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1. Life Itself: Accident or Design? [SIS C&C Review $]
... ' basis, has led some to consider other possibilities. Seven Clues to the Origin of Life is concerned with one such possibility, that the first living organisms may have had chemistries based on silicon rather than, as now, carbon. This is the suggestion of Graham Cairns-Smith, a chemist at the University of Glasgow, and his idea is discussed, ... , the basic stuff of life. Miller's results, which he published in a modest two-page article in Science, seemed to provide stunning evidence that life could arise out of simple chemical reactions in the 'primordial soup'. Pundits speculated that scientists, like Mary Shelley's Dr Frankenstein, would shortly conjure up living organisms in their laboratories and thereby demonstrate in detail how ... one such possibility, that the first living organisms may have had chemistries based on silicon rather than, as now, carbon. This is the suggestion of Graham Cairns-Smith, a chemist at the University of Glasgow, and his idea is discussed, in varying amounts of detail, in Origins, Blueprints and The Cosmic Blueprint. In Seven Clues to the Origin ...
2. Pleiongaea: A Myth for all Seasons [Aeon Journal $]
... about one-tenth Earth's mass catastrophically collided with our planet sending superheated debris and gases into a ringworld orbit, where the solid matter condensed and coalesced into the Moon, and where the chemical and physical characters of both bodies were preserved. (2) Well, it appears that with these choices we could place a bet, roll the dice, and hope for ... objections of critics who can't imagine where the excess angular momentum came from to make proto-Earth spin so wildly. The capture hypothesis had one of its foremost paladins in the late physical chemist Harold C. Urey. He had urged NASA to bring back lunar samples from the Apollo landings-- which they did, 380 kilograms worth-- to look for what ... pressure at Earth's surface, or about 2,000 times that found in the bathyl zone of our present-day oceans. Even if this figure is off by some margin, the chemistry involved-- at anything approaching some 8 million kilograms per square centimeter (57,000 tons per square inch)-- would take us to the very fringes of today's ...
3. Chapter 11 [Alternative Science Website]
... of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute and published in 1927. As a result of Allison's work, scores of papers were published in journals such as Physical Review and Journal of the American Chemical Society and Allison and his co-workers even claimed to have discovered new isotopes and new elements. Indeed, as we will see later, there is a good case to be made ... same refractive indices he had obtained earlier. Once Wood published this story, Blondlot was permanently discredited. This example was recounted in some detail by Dr Irving Langmuir, a physical chemist who won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1932 for his studies of molecular films. He worked from 1909 to 1950 in the U.S. General Electric Company's research laboratory at Schenectady ... In the course of his career he collected examples of what he called 'pathological science', cases of otherwise respected scientists deluding themselves into believing that they have discovered novel phenomena. Langmuir never published his work but in 1953 he held a colloquium on the subject at General Electric's Atomic Power Laboratory. In 1966 a recording of the lecture was discovered in the Library ...
4. Obituary: Melvin Cook (1911-2000) [SIS C&C Review $]
... (Stockholm, 1968), he was awarded the Nitro-Nobel Gold Medallion. Dr. Cook received several other awards, including the E. V. Murphree Award of the American Chemical Society in 1963 and the Chemical Pioneer Award of the American Institute of Chemists in 1973. As well as his professorship, Dr. Cook was also Director at the Institute of ... a PhD in physical chemistry in 1937. One of his most important scientific contributions was the 'Thermohydrodynamic Theory and Mechanism of Detonation', which he developed in 1942 as a research chemist at the DuPont Company and he received a special award from the US Army in 1992 for his work on the design of the shaped charge for the bazooka anti-tank weapon in World ... Cook (1911-2000) Alasdair Beal Dr. Melvin A. Cook, who died in October 2000, was born in Utah in 1911. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from Utah University and went on to Yale in 1934, where he received a PhD in physical chemistry in 1937. One of his most important scientific contributions was the 'Thermohydrodynamic Theory ...
5. The Synthesis of Manna [Pensee]
... is a potential oxidizing agent. Sub-layers can also be produced (e.g. ozone by ultraviolet-rays on oxygen) by the action of cosmic radiations. Cosmic rays and particles can energize chemical reactions. Scattered over the upper atmosphere are dust particles of various kinds, including iron, nickel, calcium, potassium, and titanium; these are potential catalysts. Thermal agitation ... refers to Exodus and Numbers, one finds that manna was deposited early in the morning with the dew. Dr. A. J. Swallow, in his text, Radiation Chemistry of Organic Compounds, writes (5): "The synthesis of organic compounds through the agency of high-energy radiation has been amply demonstrated in the laboratory, an elementary example being ... the hydrocarbon clouds precipitated in a rain of gasoline, kerosene, and asphalt... Can a cloud of gasoline vapour precipitate as a sugar-like compound? This I'm afraid is chemically impossible." Of course carbohydrates cannot be precipitated from hydrocarbons but, as a man of prolific imagination, Asimov should realize that there was a possibility for the Venusian hydrocarbons to ...
