Science Frontiers
The Unusual & Unexplained

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About Science Frontiers

Science Frontiers is the bimonthly newsletter providing digests of reports that describe scientific anomalies; that is, those observations and facts that challenge prevailing scientific paradigms. Over 2000 Science Frontiers digests have been published since 1976.

These 2,000+ digests represent only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The Sourcebook Project, which publishes Science Frontiers, also publishes the Catalog of Anomalies, which delves far more deeply into anomalistics and now extends to sixteen volumes, and covers dozens of disciplines.

Over 14,000 volumes of science journals, including all issues of Nature and Science have been examined for reports on anomalies. In this context, the newsletter Science Frontiers is the appetizer and the Catalog of Anomalies is the main course.


Subscriptions to the Science Frontiers newsletter are no longer available.

Compilations of back issues can be found in Science Frontiers: The Book, and original and more detailed reports in the The Sourcebook Project series of books.

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Search results for: magnetite

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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 130: JUL-AUG 2000 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Biogenic Magnetite in ALH84001 Many scientists were justifiably skeptical about those tiny, worm-like shapes seen in Martian meteorite ALH84001. Said to be fossilized bacteria, the objects seemed much too small to be viable. Some experts suggested they were just abiotic crystal-line growths. K.L . Thomas-Keprta, who led the NASA team studying ALH84001, snorted that her group was not so stupid that it would mistake crystals for fossils. ( SF#116 ) Thomas-Keprta et al have now come forward with more evidence that ALH-84001 does indeed contain biogenic material. Those worm-like forms have iron-rich rims containing fine-grained crystals of magnetite, some of which possess a unique morphology and which are essentially identical to the magnetite crystals secreted by magnetotactic bacteria on earth. Their conclusion: In ALH84001, the presence of these elongated prismatic magnetite crystals embedded within the carbonate glo- bules, which clearly formed on Mars, represents strong evidence for life on early Mars. (Thomas-Keprta, Kathie L., et al; "Biogenic Magnetite within Martian Meteorite ALH84001," Eos, 80:F69, 1999.) From Science Frontiers #130, JUL-AUG 2000 . 2000 William R. Corliss Other Sites of Interest SIS . Catastrophism, archaeoastronomy, ancient history, mythology and astronomy. Lobster . The journal of intelligence and political conspiracy (CIA, FBI, JFK, MI5, NSA, ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 31: Jan-Feb 1984 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Early Life And Magnetism The tiny granules of magnetite found in magnetized sediments come in various crystalline forms. Inorganic magnetite precipitated from molten rock is octahedral, while the particles manufactured by bacteria are cubes, hexagonal prisms, or noncrystalline teardrops. The magnetite found in marine sediments appears to be organically formed -- at least the shapes of the particles are characteristic of bacterial manufacture. Apparently these industrious bacteria have been busy producing magnetite ever since "lowly" life forms appeared in the Precambrian. These facts pose at least four questions: How much of the earth's iron ore has been concentrated biologically and is there a connection with the Gaia Hypothesis? Is it possible that magnetic field reversals, now believed to be of purely geophysical origin, might be biological artifacts (that is, due to population and/ or species changes of magnetic bacteria)? If magnetic field reversals are of geophysical origin, how do the magnetic bacteria find their food sources during the long periods of near-zero field? Lab experiments prove that magnetic bacteria require free oxygen to secrete magnetite, but the Precambrian atmosphere and oceans were supposedly devoid of oxygen until 2.3 billion years ago. How did the magnetic bacteria prosper before then? (Simon, C.; "Tiniest Fossils May Record Magnetic Field," Science News, 124:308, 1983.) From Science Frontiers #31, JAN-FEB 1984 . 1984-2000 William R. ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 9: Winter 1979 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Have magnets, will travel Homing pigeons seem to possess at least two direction sensors. Years of experiments with released birds have proved that they use sun compasses on sunny days but have magnetic backups for cloudy days. But how do they sense the earth's magnetic field? Paired-coil tests suggested that the pigeon compass resided in the neck or back of the head. Narrowing the search with sensitive magnetometers and two dozen dissected pigeons, the authors discovered tiny bits of tissue containing magnetite crystals. The same tissues contained yellow crystals likely made by the iron-storage protein ferritin, which was probably used in the biological synthesis of the magnetite. (Walcott, Charles, et al; "Pigeons Have Magnets," Science, 205:1027, 1979) Comment. Many species of mud bacteria also synthesize magnetite for purposes of orientation, indicating that nature or some directive force used the same strategy in two widely separated species. From Science Frontiers #9 , Winter 1979 . 1979-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 13: Winter 1981 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects The Human Compass In recent years, scientists have found magnetic material (magnetite) in birds, snails, porpoises, bacteria, and other animals. The utility of these biologically manufactured compasses is obvious. Humans, too, seem to have a magnetic sense, although no one has yet dissected the human head to search for magnetite crystals. Rather, the proof of a magnetic sense comes from direction-finding experiments by Robin R. Baker, in England. In a series of tests involving many subjects, blindfolded humans have been taken far afield and then asked, while still blindfolded, to point "home" and north. The results were surprising. Sense of direction was not lost despite long journeys. Furthermore, tests after removal of the blindfolds showed a marked deterioration of the directionfinding ability. The attachment of magnets and simulated magnets to the subjects proved that the magnets upset di-rection-finding capabilities. The controls with brass "magnets" retained their magnetic sense. (Baker, Robin R.; "A Sense of Magnetism," New Scientist, 87:844, 1980.) Reference. To read more about the human navigation sense, see BHT18 in our Catalog: Biological Anomalies: Humans I. This book is described here . From Science Frontiers #13, Winter 1981 . 1981-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... whales and dolphins along the U.S . east coast. He finds that these cetaceans tend to run aground at spots where the earth's magnetic field is diminished by the local magnetic fields of rocks. These coastal magnetic lows are at the ends of long, continuous channels of magnetic minima that run for great distances along the ocean floors. Kirschvink believes that the stranded whales and dolphins were using these magnetic troughs for navigation and failed to see the stop sign at the beaches and ran aground. The mag-netic troughs in this view are superhighways for animals equipped with a magnetic sense. If Kirschvink's theory is correct, the magnetic sensors of the whales and dolphins are extremely sensitive, because the deepest magnetic troughs are only about 4% weaker than the background magnetic field. Magnetite crystals have been found in birds, fish, and insects, where they are thought to contribute to a magnetic sense of some sort. So far, no magnetite has shown up in whales and dolphins. (Weisburd, S.; "Whales and Dolphins Use Magnetic 'Roads,' Science News, 126:389, 1984.) From Science Frontiers #38, MAR-APR 1985 . 1985-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 84: Nov-Dec 1992 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects The Hunt For The Magnetoreceptor When magnetite particles were found in organisms from bacteria to bats, it was assumed that here was the long sought magnetoreceptor which animals used for magnetic navigation. But so far, biologists do not have the slightest notion how such magnetite particles can be turned into a "magnetic sense," which sends the brain information on the direction of the geomagnetic field or, perhaps, draws a magnetic map of sorts. A completely different sort of magnetreceptor is now under investigation, one that humans may also unknowingly possess. It utilizes special photoreceptors that employ an electron-spin resonance process which is modulated by the geomagnetic field. Some of our very sensitive magnetometers use similar phenomena. The biological version of such a receptor would be connected to the brain, as the eye is, and send signals as to the direction of the earth's magnetic field. Sounds interesting, but is there any basis for thinking such a sophisticated gadget could have evolved? It seems that some experiments with newts by J.B . Phillips and S.C . Borland support the idea. The newts were first trained to orient themselves in a certain direction with respect to the geomagnetic field. "When tested under one of four artificial field alignments (magnetic north at geographic north, east, south or west), the newts kept their training directions constant relative to the magnetic rather than the geographic system of reference, but they selected ...
