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Oct 14, 2020

US and seven other countries sign NASA’s Artemis Accords to set rules for exploring the Moon

Posted by in category: space travel

And more countries could be signing soon.


NASA released the draft of the accords to other space-faring countries, and after getting their input, the agency came up with the final document, which includes standards for things like lunar mining and how to handle conflicts on the Moon’s surface. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says the main goal is to get everyone on the same page about lunar exploration and head off any future international misunderstandings or conflicts. “When we think about the Artemis Accords, what we’re trying to do is establish norms of behavior that every nation can agree to,” Bridenstine said during a press call ahead of the announcement.

The seven nations that have signed along with the US are: Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. NASA says that it has also spoken with other countries interested in signing, but these seven nations were able to go through the interagency process the fastest. That means more countries could be signing on to the accords very soon — even before the end of the year, according to NASA. “This first announcement is very much a beginning, not an ending to the nations joining the Accords,” Mike Gold, NASA’s acting associate administrator for the office of international and interagency relations, said during the briefing.

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Oct 14, 2020

Docking to Rassvet Port

Posted by in category: space

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Oct 14, 2020

Scientists home in on the mechanism that protects cells from premature aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

However, it was unclear how TERRA got to the tip of chromosomes and remained there. “The telomere makes up only a tiny bit of the total chromosomal DNA, so the question is ‘how does this RNA find its home?’” Lingner says. To address this question, postdoc Marianna Feretzaki and others in the teams of Joachim Lingner at EPFL and Lumir Krejci at Masaryk University set out to analyze the mechanism through which TERRA accumulates at telomeres, as well as the proteins involved in this process. The findings are published in * Nature*.

**Finding home**

By visualizing TERRA molecules under a microscope, the researchers found that a short stretch of the RNA is crucial to bring it to telomeres. Further experiments showed that once TERRA reaches the tip of chromosomes, several proteins regulate its association with telomeres. Among these proteins, one called RAD51 plays a particularly important role, Lingner says.

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Oct 14, 2020

This crazy pen lets you write and draw in any color you want

Posted by in category: electronics

Circa 2016


Scribble Pen is a smart pen that lets you draw in any color simply objects by scanning them with its built in color sensor.

Oct 14, 2020

Room-Temperature Superconductivity Achieved for the First Time

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

Physicists have reached a long-sought goal. The catch is that their room-temperature superconductor requires crushing pressures to keep from falling apart.

Oct 14, 2020

Astronomers Solve Mystery of a Galaxy Containing 99.99% Dark Matter

Posted by in category: cosmology

The mystery of a galaxy that shouldn’t have existed could now have a solution. Dragonfly 44, a faint galaxy that was found in 2016 to consist of 99.99 percent dark matter, has been closely re-examined, revealing a lower and more normal proportion of dark matter.

This would mean that we don’t have to revise our models of galaxy formation to try to figure out how they could have produced such an extreme outlier — everything is behaving completely normally, the researchers said.

“Dragonfly 44 (DF44) has been an anomaly all these years that could not be explained with the existing galaxy formation models,” said astronomer Teymoor Saifollahi of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in the Netherlands.

Oct 14, 2020

SpaceX to explore ways to provide weather data to U.S. military

Posted by in categories: business, military, space

SpaceX won a $2 million contract from the SpEC consortium to study ways to provide weather data to the U.S. Space Force.


WASHINGTON — SpaceX is looking at ways it could provide weather data to the U.S. military. The company is working under a $2 million six-month study contract from the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

Charlotte Gerhart, chief of the Space and Missile Systems Center Production Corps Low Earth Orbit Division, said in a statement to SpaceNews that SpaceX received the contract in July from SMC’s Space Enterprise Consortium.

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Oct 14, 2020

A Small Electric Car Made of Recycled Trash

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Collectively, we produce 2.1 billion tons of waste per year, or as a group of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) would explain it, we produce the same amount as “the PSV Eindhoven football stadium filled 7380 times to the roof.”

Oct 14, 2020

New Technology Accelerates Crop Improvement with CRISPR

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics

Researchers know how to make precise genetic changes within the genomes of crops, but the transformed cells often refuse to grow into plants. One team has devised a new solution.


Scientists who want to improve crops face a dilemma: it can be difficult to grow plants from cells after you’ve tweaked their genomes.

A new tool helps ease this process by coaxing the transformed cells, including those modified with the gene-editing system CRISPR-Cas9, to regenerate new plants. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Specialist Juan M. Debernardi and Investigator Jorge Dubcovsky, together with David Tricoli at the University of California, Davis Plant Transformation Facility, Javier Palatnik from Argentina, and colleagues at the John Innes Centre, collaborated on the work. The team reports the technology, developed in wheat and tested in other crops, October 12, 2020, in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

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Oct 14, 2020

Ground-State Cooling of a Trapped Ion Using Long-Wavelength Radiation

Posted by in categories: engineering, quantum physics

Freeze laser.


We demonstrate ground-state cooling of a trapped ion using radio-frequency (rf) radiation. This is a powerful tool for the implementation of quantum operations, where rf or microwave radiation instead of lasers is used for motional quantum state engineering. We measure a mean phonon number of $\overline{n}=0.13$ after sideband cooling, corresponding to a ground-state occupation probability of 88%. After preparing in the vibrational ground state, we demonstrate motional state engineering by driving Rabi oscillations between the $|n=0⟩$ and $|n=1⟩$ Fock states. We also use the ability to ground-state cool to accurately measure the motional heating rate and report a reduction by almost 2 orders of magnitude compared with our previously measured result, which we attribute to carefully eliminating sources of electrical noise in the system.