среда, 5 июня 2019 г.

How Zika Harms Zika virus has been on a world tour since its…


How Zika Harms


Zika virus has been on a world tour since its discovery in Uganda in 1947. Spread by mosquito bites, it travelled from Africa up through Asia, eventually reaching the Americas. Along the way it has evolved into two distinct lineages – African and Asian/American. Although it only causes mild symptoms in healthy adults, Zika infection in pregnancy can be devastating, leading to miscarriage and problems with brain development (microcephaly). Curiously, this seems to be a relatively recent effect, leading researchers to wonder whether the virus picked it up along its travels. To find out, they exposed pregnant mice to different versions of Zika from around the world and looked at the effects on their foetuses, around three quarters of the way through development. All three types caused serious problems (second, third and fourth panels) compared with an uninfected mother (first panel), proving that Zika’s harmful properties in pregnancy are nothing new.


Written by Kat Arney



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If #NationalCheeseDay has you thinking about the Moon,…


If #NationalCheeseDay has you thinking about the Moon, you’re not alone. 🧀


In 1965, the Ranger 9 probe captured these sharp images of a cratered lunar surface just moments before its planned impact. What we learned paved the way for Apollo. #Apollo50th


2019 June 5 The Interstellar Clouds of Orion Image Credit &…


2019 June 5


The Interstellar Clouds of Orion
Image Credit & Copyright: Andrew Klinger


Explanation: The constellation of Orion is much more than three stars in a row. It is a direction in space that is rich with impressive nebulas. To better appreciate this well-known swath of sky, a new long exposure image was taken over several clear nights in January, February and March. After 23 hours of camera time and untold hours of image processing, the featured collage in the light of hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur was produced spanning over 40 times the angular diameter of the Moon. Of the many interesting details that have become visible, one that particularly draws the eye is Barnard’s Loop, the bright red orange arc just to the right of the image center. The Rosette Nebula is not the giant orange nebula just to the left of the image center – that is larger but lesser known nebula known as the Meissa Ring. The Rosette Nebula is visible, though: it is the bright orange, blue and white nebula near the image bottom. The bright orange star just left of the frame center is Betelgeuse, while the bright blue star on the upper right is Rigel. About those famous three stars that cross the belt of Orion the Hunter – in this busy frame they can be hard to locate, but a discerning eye will find them just to the right of the image center.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190605.html


Heart of Lonesome Galaxy is Brimming with Dark Matter



Markarian 121


Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of CA Irvine/D. Buote; Optical: NASA/STScI 










Data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (left) have helped astronomers reveal that a galaxy has more dark matter packed into its core than expected after being isolated for billions of years, as reported in our press release. The image on the right shows the galaxy called Markarian 1216 (abbreviated as Mrk 1216) in visible light from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope over the same field of view.


Mrk 1216 belongs to a family of elliptically shaped galaxies that are more densely packed with stars in their centers than most other galaxies. Astronomers think they have descended from red, compact galaxies called «red nuggets» that formed about a billion years after the Big Bang, but then stalled in their growth about 10 billion years ago.


If this evolution is correct, then the dark matter in Mrk 1216 and its galactic cousins should also be tightly packed. To test this idea for the first time, a pair of astronomers studied the X-ray brightness and temperature of hot gas at different distances from Mrk 1216’s center, so they could «weigh» how much dark matter exists in the middle of the galaxy. The brighter colors at the center of the Chandra image represent the increased density of hot gas in the galaxy’s core.


According to the new study, a halo, or fuzzy sphere, of dark matter formed around the stars in the center of Mrk 1216 about 3 or 4 billion years after the Big Bang. The formation of such a red nugget was typical for a wide range of elliptical galaxies seen today. However, unlike Mrk 1216, most giant elliptical galaxies continued to gradually grow in size when smaller galaxies merged with them over cosmic time.


Previously, astronomers estimated that the supermassive black hole in Mrk 1216 is more massive than expected for a galaxy of its mass. This most recent study, however, concluded that the black hole mass is likely to be less than about four billion times the mass of the Sun, which means it may not be unusually massive for a galaxy as large as Mrk 1216.