6. THE LATELY TORTURED EARTH: PART II: EXOTERRESTRIAL DROPS: 10.Metals, Salt and Oil [Quantavolution Website]
... , a pre-eminent paleo-geochemist, lately of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, used the conventional age estimates given above in making a calculation of some social significance. Reminiscent of the Dow Chemical Company's claim about natural dioxins mentioned in the previous chapter, oil shipping interests have protested that only half the ocean's petroleum content comes from polluting practices and the other half comes from ... one may suspect an exoterrestrial origin of the Nevada gold as well. Conventionally, studies of the origins of metals and their cultural recognition do not mention any exoterrestrial contribution to their chemistry, appearance or use. Instead, they are looked upon as components of igneous intrusions. Speaking of gold, silver, copper, lead and tin, Clair Patterson in his ... Nor even is the intrusiveness manifest; the term seems to define itself, as simply something differing from its surroundings, not a clean belt or stratum, but as a conglomerate chemically, physically, and morphologically. Ore is the valued part of minerals, including metals. The modern processes used to isolate ore are imitations of nature. Crushing is first, ...
7. The Stone of Shamir (Vox Populi) [Kronos $]
... Ouroboros in the act of biting its own tail. In this fashion Shamir became the mystical "symbol of the eternal cycle of world changes, as also of the cycle of chemical transformation, distillation, and condensation"(2) of the alchemists. And, in a manuscript dating from 1478. a copy of that from St. Mark's prepared in ... who wrote during the first through seventh centuries, when a transformation was taking place to give the practical arts a more philosophical basis in an attempt to rationalize the inchoate discipline of chemistry.(4) But even this early effort was based on the antedated work of more ancient Egyptian and later Creek metallurgists, who were more practical-minded, yet not without their ... than an actual tactile relief.( 10) Such gems as opal are silicates which contain considerable water of crystallization. Exposure to alpha radiation would disintegrate these crystals by releasing this chemically bound water, which would volatilize and leave no apparent residue, while the surface of the gem would present a cloudy or granular texture. That Shamir had the capacity to " ...
... history is more convincing than the evidence he adduces for the mechanism by which this was accomplished. Nilsson has probably not solved the problem of the origin of species, and his chemical focus on proteins rather than on DNA sounds a bit old-fashioned. However, as an enthusiastic proponent of Oparin and origin-of-life chemistry, he is as representative of molecular reductionism as are ... with more famous names. Nilsson too postulates the same vague but promising watery world rich in complex molecules that can be activated under certain unusual conditions of energy transfer. The chemistry of catalysts, especially as manifested in various industrial processes of synthesis (polypeptides, ferments, etc.), seems to Nilsson the key to emication: The protoplasm is a pan-catalytic ... of monophyletic evolution, Nilsson posits as happening billions of times simultaneously at least as often as there are world-wide catastrophes. Presumably each new time of creation has a greater range of chemically prefabricated materials, complex molecules, to work with and thus the possibility of more potentially complex "eggs" being formed (in accord with the latest evidence for DNA transduction) ...
9. Manna as a Confection [SIS C&C Review $]
... its melting property b-Maltose Actual Synthesis of Starches IT IS UNFORTUNATELY MORE DIFFICULT to specify a potentially practical onward route of synthesis from sugars to starches. There have been many attempts at chemical synthesis of polysaccharides from monosaccharides and some measure of success has certainly been achieved; but it still falls a very long way short of what is needed for production of manna, ... of the chemical reactions occurring inside the cloud. It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the other products was a range of synthetic perfumes and it is probable that a perfumery chemist would not have too much difficulty in building up a route of synthesis for several common "synthetic" perfumes and flavouring matters (cuminaldehyde, di-pentene, pinene etc.), ... as "An Encyclopaedia of Chemicals and Drugs", this excellent book of reference was found invaluable for tracking down many other items cited in this article. 5. "Organic Chemistry" by Lewis F. Hatch, published 1955 by McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc., p.111. 6. "Formation synthétique d'une substance sucrée" by M.A. Butlerow, ...
10. Thoth Vol. III, No. 13 Oct 15, 1999 [Thoth Website]
... Io is covered in sulphur by the same mechanism and it is still happening, unrecognised, under the gaze of the Galileo cameras. Wal Thornhill.... BATTERY ACID CHEMICAL FOUND ON JUPITER'S MOON EUROPA Sulfuric acid-- a corrosive chemical found on Earth in car batteries-- exists on the frozen surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. "This ... University of Hawaii and other members of the instrument team, who suggested that sulfate salts of this type were present on Europa. Carlson, Johnson and co-author Mark Anderson, a chemist in JPL's Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, plan to study Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, to see if it also contains sulfuric acid. The near-infrared mapping spectrometer works like a prism to ... up infrared light not visible to the naked eye. Scientists can study the resulting light patterns to determine what chemicals are present, since different chemicals absorb infrared light differently. Galileo has been orbiting Jupiter and its moons for nearly four years. More information on the Galileo mission is available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo ...
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