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Israel uses military expertise to join commercial space race
News ImageBy Ari Rabinovitch HAIFA, Israel (Reuters) - Israel is embarking on a five-year mission to stake its claim on a crowded new frontier, the $250 billion a year commercial space market. Using the expertise of a defense industry that created technology such as the "Iron Dome" missile interceptor, Israel plans to move beyond its current focus on spy and military communications satellites into producing civilian devices, some small enough to fit in your hand. "The idea was that we have a well-developed space infrastructure for our defense needs, and without a big financial investment, we can use it to grab a few percentage points of the commercial market as well," said Issac Ben-Israel, chairman of the Israel Space Agency. Ben-Israel hopes the country will capture at least a three percent market share, but it faces competition from global technology giants looking for new markets and industries.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:24:09 -0500
U.S. science probe nears unexplored dwarf planet Ceres
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A NASA science satellite on Friday will wrap up a 7-1/2-year journey to Ceres, an unexplored dwarf planet in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, scientists said on Monday. Ceres, namesake of the Roman goddess of agriculture, is already providing intrigue. Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:21:26 -0500
U.S. ends program flagging 'sensitive' patent requests
A little known but controversial program that flagged sensitive patent applications involving potentially touchy subjects such as AIDS vaccines and abortion devices has been scrapped by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The program, called the Sensitive Application Warning System, began in 1994 and was meant to notify the agency's leadership of applications that could generate extensive or unfavorable publicity. "Upon careful consideration, the USPTO has concluded that the SAWS program has only been marginally utilized and provides minimal benefit," the agency said in a notice posted to its website on Monday night. The agency's review of the program, conducted in January, came after attorneys Kate Gaudry and Thomas Franklin at law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton revealed details of the program in December from documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:09:09 -0500
U.S. satellite likely exploded after temperature spike: Air Force
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A U.S. military weather satellite appears to have exploded while in orbit last month after a sudden temperature spike in its power system, producing 43 pieces of new space debris, the Air Force said on Tuesday. The blast, which was first reported by the industry trade publication Space News, was the second Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) spacecraft to experience a catastrophic breakup in 11 years. Launched in 1995, the Air Force satellite was serving as an operational spare in the seven-member DMSP network. On Feb. 3, flight controllers observed a sudden temperature spike in the DMSP-F13 satellite's power system and quickly shut down its non-essential systems, but the spacecraft lost the ability to position itself, the Air Force said in a statement. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:40:28 -0500
Harvard prevention trial studies tau, Alzheimer's other protein
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Alzheimer's researchers at Harvard for the first time are scanning the brains of healthy patients for the presence of a hallmark protein called tau, which forms toxic tangles of nerve fibers associated with the fatal disease. The new scans are part of a large clinical trial called Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer's or A4, the first designed to identify and treat patients in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's, before memory loss begins. Patients accepted into the A4 trial already have deposits of beta amyloid, the other protein associated with Alzheimer's. The addition of the tau scan will allow scientists to get a much clearer picture of the events that lead to Alzheimer's. The disease affects 5 million Americans, and 16 million are projected to be afflicted by 2050. Dr. Reisa Sperling of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who is leading the 1,000-patient trial, said tau is commonly found in small amounts in healthy people over age 70, but it is generally confined to an area of the brain called the medial temporal lobe. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:01:57 -0500
Cleaner Air Really Does Improve Kids' Lung Health
Tougher air pollution control strategies in California may have resulted in better lung health in children, a new study suggests. Researchers found that children in California experienced improved lung function as levels of air pollution in the state declined between 1994 and 2011. "We saw about a 10-percent improvement" in the amount that children's lung capacity grew over a four-year period, said study researcher Jim Gauderman, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles. Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:21:08 -0500
Sunken Japanese WWII Battleship Located in the Philippines
