Science & Technology
Sun, 30 Sep 2007 16:29 CDT
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - Workers at the Kennedy Space Center moved the space shuttle Discovery out to its ocean-side launch pad on Sunday in preparation for a construction mission to the International Space Station slated to begin in three weeks.
Riding atop an Apollo-era mobile transporter, Discovery was rolled out of the massive Vehicle Assembly Building shortly before 7 a.m. for the 3.5-mile trek to the launch pad. It arrived about six hours later.
Sun, 30 Sep 2007 06:00 CDT
SAN MIGUEL, Philippines - It's Thursday, so 18-year-old Dennis Tiangco is off to a bank to collect his weekly allowance, zapped by his mother - who's working in Hong Kong - to his electronic wallet: his cell phone.
Sauntering into a branch of GM Bank in the town of San Miguel, Tiangco fills out a form, sends a text message via his phone to a bank line dedicated to the service.
In a matter of seconds, the transaction is approved and the teller gives him $54, minus a 1 percent fee. He doesn't need a bank account to retrieve the money.
Thu, 27 Sep 2007 16:04 CDT
To find north, humans look to a compass. But birds may just need to open their eyes, a new study says.
Scientists already suspected birds' eyes contain molecules that are thought to sense Earth's magnetic field. In a new study, German researchers found that these molecules are linked to an area of the brain known to process visual information.
Sat, 29 Sep 2007 12:16 CDT
454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, today reported that researchers from Pennsylvania State University have used the company's Genome Sequencer™ FLX system to sequence the entire mitochondrial genomes from 10 individual woolly mammoths. The study, entitled "Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequencing of Mitochondria from Ancient Hair Shafts" appears online (ahead of print) today in the journal Science.
The study describes a novel way to study the genomes of extinct animals: hair shafts provide an ideal source of ancient DNA. Typically, DNA sequencing from hair involves the hair root, which contains recognizable cells. In this new study, researchers portray the hair shaft as DNA encased in a biological kind of plastic, protected from damage and isolated from contaminants.
University of California - Riverside
Sat, 29 Sep 2007 12:12 CDT
Two teams of scientists, including three researchers from UC Riverside, report that traces of oxygen appeared in Earth's atmosphere roughly 100 million years before the "Great Oxidation Event" 2.4 billion years ago. The Great Oxidation Event is when most geoscientists think atmospheric oxygen rose sharply from very low levels and set the stage for animal life that followed almost two billion years later.
Analyzing layers of sedimentary rock in a kilometer-long core sample they retrieved in 2004 from the Hamersley Basin in Western Australia, the researchers found evidence for the presence of a small but significant amount of oxygen 2.5 billion years ago in the oceans and likely also in Earth's atmosphere.
Because the core was recovered from deep underground, it contains materials untouched by the atmosphere for billions of years. After retrieval, the scientists sliced the core longitudinally for analysis.
Fri, 28 Sep 2007 00:00 CDT
In a shock finding, astronomers using CSIRO's Parkes telescope have detected a huge burst of radio energy from the distant universe that could open up a new field in astrophysics.
Fri, 28 Sep 2007 17:26 CDT
Laurel MD - With a slight tweak of its trajectory this week, New Horizons is headed toward the heart of the distant Pluto system. Starting at 4:04 p.m. EDT on Sept. 25, New Horizons fired its thrusters for 15 minutes and 37 seconds, using less than a kilogram of fuel to change its velocity by 2.37 meters per second, or just more than 5 miles per hour. Monitored from the New Horizons Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., the maneuver was only the fourth trajectory correction for the spacecraft since launch in January 2006, and the first since it sped through the Jupiter system last February.
Fri, 28 Sep 2007 17:14 CDT
Hyderabad, India - Japan plans to carry out two more missions to the moon and then collaborate internationally to put a man on the lunar surface, a Japanese space scientist said Thursday.
Asia's biggest economy this month successfully launched Kaguya (or Selene), its first lunar orbiter, stealing a march over China and India which are planning unmanned missions of their own to the moon.
Fri, 28 Sep 2007 17:04 CDT
Hyderabad India - India and Russia held discussions here on possibility of cooperation in space exploration, including missions to the moon and Mars. General Anatoly Perminov, Head of the Federal Space Agency, Russia met Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair on the sidelines of the 58th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) here. "Discussions are on for possible cooperation with ISRO on missions to the moon and Mars," Perminov said. He said a special meeting of officials of space agencies from the two countries will be held in November to take the discussions forward.
Fri, 28 Sep 2007 16:33 CDT
Moffet Field CA - In May 2007, Victoria Meadows, Principal Investigator for the Virtual Planetary Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology's Spitzer Science Center, presented a lecture at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In part four of this six-part edited series, she explains how different types of worlds, even ones not like the Earth, can still be potential havens for life.
"Not all life is going to look like life on Earth. There are so many different types of worlds out there, so many things that we never expected to see that we are now seeing. It behooves us to not assume we're going to see a spectrum that looks just like the Earth's. That would be nice, but it's probably not going to happen. We have to consider that there will be a huge diversity of different types of worlds.