Sunday, April 12, 2015

TRANSHUMANISM: "The Science Is Moving Much Faster Than The Ethics" - Why Is The Scientific World Abuzz About An Unpublished Paper, Because It Could PERMANENTLY CHANGE HUMAN DNA?!

Scientists around the world are buzzing about a highly anticipated study that has yet to be published but
could mark a major milestone in genetic and embryonic research.

April 12, 2015 - CHINA - Scientists around the world are anticipating the results of a Chinese study that would mark the first time DNA in a human embryo has been modified in a way that would carry into future generations.

Although the embryos would be for study only, and not intended for implantation, the research would mark a significant milestone: the first time human DNA had been altered so substantially that it would change the “germ line” — the eggs or sperm of any child produced from the embryo.

To say that we’re far away I think would be naive, to embrace it right away without proper testing would also be naive

As scientists debate the practicalities and ethics in journals and online, one expert says he believes the results will land soon.

“There is a paper from China. I don’t think it’s been accepted yet, but I think it will be at some point,” said George Church, a Harvard genetics professor who pioneered genome sequencing in his PhD. He may have some insider insight as well, as one of his researchers, Luhan Yang, was poached from Beijing and is thought to have worked on the forthcoming paper.

Genetics research is already improving medicine, for example, informing women if they are more likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer. Scientists can sequence the human genome and parse it, find out where it goes wrong, and use that information to prevent, treat and even cure certain diseases, with implications for everything from autism to ALS.
A donated human embryo magnified.
Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

But there’s a big difference between gene therapy — a growing field of largely clinical research that uses genes in treatment — and altering the germ line. That’s because current gene therapies make “somatic” changes to DNA, or ones that don’t affect eggs and sperm or embryos.

There are about 2,000 gene-therapy studies underway around the world, Church said. One clinical trial is seeking to turn off the genes that make the body susceptible to the HIV virus. Another pending trial out of the University of Alberta seeks to alter genes in men to stop the progression of a degenerative eye disease that leaves sufferers legally blind by middle age.

In terms of changing the germ line, “we are very close,” Church said. “In animal models, you can make animal sperm that has whatever alteration that you want. To say that we’re far away I think would be naive, to embrace it right away without proper testing would also be naive.”

With the medical advancements come concerns of “designer babies” or a 21st-century version of eugenics.

The science is moving much faster than the ethics

“The science is moving much faster than the ethics,” said Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto.

Germ-line research “does get into deeper questions of eugenics, especially with spectrum disorders,” he said. “We’ve got to take a deep breath because we’re about to alter the human genetic code in a way that it’s never been altered before.”

In fact, in March, a group of leading biologists called for a worldwide moratorium on such research.

Church said however that the concern over germ-line therapies is not unlike the fear in the 1970s over “test-tube babies.” In vitro fertilization is now so common that some provinces cover its health-care costs. - National Post.

EXTREME WEATHER: Massive Wildfires In Siberia - 5 People Dead; Over 100 Others Injured; Over 1,000 Houses Destroyed!

RIA Novosti / Denis Mukimov

April 12, 2015 - SIBERIA, RUSSIA
- Massive fires in the Siberian region of Khakassia have destroyed almost 1,000 homes in over 20 towns and villages. Five people have been killed, while over 100 have received injuries. People setting fire to grasslands have caused the blazes.

Strong gusts of wind have aggravated the situation in the Republic of Khakassia, located in the south of Eastern Siberia, on Sunday afternoon. This has prompted the local authorities to declare a state of emergency.

WATCH: Wildfires in Siberia.

“According to the latest figures, 982 houses have been destroyed or damaged,” a source at the local law-enforcement agency told RIA Novosti. Local emergency officials added that over 100 people have been injured in the blazes.

Over 1,000 people including local residents are fighting the fire. Over 200 fire engines and three fire-fighting trains are aiding them. The Russian Emergency Ministry has prepared two planes and seven helicopters, which will be deployed as soon as the weather conditions improve.

Local residents watch the fire at the outskirts of the city of Abakan (RIA Novosti / Denis Mukimov)

“It is a systematic, annual and continual phenomenon,” the Deputy Head of the Emergency Ministry, Alexander Chupriyan told reporters on Sunday. He added that an “unapproved grassland fire” was the cause of the blaze and that people “are messing around with matches.”

