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Chinese Rocket Segment Plunges Back To Earth, Crashes Near Maldives

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Beijing:

A large segment of a Chinese rocket re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean on Sunday, the Chinese space agency said, following fevered speculation over where the 18-tonne object would come down.

Officials in Beijing had said there was little risk from the free falling segment of the Long March-5B rocket, which had launched the first module of China’s new space station into Earth orbit on April 29.

But the US space agency NASA and some experts said China had behaved irresponsibly, as an uncontrolled re-entry of such a large object risked damage and casualties.

“After monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 (0224 GMT) on May 9, 2021, the last-stage wreckage of the Long March 5B Yao-2 launch vehicle has re-entered the atmosphere,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement, providing coordinates for a point in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.

It added that most of the segment disintegrated and was destroyed during descent.

The US military’s Space Command said the rocket “re-entered over the Arabian Peninsula at approximately 10:15 pm EDT on May 8 (0215 GMT Sunday)”.

“It is unknown if the debris impacted land or water.”

Monitoring service Space-Track, which uses US military data, said that the location in Saudi Arabia was where American systems last recorded it.

“Operators confirm that the rocket actually went into the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives,” it tweeted.

The segment’s descent matched expert predictions that any debris would have splashed down into the ocean, given that 70 percent of the planet is covered by water.

Because it was an uncontrolled descent, there was widespread public interest and speculation about where the debris would land.

American and European space authorities were among those tracking the rocket and trying to predict its re-entry.

Accusations of negligence

Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere, which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate. But larger ones such as the Long March-5B may not be destroyed entirely.

Their wreckage can land on the surface of the planet and may cause damage and casualties, though that risk is low.

Last year, debris from another Chinese Long March rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

That, and the one that came down Sunday, are tied for the fourth-biggest objects in history to undergo an uncontrolled re-entry, according to data from Harvard-based astronomer Jonathan McDowell.

The uncertainty and risks of such a re-entry sparked accusations that Beijing had behaved irresponsibly.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggested last week that China had been negligent, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson echoed that after the re-entry on Sunday.

“Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of space objects and maximize transparency regarding those operations,” Nelson said in a statement.

“It is clear that China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”

China’s space ambitions

To avoid such scenarios, some experts have recommended a redesign of the Long March-5B rocket — which is not equipped for a controlled descent.

“An ocean reentry was always statistically the most likely,” McDowell tweeted.

“It appears China won its gamble (unless we get news of debris in the Maldives). But it was still reckless.”

Chinese authorities had downplayed the risk, however.

“The probability of causing harm to aviation activities or (on people and activities) on the ground is extremely low,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Friday.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into space exploration to boost its global stature and technological might.

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These Plastic Chewing Caterpillars Can Help Fight Plastic Pollution And Can Prove Beneficial

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The small wax worm went from obscurity to a disclosure in 2017 when scientists found the caterpillar might help solve one of the world’s most hazardous natural issues: plastic waste.

Credits:GettyImages

The creature can chomp through plastic, even polyethylene, a common and non-biodegradable plastic currently clogging up landfills and seas.

Scientists have discovered that wax worms can eat and biodegrade polyethylene, the rugged, common plastic used to make the shopping bags that are currently glutting landfill sites. The discovery was serendipitous. The findings, which were published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B Tuesday, could guide efforts to find an effective biodegradation system to tackle plastic waste.

Credit:GettyImages

“We found that wax worm caterpillars are equipped with gut organisms that are basic in the plastic bio degradation process, ” said Christophe LeMoine, a associate professor and chair person of biology at Brandon University in Canada.

Credit:IndiaTimes

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The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

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Researchers Use Gene-focusing on Breakthrough Against COVID-19 Cells With CRISPR Tool Called ‘PAC-MAN’

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DOE / LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY, R.N. Zuckermann

A group of scientists from Stanford University is working with researchers at the Molecular Foundry, a nanoscience client office situated at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), to build up a quality focusing on, antiviral specialist against COVID-19.

