It’s quite revealing that Karen Kafadar and Anne-Marie Mazza (LiveScience Op-Ed on February 24, 2015, titled "Using Faulty Forensic Science, Courts Fail the Innocent") demand more research in forensic science while ignoring one of the most significant studies on forensic science and erroneous convictions ever conducted.
Miscellanea

Miscellanea

Feb 28 2015 | 0 comment(s)

This week I was traveling in Belgium so my blogging activities have been scarce. Back home, I will resume with serious articles soon (with the XVI Neutrino Telescopes conference next week, there will be a lot to report on!). In the meantime, here's a list of short news you might care about as an observer of progress in particle physics research and related topics.

It has long been accepted that large power output requires big-sized fusion reactors. But, based on calculations performed on beta plasma parameter1 by researchers from Tokamak Energy, UK, a company that builds compact tokamaks, size is not a significant issue when it comes to Fusion Power Gain2.

Applications:
There is apossiblity of building lower power, smaller and cheaper fusion reactors than currently planned.
US firm, Lockheed Martin, has already declared its plan to build a compact fusion reactor the size of a truck by 2019. After this research by Tokamak Energy, more such projects may be possible.

An international team of physicists from Russia and Germany have successfully applied a theory from 2009 to cool a relatively large macroscopic mirror (1.2 millimeters across) with lower fundamental frequency (~136 kHz) from room temperature to 126 mK.

The team applied a novel use of quantum noise, which usually contributes to temperature raise. But destructive interference of noise on its path to the mirror prevented its heating while allowing for energy loss, thereby creating a stronger cooling effect.

Before I get to the semi-creepy AI toy, let me say that my nearly 10 year old son got his first iPod two weeks ago. He is now less than 5 clicks away from watching ISIS behead children and burn people alive, pedophilia, pornography, religious bigotry, war, and all other manner of human ugliness and depravity. Thankfully he’s more interested in video games and funny YouTube videos, even in some science and technology videos. But three British teens fell for online traps, and traipsed through airport security on their way to Syria to marry ISIS animals. I guess beheading people is cool to some 14 and 15 year old girls.

Britain's House of Lords voted 280 to 48 to permit the use of three-person IVF - mitochondrial donation to prevent incurable mitochondrial diseases, which afflict around 4,000 children per year - on a case-by-case basis. On February 3rd, the UK House of Commons had already approved the exception to existing law.

Sleep is essential for overall health. Without regular age appropriate amounts of sleep, adolescents are at risk for developing a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, weight change, and sometimes insomnia.

What should I do when the equivalent of the Surgeon General of the UK calls my concerns about something "bunk"?

It sure gave me some pause. 

What's going on?


On Feb. 11, ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), atmospheric reentry demonstrator, successfully completed its first test flight, ending with a splashdown into the Pacific Ocean and one aerospace company is bursting with pride over the flawless test.