In recent years, raging forest and grassland wildfires in Russia have increased. Activists say this is due to a rise in temperatures and a lack of forestry employees. - RT.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFFS: Disaster Precursors And Warnings From Mother Nature – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Migratory Patterns, Attacks, Deaths, And Appearance Of Rare Creatures!

April 12, 2015 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Hundreds of thousands of fish have died suddenly in fish ponds in Guangdong, China

The morning of April 10, Huizhou Tong Hu Zhen Zhong Kai in a 92 acres of fish ponds, shining white of dead fish floating in the water. According to ponds advocated strong introduction, starting from the afternoon of 8th, ponds are fish float to the surface and started a fish kill phenomena, as of press time, dead fish also is under investigation.

200,000 pounds of fish ponds overnight deaths, a boss in an instant loss of 1 million Yuan. Boss organized workers rushed to spread 2.5 tons of edible salt in the fish ponds, he said ponds ammonia values were too high in salt can detoxify.

Facing the sudden appearance of what fish says he came from 1996 in Huizhou never in such a large area of fish deaths, this loss takes 10 years to make up for it.

Heaped with piles of dead fish on the edge of fish ponds, fish ponds and many dead fish waiting for salvage.

White dead fish floating in the water.

Ponds advocated strong water, ready to go to the police laboratory. - IFENG. [Translated]

Humpback whale found dead near Westport, Washington

A dead baby humpback whale washed up near Westport. © Washington State Parks

A dead baby humpback whale has washed ashore near Westport, Washington.

Cascadia Research told KING-TV they plan to head to Westport at low tide on Sunday to begin their investigation.

The whale was found about a mile north of West Haven State Park on Saturday. - Seattle PI.

Man survives an attack by 3 grizzly bears near Wapiti, Wyoming

Grizzly bear

A Wapiti man is charged by three large grizzlies at once, and he survived. Larry Dickerson said he also taught the bears a lesson they won't soon forget.

This is the time of year that grizzly bears are just out of their dens, and very hungry. That's why Wyoming's Game and Fish Department is holding bear seminars to keep people safe in bear country. That's most of Northwest Wyoming.

Biologists say grizzlies are not necessarily forest animals. They evolved in open grassy areas, like this right behind me. So, they could be found in a lot of places in Northwest Wyoming where people don't expect to find them."

But, Larry Dickerson is not surprised to find grizzlies anywhere near his home. He's encountered them many times in Alaska, and Wyoming. He took the Alaskan grizzly on his wall with a wooden bow.

He faced three charging bears while horn hunting in the back country April 3rd.

Retired biologist Larry Dickerson said, "I looked up to see a bear above me and to my right about sixty yards."

Dickerson reached under his jacket to pull his bear spray.

He said, "She was coming down loping quickly to me."

Then, Dickerson realized she was not alone.

He recalled, "Following her were two two year old cubs that were almost the size of this female."

He was having a hard time getting the safety trigger off with one hand, and the sow was threatening only 25 feet away.

He explained, "She started bouncing on her front feet, which is an aggressive display of a bear. Popping her teeth."

Then he caught a break. He said, "And then there was a very strong crosswind blowing, maybe 25 miles per hour. It was a very windy day.

He said, 'And she walked straight dead downwind of me."

He saw his opening, and hit her with the bear spray. He says she spun, then something surprising happened.

He said, "And bear poop flew out of her butt three feet. And she just started back towards where she had come from."

Dickerson says she ran away and took her big cubs with her. He thinks he taught the bear a lesson that she won't forget.

He explained, "I'm hopeful this particular bear, and hopeful her two-year-olds that learn from momma will react totally different from when they see a human, or encounter a human, that bear will leave."

Dickerson said he is just as likely to see a grizzly while fishing near his Wapiti home, as he is in the back country. - KULR8.

77 year old pensioner eaten by wolf in Russia

'Living in fear': Neighbours say they want police to act quickly

The beast is now being hunted by armed police after the 77 year old was found in a pool of blood

A pensioner eaten by a wolf was just 50 metres from her home when she was savaged by the beast.

