Researchers find name of Allah woven into ancient Viking burial fabrics
Publish Time: 2017-10-14 20:09:00
Allah's name has been found embroidered into ancient Viking burial clothes, a discovery researchers in Sweden have described as "staggering". The silk patterns were originally thought to be ordinary Viking Age decoration but a re-examination by archaeologist Annika Larsson of Uppsala University revealed they were a geometric Kufic script. They were found on woven bands as well as items of clothing, in two separate grave sites, suggesting that Viking funeral customs had been influenced by Islam.The woven bands contained ancient Arabic script, Kufic characters, invoking both Allah and Ali. The Kufic characters were found in the Viking Age in mosaics on burial monuments and mausoleums, primarily in Central Asia.“One exciting detail is that the word ‘Allah’ is depicted in mirror image," Ms Larsson said. "Perhaps this was an attempt to write prayers so that they could be read from left to right.“That we so often maintain that Eastern objects in Viking Age graves could only be the result of plundering and eastward trade doesn’t hold up as an explanatory model, because the inscriptions appear in typical Viking Age clothing.“It is a staggering thought that the bands, just like the costumes, [were] made west of the Muslim heartland. Presumably, Viking Age burial customs were influenced by Islam and the idea of an eternal life in paradise after death."She added: “In the Quran, it is written that the inhabitants of paradise will wear garments of silk, which along with the text band’s inscriptions may explain the widespread occurrence of silk in Viking Age graves. The findings are equally prevalent in both men’s and women’s graves.”Ms Larsson’s prior research has uncovered widespread use of silk during the Viking Age in Scandinavia, the university said, as reported by The Independent. The cloth is thought to have come from ancient Persia and Central Asia.
Saturn Moon Titan Has Molecules That Could Help Make Cell Membranes
Publish Time: 2017-07-29 20:31:00
Titan's thick atmosphere contains large quantities of vinyl cyanide molecules, which could conceivably form membranes around cells in the liquid-hydrocarbon seas that dot the frigid moon's surface, according to the study.Many astrobiologists regard these seas of methane as possibly habitable environments, especially considering that a variety of complex, carbon-containing organic compounds are known to exist on Titan. However, any life the moon's seas may support would have to be very different from Earth's organisms, which depend heavily on liquid water. [Amazing Photos: Titan, Saturn's Largest Moon]Cell membranes are a case in point. Here on Earth, membranes consist of fatty molecules called lipids. But lipids cannot survive in the otherworldly Titan environment, which features a hydrocarbon-based weather system and average surface temperatures of around minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 180 degrees Celsius), study team members said, as reported by www.space.com.
Trillion-Ton Iceberg Breaks off Antartica
Publish Time: 2017-07-12 17:01:00
The gigantic mass of ice, estimated to be more than 200 meters thick, covers an area of roughly 6,000 square kilometers – about four times the size of London.On Wednesday, a U.S. satellite observed that an existing crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf appears to have broken through. As recent as one week ago, the Delaware-size iceberg was threatening to disconnect from the ice shelves. Experts had been monitoring the development of the crack for more than a decade.According to the scientists, the iceberg will likely be named A68. The gigantic mass of ice, estimated to be more than 200 meters thick, covers an area of roughly 6,000 square kilometers – about a quarter the size of Wales or four times the size of London with a volume believed to be twice that of Lake Erie.The iceberg has yet to move, but currents and winds might push it north of the Antarctic where it could prove bothersome to ships. Its immobility, however, could be charged to it being grounded on underwater hills or to the effects of sea currents and winds.Antarctic research scientists believe that "There is a risk that Larsen C may eventually follow the example of its neighbor, Larsen B, which disintegrated in 2002 following a similar rift-induced calving event in 1995."Or it could simply remain where it is (some have for up to 20 years), float away in one piece or break up into smaller icebergs.According to scientists, Larsen C is now at its smallest extent and about 10 other shelves further to the north along the Peninsula have either collapsed or retreated significantly in recent decades.Two nearby, smaller shelves, Larsen A and Larsen B, disintegrated around the turn of the century – warming climate likely played a role in their demise.The largest iceberg observed in the satellite era was an object called B-15. It came away from the Ross Ice Shelf in 2000 and measured about 11,000 square kilometers.In 1956, it was reported that a U.S. Navy icebreaker had encountered an object of roughly 32,000 square kilometers – bigger than Belgium. But, there were no satellites to confirm the sighting, http://www.telesurtv.net reported.
