Elon Musk: To join SpaceX’s first mission to Mars, you have to be “prepared to die”


On Tuesday, Elon Musk gave a keynote talk at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he outlinedSpaceX’s ambitious plan to colonise Mars.

Musk made it clear that he wants to make a ‘ticket to Mars’ within reach for many people, aiming to bring the price down to US$200,000 – or the median cost of a house in the US.

But one qualification might set a potential Mars explorer apart from your average Joe looking to vacation on the red planet: a required comfort level with a grand adventure that has quite a high chance of ending in death.

“The first journey to Mars is going to be really very dangerous,” Musk said. “The risk of fatality will be high, there’s just no way around it.”

Musk added that he would not suggest sending children on the journey.

“It would be basically: are you prepared to die? And if that’s ok then you’re a candidate for going.”

Setting up shop on Mars isn’t going to be a cakewalk. The first human beings to set foot on the planet will have to deal with an onslaught of radiation, solar flares, weak gravity, frigid cold, and even toxic soil. But according to Musk, it’s worth the risk to become a multiplanetary species.

“This is less about who goes there first,” Musk said. “The thing that really matters is making a self sustaining civilisation on Mars as fast as possible. [It’s about] protecting life, and ensuring that the line of consciousness is not extinguished which I think is incredibly important.”

And beyond the basic incentives, like colonising a foreign planet and saving humanity from an impending extinction event, Musk says the trip to Mars will be “an incredible adventure”.

“I think it would be the most inspiring thing that I can possibly imagine,” he said. “Life needs to be more than just solving problems every day. You need to wake up and be excited about the future, and be inspired, and want to live.”

According to Musk, this mission is not only about “minimising existential risk”, but also about “having a tremendous sense of adventure”.

Know Your Worth: 8 Ways to Feel Better About Yourself


Know Your Worth: 8 Ways to Feel Better About Yourself“Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

Social media has a lot of benefits, but it has done a good job of exposing our ugly insecurities that we’ve always tried to conceal.

Think about it: if you’ve always suffered from body image issues, the first thing that will pop up on social media is another woman flaunting her perfectly sculpted body that makes you want to skip eating for a week and sign up for a gym membership.

If you are anxious to settle down and get married, it will seem like everyone is posting recent engagement videos that you can’t help but watching every second of.

And if you’re between jobs or stuck in a career that makes you cringe to get up on Monday mornings, you’ll be bombarded with photos of friends bragging about the job that they love and are financially stable in. All you can do is wish you had that job.

I’m not going to tell you to stop focusing on everything that is going on around you; telling you to stop doing this will cause you to focus on it even more. So here are 8 things you can do to conquer your self worth insecurities and feel better about yourself.

1. Wake up with an Attitude of Gratitude

As soon as you open your eyes, grab your pen and paper and jot down three things you are grateful for. It’s important to do it as soon as you wake up before your mind starts drifting off, thinking about what you don’t have and how much you still need to do.

2. Positive Affirmations

Start lifting yourself up by repeating words of affirmations that confirm you are an amazing person. Check out these affirmations to get you started. Choose at least five daily affirmations that you can repeatedly say in the mirror. When you can look yourself in the eyes and repeat uplifting words, you start to believe and feel everything that you are saying.

3. Consume Powerful External Messages

Read books. Listen to podcasts. Watch Ted Talks. Do whatever it takes to energize your mind with positive thoughts. If you are seeking more books to add to your list, check out Think and Grow Rick by Napoleon Hill and Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley. These books will prepare your mind to attract everything that you want.

4. Exercise

You need to increase your energy and feel better about you. When you are exercising, you don’t have time to compare yourself to others in a negative way because you are so focused on finishing your workout. Try these quick 30-day exercise challenges in order to build up your physical stamina.

5. Create a Vision Board

What do you want to receive or achieve? Cut out pictures that demonstrate your dream life and add them to a board. Pinterest has tons of vision board samples to get you started. Make sure your vision board is located in a place where you can look at it as soon as you wake up. This vision should be so powerful that you wake up before your alarm clock goes off every morning. And if you are guilty of hitting the snooze button every five minutes, your vision has to be really compelling.