The half-eaten remains of Lima Ankudinova, 77, were discovered in a pool of blood by horrified neighbours.

The elderly woman was making her way home through thick snow when she was attacked by the animal, which is now being hunted by armed police.

One neighbour described how she found Ms Ankudinova with one of her legs entirely missing and the other one partially ripped off.

Fedot Nekrasov, 68, said: "I had gone out in the morning as I do everyday for a brisk walk when I came across her body.

"One of her legs had been entirely eaten and so had half of the other one.

"Also the top of her head was missing.

"It was a grim sight alright."

An autopsy revealed that the woman had probably died from a heart attack before being eaten by the wolf.

But residents of Borovitsa in central Russia, where the woman was killed, now say they are living in fear for their lives.

Shop owner Natalia Nekrasova, 56, said: "It doesn't matter if it ate her when she was dead or whether it killed her and then ate her.

"What matters is that it now has a taste for human blood and could come back for more.

"People can't run as fast as wolves and we, especially the children around here, are easy targets."

A police spokesman said: "We have spoken to the relevant local authorities who have agreed that we should take action.

"We have therefore deployed armed officers and hunters to find the wolf and destroy it." - Daily Mirror.

Man killed by elephant in Dooars, India

Asian elephant

A herd of elephants entered Karbela tea garden of Dooars on Sunday morning and started a rampage which cost life tea worker working there at the time.

The deceased has been identified as Nelson Munda. He was a contractual worker working at the garden when suddenly the elephant herd entered into the tea garden. The jumbos killed him before he could escape with his life. This caused a panic among the other workers and the work was halted for some time.

Angered by the repeated incidents of elephant attack on the tea workers there, the workers demonstrated against the tea garden authority and the forest department demanding security for working there. Later police retrieved the body.  - The Echo of India.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes On German Motorway Just Feet Away From Passing Cars - Pilot Killed And Three Passengers Injured!

Crash: The male pilot is believed to have died in the crash on Autobahn 28 near Hatten, Oldenburg today

April 12, 2015 - GERMANY
- One man has died after a sports plane crashed onto a motorway in north-west Germany on Sunday afternoon.

The four-seater plane is believed to have come down near Hatten, Oldenburg, shortly after taking off from a nearby airfield.

The male pilot was killed in the crash, and three passengers have been taken to a nearby hospital, local police said.

One man, believed to have been co-piloting the Cessna 172,  is in a 'serious condition', according to emergency services.

The small plane crash-landed between a wildlife fence and a guardrail, just feet away from passing cars, Nordwest-Zeitung reports.

According to police, the male pilot was killed, and three passengers severely injured, but the cause of the crash remains unknown

Down: The plane crash-landed between a wildlife fence and a guardrail, just feet away from passing cars

'One person has died and two are seriously injured,' an emergency service spokesperson told Bild newspaper, while reports of a third injured passenger appeared in other newspapers.

A large number of emergency personnel arrived at the scene and Autobahn 28 remains cordoned off.

The cause of the crash is yet unclear, and police are expected to launch an investigation. - Daily Mail.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Massive Sinkhole Closes Roads On Stark Street, Oregon; And Sinkholes Opens Up In Longview, Texas!

April 12, 2015 - UNITED STATES - Here are several of the latest reports of sinkholes across the United States as monumental planetary transformations continue.

Massive Sinkhole Closes Roads On Stark Street, Oregon

Before the county could begin repairing the sinkhole on Stark Street, workers had to excavate the hole 10 feet down.

Some Troutdale residents may have noticed Southeast Stark Street looking a little different the morning of Saturday, April 4, when a sinkhole appeared in the road between Southeast Kerslake Road and the Stark Street Bridge.

Callers informed 911 responders of a pothole developing in the road, to which Multnomah County Road Maintenance responded. Upon inspection, they discovered the mysterious void was not a pothole, but a sinkhole with historical implications.

“In the old days, it was common to use planks (logs) as a base for roadways or build a roadway over stumps,” said Mike Pullen, Multnomah County communications officer. “Over time, these buried wood sections rot and deteriorate, creating a sinkhole.”

