Assignment 2 :Library Scavenger Hunt – Essay Example

X-ray lasers. Do they exist? Even today, X-ray lasers may sound like something from science-fiction novel to many average people. In fact, back in 1970s the concept of X-ray laser was already known when scientists discovered better characteristics of a laser beam amplified with ions than with gas (The X-Ray Laser). Nowadays, X-ray lasers are widely known and utilized, enabling scientists to perform researches that were impossible before. The most important experiment that can be fulfilled with the help of X-Ray lasers is the determination of the structure of proteins. Currently, from more than thirty thousand proteins that could be found in human body, only six have been thoroughly investigated (Venton 2011). The other important feature of this type of laser is its ability to squeeze matter to extremely high temperatures and pressures, simulating the conditions similar to those in the centres of planets (Cho 2011). Completely different principle that is used in X-Ray laser provides the possibility to make further astonishing discoveries in biology, geology and many other sciences unveiling new facts about the world.
Dinosaurs: warm or cold-blooded? What is the latest evidence on both sides?
The debate wether dinosaurs are warm or cold-blooded started from 1842 when Richard Owen became the first palaeontologist who discovered the fossils of the dinosaur. After close examination he came up with conclusion that they looked like reptiles, - a “terrible lizard” with scales, slow moves and cold blood (Reardon 2011). Till today various researches are being organized to find definite answer to the question wether dinosaurs were warm or cold-blooded. The most innovative approach of temperature measurement based on the temperature-dependent effect of clumping of isotopes, was called to shed light on the problem (Scientists ‘to determine if dinosaurs were warm or cold-blooded’ 2010). Though the research did confirmed that the temperature of the examined animal was between 36° and 38°C, the investigation is to be continued, as the method shows the temperature of the particular organ only in the particular period of time and not the temperature of the whole body. Furthermore, even if dinosaurs were warm-blooded, they had to have some mechanism to maintain this temperature and not to get overheated, like elephants and other contemporary giants. Despite the continuous researches, it is clear that dinosaurs were not as cold-blooded as modern reptiles, though their endothermy is not fully confirmed.
Bibliography
Cho, A. World’s First X-ray Laser Powers Up, 2009. Available from: . [18 October 2011].
Reardon, S. Big Dinosaurs Were Warm Beasts, 2011. Available from: . [18 October 2011].
Scientists ‘to determine if dinosaurs were warm or cold-blooded’, 2010. Available from: . [18 October 2011].
The X-Ray Laser: From Underground to Tabletop. Available from: . [18 October 2011].
Venton, D. World’s Most Powerful X-Ray Laser Illuminates Hidden Protein World, 2011. Available from: . [18 October 2011].
Were Dinosaurs Warm Or Cold-Blooded? First Method for Directly Measuring Body Temperatures of Extinct Vertebrates, 2010. Available from: . [18 October 2011].