Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Readings, 23 July 2007

Articles I've come across that may be worth a look.

Thinking Big about Space Telescopes
NASA's next moon rocket is still on the drawing board, but already scientists are dreaming up big new things to do with it.

Astrophysicists draw up wish list
Astroparticle physicists in Europe have identified six key challenges that they face and the new facilities that they need to meet their research aims. Their plans for the next ten years have been outlined in The Astroparticle Physics Roadmap Phase 1 published by ApPEC and ASPERA, which are consortia of national agencies that pay for astroparticle physics research in Europe.

Sounding out the Big Bang
Gravitational waves offer a unique way of studying inflation and other fundamental processes of the very early universe, explains Craig J Hogan, and may even connect string theory with the world of experiment.

The last article here is an absolute must-read if you're curious about the science of "evo devo".

From a Few Genes, Life’s Myriad Shapes
Since its humble beginnings as a single cell, life has evolved into a spectacular array of shapes and sizes, from tiny fleas to towering Tyrannosaurus rex, from slow-soaring vultures to fast-swimming swordfish, and from modest ferns to alluring orchids. But just how such diversity of form could arise out of evolution’s mess of random genetic mutations — how a functional wing could sprout where none had grown before, or how flowers could blossom in what had been a flowerless world — has remained one of the most fascinating and intractable questions in evolutionary biology.


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