Monthly Archives: April 2011

Scientific Discoveries this week: 4-25-11

London, United Kingdom – Mosquitoes that are unable to transmit the deadly malaria virus have been successfully developed by researchers, but difficulties in making the new species catch on has driven a group of scientists at the Imperial College of London to work on developing genes that will allow them to spread in the wild. The new mosquitoes have been around for many years, but until recently they were unable to survive in the larger world population. And with hundreds of billions of wild mosquitoes in the world, even a million of these so-called ”disease-proof” mosquitoes would have no effect. With these new genes, the mosquitoes will reproduce more rapidly, hopefully causing the new species to out-compete the wild species.

Fanfiction convention in Denver

The International Fanfiction and Fanart Convention, fondly called “Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like Fandoms” by attendees, is coming to the mile-high city May 13-16. Several Mines students and alums will be speaking at the event, mostly to provide engineering advice on the “FanFix” panel. The panel will provide tips and guidelines for authors who approach fanfiction as a way to fix glaring plot holes, character mis-development, and unrealistic technology in the original work.

Movie Review: The Ox-Bow Incident

Sometimes even the most avid movie-goer can become frustrated with the latest releases and turn to older films for entertainment. And although there are many worthy classics, a lesser known, yet equally admirable option is “The Ox-Bow Incident.” This 1943 film follows the tragic actions of a lynch mob in 1885 Nevada to expose the irrationality of the mob mentality.

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The Stars Above Mines: Welcome to the Spring sky

After what has been a fun time covering rockets, space history, and planets, it is time to return to what we can see for ourselves. The spring sky is one of the more beautiful configurations of the heavens above. The large powerful constellations such as Orion and Cassiopeia still shine in west and new constellations such as Boötes can be found after sunset in the fresh new eastern sky. This particular spring is made all the better by the presence of Saturn to the southeast along with the upcoming new moon next Monday.

Not a Ductile metal

Dr. Dan Miracle described a glass as a material with no symmetry, “A material that not only has no micro structure, it doesn’t even have an atomic structure.” These amorphous materials are actually made out of metals and are known as bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) because they can be produced in large quantities. BMGs are incredibly versatile and uses for them include anti-theft devices, cell phone cases, and even products allowing the processing of metals as if they were plastics.

Uncertainty with Fukishima

Few events have resonated within the core of society recently like the earthquake and tsunami that hit the nation of Japan on March 11, 2011. While the destruction wrought by the earthquake itself and the tsunami has been more than substantial, the nuclear emergency at Fukushima Daiichi has been a major event that will likely remain in the consciousness of the world for quite some time. This past week, the Mines campus hosted one of its own, Dr. Jeffrey King of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program, to speak about the history and effects of this cataclysm.

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