6. Get an Accountability Partner

It’s easier to start a goal versus completing a goal. But don’t think you have to be superwoman and do it all on your own. Enlist an accountability partner; preferably someone who won’t take no for an answer when you are tired and feel like cheating on your goals. Having accountability is the fastest way to accelerate your progress.

7. Document Your Success

Every little thing you do counts. Don’t diminish the value of the work that you consistently do every day. If you got up 15 minutes earlier to meditate, document it. If you sent an email about that opportunity you’ve always wanted to go after, pat yourself on the back for taking the first step. If you finished that blog article that you’ve been trying to write for weeks, celebrate your success. When you reward yourself for the small things, you prepare your mind to accomplish even greater things. Plus, it feels good to see progress. It’s proof of what you can accomplish when you stay focused. And you are capable of much more than you think you are.

8. Lift Others Up

What you give to others comes back to you. If you want to feel better about yourself, make those around you feel like all-stars. Whether its posting words of motivation on social media, congratulating someone else on a recent award, or recommending someone else for a new opportunity, always find ways to help showcase the talent of others. The more positive you can see in others, the more you begin to see in yourself.

If you follow these confidence-boosting tips every day, you won’t have time to think about what everyone else is doing. You’ll be making so much progress in your life that everyone will be asking about the new glow on your face.

A Health Benefit of Roller Coasters


In a unique, home-spun experiment, researchers found that centripetal force could help people pass kidney stones—before they become a serious health-care cost.

East Lansing, Michigan, becomes a ghost town during spring break. Families head south, often to the theme parks in Orlando. A week later, the Midwesterners return sunburned and bereft of disposable income, and, urological surgeon David Wartinger noticed, some also come home with fewer kidney stones.

Wartinger is a professor emeritus at Michigan State, where he has dealt for decades with the scourge of kidney stones, which affect around one in 10 people at some point in life. Most are small, and they pass through us without issue. But many linger in our kidneys and grow, sending hundreds of thousands of people to emergency rooms and costing around $3.8 billion every year in treatment and extraction. The pain of passing a larger stone is often compared to child birth.

For years in practice, Wartinger noticed anecdotal reports from patients who had passed small kidney stones during and immediately after visiting the Disney theme parks. It was a correlation he might not have noticed in another place, he told me: “This mass migration helped bring it to my attention.”

But one particular gentleman really inspired Wartinger. The man rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and then passed a small stone. Then he did it again and passed another. And then another. “That was just too powerful to ignore,” Wartinger said. “I’d been hearing these anecdotal stories for a couple years, and then I thought, okay, there’s really something here.”
The model kidney that Wartinger filled with stones and
urine, then brought on a roller coaster.

If there were a way to make people pass stones while they were still small, Wartinger realized, the potential benefits could be enormous.

So Wartinger compiled people’s stories, and he realized that the common factor was having ridden Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He found anecdotal reports of people passing stones after bungee jumping, but no research on this bodily-movement approach. So he decided to take things into his own hands and do a proper study.

First, Wartinger used a 3-D printer to create a clear silicone model of that three-time-stone patient’s kidney. He then filled the kidney with stones and urine. (Not real urine, I assumed, as I know the park already has plenty.) Then he and colleague Marc Mitchell bought two tickets and flew to Orlando.

Of course, the researchers had to get permission from Disney World before bringing the model kidney onto the rides. “It was a little bit of luck,” Wartinger recalls. “We went to guest services, and we didn’t want them to wonder what was going on—two adult men riding the same ride again and again, carrying a backpack. We told them what our intent was, and it turned out that the manager that day was a guy who recently had a kidney stone. He called the ride manager and said, do whatever you can to help these guys, they’re trying to help people with kidney stones.”
Other parks, Wartinger says, “have reacted anywhere from lukewarm to really not sure what to do with us.”

The two held the backpack between them “at kidney height” to try to subject the model to the same forces that a person would experience. A stone was counted as “passed” if it moved from a starting location lodged in a calyx and fell down into a trap at the point where the kidney meets the ureters. None of the stones or fluid actually spilled out during the roller coaster ride. (The research protocol notes: “Care was taken to protect and preserve the enjoyment of the other guests at the park.”)

“What was amazing was within just a few rides it became obvious that there was a huge difference in passage rates whether you sat in the front or the rear of the coaster,” Wartinger tells me. “There was a lot more whipping around in that rear car.”

