Earth’s History Sends Climate Warning – Urgent Action Needed
Earth particle. Chemical fingerprints of past CO2 levels are preserved in microscopic fossil shells such as this foraminifera. Credit: University of St Andrews


A new study of historical carbon dioxide levels stresses urgent action is needed to avoid prehistoric levels of climate change. The international team of scientists, led by the University of St Andrews, collected data spanning the last 66 million years to provide new insights into the kinds of climates we can ultimately expect if CO2 levels continue to rise at the current rate. The projected rise would result in prehistoric levels of warmth that have never been experienced by humans.

The study, published in the scientific journal Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences on May 31, 2021, provides the most complete history to date of how CO2 has changed over the last 66 million years, the time since dinosaurs last roamed the planet. The data collected shows more clearly than ever before the link between CO2 and climate.

Working with colleagues from Texas A&M University, the University of Southampton and the Swiss University ETH Zürich, the international team pulled together data collected over the last 15 years using high-tech laboratory techniques.

Samples were taken from cores of mud from the deep-sea floor, where microscopic fossils and ancient molecules accumulate, preserving a story of what CO2 and the climate looked like at the time. By firing these ancient atoms through super sensitive instruments, scientists can detect the chemical fingerprints of past changes in CO2, which can be compared with present day changes. For example, the study explains, through fossil fuel burning and deforestation, how humans have now driven CO2 back to levels not seen since around three million years ago.

Dr. James Rae, from the University of St Andrews School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, who led the international team explained: “For instance, the last time CO2 was as high as it is today enough ice melted to raise sea level by 20 metres and it was warm enough for beech trees to grow on Antarctica.

“If we allow fossil fuel burning to continue to grow, our grandchildren may experience CO2 levels that haven’t been seen on Earth for around 50 million years, a time when crocodiles roamed the Arctic.”

Click here to read the full article on Sci-Tech Daily.

Upcoming SpaceX mission a reusability milestone for national security launch
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a U.S. Space Force GPS 3 satellite Nov. 5. The rocket lifted off at 6:24 p.m. Eastern from from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Credit: SpaceX

By , Space News

The upcoming SpaceX launch of a GPS 3 satellite scheduled for June 17 will be the first national security space mission to use a refurbished Falcon 9 booster. The U.S. Space Force initially ordered an expendable rocket but agreed to the switch with a caveat: the reused booster had to be the one that flew another GPS 3 satellite to orbit last November.

A Space Force official told reporters June 14 that this requirement is just for this mission as the military gets more comfortable with reusability. In the future SpaceX will be able to bid for national security launch contracts “with no restrictions on reusability,” said Walter Lauderdale, deputy mission director of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise.

This means the Space Force will allow SpaceX to fly future national security missions on Falcon 9 boosters that previously launched commercial or NASA payloads.

“Later this year we’ll work with them on what boosters are available. Not just those flown for national security launch, we’re open to using others,” Lauderdale said during a conference call with reporters.

Lauderdale said it’s taken SMC’s Launch Enterprise several years to get to this point after working with SpaceX and gaining a better understanding of how its fleet operates.

SpaceX’s first mission under the National Security Space Launch program in December 2018 — GPS 3 SV-01 — flew on an expendable rocket. For the second and third GPS 3 launches in June and November 2020 (GPS 3 SV-03 and SV-04), the Space Force allowed SpaceX to recover the boosters. For the next two GPS 3 missions, GPS 3 SV-05 and SV-06, the company will be able to fly reused boosters and recover them.

SpaceX received a bulk contract worth $290.5 million to launch GPS 3 SV-04, SV-05 and SV-06. After agreeing to booster recovery and reuse, the price was reduced by $64 million over the three missions, Lauderdale said.

GPS 3 SV-06 is projected to launch in 2022.

For the launch of SV-06 SpaceX will be allowed to offer a booster that has flown more than twice, said Lauderdale.

There are still four more GPS 3 launch contracts to be awarded under Phase 2 of the National Security Space Launch program. SpaceX and United Launch Alliance are the two launch providers selected for Phase 2 for a five-year period from 2022 to 2027. Under the terms of the contract, the Space Force has to give ULA 60 percent of the missions over the five years and SpaceX 40 percent.

Given SpaceX’s win streak with GPS missions, the company is likely to launch more GPS satellites in the coming years. SpaceX got five of the six GPS 3 launches awarded over the past four years. ULA in 2019 launched a GPS satellite on the final flight of the Delta 4 Medium rocket before it retired the vehicle.

