Resveratrol helps preserve muscle in space

Resveratrol helps preserve muscle in space

Resveratrol helps preserve muscle in space

“Resveratrol treatment promotes muscle growth in diabetic or unloaded animals, by increasing insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in the muscle fibers. This is relevant for astronauts, who are known to develop reduced insulin sensitivity during spaceflight.”

Marie Mortreux, Daniela Riveros, Mary L. Bouxsein, Seward B. Rutkove. A Moderate Daily Dose of Resveratrol Mitigates Muscle Deconditioning in a Martian Gravity Analog. Frontiers in Physiology, 2019; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00899

#resveratrol #microgravity #mars

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2019.00899/full

Is that a Traffic Light on Mars?

 

Thursday, 25 September 2014
With the now increased traffic in the Red Planet’s region – since India’s satellite reached Mars’s orbit Wednesday – a traffic light might just be what’s been missing. And it didn’t take long for one to be discovered.

NASA’s Mars rover, the Curiosity, which has been exploring the planet for over two years, fitted with 17 cameras, sent a picture of something that looks much like Earth’s traffic lights.

The mobile robot submits plenty of curious pictures from the surface of Mars, which are on public display. This time it was a space enthusiast from the UK, Joe Smith, running an ArtAlienTV YouTube channel, who spotted a striking resemblance.

“I have been following the images from NASA since the start and I flick through them on the NASA website every day. I saw this one and I thought, ‘Hang on, that looks a bit strange.’ I think it looks like a traffic light,” Smith said of a stack of several large rocks from the footage. Continue reading “Is that a Traffic Light on Mars?”

Russia wants permanent Moon base

 

Sunday, 13 April 2014
While the West is busy staging coups around the world, Moscow today set out plans to conquer and colonise space, including a permanent manned moon base.

Deputy premier Dmitry Rogozin said: ‘We are coming to the moon forever.’ Continue reading “Russia wants permanent Moon base”

Promoting or being involved in a one-way trip to the Red Planet is prohibited in Islam

One-way trip to Mars prohibited in Islam
Ahmed Shaaban  / 19 February 2014

 Fatwa committee under the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the UAE says such a journey poses a real risk to life.                             Promoting or being involved in a one-way trip to the Red Planet is prohibited in Islam, a fatwa committee under the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the UAE has ruled.“Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam,” the committee said.  “There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.” Continue reading “Promoting or being involved in a one-way trip to the Red Planet is prohibited in Islam”

Is Mysterious Mars Rock a Fungus? – “obscenely incompetent” NASA

By LORRAINE BAILEY

(CN) – The mysterious rock on Mars photographed by the Opportunity rover resembles an Earth fungus, but an “obscenely incompetent” NASA refused to take a closer look at it, a Ph.D. claims in a writ of mandamus.

Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D., filed the writ of mandamus against NASA and its Chief Administrator Charles Bolden in San Francisco Federal Court.

He claims, inter alia, that “Any intelligent adult, adolescent, child, chimpanzee, monkey, dog, or rodent with even a modicum of curiosity, would approach, investigate and closely examine a bowl-shaped structure which appears just a few feet in front of them when 12 days earlier they hadn’t noticed it. But not NASA and its rover team who have refused to take even a single close up photo.” Continue reading “Is Mysterious Mars Rock a Fungus? – “obscenely incompetent” NASA”

First scoop of Mars soil contains 2 percent water: study

27 Sep   2013
Washington (AFP)

The first scoop of Martian soil analyzed by NASA’s Curiosity rover held about two percent water, offering hope for hydrating humans who someday explore the Red Planet, scientists said Thursday.

“We saw Mars as a very dry desert and while this is not as much water you will find in Earth soil… it’s substantial,” said Laurie Leshin, lead author of the study in the journal Science.

In a cubic foot (0.03 cubic meters) of Martian soil, about the size of a block that is a foot wide, tall and deep, “you can get maybe a couple of pints (0.47 liters) of water out of that,” said Leshin, who is dean of science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

No global space agency has plans to send people to Mars any time soon, but the United States has said it hopes to launch the first humans there by the 2030s.

Signs of water on the dusty and dry neighbor to Earth are nothing new.

Previous space agency rovers and orbiters have found evidence that Mars likely had water — whether in the form of ice, below-ground reservoirs or even the drinkable kind — perhaps billions of years ago.

But the latest evidence comes from a suite of 10 of the most sophisticated instruments ever sent to scour the Martian surface aboard the Curiosity rover, which touched down in 2012.