Researchers also searched for signs of outbursts from the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. They saw hints of cavities in the hot gas similar to those observed in other massive galaxies and galaxy clusters like Perseus, but more data are needed to confirm their presence.


A paper by David Buote and Aaron Barth (both of the University of California at Irvine) describing these results appeared in the June 1st issue of The Astrophysical Journal and is available online.


NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.







Fast Facts for Mrk 1216:

Scale: Image is 1 arcmin (about 85,000 light years) across.
Category: Cosmology/Deep Fields/X-ray Background, Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies
Coordinates (J2000): RA 8h 26m 19.8s | Dec -06° 46´ 23.0″
Constellation: Hydra
Observation Date: June 12, 2015 and Jan 9-14, 2018
Observation Time: 116 hours 7 minutes (4 days 20 hours 7 minutes )
Obs. ID: 17061, 20342, 20924, 20925, 20926
Instrument: ACIS
References: Buote, D.A and Barth A.J., 2019, ApJ; arXiv:1902.02938
Color Code: X-ray: red; Optical: yellow
Distance Estimate: About 295 million light years (z=0.0213)




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Google Earth…


Google Earth http://www.geologypage.com/2019/06/google-earth.html


SpaceX Cargo Spacecraft Splashes Down in Pacific Ocean with Scientific Research


SpaceX — Dragon CRS-17 Mission patch.


June 4, 2019


SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft carrying 4,200 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth departed the International Space Station at 12:01 p.m. EDT Monday, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 5:48 p.m. (2:48 p.m. PDT).


Flight controllers at mission control in Houston used the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach Dragon from the Earth-facing side of the station’s Harmony module and maneuver the vehicle into its release position. Expedition 59 Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency monitored its departure as the spacecraft was released through ground-controlled commands.


Dragon’s thrusters fired to move the spacecraft a safe distance from the station before SpaceX flight controllers in Hawthorne, California, commanded its deorbit burn. The SpaceX recovery team retrieved Dragon packed with science samples from human and animal research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations and education activities.



SpaceX Dragon following splashdown. Image Credits: SpaceX/NASA

NASA’s Biophysics-6 experiment looks at the growth of two proteins of interest in cancer treatment and radiation protection. Scientists are using ground-based predictions and in-space X-ray crystallography to determine which proteins benefit from crystallization in microgravity, where some proteins can grow larger and with fewer imperfections.


Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity (MicroAlgae) studies the effects of microgravity on Haematococcus pluvialis, an algae capable of producing a powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin. It could provide a readily available dietary supplement to promote astronaut health on long-duration space exploration missions. A community college student and alumnae of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program proposed the research, and NCAS is engaging community colleges across the US to conduct ground studies for comparison to the on-orbit investigation.


On Thursday, May 23, 2019, astronauts successfully edited DNA using CRISPR/Cas9 technology for the first time in space, working on the Genes in Space 6 investigation. This milestone advances understanding of how DNA repair mechanisms function in space and supports better safeguards to protect space explorers from DNA damage. Genetic damage caused by cosmic radiation poses a serious risk to space travelers, especially those on long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. CRISPR/Cas9 now joins a growing portfolio of molecular biology techniques available on the ISS National Lab.


Scientists are using a new technology called tissue chips, which could help predict the effectiveness of potential medicines in humans. Fluid that mimics blood can be passed through the chip to simulate blood flow, and can include drugs or toxins. In microgravity, changes occur in human health and human cells that resemble accelerated aging and disease processes. This investigation allows scientists to make observations over the course of a few weeks in microgravity rather than the months it would take in a laboratory on Earth.


NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization that manages research aboard the U.S. national laboratory portion of the space station, received time-sensitive samples and worked with researchers to process and distribute them within 48 hours of splashdown.


Dragon, the only space station resupply spacecraft currently able to return to Earth, launched May 4 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and arrived at the station two days later for the company’s 17th NASA-contracted commercial resupply mission to the station.


