Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Tue, 5 Mar 1996 16:14:22 -0500
that the Hubble Wars might be over. The Universe, according to Dr.
(Professor ?) Allan Sandage and his colleagues, has now been definitely
dated at 15 Billion Years. That is, of course, the current Universe. Some
may disagree, according to the Times article, but I for one am greatful
for this new certitude. It relieves a great deal of stress. With our own
solar system formed at about 4.5-5 billion years ago, this now leaves a
considerable amount of earlier time for some sentient beings to have
gotten beyond our cultural levels and hopefully to appear before the next
NBC special by Charleton Heston on Human Origins. Er. that is, before NBC
Other relevant news was a calculation regarding the total number of
sand grains on earth (including surface, under ocean, and in sediments
might definitely surpass the total number of stars in the Universe, which
in 10 followed by 20 zeroes. Since a beach of just a couple of kilometers
has about 10 to the 18th power, it follows that if all the beaches are
considered, including below the oceans, we got the Universe "handily"
beaten, at least according to C. Clairborne Ray.
Things are looking up.
More seriously, however, are three articles on DNA, and in
particular the Breast Cancer Gene (BRCA1), which, in its healthy state
may offer some protection against chaotic cell division, at least
according to some new experiments with rodents. It's allo worth a read.