The findings, described in five different papers in Science, include the analysis of a scoop of dust, dirt and finely grained soil from a portion of the Gale Crater known as Rocknest.

Leshin said the scoop that Curiosity analyzed likely represents what could be found elsewhere on Mars, since the planet is coated with a thin layer of surface soil.

“We now know there should be abundant, easily accessible water on Mars,” said Leshin.

“We probably can find it almost anywhere right on the surface under your feet if you are an astronaut.”

 

http://www.afp.com/en/news/topstories/first-scoop-mars-soil-contains-2-percent-water-study

Life DID begin on Mars – then we all travelled to Earth on a meteorite: Element crucial to the origin of life ‘would only have been available on the red planet’

Thursday, Aug 29 2013

  • Molybdenum mineral is thought to have been  crucial to the origin of life
  • Material may have been available on the  surface of Mars and not on Earth
  • This could suggest that life came to Earth  on a Martian meteorite

By  Ellie Zolfagharifard

PUBLISHED: 17:07 EST, 28  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 17:07 EST, 28 August 2013

 

It might not just be men who are from Mars,  claims a new study which suggests that all life on Earth actually began on the  red planet.

An element believed to be crucial to the  origin of life would only have been available on the surface of Mars, it is  claimed.

Geochemist Professor Steven Benner argues  that the ‘seeds’ of life probably arrived on Earth in meteorites blasted off  Mars by impacts or volcanic eruptions.

Mars

Professor Steven Benner will tell geochemists gathering  today at the annual Goldschmidt conference that an oxidised mineral form of the  element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, could  only have been available on the surface of Mars and not on Earth

As  evidence he points to the oxidised mineral form of the element molybdenum,  thought to be a catalyst that helped organic molecules develop into the first  living structures.

Professor Benner will present his findings to  geochemists gathering today at the annual Goldschmidt conference.

‘In addition recent studies show that these  conditions, suitable for the origin of life, may still exist on Mars,’ said  Professor Benner, of the Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in  Gainesville, Florida.

‘It’s only when molybdenum becomes highly  oxidised that it is able to influence how early life formed.

‘This form of molybdenum couldn’t have been  available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago  the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did.

‘It’s yet another piece of evidence which  makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than  starting on this planet.’

  Molybdenite

Molybdenum can be mined from becomes Molybdenite  (pictured). Scientists believe the oxidised form of molybdenum was available on  Mars, but not on Earth

The research Professor Benner will present at  the conference tackles two of the paradoxes which make it difficult for  scientists to understand how life could have started on Earth.

The first is dubbed by Professor Benner as  the ‘tar paradox’.

All living things are made of organic matter,  but if you add energy such as heat or light to organic molecules and leave them  to themselves, they don’t create life.

Instead, they turn into something more like  tar, oil or asphalt.

Prof Benner added: ‘Certain elements seem  able to control the propensity of organic materials to turn into tar,  particularly boron and molybdenum, so we believe that minerals containing both  were fundamental to life first starting.

 Mars

Analysis of a Martian meteorite recently showed that  there was boron on Mars (pictured). Boron is though tot be another key element  for life

The second paradox is that life would have  struggled to start on the early Earth because it was likely to have been totally  covered by water.

Not only would this have prevented sufficient  concentrations of boron forming – it’s currently only found in very dry places  such as Death Valley – but water is corrosive to RNA, which scientists believe  was the first genetic molecule to appear.

Although there was water on Mars, it covered  much smaller areas than on early Earth.

Prof Benner said: ‘The evidence seems to be  building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came  to Earth on a rock.

‘It’s lucky that we ended up here  nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for  sustaining life.

‘If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had  remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell.’

IS MARS STILL GEOLOGICALLY  ACTIVE?

Scientists have discovered that Martian  meteorites found on Earth could be four billion years younger than previously  thought, meaning that Mars could still be geologically active.

A team of researchers has shown that a  meteorite from the Mars collection at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada started  as a 200 million-year-old lava flow on Mars.

In a paper published in the journal Nature, a  new technique using isotopic and micro-structural analysis is described to  determine the age of rocks.

Scientists from the University of Portsmouth,  the Royal Ontario Museum, the University of Wyoming and the University of  California, claim that the rocks left Mars 20 million years ago.

Previously it was thought the rocks could be  up to 4,000 million years old.