The road crew spent two days patching the hole, which has been sealed with asphalt.

Responding to the sinkhole, road crews expanded the opening to a 10-foot-by-10-foot space, excavating down 10 feet. They removed a large chunk of rotten wood and created a temporary patch with rock and asphalt. Pullen said crews returned Monday, April 6, for exploratory excavating, which resulted in more rotten wood and a single lane closure. Work continued into Tuesday to complete repairs and seal the hole with a layer of asphalt.

The Stark Street sinkhole situation should be resolved for now, but with wood-based roads dating back to the 1900s, it’s possible sinkholes could become more common.

“The sinkholes are found on county roads from time to time. We expect to keep finding them, because it is a slow process for the wood to rot under the road,” Pullen said. “We do not know what is buried under all our roads, because they are old, and the records were not well kept in the old days. We have learned about the old road-building techniques over the years by making repairs like this one.”  - Pamplin Media Group.

Sinkhole opens up in Longview, Texas - closes streets

A sinkhole on one of Longview busiest roads is delaying traffic.

The 2 1/2 foot wide, 3 foot deep hole is in the outside northbound lane of the 1600 block of Judson Road, between Iris Circle and Montclair Street. Longview police and street crews are on the scene, barricading the lane and waiting to fix the problem.

Judson Road handles more than 17,000 cars a day. - KYTX CBS 19.

PARADIGM SHIFT: The Rise Of The BRICS - China-Led Asian Investment Bank Welcomes 5 New Members!

China's President Xi Jinping (3rd R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 24, 2014. (Reuters/Takaki Yajima)

April 12, 2015 - CHINA
- The founding states of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have approved the applications of Brazil, Georgia, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands as founding members, the Chinese Finance Ministry announced Saturday.

"With the consent of the existing founding members, the Netherlands, Brazil, Finland, Georgia and Denmark officially became founding countries of the AIIB on April 12," the ministry said in a statement on its website, adding that the total number of founders has now reached 46.

The founding members have a priority over others, as they possess the right to establish the rules for the bank’s activities.

Applications to join the bank with the rights of founding members were filed by 52 countries, including Russia. The final list of AIIB founding members will be announced April 15.

The United States and Japan are the two big holdouts who have abstained from joining the AIIB. Earlier media reported that China had rejected the request of North Korea; however, the country’s Foreign Ministry hasn’t confirmed this information, saying that it "doesn’t possess any relevant information." Taiwan has applied for membership in the AIIB despite the animosity and lack of formal diplomatic relations between the island and continental China.

Experts consider AIIB a potential competitor to such global financial institutions as the US-led IMF and World Bank. However, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said earlier in March that the IMF and the World Bank would be "delighted" to cooperate with the AIIB. Beijing has repeatedly said that AIIB will be a fine complement to the existing international financial institutions.

In October 2014, 21 countries signed the agreement on establishing the AIIB, which is intended to finance infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific Region. The bank plans to rapidly increase its initial subscribed capital of $50 billion to $100 billion. - RT.

MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Sinkholes As Deep As EIGHT-STORY BUILDINGS Form Along Shoreline Of The DISAPPEARING Dead Sea - Over 3,000 Sinkholes Exist Along The Banks! [STUNNING PHOTOS]

In Mark Wilson's blog, he explained that the canyon in the image above may have formed in less than three months. "This little canyon is cutting through Dead
Sea sediments that are exposed by the rapid fall of water level," Wilson said in his post.  (Photo/Mark Wilson)

April 12, 2015 - DEAD SEA
- The Dead Sea is disappearing at an alarming rate, leaving behind thousands of sinkholes that are chipping away at the coastlines vibrant and touristy atmosphere.

The Dead Sea - which is actually a lake - is known for being almost 10 times as salty as the ocean and for having the lowest elevation on Earth. However, over the last few decades, the shoreline has become known for sinkholes that appear to just pop up out of nowhere.

More than 3,000 sinkholes exist along the banks of the Dead Sea, ABC News reported. And some of these craters dive 80 feet into the ground - the equivalent of about an eight-story building.

Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director at EcoPeace Middle East, told ABC news that "these sinkholes are the direct result of inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region."