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... Birth Electrical Shocks Cure Snake Bites Organ Transplants Transfer Allergies SID Correlated with Geomagnetic Activity Advantages of Blood-Letting Efficacy of Acupuncture Heath Correlated with Psychological Disturbances AIDS Associated with Black Plague Survival Geography of Stroke Incidence Longevity Anticorrelated with Reproductive Success AIDS May be Man-Made BHI INTERNAL SYSTEMS AND STRUCTURES BHI1 High Complexity and Sophistication of the Immune System BHI2 The Origin of Antibody Diversity BHI3 Immune-System Deficiencies BHI4 The Enigma of the Fetal Graft BHI5 The Relationship between the Immune System and the Brain BHI6 Phantom Limbs BHI7 The Puzzles of Pain BHI8 Differences between the Aorta Arch in Humans and Other Animals BHI9 The Varying Origin of Embryonic Arms BHI10 Humans and Embryonic and Juvenile Apes: Skeletal Similarities BHI11 The Inheritance of Acquired Skeletal Characters BHI12 Bone-Shedders BHI13 High Incidence of Extra Vertebrae among Eskimos BHI14 Subcutaneous Fat BHI15 Magnetite Operation of Internal Clocks Curiosities of Circulatory System Design Speech Associated with Canals in Skull Nervous-System Development BHO ORGANS BHO1 High Complexity and Sophistication of the Human Eye BHO2 Dearth of "Fit" Intermediate Stages in the Evolution of the Eye BHO3 Imperfections of the Human Eye BHO4 Vision-Chemistry Homologies BHO5 The Anomalous History of Human Color Vision BHO6 Utility of the Semi-Lunar Membrane of the Human Eye BHO7 Similarity of Human and Cephalopod Eyes BHO8 Similarity of Human and Bee Eyes BHO9 The Purposeful Emission of Sound by the Human Ear BHO10 Human Lobulated Kidneys and Indented Spleens BHO11 Correlation of Pineal Gland Activity with Magnetic Fields BHO12 Heart Rate Correlated with Birth Order BHO13 Periodicity in Deaths Due to Heart Disease BHO14 Lifetime Total of Human Heart beats Greatly Exceeds Those of Other Mammals BHO15 Skin Shedding BHO16 Thick Soles ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 57: May-Jun 1988 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects The Eels Strike Back Credit cards and bank cards are commonly kept in holders made from eelskin. So what! Who likes eels anyway? Well, there may be more to eelskin than meets the eye. Thousands of bank cards, when taken out of their eelskin holders, have failed to work in bank machines. The electronic coding on the cards has somehow been erased or scrambled. Perhaps, says one theory, the eelskins have bits of magnetite in their skins for navigational purposes. (Some other animals have such magnetic particles in their bodies to help orient them.) But could these tiny particles be powerful enough to erase card information? Another theory is that magnetic clamps on purses and handbags are the culprits. (Anonymous; "Credit Cards Fall Prey to Primitive Fish," New Scientist, p. 30, March 3, 1988.) Banking-business bane. From Science Frontiers #57, MAY-JUN 1988 . 1988-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 68: Mar-Apr 1990 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Magnetic bacteria in the soil and who knows where else?It is already well-established that saltand fresh-water sediments harbor bacteria that synthesize grains of magnetite - presumably for the purpose of sensing the ambient magnetic field and orienting themselves. Similar bacteria have recently been discovered living in ordinary soil in Bavaria. It is near-certain that they will now be found just about everywhere. J.W .E . Fassbinder et al, who reported the Bavarian bacteria, conclude their Abstract with: "We suggest that the magnetic bacteria and their magnetofossils can contribute to the magnetic properties of soils." (Fassbinder, Jorg W.E ., et al; "Occurrence of Magnetic Bacteria in Soil." Nature, 343:161, 1990.) Comment. It is easy to reach great heights of speculation given the facts that: (1 ) magnetic bacteria exist; (2 ) bacteria in general are exceedingly abundant; and (3 ) bacteria are found deep inside the earth's crust and, seemingly, just about anywhere one cares to look. Now, let's see how ridiculous one can get: Magnetic bacteria and/or their fossils contribute heavily to the magnetic properties of sedimentary rocks and unlithified sediments, such as deep-sea sediments. In fact, magnetostratigraphy and paleomagnetism in general may be based upon bioartifacts and be suspect. Magnetic bacteria and/or their fossils are present in such immense ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 130: Jul-Aug 2000 Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues Last Issue Next Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Contents Archaeology Still Another East-Coast Pre-Clovis Dig There are More Pyramids in Sudan than All of Egypt Astronomy Anomalous High Altitude Luminosity (AHAL) Biogenic Magnetite in ALH84001 The Drifters Biology Attention, Pupils! Has Human Evolution Been Directed by Bacteria? The Midi-Chlorians are with Us ! Geology Baikal: The Inland Ocean Bog Breath Geophysics The Saguenay Earthquake Lights Hailstorms as Imaginative Sculptors Psychology Epiphanies as Vascular Anomalies! Physics Two Wrong-Way Phenomena! Unclassified A Magic Square with a Magic Product The Wimpatch ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 55: Jan-Feb 1988 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Migrating Birds Collide With Magnetic Bump Do birds utilize the earth's magnetic field for navigation? Many have so surmised; and there exists anecdotal evidence for it. A Swedish ecologist, T. Almberstam, decided to attempt scientific observations. At Norberg, in central Sweden, a huge deposit of magnetite creates a powerful magnetic anomaly. The deposit is 12 kilometers long by several wide. At low altitudes, the total magnetic intensity of the earth's field is 60% higher than normal. What happens when migrating birds fly into this magnetic bump? "Although Almerstam found that many migrating birds showed no signs of avoiding the Norberg anomaly, and often managed to keep on the right course as they passed through it, there were definite indications that the birds' orientation might be affected under special circumstances. Some migrants flying at low altitudes, where the magnetic intensity was greatest and the inclination and declination distorted greatly, became disoriented briefly. They nervously landed and then circled around before taking off again. Other birds changed their altitude abruptly, dropping 100 metres in two minutes and breaking up their flock formations." Certainly something is happening, but no one knows what. (Anonmous; "Magnetic Anomaly Upsets Migrating Birds," New Scientist, p. 32, November 5, 1987.) From Science Frontiers #55, JAN-FEB 1988 . 1988-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... biogenic stalactites were described, have we persued the idea that minerals, including crystal forms, might be biogenic. We now have at hand a survey of biogenic minerals. It turns out that biogenic minerals are quite common - so common, in fact, that the Gaia concept is recalled, in which biological processes preside over much that happens upon this planet. Here follows a sampler of some biogenic minerals: Much, if not all, travertine (calcite and/or aragonite) and silicious sinter (opal) are deposited through algal action. Much pyrite and marcasite in sedimentary rocks comes from bacterial sulfate reduction. Bacterial breakdown of oil produces organic complexes that dissolve, transport, and precipitate quartz. The reknowned Herkimer "diamonds" may be of biological origin. Living cells synthesize isometric crystals of magnetite. Mitochondria manufacture crystals of hydroxylapatite. Better known are the apatite in bones and teeth and the aragonite, calcite, or fluorite in the vestibular systems of vertebrates. (Dietrich, R.V ., and Chamberlain, Steven C.; "Are Cultured Pearls Mineral?" Rocks and Minerals , 64:386, September/October 1989. Cr. R. Calais) From Science Frontiers #66, NOV-DEC 1989 . 1989-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... 1990 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects PALEOMAGNETIC PITFALLS "Magnetism in rocks has provided a traditional tool for studies of the Earth's geomagnetic field. These studies have tended to rely on the assumption that the direction of magnetization was 'frozen in' during formation of the rock. But many sedimentary rocks formed during the Palaeozoic acquired their remanent magnetization through alteration processes that occurred after deposition of the sediment. The causes and geological significance of this phenomenon have been much debated." The foregoing paragraph is enough to send shivers throughout the geological world. Does this undermine paleomagnetism and generalizations flowing from it, such as plate tectonics? The "alteration processes" mentioned in the above quotation include: (1 ) The chemical conversion of pyrite into magnetite in ancient rocks after they were deposited; and (2 ) The reorientation of remanent magnetization following exposure to moderately high temperatures. That these processes can be important is evident in a second quotation: "During the past eight years, however, evidence has accumulated that the remanent magnetization of many carbonate sediments was not acquired at the time of deposition, thereby invalidating some previous interpretations of the palaeomagnetic data. Instead, magnetization seems to have been acquired over a limited time span during the late Palaeozoic, from about 310 to 250 million years ago." (Reynolds, Richard L.; "A Polished View of Remagnetization," Nature, 345: 570, 1990.) Reference. Many other problems afflict paleomagnetism. See: EZP in our catalog: Inner Earth. More information on ...
