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Hawking cracks black hole paradox
(New Scientist 14 July 2004)
After nearly 30 years of arguing that a black hole destroys everything that falls into it, Stephen Hawking is saying he was wrong. It seems that black holes may after all allow information within them to escape. . . . it might solve one of the long-standing puzzles in modern physics, known as the black hole information paradox. . . . It was Hawking's own work that created the paradox. In 1976, he calculated that once a black hole forms, it starts losing mass by radiating energy. This "Hawking radiation" contains no information about the matter inside the black hole and once the black hole evaporates, all information is lost. . . . But this conflicts with the laws of quantum physics, which say that such information can never be completely wiped out. Hawking's argument was that the intense gravitational fields of black holes somehow unravel the laws of quantum physics. . . . Other physicists have tried to chip away at this paradox. Earlier in 2004, Samir Mathur of Ohio State University in Columbus and his colleagues showed that if a black hole is modelled according to string theory - in which the universe is made of tiny, vibrating strings rather than point-like particles - then the black hole becomes a giant tangle of strings. And the Hawking radiation emitted by this "fuzzball" does contain information about the insides of a black hole (New Scientist print edition, 13 March). . . . Now, it seems that Hawking too has an answer to the conundrum and the physics community is abuzz with the news. Hawking requested at the last minute that he be allowed to present his findings at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin, Ireland. . . . "He sent a note saying 'I have solved the black hole information paradox and I want to talk about it'," . . . Though Hawking has not yet revealed the detailed maths behind his finding, sketchy details have emerged from a seminar Hawking gave at Cambridge. . . . In essence, his new black holes now never quite become the kind that gobble up everything. Instead, they keep emitting radiation for a long time, and eventually open up to reveal the information within. "It's possible that what he presented in the seminar is a solution," says Gibbons. "But I think you have to say the jury is still out."
posted by LoZo 12:08 PM
Evolutionary DNA Changes in Humans Reported
(Patricia Resch interview with Dr. Berrenda Fox)
MATRIX MASTERS' NOTE: On June 1, 2005 we received the following email:
It has come to our attention that you are running an article on your page for which we hold the copy right. Please remove the article about Dr. Berrenda Fox. After that was printed we discovered that she had lied to us, falsified data on tests she never conducted, and injected her subjects with testosterone without their knowledge.She was sent to jail for this and her "clinic" was shut down.
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Interestingly, the above link still worked a few minutes ago. Sooooo, is this a hoax by someone who doesn't want the information to get out, or was this communication genuine. Actually, it really doesn't matter to me, as I think the controversy is more interesting than the story itself :-).
posted by LoZo 2:52 PM
Generic Indian AIDS drugs pass test
(Chidanand Rajghatta, The Times of India, July 2, 2004)
In a major boost to the Indian pharmaceutical industry, a landmark clinical trial of generic AIDS drugs made in India has shown that it works as well as expensive brand name drugs made by major western companies. . . . The study, reported in the medical journal Lancet in its July cover story on AIDS ahead of a global conference in Bangkok later this month, involved 60 patients in Cameroon who were given a three-in-one pill called Triomune made by Cipla India. . . . The drug beat down AIDS virus in 80 per cent of the patients in a state of advanced AIDS and increased the immune-system cells in most patients. The results are said to be important because the US has refused to let the $15 billion that president Bush has committed to fighting AIDS in the third world be used for generic drugs, arguing that there is not enough proof they are effective. . . . Brand name drugs also do not make 3-in-1 combos, and partly as a result, are more expensive even when they are deeply discounted for poor countries. . . . Indian pharma companies which make the generic drugs, including Cipla and Ranbaxy, have had to contend with the western drug lobby that had launched an insidious campaign on ground of quality and effectiveness, after having lost the patent protection argument in the face of the rapid and fearsome spread of AIDS. . . . Doctors Without Borders, a charity that wants to use the mostly Indian-made drugs widely, have backed the generic prescription. . . . The Lancet study was conducted by the University of Montpellier's Research Institute for Development in France, which does scientific research benefiting poor countries, and overseen by the French National Agency for Research on AIDS. . . . "Our findings lend support to the use and funding of a generic fixed-dose combination of nevirapine, stavudine, and lamivudine as first-line antiretroviral treatment in developing countries,'' Lancet reported the study as saying. . . . The findings strengthen the prospect of Indian generic drugs making headway. More recently the Bush administration has diluted its opposition to generics in the AIDS case saying, as a first step, companies that make generics can apply for FDA approval without the mandatory $500,000 application fee.
posted by LoZo 4:39 PM