Daily Archives: August 31, 2015

Six NASA Astronauts Start Year-Long Mars Isolation Project

Six NASA Astronauts Start Year-Long Mars Isolation Project
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  • Mars Isolation Project continues to Test the Will of its Participants

The Mars Isolation Project has continued to test the will of its participants.

Half a dozen people locked themselves up inside a dome in Hawaii. They were engaged in the lengthiest isolation experiment ever conducted by NASA. The whole shebang is in preparation for a trip to the Red Planet.

Among the participants may be included an astrobiologist and a physicist. Then there was a pilot, an architect, a doctor/journalist and a soil scientist. The first two of these happen to be a Frenchman and a German respectively. As for the rest of the four crew members, they are all Yankees.

The experiment is taking place on a slope of Mauna Loa. There are no creatures in the vicinity and very little greenery. Each crew member has his or her own room. There is sleeping arrangements and a desk to study.

Among the food items that they can eat may be included: dehydrated cheese and canned tuna. They have to wear spacesuits and do not have much of a chance to surf the internet. Who would want to spend over a year in this manner?

Apparently these six. They want to show the world that they can accomplish the impossible. These heroes and heroines also want to prove to everyone that the world can be left behind.

continue http://www.i4u.com/2015/08/94587/six-nasa-astronauts-start-year-long-mars-isolation-project

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Have you seen the Portland Pooper?

portland-pooper-thumb

This gentleman is the Portland Pooper who has been dropping deuces outside of a Southeast Portland office throughout the month. A disgusted business owner caught him in the act with a surveillance camera and posted flyers that he hopes will bring the culprit to justice. If they catch him, the Pooper could face “offensive littering charges.”

“I find it interesting that he has toilet paper with him, it’s very pre-planned,” Catrina Salazar, who works nearby at Phix Hair Studio, told KOIN 6 News. “You just don’t really know what to expect around here. People, they like do their own thing, they kind of march to the beat of their own drum.”

continue http://boingboing.net/2015/08/28/have-you-seen-the-portland-poo.html

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Scientists reprogram cancer cells back to normal

For the first time, aggressive breast, lung and bladder cancer have been neutralized and turned back to normal cells, prevented from excessive multiplication. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, US, likened it to applying brakes to a speeding car.

“We should be able to re-establish the brakes and restore normal cell function,” said Profesor Panos Anastasiadis, of the Department for Cancer Biology.

Cells need to constantly divide to replace and renew themselves, but in cancerous cells, they reproduce too much; when everything is working properly, everything is regulated by biological microprocessors called microRNAs. They tell cells to stop multiplying by secreting a protein called PLEKHA7 which breaks the cell bonds. But in cancer, that simply doesn’t work anymore. Scientists first figured out they could make cells cancerous by instructing the microRNAs to stop producing the protein. So in cancerous cells, if they could somehow instruct it to start producing the protein again, cancer cells would be reprogrammed. This is exactly what they’ve done.

“We have now done this in very aggressive human cell lines from breast and bladder cancer,” added Dr Anastasiadis. “These cells are already missing PLEKHA7. Restoring either PLEKHA7 levels, or the levels of microRNAs in these cells turns them back to a benign state. We are now working on better delivery options.”

continue http://www.zmescience.com/medicine/scientists-cancer-cells-microrna-28082015/

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People With Schizophrenia Have Different Throat Bacteria

A culture of Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, one of the types found in the study

The colonies of bacteria living in our throats could indicate whether or not a person has schizophrenia, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Peer J.

No one is quite sure what causes schizophrenia, but for decades scientists have been looking at the link between schizophrenia and the immune system. The immune system appears weaker in schizophrenic patients, but researchers didn’t really understand how the two were connected. Recent research into the microbiome—the colonies of bacteria that live in and around our bodies—has shown that these bacteria play a surprisingly large part in all sorts of functions, including regulating our moods and modulating our immune systems.

So a team of researchers from George Washington University decided to investigate which bacteria make up the microbiome in patients with and without schizophrenia. They took throat swabs of 32 patients, half of whom had schizophrenia and half of whom did not, and sequenced the genes of the bacteria they found there. They looked at which types of bacteria they were, and their concentrations.

continue http://www.popsci.com/throat-bacteria-may-provide-new-link-schizophrenia

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Self-Driving Trucks Coming Soon To Florida Roads

Self-driving trucks from Pennsylvania firm Royal Truck and Equipment will be on Florida roads by the end of the year.

The rigs, which are part of a Department of Transportation pilot program, can navigate by following a pre-programmed lead car, via remote control, or by using GPS Waypoint navigation. Daimler’s self-driving tractor trailers have already been testing in Nevada under a special state-granted autonomous license. But like the Google autonomous cars on the road in California, Daimler’s trucks require a human driver to be on board—the vehicles scheduled to deploy to the Sunshine State don’t.

The modified medium-duty Freightliners will be used for highway construction projects, and safety was cited as a key factor in removing from the driver from the equation.
continue http://www.popsci.com/self-driving-trucks-coming-soon-florida-roads-video

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Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned

FBI
The FBI has drawn criticism over its apparent use of ‘entrapment’ tactics. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

David Williams did not have an easy life. He moved to Newburgh, a gritty, impoverished town on the banks of the Hudson an hour or so north of New York, at just 10 years old. For a young, black American boy with a father in jail, trouble was everywhere.

Williams also made bad choices. He ended up going to jail for dealing drugs. When he came out in 2007 he tried to go straight, but money was tight and his brother, Lord, needed cash for a liver transplant. Life is hard in Newburgh if you are poor, have a drug rap and need cash quickly.

His aunt, Alicia McWilliams, was honest about the tough streets her nephew was dealing with. “Newburgh is a hard place,” she said. So it was perhaps no surprise that in May, 2009, David Williams was arrested again and hit with a 25-year jail sentence. But it was not for drugs offences. Or any other common crime. Instead Williams and three other struggling local men beset by drug, criminal and mental health issues were convicted of an Islamic terrorist plot to blow up Jewish synagogues and shoot down military jets with missiles.

Even more shocking was that the organisation, money, weapons and motivation for this plot did not come from real Islamic terrorists. It came from the FBI, and an informant paid to pose as a terrorist mastermind paying big bucks for help in carrying out an attack. For McWilliams, her own government had actually cajoled and paid her beloved nephew into being a terrorist, created a fake plot and then jailed him for it. “I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone,” she told the Guardian.

continue http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/nov/16/fbi-entrapment-fake-terror-plots?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

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