The stones passed 63.89 percent of the time while the kidneys were in the back of the car. When they were in the front, the passage rate was only 16.67 percent. That’s based on only 60 rides on a single coaster, and Wartinger guards his excitement in the journal article: “Preliminary study findings support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones.”

Now, though, he has done more than 200 total stone rides on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only coaster that could be therapeutic: “Some rides are going to be more advantageous for some patients than other rides. So I wouldn’t say that the only ride that helps you pass stones is Big Thunder Mountain. That’s grossly inaccurate.”

There are other kidney designs to consider, too, as every person’s calyceal system is different, like a fingerprint. But the idea is that if you rode a variety of roller coasters in a short period of time, that would help you pass small stones and lingering sediment before it accumulates into debilitating, costly, obstructive stones.

Wartinger (G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University)

Still to know if this works for sure, he’d need a prospective clinical trial using real people with real kidneys. I suggested that would be difficult. He said no, he has it all planned out: Take people with kidney stones and do an ultrasound before the ride and after, and see if the stone moves. Wartinger couldn’t do that right away because universities’ institutional review boards would require experimental evidence to prove the concept first.

This he seems to have done duly on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, with attention to detail. For example, I thought I was just clarifying one such detail when I asked if the “urine” described in the model he brought to Disney was actually water. It was water, right?

“No, it was urine. It was mine.”

I still wasn’t sure if he was serious. I have no problem with urine, it’s just the idea of showing up at Disney with a urine-loaded kidney in your backpack.

“Yeah, I used dilute urine. I spent my life playing in pee. I don’t have that aversion to urine that most people have. The reason I didn’t use water is it would’ve put another variable in there that wasn’t real. So I used real urine … to avoid criticism.”

It seems he thought of everything. Including the fact that people will hear about this study and act on it before it’s validated in human trials. So his advice for now: If you know you have a stone that’s smaller than five millimeters, riding a series of roller coasters could help you pass that stone before it gets to an obstructive size and either causes debilitating colic or requires a $10,000 procedure to try and break it up. And even once a stone is broken up using shock waves, tiny fragments and “dust” remain that need to be passed. The coaster could help with that, too.

For people who hate roller coasters, like a number of people I’ve run this idea by, the ultimate goal would be a more clinical experience—a way to move people in a controlled environment that would help them pass stones organically. Instead of sending people to a theme park, you might go down the hall to a 3-D rollercoaster with a prescription for a precise pattern of pitches, yaws, and rolls designed around your particular kidney anatomy and the location of your particular stone.

Elon Musk’s Boldest Announcement Yet


Even among tech companies, whose product announcements are geared to be grandiose, Elon Musk’s Mars-colonization rollout feels like something new.

Elon Musk speaking at a presentation in 2015

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/0qo78R_yYFA

In a video shared Tuesday at a space exploration conference in Guadalajara,  Musk outlined his plan: Before this century is out, a small team of humans will open a spacecraft door, step onto red ground and stare at the sun faintly shining through Mars’ hazy atmosphere. A few years later, more people will arrive, but the planet that greets them will look increasingly familiar. Mars will be swaddled in clouds, and the same watery blue that characterizes Earth.

The journey will begin on Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, where Apollo 11 lofted humans to another world for the first time. Only now, the patron will not be a global superpower, but SpaceX. Musk unveiled his plans at an annual gathering of the International Astronautical Federation, a group founded during the Cold War.

A self-sustaining, shining city on Mars would need about 1 million people, according to Musk, who envisions launching 1,000 ships to get them there. The goal is to become a multi-planetary species, ensuring humanity could survive an extinction event on Earth. The first flights could leave for Mars by 2022, he claims.

“This is about minimizing existential risk and having a sense of adventure. It’s about ensuring the light of consciousness is not extinguished, which I think is really important. … The probable lifespan of human civilization will be much greater if we are a multi-planetary species,” he said. “But the argument I find most compelling is it would be an incredible adventure. Life needs to be more than solving problems every day. You need to wake up and be inspired.”