Related article:


Dragon Resupply Ship Leaves Station, Heads for Pacific Splashdown
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/06/dragon-resupply-ship-leaves-station.html


Related links:


Expedition 59: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition59/index.html


Biophysics-6: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7743


Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity (MicroAlgae): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7689


NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS): https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/Community_College_Aerospace_Scholars.html


Genes in Space 6: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/studying-dna-breaks-in-space


ISS National Lab: https://www.issnationallab.org/


Tissue chips: https://www.nasa.gov/tissue-chips


Commercial Resupply: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/index.html


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


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


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


US, Russian Spaceships Depart Amid Physics and Biology on Station


ISS — Expedition 59 Mission patch.


June 4, 2019


A pair of U.S. and Russian resupply ships have departed the International Space Station this week. Russia’s Progress 71 (71P) cargo craft undocked this morning and the SpaceX Dragon returned to Earth Monday.


The 71P, packed with trash and unused hardware, undocked from the aft end of the Zvezda service module today at 3:40 a.m. EDT. It reentered Earth’s atmosphere and safely burned up over a remote portion of the Pacific Ocean. This completes a mission that began when the 71P launched Nov. 16 and delivered almost three tons of cargo two days later to the Expedition 57 crew.



Image above: Four spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 72 resupply ship and the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships. Image Credit: NASA.


Amidst all the cargo transfers and spaceship departures, the Expedition 59 crew found time for continuing space research. Monday saw astronauts David Saint-Jacques and Christina Koch explore the possibility of fueling satellites in space and separating gases and fluids in advanced life support systems. Flight Engineer Anne McClain cleaned an incubator after the completion of an experiment that observed altered gene expressions occurring in space.


Today, the crew is conducting a variety of biomedical research and space botany.


NASA astronaut Nick Hague examined the eyes of cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin today using optical coherence tomography hardware. Saint-Jacques had his leg artery remotely scanned by a doctor on the ground studying cardiovascular health in space.



International Space Station (ISS). Image Credits: NASA/STS-119

Koch set up botany hardware today in Europe’s Columbus laboratory module for ongoing research into growing a continuous supply of fresh food in space. McClain continued incubator closeout activities in Japan’s Kibo laboratory module.


Related article:


Dragon Resupply Ship Leaves Station, Heads for Pacific Splashdown
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/06/dragon-resupply-ship-leaves-station.html


Related links:


Expedition 57: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition57/index.html


Expedition 59: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition59/index.html


Zvezda service module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/zvezda-service-module.html


Fueling satellites in space: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7842


Separating gases and fluids: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7329


Incubator: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=333


Cardiovascular health in space: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1664


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


Fresh food in space: https://go.nasa.gov/2Kpic4W


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


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


Reconstructed Roman Town House, Roman Wroxeter, Shropshire, 2.6.19.











Reconstructed Roman Town House, Roman Wroxeter, Shropshire, 2.6.19.


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Roman Wroxeter, Roman Basilica and Baths, Shropshire, 2.6.19.

Roman Wroxeter, Roman Basilica and Baths, Shropshire, 2.6.19.












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Roman Wroxeter, Basilica and Baths, Shropshire, 2.6.19.

Roman Wroxeter, Basilica and Baths, Shropshire, 2.6.19.












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Comet Watching Infection with Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) can…


Comet Watching


Infection with Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) can be fatal, so scientists are looking for weaknesses in how it spreads through human cells. The bacterium often hijacks its host’s cytoskeleton – the tiny network of pipe-like actin and tubulin proteins that prop up our cell membranes. Pictured here in 3D under a super-resolution microscope, Lm coaxes a new cytoskeleton structure to grow – a wispy ‘comet’, with actin highlighted in green, tubulin in red and Lm, in cyan, sitting at the top of the comet’s tail. Lm uses the comet as a sort of catapult (although 10 million times smaller) – flinging itself towards other cells to the spread an infection. But scientists may have found a way to dismantle these microscopic siege weapons. Depriving them of a protein called stathmin prevents tubulin from being ‘recruited’ to build the comet, and may be the key to new treatments designed to block Listeria’s spread.


Written by John Ankers



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