суббота, 16 февраля 2019 г.

Organic Cure Nestled within the pancreas is a group of…


Organic Cure


Nestled within the pancreas is a group of specialised cells that make a range of hormones, including insulin. Breakdown of these insulin-producing cells is one of the main causes of type 1 diabetes. These cells can regenerate, but the diabetes research community has long disagreed about how such regrowth happens. The debate has recently been settled thanks to a study showing that cells in the neighbouring pancreatic duct, a tube important in the digestion process, can regenerate into insulin-producing cells. The team found that some cells in the outer surface of this passageway (shown here in blue and red) can transform into other more specialised types of pancreatic cells, a process called differentiation. If these cells could be coaxed into becoming insulin-producing cells, scientists could design the first biological cure for type-1 diabetes, one in which patients re-grow their own insulin-producing cells.


Written by Gaëlle Coullon



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Standing Stones, Watercolour and Ink Sketch, February 2019.

Standing Stones, Watercolour and Ink Sketch, February 2019.



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The Pale Blue Dot and the Golden Record


Almost thirty years ago, on Feb. 14, 1990, our Voyager 1

spacecraft 
turned back toward its home for one last look. 40 astronomical units (almost 4 billion miles)

from the Sun, Voyager snapped the first-ever “family portrait” of our solar system.


image

One image in particular highlights

our own planet’s fragility in the vast cosmic arena that we call home. This

image of Earth, a tiny point of light, is contained in a camera artifact that

resembles a beam of sunlight.


image

The late Carl Sagan referred

to this image of Earth in the title of his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot. Sagan wrote: “That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you

love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever

was, lived out their lives. … There is perhaps no better demonstration of the

folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it

underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve

and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”


We placed a message aboard

Voyager 1 and 2 — a kind of time capsule intended to communicate a story of our

world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph

record
: a 12-inch

gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the

diversity of life and culture on Earth.


image

The Golden Record includes 115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind

and thunder, birds, whales and other animals. Musical

selections from different cultures and eras were also added, as well as spoken greetings from

Earth-people in fifty-five languages and printed messages from President

Carter.


The Golden Record represents the whole of humanity, mounted to a feat of human engineering on a long voyage

through interstellar space. 


image

You can listen to the sounds of Earth on the golden record here and take a moment to appreciate our pale blue dot. 


Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com


2019 February 16 NGC 2359: Thor’s Helmet Image Credit…


2019 February 16


NGC 2359: Thor’s Helmet
Image Credit & Copyright: Ignacio Diaz Bobillo


Explanation: NGC 2359 is a helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages popularly called Thor’s Helmet. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor’s Helmet is about 30 light-years across. In fact, the helmet is more like an interstellar bubble, blown as a fast wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble’s center inflates a region within the surrounding molecular cloud. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. NGC 2359 is located about 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major. The remarkably detailed image is a mixed cocktail of data from broadband and narrowband filters that captures natural looking stars and the glow of the nebula’s filamentary structures. It highlights a blue-green color from strong emission due to oxygen atoms in the glowing gas.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190216.html


Meteor Activity Outlook for February 16-22, 2019

Oleg Milantiev photographed this impressive fireball at 15:48 UT on January 30, 2019, from Severskaya, Krasnodar Krai, Russia. © Oleg Milantiev. The path indicates that this fireball may have belonged to the anthelion shower which has a radiant in Cancer this time of year. This fireball corresponds to AMS event Event 504-2019

During this period the moon will reach its full phase on Tuesday February 19th. At this time the moon will be located opposite the sun and will lie above the horizon all night long. This weekend the nearly full moon will set just before dawn, allowing only a little time to view the meteor activity before it becomes too light. Hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 1 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 2 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 4 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 6 from the southern tropics. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity. Rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight. Note that the hourly rates listed below are estimates as viewed from dark sky sites away from urban light sources. Observers viewing from urban areas will see less activity as only the brighter meteors will be visible from such locations.


