NASA’s Curiosity rover is back again to its mission Mars and the latest discovery provides insight into the existence of water on the Red Planet. Yes! You read it right. A group of NASA scientists, who currently placed their Curiosity Mars rover in the Gale Crater, has reportedly found an extremely good-looking rock that could end the decades old debate on whether or not the Red Planet harboured or still harbours water.
The rock, nicknamed as ‘Strathdon’, has scale-like features and further indicates that Mars once had flowing water on its surface which eroded the solid material for different periods of time. Each levels of scales are assumed to be periods of time when Mars becomes gradually dry. Scientists suggest that the Red Planet’s journey from being wet to dry has resulted into the rocky layer above it.
Talking about their latest study, Valerie Fox, a research scholar in Caltech said, “We’re seeing an evolution in the ancient lake environment recorded in these rocks”. “It wasn’t just a static lake. It’s helping us move from a simplistic view of Mars going from wet to dry. Instead of a linear process, the history of water was more complicated,” Fox added.
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Earlier too, scientists have discovered a slew of evidence of ancient groundwater system on the surface of the planet. In early 2019, researchers explored 24 deep, enclosed craters in the northern hemisphere of Mars, with floors lying about 4000 metres below martian ‘sea level’ – a level that, given the planet’s lack of seas, is arbitrarily defined on Mars based on elevation and atmospheric pressure.
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There are also reports about the existence of a giant water reservoirs on the planet, in the form of ice layers buried over a kilometre beneath the surface. Besides, researchers from different scientific organisations have detected pools of liquid water beneath the planet’s south pole in the line of interconnected ancient lakes and snowmelt-fed streams.
dedicated by : kavignar thanigai
ET: Health world
Stem cells hold the key to wound healing as they develop into specialised cell types throughout the body – including in the teeth.
London: Researchers have identified the gene called Dlk1 that enhances stem cell activation and tissue regeneration to help in tooth healing.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found a mechanism that could offer a potential novel solution for tooth repairing.
Stem cells hold the key to wound healing as they develop into specialised cell types throughout the body – including in the teeth. Stem cells are so important that in the future they could be used in laboratories to regenerate tissues that have been damaged or lost due to disease, said researchers.
“By uncovering both the new stem cells that make the main body of a tooth and establishing their vital use of Dlk1 in regenerating the tissue, we have taken major steps in understanding stem cell regeneration,” said study lead author Bing Hu from the University of Plymouth.
Researchers identified a new population of mesenchymal stem cells — the stem cells that make up skeletal tissue such as muscle and bone — in a continuously growing mouse incisor model. They showed that these cells contribute to the formation of tooth dentin — the hard tissue that covers the main body of a tooth.
The findings showed that when these stem cells are activated, they send signals back to the mother cells of the tissue to control the number of cells produced, through a molecular gene called Dlk1.
During the study, the researchers also showed that Dlk1 can enhance stem cell activation and tissue regeneration in a tooth wound healing model. This mechanism could provide a novel solution for tooth reparation, dealing with problems such as tooth decay, crumbling and trauma treatment.
“The work has taken place in lab models at this stage, and further work needs to be done before we can bring them to human use. But it’s a really big breakthrough in regenerative medicine that could have huge implications for patients in future,” Hu added.
Much of the technology common in daily life today originates from the drive to put a human being on the Moon. This effort reached its pinnacle when Neil Armstrong stepped off the Eagle landing module onto the lunar surface 50 years ago.
As a NASA airborne astronomy ambassador and director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Manfred Olson Planetarium, I know that the technologies behind weather forecasting, GPS and even smartphones can trace their origins to the race to the Moon.
October 4, 1957 marked the dawn of the Space Age, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made satellite. The Soviets were the first to make powerful launch vehicles by adapting World War II-era long-range missiles, especially the German V-2.
