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[#] Mon Sep 19 2011 17:41:52 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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"fanwank" --- is that a technical term?

[#] Thu Sep 22 2011 17:32:25 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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long been science fiction - now true?

particles faster than light.

[#] Sat Sep 24 2011 13:15:11 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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fascinating, Bart.

It's consistently amazing to me how much of what we learn leads to more mystery.

[#] Sat Sep 24 2011 18:31:33 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Hmm... it'll be interesting to see if that can be replicated.

[#] Mon Sep 26 2011 15:46:45 EDT from Ford II @ Uncensored

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I'll bet they're not figuring something in, or somebody's version of 'speed of light' isn't quite right.
For example the speed of light constant is as measured in a vaccuum. They weren't measuring anything in a vacuum, so when they said "faster than light would have" what context are they talking about?

People even scientists get so excited about the possibility of finding something new and low hanging (I happen to beleive all the low hanging fruit is gone) that they make a big erroneous stink.

[#] Thu Oct 13 2011 13:16:31 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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Doesn't Seem Like Such An Entirely Good Idea To Me

[#] Thu Oct 13 2011 14:55:20 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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whats the bad idea about scanning DNA from bones?

I Guess its a very alonestanding chance to track a bacteria across centuries...

[#] Sat Oct 15 2011 23:09:37 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Actually, it's been intriguing.

If the pop-science reporting is to be believed, all plagues we endure today are derived from the black plague DNA. It has varied quite a bit since then, but it's still pretty deadly. I think they're trying to figure out what makes it so deadly, ostensibly to find a way to cure it.

[#] Sun Oct 16 2011 08:56:23 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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It's basically a pure exercise in historical epidemiology. We can cure it now via antibiotics (but you still really want to avoid it in the first place.)

Plague is still endemic in woodland critters in areas of the Sierra Nevada. Friends have posted photo recently of the warning signs.

[#] Sun Oct 16 2011 12:07:06 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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so ... learn more about teh black plague and they learn some fundamentals of epidemiology that can be applied elsewhere? Or am I parsing this wrong?

(or alternatively ... cue all of the conspiracy theories about combining black plague with modern buggies to create bio-weapons)

[#] Sun Oct 16 2011 12:17:35 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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I phrased that badly. Yeah, I guess the point is to tease apart whether the plague was so deadly because the bacteria was different, or because of environmental factors. Along the way you learn some useful or useless things about molecular biology and, potentially, destroy the world with an inadvertant lab outbreak ;)

[#] Sun Oct 16 2011 21:22:16 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Cue the monkey named Caeser.

[#] Sun Oct 16 2011 22:27:17 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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Or Project X.  On the other hand, they could use it to control Jurassic Park....

[#] Fri Oct 21 2011 09:32:13 EDT from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Speed of FTL neutrinos is all relative.

[#] Fri Oct 21 2011 11:55:24 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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It seems simple, once you look at it.

[#] Mon Oct 31 2011 17:25:49 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Ok, so the neutrinos were not actually traveling faster than light because their measurements were not accurate.

So why don't they just use the same equipment in the same locations to measure the traveling time of *light* as a reference? It seems that this would have been the very first thing to do -- calibrate the equipment and "tare" it to C.

[#] Mon Oct 31 2011 17:51:31 EDT from LoanShark @ Uncensored

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Their measurements were accurate but they forgot to take into account the effects of special relativity when deriving the actual distance traveled. If they had measured the speed of light (via measurements of a radio wave from lab A to lab B, say), using the same clock as a reference (the same GPS satellite they used), and make the same calculation error, they would have seen that light was travelling faster than light, which would have clued them into their mistake much sooner.

[#] Wed Nov 02 2011 05:26:56 EDT from dothebart @ Uncensored

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well, at first their message read, help, we're searching for the error but don't find it. if, we've found something to travel faster than light...

[#] Tue Nov 22 2011 22:28:53 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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So it's "this is faster than light ... for moderately low values of c"

[#] Wed Nov 23 2011 15:40:40 EST from Spell Binder @ Uncensored

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Through a mountain or any other relatively opaque object, the value is c is definitely lower. :P