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2 June 2016

Hard copy version of our paper applying concepts of rarity in biology to rarity in geology published: American Mineralogist   June 2016; 101 (6) Invited Centennial Article
On the nature and significance of rarity in mineralogy
  • Robert M. Hazen, Jesse H. Ausubel

Posted at 07:06 pm in News

12 May 2016

Biological Sampling in the Deep Sea edited by Malcolm Clark, Mireille Consalvey, and Ashley Rowden presents a large fraction of what we know about this subject in 19 chapters and 472 pages. Published in April 2016 by Wiley-Blackwell (ISBN-10: 0470656743), the book emerged from the dozens of field projects in the deep sea organized under the flag of the Census of Marine Life.  The editors led the seamounts project of the Census and for this book attracted experts also on abyssal plains, vent & seep communities, and the continental margins and all the challenges involved.

Initial chapters cover habitats and fauna, survey and sampling design, and mapping. The heart of the book describes and analyses a panoply of approaches spanning trawls, longlines, epibenthic sledges, corers and grabs, landers (including baited cameras and traps), towed cameras, submersibles and remotely operated vehicles, and even seafloor observatories.  Later chapters address sorting, recording, preservation and storage, information management strategies, and data analysis. Concluding chapters ponder application of studies to governance and management and the future of biological sampling in the deep sea. The 50+ authors are a who’s who of deep sea biology and technology.

The book, carefully edited and attractively produced, is the first comprehensive compilation of deep sea sampling methods for the full range of habitats.  It is hard to imagine writing a sound and successful research proposal in deep sea biology without making use of its breadth and depth.  All the authors and especially the editors and their host institution, New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), merit thanks for a volume that advances our chances to excel individually and collectively.  Jesse Ausubel wrote the Foreword for the volume.

Posted at 10:05 am in News

6 May 2016

Team members of the project “Using New Anthropological and Biological Tools to Learn about Leonardo da Vinci” with seed money from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation met 2-3 May in Florence, Italy, and have issued a press release about the publication of a set of papers from the project in Human Evolution.  Jesse Ausubel mediated the opening seminar on 2 May sponsored by Eugenio Giani, President of the Regional Council of Tuscany.  Jesse’s introductory essay is here.   The press release earned wide attention, for example,

BBC radio:

Gizmodo, USA

The Brilliantly Insane Plan to Reconstruct Leonardo da Vinci’s Genome

Daily Telegraph, UK

Leonardo da Vinci paintings analysed for DNA to solve grave mystery

La Repubblica –

Leonardo, alla ricerca del Dna per ricostruire il profilo genetico: prelievi su tombe e dipinti
Jesse Ausubel, vice presidente della Fondazione Richard Lounsbery, che sta finanziando parte del progetto, spiega che dopo aver ricostruito la sequenza del Dna si proverà a ottenere “tracce biologiche che potrebbero essere rimaste nelle pitture o nelle …

Agencia EFE, Spain (Spanish)


Posted at 12:05 pm in News

13 April 2016

We post “Power Density and the Nuclear Opportunity” by Jesse H. Ausubel.  The talk is adapted from the keynote address to the Nuclear Power Council, Electric Power Research Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, 3 September 2015.  Thanks to EPRI’s Neil Wilmshurst for the opportunity to develop and present the talk.

Posted at 11:04 am in Talks

8 April 2016

In May 2005, under auspices of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL), David Schindel organized a meeting in London of a Database Working Group that addressed access to biodiversity literature.  Their discussions led directly to establishment of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a consortium of libraries of natural history museums, under the leadership of Thomas Garnett (Smithsonian, Washington DC) and Graham Higley (Museum of Natural History, London) and to a request for funds, which the Richard Lounsbery Foundation supported 25 April 2006.  Jesse Ausubel encouraged the development at each stage.  April 11th kicks-off the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s 10th anniversary celebration, “BHL at 10: Celebrating Ten Years of Inspiring Discovery through free access to biodiversity knowledge.” BHL now offers about 50 million pages.  Congratulations to all, and enjoy.

Posted at 03:04 pm in News

10 March 2016

We are pleased to read that North Carolina-based company NET Power Breaks Ground on Demonstration Plant for World’s First Emissions-Free, Low-Cost Fossil Fuel Power Technology. The NET  Power technology, which uses carbon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a combustion turbine, is precisely what we proposed in our work on Zero Emission Power Plants during the 1990s with Cesare Marchetti, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Eugen Yantovski, and colleagues at Tokyo Electric Power.  See, for example, the sections on ZEPPs in JH Ausubel, Five worthy ways to spend large amounts of money for research on environment and resources (The Bridge 29(3): 4-16, 1999) and JH Ausubel Big green energy machines  (The Industrial Physicist 10(5): 20-24, 2004).  We wish for the success of NET Power and also Clean Energy Systems, another firm with promising ZEPP technology.

Posted at 08:03 am in News

4 March 2016

The Energy Xchange, an independent producer of podcasts, recorded a 1-hour conversation on energy of

Scott W. Tinker – director, Bureau of Economic Geology,University of Texas at Austin;

Steven E. Koonin– former undersecretary for science, U.S. Department of Energy

Jesse H. Ausubel – director, Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University;

Podcast and transcript are here. Faster to browse the text than listen.

Posted at 09:03 am in News

4 March 2016

Glasgow University will host a lecture by Jesse Ausubel Monday 17 April on The Nature of the City as part of a workshop, “Future cities: Do cities have limits?

Here is the lecture on YouTube:


Posted at 09:03 am in News

12 February 2016

Want a special Valentine? Forget diamonds, get Sardinian Ichnusaite.  The magazine American Mineralogist has published “On the nature and significance of rarity in mineralogy” by Robert Hazen and Jesse Ausubel.

People enjoy the news – covered in at least 51 countries and 19 languages.

Earth’s rarest minerals catalogued

DPA / APA (newswires, Germany, Austria)
Weniger als ein Würfel Zucker: Manche Mineralien sind extrem selten
(Less than a sugar cube: Some minerals are extremely rare)

Die Welt, Germany
Vergessen Sie Diamanten! Verschenken Sie Edelsteine!
(Forget diamonds! Offer gems!)

For Valentine’s Day gift, forget diamonds: try ichnusaite

New Scientist, UK
Earth’s rarest minerals could hint at life on other planets

Europa Press (Spain)
MÁS DIFÍCILES DE ENCONTRAR QUE LOS DIAMANTES Se contabilizan más de 2.500 minerales raros en la Tierra
(HARDER TO FIND THAN DIAMONDS more than 2,500 rare minerals are recorded on Earth)

Agencia EFE (Spain)
Los 2.550 minerales raros de la Tierra hacen único al planeta azul
(2,550 rare earth minerals make the blue planet unique )

ANSA Italia Anelli davvero unici? Dimentica i diamanti meglio un ichnusaite sardo

Russian news

Rare cobalt minerals (species burgessite, cobaltkortingite, cobaltomenite, pakhomovskyite, and theresemagnanite) are all pink or red.  Cobaltomenite is known from 4 localities: Argentina (the type locality), Congo, Bolivia, and Utah. Cobaltmenite samples from the Emery County, Utah locality:



Posted at 06:02 pm in News

30 January 2016

For Galatee’s new film, The Seasons, for which Jesse Ausubel served as a science advisor, great 30-second Japanese teaser:

And a 1 minute 42 second teaser:

And one that shows some of the film’s techniques:

Posted at 07:01 pm in News