четверг, 7 марта 2019 г.

Transformative Research Intertwined strands of DNA molecules…


Transformative Research


Intertwined strands of DNA molecules give rise to every form of life imaginable. Biological building blocks begin to assemble when the strands briefly unwind and are transcribed into a complementary single string of RNA – a molecular message which is in turn translated into particular proteins. This DNA to RNA conversion was long thought to be an exclusively one-way process but in 1970 David Baltimore – born on this day in 1938 – discovered an enzyme that does the opposite. Present in certain viruses, this reverse transcriptase molecule enables single strands of RNA to produce DNA, which can then integrate with and alter the host cell in a process called transformation. This mechanism can cause cancers, and underlies how HIV replicates. Baltimore shared a Nobel Prize for his role in the discovery, made vital contributions across immunology and virology, and transformed the careers of countless scientists under his tutelage.


Written by Anthony Lewis



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2019 March 7 Sharpless 249 and the Jellyfish Nebula Image…


2019 March 7


Sharpless 249 and the Jellyfish Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Data – Steve Milne & Barry Wilson, Processing – Steve Milne


Explanation: Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring telescopic field of view. The entire scene is a two panel mosaic constructed using narrowband image data, with emission from sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen atoms shown in red, green and blue hues. It’s anchored right and left by two bright stars, Mu and Eta Geminorum, at the foot of the celestial twin. The Jellyfish Nebula itself is right of center, the brighter arcing ridge of emission with dangling tentacles. In fact, the cosmic jellyfish is part of bubble-shaped supernova remnant IC 443, the expanding debris cloud from a massive star that exploded. Light from the explosion first reached planet Earth over 30,000 years ago. Like its cousin in astrophysical waters the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, the Jellyfish Nebula is known to harbor a neutron star, the remnant of the collapsed stellar core. An emission nebula cataloged as Sharpless 249 fills the field at the upper left. The Jellyfish Nebula is about 5,000 light-years away. At that distance, this image would be about 300 light-years across.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190307.html


A challenge

The datasheets below contain outgroup f3-statistics for a wide range of ancient and present-day populations. Five of the ancient groups and individuals are labeled “Unknown”. In fact, I do know what they are, but I’d like you to try and work out whether they were the speakers of Indo-European or non-Indo-European languages by analyzing the datasheets with, say, PAST or nMonte.



f3-stats_language_challenge1.dat
f3-stats_language_challenge2.dat



I’ll reveal the identities and likely languages of the mystery ancients in a couple of days. It’ll be interesting to see if any of you nail this challenge. It shouldn’t be too difficult, but to help things along, I color coded the populations in the datasheets (black = Indo-European, blue = Uralic, and grey = neither). If you haven’t done this sort of thing before, these blog posts might be useful as background reading.



Maykop: a multi-ethnic layer cake?
Global25 PAST-compatible datasheets
D-stats/nMonte open thread




Source


Five Facts About the Kepler Space Telescope That Will Blow You Away!

image

Ten years ago, on March 6, 2009, a rocket lifted off a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It carried a passenger that would revolutionize our understanding of our place in the cosmos–NASA’s first planet hunter, the Kepler space telescope. The spacecraft spent more than nine years in orbit around the Sun, collecting an unprecedented dataset for science that revealed our galaxy is teeming with planets. It found planets that are in some ways similar to Earth, raising the prospects for life elsewhere in the cosmos, and stunned the world with many other first-of-a-kind discoveries. Here are five facts about the Kepler space telescope that will blow you away:


Kepler observed more than a half million stars looking for planets beyond our solar system.


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It discovered more than 2,600 new worlds…


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…many of which could be promising places for life.


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Kepler’s survey revealed there are more planets than stars in our galaxy.


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The spacecraft is now drifting around the Sun more than 94 million miles away from Earth in a safe orbit.


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NASA retired the Kepler spacecraft in 2018. But to this day, researchers continue to mine its archive of data, uncovering new worlds.


*All images are artist illustrations. Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com


Off to a strong start



Credit: ESO

If you had a brand new state-of-the-art telescope facility, what would you look at first? Researchers at the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory — which comprises four small telescopes, each with a 1-metre primary mirror — chose to view the Lagoon Nebula. This magnificent picture is the result, and is one of the SPECULOOS’ first ever observations. The nebula is a cloud of dust and gas in our galaxy where new stars are being born, and is found roughly 5000 light-years from us.


This striking image is made even more impressive by the fact that the SPECULOOS isn’t actually designed to study nebulae. The name says it all — SPECULOOS, the Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars. In other words, the primary mission of this telescope facility is to find Earth-like planets orbiting faint nearby stars. The candidates it discovers will be passed over to larger telescopes, such as ESO’s forthcoming Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), to be studied in more detail.