Nearly 100 meteorites found on Earth are  thought to be from Mars.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2404416/Life-DID-begin-Mars–travelled-Earth-meteorite-Element-crucial-origin-life-available-red-planet.html#ixzz2dLNK36i7 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Genetic medicine hints at bloodletting and vitamins for astronauts

 

BLOODLETTING and vitamin pills are the future for astronaut health regimes. So hints a provocative proposal on the benefits of personalised gene-based medicine for space travellers.

Humans in space are at risk of a variety of ailments, from brittle bones caused by low gravity to cancer triggered by cosmic radiation. Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) already take supplements to counteract ill effects, such as vitamin D for bone strength.

But when travelling further into space, such as to an asteroid or Mars, astronauts will be exposed to radiation doses close to NASA’s acceptable lifetime limits, upping their chances of developing illnesses from damaged DNA.

To reduce each individual’s risk, we should examine their genome and then design countermeasures to protect against any potential problems, say Michael Schmidt of MetaboLogics in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Thomas Goodwin of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in a forthcoming paper in Metabolomics.

The aim is not to weed out astronauts with deficiencies, but to ensure those who fly are in the best possible condition before they go to space, says Schmidt.

For example, certain gene mutations are known to reduce the stability of DNA, and this effect is amplified by a lack of folate. A person with the mutation could take folate supplements to protect against an increased risk of genetic damage from radiation exposure.

Reduced folate levels have also been linked to vision problems experienced by roughly a quarter of astronauts returning from the ISS. It is not yet clear whether the eye problems have a genetic component, but that is the kind of thing more focused research could reveal, says Schmidt.

Even a simple treatment like preflight bloodletting could prove useful when combined with genetic analysis, the pair say. People with a genetic mutation to build up iron in their bodies are at greater risk of radiation damage in space. An older male astronaut with the mutation will have built up high concentrations of iron over his lifetime (women are less at risk because they lose iron during menstruation). Bloodletting, along with an iron-restricted diet, could be an effective way to reduce this risk.

Genetic profiles can also help inform the types of drugs astronauts take into space, says Graham Scott of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is looking at personalised medicine for Inspiration Mars, a private venture which plans to send humans on a fly-by of the Red Planet in 2018.

Roughly half of astronauts have experienced back pain during missions, which is treated in space with exercise and painkillers. But people with variants of the liver gene CYP2D6 can metabolise drugs such as the painkiller codeine too quickly, potentially leading to an overdose – and there is no hospital en route to Mars. Instead, if an astronaut is known to have this mutation they can be given a lower dose or an alternative treatment.

Jasper Rine of the University of California, Berkeley, says Schmidt and Goodwin’s proposal makes sense in principle, but we don’t yet know enough about gene variations to predict which astronauts will have gene-based health problems. And in the immediate future, he thinks deep-space pioneers will have bigger things to worry about. “Those with the courage to ride into space on a rocket built by the low bidder on a government contract face a wide range of risks,” says Rine.

This article appeared in print under the headline “Gene testing to help astronauts stay fit”

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829234.800-genetic-medicine-hints-at-bloodletting-for-astronauts.html#.UcuxUIbn_bg

 

One giant leap for reptiles: Have alien-hunters found a lizard on Mars?

 

Samuel Muston

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

While studying pictures of Mars sent back to Earth by the Curiosity rover, a Japanese alien-enthusiast spotted something between the endless plain of rocks spread out on the screen in front of him. Could it really be? Is that a… lizard?

The answer is almost definitely no, the surface of Mars being on the toxic side to most fauna (decide for yourself – it’s the first image, above). But that undoubted fact hasn’t stopped there being a slew of other “sightings”. The gallery showcases some of our favourites.

Topping the list is the furry spiders from Mars (not David Bowie, ’fraid to say). Then “Martian face”, which looks like a chap buried up to his neck at the beach. The “finger” protruding from the ground is also another one that is either weird or, well, just a pebble. Then we come to the “footprint”, which looks so much like a rock with a light shone on it you wonder if all the enthusiasts need glasses. The final one on our list, and the one that sent a collective chill down the spine of The Independent, is the Martian yeti. Spooky.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/one-giant-leap-for-reptiles-have-alienhunters-found-a-lizard-on-mars-8636598.html?action=gallery&ino=1

Applicants wanted for 1 way trip to Mars

 

 

 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Want to go to Mars? Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to build a community of settlers on the planet.

Uncharted waters, mountains or far away lands have always drawn explorers. History books show that desire for adventure, even in the face of extreme danger, did not deter the likes of Columbus or Magellan.

