Science & Technology


Fetal cells permeate blood brain barrier of mother lasting a lifetime

© Prevent
A mother may literally have her children on her mind at all times. Findings reveal that cells from fetuses migrate into the brains of their mothers, and can last a lifetime.

Few would argue that the mother-baby bond during pregnancy is the strongest human connection possible. During pregnancy, a mother is so connected physically and psychologically to her child, that her baby depends on her for everything from nutrition, to blood flow to warmth and more. But baby also provides mother with some special.

Recent findings showed that during pregnancy, mothers and fetuses often exchange cells that can apparently survive in bodies for years, a phenomenon known as microchimerism. Scientists had found that in mice, fetal cells could even migrate into the brains of mothers. Now researchers have the first evidence fetal cells do so in humans as well.

Fetomaternal transfer probably occurs in all pregnancies and in humans the fetal cells can persist for decades or lifetime. Microchimeric fetal cells are found in various maternal tissues and organs including blood, bone marrow, skin and liver.

In mice, fetal cells have also been found in the brain. The fetal cells also appear to target sites of injury. Fetomaternal microchimerism may have important implications for the immune status of women, influencing autoimmunity and tolerance to transplants.

A fetal microchimeric cell from a pregnancy is recognized by the mother's immune system partly as belonging to the mother, since the fetus is genetically half identical to the mother, but partly foreign, due to the father's genetic contribution. This may "prime" the immune system to be alert for cells that are similar to the self, but with some genetic differences.

Cancer cells which arise due to genetic mutations are just such cells, and there are studies which suggest that microchimeric cells may stimulate the immune system to stem the growth of tumors. Many more microchimeric cells are found in the blood of healthy women compared to those with breast cancer, for example, suggesting that microchimeric cells can somehow prevent tumor formation.


The Nobel Prize goes to...the neutrino flip

© Kamioka Observatory, ICCR, University of Tokyo
Crucial measurements were made at the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector in Japan.
The discovery that neutrinos switch between different "flavours" has won the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics.

Neutrinos are ubiquitous subatomic particles with almost no mass and which rarely interact with anything else, making them very difficult to study.

Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald led two teams which made key observations of the particles inside big underground instruments in Japan and Canada.

They were named on Tuesday morning at a news conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

Goran Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which decides on the award, declared: "This year's prize is about changes of identity among some of the most abundant inhabitants of the Universe."


Mysterious ripples found racing through planet-forming disk

© NASA/ESA/ESO/A. Boccaletti (Paris Observatory)
This set of images of a 40-billion-mile diameter edge-on disk encircling the young star AU Microscopii reveals a string of mysterious wave-like features. Astronomers discovered the ripples are moving across the disk at speed of 22,000 miles per hour (10 kilometers per second). The cause of the phenomenon is unknown and never before seen in stellar gas and dust disks.
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered never-before-seen moving features within the dusty disk surrounding the young nearby star AU Microscopii (AU Mic). The fast moving, wave-like structures are unlike anything ever observed in a circumstellar disk, said researchers of a new analysis. This new unexplained phenomenon may provide valuable clues about how planets form inside these star-surrounding disks.

AU Mic is located 32 light-years away in the southern constellation Microscopium. It is an optimal star to observe because its circumstellar disk is tilted edge on to our view from Earth. This allows for certain details in the disk to be better seen.

Astronomers have been searching AU Mic's disk for any signs of clumpy or warped features that might offer evidence for planet formation. They discovered some unusual, apparently outward-moving features near the star by using ESO's Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE) instrument mounted on the Very Large Telescope.


A NASA experiment is going to light up US East coast sky with beautifully colored clouds tonight

© Gizmodo
If you're on the east coast tonight, keep an eye on the sky between 7pm and 9pm: NASA is launching a test of some new tech that will include releasing colorful vapor tracers 130 miles above the Earth. It sounds like it's going to be beautiful.

The vapors will be ejected from a sounding rocket launched from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. NASA explains that it has actually been injecting various vapor tracers into the atmosphere since the 1950s—these trails help scientists understand "the naturally occurring flows of ionized and neutral particles" in the upper atmosphere by injecting color tracers and tracking the flow across the sky.

Tonight, NASA says it's ejecting four different payloads of a mix of barium and strontium, creating "a cloud with a mixture of blue-green and red color."


Researchers capture rare beautiful kingfisher in the Solomon Islands - then KILL it for 'study purposes'

US researchers discovered the moustached kingfisher last month
The male moustached kingfisher was caught on camera for the first time ever by US scientists two weeks ago.

But they decided to slaughter the elusive blue bird - which was apparently in good health - to research it further.

Paul Sweet from the American Museum of Natural History said its population was substantial enough to withstand the loss.

But it is thought there are as few as 250 of the birds left, according to experts.

Alarm Clock

Does time exist? Quantum physics says no

"We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery." Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate of the twentieth century (Radin, Dean. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences In A Quantum Reality. New York, Paraview Pocket Books, 2006)

The concept of "time" is a weird one, and the world of quantum physics is even weirder. There is no shortage of observed phenomena which defy our understanding of logic, bringing into play thoughts, feelings, emotions - consciousness itself, and a post-materialist view of the universe. This fact is no better illustrated than by the classic double slit experiment, which has been used by physicists (repeatedly) to explore the role of consciousness and its role in shaping/affecting physical reality. (source) The dominant role of a physical material (Newtonian) universe was dropped the second quantum mechanics entered into the equation and shook up the very foundation of science, as it continues to do today.


