Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The Next 500 Years #4

Chromatin is a hybrid structure of DNA and protein that manages the complex problem of packaging 3 billion bases of DNA into a small bundle in the cell that is only a few micrometers in size. This is no small feat. The length of DNA from one cell would measure two meters in length if you stretched it out in front of you. This long DNA not only (obviously) fits inside each cell, but further, it somehow simultaneously has enough room for molecules to access and read it when necessary. This is the equivalent of taking a string that is then length of the world's tallest building (the Burj Khalifa, at 828 meters) and compacting it so that it could fit in the palm of your hand.

pg. 82

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Gravitational Waves

Besides the technical reason for preferring that binary stars should not decay in their orbits, one might speculate that another motive encouraging belief in the existence of a static two-body solution was the same as that for Einstein's instinctive  choice of a static cosmology. There is an ancient prejudice that the universe in general is static

Friday, July 5, 2024

Warp Drive Space Race

In March, for my next series of novels I decided to write about the development of a warp drive. I didn't realize at the time how much work was being done on the concept. I ran across this in the online site The Debrief.
An international team of physicists behind several revolutionary warp drive concepts, including the first to require no exotic matter, says that recent unprecedented breakthroughs in physics and propulsion have launched the world powers into a Cold War-style, 21st-century space race to build the world’s first working warp drive.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

AW #4

The ability to foresee tomorrow's crises, to dramatize their human implications and consequences (and uniquely its unanticipated consequences), and to sample alternatives is one of science fiction's major values. Its more celebrated ability to predict fades to insignificance beside its ability to dramatize.

James Gunn - Alternate Worlds