosynthesize. The process is still rudimentary, but by linking some oxide molecules to light sensitive dyes, the team has constructed a membrane that splits water into hydrogen ions, electrons and oxygen when illuminated — which is how photosynthesis begins in real cells.

Of course, the most compelling lifelike quality of the iCHELLs so far is their ability to evolve. Although they aren't equipped with anything remotely resembling DNA, and therefore can't replicate themselves in the same way that real cells do, Cronin has nevertheless managed to create some polyoxometalates that can use each other as templates to self-replicate. Furthermore, he is currently embarked on a seven-month experiment to see if iCHELLs placed in different environments will evolve.

The early results have been encouraging. "I think we have just shown the first droplets that can evolve," Cronin hinted.

Though the idea of a strange new metal-based form of life rapidly evolving in a lab somewhere on Earth may sound ominous, the finding could forever change how life is defined. It also greatly improves the odds of life existing elsewhere in the universe, since life forms could potentially be built from any number of different elements. 
The possibilities are exciting to imagine, even if Cronin's iCHELLs eventually fall short of full-blown living cells. His research may have already blown the door off previous paradigms about the conditions necessary for life to form.

Photo P Gordon
By  Brian Nelson

Where are we going from here?

Baby Rockstar;


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


John Ronald Reuel Tolkien 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973 

J. R. Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature there from 1945 to 1959. 
He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings manuscripts,  The Silmarillion  together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.
While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature,  more precisely, of high fantasy


Tolkien thoughts

Many that live deserve death.
 And some die that deserve life.
 Can you give it to them?
 Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety.
 Even the wise cannot see all ends.
 -   J. R. R. Tolkien  -
The Lord Of the Rings, Book Four, Chapter One


Dick Cheney  received a Heart transplant to continue his life.
  In the name of justice, I say there is no justice; 

Dick Cheney, whose actions directly caused deaths and injuries that number in the hundreds of thousands. The deaths he is responsible for are ongoing to this day, in fact  If there were any justice to be found, whatever profits he earns from his book would be spread out between the families of dead and wounded soldiers whom he lied into war in Iraq, between the families of dead and wounded Iraqi civilians, and between Americans like Valerie Plame, who along with numerous other intelligence figures, had their lives bulldozed by Cheney's eight-year rampage through our system of government.

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed   Read here  Dick Cheney the ultimate American Terrorist.