Dragon Snared by Stations ‘Star Trek’ Crewmate, Delivers Science for 1 Year Mission

“There’s coffee in that nebula”… ehm, I mean… in that #Dragon. ISS Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency in Star Trek uniform as Dragon arrives at the International Space Station on April 17, 2015. Credit: NASA

Following the flawless blastoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster and Dragon cargo ship on Tuesday, April 17, the resupply vessel arrived at the International Space Station today, April 17, and was successful snared by the outposts resident ‘Star Trek’ crewmate, Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, donning her futuristic outfit from the famed TV show near and dear to space fans throughout the known galaxy!(…)
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© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2015. |
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Construction Of Thirty Meter Telescope On Hawaii Mountain Is Delayed Again

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige says a nonprofit company planning to build one of the world’s biggest telescopes on a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred will continue to postpone construction.

This is the second time the Thirty Meter Telescope has extended a moratorium on building at the summit of Mauna Kea, the highest peak on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Ige didn’t say when construction would resume. He says further announcements about the construction schedule would come from the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Ige said in a statement Friday he’s used the time since the moratorium began on April 7 to listen and learn about Mauna Kea.

The company suspended building after law enforcement arrested protesters for blocking the road to the summit and refusing to leave the construction site.

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Potential migraine therapy to be presented April 22 by Achelios Therapeutics

Achelios Therapeutics will announce results from a Phase IIa placebo-controlled clinical trial in moderate and severe migraine sufferers treated with TOPOFEN (TM), the company’s proprietary topical anti-migraine therapy. The data to be presented demonstrate that the simple application of a well-known non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, using the company’s proprietary formulation on the skin, over the trigeminal nerve branches, can be a safe and effective alternative treatment for patients suffering from acute migraine. —> Read More

Eye Contact Helps Strengthen The Bond Between Pooches And Their Owners

Oh, those puppy eyes.

Just by gazing at their owners, dogs can trigger a response in their masters’ brains that helps them bond, a study says.

And owners can do a similar trick in return, researchers found.

This two-way street evidently began when dogs were domesticated long ago, because it helped the two species connect, the Japanese researchers say.

As canine psychology experts Evan MacLean and Brian Hare of Duke University wrote in a commentary on the work, “When your dog is staring at you, she may not just be after your sandwich.”

The new work is the first to present a biological mechanism for bonding across species, said researcher Larry Young of Emory University.

Neither he nor the Duke scientists were involved in the study, which is reported in a paper from Japan released Thursday by the journal Science.

The brain response is an increase in levels of a hormone called oxytocin (ahk-see-TOH’-sin). Studies in people and animals indicate this substance promotes social bonding, such as between parent and infant or between two lovers.

One experiment in the new research involved 30 owners and their dogs. Oxytocin levels in the urine of both species were sampled before and after the owners and their dogs spent a half-hour together.

Analysis showed that owners whose dogs looked at them longer in the first five minutes had bigger boosts in oxytocin levels. Similarly, dogs that gazed longer got a hormone boost, too. That’s evidently in response to being touched by their owners during the session, one of the study authors, Takefumi Kikusui of Azabu University near Tokyo, said in an email.

No such result appeared when researchers tried the experiment with wolves. The animals were paired with people who had raised them, although not as pets. The difference suggests dogs started gazing at owners as a social strategy when they became domesticated, —> Read More

Will ‘Smart Drugs’ Soon Sweep the Nation?

If you haven’t heard of the term “biohacking”, you may already be being outcompeted by those who have. A biohacker has generally been defined as someone who aims to gain control over their own biology. Many biohackers are now choosing to take brain enhancing substances — or “nootropics” — that supposedly allow you to tailor your brain to fit your needs, rather than letting your brain control you. In fact, so many tech gurus and entrepreneurs swear by smart drugs that it prompted CNN to run the story “Are Smart Drugs Driving Silicon Valley?

Some of us with an unrelenting hunger for success have tried cognitive-enhancing prescription stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin, in order to pull work-filled all-nighters while the competition sleeps. While these drugs undoubtedly boost focus for long stretches of hours, this state is always and without a doubt followed by a crash — a down period characterized by mental sluggishness, anxiety, mild depression, and a general feeling of being cracked out.

Due to this crash, along with some scary side effects and the strong potential for addiction, many have chosen to opt for natural cognitive-enhancing alternatives. Natural nootropics are brain supplements that contain organic ingredients that allegedly elevate mental function by improving attention, memory, mood, and motivation through increasing neurotransmitter levels. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that allow the brain’s neurons to communicate with each other through electrical signals, and the optimal balance of transmitters is required for healthy brain function. Nootropics are thought to restore and maintain this balance without the harmful side effects, and they are already causing a feeding-frenzy amongst investors who are looking to start companies before the wave crests.

One such company is the Silicon Valley-based startup known as Nootrobox, which offers a subscription service that will deliver brain supplements to your —> Read More

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