The first Martians would be wealthy people, presumably the sort who possess both a pioneering spirit and a knack for construction. Musk hopes to lower the cost of a trip to Mars to roughly the median price of a house in the U.S., about $200,000, he said. The first settlers would build pressurized dome shelters on Mars, to protect them from Mars’s harsh climate and tenuous atmosphere. Larger domes would be built to harbor farms capable of feeding a population of one million. Eventually, SpaceX hopes to ship thousands of people per year to the Red Planet.

They would travel using the newly announced Interplanetary Transport System, which consists of a 40-foot-diameter rocket booster and 55-foot-diameter spaceship, codenamed the BFR and BFS, respectively (yes, those acronyms mean what you think they mean). Initially, Musk referred to his ship as the Mars Colonial Transporter, but earlier this month he said he was ditching that name, because the the rocket will be built to go beyond Mars. On Tuesday, he even invoked Europa, a moon of Jupiter that probably has an enormous ocean under its surface.

“It’s got to be fun and exciting. It can’t feel cramped or boring … it will be, like, really fun to go.”
In the soaring promo video SpaceX unveiled Tuesday, the rocket lifts off and the ship heads to a “parking orbit” while the booster sails back to Earth, landing straight up on the same launchpad. There, it will pick up a new fuel tank and launch itself again, joining the spaceship in orbit and gassing it up for the trip to Mars. It would repeat this three to five times. Fueling the ship off Earth would dramatically lower costs, Musk said.
The ship resembles a multi-decker space shuttle, but without the iconic delta wings. Instead, once in orbit, it unfurls a pair of wing-like solar panels, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. The ship, made from carbon fiber, would accommodate at least 100 passengers and maybe up to 200, Musk said. It is gigantic, and could even have room for on-board eateries: “Pizza joints, you name it,” he said. It would have giant windows in its nose to ensure dazzling views.

“It’s got to be fun and exciting. It can’t feel cramped or boring,” he said. “It will be, like, really fun to go.”

While this all sounds like science fiction, Musk is already working on the engine that could make this happen. A few days ago, he tweeted the first glimpse of the Raptor, a powerful engine that can deliver about 500,000 pounds of thrust. It will use liquid methane for fuel, unlike both the Falcon 9 rockets and the space shuttle main engines. This is a strategic choice: While scientists are still hunting for signatures of methane at Mars, it can certainly be manufactured there, using ice and carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere.

The Raptor boosts the ship to a cruising speed of about 63,000 mph. After an interplanetary coast lasting several months, the ship will dive toward Mars, gradually tipping up its nose to skid downward in the same manner the space shuttle used to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The craft’s heat shield will reach temperatures upward of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A few moments before landing, the vehicle will stand upright, just like SpaceX rockets do now, and unfold three legs to balance itself, finally perching on the ground.

Along with safely delivering colonists, the BFR and its attendant ship would have to deliver 100 tons of payload to Mars, which is 100 times larger than the heaviest thing humans have ever sent to the red planet. Landing may be an even bigger challenge than launching; Curiosity, our biggest Mars rover, weighs 1,982 pounds, and needed a combination of parachutes and an audacious, specially designed sky crane to touch down safely. There is almost no room for error in a landing like this; if one thruster misfires, or something goes wrong with the powered descent, the ship will collapse into the dirt. Mars’s atmosphere isn’t thick enough for parachutes to serve as backup.

Even the journey’s midpoint is treacherous. Earth’s magnetic field deflects the worst of solar and cosmic radiation, and even then, humans visiting low Earth orbit are exposed to ionizing radiation that can damage DNA and cause cancer. Once humans leave Earth’s protective cocoon, they will be exposed to dangerous cosmic rays and solar flares. A colonial transport would also likely have to provide some kind of artificial gravity, or at least good enough exercise equipment that astronauts won’t be bed-bound the minute they land. There will be too much work to do to spend weeks recovering and regaining enough muscle and bone density to walk.

Musk admitted that the funding structure for his grand plan is pretty unclear: “Steal underpants, launch satellites, send cargo and astronauts to ISS, Kickstarter, profit,” he joked.
Tuesday’s announcement was remarkable for the way it fleshed out ideas that Musk has been teasing for years. As far back as 2011, he said he wanted to send people to Mars within 10 to 20 years—10 years would be the “best case,” he said at the time. He envisions SpaceX providing transport, not necessarily driving colonization. In that way, SpaceX could be like the shipping companies that brought people from Europe to America in the 17th century, or the railroad firms that laid track to the West.