SPECULOOS is located at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert of Chile, taking full advantage of the location’s dark skies, ideal atmospheric conditions, and the support systems ESO has there, from telescope infrastructure to staff accommodation. It will have a partner, the SPECULOOS Northern Observatory, in the Canary Islands, which will hunt for planets in the northern skies not visible from Chile. Together they promise to vastly expand our knowledge of the exoplanets in our neighbourhood.

Source: ESO/Potw



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Stanwick Iron Age Fortification, nr Richmond, 24.2.19.Earthworks and fortifications;...











Stanwick Iron Age Fortification, nr Richmond, 24.2.19.


Earthworks and fortifications; potential home of the Brigantes Iron Age Tribe.


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Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys Resumes Operations


NASA – Hubble Space Telescope patch.


March 6, 2019


NASA has recovered the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys instrument, which suspended operations on Thursday, Feb. 28. The final tests were conducted and the instrument was brought back to its operational mode on March 6.


At 8:31 p.m. EST on Feb. 28, the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope suspended operations after an error was detected as the instrument was performing a routine boot procedure. The error indicated that software inside the camera had not loaded correctly in a small section of computer memory. The Hubble operations team ran repeated tests to reload the memory and check the entire process. No errors have been detected since the initial incident, and it appears that all circuits, computer memory and processors that are part of that boot process are now operating normally. The instrument has now been brought back to its standard operating mode for normal operations.



Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA

The Advanced Camera for Surveys was installed in 2002 and repaired during the last servicing mission to Hubble back in 2009 after a power supply failure. More than 5,500 peer-reviewed scientific papers have been published from its data, and it is credited with some of Hubble’s most iconic images, including the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the farthest look into the universe at that time.


Hubble itself is in its 29th year of operations, well surpassing its original 15-year lifetime. With its primary and backup systems, it is expected that Hubble will operate simultaneously with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to obtain multiwavelength observations of astronomical objects. Scheduled to launch in 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope is designed to see near- and mid-infrared light while Hubble is optimized for ultraviolet and visible light.


Related article:


Advanced Camera for Surveys Anomaly on Hubble Space Telescope
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/03/advanced-camera-for-surveys-anomaly-on.html


For more information about Hubble, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/hubble


Hubble Ultra Deep Field: http://hubblesite.org/image/1457/news_release/2004-07


Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rob Garner/Elizabeth Landau/GSFC/Claire Saravia Andreoli.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


Space Station Science Highlights: Week of February 25, 2019


ISS – Expedition 58 Mission patch.


March 6, 2019


The members of Expedition 58 aboard the International Space Station continued preparing for several spacewalks planned for the near future and conducted a number of science experiments. The crew also prepared for the arrival of SpaceX Demo-1 flight test which launched from Kennedy Space Center at 2:49 a.m. EST Saturday, March 2, and docked the next day.


Here are details about some of the science conducted last week:


The brain on microgravity


Crew members performed both the strapped-in and free-floating body configurations for NeuroMapping, an investigation into whether long-duration spaceflight causes changes to brain structure and function, motor control and multi-tasking abilities. The investigation also measures how long it takes for the brain and body to recover from such changes. Previous research and anecdotal evidence from astronauts suggests microgravity can affect movement control and cognition.


Studying gaseous flames and flammability



Image above: Astronaut David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency is inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module working on the Combustion Integrated Rack. Saint-Jacques replaced fuel flow controllers inside the device for the Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments which are a set of five independent studies of gaseous flames. Image Credit: NASA.


Following replacement of an ACME fuel flow controller, which allows observation of different flow conditions, the crew documented its final configuration with photographs. The ACME series performed in the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR) includes five independent studies of gaseous flames. The current experiment, Burning Rate Emulator (BRE), focuses on spacecraft fire prevention, specifically improving understanding of materials flammability and assessing existing flammability test methods in low and partial-gravity environments.


Managing satellite traffic jams



SPHERES. Image Credit: NASA

The crew set up and performed a SPHERES SmoothNav test session. This investigation develops an algorithm to collect measurements of distances between multiple small spacecraft, including those operating with different instruments, and estimates their most probable relative positions and velocities. It works with different satellite platforms and onboard sensors, which makes it adaptable if one or more satellites become inoperable, and it can use delayed measurements or those received at different frequencies.


Figuring out up from down in microgravity



Animation above: NASA astronaut Anne McClain conducts a session for the VECTION investigation, which evaluates how microgravity may disrupt an astronaut’s visual interpretation of motion, orientation, and distance. Image Credit: NASA.


