“With reuse, we can actually drive down costs and we can increase access.”
Crew Dragon is shown docked to the Harmony module on the International Space Station. [credit:
Weather permitting, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft will splash down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. Forecasters are closely watching conditions due to Hurricane Isaias but are hopeful the mission will find calm seas and light winds offshore from the Florida Panhandle.
Unlike the Apollo missions, which returned to Earth in the Pacific Ocean, NASA and SpaceX chose to target a splashdown near the Florida Peninsula. The main reason they did this is to get crews more quickly back to their homes, near Houston, after a spaceflight.
However, landing Dragon near Florida has another advantage for SpaceX. By splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico or nearshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean, a SpaceX recovery boat can transport the Crew Dragon vehicle back to the company's facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station within days. This has become all the more important after a recent announcement that NASA will allow SpaceX to begin reusing its Crew Dragon spacecraft early next year.
Social distancing and breakdowns in reporting have led to startlingly low numbers.
Reports of influenza and a host of other infectious diseases have plummeted as the COVID-19 pandemic has driven people into lockdowns.
In many places, social distancing measures aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus may be smothering the spread of other infectious diseases at the same time. But, in other places, the pandemic may simply be masking disease spread, as people may avoid seeking care for more routine infections while health care systems stretched thin by the pandemic may struggle to conduct routine, surveillance, testing, and reporting.
Some of the resulting declines are dramatic. Countries across the Southern Hemisphere have reported much lower numbers of influenza than usual. Australia, for instance, began 2020 with a relatively high level of flu—reporting around 7,000 lab-confirmed cases in both January and February. But the outbreak crashed in March, with reports of only 229 cases in April, compared with nearly 19,000 in April 2019, as noted by the New Scientist.
The end is here for the Dark Sky app for Android. There’s a new version of Microsoft’s PowerToys app for Windows. Google is already working on the Pixel 5a, even though the Pixel 4a hasn’t officially been announced yet. Microsoft may…
The end is here for the Dark Sky app for Android. There’s a new version of Microsoft’s PowerToys app for Windows. Google is already working on the Pixel 5a, even though the Pixel 4a hasn’t officially been announced yet. Microsoft may be in talks to buy TikTok. And Netflix is finally building functionality into its […]
To see how we’ve affected clouds over time, look to a place where we haven’t.
One of the lesser-known scientific complications that makes assessing human-caused climate change a hassle is that it isn’t all about greenhouse gases. Emissions of aerosols—tiny atmospheric particles from a variety of sources that scatter sunlight back to space, for example—have acted to offset a portion of the human-caused warming. And unlike long-lived greenhouse gases, aerosols wash out of the atmosphere quite quickly and leave no historical record. That makes reconstructing aerosol levels going back before the Industrial Revolution a challenge.
To improve and cross-check estimates of past aerosol levels, researchers have gotten creative. A new study led by Isabel McCoy at the University of Washington uses the fact that the skies around Antarctica are close to free from human-caused aerosol pollution to set a new pre-industrial baseline.
Aerosols have a cooling influence through both direct (scattering sunlight) and indirect (modifying clouds) effects. In this case, the researchers are looking at the latter by using satellite cloud data. Specifically, they calculate the number of cloud droplets per cubic centimeter based on measurements of droplet size and cloud thickness. Because aerosols can act as condensation nuclei around which droplets form, they tend to lead to higher levels of smaller droplets.
There’s another tiny desktop computer on the way that measures just 2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″ and the newest model is the most powerful yet. The upcoming 4K mini PC from Shenzhen GMK Tech is the same size as the Chuwi LarkBox and XCY …
There’s another tiny desktop computer on the way that measures just 2.4″ x 2.4″ x 1.7″ and the newest model is the most powerful yet. The upcoming 4K mini PC from Shenzhen GMK Tech is the same size as the Chuwi LarkBox and XCY X51 mini PCs, and it has the same port selection as […]
Clinics, including some in the US, offer stem cells, false hopes, and risks.
Stem cells hold the promise of helping us repair tissues damaged by disease or injury. But outside of bone marrow stem cells, the practice remains largely a promise, as we're just starting clinical trials to determine if we can use these cells effectively. But that hasn't stopped people from offering stem cell "treatments" with no basis in evidence. Many of the clinics that offer these services are based overseas, leading to what's been termed "stem cell tourism." But a number take advantage of ambiguities in Food and Drug Agency regulations to operate in the United States.
A new survey of doctors suggests that a surprising number of their patients are using these services—sometimes with severe consequences. And many doctors don't feel like they're prepared to deal with the fallout.
The work focuses on neurologists, who specialize in treating diseases of the nervous system. These include diseases like Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, for which there are few effective treatments—although stem cells have undergone some preliminary tests in the case of Parkinson's. Given the lack of established options, it wouldn't be surprising if these patients turned to therapies that haven't been established, like those involving stem cells.