This illustration made available by NASA shows the Kepler Space Telescope. As of October 2018, the planet-hunting spacecraft has been in space for nearly a decade. (NASA via AP) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary. Officials announced the Kepler Space Telescope’s demise Tuesday. Already well past its expected lifetime, the 9 1/2-year-old Kepler had been running low on fuel for months. Its ability to point at distant stars and identify possible alien worlds worsened dramatically at the beginning of October, but flight controllers still managed to retrieve its latest observations. The telescope has now gone silent, its fuel tank empty. “Kepler opened the gate for mankind’s exploration of the cosmos,” said retired NASA scientist William Borucki, who led the original Kepler science team. Kepler discovered 2,681 planets outside our solar system and even more … [Read more...] about NASA scientists say planet-hunting Kepler telescope dead in space
NASA's elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary. Officials announced the Kepler Space Telescope's demise Tuesday. Already well past its expected lifetime, the 9 1/2-year-old Kepler had been running low on fuel for months. Its ability to point at distant stars and identify possible alien worlds worsened dramatically at the beginning of October, but flight controllers still managed to retrieve its latest observations. The telescope has now gone silent, its fuel tank empty. "Kepler opened the gate for mankind's exploration of the cosmos," said retired NASA scientist William Borucki, who led the original Kepler science team. We may not have hyper drive yet but it’s still an exciting time in space discovery as NASA discovers thousands of planets with the aid of tools like the Kepler Space Telescope. (Published Tuesday, March 22, 2016) Kepler discovered 2,681 planets outside our solar system and even more potential … [Read more...] about Kepler Telescope Dead After Finding Thousands of Worlds
Picture the scene. You’re a struggling actor in your twenties, auditioning for the role of a lifetime in a major Hollywood movie. You nailed the first audition, and the casting director has since summoned you back twice to audition again. At the last callback, Steven Spielberg — the movie’s director — was even in the room. Your agent tells you it’s come down to you and one other actor. Then you get the call. The news isn’t good. The other person got it. “Who did they give the role to?” you ask, trying to conceal your abject disappointment. “Let me check,” your agent says, putting you on hold. Her voice comes back on the line. “They gave it to 1955-era James Dean,” she tells you. Impossible, right? Only, it’s very much not. Anyone who has been keeping their eyes open at the movies for the past few years (and, frankly, why waste the price of a ticket by shutting them?) will have seen the resurgence of certain … [Read more...] about Meet the startup resurrecting dead celebrities and digitally cloning living ones
In central Kenya, three of the world’s four remaining Northern white rhinos are stubbornly refusing to mate. Since 2009, conservationists have tried and failed to coax the animals together—and with the lone male nearing his 43rd birthday, too old to breed, extinction is inevitable. It’s a matter of time before the remaining beasts die off, one by one. So in the meantime, in San Diego, scientists are working to resurrect them. At the Scripps Research Institute, regenerative medicine researcher Jeanne Loring has figured out how to make induced pluripotent stem cells, capable of transforming into any cell type in the body, out of rhino skin. She and her team are now working out how to turn them into rhino eggs and sperm. If successful, they should be able to create new rhinos via in vitro fertilization, saving the animal from extinction—or more likely, bringing it back from the dead. The white rhino isn’t the only beast on the verge of resurrection. For … [Read more...] about Biologists Could Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. But Should They?
Excavations in an ancient Roman cemetery turned poignantly eerie last summer. In one grave lay a roughly 10-year-old child, possibly the victim of malaria, with a stone inserted in his or her mouth. That practice was part of a funeral ritual intended to prevent the youngster from rising zombielike and spreading disease to the living, researchers say. The discovery of this “vampire burial” occurred at the Cemetery of the Babies, a mid-fifth century site in central Italy. Classical archaeologist David Pickel of Stanford University led the excavation. The results, announced in an Oct. 11 statement, will be presented in January at the Archaeological Institute of America’s annual meeting in San Diego. A malaria outbreak in the region killed many babies and young children around the time of the child’s burial. Of more than 50 previously excavated graves at the cemetery, the oldest remains were those of a 3-year-old child. Bones of several kids buried there have … [Read more...] about An ancient child’s ‘vampire burial’ included steps to prevent resurrection