So it is perhaps not surprising that Mars One has already received thousands of prospective applicants. But there is no return – unlike the mission which hopes to fly to Mars and back in 2018.

Future explorers take note. Applicants must be resilient, adaptable, resourceful and must work well within a team. The whole project will be televised, from the reality TV style selection process, to landing and beyond.

On a visit to the BBC’s London office, Mars One’s co-founder Bas Lansdorp explains why this would be a one-way flight.

During the seven-to-eight month journey, astronauts will lose bone and muscle mass. After spending time on Mars’ much weaker gravitational field, it would be almost impossible to readjust back to Earth’s much stronger gravity, says Landsorp.

Successful applicants will be trained physically and psychologically. The team will use existing technology for all aspects of the project. Energy will be generated from solar panels, water will be recycled and extracted from soil and the astronauts will grow their own food – they will also have an emergency ration and regular top-ups as new explorers join every two years.

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/23143/56/

 

Mars has Front-Row Seat for 2014 Comet

Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), discovered in January and now inbound from the Oort Cloud, promises to put on a spectacular show in October 2014 — for the spacecraft on and around Mars.
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We’re just a couple weeks away from getting decent naked-eye views of Comet PanSTARRS, and later this year we might be treated to even better views of Comet ISON.
But to see a really amazing spectacle, comet-lovers are imagining how they might magically transport themselves to the ruddy plains of Mars late next year.

Mars and Comet Siding Spring

How close will Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) comet to Mars in October 2014? Early predictions suggest a collision is possible.
JPL Horizons
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That’s because Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) is going to pass very close to the Red Planet on October 19, 2014. Right now celestial dynamicists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory think the comet should miss the planet by about 32,000 miles (50,000 km), but there’s still about a 1-in-10,000 chance of an outright collision.
You can follow the comet’s interplanetary motion using the excellent orbit simulator provided by JPL’s Horizons website. (Here’s a comical adaptation of that site’s output by Rob Kaufman of Australia’s Bright Astronomy Club.)

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Ace comet sleuth Rob McNaught discovered this object on January 3rd using the Uppsala Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. (Notably, this came just 10 days before a wildfire overran part of the observatory, destroying his home and others’.) Almost immediately, astronomers in Arizona found the object in Catalina Sky Survey images taken a month earlier.
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Those observations, combined with others chipped in by observatories elsewhere, show that the comet has a highly inclined, retrograde orbit that will come no closer than 1.4 astronomical units (140 million miles) to the Sun. That’s nowhere near Earth, but 1.4 a.u. is just about at the orbit of Mars.
A few days ago Russian amateur (and comet discoverer) Leonid Elenin identified the comet’s close approach to the Red Planet next year. Turns out he wasn’t the first to notice. “The JPL small-body system automatically checks for close approaches to all planets and the Moon,” comments dynamicist Paul Chodas, “and we’ve been monitoring this impact probability for several weeks now.”
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As they draw closer together, the two bodies will be racing toward one another at 35 miles (56 km) per second, and early estimates suggest that the nucleus of C/2013 A1 could be 30 or 40 miles across. So a collision would mean a very bad day (er, sol) on Mars. Purdue impact specialist H. Jay Melosh ran the numbers using a powerful crater calculator he developed. Since no one yet knows how big the nucleus actually is, he ran simulations using diameters of 5 and 30 miles (8 and 50 km).
Both simulations yielded craters at least 6 miles (10 km) deep. The smaller assumption creates a basin 100 miles (160 km) across. But the larger one’s outcome is off the charts: an enormous pit more than 500 miles (800 km) across. Size-wise, this would be one of the top 10 impacts ever on the Red Planet!
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“These would be really big holes in the ground,” Melosh says. “But since the average recurrence interval for such large craters is very long, we would have to be very, very lucky to have such a thing happen in our lifetimes.”

Comet Siding Spring as seen from Mars

This plot shows how Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) will appear as seen from Mars. The “best observing” occurs when the comet’s total brightness is at least magnitude 12 and its elongation from the Sun is 30° or larger. Click on the image for a larger view.
Jon Giorgini / NASA / JPL
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Hit or miss, Comet Siding Spring is going to put on one helluva show as seen from Mars. As calculated by small-body aficionado Bill Gray, the comet will approach Mars from the south and sweep into its northern-hemisphere skies over just a few hours. “It probably won’t reach the magnitude -8.8 shown in the ephemeris,” he cautions. “Still, maybe it’ll be bright enough (and suitably placed) for something on Mars to get a nice picture or two.”

