суббота, 21 июля 2018 г.

Eye’m Still Here All around the world, humans are at risk…

Eye’m Still Here

All around the world, humans are at risk from outbreaks of viruses such as Ebola and Zika. In order to understand more about how these infections spread, researchers want to know whether the viruses can lie dormant in the body, becoming reactivated and causing disease at a later date. To find out, they’re studying a harmless but widespread virus known as cytomegalovirus (CMV), which infects up to 90 per cent of the population but doesn’t cause any symptoms in healthy people. It turns out that CMV (red) lurks amongst the blood vessels (green) in the iris of the eye – an organ that’s usually resistant to viral attack – and can be reactivated more than two months after the initial infection. Not only does this suggest that CMV infection could be responsible for causing eye problems, but it also reveals a potential hiding place for more deadly viruses.

Written by Kat Arney

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Rock Art inside the Barclodiad y Gawres Prehistoric Burial…

Rock Art inside the Barclodiad y Gawres Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Anglesey, North Wales, 21.7.18.

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HiPOD (21 July 2018): A Smaller Crater on the Floor of Gale…

HiPOD (21 July 2018): A Smaller Crater on the Floor of Gale Crater

   – This crater likely exposes Gale crater bedrock beneath the floor units and may allow mapping of floor units in the south of Gale. (281 km above the surface. Black and white is less than 5 km across; enhanced color is less than 1 km.) 

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


2018 July 21 Apollo 11 Landing Site Panorama Image Credit: Neil…

2018 July 21

Apollo 11 Landing Site Panorama
Image Credit: Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11, NASA

Explanation: Have you seen a panorama from another world lately? Assembled from high-resolution scans of the original film frames, this one sweeps across the magnificent desolation of the Apollo 11 landing site on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility. The images were taken by Neil Armstrong looking out his window of the Eagle Lunar Module shortly after the July 20, 1969 landing. The frame at the far left (AS11-37-5449) is the first picture taken by a person on another world. Toward the south, thruster nozzles can be seen in the foreground on the left, while at the right, the shadow of the Eagle is visible to the west. For scale, the large, shallow crater on the right has a diameter of about 12 meters. Frames taken from the Lunar Module windows about an hour and a half after landing, before walking on the lunar surface, were intended to initially document the landing site in case an early departure was necessary.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180721.html


A Mycenaean and an Iron Age Iranian walk into a bar…

What do they have in common? The same type of Near Eastern ancestry? From Iran? Nope, that’s a joke. Obviously, they share the same type of steppe ancestry. This probably has some very important linguistic implications.

The relevant Principal Component Analysis (PCA) datasheet is available here. Below are two pairs of formal mixture models that support my inferences from the PCA.

Srubnaya_MLBA 0.266±0.029
Tepecik_Ciftlik_N 0.734±0.029
P-value: 0.588000631
Full output
Minoan_Lasithi 0.790±0.023
Srubnaya_MLBA 0.210±0.023
P-value: 0.187709803
Full output

Namazga_CA 0.528±0.040
Srubnaya_MLBA 0.472±0.040
P-value: 0.561330411
Full output
Dzharkutan1_BA 0.530±0.037
Srubnaya_MLBA 0.470±0.037
P-value: 0.485083377
Full output

But seriously, what’s the direct link between populations like Tepecik_Ciftlik_N/Minoan_Lasithi and Namazga_CA/Dzharkutan1_BA, except some exceedingly distant farmer ancestry from the Fertile Crescent?
See also…
An early Iranian, obviously
Graeco-Aryan parallels
Main candidates for the precursors of the proto-Greeks in the ancient DNA record to date



High-Altitude Jovian Clouds

NASA – JUNO Mission logo.

July 20, 2018

This image captures a high-altitude cloud formation surrounded by swirling patterns in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s North North Temperate Belt region.

The North North Temperate Belt is one of Jupiter’s many colorful, swirling cloud bands. Scientists have wondered for decades how deep these bands extend. Gravity measurements collected by Juno during its close flybys of the planet have now provided an answer. Juno discovered that these bands of flowing atmosphere actually penetrate deep into the planet, to a depth of about 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers).

NASA’s Juno spacecraft took this color-enhanced image at 10:11 p.m. PDT on July 15, 2018 (1:11 a.m. EDT on July 16), as the spacecraft performed its 14th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 3,900 miles (6,200 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops, above a latitude of 36 degrees.

Citizen scientist Jason Major created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/.

More information about Juno is at https://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu.

Image, Text, Credits: NASA/Jon Nelson/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Jason Major.

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Fertility, DNA Studies and Disease Therapy Research on Station Today

ISS – Expedition 56 Mission patch.

July 20, 2018

The Expedition 56 crew members continued their work Friday on more fertility research and microbe studies aboard the International Space Station. They also worked on science gear for a study seeking advanced therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor examined biological samples for the Micro-11 fertility study. They looked at the samples through a microscope which were later stowed in a science freezer. The experiment seeks to determine if human reproduction would be possible off the Earth.

