"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hide and Reveal 

Everyone's already talking about it, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the new theoretical framework for a cloaking device, using metamaterials. I'm not sure how this works...do the materials just 'slip' radiation around them, or disperse it? In the former case, you could have some sort of invisibility, I guess, though I'd suspect that you would see a 'shimmer' not unlike heat mirage. In the latter, you'd just see a black or white blob, which is not invisible. Cool concept, though!

While some scientists are learning to hide things, another group may have revealed the history of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. They've found a wild population of chimps in West Africa infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus from chimps, or SIVcpz, which looks like it may be the virus that originally jumped from chimps to humans many years ago (or closely related to it). Not only could this find lead to better understanding (and hopefully treatment/prevention) of HIV, it could also inform research into how pathogens jump from species to species.

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