Google fined a record €2.4 billion by the EU for manipulating search results
Publish Time: 2017-06-27 14:59:00
Google has been hit with a record-breaking €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) fine by the European Union for breaking antitrust law. The decision follows a seven-year investigation into the US company’s search algorithms, which ended with the judgement that Google had “abused its dominant position by systematically favoring” its own shopping comparison service. Today’s fine is the largest antitrust judgement handed out by the executive body of the EU, the European Commission, topping a €1 billion penalty given to Intel in 2009, foreign media report. The primary target of the case is Google Shopping, a price comparison feature built into the company’s search engine. The commission’s antitrust filing states that Google showed users results from Google Shopping “irrespective of [their] merits,” depriving rival price comparison sites of traffic. The EU argues that because Google is so overwhelmingly dominant in Europe, it should not be allowed to actively undermine competitors.As part of today’s decision, Google will have to change how its search algorithm ranks websites, in order to “comply with the simple principle of giving equal treatment to rival comparison shopping services and its own service.” This is a major imposition that Google will not take lightly. If it does not end its current conduct, the EU says the company faces daily penalties of up to five percent of its average daily turnover.In a press statement, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager praised Google for coming up with “many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives.” But added that the company also “abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.”“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” said Vestager. “It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation."Google may appeal this decision in EU courts, potentially delaying a final resolution for years. In a statement the company said: “We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”The US company currently faces two other ongoing EU antitrust investigations: one targeting its AdSense business, and another, the
Construction begins on the world's first super telescope
Publish Time: 2017-05-27 21:43:00
Scientists are a step closer to understanding the inner-workings of the universe following the laying of the first stone, and construction starting on the world's largest optical and infrared telescope.With a main mirror 39 metres in diameter, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), is going to be, as its name suggests, enormous. Unlike any other before it, ELT is also designed to be an adaptive telescope and has the ability to correct atmospheric turbulence, taking telescope engineering to another level, as reported by phys.org.To mark the construction's milestone, a ceremony was held at ESO's Paranal residencia in northern Chile, close to the site of the future giant telescope which will be on top of Cerro Armazones, a 3046-metre peak mountain.Among many other representatives from industry, the significance of the project was highlighted by the attendance of the Director General of ESO, Tim de Zeeuw, and President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet Jeria.The ELT is being built by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), an international collaboration supported by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Oxford University scientists are playing a key role in the project, and are responsible for the design and construction of its spectrograph; 'HARMONI', an instrument designed to simultaneously take 4000 images, each in a slightly different colour. The visible and near-infrared instrument will harness the telescope's adaptive optics to provide extremely sharp images.'HARMONI' will enable scientists to form a more detailed picture of the formation and evolution of objects in the Universe. Supporting researchers to view everything from the planets in our own solar system and stars in our own and nearby galaxies with unprecedented depth and precision, to the formation and evolution of distant galaxies that have never been observed before.
Astronomers identify purest, most massive brown dwarf
Publish Time: 2017-03-25 19:49:00
An international team of astronomers has identified a record breaking brown dwarf (a star too small for nuclear fusion) with the 'purest' composition and the highest mass yet known. The object, known as SDSS J0104+1535, is a member of the so-called halo – the outermost reaches - of our Galaxy, made up of the most ancient stars. The scientists report the discovery in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.Brown dwarfs are intermediate between planets and fully-fledged stars. Their mass is too small for full nuclear fusion of hydrogen to helium (with a consequent release of energy) to take place, but they are usually significantly more massive than planets.Located 750 light years away in the constellation of Pisces, SDSS J0104+1535 is made of gas that is around 250 times purer than the Sun, so consists of more than 99.99% hydrogen and helium. Estimated to have formed about 10 billion years ago, measurements also suggest it has a mass equivalent to 90 times that of Jupiter, making it the most massive brown dwarf found to date.It was previously not known if brown dwarfs could form from such primordial gas, and the discovery points the way to a larger undiscovered population of extremely pure brown dwarfs from our Galaxy's ancient past.The research team was led by Dr ZengHua Zhang of the Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary Islands. He said: "We really didn't expect to see brown dwarfs that are this pure. Having found one though often suggests a much larger hitherto undiscovered population —I'd be very surprised if there aren't many more similar objects out there waiting to be found."SDSS J0104+1535 has been classified as an L type ultra-subdwarf using its optical and near-infrared spectrum, measured using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT). This classification was based on a scheme very recently established by Dr Zhang.