“Enough would want to go, and who could afford a trip, that it could happen. Almost anyone, if they have saved up and this was their goal, they could ultimately save enough money and move to Mars,” Musk said. “Mars would have a labor shortage for a long time, so jobs would not be in short supply.”

Should we do this? What will happen when we do?
Before any of this can happen, SpaceX has to surmount plenty of technical hurdles on Earth, let alone interplanetary space. It can’t ship people to the next planet over until it figures out how to stop its rockets from exploding, and then how to safely launch humans into low Earth orbit and bring them home.

And then there are the social challenges. A Mars colony would need much more than shiny domes and potato farms. We would need to develop a system to handle property disputes. We would need a Mars tribunal to handle petty and violent crimes. That means we’d probably need a Mars jail, or at least a fair, ethical way to settle scores. That means we would need an off-planet political system, and it’s not clear what that should look like, or who would get to decide.

Musk has said he favors direct democracy, rather than a U.S.-style representative democracy, because “the potential for corruption is substantially diminished.” But he has mostly been mum on the social, legal and moral issues a Mars colony would raise. Getting there is the focus, for now. On Tuesday, Musk said his goal was “to make Mars seem possible.”

“It’s possible that this dream is real; not just a dream, but something that can be made real,” he said.

After that, the BFR and BFS can go beyond Mars, maybe to worlds like Europa, rich with water, or the many other moons of Jupiter and Saturn. But Mars remains the best place to start an Earth colony for several reasons. It is the planet most like Earth, at least during its deep past, and if Musk’s terraforming dreams come true, in its future. The red planet’s rocky surface will give humans a solid footing on which to plant flags. And it has water, perhaps enough to sustain a small colony.

Bayer and Monsanto’s Mega Merger


Bayer and Monsanto have agreed to a $66 billion merger, including debt, to create one of the world’s largest agrichemical companies, the companies announced Wednesday.

A Monsanto sign

Under the deal, Bayer, the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant, will pay $128 for each share of St. Louis-based Monsanto, a 44 percent premium over Monsanto’s share price on May 9, when Bayer first made its written offer. It’s also 21 percent above Monsanto’s closing price in New York on Tuesday.

Werner Baumann, Bayer’s CEO, said the deal would deliver “substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large.” The comments were echoed by Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s chairman and CEO: “We believe that this combination with Bayer represents the most compelling value for our shareowners, with the most certainty through the all-cash consideration.”

As we’d reported back in May:

The proposed deal, which is subject to regulatory approval in Germany and the U.S., comes amid several high-profile mergers in the industry, including the still-to-be-approved $130 billion merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont, as well as ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta, the Swiss firm. Monsanto itself had last year offered to buy Syngenta, but was rebuffed.

If regulators don’t allow the deal to go through, Bayer has agreed to pay Monsanto a break-up fee of $2 billion. More from Bloomberg:

The transaction caps a dramatic reshaping of the crop and seed industry. A year ago, the sector had at least a half-dozen global players. After Bayer and Monsanto tie up, creating a leader with $26 billion in combined revenue from agriculture, that number will shrink to just four.

The deal would also shift what Bayer, which, among other things, makes Aspirin and Alka Seltzer, is known for: Agribusiness will replace healthcare as its biggest revenue earner. But Monsanto’s focus on genetically modified crops has put the deal under scrutiny in Europe, where such crops are viewed with deep suspicion. Still, if the deal goes through, Bayer gets access to, in the words of Bloomberg, “more than 2,000 varieties of seeds for crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat.” Bayer had already developed seeds for rice, cotton, and oilseed.

Why everybody with a food allergy should start eating more fiber immediately


A high-fiber diet rich in vitamin A may alter gut bacteria in a way that could prevent or reverse food allergies. This is the finding of a new study published in the journal Cell Reports.

It is estimated that around 15 million people in the United States have food allergies, and this number is increasing.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1997-2007, the number of children and adolescents in the U.S. with food allergies rose by around 18 percent, though the reasons for this are unclear.

