Researchers add second dating technique to prototype spaceflight instrument — ScienceDaily

A new study by Southwest Research Institute scientists describes how they have expanded the capabilities of the prototype spaceflight instrument Chemistry Organic and Dating Experiment (CODEX), designed for field-based dating of extraterrestrial materials. CODEX now uses two different dating approaches based on rubidium-strontium and lead-lead geochronology methods. The instrument uses laser ablation resonance ionization mass spectrometry (LARIMS) to obtain dates using these methods.

“The central aim of CODEX is to better understand some of the outstanding questions of solar system chronology, such as the duration of heavy meteoroid bombardment or how long Mars was potentially habitable,” said SwRI Staff Scientist F. Scott Anderson, who is leading development of the instrument.

“In a way, we’ve given CODEX binocular vision in dating,” said Jonathan Levine, associate professor of physics at Colgate University and Anderson’s collaborator on CODEX. “When you can look at something from two different perspectives, you get a deeper view

Read More

Houston Companies Awarded Top Honors at Premier Life Science Venture Capital Conference

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Life science investors, leaders and innovators from around the world gathered virtually to discuss the pandemic, medical technology and the future of the industry at the Texas Life Science Forum.

The forum, co-hosted by BioHouston and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, is one of the premier life science venture capital conferences in the U.S. It featured pitches by 40 companies developing innovative solutions in medical devices, digital health, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics. The presenting companies — about half of which are Houston-based — have already raised more than $275 million in funding.

Starling Medical won the Michael E. DeBakey Memorial Life Science Award, established by BioHouston in honor of the groundbreaking Houston cardiovascular surgeon. The Houston digital health device company is revolutionizing severe bladder dysfunction management with artificial intelligence.

Ten other entries were chosen by investors as the Rice Alliance Most Promising Life Science Companies,

Read More

New science center being built on Omaha’s Riverfront

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Omaha’s Riverfront Science Center was named the Kiewit Luminarium on Monday.

a sign on the side of a building: Omaha’s Riverfront Science Center was named the Kiewit Luminarium on Monday.

© Provided by Omaha WOWT
Omaha’s Riverfront Science Center was named the Kiewit Luminarium on Monday.

Officials hope the $100 million privately-funded project will attract people across the country to Omaha to check out the center’s interactive exhibits and programming.

Construction of the 82,000 square-foot project is currently underway.

Organizers say once complete the Kiewit luminarium will be the gem of Omaha’s Riverfront.

“It’s going to be kind of a beacon you’ll be able to see across the way from Council Bluffs. It’s really a lovely space but it’s really all about what’s happening inside the building — it’s all about those experiences the kids and families are going to have here,” Rachel Jacobson, president of the Heritage Foundation said.

Officials believe the new building will shine a light on science, technology, engineering, and

Read More

Ancient storms could help predict future shifts in tropical cyclone hotspots

Nov. 16 (UPI) — To get a better sense of how climate change might alter the patterns of major ocean storms, shifting the parameters of tropical cyclone hotspots, scientists reconstructed 3,000-years of storm history in the Marshall Islands.

The analysis showed that during the Little Ice Age, storms more frequently struck Jaluit Atoll in the southern Marshall Islands.

The findings, published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, suggest differences in ocean warming strongly influence Pacific storm patterns.

By analyzing differences in sediment size, researchers were able to pinpoint the timing of extreme weather events. The data showed that prior to the Little Ice Age, storms hit Jaluit Atoll roughly once per century, but between 1350 and 1700 AD, the islands were struck by four cyclones per century — a significant increase.

By studying the affects of ancient climate change on storms patterns in the Northern Pacific, researchers were able to

Read More

Shopping Malls Hope to Find New Life Fueling E-Commerce

Mall operators, faced with a sharp downturn in foot traffic, are looking into the viability of converting empty commercial space into mini-fulfillment centers for their remaining retail tenants, technology vendors and analysts say.

“It’s a very real possibility,” said Max Pedro, president and co-founder of logistics technology maker Takeoff Technologies Inc. Mr. Pedro says at least one of the company’s clients, a large European mall landlord with hundreds of locations, is considering the strategy. He declined to name the client.

Malls have several advantages over outside, third-party fulfillment and logistics providers, including ready-made warehouse-sized spaces, central locations and a roster of on-site retailers, Mr. Pedro said: “It would be a huge missed opportunity.”

The pandemic has dealt a crushing blow to large mixed-retail malls, which were already struggling before the

Read More

Vaccine tech used by Moderna, Pfizer, could be programmed to fight other diseases

The new technology behind Pfizer’s and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines could be used to prevent everything from heart disease to cancer, experts say. 

The breakthrough vaccine ‘platform’ they use transforms the body into a virus-zapping vaccine factory and could be retooled to run interference on other diseases and speed the development of shots to prevent future pandemics. 

So-called messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines have now seen great success in late-stage trials by Moderna as well as Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and their efficacy for COVID-19 serve the first proof the concept works.

Both experimental vaccines had efficacy rates above 90 percent based on interim findings, which was far higher than expected and well above the 50 percent threshold U.S. regulators insist upon for vaccines.

Now scientists say the technology, a slow-motion revolution in the making since the discovery of mRNA nearly 60 years ago, could speed up the development

Read More

Cosmic flashes come in all different sizes — ScienceDaily

By studying the site of a spectacular stellar explosion seen in April 2020, a Chalmers-led team of scientists have used four European radio telescopes to confirm that astronomy’s most exciting puzzle is about to be solved. Fast radio bursts, unpredictable millisecond-long radio signals seen at huge distances across the universe, are generated by extreme stars called magnetars — and are astonishingly diverse in brightness.

For over a decade, the phenomenon known as fast radio bursts has excited and mystified astronomers. These extraordinarily bright but extremely brief flashes of radio waves — lasting only milliseconds — reach Earth from galaxies billions of light years away.

In April 2020, one of the bursts was for the first time detected from within our galaxy, the Milky Way, by radio telescopes CHIME and STARE2. The unexpected flare was traced to a previously-known source only 25 000 light years from Earth in the constellation of

Read More

Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest ocean trenches

Fish carcasses deliver toxic mercury pollution to the deepest ocean trenches
An illuminated snailfish collected from the Kermadec Trench in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Credit: Jeff Reid.

The sinking carcasses of fish from near-surface waters deliver toxic mercury pollution to the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world’s oceans, including the deepest spot of them all: the 36,000-foot-deep Mariana Trench in the northwest Pacific.

And most of that mercury began its long journey to the deep-sea trenches as atmospheric emissions from coal-fired power plants, mining operations, cement factories, incinerators and other human activities.

Those are two of the main conclusions of a University of Michigan-led research team that analyzed the isotopic composition of mercury in fish and crustaceans collected at the bottom of two deep-sea trenches in the Pacific. The team reports its findings in a study scheduled for publication Nov. 16 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Mercury that we believe had once been in the

Read More