Unsettled Science

Every biology textbook that I have ever read stated that women are born with all the eggs they will ever have and their ovaries do not produce any more. It turns out that every biology textbook that I have ever read is wrong. From Scientific American.

A study led by Jonathan Tilly of the Massachusetts General Hospital overturns the decades-long idea that women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. It reports that women of reproductive age carry ovarian stem cells, meaning that they can produce new eggs. Tilly’s team, which made a similar finding in mice in 2004, also discovered that mouse eggs derived from such stem cells can indeed be fertilized.

Our colleagues at Nature Medicine, which is publishing the paper today online, created this four-minute video explaining the results. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

There really is so much we don’t know.

Thanks to Walter Russel Mead for posting this.

Interesting first comment for this short article.

That’s great, just what the earth needs, more people, more fodder for future dole queues, now we can really go to town on over populating the planet…

Come on scientists, get your priorities right…

Greens really hate people.



Nigerian 419

I have been selected as a potential victim of a Nigerian 419 scam, or a Burkina Faso scam.

Dear Friend,
I am Mr. Kazil Zongo Manager Auditing and Accountancy Department, Bank of Africa in (B.O.A) Burkina Faso. I got your email account while searching for a business oriented personality and you happen to be the one. I bring forth a business proposal in the tune of Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only. ($12,500.000.USD) to be transferred to an offshore account with your assistance acting as beneficiary and next-of-kin to the Inheritance funds. If you know you are capable of involving and partaking in this transaction, please send down the following personal details to me for briefing and more clarification;
(1)Full names:…………………… …
(2)Occupation:……………. ………..
(3)Age and Sex:……………………..
(4)Marital Status:……………………..
(5)Private phone number:………………
(6)Current residential address:…………
Noted; that every discussion is in the detail.
I am waiting for your urgent reply so that we will starts immediately.
I look forward to your prompt response through this my private email.
Best Regards,
Mr. Kazil Zongo.
I’ll get right on that.Does anybody still fall for this one?

The Shroud of Turin

I had thought that it was settled that the famous Shroud of Turin was made in the Medieval Period and so is not the cloth that Jesus was buried in. It turns out, though, that the issue of the Shroud’s age and origin is far from settled. According to ABCnews.

Has the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin finally been proven?

A new study by Italian scientists may not be definitive on its origins, but it does refute the popular notion that it was faked during the Middle Ages.

Experts at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Developmenthave concluded in a report that the famed purported burial cloth of Jesus Christ could not have been faked.

According to the Vatican Insider, a project by La Stampa newspaper that closely follows the Catholic church, the experts’ report says, “The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory … This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.”

The centuries-old shroud contains a faint impression of the front and back of a human body, along with blood, dirt and water stains from age.

Many have long questioned the shroud’s authenticity, and others have suggested that it was faked during medieval times.

The Italian researchers, who conducted dozens of hours of tests with X-rays and ultraviolet lights, said that no laser existed to date that could replicate the singular nature of markings on the shroud. They also said that the kind of markings on the cloth could not have come from direct contact of the body with the linen.

Previous investigation has determined the markings could not have come from pigments or dyes.

The Italian scientists said the  marks could only have been made by “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation.”

Such technology did not exist in the time the skeptics claim the shroud could have been forged.

Just a quick scan of the Wikipedia article reveals that almost no aspect of the Shroud’s history is without controversy and the more tests that are done on it, the less they seem to be certain of. No one seems to have a good idea how the image was formed. Even if the Shroud were dated to the first century, it wouldn’t mean that it was Christ’s burial cloth, but there would still be the question of how it was made.

For my part, I doubt the Shroud is genuine if for no other reason than there seems to be no historical records of the Shroud before 1390, and no good account of how the Shroud was transported from Palestine to northern Italy. I would think that such a relic would get a lot attention, with every movement recorded. This mystery, although a minor matter, does show how little we really know about the world we live in.


Русский: Спас Отпечаток лика Христа на Туринск...
The face of Jesus?



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