Lab opened at Business and Technology University
Update Time: 2017-03-18 16:34:00
High-technological lab has been opened at Business and Technology University. Programs and innovations of the world technological market will be practiced at the lab. Students and other interested people are encouraged to use the lab.
NASA proposes guarding Mars' atmosphere with a magnetic shield
Update Time: 2017-03-07 13:17:00
Ask scientists why Mars is cold and dead and they'll usually point to the death of its magnetic field some 4.2 billion years ago. Without that protection, solar winds gradually stripped it of most of its atmosphere. A NASA-led team, however, thinks there's still a chance to protect what's left -- and human explorers in the process. The scientists have proposed a magnetic shield that would sit at the L1 Lagrange Point beyond the planet, creating an artificial magnetosphere that would deflect solar winds and incoming radiation. Simulations even suggest that the atmosphere would get thick enough to melt carbon dioxide ice at Mars' northern pole, sparking a greenhouse gas effect that would melt water ice and restore some of Mars' oceans. Needless to say, that would be much friendlier to any long-term visitors.The concept isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. There's already research into inflatable structures that would create the mini-magnetosphere you'd need for this to work. The biggest challenge, as with many things in space, is time. While a shield would have a relatively rapid effect on radiation, it's not certain how long it would take to thicken the atmosphere and increase temperatures. A magnetic shield would amount to a kind of terraforming, after all, and even a relatively quick change could take decades. NASA and SpaceX would still have to visit a hostile planet in the years ahead.Still, the very fact that this is even on the table is noteworthy. It suggests that it would be realistic to preserve and even improve Mars' remaining atmosphere without the staggering effort that would be needed to directly alter the planet.
A tiny brain, skull, and hair have been extracted from a teen's ovary
Publish Time: 2017-01-07 19:38:00
Japanese surgeons have pulled a mass of hair, bone, and a tiny, malformed brain, from a teenager’s ovary. What started as a fairly routine operation resulted in a 10-centimetre ‘monster’ being pulled from the teenager’s abdomen, according to a paper recently published in Neuropathology. While performing a run-of-the-mill appendectomy on a 16-year-old female patient, the Japanese surgeons discovered a tumour growing on one of her ovaries, http://www.sciencealert.com reports. What they found inside was pure nightmare fuel – hair, bone ... and a tiny malformed brain.The technical term for the tumour is a mature cystic teratoma. The word 'teratoma' comes from the Greek word teratos, meaning monster, and it’s easy to see why.They are formed when a mass of cells inside a body grows into different tissue types, including bone, nerves, hair, and even teeth. They’re typically a benign tumour surrounded by a capsule, making them relatively easy to remove.Not to be confused with parasitic twins, which grow from a separate embryo that was absorbed while in the womb, teratomas are made from our own errant cells. As with any cancer, they form when the normal signals controlling cell growth fail. Teratomas also happen to act like misbehaving stem cells. In this particular case, it was an immature egg cell in the Japanese girl’s ovary which ignored all signals to sit quietly.Not only did her egg cell divide, those new cells took on the form of hair follicles and a thin layer of bone covering a brain-like structure resembling a brainstem and cerebellum.It’s thought roughly 20 percent of ovarian tumours contain differentiated tissues, making such teratomas surprisingly common.Though rarely fatal, tumours which contain nerve cells pose a unique risk – where the immune system recognises the cancer as a threat, they can then mistaken the patient’s own brain cells as an enemy.Fortunately this patient showed no symptoms of an immune response against her own nervous system.Discovering nerve cells inside a teratoma might not be all that unusual, but finding them arranged in a neurological structure, like in the case of this tumour, is extremely rare. Especially tissue that could carry nervous impulses.<
US Senators Visited the Tech Park
Publish Time: 2017-01-02 02:38:00
US Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Amy Klobuchar visited the Tech Park in Tbilisi today. The senators were hosted by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The guests visited the labs for entrepreneurial innovations and exhibition halls located in the territory of the Tech Park. The senators met with young people interested in innovative ideas and attended their presentations.Senator John McCain delivered a speech for those gathered at the Tech Park. According to him, implementing innovative projects lay the foundation for the future of Georgia's economy."Thank you for your innovation. Thank you for your progress. I believe that it is pretty clear that you are shaping not only your own future but that of the economy of Georgia. It is very uplifting to see young people creating such great things. I am very pleased to be here, celebrating the New Year with the Prime Minister and members of the Government of Georgia. I have been here on many occasions, and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be in a free and independent country where young people are allowed to exercise their best talents and imagination to succeed," John McCain stated.Senator Amy Klobuchar wished success to startup entrepreneurs and innovators and thanked the Prime Minister of Georgia for inviting her to the Tech Park."To see this kind of innovation is really exciting because I have seen what it means in the States-it means jobs, a low unemployment rate. I appreciate the Prime Minister for inviting us," Senator Amy Klobuchar said at a meeting with young people.Senator Lindsey Graham wished the young people at the meeting a Happy New Year and pointed out Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili's effort seeking to reform the country."I am Senator Graham from South Carolina. It is very worm there. Innovation and I are incompatible. Without freedom, there is no innovation, so here is my advice. When business grows, so does your country. Democracy requires people to participate. I am very impressed by the Prime Minister's effort to reform your country. I have been here with Senator McCain many times. He is the biggest champion in the US Congress. To those of us who appreciate freedom, you cannot help to love Georgia. Happy New Year!" Senator Lindsey Graham sated.
