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Sat, 26 May 2018
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First never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid spotted by WISE

Image
© NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
The red dot at the center of this image is the first near-Earth asteroid discovered by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has spotted its first never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid, the first of hundreds it is expected to find during its mission to map the whole sky in infrared light.

The near-Earth object, designated 2010 AB78, was discovered by WISE Jan. 12. After the mission's sophisticated software picked out the moving object against a background of stationary stars, researchers followed up and confirmed the discovery with the University of Hawaii's 2.2-meter (88-inch) visible-light telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea.

The asteroid is currently about 158 million kilometers (98 million miles) from Earth. It is estimated to be roughly 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter and circles the sun in an elliptical orbit tilted to the plane of our solar system. The object comes as close to the sun as Earth, but because of its tilted orbit, it is not thought to pass near our planet. This asteroid does not pose any foreseeable impact threat to Earth, but scientists will continue to monitor it.

Info

Viruses use 'hive intelligence' to focus their attack

A tactic familiar from insect behaviour seems to give viruses the edge in the eternal battle between them and their host - and the remarkable proof can be seen in a video.


Meteor

Comet storm split destiny of Jupiter's twin moons

Image
© NASA/JPL
Comet strikes may have warmed Ganymede enough for its ice and rock to fully separate
Heavy pummelling by icy comets could explain why Jupiter's two biggest moons - apparently close kin - look so different inside.

At first glance, Ganymede and Callisto are virtually twins. The colossal moons are similar in size and mass, and are a roughly 50:50 mixture of ice and rock.

However, visits by the Galileo spacecraft beginning in 1996 tell a different story. Ganymede's interior boasts a solid rock core surrounded by a thick layer of ice, while ice and rock are still mingled in parts of Callisto. That suggests Callisto was never warm enough for its ice to melt and allow all of its rock to fall to the centre and form a core.

Sherlock

2,000-Year-Old Temple Dedicated to Cat God Discovered in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 2,000-year-old temple in Alexandria dedicated to a cat goddess.

According to a report by BBC News, the temple is the first trace of the royal quarters of the Ptolemaic dynasty to be revealed in Alexandria.

The temple, discovered in the Kom el-Dekkah neighbourhood of the city, is believed to belong to Queen Berenike II, wife of Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the third century BC, according to Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The temple is the first part of the royal palace to be unearthed, and it is 60m (200ft) high and 15m (50ft) wide.

Archaeologists found statues of Bastet, worshipped by the Greek-speaking Egyptians as the moon goddess.

Pharoah

Did Ancient Egyptian Makeup Have Protective Powers?

The stunning eye makeup worn thousands of years ago by Queen Nefertiti and other Egyptian royals may not have been used to enhance beauty alone: New research suggests that the ancient cosmetics may have helped prevent or treat eye disease.

Some ancient Egyptians thought their lead-based black eye makeup could protect against illness. Until now, scientists haven't believed this because lead-based substances -- such as paint -- can make people sick.

In the study, published in the current issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry, researchers analyzed substances from ancient Egyptian makeup containers that are preserved at the Louvre museum in Paris. They found that the substances raise the production of nitric oxide in skin cells, which can help boost the immune system and prevent or treat eye infections.

Magnify

Scientists say scanner can detect PTSD in veterans

Post-traumatic stress is estimated to afflict more than 300,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, but until now, it's been labeled a "soft disorder" -- one without an objective biological path to diagnosis.

That may have changed this week, after researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis VA Medical Center announced they'd found a distinct pattern of brain activity among PTSD sufferers.

The team used magnetoencephalography (MEG), a brain imaging method that measures how the brain processes information.

Magnify

Mind Reading, Brain Fingerprinting and the Law

What if a jury could decide a man's guilt through mind reading? What if reading a defendant's memory could betray their guilt? And what constitutes 'intent' to commit murder? These are just some of the issues debated and reviewed in the inaugural issue of WIREs Cognitive Science, the latest interdisciplinary project from Wiley-Blackwell, which for registered institutions will be free for the first two years.

In the article "Neurolaw," in the inaugural issue of WIREs Cognitive Science, co-authors Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Annabelle Belcher assess the potential for the latest cognitive science research to revolutionize the legal system.

Neurolaw, also known as legal neuroscience, builds upon the research of cognitive, psychological, and social neuroscience by considering the implications for these disciplines within a legal framework. Each of these disciplinary collaborations has been ground-breaking in increasing our knowledge of the way the human brain operates, and now neurolaw continues this trend.

Magnify

Neurons Developed from Stem Cells Successfully Wired With Other Brain Regions in Animals

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© Weimann et al./The Journal of Neuroscience 2010
This is a single stem cell-derived neuron that has migrated away from the transplantation site in the cortex and grown into a mature neuron. The blue stain shows the nuclei of the endogenous neural cells in this part of the brain.
Transplanted neurons grown from embryonic stem cells can fully integrate into the brains of young animals, according to new research in the Jan. 20 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Healthy brains have stable and precise connections between cells that are necessary for normal behavior. This new finding is the first to show that stem cells can be directed not only to become specific brain cells, but to link correctly.

In this study, a team of neuroscientists led by James Weimann, PhD, of Stanford Medical School focused on cells that transmit information from the brain's cortex, some of which are responsible for muscle control. It is these neurons that are lost or damaged in spinal cord injuries and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). "These stem cell-derived neurons can grow nerve fibers between the brain's cerebral cortex and the spinal cord, so this study confirms the use of stem cells for therapeutic goals," Weimann said.

Bulb

Inflammation 'on switch' also serves as 'off switch': Study reveals unexpected function for seemingly redundant protein

In a surprising finding, researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered the critical importance of a protein previously believed to be a redundant "on switch" for certain immune-system responses.

Scientists previously understood that the protein called TAB2 activates inflammation, an important biological process that stimulates wound-healing and prevents invasion of harmful organisms. But scientists considered TAB2 nonessential to the process due to the redundant function of a cousin protein, called TAB3, which has no trouble serving as an "on switch" to activate the inflammation process in TAB2's absence.

Laptop

The Less-Connected Kids Are Alright - Says Study

A Kaiser Family Foundation study indicates that kids are spending more time than ever using some form of technology - and those who spend less time using technology get better grades.

Parents these days seem to complain more and more about their kids being online too much, and a recent study by by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that they may spend nearly a third of their day - which in many cases is probably half their waking hours - using some form of technology. Among those between the ages of 8 to 18, 7.5 hours is spend feeding their electronic habits.