Study finds volcanic eruptions affect flow of world's major rivers


Up in smoke: This is the incredible moment that Volcano Calbuco blew its top sending a huge cloud of ash into the sky
Major volcanic eruptions can have a significant effect on the flow of the biggest rivers around the world, research shows.

In the first study of its kind, scientists sought to better understand how big volcanic eruptions, which can trigger a shortage of rainfall in many regions of the world, can impact on rivers. Their findings could help scientists predict how water availability in regions throughout the world might be affected by future eruptions.

Researchers sought to learn more about the impact of a process in which volcanoes give off aerosol particles that reflect sunlight, cooling the atmosphere and leading to reduced rainfall.

A team from the University of Edinburgh analysed records of flow in 50 major rivers. Their study spanned the dates of major eruptions, from Krakatoa in 1883 to Pinatubo in 1991. The team grouped rivers by region to help identify the influence of volcanoes, and used computer models linking rainfall with eruptions to predict where rivers were likely to be affected.

Comment: Increasing cometary and volcanic dust loading of the atmosphere (one indicator is the intensification of noctilucent clouds we are witnessing) is accentuating electric charge build-up, whereby we can expect to observe more extreme weather and planetary upheaval as well as awesome light shows and other related mysterious phenomena.

The importance of atmospheric dust loading, the winning Electric Universe model, Global cooling, and much more related information, are explained in the book Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
The accumulation of cometary dust in the Earth's atmosphere plays an important role in the increase of tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes and their associated rainfalls, snowfalls and lightning.


Pentagon's F-35 deathtrap: Jet's ejection seat could snap pilot's neck

Pilot's ejection from F-35, could be a big pain in the neck.
Tests on the Pentagon's troubled F-35 fighter jet have exposed a potentially life-threatening blunder as its ejection seat could snap a slender pilot's neck when attempting to save his life, Defense News reports, citing a source close to the program.

Ejection tests performed in slow flying speed mode in August revealed that the pilot's US16E seat constructed by contractor Martin-Baker has an excessive forward rotating momentum, which - combined with the force of the ejected seat shot out of the aircraft - snapped a lightweight dummy's neck.

Comment: The standard ejection is a two-stage event. First, an explosive charge or rocket motor integrated with the seat breaches the windscreen canopy. Second, the seat and pilot are launched upward via a rail system through the opening at a jarring rate of 12-14 Gs. In addition, the added weight of the new Generation 3 helmet aggravates the ejection seat issue.

The US Air Force has already barred pilots weighing less than 61 kilograms from flying 5G aircraft until the problem is fixed, Defense News reports.

"The bottom line is, they have to get into the realm where the seat allows that weight of a pilot less than 136 pounds [approx. 61 kg] [to] safely eject out of the airplane," Major General Jeffrey Harrigian, F-35 integration office director, told Defense News. "They found some areas that particularly at slower speeds they were concerned about, so that drove the restriction that we have right now."

There are not many military pilots weighing 60 kilograms, yet even a beefier pilot could face spondylolisthesis (dislocation of the vertebra) in an ejection situation. Consequently, at this stage, an emergency evacuation from F-35 in distress might become a risky game of Russian roulette for pilots.

Comment: The House Armed Services Committee slammed the Pentagon for rushing tests to field the plane prematurely and said it was another example of procurement malpractice that should be avoided.

Flying by the seat of their pants, it looks like the US Air Force has yet another case of jet lag.


Experiment using magnets proves that reed warblers use a geomagnetic map


Researchers have used a magnet to deliberately send Eurasian reed warblers (shown) off course
Long-distance songbirds perform incredible feats of navigation during their spring migration.

While scientists know the birds use the sun or stars as a 'map,' the idea that birds use magnetic compasses has been difficult to prove.

Now a group of researchers have used a magnet to deliberately send Eurasian reed warblers off course, to show they rely on a geomagnetic map cues to point them in the right direction.

In the experiment, the birds were captured at Rybachy, Russia, during their spring migration.


Scientists puzzled over mysterious deep holes on the Moon

Look closely at these shadows on the Moon's surface: they might mean there are mysterious deep holes on the Moon, the holes that have never seen light at all, and could even reveal secrets about our solar system's history.

The European Space Agency took about 32,000 pictures of the Moon's North Pole from every possible angle, and there are mysterious areas of constant shadow there.

It means that there are some extremely deep holes on the Moon we had never known about before.

An official press release by the ESA says there might be lunar water in the form of ice stored deep inside the Moon.

What's more, the dark deep holes could hold answers to the history of our solar system.

It comes just a day after NASA released about 10,000 stunning snapshots of the Moon from the Apollo mission.

A week ago, the Moon also gave stargazers the reasons to gasp in amazement: the supermoon and combined eclipse at the end of September caused a social media storm.