The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning February 16/17 . These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases (available at science stores and planetariums) will provide maps with grid lines of the celestial coordinates so that you may find out exactly where these positions are located in the sky. A planisphere or computer planetarium program is also useful in showing the sky at any time of night on any date of the year. Activity from each radiant is best seen when it is positioned highest in the sky, either due north or south along the meridian, depending on your latitude. It must be remembered that meteor activity is rarely seen at the radiant position. Rather they shoot outwards from the radiant so it is best to center your field of view so that the radiant lies near the edge and not the center. Viewing there will allow you to easily trace the path of each meteor back to the radiant (if it is a shower member) or in another direction if it is a sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located far below the horizon. The positions below are listed in a west to east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The positions listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in the night while those listed further down the list rise later in the night.






Radiant Positions at 7:00pm Local Standard Time







Radiant Positions at 12:00am Local Standard Time







Radiant Positions at 5:00am Local Standard Time





These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week.


Details on each source will continue next week when the situation with moonlight will not be so critical.


















































SHOWER DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY CELESTIAL POSITION ENTRY VELOCITY CULMINATION HOURLY RATE CLASS
RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Standard Time North-South
Anthelion (ANT) 10:44 (161) +08 30 01:00 1 – 1 II
alpha Centaurids (ACE) Feb 08 14:48 (222) -61 56 06:00 <1 – <1 II
February mu Virginids (FMV) Feb 26 15:12 (228) -06 62 07:00 <1 – <1 IV

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Prehistoric Decorated Mirror, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

Prehistoric Decorated Mirror, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter





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Hubble Captures Smoking Gun of a Newborn Star


NASA – Hubble Space Telescope patch.


Feb. 15, 2019



In this image, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the smoking gun of a newborn star, the Herbig–Haro objects numbered 7 to 11 (HH 7–11). These five objects, visible in blue in the top center of the image, lie within NGC 1333, a reflection nebula full of gas and dust found about a thousand light-years away from Earth.


Bright patches of nebulosity near newborn stars, Herbig-Haro objects like HH 7–11 are transient phenomena. Traveling away from the star that created them at a speed of up to about 150,000 miles per hour, they disappear into nothingness within a few tens of thousands of years. The young star that is the source of HH 7–11 is called SVS 13, and all five objects are moving away from SVS 13 toward the upper left. The current distance between HH 7 and SVS 13 is about 20,000 times the distance between Earth and the Sun.


Herbig–Haro objects are formed when jets of ionized gas ejected by a young star collide with nearby clouds of gas and dust at high speeds. The Herbig-Haro objects visible in this image are no exception to this and were formed when the jets from the newborn star SVS 13 collided with the surrounding clouds. These collisions created the five brilliant clumps of light within the reflection nebula.


For more information about Hubble, visit:


http://hubblesite.org/


http://www.nasa.gov/hubble


http://www.spacetelescope.org/


Image Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA, K. Stapelfeldt Text Credits: European Space Agency (ESA)/NASA/Karl Hille.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


Astronaut night photography set for Earth



ESA – VITA Mission patch.


15 February 2019


When astronauts take photographs of our planet while orbiting 400 km above our heads, they are doing much more than just taking pretty pictures. They are looking after the health of our planet and, ultimately, us too.



VITA mission “Timelapse a Day” edition – From Spain to Russia

Techniques used by astrophotographers looking at the stars and space exploration come together to measure the environmental impact of artificial lights at night.


The only night images of Earth in colour that are freely available to the public are pictures taken by the astronauts from the International Space Station, and a few colour composites made by ESA’s Rosetta satellite. NASA has a public database with over 1.3 million colour photographs taken by astronauts since 2003.



Mapping the night

Now researchers are looking at these nocturnal images in a different light. A team of scientists came up with a method to classify outdoor lighting using colour diagrams and calibration techniques. The resulting spectral information, such as colour temperature, is a useful tool to assess the environmental impact of artificial light.


“We hope to take photography from the Space Station to a new level,” says Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel, a research fellow at the UK’s University of Exeter and lead investigator of the Cities at night project that raises awareness of light pollution.


City lights are disruptive not only for the lives of nocturnal animals, who suffer from disorientation and behavioural and physiological changes, but also for people. An excess of artificial light before bedtime reduces melatonin production, a hormone linked to sleep. This suppression can lead to negative effects on our health, including breast and prostate cancer.


