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- U.S. science probe nears unexplored dwarf planet Ceres
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A NASA science satellite on Friday will wrap up a 7-1/2-year journey to Ceres, an unexplored dwarf planet in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, scientists said on Monday. Ceres, namesake of the Roman goddess of agriculture, is already providing intrigue.
- Study finds gorilla origins in half of human AIDS virus lineages
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Revealing new details about the origins of AIDS, scientists said on Monday half the lineages of the main type of human immunodeficiency virus, HIV-1, originated in gorillas in Cameroon before infecting people, probably via bushmeat hunting. HIV-1, which causes AIDS, is composed of four groups, each coming from a separate cross-species transmission of a simian version of the virus from apes to humans. ...
- Astronauts breeze through spacewalk to rig station for U.S. space taxis
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - Two U.S. astronauts whipped through a third spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Sunday to rig parking spots for new U.S. space taxis. Station commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts expected to spend about seven hours installing antennas, cables and navigation aides on the station's exterior truss. Instead, the astronauts, who were making their third spacewalk in eight days, were back inside the space station in 5.5 hours. The purpose of the outings was to prepare berthing slips for spaceships being developed by Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.
- Lockheed invests in Rocket Lab's U.S. unit to keep pace with innovation Lockheed Martin Corp said on Monday it had made a strategic investment in the U.S. unit of New Zealand's Rocket Lab, which is building a carbon-composite rocket, the Electron, to launch small satellites into orbit for less than $5 million. Lockheed spokesman Matt Kramer didn't say how big the investment was, but said the company saw potential applications for Rocket Lab's technologies light lift, hypersonic flight technologies and low-cost flight testing. Rocket Lab disclosed Lockheed's investment Monday when it announced that it had completed a Series B financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
- Companies' tests used in 'superbug' scope cleaning flawed: FDA The scopes were linked to the exposure of 179 patients to drug-resistant bacteria at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles and may have contributed to two deaths. In early 2014, following a superbug outbreak at a hospital in Illinois, the FDA asked Fujifilm Holdings Corp, Olympus Corp and Pentax, which make the devices, to submit their test results for review, Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the agency's chief scientist, said in an interview. In some cases the tests were poorly carried out. In others, they were properly conducted but the cleaning and disinfecting protocol failed, said Ostroff, who will become the FDA's acting commissioner when Dr. Margaret Hamburg leaves at the end of March. The deficiencies in the companies' tests has not been reported. The flawed data calls into question the reliability of all current cleaning and disinfecting protocols and expose a weakness in the FDA's regulation of such devices - one which the agency is now moving to close.
- 3 to 5 Cups of Coffee a Day May Lower Risk of Heart Attacks Good news for people who drink coffee every day: Consuming a moderate amount of coffee could lower the risk of clogged arteries that can lead to a heart attack, a new study finds. The study of healthy young adults in Korea found that, compared with people who didn't drink coffee, those who drank three to five cups of java per day had a lower risk of having calcium deposits in their coronary arteries, which is an indicator of heart disease. The study participants who drank three to four cups had the lowest risk of developing clogged arteries seen in the study, said Dr. Eliseo Guallar, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and co-author of the study published today (March 2) in the journal Heart. "But the risk went down with just one cup per day," compared with the risk of people who drank no coffee, Guallar added.
- Against the Science, Meat Pushes Back into U.S. Diet (Op-Ed) Dr. Michael Greger is the director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issue the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," which are intended to encourage individuals to eat a healthful diet. The advisory council's report, just published for the 2015 guidelines, is cause for celebration on many fronts. The nutrition experts who created it seemed to be less susceptible to industry influence, and their report could lead to the most evidence-based dietary guidelines the nation has ever adopted.
