Earlier this week something happened to make Japan’s brand new black hole satellite suddenly, mysteriously lose all contact with Earth. Now, we have video of it spinning wildly in space—and JAXA has also received a few odd, new messages. After a long, tense silence, Hitomi sent two very terse messages in response to JAXA’s continued attempts to contact it. But that doesn’t mean anything like full communications—much less control—has been re-established. The messages were so short that JAXA has no new information about either the state of the satellite, or what happened to knock it off kilter in the first place. There might be some clues in this video of the Hitomi shot by astronomer Paul Maley in Arizona.
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A University of Oklahoma-led team of physicists believes chip-based atomic physics holds promise to make the second quantum revolution—the engineering of quantum matter with arbitrary precision—a reality.
“Dr. Isaac Eliaz discusses a form of cancer treatment that is popular in other parts of the world and can be much easier on the body than chemo or radiation. Find out what different kinds of this treatment are available and how it can work.”
Via THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*
CAPE CANAVERAL — On top of an Atlas rocket, the place where orbital spaceflight for American astronauts began, will sit Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to launch humans into space starting next year.It was Feb. 20, 1962 when an Atlas D booster blasted off with Project Mercury’s Friendship 7 capsule and John Glenn to become the nation’s first person to orbit the Earth.More than a half-century later, a bold new era of commercial travel to and from space is about to start, and Atlas rockets will again play a pivotal role.
3D printed parts have been finding themselves in rockets and spacecraft for a few years now, but typically it was a single, experimental part, usually printed in metal. However, using 3D printed parts in production of spacecraft like the types of rockets that send satellites into orbit hasn’t been especially common. But that is starting to change, as United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, has started sending Atlas V rockets into orbit using several 3D printed parts made from advanced thermoplastic materials developed for them by Stratasys. Not only do these 3D printed parts shave critical weight off of the rocket, they often significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing them, which is vital when dealing with non-recoverable spacecraft like the Atlas V.
“ NASA is teaming up with Microsoft to give you a glimpse of the Red Planet. A new exhibition called "Destination: Mars" will let visitors use Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headsets t”
Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton
A study of gene expression in leukemia cells has identified an RNA binding protein that plays an important role in driving the development of cancer. The protein is normally active in fetal tissue and switched off in adults, but it is reactivated in some cancer cells. This expression pattern makes it an attractive target for cancer-fighting drugs, because blocking its activity is unlikely to cause serious side effects.
The new study, published March 14 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, focused on a particularly aggressive form of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), the most prevalent type of leukemia in children and young adults. A team led by scientists at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA found an overabundance of the RNA binding protein known as IGF2BP3 in the cancer cells of this subset of B-ALL patients.
"This protein, IFG2BP3, has been correlated with many types of malignancies and with the worst prognoses," said coauthor Jeremy Sanford, associate professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at UC Santa Cruz. "What is exciting about this study is that it goes beyond correlation and shows causation, because we demonstrated for the first time that aberrant expression of this protein is sufficient to induce pathology."
The researchers identified genes that are directly regulated by this RNA binding protein, and many of them turn out to be oncogenes that have already been implicated in cancer. In particular, the protein enhances the expression of a well-characterized oncogene called MYC, which in turn regulates a large number of genes involved in cell proliferation.
Compared to other proteins involved in regulating gene activity, RNA binding proteins have not been well studied. When a gene is turned on or "expressed," an RNA copy is made of the gene's DNA sequence, and the genetic code carried by this "messenger RNA" is then translated into a protein that carries out some cellular function. Many factors are involved in controlling which genes get transcribed into messenger RNA and when, but RNA binding proteins interact with the messenger RNA itself to regulate gene expression after transcription has occurred. Scientists are only beginning to unravel the complexity of this post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression.
In the case of IGF2BP3 and B-cell leukemia, the overall effect of the RNA binding protein is to promote the proliferation of B cells by shifting the expression of a large number of genes, Sanford said.
The speed of light in a vacuum stands at “exactly 299,792,458 metres per second“. The reason today we can put an exact figure on it is because the speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant that has been measured with lasers; and when an experiment involves lasers, it’s hard to argue with the results. As to why it comes out somewhat conspicuously as a whole number, this is no coincidence- the length of metre is defined using this constant: “the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.” Prior to a few hundred years ago, it was generally agreed or at least assumed that the speed of light was infinite, when in actuality it’s just really, really, really fast- for reference, the speed of light is just slightly slower than the fastest thing in the known universe- a teenage girl’s response time if Justin Bieber were to say on Twitter, “The first to reply to this tweet will be my new girlfriend.” The first known person to question the whole “speed of light is infinite” thing was the 5th century BC philosopher Empedocles. Less than a century later, Aristotle would disagree with Empedocles and the argument continued for more than 2,000 years after.
“ Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are making some huge leaps into the educational landscape transforming the way teaching and learning are taking place. Educators and teachers are increasingly adopting AR technologies in their classrooms. As extensions of the physical world, AR technologies amplify its dimensions and bring life to its static constituents. There are a variety of ways you can use AR in your class. For instance, you can use them to take your students into virtual field trips, visit world museums, animate and enrich textbook content and many more.”
Via John Evans, Lars-Göran Hedström
“ Engineers from the University of Rochester have produced a new shape-changing polymer that rapidly responds to body heat. This remarkable new mighty morphing material, which can lift objects up to 1,000 times its own mass, is showcased in the Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics.”
Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton
WASHINGTON — Blue Origin successfully launched and landed Jan. 22 the same New Shepard vehicle that flew in November, a demonstration of the vehicle’s reusability and the latest round of one-upmanship in its rivalry with SpaceX.The suborbital New Shepard vehicle took off from Blue Origin’s test site in West Texas early Jan. 22 and reached a peak altitude of 101.7 kilometers. The vehicle’s conical crew capsule separated and parachuted to a soft landing, while the cylindrical propulsion module made a powered vertical landing on a landing pad several kilometers from the launch site.“The very same New Shepard booster that flew above the Karman line and then landed vertically at its launch site last November has now flown and landed again, demonstrating reuse,” company founder Jeff Bezos wrote in a blog post late Jan. 22. The von Karman line, an altitude of 100 kilometers, is a commonly used, although not universally accepted, boundary of space.
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