From there, space propulsion and satellite technology moved fast: Luna 1escaped the Earth’s gravitational field to fly past the Moon on January 4, 1959; Vostok 1 carried the first human, Yuri Gagarin, into space on April 12, 1961; and Telstar, the first commercial satellite, sent TV signals across the Atlantic Ocean on July 10, 1962.
The 1969 lunar landing also harnessed the expertise of German scientists, such as Wernher von Braun, to send massive payloads into space. The F-1 engines in Saturn V, the Apollo program’s launch vehicle, burned a total of 2,800 tons of fuel at a rate of 12.9 tons per second.
Saturn V still stands as the most powerful rocket ever built, but rockets today are far cheaper to launch. For example, whereas Saturn V cost US$185 million, which translates into over $1 billion in 2019, today’s Falcon Heavy launch costs only $90 million. Those rockets are how satellites, astronauts and other spacecraft get off the Earth’s surface, to continue bringing back information and insights from other worlds.
The quest for enough thrust to land a man on the Moon led to the building of vehicles powerful enough to launch payloads to heights of 21,200 to 22,600 miles (34,100 to 36,440 km) above the Earth’s surface. At such altitudes, satellites’ orbiting speed aligns with how fast the planet spins – so satellites remain over a fixed point, in what is called geosynchronous orbit. Geosynchronous satellites are responsible for communications, providing both internet connectivity and TV programming.
At the beginning of 2019, there were 4,987 satellites orbiting Earth; in 2018 alone, there were more than 382 orbital launches worldwide. Of the currently operational satellites, approximately 40% of payloads enable communications, 36% observe the Earth, 11% demonstrate technologies, 7% improve navigation and positioning and 6% advance space and earth science.
One of the Vanguard satellites in Florida in 1958. Credit: NASA
Space missions – back then and even today – have strict limits on how big and how heavy their equipment can be, because so much energy is required to lift off and achieve orbit. These constraints pushed the space industry to find ways to make smaller and lighter versions of almost everything: Even the walls of the lunar landing module were reduced to the thickness of two sheets of paper.
From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, the weight and energy consumption of electronics was reduced by a factor of several hundred at least – from the 30 tons and 160 kilowatts of the Electric Numerical Integrator and Computer to the 70 pounds and 70 watts of the Apollo guidance computer. This weight difference is equivalent to that between a humpback whale and an armadillo.
Manned missions required more complex systems than earlier, unmanned ones. For example, in 1951, the Universal Automatic Computer was capable of 1,905 instructions per second, whereas the Saturn V’s guidance system performed 12,190 instructions per second. The trend toward nimble electronics has continued, with modern hand-held devices routinely capable of performing instructions 120 million times faster than the guidance system that enabled the liftoff of Apollo 11. The need to miniaturise computers for space exploration in the 1960s motivated the entire industry to design smaller, faster and more energy-efficient computers, which have affected practically every facet of life today, from communications to health and from manufacturing to transportation.
Global network of ground stations
Communicating with vehicles and people in space was just as important as getting them up there in the first place. An important breakthrough associated with the 1969 lunar landing was the construction of a global network of ground stations, called the Deep Space Network, to let controllers on Earth communicate constantly with missions in highly elliptical Earth orbits or beyond. This continuity was possible because the ground facilities were placed strategically 120 degrees apart in latitude so that each spacecraft would be in range of one of the ground stations at all times.
Because of the spacecraft’s limited power capacity, large antennas were built on Earth to simulate “big ears” to hear weak messages and to act as “big mouths” to broadcast loud commands. In fact, the Deep Space Network was used to communicate with the astronauts on Apollo 11 and was used to relay the first dramatic TV images of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the Moon. The network was also critical for the survival of the crew on Apollo 13 because they needed guidance from ground personnel without wasting their precious power on communications.
Several dozen missions use the Deep Space Network as part of the continuing exploration of our solar system and beyond. In addition, the Deep Space Network permits communications with satellites that are on highly elliptical orbits, to monitor the poles and deliver radio signals.