- Old Medicines Give New Hope for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Essay)
People with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD, have a genetic disorder where the body does not produce dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact — as a result, the condition causes muscles to rapidly break down and weaken. As a cardiologist and professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, I partnered with a team of DMD experts from around the nation in a clinical trial that tested the combination of eplerenone (an aldosterone antagonist that serves as a potassium-sparing diuretic) and either a angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). In this human trial, we enrolled 42 boys with DMD who showed evidence of early heart muscle damage by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.
- Curt Michel, Scientist-Astronaut Who Left NASA After Losing the Moon, Dies at 80
Curt Michel, an astrophysicist who was among NASA's first scientist-astronauts but who resigned when it became clear he would not fly to the moon, died on Feb. 23. Curt Michel's death was reported on Friday (Feb. 27) by Rice University in Houston, where served as a faculty member before and after his time with NASA. "Although he retired in 2000 after 37 years at Rice, Michel continued to keep an office on campus, where he pursued his studies of solar winds [and] radio pulsars," stated the university in a press release. Michel was an assistant professor for space science at Rice when he was selected with NASA's fourth group of astronauts in June 1965.
- Dwarf Planet Ceres to Be Revealed in 'Stunning Detail' by NASA Probe
A NASA probe will arrive at Ceres Friday morning to begin unraveling the many mysteries of the dwarf planet — including the puzzling bright spots that blaze on its cratered surface. NASA's Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to slip into orbit around Ceres — the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter — at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on Friday, March 6, wrapping up a deep-space chase that lasted two-and-a-half years. If all goes according to plan, Dawn will become the first spacecraft ever to orbit a dwarf planet, as well as the first to circle two celestial objects beyond the Earth-moon system. "It's clear that discoveries lie ahead, and Ceres will be revealed in stunning detail, just like Vesta," Dawn Deputy Principal Investigator Carol Raymond, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said during a news conference today (March 2).
- Syria's civil war linked partly to drought, global warming
- Using Faulty Forensic Science, Courts Fail the Innocent (Op-Ed) Karen Kafadar is Commonwealth Professor and chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of Virginia and a member of the Forensic Science Standards Board. Anne-Marie Mazza is the director of the Committee on Science, Technology and Law of the National Academy of Sciences. Historically, forensic science has had a huge impact on identifying and confirming suspects in the courtroom, and on the judicial system more generally. Forensic scientists have been an integral part of the judicial process for more than a century.
- White & Gold or Blue & Black? Science of the Mystery Dress David Williams, a vision scientist at the University of Rochester in New York, has a theory. Light is made up of different wavelengths, which the brain perceives as color.
- Cool Pacific Ocean Slowed Global Warming
The Pacific Ocean has been a planetary air conditioner for the past two decades, but the relief may soon end, a new study finds. The Pacific and Atlantic oceans undergo decades-long natural oscillations that alter their sea surface temperatures. Over the past 130 years, the tempo of global warming has revved up or slowed down in tune with changing ocean temperatures, researchers reported today (Feb. 26) in the journal Science. The Pacific Ocean wielded its mighty influence starting in 1998, when it interrupted the rapid climb of global temperatures, the study reported.
- 'Big Brain' Gene Found in Humans, Not Chimps
A single gene may have paved the way for the rise of human intelligence by dramatically increasing the number of brain cells found in a key brain region. This gene seems to be uniquely human: It is found in modern-day humans, Neanderthals and another branch of extinct humans called Denisovans, but not in chimpanzees. By allowing the brain region called the neocortex to contain many more neurons, the tiny snippet of DNA may have laid the foundation for the human brain's massive expansion. "It is so cool that one tiny gene alone may suffice to affect the phenotype of the stem cells, which contributed the most to the expansion of the neocortex," said study lead author Marta Florio, a doctoral candidate in molecular and cellular biology and genetics at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.
