четверг, 26 сентября 2019 г.

Possible Stone Row near Ystum Cegid Isaf Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Rhoslan, North...

Possible Stone Row near Ystum Cegid Isaf Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Rhoslan, North Wales, 21.9.19.

Near to the famous prehistoric burial chamber can be found many large stones. Some are scattered remains across fields and some, like those pictured, exist in rows and appear evenly spaced. Displaced remains of the chamber or construction from a later date? They are a curious mystery.

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Moel Goedog Bronze Age Trackway, Prehistoric Fragments and Iron Age Hill Fort, Harlech,...

Moel Goedog Bronze Age Trackway, Prehistoric Fragments and Iron Age Hill Fort, Harlech, North Wales, 21.9.19.

Moel Goedog Prehistoric Complex reveals a stone row, two ring cairns and a nearby cairn. During the Iron Age a hill fort occupied a key promontory. However, there also exists a Bronze Age trackway and numerous prehistoric stone fragments from either the identified monuments or from those rendered unrecognisable from centuries of farming.

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Bachwen Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Clynnog Fawr, North Wales, 21.9.19.

Bachwen Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Clynnog Fawr, North Wales, 21.9.19.

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Growing a Smarter Model for Brain Research in Space

ISS — International Space Station logo.

Sept. 25, 2019

Researchers studying neurological diseases face several daunting challenges. For one thing, these conditions may take years or even decades to develop. On top of that, experimenting on the brains of healthy human beings simply is not ethical, and suitable human neurological models have not been readily available.

An investigation that sent brain organoids to the International Space Station may help meet both challenges.

Image above: The CubeLab hardware for Space Tango-Human Brain Organoids investigation, which observes the response of brain organoids to microgravity. Image Credit: NASA.

The Effect of Microgravity on Human Brain Organoids (Space Tango-Human Brain Organoids) studies how microgravity affects basic functions of brain cells, including survival, migration and metabolism, and the formation of neural networks. The human brain consists of many of these networks of neurons or nerve cells connected together to transmit and process the information received from our senses.

Brain organoids are small living masses of brain cells that form functional neural networks and self-organize into 3D structures resembling parts of the human brain. Scientists recently have begun using these organoids for a range of studies on brain function here on Earth. The white, pea-sized structures mimic the early stages of human brain development and provide a model for studying the biological processes involved in neurological disease and aging.

The space-based investigation takes advantage of the fact that in microgravity, the human body experiences changes that resemble accelerated aging. Studies show that artery walls become stiffer and thicker in space, for example, the same as when people grow older on Earth.

“Late onset Alzheimer’s, for example, takes 60 or 70 years to develop in an individual,” said principal investigator Alysson Muotri, head of a research laboratory at the University of California San Diego in La Jolla. “With organoids in the lab, it might take a similar amount of time. That’s a long time to keep these cells alive. If we could speed up the disease development, we could create a model that would allow us to see how problems develop and, perhaps, how to mitigate them.”

Image above: A cross-section of a brain organoid using immunofluorescence to show ventricles (inside) and a cortical plate (outside). Image Credits: Muotri Lab/UC San Diego.

Organoids model just a fraction of the brain, Muotri explained, yet can mimic some of the organization of brain tissues. “They provide a tool to access the developmental stage of the brain, which is a very important stage for setting up the first wiring of neural networks,” he said. “A problem at that stage can affect you for the rest of your life.”

When they launched into space in July, the organoids were a month old, a point at which their cells were rapidly proliferating and differentiating, or becoming different types of cells. They stayed on the orbiting laboratory for 27 days before returning to Earth for analysis.

Previous research provides evidence for how some cells and tissues in the body ‘age’ more quickly in space. These are the first human brain organoids to travel to space, so it is not yet clear how microgravity may affect their development.

At first glance, Muotri says it appears that the space-traveling organoids maintained their shape and may have grown larger. Further analysis could confirm that and identify any changes in their DNA and gene expression.

Caring for organoids during studies that cover months, if not years, can be very time-consuming. The investigation developed special hardware for growing the organoids autonomously, which could greatly simplify their use for research in space and on Earth.

Image above: Brain organoids grown in the Muotri Laboratory at University of California San Diego in La Jolla for one month and then sent to the International Space Station. Image Credits: Muotri Lab/UC San Diego.

In addition to advancing understanding of the development of diseases affecting the brain, this research is fundamental to protecting human health during space exploration.

“We want to see whether the organoids survive and whether cells replicate and form connections,” Muotri said. “This has implications for long term space travel and colonization of future planets.”

Muotri says future studies could create new organoids from single cells in space, and others could keep them on the space station longer in order to study later phases of development.

For now, the current investigation advances organoid technology, which helps address challenges involved in learning more about the human brain.

The ISS U.S. National Laboratory sponsored this investigation and Space Tango engineered the hardware for its CubeLabs platform.

Related links:

Space Tango-Human Brain Organoids: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8024

ISS U.S. National Laboratory: https://www.issnationallab.org/

Space Tango: https://spacetango.com/

CubeLabs platform: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/b4h-3rd/eds-research-in-a-box/

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/Michael Johnson/JSC/International Space Station Program Science Office/Melissa Gaskill.