Looking Back at Earth
Getting to space has allowed people to turn their research efforts toward Earth. In August 1959, the unmanned satellite Explorer VI took the first crude photos of Earth from space on a mission researching the upper atmosphere, in preparation for the Apollo program.
Almost a decade later, the crew of Apollo 8 took a famous picture of the Earth rising over the lunar landscape, aptly named “Earthrise.” This image helped people understand our planet as a unique shared world and boosted the environmental movement.
Understanding of our planet’s role in the universe deepened with Voyager 1’s “pale blue dot” photo – an image received by the Deep Space Network.
People and our machines have been taking pictures of the Earth from space ever since. Views of Earth from space guide people both globally and locally. What started in the early 1960s as a US Navy satellite system to track its Polaris submarines to within 600 feet (185 meters) has blossomed into the Global Positioning System network of satellites providing location services worldwide.
Images from a series of Earth-observing satellites called Landsat are used to determine crop health, identify algae blooms and find potential oil deposits. Other uses include identifying which types of forest management are most effective in slowing the spread of wildfires or recognising global changes such as glacier coverage and urban development.
As we learn more about our own planet and about exoplanets – planets around other stars – we become more aware of how precious our planet is. Efforts to preserve Earth itself may yet find help from fuel cells, another technology from the Apollo program. These storage systems for hydrogen and oxygen in the Apollo Service Module, which contained life-support systems and supplies for the lunar landing missions, generated power and produced potable water for the astronauts. Much cleaner energy sources than traditional combustion engines, fuel cells may play a part in transforming global energy production to fight climate change.
We can only wonder what innovations from the effort to send people to other planets will affect earthlings 50 years after the first Marswalk.
Jean Creighton is planetarium director, NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
thanks : the wire
dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai.
Most of the people keep their toothbrush within their reach, on top of their washbasin, while others considering the hygiene factor, store it inside their medicine cupboard. But are you able to protect your toothbrush from disease-causing germs? We all know that our bathroom is filled with disease-causing germs and when you place your toothbrush there, chances are that millions of germs are breeding on your toothbrush. And the same germs on your toothbrush go directly inside your mouth. We tell you the right place to store the toothbrush…
What is the most hygienic place?
You can debate all day about it and still won’t be able to reach the right conclusion because almost every place is filled with germs and bacteria. The air contains million of microorganism that can lead to serious health issues. But one thing is for sure that keeping your toothbrush in your washroom is not hygienic at all.
When you store your toothbrush in the washroom, you are exposing it to germs like toilet plume. Toilet plume are referred to as aerosolized cloud of microscopic particles, which spread in the air when you flush the toilet.
Though it is not very much clear how far the toilet plumes can reach, but if your toothbrush is on the counter near your toilet seat, it is probably in its range. However, there is not much evidence to prove that toilet plumes cause dangerous disease. But it can lead to food poisoning.
The right way to store it
Always keep your toothbrush in a place that allows it to dry between uses. This is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to place your toothbrush inside the medicine closet. The enclosed and humid surrounding are an excellent spot for the burgeoning of germs and bacteria.
You can consider keeping it in a stand in your bedroom.
-Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone.
-Rinse it well after use
-Don’t let the head of someone else’s toothbrush touch yours.
-Change your toothbrush after three to four months.
thanks: E times june 9 2019
dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai
Gomathi Marimuthu, a middle distance runner from Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, won India’s first gold medal in the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships at the Khalifa Stadium in Qatar on April 22.
Marimuthu emerged from the back to take the lead position in the final few seconds of the 800-metre event. She finished with her personal best of 2 minutes, 2.70 seconds.
The 30-year-old developed an interest in athletics in school and was encouraged by her father, a farm labourer, who used to cycle 5 km daily to drop her for training.
She started training professionally when she got into college and also received a job at the Income Tax department in Bengaluru.
In 2013, she reached the finals of the 800m event at the Asian Championship in Pune. However, in September 2016, she lost her father to colon cancer. Marimuthu told TNIE,
THANKS : MSN NEWS
DEDICATED BY KAVIGNAR THANIGAI.