Click here to read the full article on Space News.

Astronomers discover largest known spinning structures in the universe
An artist's impression of a spinning cosmic filament that astronomers found

By ,

Tendrils of galaxies up to hundreds of millions of light-years long may be the largest spinning objects in the universe, a new study finds. Celestial bodies often spin, from planets to stars to galaxies. However, giant clusters of galaxies often spin very slowly, if at all, and so many researchers thought that is where spinning might end on cosmic scales, study co-author Noam Libeskind, a cosmologist at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam in Germany, told

But in the new research, Libeskind and his colleagues found that cosmic filaments, or gigantic tubes made of galaxies, apparently spin. “There are structures so vast that entire galaxies are just specks of dust,” Libeskind said. “These huge filaments are much, much bigger than clusters.”

Previous research suggested that after the universe was born in the Big Bang about 13.8 billion years ago, much of the gas that makes up most of the known matter of the cosmos collapsed to form colossal sheets. These sheets then broke apart to form the filaments of a vast cosmic web.

Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the scientists examined more than 17,000 filaments, analyzing the velocity at which the galaxies making up these giant tubes moved within each tendril. The researchers found that the way in which these galaxies moved suggested they were rotating around the central axis of each filament.

The fastest the researchers saw galaxies whirl around the hollow centers of these tendrils was about 223,700 mph (360,000 kph). The scientists noted they do not suggest that every single filament in the universe spins, but that spinning filaments do seem to exist.

The big question is, “Why do they spin?” Libeskind said. The Big Bang would not have endowed the universe with any primordial spin. As such, whatever caused these filaments to spin must have originated later in history as the structures formed, he said.

Click here to read the full article on

National Geographic Officially Recognizes the Southern Ocean as World’s Fifth Ocean
The Southern Ocean is defined by a swift undertow called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) that flows from West to East around Antarctica.

By Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine

Just in time for World Ocean Day on June 8, National Geographic cartographers declared the oceanic ring around Antarctica the world’s fifth ocean. Dubbed the Southern Ocean, the body of water’s recognition by National Geographic aims to promote conservation and awareness to the fragile ecosystem where thousands of marine species like whales, seals, and penguins live, reports Sarah Gibbens for National Geographic.

The National Geographic Society has been making maps for over a century. Since the 1970s, they have had geographers oversee all modifications to every published map, reports the National Geographic. The decision to officially recognize the Southern Ocean came about after years of observing scientists and news sources using the term the Southern Ocean to describe waters near Antarctica, reports National Geographic.

“We’ve always labeled it, but we labeled it slightly differently [than other oceans],” Alex Tait, a National Geographic Society Geographer, tells National Geographic. “This change was taking the last step and saying we want to recognize it because of its ecological separation.”

The Southern Ocean is defined by a swift undertow called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) that flows from west to east around Antarctica, reports Andrew Chamings for SFGate. The current extends out to 60 degrees south latitude and appeared about 34 million years ago when Antarctica separated from South America, per National Geographic. The oceanic ring acts as an invisible wall that encloses Antarctica in freezing, less salty waters than northern waters. This separation makes the continent and the Southern Ocean ecologically distinct, hosting countless diverse organisms.

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names, a federal program designed in 1890 to set in place uniform geographic name usage, already recognized the arctic waters, already recognizes the Southern Ocean, reports Adam Gabbat for the Guardian. Soon after, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recognized the body of water as the fifth ocean in 1999 after the Board of Geographic Names approved the title, “Southern Ocean,” reports Paulina Firozi for the Washington Post.

“The Southern Ocean has long been recognized by scientists, but because there was never agreement internationally, we never officially recognized it,” Tait tells the National Geographic.

Click here to read the full article on Smithsonian Magazine.

NASA’s Juno mission captures first closeup images of Jupiter’s largest moon in a generation
Jupiter moon. image of Ganymede was taken by the JunoCam imager during Juno's June 7 flyby of the icy moon. The mission later hopes to obtain a color portrait of the moon.

By Ashley Strickland and Katie Hunt, CNN

The largest moon in our solar system got its first close-up in more than 20 years on Monday. NASA’s Juno mission took the images as it swung within 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) of Ganymede’s surface during a flyby, the nearest a spacecraft has been to the moon since the Galileo spacecraft made its approach in May 2000.
“This is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation,” said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “We are going to take our time before we draw any scientific conclusions, but until then we can simply marvel at this celestial wonder.”