Image above: NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold works on gear inside the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA.

Feustel also spent some time in the morning working on the Amyloid experiment to help doctors develop advanced treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. He collected amyloid fibril samples from the Cell Biology Experiment Facility and stowed them in a science freezer for spectroscopy and microscopic analysis back on Earth.

European astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold were sampling the station’s atmosphere and surfaces for a pair of microbe investigations today. Gerst collected microbe samples and stowed them in a freezer for molecular analysis on Earth to identify potential pathogens on the station. Arnold processed microbial DNA using the Biomolecule Sequencer, a device that enables DNA sequencing in microgravity, to identify microbes able to survive in microgravity.

Related links:

Micro-11: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1922

Amyloid: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7556

Microbe samples: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1663

Microbial DNA: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7687

Biomolecule Sequencer: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1917

Expedition 56: https://cms.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition56/index.html

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.

Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Heart Rock, California | #Geology #GeologyPage #Heart…

Heart Rock, California | #Geology #GeologyPage #Heart #California #USA

Heart Rock, in the Valley of Enchantment (shown below) is one of Crestline’s natural wonders.

The Heart Rock hike is an easy 1-mile round trip along a creek through the forest. From Old Town at the top of Crestline, go down Lake Drive toward Lake Gregory.

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‘Storm Chasers’ on Mars Searching for Dusty Secrets

NASA logo.

July 20, 2018

Storm chasing takes luck and patience on Earth — and even more so on Mars.

Image above: Side-by-side movies shows how dust has enveloped the Red Planet, courtesy of the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) wide-angle camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Image Credits:NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

For scientists watching the Red Planet from data gathered by NASA’s orbiters, the past month has been a windfall. “Global” dust storms, where a runaway series of storms creates a dust cloud so large it envelops the planet, only appear every six to eight years (that’s three to four Mars years). Scientists still don’t understand why or how exactly these storms form and evolve.

Mars Before and After Dust Storm

In June, one of these dust events rapidly engulfed the planet. Scientists first observed a smaller-scale dust storm on May 30. By June 20, it had gone global.

For the Opportunity rover, that meant a sudden drop in visibility from a clear, sunny day to that of an overcast one. Because Opportunity runs on solar energy, scientists had to suspend science activities to preserve the rover’s batteries. As of July 18th, no response has been received from the rover.

Luckily, all that dust acts as an atmospheric insulator, keeping nighttime temperatures from dropping down to lower than what Opportunity can handle. But the nearly 15-year-old rover isn’t out of the woods yet: it could take weeks, or even months, for the dust to start settling. Based on the longevity of a 2001 global storm, NASA scientists estimate it may be early September before the haze has cleared enough for Opportunity to power up and call home.

When the skies begin to clear, Opportunity’s solar panels may be covered by a fine film of dust. That could delay a recovery of the rover as it gathers energy to recharge its batteries. A gust of wind would help, but isn’t a requirement for a full recovery.

Mars Before and After Dust Storm. Animation Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

While the Opportunity team waits in earnest to hear from the rover, scientists on other Mars missions have gotten a rare chance to study this head-scratching phenomenon.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) orbiters are all tailoring their observations of the Red Planet to study this global storm and learn more about Mars’ weather patterns. Meanwhile, the Curiosity rover is studying the dust storm from the Martian surface.

Here’s Here’s how each mission is currently studying the dust storm, and what we might learn from it:

Mars Odyssey

With the THEMIS instrument (Thermal Emission Imaging System), scientists can track Mars’ surface temperature, atmospheric temperature, and the amount of dust in the atmosphere. This allows them to watch the dust storm grow, evolve, and dissipate over time.

“This is one of the largest weather events that we’ve seen on Mars,” since spacecraft observations began in the 1960s, said Michael Smith, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland who works on the THEMIS instrument. “Having another example of a dust storm really helps us to understand what’s going on.”

Since the dust storm began, the THEMIS team has increased the frequency of global atmospheric observations from every 10 days to twice per week, Smith said. One mystery they’re still trying to solve: How these dust storms go global. “Every Mars year, during the dusty season, there are a lot of local- or regional-scale storms that cover one area of the planet,” Smith said. But scientists aren’t yet sure how these smaller storms sometimes grow to end up encircling the entire planet.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has two instruments studying the dust storm. Each day, the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) maps the entire planet in mid-afternoon to track the evolution of the storm. Meanwhile, MRO’s Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) instrument measures how the atmosphere’s temperature changes with altitude. Since the end of May, the instruments have observed the onset and rapid expansion of a dust storm on Mars.

With these data, scientists are studying how the dust storm changes the planet’s atmospheric temperatures. Just as in Earth’s atmosphere, changing temperature on Mars can affect wind patterns and even the circulation of the entire atmosphere. This provides a powerful feedback: Solar heating of the dust lofted into the atmosphere changes temperatures, which changes winds, which may amplify the storm by lifting more dust from the surface.

Scientists want to know the details of the storm — where is the air rising or falling? How do the atmospheric temperatures now compare to a storm-less year? And as with Mars Odyssey, the MRO team wants to know how these dust storms go global.

