Science RSS Feeds
Our Sun is one of the reasons we're all here today and we simply couldn't exist without it, but it won't be around forever. At some point far in the future our Sun will die, and when it does it'll probably look a lot like this image captured by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. What you're seeing here is a nebula labeled ESO 577-24, and it's what's left of what was once a red giant star and, before that, a main sequence star in the prime of its life. Now, it's a white-hot ball of matter a fraction of its original size, and the colossal blast of gas surrounding it is the star's "last breath." "This planetary nebula is the remains of a dead giant star that has thrown off its outer layers, leaving behind a small, intensely hot dwarf star," ESO explains. "This diminished remnant will gradually cool and fade, living out its days as the mere ghost of a once-vast red giant star." When a star becomes a red giant it can wreak havoc on anything that happens to be orbiting it. The star balloons in size, swallowing up nearby planets as it grows in size before eventually collapsing in on itself in a colossal explosion. That big boom is what we're seeing in the image of ESO 577-24, but it won't stick around for all that long. After about 10,000 years, the glowing gasses will have spread thin and faded from view. This particular dying star is around 1,400 light years from Earth and you'd never be able to see it with the naked eye. ESO's Very Large Telescope began surveying the sky over two decades ago, and since then it has produced some truly stunning glimpses of objects in deep space.
With street protests against Maduro underway across Venezuela, Trump said the United States recognized Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled Congress, as the country's leader and called socialist President Nicolas Maduro's government "illegitimate." "I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy," Trump said in a statement, encouraging other governments in the Western Hemisphere to also recognize Guaido. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement, called on Maduro to step aside and urged the country's military to support efforts to restore democracy. Venezuelan opposition sympathizers had been urging Guaido to assume the presidency since Maduro was inaugurated to a second term on Jan. 10 following a widely boycotted election last year that the United States and many other foreign governments described as fraudulent.
BBC News anchor George Alagiah returned to the air last night for the first time in more than a year, following a battle with cancer. Sporting a new beard, the 63-year-old fronted the News at Six programme after earlier revealing his illness was now in “a holding pattern”. He was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014 and has since made intermittent returns to the broadcaster, where he has worked since 1989. Fellow presenter Sophie Raworth confirmed the comeback yesterday morning by posting a picture on Twitter of Alagiah smiling and suited in the newsroom. Back with a beard...1st time on air since December 2017. Join @BBCAlagiah on @BBCOne for tonight’s #BBCNewsSixpic.twitter.com/3TmuCdQjqE— sophieraworth (@sophieraworth) January 23, 2019 Her post prompted him to quip in response: “There goes my hope of slipping back into the studio unnoticed!” He added: “Thanks to all for good wishes. We’ve got the cancer in a holding pattern so it’s back to work with colleagues I respect and the viewers who make it worthwhile.” @sophieraworth there goes my hopes of slipping back into the studio unnoticed! Thanks to all for good wishes. We’ve got the cancer in a holding pattern so it’s back to work with colleagues I respect and the viewers who make it worthwhile. #BBCNewsSix— George Alagiah (@BBCAlagiah) January 23, 2019 Politicians and BBC personalities were among those to welcome news of Alagiah’s return, including Labour MP David Lammy, who hailed him as “one of the best in the business”. Alagiah was told that his stage four bowel cancer had returned just before Christmas 2017, leading him to take further time away from the screen to seek treatment. After the initial diagnosis in 2014, the disease spread to his liver and lymph nodes, but the presenter returned to work a year later after undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy and three major operations, one of which included the removal of most of his liver.
U.S. refineries that depend on Venezuela's heavy crude would have even more trouble securing supplies as Canadian and Mexican crudes are often not as discounted and are limited in availability. The United States is considering moves to cripple Venezuela's oil shipments, which account for nearly all of the country's exports, in response to the reelection of President Nicolas Maduro that was widely viewed as a sham. Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's president as protests against Maduro erupt across the country.
