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Amazon founder Bezos rocket company passes landing test
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said on Tuesday his space transportation company, Blue Origin, plans about two more years of test flights before it will offer rides to passengers. On Monday, Blue Origin successfully landed a suborbital rocket back at its launch site, a key step in its drive to make reusable rockets, the company said. This flight retired a lot of risk and validated of lot of the elements of the design, Bezos, who founded Amazon.com Inc and owns the Washington Post newspaper, said in an interview.
Drug driving suit mimics taking the wheel stoned
By Jim Drury A simulation suit that mimics the effects on wearer's reactions of taking illegal substances has been developed by scientists to show young drivers the dangers of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated by drugs. A kinetic device in the suit's gloves produces a tremor akin to that caused by some illicit drugs. Random flashing lights in the goggles' peripheral area, allied to hallucinogenic-type sounds in the headphones, combine to disorientate drivers.Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:15:00 -0500
Gecko's amazing wall-walking talent is all in the genes
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Geckos boast one of the most impressive talents of any animal: the ability to scamper up a smooth wall or across a ceiling with ease. Scientists on Tuesday said they have sequenced the genome of the gecko species Gekko japonicus, or Schlegel's Japanese gecko, and found the genetic underpinning of the lizard's gravity-defying feat. The scientists found inGekko japonicus an expansion in the genes related tobeta-keratin, accounting for the gecko's ability to generate its setae.
U.S. Air Force official sees issues with space launch priorities
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States could struggle to promote competition in its space launch program while also maintaining two independent ways to launch satellites and ending U.S. reliance on Russian rocket engines, a top U.S. Air Force official said on Tuesday. I think the space launch situation is serious for the country, LaPlante said, underscoring the complexity of the challenges facing the industry. ULA, the monopoly provider of such launches since its creation in 2006, said it was unable to submit a bid in compliance with the competition's rules because of how the contest was structured, and because it lacked Russian-built RD-180 engines for its Atlas 5 rocket.Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:57:53 -0500
Scientists create mosquito strain with malaria-blocking genes
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists aiming to take the bite out of malaria have produced a strain of mosquitoes carrying genes that block its transmission, with the idea that they could breed with other members of their species in the wild and produce offspring that cannot spread the disease. The researchers said on Monday they used gene-editing, a genetic engineering technique in which DNA can be inserted, replaced or deleted from a genome, on a species called Anopheles stephensi that spreads malaria in urban India. Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
Infections with Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus Can Cause Brain Inflammation, Death
Catching the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya usually leads to fever and severe pain, but a new study shows it may also lead to inflammation in the brain, and even death in some people. In the study, researchers looked at an epidemic of the virus on Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar, that lasted from 2005 to 2006 and sickened 300,000 people. As a result of their infections, 24 people developed encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, and four of these people died from their infection.Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:14:03 -0500
Liberia Suffers New Ebola Death, Despite Being 'Ebola-Free'
The death of a 15-year-old boy from Ebola in Liberia a country that has been declared free of the disease twice raises the question of why cases are still popping up in the country, experts say. Although infectious disease experts expect to see new cases crop up shortly after a country is declared Ebola-free often because of cases that weren't accounted for in this case, Liberia had gone several months without any new Ebola cases, Adalja said. Liberia was first declared Ebola-free in May, but then a new case was confirmed in July.Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:13:01 -0500
'The Good Dinosaur': Could Humans and Dinos Coexist?
What if the dinosaur-killing asteroid never slammed into Earth and the paleo-beasts weren't vanquished from our planet 66 million years ago? The movie maker's answer that a young Apatosaurus would meet and befriend a cave boy is cute, but totally off the mark, several paleontologists told Live Science. "It's completely impossible," said Thomas Williamson, curator of paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, referring to dinosaurs ever being alive alongside humans something that could never happen if the dinosaurs were to survive.
Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos
Early Monday (Nov. 23), the private spaceflight company Blue Origin made a major stride in the pursuit of fully reusable rockets, when it launched an uncrewed vehicle into space and then soft-landed the rocket booster on the ground. "It was one of the greatest moments of my life," said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's founder, speaking about the landing in a press briefing yesterday (Nov. 24). "And my teammates here at Blue Origin, I could see felt the same way.
Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space
Thanksgiving in space will be a lot like the holiday down here on the ground minus the gravity, of course. Like most Americans, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren have Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) off, and they'll spend the day aboard the International Space Station (ISS) watching football and enjoying a turkey-centric feast, agency officials said. Kelly and Lindgren gave viewers a look at that feast in a special Thanksgiving video this week, breaking out bags of smoked turkey, rehydratable corn, candied yams and potatoes au gratin.