The Dead Sea is robbed of 2 billion gallons of water each year because of water diverted from the lake's main water source - the Jordan River - since the 1960s, according to the American Associate, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Mining of minerals from the Dead Sea has also contributed to the disappearance of the lake's dense and salty water.


(Photo/Menashe Davidson)

Geologist Eli Raz of Israel's Dead Sea and Arava Research Center, who has studied these sinkholes in depth, said in a research paper that the largest sinkhole to
date is about 80 feet in depth and 130 feet in diameter. These sinkholes can also collapse into one another, forming larger, more dangerous craters. 


(Photo/American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)


According to Mark Wilson's blog, sinkholes often appear as small, round holes. But, he said, "looking inside, we could see that there is a significant room-sized
cavern underneath. Soon the roof will collapse and a new mature sinkhole will appear."    (Photo/Mark Wilson)

(Photo/American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Many of the once-bustling tourist beaches are now left desolate due to unstable conditions, according to the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of
the Negev. ABC reported that a 300-meter section of road was closed in February due to sinkholes, and it could take between six to 12 months to repair. 
(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

(Photo/Mark Wilson)

(Photo/American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

(Photo/Mark Wilson)

(© Shmuel Browns, used with permission,

The 2 billion gallons of water translates to a decline in water levels of a meter every year (on average) or a total of 30 meters since 1970, according to research conducted by Duke University.

"With the Dead Sea level dropping so rapidly [a meter a year, on average], these sinkholes are inevitable," said Mark Wilson, a geology professor at the College of Wooster.

While researchers have agreed on different hypotheses, not many disagree that the declining water levels are behind the phenomenon.

David Ozsvath, a professor of Geology at the University of Wisconsin, said beneath the clay-like surface layer are cavernous spaces that are filled with water. However, as these subterranean spaces dry up with the receding water levels, the surface layer can collapse into the emptied space creating chasms along the banks.
Ozsvath said some sinkholes form over time, while other appear overnight. An earthquake or even heavy rain can cause a sinkhole to collapse into the drained voids in the subsurface.

He added that the number of developing sinkholes could be reduced by diverting less water from the Jordan River and allowing water levels in the Dead Sea to rise. - AccuWeather.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hit Sarajevo Area, Bosnia & Hercegovina!

4.3 magnitude earthquake hit Sarajevo area

- An earthquake measuring 4.3 degrees hit the area of Sarajevo at 2:05 a.m. local time and its epicenter was 20 kilometers southeast of the capital.

The estimated intensity of earthquake in the epicenter area was 6 degrees MCS, said Hydrometeorological Institute of RS.

Residents of town of Pala felt it the most intensely. The earthquake occurred at a depth of two kilometers.

A quake of this magnitude can not cause damage to most buildings, but can damage old and poorly-built facilities. - Bosnia Today.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: The H5N2 Strain - Bird Flu Outbreak Spreads To Three More U.S. Midwest Turkey Farms!

In this Nov. 2, 2005 file photo, turkeys are pictured at a turkey farm near Sauk Centre , Minn. A deadly strain of bird flu has reached the Midwest, killing or
requiring hundreds of thousands of turkeys to be euthanized. (AP Photo/Janet Hostetter,File)

April 12, 2015 - U.S. MIDWEST
- A bird flu outbreak that has puzzled scientists spread to three more Midwest turkey farms, bringing the number of farms infected to 23 and raising the death toll to more than 1.2 million birds killed by the disease or by authorities scrambling to contain it.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed on Saturday that the H5N2 strain of avian influenza was found among 38,000 birds at a commercial farm in Kandiyohi County in west-central Minnesota. It's the third confirmed outbreak in Kandiyohi, which is the top turkey producing county in the country's top turkey producing state.

This was after the USDA confirmed late Friday that bird flu was found at two more South Dakota farms, saying it had infected a flock of 53,000 turkeys at a farm in McCook County and in a flock of 46,000 turkeys at a farm in McPherson County.

South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said crews were working Saturday to begin euthanizing any birds not killed by the highly contagious strain to prevent the virus from spreading.