- Cooler Pacific has slowed global warming, briefly: study
By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - A natural cooling of the Pacific Ocean has contributed to slow global warming in the past decade but the pause is unlikely to last much longer, U.S. scientists said on Thursday. The slowdown in the rate of rising temperatures, from faster gains in the 1980s and 1990s, has puzzled scientists because heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from factories, power plants and cars have hit record highs. Almost 200 nations are due to agree a U.N. deal to slow climate change in Paris in December. Examining temperatures of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans back to 1850, which have natural swings in winds and currents that can last decades, the scientists said a cooler phase in the Pacific in recent years helped explain the warming hiatus.
- Playing physics: Student builds Lego Large Hadron Collider A particle physics student has used his downtime to build a Lego model of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and is now lobbying the toy company to take it to market. Nathan Readioff's design uses existing Lego pieces to replicate all four elements of the LHC -- known as ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and LHCb -- and uses cutaway walls to reveal all of the major subsystems. He also wrote step-by-step guides to making the miniatures and has now submitted his models to the Lego Ideas website, where ideas from members of the public that get more than 10,000 votes are considered by Lego for future production.
- Scientists witness carbon dioxide trapping heat in air
- Scientists discover black hole so big it contradicts growth theory
By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Scientists say they have discovered a black hole so big that it challenges the theory about how they grow. Scientists said this black hole was formed about 900 million years after the Big Bang. "Based on previous research, this is the largest black hole found for that period of time," Dr Fuyan Bian, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University (ANU), told Reuters on Wednesday. "Current theory is for a limit to how fast a black hole can grow, but this black hole is too large for that theory." The creation of supermassive black holes remains an open topic of research.
- Case of the Missing 'Failed Star' Has Scientists Stumped (Video)
A new alien planet-hunting tool has found no trace of a brown dwarf more than 100 light-years from Earth, despite evidence that the misfit failed star is eclipsing its partner, a team of puzzled astronomers says. European Southern Observatory's (ESO) new SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research) on the Very Large Telescope didn't find a sign of a brown dwarf — sometimes called a "failed star" — near the double star V471 Tauri, despite the fact that scientists were pretty sure they would find one. The scientists used the ESO observations to create a video zoom-in on the strange star system.
- Obesity Is Complicated and Needs New Approach, Scientists Say With obesity rates continuing to rise around the globe and the majority of Americans now obese or overweight, it's easy to see that we are losing the battle of the bulge. Aside from isolated areas of improvement where people are, in fact, losing weight — in a city here, a neighborhood there — no country has succeeded in reversing its obesity epidemic. In a series of six critical articles covering the health, policy, economics and politics of obesity, scientists lay out what society has been doing wrong and call for a new global action plan to meet what they call the "modest" goal of the World Health Organization: no increase in the prevalence of obesity from now through 2025. "There are clear agreements on what strategies should be implemented and tested to address obesity," said Christina Roberto, an assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and lead author of the first report of the series.
- The Best Length for Eyelashes, According to Science
Cosmeticians probably won't agree, but scientists say eyelashes have an optimal length: a third of the width of the eye. "They've been hypothesized to act as sun shades, dust catchers and blink-reflex triggers," said David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
- Scientists name new species of wasp after Boston Bruins goalie Rask
A team of researchers studying insects in Africa has named a newly discovered species of wasp with a distinctive yellow-and-black pattern after Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday. Robert Copeland, a follower of Boston sports and an entomologist at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, told the newspaper that the wasp’s yellow and black colouring resembles a Boston Bruins jersey. The research also was underwritten by the government of Finland, where Rask was born. "This species is named after the acrobatic goaltender for the Finnish national ice hockey team and the Boston Bruins, whose glove hand is as tenacious as the raptorial fore tarsus of this dryinid species," the authors wrote in the paper, which is due to be published in March in the scientific journal Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae. Rask told the newspaper he was unaware of any animals named after him, other than the occasional fan’s pet cat or dog.
