SpaceX has blown up a rocket to test an astronaut escape system as part of the company’s final trial before it can fly manned missions. A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Sunday. To test the emergency abort system, the capsule boosted off from the Falcon 9 just over a minute later. The rest of the rocket then deliberately shut off its engines and descended into a fiery blast.
Measles causes long-term damage to the immune system, leaving children who have had it vulnerable to other infections long after the initial illness has passed, research has revealed. Two studies of unvaccinated children in an Orthodox Protestant community in the Netherlands found that measles wipes out the immune system’s memory of previous illnesses, returning it to a more baby-like state.
Today, NASA unveiled its designs for future spacesuits that astronauts will wear during trips to the lunar surface. The suits are still in development, but NASA claims they’ll be ready to keep astronauts alive in space by 2024 — the space agency’s deadline to return humans to the Moon. These new ensembles are upgraded so that astronauts wearing them can live and work on the Moon.
A man has been able to move all four of his paralyzed limbs with a mind-controlled exoskeleton suit, French researchers report. Thibault had surgery to place two implants on the surface of the brain, covering the parts of the brain that control movement. His movements, particularly walking, are far from perfect and the robo-suit is being used only in the lab.
Scientists think they have found a way to stop the common cold and closely related viruses which can cause paralysis. Instead of trying to attack them directly, the researchers targeted an essential protein inside our cells which the viruses need to replicate. The approach gave “complete protection” in experiments on mice and human lung cells.
A faraway planet in the constellation of Leo has been named the most habitable known world beyond the solar system after astronomers detected water vapor in its atmosphere. Roughly twice as big as Earth and eight times as massive, it orbits a cool red dwarf less than half the size of the sun, 110 light years away.
US doctors are hoping to start offering women vaginal fluid transplants and have set up a program to screen potential donors. They believe some women could benefit from a dose of healthy vaginal microbes to protect against an infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV). The Johns Hopkins University team say they were inspired by the success of fecal or poo transplants.
A 27-year-old man has confessed to killing US scientist Suzanne Eaton on the Greek island of Crete, a police spokesperson told CNN Monday. The local man had been detained by police for questioning, after the 59-year-old molecular biologist went missing July 2 while attending a conference. Last Monday, her body was discovered by two locals deep inside a cave, according to Crete’s Chief of Police Konstantinos Lagoudakis.
A 40,000-year-old severed wolf’s head, preserved by permafrost complete with teeth and fur, has been discovered in eastern Siberia. Albert Protopopov, director of the department, told CNN that while frozen wolf cubs had been unearthed in the past, the discovery of an adult wolf’s head was novel. Scientists are now building a digital model of the brain and the skull’s interior for further study, Protopopov said. A team in Stockholm is analyzing the wolf’s DNA.
In the hope of finding a new way to fight malaria, scientists have used a spider gene to genetically engineer a fungus to produce a venom that can quickly kill mosquitoes. The modified fungus was a highly effective mosquito killer in the first tests mimicking conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria remains a major public health problem, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science. Other researchers who are not involved in the research praised the advance. But others worry the approach may be unsafe.