In addition, streetlights account for a large chunk of a country’s energy consumption.  



Alexander Gerst taking picutres

“This is not only about being able to see the stars,” says Alejandro. “All living creatures on our planet, including us humans, suffer from artificial nighttime lighting. And only the humans living off planet Earth can help us.”


Scientists use synthetic photometry to analyse the images, a mathematical technique that can help identify light sources under different light conditions and camera settings. The results give precise information about how colour and brightness of street lamps can suppress melatonin production or obstruct the vision of the stars.


Citizen science


Milan is a perfect case study for this research. This Italian city replaced its orange sodium lamps with white LED lamps. The study proves that the whiter light sources are worse for the local environment.



Milan, before and after

“We provide a basis for creating risk maps of artificial lightning. Governments could use this information to reduce light pollution,” says Alejandro.


The next step is to open the door to citizen science. A future paper will show how to use any camera to capture light at home and analyse whether the light bulb is conducive to optimal sleep patterns.


Related links:


Cities at night project: http://www.citiesatnight.org/


Where is the International Space Station?: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/International_Space_Station/Where_is_the_International_Space_Station


Human and Robotic Exploration: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration


Images, Video, Text, Credits: ESA/NASA/A.Sánchez de Miguel et al. 2019.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Time Perception Studies, Free-Flying Robotics on Station Schedule


ISS – Expedition 58 Mission patch.


February 15, 2019


The Expedition 58 crew is helping scientists today understand how astronauts perceive time and orient themselves when living in space. The orbital residents are also working on CubeSat and free-flying robotics hardware aboard the International Space Station.


Astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques wore virtual reality gear for the Time Perception experiment sponsored by the European Space Agency. The study takes place in the Columbus lab module and is researching the hypothesis that time and depth perception are altered in microgravity.



Image above: The forward end of the International Space Station is pictured showing portions of five modules. Image Credit: NASA.


McClain of NASA started the day inside the Kibo lab module, opened the airlock and removed the CubeSat deployer. She disassembled and stowed the hardware in Kibo’s logistics module after it ejected a series of CubeSats into Earth orbit in January.


Astrobee is a new experimental program that uses three small free-flying assistants and is due to begin operations soon. Saint-Jacques installed the Astrobee docking station in the Unity module where the cube-shaped robotic helpers will be able to attach themselves in the future. The autonomous free-flyers may be able to help astronauts with simple duties and enhance monitoring abilities on the orbital lab.



Image above: Flying over Senegal, seen by EarthCam on ISS, speed: 27’599 Km/h, altitude: 409,65 Km, image captured by Roland Berga (on Earth in Switzerland) from International Space Station (ISS) using ISS-HD Live application with EarthCam’s from ISS on February 14, 2019 at 18:55 UTC. Image Credits: Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Commander Oleg Kononenko spent Friday morning exploring how crew activities and the Earth’s magnetic field impact the structure of the space station. The experienced cosmonaut moved into the afternoon replacing dust filters before researching space navigation techniques.


Related links:


Expedition 58: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition58/index.html


Time Perception: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7504


Columbus lab module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/europe-columbus-laboratory


Kibo lab module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/japan-kibo-laboratory


Astrobee: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1891


Unity module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/unity


Crew activities and the Earth’s magnetic: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=487


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


Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Exploding Brains Microscopy is usually a search for the…


Exploding Brains


Microscopy is usually a search for the increasingly small. But a new approach uses some lateral thinking – why not just make the tiny things bigger?! Using expansion microscopy, slices of fruit fly brains are stuck to a polymer gel which then expands, pulling and stretching the brain tissue along with the tiny biology inside. Newly exploded, the structures are easier to pick out, especially using patterned light employed by lattice light sheet microscopy. In five superimposed images here, each colour shows supersized neurons inside a different fruit fly brain. The starry bursts of colour are actually boutons, neuron endings that connect to other brain cells (10 million times smaller than fireworks in the night sky). This novel way of zooming in on life is currently being used to stretch our understanding of proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis.


Written by John Ankers



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