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NASA Visualization Shows a Black Hole’s Warped World

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center logo.

Sept. 25, 2019

This new visualization of a black hole illustrates how its gravity distorts our view, warping its surroundings as if seen in a carnival mirror. The visualization simulates the appearance of a black hole where infalling matter has collected into a thin, hot structure called an accretion disk. The black hole’s extreme gravity skews light emitted by different regions of the disk, producing the misshapen appearance.

Bright knots constantly form and dissipate in the disk as magnetic fields wind and twist through the churning gas. Nearest the black hole, the gas orbits at close to the speed of light, while the outer portions spin a bit more slowly. This difference stretches and shears the bright knots, producing light and dark lanes in the disk.

Animation above: Seen nearly edgewise, the turbulent disk of gas churning around a black hole takes on a crazy double-humped appearance. The black hole’s extreme gravity alters the paths of light coming from different parts of the disk, producing the warped image. The black hole’s extreme gravitational field redirects and distorts light coming from different parts of the disk, but exactly what we see depends on our viewing angle. The greatest distortion occurs when viewing the system nearly edgewise. Animation Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Jeremy Schnittman.

Viewed from the side, the disk looks brighter on the left than it does on the right. Glowing gas on the left side of the disk moves toward us so fast that the effects of Einstein’s relativity give it a boost in brightness; the opposite happens on the right side, where gas moving away us becomes slightly dimmer. This asymmetry disappears when we see the disk exactly face on because, from that perspective, none of the material is moving along our line of sight.

Image above: This image highlights and explains various aspects of the black hole visualization. Image Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Jeremy Schnittman.

Closest to the black hole, the gravitational light-bending becomes so excessive that we can see the underside of the disk as a bright ring of light seemingly outlining the black hole. This so-called “photon ring” is composed of multiple rings, which grow progressively fainter and thinner, from light that has circled the black hole two, three, or even more times before escaping to reach our eyes. Because the black hole modeled in this visualization is spherical, the photon ring looks nearly circular and identical from any viewing angle. Inside the photon ring is the black hole’s shadow, an area roughly twice the size of the event horizon — its point of no return.

Image above: Seen nearly edgewise, the turbulent disk of gas churning around a black hole takes on a crazy double-humped appearance. The black hole’s extreme gravity alters the paths of light coming from different parts of the disk, producing the warped image. Image Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Jeremy Schnittman.

«Simulations and movies like these really help us visualize what Einstein meant when he said that gravity warps the fabric of space and time,” explains Jeremy Schnittman, who generated these gorgeous images using custom software at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Until very recently, these visualizations were limited to our imagination and computer programs. I never thought that it would be possible to see a real black hole.» Yet on April 10, the Event Horizon Telescope team released the first-ever image of a black hole’s shadow using radio observations of the heart of the galaxy M87.

Related links:

Black Holes: https://www.nasa.gov/black-holes

Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC): https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html

Animation (mentioned), Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rob Garner/Goddard Space Flight Center, by Francis Reddy.

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Soyuz Spacecraft With Three Crewmates Docks to Orbiting Lab

ROSCOSMOS — Soyuz MS-15 Mission patch.

September 25, 2019

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) docked to the International Space Station at 3:42 p.m. EDT.

Image above: The camera on the rear port of the Zvezda service module captures the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft approaching for a docking. Image Credit: NASA TV.

The new crew members will be greeted by station commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Nick Hague, Andrew Morgan, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano and cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.

Soyuz MS-15 docking

During Expedition 61, crew members will install new lithium-ion batteries for two of the station’s solar array power channels through a series of spacewalks. Later in the expedition, spacewalkers are scheduled to upgrade and repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a key science instrument housed outside the station to study dark matter and the origins of the universe.

NASA TV coverage will begin at 5 p.m. for the hatch opening at 5:45 p.m.

Related article:

Soyuz Rocket Blasts Off to Station With Multinational Crew

Related links:

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html

NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/live

Expedition 60: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition60/index.html

Expedition 61: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition61/index.html

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

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

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Welcome Interference With an excited puppy, being able to calm…

Welcome Interference

With an excited puppy, being able to calm it down is essential to keeping things under control. In the same way, hyperactive genes – the molecular starting points for all the material in our body – sometimes need subduing. One of the body’s tools for this is RNA interference – a trick that uses strands of RNA (genetic material similar to DNA) to quell gene expression. Researchers looking to replicate that technique use ‘small interfering RNA’ (siRNA), but have so far been limited to certain areas of the body. Now a new approach has modified their structure to make them linger longer when introduced to the brain (shown here in red within the blue-stained hippocampus cells of a non-human primate). Injected siRNAs blocked the activity of huntingtin in mice, the gene that causes Huntington’s disease, raising hopes that this approach to genetic tinkering will lead to new treatments for neurological disorders.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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Moel Goedog Prehistoric Standing Stone 8, Harlech, North Wales, 21.9.19.

Moel Goedog Prehistoric Standing Stone 8, Harlech, North Wales, 21.9.19.

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Moel Goedog Prehistoric Ring Cairn 2, Harlech, North Wales, 21.9.19.

Moel Goedog Prehistoric Ring Cairn 2, Harlech, North Wales, 21.9.19.

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