Eight food types account for around 90 percent of all food allergies. These are peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

Allergic reactions to food vary from person to person, but they may include tingling or itching in the mouth, hives, nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

In more severe cases, a person with a food allergy may experience swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or throat, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, chest pain, and a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Occurrence of severe symptoms – alone or alongside milder ones – could be indicators of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Of course, the best way to avoid an allergic reaction to food is to avoid consuming the food that triggers it, though this can be easier said than done.

Now, a new study suggests there may be a simple way to prevent or reverse food allergies: a high-fiber diet, enriched with vitamin A.

Fiber Triggers Short-Chain Fatty Acid Production to Reduce Food Allergy

High+Fiber+Foods

Co-senior author Laurence Macia, of Monash University in Australia, and colleagues came to their conclusion after studying mice that were artificially bred to be allergic to peanuts.

The researchers fed some of the mice a high-fiber diet rich in vitamin A – found in many fruits and vegetables – while others were fed a diet with average fiber, sugar, and calorie content (the controls).

They found that the mice fed the high-fiber diet had less severe allergic reactions to peanuts than mice fed the control diet.

On closer analysis, the researchers found that the high-fiber diet altered the gut bacteria of mice, which protected them against allergic reactions to peanuts.

Next, the researchers took some altered gut bacteria from mice fed the high-fiber diet and transferred it to the guts of mice with a peanut allergy that were “germ-free” – that is, they had no gut microbes.

Even though these germ-free mice were not fed a high-fiber diet, the team found that the addition of the altered gut bacteria protected them against allergic reactions to peanuts.

MAD SCIENTIST INJECTS HIMSELF A MILLIONS YEAR-OLD PERMAFROST BACTERIA AND THE RESULTS ARE MIND-BOGGLING


In what sounds like a story fit for a Marvel comic, Anatoli Brouchkov, a controversial Russian Scientist has injected himself with bacteria that is 3.5 million years old, and, more astounding, has stated that this is the elusive key to “eternal life”. Found in the Siberian permafrost, these cells have made him feel stronger and healthier than he ever has before and, he claims, have a high resistance to environmental factors and astonishing levels of vitality. It is also claimed that tests undertaken on animals have resulted in the cells showing a marked increase in physical activity and a fortified immune system.

A HEALTHY BODY THAT IS RESISTING TIME BETTER THAN IT DID BEFORE Head of the Geocryology Department at Moscow State University, Professor Anatoli Broushkov has not succumbed to illness in two years, since he first started the experiments on himself, according to the Russian Media.

Results For The Nephilim Skulls In Peru Are In And The Results Are Absolutely ShockingMad Scientist Builds Deadly Weapons With Items He Bought AFTER Going Through Airport Security Labelled “Bacillus F”, the 3.5 million-year-old bacteria is believed to one of the key components in improving longevity in humans. Once the DNA was unlocked by Researchers from Russia, it was tested on both mice and human cells. However, Broushkov decided to become a human guinea pig and tested it out on himself. The results of this, he claims: A strong and healthy body that is resisting time better than it did before. So what is the secret of this bacteria? Well, Bacillus F has managed to survive for millions of years in the arctic tundra of Siberia, a place known to be one of the most extreme places on Earth. As global warming spreads across Siberia, the permafrost has started melting, and this, Broushjov believes, has caused the bacteria to infiltrate into the natural environment, getting into the water supply of local populations. He believed that there would be no danger in experimenting on himself as he claims the Yakut people have been imbibing the bacteria naturally for some time, and this race seems to have greater longevity, despite their hard living conditions.

‘I started to work longer, I’ve never had the flu for the last two years, ’ he told The Siberian Times As with many scientific discoveries, it is not always easy to determine how something works, and in the case of Bacillus F, Broushkov claims it is the same.

However, he will continue to conduct the experiments under scientific conditions to discover the impact and of course, to identify potential side-effects. ‘If we can find how the bacteria stays alive we probably would be able to find a tool to extend our lives, ’ he explained in an interview. This Jurassic bacterium could also be an integral factor in fertility as well as longevity in humans, say the scientists. Older female mice that were injected with Bacillus F were able to reproduce after they had ceased being able to. Also, Bacillus F also can heal plants. Claimed to be akin to discovering the Holy Grail, Dr. Viktor Chernyavsky, an epidemiologist from Yakutsk said ‘The bacteria gives out biologically active substances throughout its life, which activates the immune status of experimental animals.’