“The very fact that you can start with something that’s a local storm, no bigger than a small [U.S.] state, and then trigger something that raises more dust and produces a haze that covers almost the entire planet is remarkable,” said Rich Zurek of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, the project scientist for MRO.

Scientists want to find out why these storms arise every few years, which is hard to do without a long record of such events. It’d be as if aliens were observing Earth and seeing the climate effects of El Niño over many years of observations — they’d wonder why some regions get extra rainy and some areas get extra dry in a seemingly regular pattern.


Ever since the MAVEN orbiter entered Mars’ orbit, “one of the things we’ve been waiting for is a global dust storm,” said Bruce Jakosky, the MAVEN orbiter’s principle investigator.

But MAVEN isn’t studying the dust storm itself. Rather, the MAVEN team wants to study how the dust storm affects Mars’ upper atmosphere, about 62 miles (more than 100 kilometers) above the surface — where the dust doesn’t even reach. MAVEN’s mission is to figure out what happened to Mars’ early atmosphere. We know that at some point billions of years ago, liquid water pooled and ran along Mars’ surface, which means that its atmosphere must have been thicker and more insulating, similar to Earth’s. Since MAVEN arrived at Mars in 2014, its investigations have found that this atmosphere may have been stripped away by a torrent of solar wind over several hundred million years, between 3.5 and 4.0 billion years ago.

But there are still nuances to figure out, such as how dust storms like the current one affect how atmospheric molecules escape into space, Jakosky said. For instance, the dust storm acts as an atmospheric insulator, trapping heat from the Sun. Does this heating change the way molecules escape the atmosphere? It is also likely that, as the atmosphere warms, more water vapor rises high enough to be broken down by sunlight, with the solar wind sweeping the hydrogen atoms into space, Jakosky said.

The team won’t have answers for a while yet, but each of MAVEN’s five orbits per day will continue to provide invaluable data.


Most of NASA’s spacecraft are studying the dust storm from above. The Mars Science Laboratory mission’s Curiosity rover has a unique perspective: the nuclear-powered science machine is largely immune to the darkened skies, allowing it to collect science from within the beige veil enveloping the planet.

“We’re working double-duty right now,” said JPL’s Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity’s project scientist. “Our newly recommissioned drill is acquiring a fresh rock sample. But we are also using instruments to study how the dust storm evolves.”

Curiosity has a number of “eyes” that can determine the abundance and size of dust particles based on how they scatter and absorb light. That includes its Mastcam, ChemCam, and an ultraviolet sensor on REMS, its suite of weather instruments. REMS can also help study atmospheric tides — shifts in pressure that move as waves across the entire planet’s thin air. These tides change drastically based on where the dust is globally, not just inside Gale crater.

The global storm may also reveal secrets about Martian dust devils and winds. Dust devils can occur when the planet’s surface is hotter than the air above it. Heating generates whirls of air, some of which pick up dust and become dust devils. During a dust storm, there’s less direct sunlight and lower daytime temperatures; this might mean fewer devils swirling across the surface.

Even new drilling can advance dust storm science: watching the small piles of loose material created by Curiosity’s drill is the best way of monitoring winds.

Scientists think the dust storm will last at least a couple of months. Every time you spot Mars in the sky in the weeks ahead, remember how much data scientists are gathering to better understand the mysterious weather of the Red Planet.

Related article:

Martian Dust Storm Grows Global: Curiosity Captures Photos of Thickening Haze

Related links:

Mars Odyssey: https://mars.nasa.gov/odyssey/

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/main/index.html

MAVEN: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/main/index.html

Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory or MSL): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html

Image (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/JoAnna Wendel/JPL/Andrew Good.

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Smoky Quartz & Gwindel | #Geology #GeologyPage…

Smoky Quartz & Gwindel | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Galmihorn, Bächi Valley, Goms, Wallis, Switzerland

Size: 14.9 × 10.4 × 8.2 cm

Photo Copyright © Viamineralia /e-rocks.com

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Matter of Fact Microscopes capable of detailed 3D imaging are…

Matter of Fact

Microscopes capable of detailed 3D imaging are getting cheaper, so more people around the world get a peek at life hiding deep within cells and tissues. “Seeing is believing” perhaps – but is touching even better? While 3D printing turns digital data into physical matter, there’s usually a compromise when it comes to biology. Scientific images often need simplifying before printing – but even a basic model of a patient’s bone, for example, is enough to guide a surgical operation. Here, though, a new technique converts scientific data into voxels – virtual 3D ‘blocks’ that the printer can understand. Thousands of bundles of neurons inside a human brain are printed in multi-coloured transparent resin, each colour highlighting the exact bends and twists spotted by diffusion MRI in real life. Picking up and holding experimental results could provide vital insights for surgeons and scientists, and perhaps an attractive paperweight.

Written by John Ankers

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Полет на параплане с обрыва на мысу Куяльницкого лимана, соленого озера. Экстремальный развлекательный полет проводится для любителей. ...