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... researchers found the sharks often precisely followed the same paths in what seemed a featureless ocean. How did they do it? It was quickly ruled out that they were following specific ocean currents or the bottom topography. The hammerheads seemed to possess some sort of unrecognized navigation sense. Suspecting they might be sensing the geomagnetic field, Klimley began towing a magne tometer behind the boat. Sure enough, the hammerheads were following paths coincident with lines of high magnetic gradient. And Espiritu Santo itself turned out to be a sort of magnetic beacon from which radiated these magnetic "paths" that the hammerheads followed so exactly. Now the question became: How do hammerheads -- and perhaps other animals -- sense such exceedingly small changes in the geomagnetic field? Some birds and mammals do have small particles of magnetite in their bodies, but no one knows how they might be incorporated into a sensory organ. On the other hand, hammerheads and many other sharks are extraordinarily sensitive to electrical fields, responding to fields as low as 10-8 volt/centimeter. Possibly the sharks' forward motion cuts the magnetic lines of force generating an electrical navigational signal. No one knows as yet. And so one mystery leads to another. (Klimley, A. Peter; "Hammerhead City," Natural History, 104:33, October 1995) Comment. Some marine biologists suspect that some deep-water whales and dolphins inadvertently strand themselves while following magnetic "paths" like those radiating from Espiritu Santo. (See SF#38) From Science Frontiers #104, MAR-APR 1996 . ...
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... methane. The Swedes decided to drill. After three years and the expendi-ture of $40 million, drilling at the Siljan Ring has been terminated. The drill penetrated to 6.8 kilometers before it got stuck. No significant methane had been found. The experts snickered! But the story is not finished, at least as far as Gold is concerned. He maintains that the drilling stopped just short of an apparent reservoir at 7.2 kilometers (probably located by seismic methods). Another, deeper hole will vindicate him, he believes. After all, there are tantalizing hints: The drillers did find an assortment of hydrocarbons that could have been deposited by upward-seeping methane. Skeptics say they are derived from the drilling fluids. Tons of micrometer-sized grains of magnetite were taken out of the hole. Gold opines that these grains were synthesized by bacteria subsisting upon seeping methane at a depth of 6 kilometers. Russian drillers on the Kola Peninsula report the existence of intriguing circulating fluids as far down as 12 kilometers. Despite the problems and disappointments at the first hole, some Swedish investors seem ready to finance a second hole at the Siljan Ring. (Kerr, Richard A.; "When a Radical Experiment Goes Bust," Science, 247:1177, 1990.) Reference. To read more on primordial methane and the Siljan Ring, refer to ESC16 in our catalog: Anomalies in Geo logy. Ordering information here . From Science Frontiers #69, MAY-JUN 1990 . 1990-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... /Amex 292 pages, hardcover, $21.95, 84 illus., 3 indexes, 1995. 546 references, LC 91-68541. ISBN 0-915554-30-5 , 7x10. Biological Anomalies: Mammals II: A Catalog of Biological Anomalies Sorry, Out of print Our fifth biology catalog completes out study of mammilian anomalies. This volume parallels Humans II and III with major sections on the fossil record and cryptozoology. In addition, there are shorter sections on genetics, organs, bodily functions, and interactions between mammals and other life forms. Typical subjects covered: Biochemical curiosities * Recent survivals of the mammoth, ground sloth, thylacine * Out-of-place mammals * Dearth of transistional fossils * Male lactation * Sleeplessness in mammals * Inheritance of rotational effects * Magnetite in mammals * Microbat data processing * The onza, nandi bear, Steller's sea ape, and others. Comments from reviews: Essential for all libraries, schools and serious Forteans. Fortean Times View Cart Buy online via PayPal with MC/Visa/Amex 324pp, hardcover, $21.95, 89 illus., 3 indexes, 1996. 527 references, LC 91-68541. ISBN 0-915554-31-3 . 7" x 10". Biological Anomalies: Birds: A Catalog of Enigmas and Curiosities Sorry, Out of print Birds are everywhere: some can fly high over the Himalayas, others can dive as deep as 500 meters in the oceans, some migrate unerringly from one end of the earth to the other. With more than 9, ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 6  -  10 Oct 2021  -  URL: /sourcebk.htm

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