Study suggests marijuana improves your night vision
Publish Time: 2016-10-29 19:17:00
A new study suggests that marijuana may have a strange benefit: improving night vision. Based on a pharmacologist's observation in the 1990s that Jamaican fishermen who smoked or consumed cannabis had "an uncanny ability to see in the dark," researchers at McGill University dug in.They applied a synthetic cannabinoid to the eye tissue of tadpoles of an African toad and found, to their surprise, that it seemed to work. Specifically, they found that the cannabinoid made particular retinal cells more sensitive to light, improving the speed at which the eye responded to even dim stimulus, reports the Guardian."We didn't believe what we were seeing," a study author told the Montreal Gazette. "The cannabinoids were increasing the excitability of cells in the eye that connects to the brain." Researchers then tracked tadpoles—only some of which had been given the cannabinoid—while showing them dark moving dots, which the tadpoles naturally avoid.All tadpoles performed well in the light. But in the dark, the cannabinoid tadpoles avoided significantly more dots than the others. If the same effect occurs in humans—a 2004 study found people had better night vision after smoking cannabis, but didn't explore why, per Science Alert— cannabis could theoretically be used to treat retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma by protecting retinal cells.
Science and Innovations Festival opens
Update Time: 2016-09-17 16:34:00
The first ever of its kind Science and Innovations Festival has been opened in Georgia. Public lectures, presentations of scientific editions and exhibitions will be held. Georgian state and private universities as well as European Organization for Nuclear Research known as CERN take part in the festival, which will last till September 25.
Nasa just made all its research available online for free
Publish Time: 2016-08-20 20:28:00
Care to learn more about 400-foot tsunamis on Mars? Now you can, after Nasa announced it is making all its publicly funded research available online for free. The space agency has set up a new public web portal called Pubspace, where the public can find Nasa-funded research articles on everything from the chances oflife on one of Saturn’s moons to the effects of space station living on the hair follicles of astronauts.In 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directed Nasa and other agencies to increase access to their research, which in the past was often available (if it was available online at all) only via a paywall. Now, it is Nasa policy that any research articles funded by the agency have to be posted on Pubspace within a year of publication.There are some exceptions, such as research that relates to national security. Nonetheless, there are currently a little over 850 articles available on the website with many more to come. “Making our research data easier to access will greatly magnify the impact of our research,” NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan said in a statement. “As scientists and engineers, we work by building upon a foundation laid by others.”The move is part of a trend in the worldwide scientific community towards making knowledge more readily available. In May, EU member states agreed on an initiative to try to make all European scientific papers freely available by 2020. In the meantime, you can enjoy Nasa-funded insights into keeping fit in space, the ages of the lunar seas, and much more. Should keep you occupied for the weekend, The Independent reports.
Stunning NASA image shows 'Morse code' dunes on Mars
Publish Time: 2016-07-14 15:02:00
NASA has released an image of dunes on Mars that bear a striking similarity to Morse code.The image, which was taken on Feb. 6, 2016 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows a series of dark dunes on the Red Planet’s surface, Fox News reports.In a statement, NASA explained that the dunes are influenced by local Martian topography. “The shape and orientation of dunes can usually tell us about wind direction, but in this image, the dune-forms are very complex, so it’s difficult to know the wind direction,” it said.The space agency notes that a circular depression on Mars, which is probably an old impact crater, has limited the amount of sand available for dune formation and also influenced local winds. “As a result, the dunes here form distinct dots and dashes,” it said. “The ‘dashes’ are linear dunes formed by bi-directional winds, which are not traveling parallel to the dune.”