VECTION determines to what extent microgravity may disrupt an astronaut’s visual interpretation of motion, orientation, and distance as well as how that interpretation may adapt in space and then again upon return to Earth. The crew deployed support hardware, including the free-float restraint system, and performed experiment sessions. These sessions are broken into three tasks: Orientation Perception, Relative Height (Motion Processing), and Depth Perception (Vection). Multiple experimental time points inflight and upon return to Earth allows for investigation of the adaptation and recovery process.


Other investigations on which the crew performed work:


– The Actiwatch waterproof, nonintrusive, sleep-wake activity monitor worn on the wrist of a crewmember. The data it collects helps determine if space travel has an impact on the sleep-wake patterns of crewmembers: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=362


– A virtual reality film documenting daily life aboard the space station, ISS Experience educates a variety of audiences about life aboard the orbiting lab and science conducted there: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7877


– The Sally Ride EarthKAM program allows students to remotely control a digital camera mounted on the space station and use it to take photographs of coastlines, mountain ranges and other features and phenomena. The images are posted online, where the public and participating classrooms can view Earth from the station’s unique vantage point: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=87


– The Team Task Switching investigation examines whether crew members have difficulty switching tasks and determines the effects of these switches in order to both reduce any negative consequences and improve individual and team motivation and effectiveness: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7538



Space to Ground: An American Dawn: 03/01/2019

Related links:


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


Spacewalks: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/spacewalks


SpaceX Demo-1 flight test: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-provide-coverage-of-spacex-commercial-crew-flight-test


NeuroMapping: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=979


ACME: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1651


Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=317


Burning Rate Emulator (BRE): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7629


VECTION: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7484


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), Animation (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Vic Cooley, Lead Increment Scientist Expeditions 57/58.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Vice President (USA) Calls Station, Crew Dragon Packed for Friday Return


ISS – Expedition 58 Mission patch.


March 6, 2019


Vice President Mike Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine called up to the Expedition 58 crew today. Astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques were on hand to talk about their mission success and the arrival of the first Commercial Crew vehicle, the SpaceX Crew Dragon.


The Crew Dragon is being packed and readied for its return to Earth on Friday. In the midst of NASA’s first Commercial Crew mission, the crew members continued more space research and practiced an emergency drill today.



Image above: Vice President Mike Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine called up to the Expedition 58 crew today from NASA Headquarters Space Operations Center in Washington, D.C.. Image Credit: NASA TV.


Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency transferred cargo in and out of the Crew Dragon today. Over 300 pounds of science gear, crew supplies and station hardware will be retrieved from Dragon after it returns to Earth.


The Crew Dragon will undock Friday at 2:31 a.m. EST from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter. It will parachute to a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45 a.m. EST. NASA TV will cover all the activities live.



Image above: Astronauts David Saint-Jacques (left) and Anne McClain talk to the Vice President and NASA Administrator about their mission success and the arrival of the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Image Credit: NASA TV.


McClain from NASA worked in the Destiny laboratory module today stowing science hardware after working on the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox. She then began collecting and readying more experiment hardware that will test ways to improve the production of higher-quality semiconductor crystals.


Both astronauts then joined Commander Oleg Kononenko from Roscosmos to practice an emergency evacuation of the International Space Station. The trio wore breathing masks, entered the docked Soyuz spacecraft and prepared for a return to Earth in the unlikely event of a critical emergency aboard the orbital complex.


Related links:


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


Commercial Crew: https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/crew/index.html


SpaceX Crew Dragon: https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew


Harmony module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/harmony


NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html


Destiny laboratory module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/us-destiny-laboratory


Microgravity Sciences Glovebox: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=341


Higher-quality semiconductor crystals: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=308


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.


Best regards, Orbiter.chArchive link


Alaska forest fires over past 450 years…


Alaska forest fires over past 450 years http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/alaska-forest-fires-over-past-450-years.html


As sea level rises, wetlands crank up their carbon storage…


As sea level rises, wetlands crank up their carbon storage http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/as-sea-level-rises-wetlands-crank-up-their-carbon-storage.html


Dinosaur tracks make fresh impression at Valley Forge park…


Dinosaur tracks make fresh impression at Valley Forge park http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/dinosaur-tracks-make-fresh-impression-at-valley-forge-park.html


Dinosaurs were thriving before asteroid strike that wiped them…


Dinosaurs were thriving before asteroid strike that wiped them out http://www.geologypage.com/2019/03/dinosaurs-were-thriving-before-asteroid-strike-that-wiped-them-out.html


Roman Vallum Crossing, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, 24.2.19.

Roman Vallum Crossing, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, 24.2.19.








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Mithraic Statues and Altars, Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 24.2.19.

Mithraic Statues and Altars, Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 24.2.19.











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Prehistoric Rock Art Fragments, Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne,...

Prehistoric Rock Art Fragments, Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 24.2.19.









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