This image of the dark side of Ganymede was taken by Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit navigation camera during its June 7 flyby of the moon. At 3,270 miles across (5,262.4 kilometers), this giant moon is larger than the planet Mercury. The photos — taken by two of three cameras on the spacecraft — show the surface in incredible detail, with craters, distinct dark and bright terrain, and long structural features, which NASA said were possibly linked to tectonic faults.

The spacecraft has been observing Jupiter and its moons since July 2016.
The moon is named for a cupbearer to the ancient Greek gods. In addition to being the largest natural satellite in our solar system, Ganymede is also the only moon to have a magnetic field. This causes auroras to glow around the moon’s north and south poles. Ganymede has an iron core covered by a layer of rock that is topped off with a thick ice shell. It’s possible that there is a subsurface ocean and astronomers discovered evidence of a thin oxygen atmosphere on the moon in 1996 using the Hubble Space Telescope. This atmosphere is too thin to support life.

Dark side of Ganymede
Using its green filter, the spacecraft’s JunoCam visible-light imager captured almost an entire side of the moon, which is encrusted in water ice, NASA said.

NASA said it hoped to later provide a “color portrait” when it has versions of the same image taken with the camera’s red and blue filters.

In addition, Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit, a navigation camera that keeps the spacecraft on course, snapped a black-and-white image of Ganymede’s dark side (the side opposite the sun).
“The conditions in which we collected the dark side image of Ganymede were ideal for a low-light camera like our Stellar Reference Unit,” said Heidi Becker, Juno’s radiation monitoring lead at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “So this is a different part of the surface than seen by JunoCam in direct sunlight. It will be fun to see what the two teams can piece together.”

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Scientists confirm discovery of Australia’s largest dinosaur, two stories tall and a basketball court long
An artist's impression of Australotitan cooperensis, the largest known dinosaur discovered in Australia.

By Amy Sood, CNN

A new species of dinosaur discovered in Australia has been confirmed as the largest ever found in the country, and one of the biggest in the world. The fossilized skeleton, nicknamed “Cooper,” was found in southwest Queensland in 2007, at Cooper Creek in the Eromanga Basin. But the skeleton remained a mystery for years, and has only now been scientifically described and named by paleontologists. Researchers at the Eromanga Natural History Museum (ENHM) and the Queensland Museum published their findings in the PeerJ scientific journal on Monday. “Cooper,” whose scientific name is Australotitan cooperensis, is estimated to have walked the Earth over 90 million years ago. It was a titanosaur — a plant-eating species belonging to the family of long-necked sauropods, the largest of the dinosaur species.

The dinosaur is estimated to have reached a height of 5 to 6.5 meters (16.4 to 21.3 feet) at the hip, and a length of 25 to 30 meters (82 to 98.4 feet) — making it as long as a basketball court and as tall as a two-story building, the ENHM said. With its long neck and tail, it may have resembled the more well-known Brachiosaurus.

Robyn Mackenzie, co-founder of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, said the team of paleontologists was able to quickly establish from the size of the bone fragments that they belonged to a large species.
“The pieces were quite big and chunky,” she said. “We were able to measure the bones and compare them with other species in Australia and the rest of the world.”
Several of the large pieces, including the dinosaur’s shoulder blades, pelvic bones and limbs, were mostly intact. However, researchers faced delays in identifying the species due to challenges in managing its large and fragile bones.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Jeff Bezos Is Going To Space (For A Few Minutes)
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced he'll be on board a spaceflight next month, in a capsule attached to a rocket made by his space exploration company Blue Origin. Bezos is seen here in 2019.

By , NPR

Jeff Bezos has already selected a hobby for his post-CEO life: space travel. Just two weeks after he steps down as CEO of Amazon, Bezos will climb aboard a rocket made by his space exploration company Blue Origin. “If you see the earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one earth,” Bezos said in a video posted to Instagram on Monday morning. “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space.”

Blue Origin’s rocket is called New Shepard, and it’s reusable – the idea being that reusing rockets will lower the cost of going to space and make it more accessible. The pressurized capsule has space for six passengers. There are no pilots. This will be the first time a crew will be aboard the New Shepard, in a capsule attached to the rocket. And it won’t just be Bezos: He invited his brother Mark, too.

Want to join the Bezos brothers?

You can bid on a seat on the flight in an auction that benefits Blue Origin’s foundation, which has the mission of inspiring future generations to pursue careers in STEM. The current high bid is $2.8 million.

The flight is scheduled for July 20 — the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Bezos gives up his CEO title on July 5, when he’ll pass the reins to Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing division.

