Bioengineering professor Kevin Kit Parker has created a robotic stingray imbued with live heart cells that have been programmed to respond to light, allowing them to steer the stingray bot in different directions. The big thing about this is that it can lead to a massive range of applications including the creator's ultimate goal: creating a living, pumping artificial heart.
Even though the International Space Station (ISS) has been in orbit around our planet since 1998, and has lapped our world 100,000 times, it's only held a total of 230 people in its tube-shaped pods. That means the rest of us have to find other ways to look inside the orbiting home and lab.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has just obliged by making available an online video that takes you on a narrated tour of the ISS. Even better, it's in 3D.
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As SpaceX engineers put together the first model of the company’s new Falcon Heavy rocket, officials have not ruled out flying a paying customer’s satellite aboard the maiden flight of the humongous launcher scheduled later this year, the company’s president told Spaceflight Now.The long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket could blast off on its first flight as soon as November from launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, returning the storied Apollo- and shuttle-era launch complex to service for the first time since the last space shuttle mission took off in 2011.
Recent observation by Nasa scientists of giant flares of X-rays from a black hole confirms theory that the black holes ultra hot balls of fire like our Sun.
It came as a surprise when Nasa announced last month that two of its space telescopes caught a huge burst of X-ray spewing out of a super massive black hole.
What is unique about this giant flare is it appeared to be triggered by the eruption of a massive corona (charged particles) from the "black hole". If nothing can get out of a black hole, how did the corona come out of it?
Abhas Mitra, till recently head of theoretical astrophysics at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai and currently Adjunct Professor at the Homi Bhabha National Institute says Nasa's observation has only bolstered his theory that "true" black holes do not exist and that the so-called black holes are in fact hot balls of magnetized plasma...
“Is there life beyond our solar system? If there is, our best bet for finding it may lie in three nearby, Earth-like exoplanets.”
For the first time, an international team of astronomers from MIT, the University of Liège in Belgium, and elsewhere have detected three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star, just 40 light years from Earth. The sizes and temperatures of these worlds are comparable to those of Earth and Venus, and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the solar system. The results are published today in the journal Nature.
The scientists discovered the planets using TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope), a 60-centimeter telescope operated by the University of Liège, based in Chile. TRAPPIST is designed to focus on 60 nearby dwarf stars—very small, cool stars that are so faint they are invisible to optical telescopes. Belgian scientists designed TRAPPIST to monitor dwarf stars at infrared wavelengths and search for planets around them.
The team focused the telescope on the ultracool dwarf star, 2MASS J23062928-0502285, now known as TRAPPIST-1, a Jupiter-sized star that is one-eighth the size of our sun and significantly cooler. Over several months starting in September 2015, the scientists observed the star's infrared signal fade slightly at regular intervals, suggesting that several objects were passing in front of the star.
With further observations, the team confirmed the objects were indeed planets, with similar sizes to Earth and Venus. The two innermost planets orbit the star in 1.5 and 2.4 days, though they receive only four and two times the amount of radiation, respectively, as the Earth receives from the sun. The third planet may orbit the star in anywhere from four to 73 days, and may receive even less radiation than Earth. Given their size and proximity to their ultracool star, all three planets may have regions with temperatures well below 400 kelvins, within a range that is suitable for sustaining liquid water and life.
Because the system is just 40 light years from Earth, co-author Julien de Wit, a postdoc in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, says scientists will soon be able to study the planets' atmospheric compositions, as well as assess their habitability and whether life actually exists within this planetary system.
Women make up half the population, yet it's been well documented that they don't come close to parity in STEM fields. Could the rise of big data and data science offer women a clearer path to success in technology?
OK, he was right: When in Boston, I taught next to a Geometry teacher who would later go on to become Teacher of the Year. Lining the walls of his high school Geometry classroom, from floor to ceiling, were vocabulary words with drawings and examples. At the time I thought it was a bit extreme. I mean, aren't these kids in high school?
Via Cindy Riley Klages, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
Welcome to a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success. Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a…
“Engineers at Oregon State University have found a new way to induce and control boiling bubble formation, that may allow everything from industrial-sized boilers to advanced electronics to work better and last longer.”
Via THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*
“Scanning the mitochondrial genomes of thousands of species is beginning to shed light on why some genes were lost while others were retained.”
Billions of years ago, one cell—the ancestral cell of modern eukaryotes—engulfed another, a microbe that gave rise to today’s mitochondria. Over evolutionary history, the relationship between our cells and these squatters has become a close one; mitochondria provide us with energy and enjoy protection from the outside environment in return. As a result of this interdependence, our mitochondria, which once possessed their own complete genome, have lost most of their genes: while the microbe that was engulfed so many years ago is estimated to have contained thousands of genes, humans have just 13 remaining genes in their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).
Some mitochondrial genes have disappeared completely; others have been transferred to our cells’ nuclei for safekeeping, away from the chemically harsh environment of the mitochondrion. This is akin to storing books in a nice, dry, central library, instead of a leaky shed where they could get damaged. In humans, damage to mitochondrial genes can result in devastating genetic diseases, so why keep any books at all in the leaky shed?
Researchers have proposed diverse hypotheses to explain mitochondrial gene retention. Perhaps the products of some genes are hard to introduce into the mitochondrion once they’ve been made elsewhere. (Mitochondria have their own ribosomes and are capable of translating their retained genes in-house.) Or perhaps keeping some mitochondrial genes allows the cell to control each organelle individually. Historically, it has been hard to gather quantitative support for any of these ideas, but in the world of big (and growing) biological data we now have the power to shed light on this question. The mtDNA sequences of thousands of organisms as diverse as plants, worms, yeasts, protists, and humans have now been sequenced, yielding information on the patterns of gene loss and on the gene properties that may have governed this loss.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch a third-generation GPS navigation satellite for the U.S. military in 2018, the Air Force said Wednesday, breaking a monopoly held by United Launch Alliance since its formation nearly a decade ago.
The second satellite in the Air Force’s GPS 3 series, GPS 3-2, will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in May 2018.
The Air Force’s announcement came hours after SpaceX unveiled a plan to send the first commercial mission to Mars in 2018, when it hopes to send an uncrewed “Red Dragon” capsule to land there.
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