Once those birds have been destroyed, the 23 farms in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas will have lost more than 1.2 million turkeys, a small fraction of the 235 million turkeys produced nationally in 2014. Canadian officials also confirmed earlier in the week that a turkey farm in southern Ontario with 44,800 birds was hit, too.

Ken Rutledge, the CEO of Dakota Provisions, the only commercial turkey processing plant in South Dakota, said the more than 200,000 turkeys affected in the Dakotas so far account for about 5 percent of his total annual production.

"It probably will not impact our ability to service our customers, but is a serious impact in terms of lost volume at our plant and, obviously, is a severe impact to the growers themselves," Rutledge said.

In Minnesota, turkey producers have now lost over 900,000 birds.

Scientists suspect migratory waterfowl such as ducks are the reservoir of the virus. They can spread it through their droppings. They're still trying to determine how the virus has managed to evade the strict biosecurity that's standard practice at commercial turkey farms. The virus can be carried into barns by workers or by rodents and wild birds that sneak inside.

Dr. Beth Thompson, assistant director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, said the reason Minnesota has had so many cases has a lot to do with the fact that it's the country's top turkey producing state, and that it has a myriad of ponds and lakes that are attractive stopover places for migrating waterfowl such as ducks.

"We have to think about what Minnesota is. It's the Land of 10,000 Lakes bringing the wild waterfowl into Minnesota, and we're also number one in turkey production. I think that answers the question, that we do have a lot of turkey barns out there, and that is why we are seeing the infection rate we are in those facilities," she told reporters Friday.

Officials stress the risk to public health is low and that there's no danger to the food supply. No human cases have been detected in the U.S.

Because trucks and equipment provide a potential way to carry the virus onto farms, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed an executive order Friday lifting seasonal weight restrictions for poultry feed trucks and trailers, and for emergency equipment being used in the response. His order said tightening biosecurity by reducing the number of trips to poultry farms is critical to lowering the risk of introducing the virus to non-infected farms.

While South Dakota's taken a drubbing in the last two weeks, Oedekoven, the state veterinarian, said tests on poultry living in the 10-kilometer quarantine zones of the state's first two farms have almost all come back without any signs of the disease. They're still awaiting a few results.

And he said for the time being, no other possible cases are pending confirmation in the state.

"If we can get a couple nice days of sunshine here and have everybody just wash their boots and blow their nose, we'll hope for the best," he said. - AP.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Mount Etna Volcano Update - Explosions At Bocca Nuova Crater!

April 12, 2015 - SICILY, ITALY - A short sequence of seismo-volcanic events occurred a few hours ago ended with two ash explosions at the Bocca Nuova Crater.

Ash emission from Bocca Nuova (INGV webcam)

Ash emission from Bocca Nuova (Montagnola thermal webcam, INGV Catania)

- Volcano Discovery.

COSMIC CATACLYSMS: Scientists Say That Earth's Moon Was Formed After Planetary Collision Of Earth With Large Protoplanet - Could This Happen Again In The Near Future?!

April 12, 2015 - SPACE
- Where did the Moon come from? That question has long intrigued scientists.

Various hypotheses hold that Earth, which formed some 4.5 billion years ago, either captured its lunar companion, expelled it from its ancient, quickly spinning mass, or that the Moon formed, along with Earth, from a primordial accretion disk. Since the 1970s, however, the predominant theory has been what is known as the ‘Giant ImpactHypothesis.’

According to the Giant Impact Hypothesis, a Mars-sized space rock dubbed ‘Theia’ slammed into Earth, creating an enormous ring of debris around the planet that eventually accreted to become the Moon. The main problem with this notion, however, is that the Moon’s composition is remarkably similar to Earth’s when, according to some models, it should be much more similar to Theia’s.

“In terms of composition, the Earth and moon are almost twins, their compositions differing by at most a few parts per million,” said Alesseandra Matstrobuono-Battisti, an astrophysicist at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, in a report by “This contradiction has cast a long shadow on the giant-impact model.”

But now, lead author Matstrobuono-Battisti and her colleagues say they have identified significant differences in the isotopes of oxygen present on the Earth and the Moon—a finding that lends weight to the Giant Impact Hypothesis. Their research is detailed in the April 9 issue of the journal Nature.