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That possibility hasn’t escaped the notice of NASA mission managers. Right now three craft are circling the Red Planet right now (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey, and ESA’s Mars Express), and both Curiosity and Opportunity are roving its surface. Potentially any of them might be commanded to take some comet pictures.
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For example, one of Curiosity’s Mast Cameras has a 100-mm focal length and color capability. If the comet performs as expected, says Michael Ravine of Malin Space Science Systems, which built the cameras, some imaging will definitely be planned. “I’m imagining the bright comet spectacularly positioned over a landscape that includes Mount Sharp,” he muses.
Or what about MRO? It’s got a bunch of “imaging assets.” So I put the question to MRO project scientist Richard Zurek.
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“Just off the top of my head,” Zurek replies, “there are several instruments that could come into play: MARCI with its multi-color imaging (including in the ultraviolet), CTX with its moderately high resolution in a wide field of view, and CRISM and MCS can add information in the near and mid infrared. Most of this would be focused on the coma for CTX and and the rest on the tail, depending on comet’s evolution. And of course we would try something with HiRISE with its very high spatial resolution (possibly many pixels on the nucleus), assuming the slew rates of the spacecraft are reasonable.
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But C/2013 A1 poses danger for these craft as well. The comet should pass by close enough to completely immerse Mars in its gas-and-dust coma. Who knows what might rain down onto the Martian surface?
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One way or another, it should be quite a spectacle!

Mars Could Be Hit By Comet C/2013 A1 With Billion-Megaton Impact / Will show brighter than a full moon

Huffington Post UK  |    By
Posted: 04/03/2013 09:53 GMT  |  Updated: 04/03/2013 10:12 GMT

Comet

Mars could be hit by a comet with the power of a billion megatons in 2014, astronomers have said.

The comet C/2013 A1 was discovered earlier this year by Robert McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

While discovered between Jupiter and Saturn, it was projected that it would make a close pass by the planet next year.

But according to a new recalculation, the comet may hit our nearest planetary neighbour after all.

Researcher Leonid Elenin said there is now a slightly higher chance of the impact occurring – even if the actual odds are still quite low.

In fact the path of the comet is so uncertain it may still end up more than a million kilometres from its surface.

The movements of comets are difficult to predict, because as they approach the sun their structure is affected by increases in temperature which can throw it off course.

But if it were to hit the planet, the result could be major disruption. It has a speed relative to mars of about 56 kilometres/second, and could leave a crater about 500km across and 2km deep.

Either way, it appears that the rovers currently on Mars – including Curiosity – as well as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter could capture a view of the ball of ice and dust as it passes by – or into – the planet.

Mars could be hit by comet next year – ” solar system may be left without Mars / collision is very likely “

Mar 4, 2013 21:37 Moscow Time
Margarita Bogatova, Alexei Lyakhov

комета астероид метеорит космос атака

© Photo: SXC.hu

The solar system may be left without Mars as experts predict that comet C/2013 A1 measured at about 50 km in diameter will hit the planet in mid autumn of 2014. The crash may have absolutely unpredictable consequences, causing cracks, changing the planet’s axis and adding water to its environment. Scientists say that the comet is posing no danger to the Earth.

Experts have calculated that the comet will pass within about 37,000km of the surface of Mars in October of 2014. Although there is no certainty about the comet’s orbit, scientists agree that the collision is very likely.

Adviser to the president of the Russian “Energiya” space corporation, Viktor Sinyavsky: “This is going to be a very significant event. The consequences can be unpredictable. It is difficult to be sure about the outcome of the crash. If it happens, Mars will by all means face an immense impact.”

Some scientists estimate that the impact should yield a blast equivalent to that of 20 billion kilotons of TNT but the Earth would hardly even feel the echo of the crash due to huge distances separating us from Mars.

Mr. Sinyavsky says the fuzz will be all in the media. “There is no need to worry about it. The Sun and the Moon do impact the Earth while the rest of the planets cannot do us any harm.”

Comet C/2013 A1 was discovered in January by Robert McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Russian astronomers say that the comet will pass within about 105,000km of Mars`s surface on October 19, 2014.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_03_04/Mars-could-be-hit-by-comet-next-year/

Melt water on Mars could sustain life

Contact: Andreas Johnsson
andreasj@gvc.gu.se
46-031-786-2943
University of Gothenburg

Near surface water has shaped the landscape of Mars. Areas of the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres have alternately thawed and frozen in recent geologic history and comprise striking similarities to the landscape of Svalbard. This suggests that water has played a more extensive role than previously envisioned, and that environments capable of sustaining life could exist, according to new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Mars is a changing planet, and in recent geological time repeated freeze and thaw cycles has played a greater role than expected in terms of shaping the landscape. In an attempt to be able to make more reliable interpretations of the landscapes on Mars, researchers have developed new models for analysing images from the planet.