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/lv0_Cu0FcPA

 

Astronomer Tests Whether Earth Is Being Avoided By Alien Civilizations


An astronomer from the UK has determined the odds at which John Ball’s 1973 “Zoo hypothesis” can actually be plausible. Computer models show what would need to happen for aliens to unilaterally agree to avoid humans.

ZOO HYPOTHESIS

Searching for extraterrestrial life has always been one of the focuses of astronomy. Many models and theories have been created just to explain how alien civilizations would work and why we may not have found them yet.

An astronomer just put one of those theories into question. Duncan Forgan at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom has come up with a model that establishes how hard it is for the “zoo hypothesis” to be plausible.

Back in 1973, John Ball, a radio astronomer at MIT, explained why we haven’t come into contact with aliens yet. He postulated that alien civilizations could be unilaterally avoiding us. Keeping Earth as a part of some kind of intergalactic zoo. So, in a sense, we’d be left alone because of alien “Don’t Touch The Animals” signs.

Image credit: Space Studies Institute.
Image credit: Space Studies Institute.

ASSUMPTIONS

Forgan starts from the assumption that several alien civilizations must have talked with one another and decided on the zoo rule, like how the UN gets together and sets policies.

Key to that set-up would be intergalactic communication, limited by the speed of light. Therefore, civilizations must exist long enough for the messages to go from sender to receiver and vice versa. Once again, assuming that alien communication would be limited by the speed of light.

Also, life can only be sustained in a galaxy-wide habitable zone, the two-dimensional annular stretching between six kiloparsecs and 10 kiloparsecs from the galactic center.

Using these assumptions, the computer program then places civilizations randomly in the galactic map and calculates the possibility for any two civilizations to actually meet, communicate, and come to an agreement.

The computer determined that at least 500 civilizations must exist for the zoo hypothesis to be possible. Any less and there are too many groups of civilizations too far from each other for a consensus to be made.

Then the computer determined how old the civilizations must be for an effective agreement to be made. It saw that if civilizations last less than a million years, there also be many civilizations groups, same as above. But if they last over 1 million, a single galactic club can be achieved.

Therefore, the galaxy must have at least 500 civilizations that exist for more than a million years for the zoo hypothesis to work. Pretty stiff odds, if we’re honest.

If the Science is Sound, Why Do People Still Deny Man-Made Climate Change?


The general attitude towards climate change is still mixed. Though a majority of people believe that it is real, there are still some who do not. Why is climate change a difficult reality to accept? There may be several reasons, but one stands out.

INCONVENIENT AND TRUE

Ever since Al Gore’s controversial documentary was released in 2006, public awareness campaigns about climate change have been in full swing. While the debate still rages in the public sector, most scientific organizations and communities have come to a consensus that the Earth is, indeed, undergoing a change in climate.

Temperatures are getting warmer, and weather patterns are becoming more and more erratic. And perhaps most importantly, science shows that humans are causing it.

Temperatures rising. Data sources: NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Met Office Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit and the Japanese Meteorological Agency
Temperatures rising. Data sources: NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Met Office Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit and the Japanese Meteorological Agency

Yet, there are still people who think that anthropogenic climate change is a matter that’s being debated in the sciences. Although researchers are still investigating how it operates in a number of different scenarios, there is no real academic debate regarding the reality of man-made climate change.

But while a study done by Yale University researchers last year showed that many Americans accepted the reality of climate change (around 63%), only 48% accepted that humans are responsible.

Sadly, many continue to call it an outright  hoax (even former French president Nicolas Sarkozy seems to think it is). So where’s this divide coming from?

FACTS OF A CONFUSING VARIETY

To begin, there is, of course, the politics and lobbying. Case in point, a Drexel University study found that there is a vast reservoir of individuals and organizations who have invested in climate change denial—to the tune of some $560 million.

“The climate change countermovement has had a real political and ecological impact on the failure of the world to act on global warming,” the authors’ noted in a statement. “Like a play on Broadway, the countermovement has stars in the spotlight  – often prominent contrarian scientists or conservative politicians – but behind the stars is an organizational structure of directors, script writers and producers. If you want to understand what’s driving this movement, you have to look at what’s going on behind the scenes.”