Gum disease may play a pivotal role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists believe, leading to hopes that good dental care or drugs could stave off or halt dementia. Researchers said they now had ‘solid evidence’ that the bacteria which causes periodontitis produces an enzyme which destroys neurons leading to memory loss. The bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis ( P. gingivalis) is one of the chief causes of gum disease and tooth loss in humans, and has previously been associated with heart problems. In a series of experiments, an international team of researchers tested the brains of 53 people with Alzheimer’s and found the bacteria enzyme in 96 per cent. DNA evidence of the bacteria was also found in spinal fluid from seven out of 10 living patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and it was also present in the saliva of each one. In animal studies the bug was also found to spread from the mouths of mice to their brains, where the enzyme destroyed neurons. The researchers believe that the bacteria may be responsible for the tell-tale tangles of tau proteins seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients which contribute to the death of brain cells. Writing in the journal Science Advances, they said: “After entering the brain, we suggest that P. gingivalis may spread slowly over many years from neuron to neuron along anatomically connected pathways. “We propose that tau pathology seen in Alzheimer’s disease brains may be due to the spread of P. gingivalis.” Gum disease affects an estimated 45 per cent of the UK population, according to the British Dental Association (BDA), and nearly 10 per cent suffer from the more severe form of periodontitis. The scientists also tested drugs which blocked the enzyme produced by bacteria and found they were able to half brain degeneration in mice. One drug, given to mice in food, effectively treated P. gingivalis brain infections and prevented the loss of memory neurons. It also reduced inflammation and levels of beta-amyloid, a brain molecule strongly linked to Alzheimer's. The team has now developed a new drug, COR388, that better penetrates the central nervous system and could form the basis of a human Alzheimer's treatment. A large-scale clinical trial that will involve giving the drug to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's is planned for later this year. Dr Stephen Dominy, one of the study authors and co-founder of the US company Cortexyme, which developed COR388, said: “Infectious agents have been implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease before, but the evidence of causation hasn't been convincing. “Now, for the first time, we have solid evidence connecting the intracellular gram-negative pathogen Pg (P. gingivalis) and Alzheimer's pathogenisis, while also demonstrating the potential for a class of small molecule therapies to change the trajectory of the disease.” Dr David Reynolds, chief scientific officer at charity Alzheimer's Research UK, said that Alzheimer's was likely to have multiple causes, one of which may be gum disease bacteria. He added: “Maintaining good dental health is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and while we don't yet fully know the extent to which it can affect our dementia risk, the presence of a single type of bacteria is extremely unlikely to be the only cause of the condition." BDA scientific adviser Professor Damien Walmsley said: “This study offers a welcome reminder that oral health can't remain an optional extra in our health service. “Everyone's life can be improved by regular appointments and good oral hygiene, reducing the bacterial load that's ever present in our mouths to a level that's unlikely to cause tooth decay, gum disease or tooth loss.” Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, added: “Success of this new drug depends on whether the infection really does play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease – it’s important to pursue that as there hasn’t been a new drug for dementia in 15 years. “The upcoming clinical trial will be a crucial test to see if this can be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s.”
'Dog the Bounty Hunter' star Beth Chapman to undergo chemo while filming new reality show with husband
Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday confirmed 14 new cases of Ebola virus in its eastern borderlands, the largest one-day increase since the current outbreak was declared in August. The outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri is already the second-largest in history with 713 confirmed and probable cases and 439 deaths. It is surpassed only by the 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa, which involved over 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths and led to substantial investments in a vaccine and treatments for the virus.
Visitors pouring into Japan's Haneda airport for the Tokyo Olympics next year may find themselves ferried to and from planes on driverless buses, currently being tested at the major hub. Six Japanese firms, including national carrier ANA, jointly started a 10-day experiment with a self-driving prototype minibus last week. "Our hope is to be able to offer users autonomous buses by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics," said ANA project chief Tadakatsu Yamaguchi.
Padang-lawas (Indonesia) (AFP) - A Sumatran tiger with an amputated paw has given birth to a pair of cubs in Indonesia, amid fears for the future of the critically endangered species. "Gadis... has now recovered and is healthy, giving birth to the two cubs," said reserve head Parta Basmeli Siregar. The sex of the two cubs has not yet been established, he added.
An self-flying air taxi built by one of the world's biggest defence and aerospace giants has lifted off on its maiden test flight in the US. Boeing revealed its autonomous air passenger vehicle (PAV), which the US company hopes will be a contender for future flying taxi services. The PAV uses electric vertical takeoff and landing technology, meaning it could fly in constricted urban areas. The test saw a controlled takeoff, hover and landing and tested the flying taxi's autonomous functions and landing systems. "In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype," said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop. The aircraft comes as part of Boeing's future-gazing NeXt division, its research arm developing autonomous and electric aircraft. The test flight comes as tech companies vie to launch flying taxi and autonomous drone services for human passengers and package delivery. FAQ | Drones Uber has said it aims to have a flying taxi service in place by next year, launching a pilot version of the service in Dallas and Dubai. It is also exploring bringing its flying taxis further afield, with Japan, France, Brazil, Australia and India up for consideration for its uberAIR service. Amazon, meanwhile, has been testing autonomous flying drones as part of its Amazon Air delivery service. Amazon Air would see package carrying drones deposit goods in remote locations by air. The pilot has been tested in Cambridge. Meanwhile Boeing, better known for its commercial jets and military aircraft, has been developing the PAV since 2018. For now, the aircraft has a flying range of just 50 miles. It measures 30 feet by 28 feet. Boeing has also developed an autonomous electric flying drone, which can carry up to 225kg, which is designed for delivering packages in hard to reach areas. It completed indoor testing last year and will transition to outdoor flights in 2019.
A pilot on a Southwest Airlines Co. flight first reported the device at 4:44 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. When the crew on a second flight operated by United Airlines made a similar report three minutes later, air-traffic controllers in the region sent arrivals into holding patterns. At least one of the flight crews reported the drone was within 30 feet of a collision, according to the FAA statement.
Billionaire Michael Dell, chief executive officer of the eponymous technology giant, rejected a suggestion by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of a 70-percent marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans. “No, I’m not supportive of that,” Dell said at a Davos panel on making digital globalization inclusive. Three weeks after Ocasio-Cortez floated the idea in an interview on “60 Minutes” to raise the top marginal tax rate on Americans’ income of more than $10 million to 70 percent, it was a hot topic at the gathering of the global financial and political elite.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 2019
- Limited Competition: Interdisciplinary Complementary and Integrative Health Clinical Research Training (T90/R90 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- NEI Notice of Participation in PAR-19-134, "Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)"
- NEI Notice of Participation in PAR-19-135, "Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Required)"
- Notice of Correction to NOT-RM-19-001 Request for Information (RFI): Institutional Accountability to Promote Inclusive Excellence