The process of analysing satellite images from Mars has been combined with similar studies of an arctic environment in Svalbard. Despite the fact that Svalbard is considerably warmer than Mars, the arctic landscape shows a number of striking similarities to certain parts of Mars.

One important common feature is the presence of permafrost and frozen subsurface water.

“In my thesis work, I have compared aerial images from Svalbard with the same resolution as satellite images from Mars, and combined with field-work we increase the ground resolution even further” explains Dr Andreas Johnsson from the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Earth Sciences, who has worked together with planetary researchers from Germany.

Having studied hundreds of gullies on Mars and compared these with Svalbard, the researchers found evidence that the gullies on Mars were likely formed by melting snow and water erosion. Field work has supplemented the interpretation of aerial images.

“The ability to get a first-hand experience with landforms that have been studied using aerial images is a unique feeling. One important insight we have gained is that, despite the high image resolution for both Svalbard and Mars, the camera can’t capture everything. What appears to be fine-grained sediment on an aerial image of Svalbard can actually turn out to be a very rocky area which has implications for certain types of landforms. It’s important to bear this in mind when studying images of Mars.”

Since Mars has a cyclical climate, the same conditions could recur in the future.

Water is essential to any life on Mars

The existence of liquid water is a vital component if life on Mars is to be possible.

“Research on Earth has shown that organisms can survive in extreme cold environments with limited access to liquid water,” continues Dr Johnsson. “Studying various areas on Mars therefore enables us to investigate whether there could be environments with conditions capable of supporting life.”

 

###

Contact:

Andreas Johnsson, Doctor of Physical Geography, Department of Earth Sciences
University of Gothenburg,
tel.: +46 (0)31 786 2943,
mobile: +46 (0)70 54 82 763
E-mail: andreasj@gvc.gu.se

Apocalypse and salvation strategy

Nov 9, 2012 16:18 Moscow Time

солнце планета космос солнце

Life forms on Earth may fully disappear in 2,8 billion years, according to a survey conducted by British scientists earlier this year. The survey said that temperature increase depends both on solar luminosity and Earth’s orbital parameters.

As for the Sun, it is predicted to become a so-called red giant in approximately several billion years. The Sun’s orbital parameters will change and its radius will expand to a minimum of 200 times its current value. This will lead to the evaporation of oceans on Earth, which will in turn result in the extinction of life forms on our planet. Bacteria may remain, though, says biologist Yelena Vorobyova of the Moscow State University.

“Bacteria are known to be the most resistant organisms capable of living in the most unbearable conditions, Vorobyova says. We know that bacteria were the first forms of life on Earth and that their development added significantly to the evolutionary history of life on the planet, she adds, citing the emergence of plants and higher organisms.”

The ongoing climate change will finally affect Earth’s biosphere, a process that will finally kill higher organisms but that may spare bacteria. Living on Mars may prove to be the only way for mankind to survive, Yelena Vorobyova says.

“There are enough water resources on Mars that may finally accommodate all those people who will be unable to live on Earth due to global warming,” Vorobyova says.

She is partly echoed by Dmitry Vibe of the Moscow-based Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“With the Sun’s radius on the increase, living conditions on Mars may prove suitable for Earthmen, Vive says. However, it is hard to say whether they will feel comfortable in Mars’ atmosphere.”

Living on other planets is also an option, experts said in separate interviews with the Voice of Russia, casting doubt on pessimistic predictions by British scientists on the timeframe of the end of life on Earth.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_09/Apocalypse-and-salvation-strategy/

Sacre bleu! Mystery of French bees making coloured honey is solved… after keepers find M&M waste plant nearby

  • Beekeepers  around the town of Ribeauville in the region of Alsace have seen bees returning  to their hives carrying unidentified colourful substances
  • Biogas  plant has been processing waste from a Mars plant producing M&M’s in bright  red, blue, green, yellow and brown shells

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:10:57 EST, 4  October 2012| UPDATED: 11:07 EST, 4 October 2012

Beekeepers in France were confused after  their bees produced honey in mysterious  shades of blue and green.