- Scientists find peanut-eating prevents allergy, urge rethink By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - In research that contradicts years of health advice, scientists said on Monday that babies at risk of developing a childhood peanut allergy can avoid it if they are given peanuts regularly during their first 11 months. The study, the first to show that eating certain foods is an effective way of preventing allergy, showed an 80 percent reduction in the prevalence of peanut allergies among high-risk children who ate peanuts frequently from infanthood, compared to those who avoided them. "This is an important clinical development and contravenes previous guidelines," said Gideon Lack, who led the study at King's College London. "New guidelines may be needed to reduce the rate of peanut allergy in our children." Rates of food allergies have been rising in recent decades, and peanut allergy now affects between 1 and 3 percent of children in Western Europe, Australia and the United States.
- Comets Are Like Deep Fried Ice Cream, Scientists Say
NASA researchers think they understand why comets have a hard, crispy outside and a cold but soft inside — just like fried ice cream. Two NASA spacecraft have interacted with a comet surface, and both found a crunchy exterior and somewhat softer, more porous interior. They think they can explain the process that makes a comet not unlike a flying hunk of fried ice cream. To create amorphous ice, water vapor molecules must be flash-frozen at a temperature of about minus 405 degrees Fahrenheit (243 degrees Celsius).
- Penguins Are Well Dressed, But Have Poor Taste
Despite their tuxedo style, when it comes to enjoying food, penguins have poor taste, a new study finds. These flightless birds can't taste the savoriness of fish or the sweetness of fruit, because over the course of evolution, they have lost the ability to taste all but salty and sour flavors. Many birds, such as chickens and finches, lack the receptors for sweet taste, but they can still taste bitter and umami. "Penguinseat fish, so you would guess that they need the umami receptor genes, but for some reason they don't have them," Jianzhi "George" Zhang, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan and co-author of the study published yesterday (Feb. 16) in the journal Current Biology, said in a statement.
- Corrected - U.S. FDA approves 23andMe's genetic screening test for rare disorder (In 6th paragraph, corrects to show that four patient were treated for infections at the hospital, not that they developed infections at the hospital) By Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Google-backed 23andMe won U.S. approval on Thursday to market the first direct-to-consumer genetic test for a mutation that can cause children to inherit Bloom syndrome, a rare disorder that leads to short height, an increased risk of cancer and unusual facial features. The Food and Drug Administration said it plans to issue a notice to exempt this and other carrier screening tests from the need to win FDA review before being sold. "This action creates the least burdensome regulatory path for autosomal recessive carrier screening tests with similar uses to enter the market," the agency said in a statement, referring to genetic mutations carried by two unaffected parents. The FDA previously barred Mountain View, California-based 23andMe from marketing a saliva collection kit and personal genome service designed to identify a range of health risks including cancer and heart disease, saying it had not received marketing clearance.
- NASCAR announces effort to promote math, science
- U.S. FDA approves 23andMe's genetic screening test for rare disorder By Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Google-backed 23andMe won U.S. approval on Thursday to market the first direct-to-consumer genetic test for a mutation that can cause children to inherit Bloom syndrome, a rare disorder that leads to short height, an increased risk of cancer and unusual facial features. The Food and Drug Administration said it plans to issue a notice to exempt this and other carrier screening tests from the need to win FDA review before being sold. "This action creates the least burdensome regulatory path for autosomal recessive carrier screening tests with similar uses to enter the market," the agency said in a statement, referring to genetic mutations carried by two unaffected parents. The FDA previously barred Mountain View, California-based 23andMe from marketing a saliva collection kit and personal genome service designed to identify a range of health risks including cancer and heart disease, saying it had not received marketing clearance.
- Why It's So Freakin' Cold: Here's the Science
As if the outdoors weren't harsh enough with Boston buried under ungodly amounts of snow and the rest of the Northeast unable to shake the bitter cold, more winter weather is on the way. Parts of the United States are expected to have historic lows this week, as temperatures in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and central Appalachians may drop to the coldest they've been since the mid-1990s, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). "Get ready for an even more impressive surge of Arctic air later this week as another cold front drops south from Canada," the NWS said in a statement. That Arctic air in the form of a polar vortex eddy is dropping temperatures with a burst of bitterly cold air, the NWS said.