Last year, Stanley Qi, an assistant professor in the departments of bioengineering, and chemical and systems biology at Stanford University and his team had begun working on a technique called PAC-MAN—or Prophylactic Antiviral CRISPR in human cells—that uses the gene-editing tool CRISPR to fight influenza.

Be that as it may, that all changed in January, when updates on the COVID-19 pandemic rose. Qi and his group were out of nowhere stood up to with a baffling new infection for which nobody had an unmistakable arrangement. “So we figured, ‘For what reason don’t we take a stab at utilizing our PAC-MAN innovation to battle it?'” said Qi.

Since late March, Qi and his team have been collaborating with a group led by Michael Connolly, a principal scientific engineering associate in the Biological Nanostructures Facility at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, to develop a system that delivers PAC-MAN into the cells of a patient.

Like all CRISPR frameworks, PAC-MAN is made out of a chemical—for this situation, the infection murdering compound Cas13—and a strand of guide RNA, which orders Cas13 to pulverize explicit nucleotide successions in the coronavirus’ genome. By scrambling the infection’s hereditary code, PAC-MAN could kill the coronavirus and prevent it from repeating inside cells.

It’s all in the delivery

Qi said that the key test to deciphering PAC-MAN from a sub-atomic instrument into an enemy of COVID-19 treatment is finding a compelling method to convey it into lung cells. At the point when SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, attacks the lungs, the air sacs in a contaminated individual can get aroused and load up with liquid, seizing a patient’s capacity to relax.

“But my lab doesn’t work on delivery methods,” he said. So on March 14, they published a preprint of their paper, and even tweeted, in the hopes of catching the eye of a potential collaborator with expertise in cellular delivery techniques.

Soon after, they learned of Connolly’s work on synthetic molecules called lipitoids at the Molecular Foundry.

Lipitoids are a kind of engineered peptide imitate known as a “peptoid” first found 20 years prior by Connolly’s tutor Ron Zuckermann. In the decades since, Connolly and Zuckermann have attempted to create peptoid conveyance atoms, for example, lipitoids. Also, as a team with Molecular Foundry clients, they have exhibited lipitoids’ adequacy in the conveyance of DNA and RNA to a wide assortment of cell lines.

Today, researchers studying lipitoids for potential therapeutic applications have shown that these materials are nontoxic to the body and can deliver nucleotides by encapsulating them in tiny nanoparticles just one billionth of a meter wide—the size of a virus.

Now Qi hopes to add his CRISPR-based COVID-19 therapy to the Molecular Foundry’s growing body of lipitoid delivery systems.

In late April, the Stanford researchers tested a type of lipitoid—Lipitoid 1—that self-assembles with DNA and RNA into PAC-MAN carriers in a sample of human epithelial lung cells.

As per Qi, the lipitoids performed well indeed. At the point when bundled with coronavirus-focusing on PAC-MAN, the framework decreased the measure of engineered SARS-CoV-2 in arrangement by over 90%. “Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry has furnished us with an atomic fortune that changed our examination,” he said.

The team next plans to test the PAC-MAN/lipitoid system in an animal model against a live SARS-CoV-2 virus. They will be joined by collaborators at New York University and Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

If successful, they hope to continue working with Connolly and his team to further develop PAC-MAN/lipitoid therapies for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, and to explore scaling up their experiments for preclinical tests.

“An effective lipitoid delivery, coupled with CRISPR targeting, could enable a very powerful strategy for fighting viral disease not only against COVID-19 but possibly against newly viral strains with pandemic potential,” said Connolly.

“Everybody has been working nonstop attempting to think of new arrangements,” included Qi, whose preprint paper was as of late companion looked into and distributed in the Journal Cell. “It’s exceptionally compensating to join skill and test new thoughts across establishments in these troublesome occasions.”

Credit:phys.org

Why The Humanity Post?

The World Health Organisation has named depression as the greatest cause of suffering worldwide. In the U.S., 1 out of 5 deals with depression or anxiety. For youth, that number increases to 1 in 3.