But now the mystery has been solved as its  now believed residue from containers of  M&M’s candy processed at a nearby biogas plant n  northeastern France is the  cause.

Since August, beekeepers around the town of  Ribeauville in the region of Alsace have seen bees returning to their hives  carrying unidentified colourful substances that have turned their honey  unnatural shades.

Confusion: Since August, beekeepers around the town of Ribeauville in the region of Alsace have seen bees returning to their hives carrying unidentified colourful substances that have turned their honey unnatural shadesConfusion: Since August, beekeepers around the town of  Ribeauville in the region of Alsace have seen bees returning to their hives  carrying unidentified colourful substances that have turned their honey  unnatural shades

Determined to solve the mystery the  beekeepers embarked on an investigation and discovered that a biogas plant 4 km  (2.5 miles) away  has been processing waste from a Mars plant producing  M&M’s,  bite-sized candies in bright red, blue, green, yellow and brown  shells.

Asked  about the issue, Mars had no immediate comment.

The unsellable honey is a new headache for  around a dozen affected beekeepers already dealing with high bee mortality rates  and dwindling honey supplies following a harsh winter, said Alain Frieh,  president of the apiculturists’ union.

Discovery: Beekeepers discovered that a biogas plant has been processing waste from a Mars plant producing M&M's, bite-sized candies in bright shells
Discovery: Beekeepers discovered that a biogas plant has  been processing waste from a Mars plant producing M&M’s, bite-sized candies  in bright shells

Agrivalor, the company operating the biogas  plant, said it had tried to address the problem after being notified of it by  the beekeepers.

‘We discovered the problem at the same time  they did. We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it,’ Philippe Meinrad,  co-manager of Agrivalor, told Reuters.

He said the company had cleaned its  containers and incoming waste would now be stored in a covered  hall.

Mars operates a chocolate factory near  Strasbourg, around 100 km (62 miles) away from the affected  apiaries.

Bee numbers have been rapidly declining  around the world in the last few years and the French government has banned a  widely used pesticide, Cruiser OSR, that one study has linked to high mortality  rates.

France is one of the largest producers of  honey within the European Union, producing some 18,330 tonnes annually,  according to a recent audit conducted for national farm agency  FranceAgriMer.

Falling: Bee numbers have been rapidly declining around the world in the last few years Falling: Bee numbers have been rapidly declining around  the world in the last few years

Ribeauville, situated on a scenic wine route  southwest of Strasbourg, is best known for its vineyards.

But living aside winemakers are about 2,400  beekeepers in Alsace who tend some 35,000 colonies and produce about 1,000  tonnes of honey per year, according to the region’s chamber of  agriculture.

As for the M&M’s-infused honey, union  head Frieh said it might taste like honey, but there the comparison  stopped.

‘For me, it’s not honey. It’s not  sellable.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2212920/Mystery-French-bees-making-coloured-honey-solved–keepers-M-M-waste-plant-nearby.html#ixzz28OUZnxHm Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Lost in migration: Earth’s magnetic field overdue a flip


By Chris WickhamPosted 2012/10/03 at 11:41 am EDT

LONDON, Oct. 3, 2012 (Reuters) — The discovery by NASA rover Curiosity of evidence that water once flowed on Mars – the most Earth-like planet in the solar system – should intensify interest in what the future could hold for mankind.

The only thing stopping Earth having a lifeless environment like Mars is the magnetic field that shields us from deadly solar radiation and helps some animals migrate, and it may be a lot more fragile and febrile than one might think.

Scientists say earth’s magnetic field is weakening and could all but disappear in as little as 500 years as a precursor to flipping upside down.

It has happened before – the geological record suggests the magnetic field has reversed every 250,000 years, meaning that, with the last event 800,000 years ago, another would seem to be overdue.

“Magnetic north has migrated more than 1,500 kilometres over the past century,” said Conall Mac Niocaill, an earth scientist at Oxford University. “In the past 150 years, the strength of the magnetic field has lessened by 10 percent, which could indicate a reversal is on the cards.”

While the effects are hard to predict, the consequences may be enormous. The loss of the magnetic field on Mars billions of years ago put paid to life on the planet if there ever was any, scientists say.

Mac Niocaill said Mars probably lost its magnetic field 3.5-4.0 billion years ago, based on observations that rocks in the planet’s southern hemisphere have magnetisation.

The northern half of Mars looks younger because it has fewer impact craters, and has no magnetic structure to speak of, so the field must have shut down before the rocks there were formed, which would have been about 3.8 billion years ago.

