Iron From Supernova Found on Earth’s Moon

Confirming a supernova explosion in the neighbourhood of our solar system, physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany and colleagues have found supernova iron found on the moon’s surface. They succeeded in demonstrating an unusually high concentration of radioactive 60Fe isotope – created almost exclusively in supernova explosions – in lunar ground samples. The samples were gathered between 1969 and 1972 during Apollo lunar missions 12, 15 and 16 which brought the lunar material back to earth. Since the moon generally provides a better cosmic record than…

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Four Indian Teams to Compete in Nasa’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge

Four groups of Indian students are part of nearly 80 teams that will participate in the US space agency’s “Human Exploration Rover Challenge” to help Nasa realise its goals for future exploration to Mars and beyond. The teams from the Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering in Maharashtra, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee in Uttarakhand, Sathyabama University in Tamil Nadu, and Skyline Institute of Engineering and Technology in Uttar Pradesh will be taking part in the challenge, Nasa said in a statement. The teams from the US, India,…

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Promising lab-grown skin sprouts hair and grows glands

Scientists in Japan have successfully transplanted mice with lab-grown skin that has more of the organ’s working parts in place than ever before. Starting with stem cells made from a mouse’s gums, they managed to craft skin with multiple layers – as well as hair follicles and sweat glands. When implanted into a “nude mouse” with a suppressed immune system, it integrated well and sprouted hairs. Researchers say this success will take 5-10 years to translate into humans. But eventually, the team hopes their system will lead to perfectly functioning…

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Zika structure mapped for first time

Zika now has a face to go with the name. New microscopy images of the virus reveal a bumpy, golf ball‒shaped structure, similar to that of the dengue and West Nile viruses, researchers report March 31 in Science. It’s the first time scientists have gotten a good look at Zika, the infamous virus that has invaded the Americas and stoked fears that it is causing birth defects and a rare autoimmune disease. Cracking Zika’s structure is like getting the blueprints of an enemy’s base: Now scientists have a better idea of…

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Nerve cell links severed in early stages of Alzheimer’s

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, an overzealous set of proteins and cells begins to chew away at the brain’s nerve cell connections, a study in mice suggests. That finding, described March 31 in Science, adds to a growing body of research that implicates excessive synaptic pruning, a process that shapes the young brain by culling unused connections, with disorders later in life. The new work pins the loss of nerve cell–connecting synapses on particular immune system molecules and a notorious Alzheimer’s-linked protein. By uniting these multiple strands of…

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White-nose bat disease jumps the Rockies to Washington state

A sick bat caught by hikers not far from Seattle has now been confirmed to have the first case west of the Rockies of the deadly bat disease white-nose syndrome. First noticed in North America in the winter of 2006-2007, the disease exterminated some whole colonies of hibernating bats on the East Coast, though some species have proved less susceptible.  White-nose syndrome has now swept from coast to coast, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed March 31. So far the USGS’s National Wildlife Health Center has only confirmed the one case,…

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China to Launch Its First Micro-Gravity Satellite in April

China is set to launch its first micro-gravity experimental satellite in April, a media report said on Friday. The Shijian-10 satellite arrived at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest Gansu province on Wednesday, ahead of its scheduled launch, the People’s Daily reported. The Shijian-10 is the first micro-gravity experimental satellite in China designed for conducting scientific experiments in space, says Li Chunhua, deputy chief designer of the Shijian-10. It will perform a total of 19 experiments involving micro-gravity, micro-gravity combustion, space material, space radiation effects and space biotechnology during its…

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China’s Space Telescope to Displace Humans in Search for Aliens

China will move nearly 10,000 people to make way for the world’s largest radio telescope which promises to help humanity search for alien life, state media reported on Tuesday. The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), nestled between hills in the southwestern province of Guizhou, is due to start operation this year. Provincial officials have vowed to relocate 9,110 residents living within five kilometres of the listening device by September, the official Xinhua news agency said. The relocations will “create a sound electromagnetic wave environment”, it cited a top regional…

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