The good news is that 40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, leading to life changing habits. It’s this 40% that The Humanity Post  help to impact.

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Scientists Develop Near Invincible Textile Coating That Can Repel Almost Anything

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Scientists Develop Near-Invincible Textile Coating That Can Repel Blood, Bacteria, and Even Viruses

Masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are essential for protecting healthcare workers—however, the textiles and materials used in such items can absorb and carry viruses and bacteria, inadvertently spreading the disease the wearer sought to contain.

When the coronavirus spread amongst healthcare professionals and left PPE in short supply, finding a way to provide better protection while allowing for the safe reuse of these items became paramount.

Thankfully, researchers from the LAMP Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering may have a solution. The lab has created a textile coating that can not only repel liquids like blood and saliva but can also prevent viruses from adhering to the surface. The work was recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Photo by University of Pittsburgh

“Recently there’s been focus on blood-repellent surfaces, and we were interested in achieving this with mechanical durability,” said Anthony Galante, PhD student in industrial engineering at Pitt and lead author of the paper. “We want to push the boundary on what is possible with these types of surfaces, and especially given the current pandemic, we knew it’d be important to test against viruses.”

What makes the coating unique is its ability to withstand ultrasonic washing, scrubbing and scraping. With other similar coatings currently in use, washing or rubbing the surface of the textile will reduce or eliminate its repellent abilities.

“The durability is very important because there are other surface treatments out there, but they’re limited to disposable textiles. You can only use a gown or mask once before disposing of it,” said Paul Leu, co-author and associate professor of industrial engineering, who leads the LAMP Lab. “Given the PPE shortage, there is a need for coatings that can be applied to reusable medical textiles that can be properly washed and sanitized.”

Galante put the new coating to the test, running it through tens of ultrasonic washes, applying thousands of rotations with a scrubbing pad (not unlike what might be used to scour pots and pans), and even scraping it with a sharp razor blade. After each test, the coating remained just as effective.

The treatment consists of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanoparticles in a solvent thermally sintered to polypropylene microfibers. PTFE is stable and nontoxic at temperatures lower than 260 °C (500 °F).

The researchers worked with the Charles T. Campbell Microbiology Laboratory’s Research Director Eric Romanowski and Director of Basic Research Robert Shanks, in the Department of Ophthalmology at Pitt, to test the coating against a strain of adenovirus.

“As this fabric was already shown to repel blood, protein and bacteria, the logical next step was to determine whether it repels viruses. We chose human adenovirus types 4 and 7, as these are causes of acute respiratory disease as well as conjunctivitis (pink eye),” said Romanowski. “It was hoped that the fabric would repel these viruses similar to how it repels proteins, which these viruses essentially are: proteins with nucleic acid inside. As it turned out, the adenoviruses were repelled in a similar way as proteins.”

The coating may have broad applications in healthcare: everything from hospital gowns to waiting room chairs could benefit from the ability to repel viruses, particularly ones as easily spread as adenoviruses.

“Adenovirus can be inadvertently picked up in hospital waiting rooms and from contaminated surfaces in general. It is rapidly spread in schools and homes and has an enormous impact on quality of life—keeping kids out of school and parents out of work,” said Shanks. “This coating on waiting room furniture, for example, could be a major step towards reducing this problem.”

The next step for the researchers will be to test the effectiveness against betacoronaviruses, like the one that causes COVID-19.

“If the treated fabric would repel betacornonaviruses, and in particular SARS-CoV-2, this could have a huge impact for healthcare workers and even the general public if PPE, scrubs, or even clothing could be made from protein, blood-, bacteria-, and virus-repelling fabrics,” said Romanowski.

At the moment, the coating is applied using drop casting, a method that saturates the material with a solution from a syringe and applies a heat treatment to increase stability. But the researchers believe the process can use a spraying or dipping method to accommodate larger pieces of material, like gowns, and can eventually be scaled up for production.

Reprinted from University of Pittsburgh

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