“With the field dying away, the solar wind was then able to strip the atmosphere away, and you would also have an increase in the cosmic radiation making it to the surface,” he said.

“Both of these things would be bad news for any life that might have formed on the surface – either wiping it out, or forcing it to migrate into the interior of the planet.”

RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW

Earth’s magnetic field has always restored itself but, as it continues to shift and weaken, it will present challenges – satellites could be more exposed to solar wind and the oil industry uses readings from the field to guide drills.

In nature, animals which use the field could be mightily confused – birds, bees, and some fish all use the field for navigation. So do sea turtles whose long lives, which can easily exceed a hundred years, means a single generation could feel the effects.

Birds may be able to cope because studies have shown they have back-up systems that rely on stars and landmarks, including roads and power lines, to find their way around.

The European Space Agency is taking the issue seriously. In November, it plans to launch three satellites to improve our fairly blurry understanding of the magnetosphere.

The project – Swarm – will send two satellites into a 450 kilometre high polar orbit to measure changes in the magnetic field, while a third satellite 530 kilometres high will look at the influence of the sun.

DESCENT INTO CHAOS

Scientists, who have known for some time the magnetic field has a tendency to flip, have made advances in recent years in understanding why and how it happens.

The field is generated by convection currents that churn in the molten iron of the planet’s outer core. Other factors, such as ocean currents and magnetic rocks in the earth’s crust also contribute.

The Swarm mission will pull all these elements together to improve computer models used to predict how the magnetic field will move and how fast it could weaken.

Ciaran Beggan, a geomagnetic specialist at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, said studies have also refined our understanding of how the field reverses.

They have focused on lava flows. When these cool and form crystals the atoms in iron-rich molten rock align under the influence of the magnetic field, providing a geological memory of the earth’s field.

But that memory looks different in various locations around the world, suggesting the reversal could be a chaotic and fairly random process.

“Rather than having strong north and south poles, you get lots of poles around the planet. So, a compass would not do you much good,” said Beggan.

While the whole process takes 3,000-5,000 years, latest research suggests the descent into a chaotic state could take as little as 500 years, although there are significant holes in scientific understanding.

“Although electricity grids and GPS systems would be more vulnerable, we are not really sure how all the complex things that are linked together would react,” Beggan said.

(Editing by Dan Lalor)

http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/bre8920x6-us-earth-magneticfield/#

Private Manned Mars Mission Gets First Sponsors

A Dutch company that aims to land humans on Mars in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent Red Planet colony has received its first funding from sponsors, officials announced this week.

Mars One plans to fund most of its ambitious activities via a global reality-TV media event, which will follow the mission from the selection of astronauts through their first years on the Red Planet. But the sponsorship money is important, helping the company — which had been self-funded for the last 18 months — get to that point, officials said Wednesday (Aug. 29).

“Receipt of initial sponsorship marks the next step to humans setting foot on Mars,” Mars One founder and president Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. “A little more than a year ago we embarked down this path, calling upon industry experts to share in our bold dream. Today, we have moved from a technical plan into the first stage of funding, giving our dream a foundation in reality.”

Initial sponsors include Byte Internet (a Dutch Internet/Webhosting provider); Dutch lawfirm VBC Notarissen; Dutch consulting company MeetIn; New-Energy.tv (an independent Dutch web station that focuses on energy and climate); and Dejan SEO (an Australia-based search engine optimization firm). [Video: ‘Big Brother’ on Mars?]

“Mars One is not just a daring project, but the core of what drives human spirit towards exploration of the unknown. We are privileged to be a supporter of this incredible project,” said Dan Petrovic, general director of Dejan SEO.

Mars One aims to launch a series of robotic missions between 2016 and 2020 that will build a habitable outpost on the Red Planet. The first four astronauts will set foot on Mars in 2023, and more will arrive every two years after that. There are no plans to return these pioneers to Earth.

Company officials say they’ve talked to a variety of private spaceflight firms around the world and have secured at least one supplier for every major piece of the Mars colony mission. The corporate sponsorship money will be used mostly to fund the conceptual design studies provided by the aerospace suppliers, each of which require 500 to 2,500 man-hours to complete, officials said.

Mars One estimates that it will cost about $6 billion to put the first four humans on the Red Planet. The company hopes the “Big Brother”-style reality show will pay most of these costs. The televised action is slated to begin in 2013, when Mars One begins the process of selecting its 40-person astronaut corps

http://www.space.com/17360-private-mars-one-mission-sponsors.html