Symbolic Echoes Of Past Planetary Upheavals: Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro is known to construct enormous spheres with layers of complexities. One of
his monumental orbs was commissioned by the Priest Class and stands tall as the centerpiece of the Courtyard of the Pinecone at the Vatican Museum.
The structure titled Sfera con Sfera, translated as Sphere within a Sphere, is a bronze statue that appears golden
as the sun shines down on it. It is 4 meters (a little over 13 feet) in diameter.

After conducting a series of simulations, the scientists found that collisions occurring in a disk pattern like the one from which Earth emerged tended to produce three to four rocky planets, with the largest having a mass similar to Earth’s, according to a report by The Christian Science Monitor.

Often these primordial worlds had differing compositions—except that 20 to 40 percent of the time, the composition of one planet was nearly identical to the last space body it had collided with. This calculation finds the probability of this scenario is 10 times greater than prior estimates, the report said.

“The most exciting and surprising thing was to find out that we can shed new light on a 30-year-old mystery,” said co-author Hagai Perets, also an astrophysicist at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, in remarks to  “Compositionally similar planet-impactor pairs are not rare at all.”

WATCH: Earth’s moon formed after planetary collision with large protoplanet – researchers.

- Science Recorder.

EXTREME WEATHER: "The Water Was Rising And It Kept Going Higher And Higher" - Severe Storms Bring Flooding, Hail And Tornadoes To Ohio!

2015's flooding along the Ohio River forced many communities to evacuate, leaving behinding haunting scenes of damage.© Scripps Media, Inc.

April 12, 2015 - OHIO, UNITED STATES
- Heavy rain and storms moved out of Ohio yesterday, wrapping up a soggy workweek that brought flooding and damage to many parts of the state.

Flood warnings and flash-flood watches lingered yesterday in southern and southeastern Ohio while residents of other areas assessed this week's weather damage.

Flooding in Tuscarawas and Harrison counties in eastern Ohio on Thursday turned yards into lakes and kept many drivers off the roads, WKYC-TV of Cleveland reported.

"The water was rising, and it kept going higher and higher with all the rain," said Sherry Byrd in Harrison County. "This is the worst we've ever seen it."

Severe winds in Blue Rock brought down trees and power lines on Thursday, leaving 1,200 residents of the Muskingum County village without power, according to the Times Recorder in Zanesville.

Ohio is expected to have several mostly dry days after the rain moved out of the state yesterday.

In northwestern Ohio, the National Weather Service planned to dispatch a survey crew to Lucas, Ottawa and Wood counties yesterday to assess damage and see whether any of the numerous reports of funnel clouds and some reports of tornadoes on the ground on Thursday could be confirmed.

A tornado was reported on the ground along Rt. 795 in Wood County's Lake Township before 8:30 p.m. Thursday and then near Dunbridge and Reitz roads, about 10 miles north of Bowling Green. There were no reports of injuries or property damage. Wood County deputy sheriffs reported utility poles were down along Rt. 199 near Lime City Road, also about 10 miles north of Bowling Green.

In Ottawa County, where spotters reported a tornado on the ground in the Genoa area about 8:40 p.m., deputies reported no damage or injuries.

The weather service received reports of hail throughout northwestern Ohio, ranging from three-quarter-inch-diameter hailstones near Whitehouse to 11/2-inch- diameter hailstones south of Perrysburg.

Funnel clouds were reported near Maumee, Walbridge, Van Buren and Fostoria. Martin Thompson, a hydrometeorological technician with the weather service in Cleveland, said reports showed that none of the funnels touched down.

Mark Durbin, a FirstEnergy spokesman, said about 1,500 utility customers lost power in northwestern Ohio because of downed lines from late morning to early evening Thursday. Outages were "widely scattered," he said. Utility crews restored power to all affected customers by early Thursday night, he said.  - Columbus Dispatch.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Fireball Meteor Detected Over Alabama - NASA Confirms!

File photo.

- A fireball was recorded over Alabama at about 1:15 a.m. by NASA cameras in Huntsville and in Tullahoma, Tenn., Dr. Bill Cooke with NASA confirmed to news partner WHNT News 19.