News ImageMore than 70 years after it sank during World War II, the legendary Japanese battleship Musashi has been discovered off the coast of the Philippines. Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been leading an expedition to find the Musashi one of the biggest battleships ever built aboard his high-tech 414-foot-long (125 meters) yacht, the M/YOctopus.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:07:41 -0500
Earliest Human Species Possibly Found in Ethiopia
News ImageAn ancient jawbone fragment is the oldest human fossil discovered yet, a bone potentially from a new species that reveals the human family may have arose a half million years earlier than previously thought, researchers say. These extinct lineages were members of the genus Homo just as modern humans are. For decades, scientists have been searching Africa for signs of the earliest phases of the human family, during the shift from more apelike Australopithecus species to more human early Homo species. Until now, the earliest credible fossil evidence of the genus Homo was dated to about 2.3 million or 2.4 million years ago.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 15:37:00 -0500
Gemini Constellation Holds Starry Treats for March Stargazers
Gemini Constellation Holds Starry Treats for March StargazersThe constellation Gemini is currently well placed in the evening sky, just above and to the left of Orion for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. The Gemini constellation is marked by two of the brightest stars in the sky, Castor and Pollux.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:40:12 -0500
How an Ion Drive Helped NASA's Dawn Probe Visit Dwarf Planet Ceres
News ImageA NASA probe that takes four days to go from 0 to 60 mph is about to make space exploration history. NASA's Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, early Friday morning (March 6). If all goes according to plan, Dawn will become the first probe ever to orbit a dwarf planet, as well as the first to circle two celestial bodies beyond the Earth-moon system. The $473 million Dawn mission's unprecedented deep-space feats are enabled by its innovative ion propulsion system, which is about 10 times more efficient than traditional chemical thrusters.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 15:06:46 -0500
In a Zombie Outbreak, Head for the Rocky Mountains
News ImageIn the event of a zombie outbreak, the best way to avoid getting infected is to stay away from populated areas, according to a new study. To figure out the best way to survive a zombie apocalypse, a team of researchers modeled what would happen if an epidemic of the undead were to hit the United States. "We did a full U.S.-scale simulation of 307 million individuals and thousands of outbreaks, to see who ended up infected and who did not," said Alex Alemi, a graduate student in theoretical physics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 10:21:36 -0500
UK scientists work out weight of Sophie the Stegosaurus
News ImageLONDON (AP) Scientists at a British museum have worked out the living weight of Sophie, one of the world's most complete Stegosaurus skeletons.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:04:35 -0500
Image Captures Light's Spooky Dual Nature for 1st Time
News ImageThis strange behavior is a consequence of quantum mechanics, bizarre rules of physics that govern the behavior of subatomic particles. "This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics and its paradoxical nature directly," study co-author Fabrizio Carbone, a researcher at the cole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne in Switzerland, said in a statement.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:56:16 -0500
Ceres Science: NASA Probe to Study Dwarf Planet's Bright Spots and More
Ceres Science: NASA Probe to Study Dwarf Planet's Bright Spots and MoreThere's something highly reflective on Ceres twinkling at NASA's Dawn spacecraft, and scientists hope to figure out what it is after the probe arrives at the dwarf planet later this week. The bright-spot mystery is just one question Dawn will tackle after it enters orbit around Ceres at about 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on Friday (March 6). "Ceres has really surprised us, and the first images have produced some really puzzling features that have got the team, and I think some other people, really excited," Dawn Deputy Principal Investigator Carol Raymond, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said during a news conference Monday (March 2). The two bright spots are close to each other inside a 57-mile-wide (92 kilometers) crater that sits at about 19 degrees north latitude on Ceres, which is the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:20:03 -0500
Global Warming Brought on California's Severe Drought
News ImageCalifornia's severe and ongoing drought is just a taste of the dry years to come, thanks to global warming, a new study finds. "California's warming trend is driving an increase in the risk of drought," said study co-author Daniel Swain, a doctoral student in climate science at Stanford University in California. "Warming in California has made it more probable that when a low precipitation year occurs, it occurs in warm conditions and is more likely to produce severe drought," said lead study author Noah Diffenbaugh, an associate professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford.
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:25:26 -0500
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