Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as spacecraft watch
By Irene Klotz NEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars where a fleet of robotic science probes were poised for studies. Comet Siding Spring passed just 87,000 miles (140,000 km) from Mars, less than half the distance between Earth and the moon and 10 times closer than any known comet has passed by Earth, NASA said. ...
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 15:44:44 -0400
Cell transplant helps paralyzed man walk with frame
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - A Bulgarian man who was paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack can now walk with the aid of a frame after receiving pioneering transplant treatment using cells from his nose. The technique, described as a breakthrough by a study in the journal Cell Transplantation, involved transplanting what are known as olfactory ensheathing cells into the patient's spinal cord and constructing a "nerve bridge" between two stumps of the damaged spinal column. "We believe... ...
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:11:08 -0400
Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for joy of sex
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored fishes, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in Scotland. In an important discovery in the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction, the scientists found that male fossils of the Microbrachius dicki, which belong to a placoderm group, developed bony L-shaped genital limbs called claspers to transfer sperm to females. Females, for their part, developed small paired bones to lock the male organs in place for ...
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 13:54:37 -0400
GMO labeling foes spend big on campaigns in Oregon, Colorado
By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - Opponents of GMO food labeling proposals on the ballot next month in Oregon and Colorado have contributed roughly $20 million for campaigning against the proposed laws, nearly triple the money raised by supporters of the initiatives, campaign finance reports show. Both measures would require labels on foods made with genetically engineered crops, which are common in the United States. Voters in Colorado and Oregon weigh in on the issue in mid-term election voting on Nov. 6. ...
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:29:22 -0400
U.S. Air Force lands robotic X-37B space plane in California
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. military landed its X-37B robotic space plane at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on Friday, ending a classified 22-month mission that marked the third in Earth orbit for the experimental program, the Air Force said. The X-37B, a 29-foot-long (9-meter) winged craft that resembles a miniature NASA space shuttle, touched down at 9:24 a.m. local time at the coastal air base and launch facility near Lompoc, California, 160 miles (258 km) northwest of Los Angeles. ...
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:10:03 -0400
CDC Updates Its Ebola Guidelines for Health Care Workers
To better protect health care workers against the risk of contracting Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that workers undergo rigorous training in putting on and taking off personal protection equipment, according to new guidelines announced this evening (Oct. 20). The CDC also recommended that workers not leave any of their skin exposed when caring for an Ebola patient, and that they put on and take off equipment under the close supervision of a trained supervisor, said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, speaking at a news conference this evening. Previous guidelines were established in 2008 and were updated in August, Frieden said. Those guidelines had been used successfully before, but the Dallas hospital where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was treated was relying on those guidelines, and still two nurses became infected with Ebola after caring for Duncan.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:28:58 -0400
Ebola Airport Screening Prevents 3 Cases Per Month from Traveling
If the Ebola screening procedures currently taking place at airports in West Africa were to stop, about three people with the disease would leave the outbreak region each month as they traveled by plane, according to estimates from a new study. The results underscore the importance of maintaining effective Ebola screening at the airports in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries most affected by the current Ebola outbreak, the researchers said. "Exit screening at the three international airports Conakry, Monrovia and Freetown in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone [respectively] should allow all travelers at highest risk of exposure to Ebola to be assessed with greater efficiency compared with entry screening the same passengers as they arrive in cities around the world," Dr. Kamran Khan, of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said in a statement.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:51:58 -0400
Vaccines Do Not Increase Risk of Multiple Sclerosis
Add one more condition to the list of things that vaccines don't cause: multiple sclerosis. Scientists looked at about 4,700 people who received vaccines against hepatitis B (Hep B) and the human papillomavirus (HPV), and found no long-term risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) or similar nervous-system diseases. Some anti-vaccination groups had raised concerns that the proteins in the Hep B and HPV vaccines could lead to the destruction of myelin, the insulating material that surrounds the parts of nerve cells called axons. Such damage, called demyelination, is the hallmark of several neurodegenerative autoimmune diseases most commonly, MS.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:26:38 -0400
Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies This Week
Mark Thursday (Oct. 23) on your calendar as "Solar Eclipse Day," for if the weather cooperates, you should have no difficulty observing a partial eclipse of the sun. Nearly all of North America, except for a portion of eastern Canada and a slice of eastern New England, will experience the partial solar eclipse this week. People who live east of a line running from roughly Quebec City to Montauk Point, New York, will miss out on the solar show, since the sun will set before the dark disc of the moon begins to encroach upon it. The several hundred thousand people who inhabit parts of Siberia will get a brief view around local sunrise time but on Friday (Oct. 24), because this part of the eclipse visibility zone is to the west of the International Date Line.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:32:53 -0400
NASA Spacecraft at Mars Survive Close Encounter with Comet
Three spacecraft at Mars survived a close brush with a comet that buzzed by the Red Planet Sunday (Oct. 19), while scientists on Earth captured some amazing images of the comet's close pass. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) probe and Odyssey spacecraft appear to be in good health after hiding behind Mars as Comet Siding Spring whizzed 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) past the planet at high speed. The three spacecraft and two rovers NASA's Curiosity and Opportunity plus the two other probes at the Red Planet, were also charged with gathering information about the comet and its effect on Mars.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:22:05 -0400
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