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Showing posts from March 11, 2016

Astronaut Scott Kelly retiring after longest U.S. space mission

(Reuters) - The astronaut who holds the American record for most time spent in space, Scott Kelly, will retire from NASA on April 1, the U.S. space agency said on Friday. Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth last week after nearly a year on the International Space Station, the longest U.S. space mission on record, intended to pave the way for human travel to Mars. NASA said that after retiring, Kelly, 52, will still work on ongoing research related to his time in space.


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Should We Hunt Yellowstone Grizzly Bears? (Op-Ed)

Jon Beckmann is a conservation scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) North America Program. In the 2015 film "The Revenant," one of the most dramatic scenes pits frontiersman Hugh Glass in a harrowing effort to ward off an attacking grizzly bear — a battle that helped Leonardo DiCaprio win the Oscar for Best Actor.


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The Carbon-Fiber Future: It's About More Than Speed (Op-Ed)

Nikhil Gupta is an associate professor, and Steven Zeltmann is a student researcher, in the Composite Materials and Mechanics Laboratory of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at New York University Tandon School of Engineering.


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Intrexon says FDA finds anti-Zika mosquito environmentally safe

(Reuters) - U.S. health regulators said a genetically engineered mosquito being used in the fight against Zika will not have a significant impact on the environment, possibly paving the way for the technique to be used in the country. The self-limiting strain of the Aedes aegypti mosquito was developed by Oxitec, the U.K.-subsidiary of U.S. synthetic biology company Intrexon Corp. The male mosquitoes are modified so their offspring will die before reaching adulthood and being able to reproduce. Preliminary findings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday agree with the draft environmental assessment submitted by Oxitec, which was spun off from the Oxford University and acquired last year by Intrexon.


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Birth Date May Influence Child's Risk for ADHD Diagnosis

The researchers found that preschool and school-age children who were born in August had an increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD and receiving medication for it compared to their classmates who were born in September. Because the cutoff birth date for entering school in Taiwan is August 31, children born in August are typically the youngest in their grades, while children born in September are typically the oldest.

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Stunning New 'Drowned Apostles' Discovered on Seafloor

A bevy of limestone towers, dubbed the "Drowned Apostles," have been discovered beneath the waves off the coast of Australia. The discovery may mark the first time scientists have uncovered limestone pillars, called sea stacks, below the water's surface. "Sea stacks are always eroding, as we saw with the one that collapsed in 2005, so it is hugely surprising that any could be preserved at that depth of water," David Kennedy, a geographer at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a statement.


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Intrexon says FDA finds anti-Zika mosquito environmentally safe

(Reuters) - A genetically engineered mosquito being used in the fight against Zika will not have a significant impact on the environment, the maker Intrexon Corp said, citing preliminary findings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Males of the self-limiting strain of the Aedes aegypti mosquito are modified so their offspring die before being able to reproduce, says Intrexon, a U.S. synthetic biology company. Zika, carried by mosquitoes, has been linked to a spike in microcephaly, a rare birth defect, as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis.


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Packing Lunches for Space: Scientists Talk Astronaut Health on 1-Year Mission

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are back on Earth after spending a record 340 days on the International Space Station. Last Friday (March 4), a group of NASA scientists fielded questions from the public about Kelly and Kornienko's extended stay on the station, during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA). The scientists discussed specific questions about the physical and metal toll that spaceflight can have on humans — questions they will have to answer before NASA can safely send humans to Mars or other distant locations.


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Spacecraft to seek life on Mars in European-led mission

The craft, part of the European-Russian ExoMars program, is to lift off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan on board a Proton rocket at 5:31 A.M. EDT (0931 GMT) on Monday, starting a seven-month journey through space. It will carry an atmospheric probe that will study trace gases, such as methane, around Mars as well as a lander that will test technologies needed for a rover due to follow in 2018. U.S. space agency NASA's Mars rover Curiosity in late 2014 found spurts of methane gas in the planet's atmosphere, a chemical that on Earth is strongly tied to life.

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