The prayer of my heart. Maybe on the other side there will be unity. Ralph Stanley…. an acquired taste.
Most Pure Virgin, Mother of God,
Your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the Passion of your Divine Son.
Intercede for me and obtain for me from Jesus
If it be for his honor and Glory and for the salvation of my soul.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows,
Intercede for me now
and at the hour of my death.
I continue to explore alternate cosmological models, a process I started when I asked a credentialed cosmology researcher why he said red shift was not proof of the big bang but rather was also compatible with the stead state cosmology. Naturally he himself believed in the big bang. I never really pondered the challenges of each of the different models.
I am reading “The 4% Universe” by Richard Panek, regarding dark matter and dark energy etc. In this book he outlines the immediate problem produced by Newtons law of Universal Gravitation. The question that naturally flowed from universal gravitation is, ”Why doesn’t the whole universe just coalesce into a single mass of matter”. Newton interestingly resolved it by declaring God had put the stars and things far enough apart from each other to render the problem irrelevant. But the problem remained significant. Albert Einstein himself included lambda in his revised theory of general relativity, to signify an as yet undiscovered force which kept the universe from collapsing. Though he later abandoned this when he adopted the expanding universe concept, over the steady state approach.
What to me ultimately is of interest is simply this. Keeping a steady state model from having a natural end of the universe in a giant ball of matter is just as hard as some of the challenges with an infinitely expanding model or a cyclical model. Truly there are dilemmas to ponder in any cosmology.
Thomas P. Howard, et. al., over at the University of Exeter, have produced something truly remarkable. They have engineered a strain of E-Coli that will produce diesel fuel as a byproduct of its lifecycle. Synthesis of customized petroleum-replica fuel molecules by targeted modification of free fatty acid pools in Escherichia coli
The nut of what they achieved is stated here in the Conclusions :
We have engineered in E. coli pathways for the production of speciﬁed, aliphatic n- and iso-alkanes and -alkenes of various chain lengths that are exact replicas of petroleum-based molecules used in retail fuels.
This is however only a lab scale venture. It has many hurdles to become commercialized on an industrial scale, and it is not yet known if it would be cost effective to do so. This is pointed out by the researchers on page five.
The size of the challenge facing advanced biofuels can be appreciated when considering the effort necessary to progress the engineered biosynthesis of semisynthetic artemisinin from the laboratory to commercial production: many changes beyond manipulating the endogenous mevalonate pathway have been required, including changes to host cell biology, fermentation conditions, and extraction procedures (34, 35). The application of engineering, life-cycle, and economic costing analysis for scale-up procedures combined with the exploitation of alternative, nonfood carbon sources to break the link between food and fuel prices (17–19, 36–39) and new approaches to engineering metabolism [exempliﬁed by the development of dynamic sensor-regulator systems for FAderived products (40), the remarkable reversal of the β-oxidation cycle (41), and introduction of molecular scaffolds for improving metabolic efﬁciency (42, 43)] will facilitate this aim.
Still the notion that we can grow drop-in replacement diesel fuel from organic material is very exciting. Ironically that would turn diesel into a renewable resource. If cost effective industrial scale production were possible the result would be the death of the peak oil issue. While it is true most vehicles are currently gasoline, much industrial use is diesel based, and a transition to diesel for consumer vehicles is certainly possible if fossil fuel costs rise due to scarcity.
Of course the science fiction buff in my ponders “What if this escapes from the lab ?” and I have visions of my counter at home being covered in diesel when I neglect to wipe up after handling my raw chicken meat
One journey completes this week and the journey of life continues after that. I did not come this far to falter. Always pressing onward toward the goal.