Manhattanhenge 2015: Where To Get The Best Views This Weekend

Manhattanhenge, a spectacular sunset where the sun aligns with New York City’s street grid, happens only twice in 2015.

The first occurrence will be at 8:12 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to the Hayden Planetarium. On Friday, half the sun will align with the grid. The following day, the full sun will set in the grid. The next opportunity to view the phenomenon will be July 12 and 13.

According to NBC New York:

On a clear day, the typical resulting effect of Manhattanhenge is a “radiant glow of light” across the skyscrapers and buildings, “simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid,” according to Hayden Planetarium.

NBC New York says the best views of Manhattanhenge are “as far east in Manhattan as you can without losing view of New Jersey,” and recommends cross streets like 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets.

Cloud-based mapping database CartoDB created a map that shows where Manhattanhenge will be visible in New York City.

Apparently, there are good views to be had across the East River in Long Island City, too. On Thursday night, the nonprofit Hunters Point Parks Conservancy hosts LICHenge at Hunters Point South Park. The view from the park aligns perfectly with 42nd Street, which should make for some fantastic photo.

“You can definitely see some pretty sunsets,” Hunters Point Parks Conservancy president Rob Basch told DNAInfo. “You get the better views from Queens.”

Here’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson discussing Manhattanhenge:

Check out these breathtaking images of Manhattanhenge 2013:

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Spinning a new version of spider silk

After years of research decoding the complex structure and production of spider silk, researchers have now succeeded in producing samples of this exceptionally strong and resilient material in the laboratory. The new development could lead to a variety of biomedical materials — from sutures to scaffolding for organ replacements — made from synthesized silk with properties specifically tuned for their intended uses. —> Read More

The Surprising Link Between Gut Germs And Toddlers’ Tantrums

Could germs be to blame for your toddler’s temper tantrums?

The complex ecosystem of microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract is known to change considerably in the first two years of life, especially as solid foods are introduced into a child’s diet. And according to a new study, this unstable “gut microbiome” and a toddler’s temperament are linked.

“Although we predicted we would observe an association between temperament variables and measures of the gut microbial community, we didn’t know how strong those associations would be,” Dr. Michael Bailey, associate professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University and co-author of the study, told The Huffington Post in an email. “We do not yet know if these two factors are directly linked, and if so, in which direction the link occurs (i.e., gut to brain or brain to gut). It could be either, or it could be both.”

Probing the poop. For the study, the researchers examined the different genetic types and varying amounts of bacteria found in stool samples from 41 boys and 36 girls between the ages of 18 and 27 months. The researchers also surveyed the children’s mothers about the kids’ temperament and eating patterns.

What did the researchers find? Children who were described as extroverted and upbeat tended to have more genetically diverse bacteria in their stool — and that might mean there’s a link between microbial diversity and a more positive temperament.

Not so fast. Does this finding suggest that parents can rein in an unruly toddler simply by changing his or her diet? Alas, not quite.

“We really are just beginning to realize that gut microbes can impact the brain and impact behavior,” Bailey said in the email. “Until we know the extent to which this occurs, and the mechanisms by which this occurs, we really have —> Read More

Don’t Wait To Start HIV Treatment, According To Groundbreaking Global Study

WASHINGTON (AP) — A major international study sought to settle how soon is best to start HIV treatment — and the advice is don’t delay.

People who started anti-AIDS drugs while their immune system was strong were far less likely to develop AIDS or other serious illnesses than if they waited until blood tests showed their immune system was starting to weaken, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday.

The findings are preliminary, but the NIH found them so compelling that it stopped the study a year early, so that all the participants could receive medication as researchers continue to track their health.

How soon should treatment begin?

“The sooner the better,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which funded the work.

Current U.S. guidelines already recommend early treatment for HIV, but the findings could alter care recommendations in other countries.

HIV may not trigger symptoms for years, raising the question of how soon after diagnosis patients should begin taking expensive medications that may cause side effects. Previous studies have made clear that early treatment dramatically lowers the chances that someone with HIV spreads the virus to a sexual partner. But there was less evidence that the HIV patient’s own health would benefit by starting early.

The START trial — Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment — sought proof by randomly assigning still healthy patients either to receive early therapy or to delay therapy until their CD4 cells, a key sign of immune system health, dropped into a worry zone.

While the U.S. guidelines back treatment regardless of patients’ CD4 counts, the World Health Organization’s guidelines recommend that HIV-infected people begin treatment when their CD4 levels fall below normal, to 500 or below. But that doesn’t happen in many poor countries, where often people are sicker before they receive treatment —> Read More

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