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Mar 24, 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic Impact on Space Programs Part I

Posted by in categories: employment, health, space, space travel

By Bill D’Zio March 24, 2020 (Originally posted on

WestEastSpace mapped out NASA locations on a map of COVID19 impacted areas of USA from as of March 23rd, 2020With the launch window for NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover opening in a little less than four months, there are nearly daily pre-launch milestones to complete the rover pre flight activities at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Tight schedules on complex missions usually do not mix well. Now NASA has to contend with another challenge. COVID19.

NASA Leadership Assessing Mission Impacts of Coronavirus

The world has come to a standstill and is in the grasps of the COVID-19. The world stock markets have come crashing down 30% as supply chains and companies attempt to deal with government response and public fear. Airlines and hotels have had to contend with decreased travel and lodging requirements. Logistics is impacted as factories in various countries deal with increased difficulty and requirements to obtain goods. Factories are closed leading to shortages for truckers, material movers, cargo agents, and other occupations directly involved in moving goods. Companies shift to working remotely in an attempt to comply with government guidance in attempts to minimize the impact of the virus. One Mars mission has already been sidelined because of COVID19. NASA also needs to contend with these challenges.

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Mar 24, 2020

New genetic editing powers discovered in squid

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Revealing yet another super-power in the skillful squid, scientists have discovered that squid massively edit their own genetic instructions not only within the nucleus of their neurons, but also within the axon — the long, slender neural projections that transmit electrical impulses to other neurons. This is the first time that edits to genetic information have been observed outside of the nucleus of an animal cell.

The study, led by Isabel C. Vallecillo-Viejo and Joshua Rosenthal at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, is published this week in Nucleic Acids Research.

The discovery provides another jolt to the “central dogma” of molecular biology, which states that genetic information is passed faithfully from DNA to messenger RNA to the synthesis of proteins. In 2015, Rosenthal and colleagues discovered that squid “edit” their messenger RNA instructions to an extraordinary degree — orders of magnitude more than humans do — allowing them to fine-tune the type of proteins that will be produced in the nervous system.

Mar 24, 2020

Lost Sense of Smell May Be Peculiar Clue to Coronavirus Infection

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Doctor groups are recommending testing and isolation for people who lose their ability to smell and taste, even if they have no other symptoms.

Mar 24, 2020

Counterintuitive study shows Pablo Escobar’s hippos aren’t actually nature-wrecking monsters

Posted by in category: futurism

We may have it all wrong when it comes to this accidental invasive species.

Mar 24, 2020

This mind-reading chip will build a better prosthetic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, neuroscience

Researchers have designed a brain-computer interface to read your mind better than ever.

Mar 24, 2020

Debilitating muscle tears could be thing of the past

Posted by in category: futurism

But don’t think this is a replacement for pumping some iron.

Mar 24, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Up-to-date Coronavirus COVID-19 guidance for physicians & pharmacists from Johns Hopkins ABX. Disease spectrum, testing, and clinical trials for vaccines, chloroquine, remdesivir, lopinavir / ritonavir discussed.

Mar 24, 2020

Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise Ships — Worldwide, February–March 2020

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Covid-19 lasted for 17 days in the cabins of cruise ships:

Cruise ships are often settings for outbreaks of infectious diseases because of their closed environment and contact between travelers from many countries.

What is added by this report?

Continue reading “Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise Ships — Worldwide, February–March 2020” »

Mar 24, 2020

US now has the THIRD most coronavirus infections in the world

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

With more than 39,000 Americans infected with coronavirus, the US is now the third hardest-hit country in the world. New York alone has more than 20,000 cases, with 12,305 in the Big Apple.

Mar 24, 2020

The growth of an organism rides on a pattern of waves

Posted by in category: futurism

When an egg cell of almost any sexually reproducing species is fertilized, it sets off a series of waves that ripple across the egg’s surface. These waves are produced by billions of activated proteins that surge through the egg’s membrane like streams of tiny burrowing sentinels, signaling the egg to start dividing, folding, and dividing again, to form the first cellular seeds of an organism.

Now MIT scientists have taken a detailed look at the pattern of these waves, produced on the surface of starfish eggs. These eggs are large and therefore easy to observe, and scientists consider starfish eggs to be representative of the eggs of many other animal species.

In each egg, the team introduced a protein to mimic the onset of fertilization, and recorded the pattern of waves that rippled across their surfaces in response. They observed that each wave emerged in a spiral pattern, and that multiple spirals whirled across an egg’s surface at a time. Some spirals spontaneously appeared and swirled away in opposite directions, while others collided head-on and immediately disappeared.