In short, there is a major issue with foundations who have significant things to gain from promoting “ultra-free-market ideas,” and these are centered on non-governmental interference in relation to corporate carbon emissions.

Then there is also the supposed issue between science and religion, which leads some to claim that (in spite of what science shows) humanity is not able to alter nature in meaningful ways. One public official explains his thoughts on the intersection, “God’s still up there, and the arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate, is to me, outrageous,” says Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.
CO2 records. Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.

However, there are more intriguing reasons.

Phil Plait believes that it is largly the general scope and scale of the issue itself. “We see what’s immediately around us, and have difficulty extrapolating to the greater world,” Plait explains. Climate change affects the entire world, in ways beyond just the normal, day-to-day temperature getting warmer. And to say that all of this was caused by humans? How could that be?

It’s a scale hard to contextualize — and for many, the numbers and the statistics aren’t enough to make it understandable.

Plus, the confusing way some news outlet deliver the facts isn’t helping — neither is the whole “it’s the end of the world,” fear-mongering, approach.

Yes, there is an issue. Yes, we need to fix it. But no, New York will not be under water in 5 years. Such grandiose sensationalism just drives deniers further into denial and pushes those on the fence right off and on to the other side.

This misunderstanding leads to further confusion when we have politicians literally throwing snowballs in the Capital Building as proof of the climate change hoax.

Maria Galucci agrees. It’s the immediacy of the issue that makes climate change a hard pill to swallow for some. People see the effects of climate change, but they need to see other more immediate things that cause these effects.

In short, we need to localize and contextualize the issue—show people the tangible things that are having an impact now as opposed to making sweeping claims that seem too big to be true and are difficult to show.

It boils down to this: We have an impact on the environment. While these effects may be small compared to the scale of nature’s systems, it is consistent and continuous. “It never stops,” says Plait.

We can choose to change that, and we need to. This starts with small conversations and community engagement. 

Growing Lungs: Scientists Are Using Stem Cells to Try and Grow Human Lungs in a Dish


Researchers from the UCLA have found a way around some of the limitations of lung cell cultures in recreating lung scarring by growing three-dimensional “organoids” instead of relying on flat cultures. The method uses stem cells to grow pea sized three dimensional samples of lung tissue.

WHEN FLAT CULTURES ARE NOT ENOUGH

New research may be changing the way scientists study lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, in particular. Previously, doctors would grow two dimensional cultures which could not be effectively used to model certain conditions, such as lung scarring. Even when the cells came from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients, the cells turned out healthy on the flat cultures.

To solve this, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have grown three-dimensional “organoids” that resemble sections of human lungs instead of just cells.

The researchers used stem cells taken from actual adult human lungs to coat tiny sticky hydrogel beads. These eventually grew and self-assembled to envelope the hydrogel beads, which were all placed inside linked wells. The resulting structure produced evenly distributed three-dimensional patterns consistent with actual air sacs like those in human lungs.

“While we haven’t built a fully functional lung, we’ve been able to take lung cells and place them in the correct geometrical spacing and pattern to mimic a human lung,” says UCLA associate professor of pediatric hematology and oncology and lead author Dr. Brigitte Gomperts.

Lab-grown lung-mimicking tissue (left) in comparison with real human lung tissue (right). UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center.
Lab-grown lung-mimicking tissue (left) in comparison with real human lung tissue (right). UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center.

Remarkably, by adding certain molecular aspects, the lung organoids successfully developed scarring consistent with those in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients, which will help to better study the disease.

SIMPLE TECHNIQUE FOR COMPLEX MEDICAL HURDLES

Despite the technique’s simplicity, its potential applications could tackle diseases that remain complex and difficult to study with current technology. Patients usually die within three to five years of diagnosis, and currently, there is no cure.

With this technique, researchers can grow infected lung organoids so they can further study the biology of the disease. They can also conduct various drug experiments to come up with a precise, personalized treatment plan before administering anything to the patient, minimizing risks of damage.

It’s also very easy to reproduce: “We can make thousands of reproducible pieces of tissue that resemble lung and contain patient-specific cells,” says materials science and engineering graduate student Dan Wilkinson.

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