Francis Crick’s letter to his 12-year-old son Michael announcing the discovery of DNA’s double-helix structure 60 years ago this week. More at The New York Times.
Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery. We have built a model for the structure of de-oxy-ribose-nucleic-acid (read it carefully) called D.N.A. You may remember that the genes of the chromosomes – which carry the hereditary factors – are made up of protein and D.N.A. Our structure is very beautiful…
Now we believe that the D.N.A. is a code. That is, the order of the bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another)…
In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life. You can understand that we are very excited. Read this carefully so that you understand it. When you come home we will show you the model.
Lots of love, Daddy.”
Frontpage: Friday, June 22nd
1. 20 Dead in Taliban Attack: Taliban militants stormed the popular resort destination of Qargha Lake on the outskirts of Kabul on Friday, killing at least 20 civilians while all seven of the gunmen, a police officer, and three private guards were shot dead.
2. Mexican Kingpin’s Son Captured: Mexican Marines said they have captured one of the sons of Mexico’s most-wanted drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa cartel.
3. Sandusky Deliberations Enter Day 2: Jurors continue deliberations Friday in the sex-abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in Bellefonte, Pa.
4. Two Service Outrages Rock Twitter: It was a rough day for Twitter, which had not one but two service outages within a few hours of each other. The service first went down between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday morning.
5. LeBron James Gets First NBA Ring: LeBron James won his first NBA championship at the age of 27 when the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night 121-106 in one of the most lopsided Game 5 of victories in basketball history.
Video via YouTube, by channelintel:
Fifteen-year-old Jack Andraka wins the top award at Intel ISEF 2012 for his creation of a new, non-invasive method to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer.
Frontpage: Wednesday, June 13th
- Former Giffords Aid Wins Seat: It’s a fitting end to an inspirational saga: 66-year-old Ron Barber won the seat of his former boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Tuesday night after Giffords resigned to recover from a gunshot wound to the head.
- Yemen Continues U.S. Attack: Yemen on Wednesday pressed ahead with a U.S.-led offensive against Islamic militants in the southern part of the country, a day after it recovered control of two strategic cities.
- Car Bomb Kills 63 in Iraq: A wave of coordinated car-bomb attacks throughout Iraq on early Wednesday killed 63 people and injured dozens more—one of the deadliest attacks since U.S. troops withdrew from the country last year.
- Russia Defends Syrian Arms Sale: Russia’s foreign minister on Wednesday defended his country’s alleged sale of arms to Syria, and also accused the U.S. of supplying weapons to the rebels fighting the government.
- NASA to Launch Telescope: A powerful new X-ray telescope, dubbed the NuStar by NASA, will soon be on the prowl for supermassive black holes, the invisible remnants left when stars die.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Dolores Walker leaves the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office after identifying the remains of her son, Joseph Briggs. Briggs, who recently turned 16, was shot and killed while sitting on a stoop in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood. Read the full story here.
Frontpage: Thursday, June 7th
- U.N. to Discuss Syria Massacre: Following reports of a fresh massacre by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan will meet Thursday with the Security Council and the General Assembly about the growing crackdown in Syria
- Panetta: ‘Reaching Limits of Patience’:The U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday that the U.S. is “reaching limits of patience as far as Pakistan is concerned.”
- China Cuts Interest Rates: China’s central bank announced a rate cut Thursday that will trim a quarter of a percent off its rate for deposits and loans.
- Testing Could Spot Disorders in Fetuses: A team of researchers revealed that testing for 3,500 genetic disorders an unborn child could carry can be discovered by taking a blood sample of a woman 18 weeks pregnant and a swab of saliva from the father.
- Romney Campaign Misspells Reagan: Mitt Romney’s campaign misspelled the name of one of the Republican party’s most-revered figures, Ronald Reagan.
Photo by Andy Manis / AP Photo
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, center, holds his first cabinet meeting at the state Capitol on Wednesday after he beat Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election.
FTW! The scene inside SpaceX’s Mission Control in Hawthorne, CA earlier this morning. Today at 8:56am CT, SpaceX and their spacecraft “Dragon” made history becoming the first private company to dock at the International Space Station. “Look’s like we got us a dragon by the tail,” relayed the International Space Station to SpaceX and NASA Mission Control in Houston.
HIGH FIVE GIF AUTO-REBLOG
Tornadogenesis—the formation of tornadoes—remains a topic of active research as there is relatively little direct experimental data, owing to the difficulty of prediction as well as measurement. Initially, a variation of wind speed at different altitudes in the atmosphere causes shearing, which can lead to the formation of a horizontal column of rotating air—a vortex line similar to a roll cloud. Beneath a developing storm, the updraft of warm local air can pull this vortex line upwards, creating vertical rotation in the cloud, thereby birthing a supercell. Supercells do not always spawn tornadoes, and the exact causes that result in tornadic or nontornadic supercells are not fully understood. However, the formation of tornadoes within the supercell seems dependent on the downdraft of cool air within the storm as well as stretching of the vortex line, which increases its rate of rotation. For more information, check out this explanatory video and some of the talks by Paul Markowski. (Thanks to mindscrib, aggieastronaut and others for their submissions related to this topic! Photo credits: P. Markowski and D. Zaras)
My dashboard has a whole new flavor now that I got my astrophysicist friend to join Tumblr.
This doesn’t explain how they got to Oz, but it’s still pretty great.
There are at least four solid band names in this post.
James Cameron (yes, the director) hopes to be the first solo visitor to the deepest part of the ocean. The Fanfin Seadevil, pictured above, may be one the living creatures to greet him on his way down (it’s cool though, they’re only eight inches long).
What was that planet-sized ‘Death Star’-like structure seen floating near the surface of the sun on Monday? Although sightings of supposed UFOs in space images are nothing new, this particular orb appears to be refueling with solar plasma — there’s even a hose extending from the sun’s surface!
As you may have guessed, that’s no moon… but it’s no space station either. Obligatory “Star Wars” clip:
That’s no moon!
The solar flare pictured above erupted from the sun this week causing radiation storms that could affect Earth. Though solar flares are often described in somewhat apocalyptic language — the sun is “exhaling its fury towards Earth” writes The Washington Post Tuesday — this one will probably only briefly disrupt GPS users and power grids later this week. Meanwhile we’re struck as always by the dazzling visual it produced.
[Image: Associated Press/NASA]
Beautiful and mostly harmless solar flares are my favorite kind of solar flares.