Bezos ended his Instagram post with Blue Origin’s Latin motto, Gradatim Ferociter – which the company translates as “step by step ferociously.”

What does it mean, Bezos is going “to space”?
Technically, the Karman line is the altitude at which space begins – about 62 miles above sea level.

But Bezos won’t be above that line for long. The flight is expected to last about 11 minutes, and only a small portion of that time is above the Karman line, according to a graphic of the flight trajectory on Blue Origin’s website.

The New Shepard’s journey is called suborbital flight, meaning the rocket isn’t powerful enough to enter Earth’s orbit.

A Giant Leap For Billionairekind
Bezos isn’t alone in spending some of his enormous wealth on space exploration.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Crew Dragon now regularly carries astronauts to and from the International Space Station. And in May, a test flight by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic reached an altitude of 55 miles, marking its third human spaceflight.

But neither Musk nor Branson has traveled to space yet in their companies’ aircrafts.

In 2014, two pilots were aboard a Virgin Galactic test flight that crashed California’s Mojave Desert, killing one of them. An investigation found that pilot error and design problems were to blame in the crash.

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

Genetic tricks of the longest-lived animals
a small bat about a third the size of a mouse, was recaptured, still hale and hearty, 41 years after it was initially banded to check its genetic make up


Life, for most of us, ends far too soon—hence the effort by biomedical researchers to find ways to delay the aging process and extend our stay on Earth. But there’s a paradox at the heart of the science of aging: The vast majority of research focuses on fruit flies, nematode worms and laboratory mice, because they’re easy to work with and lots of genetic tools are available. And yet, a major reason that geneticists chose these species in the first place is because they have short lifespans. In effect, we’ve been learning about longevity from organisms that are the least successful at the game.

Today, a small number of researchers are taking a different approach and studying unusually long-lived creatures—ones that, for whatever evolutionary reasons, have been imbued with lifespans far longer than other creatures they’re closely related to. The hope is that by exploring and understanding the genes and biochemical pathways that impart long life, researchers may ultimately uncover tricks that can extend our own lifespans, too.

Everyone has a rough idea of what aging is, just from experiencing it as it happens to themselves and others. Our skin sags, our hair goes gray, joints stiffen and creak—all signs that our components—that is, proteins and other biomolecules—aren’t what they used to be. As a result, we’re more prone to chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes—and the older we get, the more likely we are to die each year. “You live, and by living you produce negative consequences like molecular damage. This damage accumulates over time,” says Vadim Gladyshev, who researches aging at Harvard Medical School. “In essence, this is aging.”

This happens faster for some species than others, though—the clearest pattern is that bigger animals tend to live longer lives than smaller ones. But even after accounting for size, huge differences in longevity remain. A house mouse lives just two or three years, while the naked mole rat, a similar-sized rodent, lives more than 35. Bowhead whales are enormous—the second-largest living mammal—but their 200-year lifespan is at least double what you’d expect given their size. Humans, too, are outliers: We live twice as long as our closest relatives, the chimpanzees.

Bats above average
Perhaps the most remarkable animal Methuselahs are among bats. One individual of Myotis brandtii, a small bat about a third the size of a mouse, was recaptured, still hale and hearty, 41 years after it was initially banded. That is especially amazing for an animal living in the wild, says Emma Teeling, a bat evolutionary biologist at University College Dublin who coauthored a review exploring the value of bats in studying aging in the 2018 Annual Review of Animal Biosciences. “It’s equivalent to about 240 to 280 human years, with little to no sign of aging,” she says. “So bats are extraordinary. The question is, Why?”

There are actually two ways to think about Teeling’s question. First: What are the evolutionary reasons that some species have become long-lived, while others haven’t? And, second: What are the genetic and metabolic tricks that allow them to do that?

Answers to the first question, at least in broad brushstrokes, are becoming fairly clear. The amount of energy that a species should put toward preventing or repairing the damage of living depends on how likely an individual is to survive long enough to benefit from all that cellular maintenance. “You want to invest enough that the body doesn’t fall apart too quickly, but you don’t want to over-invest,” says Tom Kirkwood, a biogerontologist at Newcastle University in the UK. “You want a body that has a good chance of remaining in sound condition for as long as you have a decent statistical probability to survive.”