Scientists discover three new planets similar to Earth in our 'galactic backyard'
Update Time: 2016-05-03 13:10:00
A team of scientists announced on May 2 that they have discovered three Earth-like planets that are the best bet so far for finding life outside our solar system.The three orbit an ultracool dwarf star in our 'galactic backyard' a mere 39 light years away - around 200 trillion miles away, The Sun reports. They are likely comparable in size and temperature to Earth and Venus, the groundbreaking report published in Nature said.The three planets orbit near the "habitable zone" of an ultracool dwarf star named TRAPPIST-1 - the first planets ever discovered around such a tiny and dim star.What's more the 'dark sides' of the planets are just the right temperature for water to exist - essential for most life.The discovery came when planet hunters were looking for so-called ultracool dwarf stars, which are too weak to show up in the usual searches. They came across two Earth-size planets that take just two days to zip around their Jupiter-scale dwarf star.A though, the planets' sun is probably too close for them to be entirely habitable, the authors suggest there might be spots where humans could survive.The planets are tidally locked to their star, just as the moon is to Earth, meaning the same side always faces the light.Researchers caught the third planet transiting the dwarf star but didn't have enough information to characterise it as well as the other twoAstronomers will need help from the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope to reveal what's really in the atmospheres of the newly found planets.Lead author Michael Gillon, an astrophysicist at the University of Liege in Belgium, said: "This is the first opportunity to find chemical traces of life outside our solar system." He said the find opens up a whole new "hunting ground" for habitable planets.All three planets have the "winning combination" of being similar in size to Earth, "potentially habitable" and close enough so their atmospheres can be analysed with current technology.
Astronauts return after year in space
Publish Time: 2016-03-02 17:25:00
US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have touched down on Earth after almost a year in space, BBC reports. Their 340-day mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is twice the length of a normal stay. Their extended tour is part of an effort to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the body.But scientists will gain further insights by comparing Scott Kelly with his Earthbound identical twin, Mark.A Soyuz capsule carrying Kelly, Kornienko and Russian crew member Sergey Volkov parachuted down on to a steppe in Kazakhstan at 10:26 local time (04:26 GMT).The mission is a record for the ISS and will give Cmdr Kelly a tally of 520 cumulative days in space, over four flights.
Unique device invented by Georgian pupils
Publish Time: 2016-02-20 20:34:00
The device invented based on the joint idea of Georgian pupils which has no analogue throughout the world and has been recognized as the best one, ensures optimal gathering of the solar energy.The 11-grade pupils occupied the first place in Millennium Innovations Competition and won the ticket for NASA Kennedy Space Center.
PM and Culture Minister visited exhibition
Publish Time: 2015-11-21 16:25:00
An exhibition dedicated to Georgian aviation constructor Aleksandre Kartveli wrapped up the 2015 Science & Innovations International Week at Janashia Museum in Tbilisi. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and Culture Minister Mikheil Giorgadze visited the exhibition and toured about various models of aircrafts, archive materials and multimedia projections.
Education Minister meets with Scientific Director of Nuclear Researches Organization
Publish Time: 2015-10-10 12:07:00
Tamar Sanikidze, Georgian Minister of Education and Science met with Scientific Director of Nuclear Researches European Organization and its advisor of International Relations Office. The joint initiative of “Kartu” Foundation and Georgian government was discussed during the meeting. The initiative envisages establishment of modern and high-technological base institute and scientific center for technology development. The initiative is already submitted to the parliament for consideration.
Georgia to cooperate with scientific centers for opening of Technological University
Update Time: 2015-10-09 20:14:00
The Georgian side will begin cooperation with well-known international scientific centers for the opening of Technological University. The project, already tagged as ‘revolutionary,’ was discussed at the Governmental Administration this afternoon. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili met with specialists of Nuclear Research European Organization, Oncology Center and Nuclear Physics Institute. The Swiss and Italian researchers arrived in Tbilisi and signed an agreement of cooperation. Scientific-Educational Center for Technology Development will be also built that will be oriented on medication of oncology diseases with modern methods. The construction of University and Center will be financed by “Kartu” Foundation.