The SETI Institute, shut down since mid-April due to budget cuts, has announced that it will reopen in mid-September due to a recent influx of funds from several donors.
SETI's Allen Telescope Array
Image: Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill.
Over 2,500 donors, including actress Jodie Foster who popularized SETI ("Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence") in the movie Contact, provided $220,000 to keep the Institute's telescopes functioning.
Oil producer Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed that the Gannet Alpha oil platform, located 112 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, has suffered a leak from an underwater pipeline between the wellhead and platform.
Shell issued a statement regarding the incident, saying that "We can confirm we are managing an oil leak in a flow line that serves the Gannet Alpha platform. [...] We have stemmed the leak significantly and we are taking further measures to isolate it. The subsea well has been shut in, and the flow line is being depressurised." The company has thus far refused to comment on the exact size of the leak, saying that was "not a significant spill."
In a recently published article in the journal PLoS One, researchers at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory claim to have developed a new drug that has the potential to cure nearly all types of viral infections ranging from the common cold to highly deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
The new drug, known as DRACO (double-stranded RNA activated caspase oligomerizer), is able to discriminate between healthy cells and those infected by viruses. It essentially signals the infected cells to die, preventing the virus from replicating and moving into other cells, all while leaving adjacent healthy cells completely unaffected. Furthermore, scientists believe that it would be difficult for viruses to develop a resistance to this kind of treatment.
A recently published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America indicates that the essential building blocks for early life on Earth may have indeed been delivered through extraterrestrial material such as meteorites. These molecules, known as nucleobases, are key components of DNA and have been found in meteorites several times before.
However, until now, scientists could never be certain that these compounds were native to the meteorites or if they were simply contamination from the terrestrial environment in which they landed.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission, STS-134, at 8:56 AM EDT Monday. The mission's primary objectives are to deliver Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2 and ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 3, as well as other materials and supplies, to the International Space Station (ISS).
The shuttle launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with six crewmembers aboard, including mission commander Mark Kelly, pilot Gregory Johnson, and mission specialists Roberto Vittori, Andrew Feustel, and Gregory Chamitoff.
Solar-powered airplane makes first international flight
The solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse touched down at the Brussels National Airport late Friday night, after completing a 13-hour flight from its home base in Payerne, Switzerland. It was the first international flight by a fully solar-powered aircraft.
Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight marks fifty years of human space travel
On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin lifted off on Vostok 1, the first human spaceflight in history, completing one orbit of the Earth in just under two hours. Tuesday marks the anniversary of Gagarin's flight and fifty years of human space travel.
Celebrations were to take place all over the world and aboard the International Space Station. Yuri's Night, started in 2001 for fortieth anniversary celebrations, is a global celebration of the history of spaceflight, including the first Space Shuttle launch on April 12, 1981, the twentieth anniversary of Gagarin's flight. There were to be more than 400 events in 71 countries celebrating Yuri's Night this year.
NASA celebrates 30th anniversary of first shuttle launch; annouces new homes for retired shuttles
NASA celebrated the launch of the first space shuttle Tuesday at an event at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida. On April 12, 1981, Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on STS-1, the first space shuttle mission.
NASA held a ceremony commemorating the date outside the hangar, known as Orbiter Processing Facility-1, for Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is being prepped for its final mission which will be STS-135, which will be the last Space Shuttle mission.
At the ceremony, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the locations that would be given the three remaining Space Shuttle orbiters following the end of the Space Shuttle program.
Genetically modified dairy cows produce 'human milk'
A team from the China Agricultural University is reporting success after transferring human genes into a herd of 300 dairy cows. The cows now produce milk containing proteins associated with human breast milk.
Human milk is beneficial to infants due to its high nutrient concentration. Formula milk offers an alternative to breastfeeding, but critics feel it is inferior and the research team hopes genetically modified cows could provide a solution. "Within 10 years, people will be able to pick up these products at the supermarket," claims Professor Ning Li, research leader and head of the university's State Key Laboratory for AgroBiotechnology. "We aim to commercialize some research in this area in coming three years."
The first images of Mercury taken from orbit around the planet have been received from NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) probe. The images come after the spacecraft entered an orbit around the closest planet to the sun on March 17.
After various system examinations, the first images from the spacecraft were sent at 0520 EDT (0920 UTC).
Nottingham Express Transit extensions get Government approval
Phase two of Nottingham, England's Express Transit system (NET) received a boost last Thursday, when it was announced that the Government had approved both of the proposed additional lines to extend the network further into the Nottinghamshire area. Construction of the two lines, which will take the system to Chilwell and Clifton, could begin before the end of the year.
The plans were originally turned down on cost grounds, but following successful negotiations between Nottingham City Council and the two companies bidding to construct the line enough savings have been found to allow the scheme to receive the green light. Around 20% is now believed to have been saved from the cost of the project, though no exact figures of either the original cost or savings made have been announced by the council, and according to a transport boss the project has had no changes made to it to accommodate these.