This implies that a little scurrying rodent like a mouse has little to gain by investing much in maintenance, since it will probably end up as a predator’s lunch within a few months anyway. That low investment means it should age more quickly. In contrast, species such as whales and elephants are less vulnerable to predation or other random strokes of fate and are likely to survive long enough to reap the benefits of better-maintained cellular machinery. It’s also no surprise that groups such as birds and bats—which can escape enemies by flying—tend to live longer than you’d expect given their size, Kirkwood says. The same would apply for naked mole rats, which live their lives in subterranean burrows where they are largely safe from predators.

But the question that researchers most urgently want to answer is the second one: How do long-lived species manage to delay aging? Here, too, the outline of an answer is beginning to emerge as researchers compare species that differ in longevity. Long-lived species, they’ve found, accumulate molecular damage more slowly than shorter-lived ones do. Naked mole rats, for example, have an unusually accurate ribosome, the cellular structure responsible for assembling proteins. It makes only a tenth as many errors as normal ribosomes, according to a study led by Vera Gorbunova, a biologist at the University of Rochester. And it’s not just mole rats: In a follow-up study comparing 17 rodent species of varying longevity, Gorbunova’s team found that the longer-lived species, in general, tended to have more accurate ribosomes.

The proteins of naked mole rats are also more stable than those of other mammals, according to research led by Rochelle Buffenstein, a comparative gerontologist at Calico, a Google spinoff focused on aging research. Cells of this species have greater numbers of a class of molecules called chaperones that help proteins fold properly. They also have more vigorous proteasomes, structures that dispose of defective proteins. Those proteasomes become even more active when faced with oxidative stress, reactive chemicals that can damage proteins and other biomolecules; in contrast, the proteasomes of mice become less efficient, thus allowing damaged proteins to accumulate and impair the cell’s workings.

DNA, too, seems to be maintained better in longer-lived mammals. When Gorbunova’s team compared the efficiency with which 18 rodent species repaired a particular kind of damage (called a double-strand break) in their DNA molecules, they found that species with longer lifespans, such as naked mole rats and beavers, outperformed shorter-lived species such as mice and hamsters. The difference was largely due to a more powerful version of a gene known as Sirt6, which was already known to affect lifespan in mice.

Click here to read the full article on KNOWABLE MAGAZINE.

This is what it’s like to walk in space
Astronaut Ed White during the first American spacewalk.

By Ashley Strickland, CNN

When astronauts venture outside of the International Space Station to go on spacewalks, the most important thing they have to do is focus. This may sound simple, but imagine trying to focus on a memorized set of tasks while stepping out of an airlock and wearing a 300-pound spacesuit — with the glow of planet Earth and the sun and the dark void of the universe all around you. A tether connects you to the space station, and the absence of gravity keeps you from falling.

“There’s a lot of things that you really need to do, one of which is just keep your focus, even though it’s amazing out there,” said NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. “It’s really truly breathtaking. The only thing between you and the rest of the universe, seeing the whole cosmos of creation, is the glass faceplate of your visor on your helmet, and it’s just awe-inspiring.”

Astronaut Mike Fincke conducted a spacewalk on August 3, 2004, while wearing the Russian Orlan spacesuit. You can see Earth behind him.

Depending on the orientation of the space station, which completes 16 orbits of the Earth each day while moving at 17,500 miles per hour, our planet can appear above or below the astronauts.

Fincke is a veteran of spaceflight. He’s spent 382 days in space, and he’s gone on nine spacewalks in Russian and American spacesuits. Fincke is training in Texas for his fourth spaceflight and will launch to the space station later this year on the first crewed experimental test flight of Boeing’s Starliner.
More than 550 people have been to space and about half of them have been on a spacewalk, Fincke said. Spacewalks are often referred to as EVAs, or extravehicular activities.

The first spacewalk by an American astronaut was conducted by NASA astronaut Ed White on June 3, 1965. He left the Gemini 4 capsule at 3:45 p.m. ET and remained outside of it for 23 minutes. (Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov completed the world’s first spacewalk on March 18 of that year.)

Gemini 4 circled the Earth 66 times in four days. During the spacewalk, White began over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and went back inside the capsule as they flew over the Gulf of Mexico.
He exited the spacecraft using a hand-held oxygen-jet gun to push himself out, attached to a 25-foot safety tether. NASA astronaut James McDivitt, on the mission with White, took photos of White in space from inside the capsule.
White later said the spacewalk was the most comfortable part of the mission, and said the order to end it was the “saddest moment” of his life, according to NASA.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Scientists Partially Restored a Blind Man’s Sight With New Gene Therapy
In previous studies, researchers have been able to treat a genetic form of blind ness called Leber congenital amaurosis, by fixing a faulty gene that would otherwise cause photoreceptors to gradually degenerate.

