NASA Successfully Scoops up a Sample From Asteroid Bennu

NASA has succeeded in collecting a sample from an asteroid for the first time, scooping up rocks and dust from asteroid Bennu using its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully touched down on asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, October 20, marking the first time that NASA has touched an asteroid in this manner. During the touchdown, the spacecraft fired a burst of nitrogen gas down toward the asteroid in order to throw up soil and small rocks which were to be collected by the probe’s Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) head. The aim was to collect at least 2 ounces (60 grams) to sample.

The NASA team had to wait a few days to learn if this sample collection had been successful. And now the news has come in, and it looks good — at least 2 ounces have been scooped up.

There’s a slight challenge though. When looking at images

Read More

Key Senate races begin to tighten two weeks out from election

This is a rush transcript from “Special Report” October 20, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, Jesse, thank you. Good evening, welcome to Fox News headquarters in New York. I’m Bret Baier.

Breaking tonight, there is renewed optimism that the Trump administration and House Democrats may agree on a last-minute coronavirus relief package before the election.

Today’s negotiations ended about an hour ago without conclusion, but a promise of another round tomorrow on specifics.

Right now, President Trump is on his way to a campaign stop in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania. The event in Erie begins at the top of the hour.

Earlier today, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued their narrowed differences, they narrowed them further just on how much to spend, how to do it. The question is

Read More

Fall, winter surge; Trump rally; masks can save 63K lives

CLOSE

We answer the often searched question: “What are the symptoms of coronavirus versus the flu?”

USA TODAY

A long-predicted surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths has begun in the United States, but Americans aren’t changing their behaviors to slow the virus’ spread, according to an influential virus model.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released their latest model updates this week and they paint a bleak picture of the coming months: A surge in cases will create “enormous pressure on hospital capacity” and deaths will reach nearly 2,200 per day sometime in January.

But even as cases and deaths are currently rising, mask use remains consistent and Americans aren’t staying at home more. If mask use became nearly universal, 63,000 lives can still be saved, the model found.

Meanwhile on Friday, the U.S. surpassed its record for most daily infections when more than 83,700 new

Read More

Magazine offers in-depth takes on these U.S. issues

Is it time for a new way to help make adults more ­science-literate? What should the next president know about science? Could science help strengthen American democracy?

“The Future of Science in America: The Election Issue” has answers. The free, online magazine is packed with interesting takes on how science can serve the common good. And just in time.

This year has challenged leaders, researchers and the public with thorny scientific questions, from the coronavirus pandemic to widespread misinformation on scientific issues.

The magazine is a collaboration of the Aspen Institute, a think tank that brings together a variety of public figures and private individuals to tackle thorny social issues, the digital science magazine Leapsmag and GOOD, a social impact company.

It’s packed with 15 in-depth articles about science with a view toward our campaign year.

Among them are the results of an August survey on adult Americans’ science

Read More

Yes, you’re seeing more robot cars in San Francisco. Here’s why self-driving is picking up speed

This was meant to be the year that robot cars went mainstream.

The self-driving car industry, largely based in Silicon Valley, brimmed with confident predictions that autonomous taxis would be commonplace by 2020, ushering in a golden age that would improve transportation, end traffic deaths and reduce congestion and carbon emissions.

Chalk up another way that 2020 dashed hopes.

“Machine learning did not advance as rapidly as (proponents) thought it would,” said Jesse Halfon, a Michigan automotive attorney. “It seems like industry-wide there is a consensus that (mass deployment) will take longer than thought.”

There are some scattered robot taxi pilot programs. In Arizona, Waymo has been giving paid rides in autonomous vehicles with backup drivers to a select group of civilians since December 2018. This year, it’s been removing safety drivers from some cars and will offer a truly driverless experience to the broad public by year end. In

Read More

Stocks To Watch: Big Test For Tech, New IPOs And Fisker Blaze In (NYSE:AAN)

Welcome to Seeking Alpha’s Stocks to Watch – a preview of key events scheduled for the next week. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox every Saturday morning. A podcast of Stocks to Watch is also available on Sundays on Seeking Alpha, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify (click the highlighted links).

Big tech gets a big test next week as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGLE) all step up to the earnings plate after a sizzling run for the sector. Wedbush Securities thinks the reports will fuel up another tech rally into the end of the year, despite the general nervousness over stimulus and the election. Apple is the firm’s favorite FAANG name, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) are the top cloud software picks and Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) is called the cybersecurity standout. There will also

Read More

How tech investors can ‘catch lightning in a bottle one more time’

There’s a new tech fund in town.

The new Invesco Nasdaq Next Gen 100 ETF (QQQJ), a “junior” version of the issuer’s incredibly popular Invesco QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ), launched on Oct. 13 to a good deal of fanfare from investors looking to get in on the next growth trade.

Based on the Nasdaq Next Generation 100 Index, which tracks the 100 next-largest non-financial companies in the Nasdaq after the original Nasdaq 100, QQQJ counts less-familiar tech stocks such as Marvell Technologies and Atlassian among its top holdings.

The ETF is down a little over 1% since its launch.

Given the success of QQQ, the fifth-largest ETF on the market, WallachBeth Capital managing director Andrew McOrmond was “not surprised” to see Invesco try its hand at another innovative venture.

“I expect them to get some traction with this ETF,” he told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” on Monday.

QQQJ’s debut also comes

Read More

Nobel Prize CRISPR gene editing technology used

CLOSE

Scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their pioneering work on the gene-editing tool CRISPR. The tool has been used to engineer better crops and to try to cure human diseases. (Oct. 7)

AP Domestic

Coronavirus tests performed in labs are the gold standard for accuracy and antigen tests are a fast and inexpensive alternative.

But backers of a third type of test, developed by a Nobel Prize winner using cutting-edge CRISPR technology, say it has the potential to be all three: rapid, accurate and inexpensive.

Although these gene-editing technology tests are still being developed and won’t be ready in the United States this year as the weather cools and demand surges, research groups recently published scientific papers describing them as an appealing alternative as testing shortages persist in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr. Jennifer Doudna, a University of California, Berkeley researcher whose

Read More

First randomized clinical trial to evaluate hydroxychloroquine as pre-exposure prophylaxis in health care workers — ScienceDaily

University of Minnesota Medical School physician researchers studied hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to prevent COVID-19 for those with high-risk for exposure to the virus — health care workers.

The pre-exposure prophylaxis trial results, which were published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, determined that taking 400mg of hydroxychloroquine once or twice weekly did not prevent the development of COVID-19 in health care workers better than the placebo.

“This randomized placebo-controlled trial launched on April 6, with the objective of evaluating whether or not hydroxychloroquine taken once or twice weekly in health care workers at high risk for COVID-19 exposure could prevent COVID-19 infection,” said principal investigator Radha Rajasingham, MD, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the U of M Medical School.

The double-blind trial enrolled 1,483 health care workers and first responders from across the U.S. and Canada. Participants were randomly assigned to receive once-weekly hydroxychloroquine, twice-weekly hydroxychloroquine or placebo.

Read More

How Hunter Biden may rein in Big Tech

An ex-business partner of Hunter Biden recently came forward to allege that former Vice President Joe Biden knew about and was part of his son’s discussions to invest in a company controlled by the Chinese government.

While the jury’s still out on whether this news will meaningfully impact the November election, it’s become clear that it will help the American people in at least one crucial way — reining in the nation’s unaccountable Big Tech giants.

Following the release of the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s business relationship with Russia and China, the social media giants went into full censorship mode. Twitter blocked distribution of the article and Facebook throttled back the number of people who could see it.  Their actions rightfully sent many members of Congress into a frenzy.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman

Read More