Hmm... it'll be interesting to see if that can be replicated.
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.
Doesn't Seem Like Such An Entirely Good Idea To Me
whats the bad idea about scanning DNA from bones?
I Guess its a very alonestanding chance to track a bacteria across centuries...
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.
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.
(or alternatively ... cue all of the conspiracy theories about combining black plague with modern buggies to create bio-weapons)
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 ;)
Cue the monkey named Caeser.
Or Project X. On the other hand, they could use it to control Jurassic Park....
It seems simple, once you look at it.
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.
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.
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...