NASA Launches Orion Deep Space Capsule

Orion crew exploration vehicle, artwork - SM9377

Orion crew exploration vehicle, artwork - SM9377

NASA is testing an unmanned version of a newly developed crew capsule to be used in conjunction with a more powerful rocket that will debut in the next few years.  The technology currently in development would be designed to send astronauts past the International Space Station to other planetary bodies such as the Moon and Mars.  The Orion capsule launch is the first step in testing the vehicle's heat shielding and re-entry parachutes, as it withstands temperatures of around 3,600°F while traveling around 20,000mph.

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A Faster Way to Find the Origin of Malaria

The New York Times Writes:

By using a DNA “bar code” of 23 short snips from the genes of parasites that cause malaria, scientists can now often quickly determine where they originated, British researchers report.

The information could be useful in fighting local outbreaks, which may be caused by parasites from other parts of the world. And it should be possible to make a test kit that will get that information from a spot of dried blood in two hours — far less time than is needed to sequence a whole genome.  More...

Loss of Y chromosome explains shorter life expectancy for men

An article in Science Daily News says: It is generally well known that men have an overall shorter life expectancy compared to women. A recent study shows a correlation between a loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells and both a shorter life span and higher mortality from cancer in other organs.  More...