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Sep 23, 2021

How does terraforming work in the Alien universe?

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering, environmental

Back to Aliens, we find “Building Better Worlds” as the main slogan of the nefarious Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Apparently, terraforming (and presumably mining) celestial bodies is a large part of their galactic business. When acid hits the fan and the xenomorphs take over Hadley’s Hope, their operations on LV-426 have been active for decades. But is that enough time for Acheron (formally labelled as LV-426) to develop a breathable atmosphere?

The film itself doesn’t have many answers when it comes to terraforming, but the procedure appears to revolve around reutilizing the existing atmosphere – breaking down pre-existing elements, transforming, and redistributing them – instead of starting from scratch, which would indeed take centuries. Basically, mankind can’t turn any planet or planetoid into an Earth-like environment in the Alien universe; most components need to be present already, same goes for the atmospheric conditions. This fixes the centuries-long problem that comes up in other works of fiction, or at least makes the storytelling more realistic.

Complementary material detailing the Alien universe’s history and technology claim the first “Automated Atmosphere Processor” became a reality in 2,029 with a first terraforming process happening on Gliese 667 Cc during the 2030s and ending around 2040. The Weyland Corp Terraforming Division was created in 2,072 effectively starting a new age of space exploration. As stated before, native atmospheres are transformed thanks to the company’s “Atmosphere Processing Plants” and other techniques, such as algae bloom tanks that consume excess carbon dioxide and generate oxygen. It all depends on the properties of planets which have been previously scouted, inspected, and approved for viable terraformation.

Sep 23, 2021

Why a small Pacific country could solve a worldwide issue

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Back in 2,014 the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that within a decade, antibiotic-resistant bacteria could make routine surgery, organ transplantation, and cancer treatment life-threateningly risky — and spell the end of modern medicine as we know it.

Antibiotics are a cornerstone of modern medicine, used to treat infections and to protect vulnerable patients undergoing surgery or chemotherapy. The world desperately needs new antibiotics, and Covid-19 has only exacerbated the problem.

Continue reading “Why a small Pacific country could solve a worldwide issue” »

Sep 23, 2021

Rapid test to distinguish bacterial and viral infections wins US approval

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business

Israeli start-up MeMed aims to cut unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics with 15-minute procedure.

Gain a global perspective on the US and go beyond with curated news and analysis from 600 journalists in 50+ countries covering politics, business, innovation, trends and more.

Sep 23, 2021

Mice Treated with This Cytokine Lose Weight

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

PHILADELPHIA – Treating obese mice with the cytokine known as TSLP led to significant abdominal fat and weight loss compared to controls, according to new research published Thursday in Science from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Unexpectedly, the fat loss was not associated with decreased food intake or faster metabolism. Instead, the researchers discovered that TSLP stimulated the immune system to release lipids through the skin’s oil-producing sebaceous glands.

“This was a completely unforeseen finding, but we’ve demonstrated that fat loss can be achieved by secreting calories from the skin in the form of energy-rich sebum,” said principal investigator Taku Kambayashi, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Penn, who led the study with fourth-year medical student Ruth Choa, PhD. “We believe that we are the first group to show a non-hormonal way to induce this process, highlighting an unexpected role for the body’s immune system.”

The animal model findings, Kambayashi said, support the possibility that increasing sebum production via the immune system could be a strategy for treating obesity in people.

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Sep 23, 2021

NASA completes umbilical test for SLS Artemis 1 mission

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket completed another milestone on its way to launch with the Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT). The URRT was performed on the rocket on September 19 while it stood in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

During the test, the swing arms and T0 umbilicals at the base of the rocket were commanded to retract from the vehicle as they will during a standard SLS launch countdown.

The test occurred on Mobile Launcher 1 (ML-1) and allowed ground teams to verify and validate the mechanisms, timings, and function of the umbilical release and retract system that will separate and move the arms — that support data and communications pathways as well as fueling ports for the upper stage — away from the SLS rocket and against the tower at launch.

Sep 23, 2021

A.I. Predicts the Shapes of Molecules to Come

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

DeepMind has given 3D structure to 350,000 proteins, including every one made by humans, promising a boon for medicine and drug design.

Sep 22, 2021

Single Cells Evolve Large Multicellular Forms in Just Two Years

Posted by in category: futurism

It’s easy for us, as the vast architectures of cells that we are, to take it for granted that multicellularity is an unqualified advantage. But as far as we can tell from fossils, life seems to have been cheerfully unicellular for its first billion years. And even today, there are far more unicellular organisms than multicellular ones on the planet.

Researchers have discovered that environments favoring clumpy growth are all that’s needed to quickly transform single-celled yeast into complex multicellular organisms.

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Sep 22, 2021

Winged Microchip Is Smallest-Ever Human-Made Flying Structure — The Size of a Grain of Sand

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

The size of a grain of sand, dispersed microfliers could monitor air pollution, airborne disease, and environmental contamination.

Northwestern University engineers have added a new capability to electronic microchips: flight.

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Sep 22, 2021

Immune Cells in the Brain Share the Work

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Microglia immune cells can join together to form networks when needed, a new study reports. However, certain mutations associated with Parkinson’s disease can impair this process.

Sep 22, 2021

Look: Rare ‘Einstein Ring’ spotted

Posted by in category: space

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cluster of distant galaxies surrounded in reflected light — an illusion first predicted by Einstein over a century ago.

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