The meteor's path is shown on this map from WHNT News 19 on Kelly Kazek |

The meteor was recorded 45 miles above Carrollton in Pickens County, west of Tuscaloosa before it burned out at about 18 miles, according to WHNT's report on

WATCH: Fireball creates a "great flash" before impact.

It had been traveling north at 42,000 miles per hour before extinguishing. - AL.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes At Dundee Farmstay In Northern New South Wales, Australia - Two People Killed!

The Microlight plane crash in Glen Innes Photo: Tony Grant, The Glen Innes Examiner

- Two people have been killed in a light plane crash at a farmstay on New South Wales' northern tablelands.

Emergency services were called to the River Glen B&B Farmstay at Dundee about 10:30am on Sunday.

 The Microlight plane crash in Glen Innes Photo: Tony Grant, The Glen Innes Examiner

The 51-year-old male pilot and his 55-year-old female passenger were the only people on board the plane and both died at the scene, police said.

The pair had been staying at the property, north of Glen Innes, which has two private airstrips for microlight aircraft.

Photo: The pilot and a passenger were the only people on board the plane. (ABC News)

The ABC understands they were friends of the owners of the Nine Mile Road property, which also hosts farm activities and fishing tours for those staying in the homestead-style accommodation.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash and a report will be prepared for the coroner. - ABC News Australia.

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Extreme Drought, Water & Food Crisis - Water Rapidly Vanishing In California's Biggest Delta!

- Fresh water is mysteriously disappearing from the Sacramento-San Jose Joaquin River Delta, amid California’s worst recorded drought. The blame is being pointed at farmers, who have used the water resources for irrigation for generations.

Following complaints from two state agencies, the Department of Water Resources and the US Bureau of Reclamation, an investigation has been launched into how much water Delta farmers are taking.

The Delta, which includes large swathes of farmland, is made up of a large inland estuary to the east of San Francisco, which is fed by rivers flowing down from the Sierra Nevada and northern mountain ranges.

As a result of the ongoing drought, which is now in its fourth year, officials have been concerned that salty bay water was backing up into the Delta, as there was not enough fresh water getting through. To combat this, in June, water was released from Lake Oroville amounting to “thousands of acre-feet of water a day for a couple of weeks,” said Nancy Vogel, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Water Resources.

The fact that the famers were using so much water from the storage, sparked the investigation. However, officials are not sure if farmers are acting illegally and taking water they should not be using.

“We don’t know if there were illegal diversions going on at this time. Right now, a large information gap exists,” said Vogel.

However, California’s century old water right system is doubtless complicating the situation. Historically, people with senior water rights can take as much water as they want, even during a drought.

Reuters / Lucy Nicholson

450 farmers were told to report their water diversions and Katherine Mrowka, the state water board enforcement manager, said that the vast majority responded.

The state governor Jerry Brown has said that if the drought continues, the water rights system, which is built into the Californian law, may have to be overhauled.

But Delta farmers are likely to resist any changes.

“If there’s surplus water, hey, I don’t mind sharing it. I don’t want anybody with junior water rights leapfrogging my senior water rights just because they have more money and more political clout,” said Rudy Mussi, a Delta farmer.

The situation is worse in the Central Valley, away from the Delta.

Shawn Coburn who farms 1,500 acres (607 hectares), 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the Delta, said that he thinks he will receive 45 percent less water than he expects as a senior rights water user. On another 1,500 acres where he has junior water rights he will receive no water for the second year in a row.

“I don’t like to pick on other farmers, even if it wasn’t a drought year. The only difference is I don’t have a pipe in the Delta I can suck willy-nilly whenever I want,” said Coburn.

Last month Brown introduced California’s first mandatory water restrictions. A draft of measures will see golf courses, campuses and other places with large landscapes make significant cuts to water use. New homes and developments will not be irrigated with water that could be used for human needs and there will be a complete ban on the watering of ornamental grass on public streets.

New projects are set to be put in place to replace 50 million square feet (4.6 million square meters) of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant plants and landscaping. There will also be a consumer rebate system to replace old appliances with more water efficient models.

But as Californians feel the heat from the worst drought ever recorded, energy companies in the sunshine state have used 70 million gallons (264 million litres) of water for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, last year. - RT.