- Diseases affecting the poorest can be eliminated, scientists say By Alex Whiting LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - It is a little known disease but it could make medical history if scientists' predictions are correct: yaws could completely disappear by 2020, given the right resources. Guinea worm is nearly there, and polio too could be added to the list. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday urged developing countries to invest more in tackling so-called neglected tropical diseases such as yaws, saying more investment would alleviate human misery and free people trapped in poverty. When the WHO launched mass treatment campaigns with penicillin vaccines, the number of cases plummeted by 95 percent by the end of the 1960s, according to David Mabey, an expert in yaws and professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
- World's Largest Atom Smasher Returns: 4 Things It Could Find
The world's largest particle collider is gearing up for another run of smashing particles together at nearly the speed of light. After a two-year hiatus for upgrades, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will restart this year, and is expected to be twice as powerful as it was during its first run. In 2012, the LHC helped to find evidence of the Higgs boson, the particle that is thought to explain how other particles get their mass. The discovery vindicated theoretical calculations made decades ago, and bolstered the Standard Model, the current framework of particle physics.
- Scientists unveil map of 'epigenome,' a second genetic code
By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scientists for the first time have mapped out the molecular "switches" that can turn on or silence individual genes in the DNA in more than 100 types of human cells, an accomplishment that reveals the complexity of genetic information and the challenges of interpreting it. Researchers unveiled the map of the "epigenome" in the journal Nature on Wednesday, alongside nearly two dozen related papers. The human genome is the blueprint for building an individual person. The epigenome can be thought of as the cross-outs and underlinings of that blueprint: if someone's genome contains DNA associated with cancer but that DNA is "crossed out" by molecules in the epigenome, for instance, the DNA is unlikely to lead to cancer.
- Mysterious Plumes on Mars Have Scientists Stumped
A mystery is brewing on Mars: Amateur astronomers spotted enormous plumes erupting off the Red Planet's surface, leaving scientists puzzled. The plumes reflect sunlight, which means they could be made of water ice, carbon dioxide ice or dust. An image by the Hubble Space Telescope from 1997 revealed another abnormally high plume, similar to the one seen in 2012, according to a statement from the European Space Agency (ESA). Scientists at the Universidad del Pais Vasco in Spain studied the images of the plumes and confirmed that they reach heights of more than 155 miles (250 km) above the surface, and cover an area of up to 310 by 620 miles (500 by 1,000 km).
- Valentine's Science: How Mouth Germs Shape Attraction
The human body is home to 100 trillion microbes, known collectively as the microbiome. In recent years, scientists have found that these communities of organisms are crucial for human metabolism and immune system function. "So it shouldn't be surprising that [the microbiome] has effects not only on metabolic processes, but on the way we look at things ... and even in sexual attraction," said Dr. William Miller, a retired physician, evolutionary biologist and author of the book "The Microcosm Within: Evolution and Extinction in the Hologenome" (Universal Publishers, 2013). For example, microbes may be invisible musicians in the complex orchestra of human attraction.
- Scientists spot 2nd baby orca in endangered pod in 2 months FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. (AP) — A scientist who tracks a group of endangered killer whales that frequents Puget Sound says he's spotted a second baby born to the pod in the past two months.
- It's Raining Milk! Odd Weather Puzzles Scientists
Milky white rain poured down on eastern Washington state and northeast Oregon on a wintery morning last week. "I walked out to go somewhere in my car, and I noticed it was covered with mud," said Robin Priddy, director of Benton Clean Air in Kennewick, Washington. Dust likely gave the rain its light hue, but it's unclear where the dust came from, especially since it was a windless day, Priddy told Live Science. The inland Northwest is typically dry, so "it's not crazy unusual to get dust storms here," Priddy said.
Geändert: 10.12.2010 19:40 Uhr