By Carl Zimmer, Yahoo! News

A team of scientists announced Monday that they had partially restored the sight of a blind man by building light-catching proteins in one of his eyes. Their report, which appeared in the journal Nature Medicine, is the first published study to describe the successful use of this treatment. “Seeing for the first time that it did work — even if only in one patient and in one eye — is exciting,” said Ehud Isacoff, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study.

The procedure is a far cry from full vision. The volunteer, a 58-year-old man who lives in France, had to wear special goggles that gave him the ghostly perception of objects in a narrow field of view. But the authors of the report say that the trial — the result of 13 years of work — is a proof of concept for more effective treatments to come.

“It’s obviously not the end of the road, but it’s a major milestone,” said José-Alain Sahel, an ophthalmologist who splits his time between the University of Pittsburgh and the Sorbonne in Paris.

Sahel and other scientists have tried for decades to find a cure for inherited forms of blindness. These genetic disorders rob the eyes of essential proteins required for vision.

When light enters the eye, it is captured by photoreceptor cells. The photoreceptors then send an electrical signal to their neighbors, called ganglion cells, which can identify important features like motion. They then send signals of their own to the optic nerve, which delivers the information to the brain.

In previous studies, researchers have been able to treat a genetic form of blindness called Leber congenital amaurosis, by fixing a faulty gene that would otherwise cause photoreceptors to gradually degenerate.

But other forms of blindness cannot be treated so simply, because their victims lose their photoreceptors completely.

“Once the cells are dead, you cannot repair the gene defect,” Sahel said.

For these diseases, Sahel and other researchers have been experimenting with a more radical kind of repair. They are using gene therapy to turn ganglion cells into new photoreceptor cells, even though they don’t normally capture light.

The scientists are taking advantage of proteins derived from algae and other microbes that can make any nerve cell sensitive to light.

In the early 2000s, neuroscientists figured out how to install some of these proteins into the brain cells of mice and other lab animals by injecting viruses carrying their genes. The viruses infected certain types of brain cells, which then used the new gene to build light-sensitive channels.

Originally, researchers developed this technique, called optogenetics, as a way to probe the workings of the brain. By inserting a tiny light into the animal’s brain, they could switch a certain type of brain cell on or off with the flick of a switch. The method has enabled them to discover the circuitry underlying many kinds of behavior.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! News.

Most Ancient Spiral Galaxy Discovered By Scientists, Formed 1.4 Bn Years After Big Bang
Ancient Spiral Galaxy satellite image
By Aanchal Nigam, Republic World

Researchers have found and captured a spiral galaxy that was formed at least 12.4 billion years ago and it could be the earliest spiral galaxy ever seen as it was formed 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. After analysing the data obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers found the most ancient galaxy of its kind that is ever observed. The discovery of a galaxy with a spiral structure at such a preliminary stage is reportedly an important clue to solving the questions regarding the formation of such galaxies. Takafumi Tsukui, a graduate student at SOKENDAI and the lead author of the research paper published in the journal Science, said, “I was excited because I had never seen such clear evidence of a rotating disk, spiral structure, and centralized mass structure in a distant galaxy in any previous literature.” “The quality of the ALMA data was so good that I was able to see so much detail that I thought it was a nearby galaxy,”

Spiral galaxies account for 70% of universe
Our galaxy, the Milky Way is also a spiral galaxy and as per ALMA Observatory’s official release, the spiral galaxies are “fundamental objects” of the universe. According to researchers, it accounts for at least 70% of the total number of galaxies. However, studies have also noted that the portion of spiral galaxies is deteriorating rapidly as scientists try to look back through the history of the universe. Tsuki and his supervisor Satoru Iguchi, a professor at SOKENDAI and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, observed the most ancient galaxy. The galaxy is called BRI 1335-0417 in the ALMA Science Archive.

Researchers wrote, “The galaxy existed 12.4 billion years ago and contained a large amount of dust which obscures the starlight, making it difficult to study this galaxy in detail with visible light. On the other hand, ALMA can detect radio emissions from carbon ions in the galaxy, enabling astronomers to investigate what is going on in the galaxy.”

Click here to read the full article on Republic World.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Las Vegas
    September 7, 2021 - September 9, 2021
  2. WiCyS 2021 Conference
    September 8, 2021 @ 8:00 am - September 10, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
  3. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021
  4. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  5. HACU’s 35th Annual Conference
    October 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021
  6. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022