Science, Space & Robotics News - Page 1
Newly published research has highlighted the differences between coronavirus patients and flu patients.
The research which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine concentrated on how the coronavirus causes extreme damage to lungs, and how that damage compares to that of a flu patient. The research looked at seven lungs from COVID-19 deaths, and compared the lung tissue from the COVID-19 patients to that of seven patients that died of pneumonia caused by the flu. Both COVID-19 patients' lungs and flu patients' lungs had severe damage, but researchers noticed that the coronavirus attacked the lining of the blood vessels in its victim - marking a key difference between the two groups.
On top of that, researchers were able to find nine times as many microscopic blood clots inside the COVID-19 patient's lungs, than in the flu patients' lungs - marking another key difference. According to Steven J. Mentzer, who autopsied the lungs for this study, "Patients who do fairly well have a purely respiratory disease, and the patients who have trouble have a vascular component as well." If you are interested in reading more on this study, check out this link here.
The new study that has been published in Medical Education has detailed how personal protection equipment (PPE) can lead to exposure to COVID-19.
The researchers simulated what it would be like to care for someone that is confirmed to have a COVID-19 infection. Healthcare professionals had to put on a cap, gloves, gown, eye protection, N95 mask, and a face shield before entering the room with the simulated patient. Researchers coated the patient in a nontoxic fluorescent solution to simulate the virus, and the same solution was added to a simulated albuterol nebulizer treatment that the patient was using.
Healthcare staff completed the care of the patient and was brought back to a room where they were hit with a black light, revealing numerous patches of the fluorescent solution all over their PPE equipment. There was also a fluorescent solution on the skin of some of the healthcare workers, which proved that some mistakes were made by the staff while they were caring for the patient. On average, the solution was found on the faces and forearms of the healthcare staff.
While this was probably not a shock to anyone, smoking has been found out to increase the chances of severe coronavirus symptoms developing in patients.
According to the Imperial College in London, it was discovered that smokers are 14% more likely to end up in the hospital with severe coronavirus symptoms in comparison to non-smokers. The study also found that smokers were 29% more likely to "to report more than 5 symptoms associated with COVID-19 and 50% more likely to report more than 10, including loss of smell, skipping meals, tiredness, diarrhoea, confusion or muscle pain."
On top of those findings, another study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and that study found that 12.3% of coronavirus victims who smoke ended up in the ICU, in comparison to the 4.7% of non-smoking coronavirus patients. So why is this the case? Cigarette smoke increases the number of ACE2 receptors in the respiratory tract, and these receptors are what SARS-CoV-2 latches onto to infection its new host.
It wasn't too long ago that we heard that President Trump was taking hydroxychloroquine after it was discovered two people in the White House tested positive for coronavirus.
According to a recent interview with Sinclair Broadcast's program Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson, President Trump has said that he has "finished" his two-week program of the drug, despite scientists and the United States' own Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about the drug's safety. Trump says throughout the interview that he thought it was a good idea to "take a program", and see the effects of the drug from himself.
In fact, it was only last week that a study was released with a sample size of nearly 100,000 people that suggested that hydroxychloroquine actually increased the death rate in patients who already had tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, what many media outlets forget to report is that Trump is taking the drug as a preventative and not a treatment under approval from the White House physician. What this means is that while studies are showing that the drug is making coronavirus patients' cases worse, it might have a potent effect on preventing the virus in the first place, hence Trump's decision to take it.
A big part of science is to make humans' quality of life better, and to do that, scientists create experiments and prototypes that can assist the instruments we use to interpret the world, or even replace them entirely.
Researchers from the United States and Hong Kong have developed one of the most important instruments the human body has - eyes. Yes, that's right, scientists have built a synthetic eye that was the potential of allowing blind people to see once again. The prototype is referred to as a "biomimetic eye", and is jam-packed with a whole bunch of sensors and an artificial retina.
One of the most difficult challenges the researchers face is interfacing the artificial eye with the brain, and making it so correct communication is occurring. At the moment, the biomimetic eye can render images, but the quality isn't fantastic, or even really close to what we see with our eyes. The biomimetic eye can render letters of the alphabet, and while that might sound extremely disappointing, the researchers behind the project say that as technology evolves, the biomimetic eye has the potential of being better than a real human eye.
If you thought every object out in the deep dark vastness of space was already discovered, you thought wrong.
Almost every day, astronomers spot something they haven't seen before, and only a few days ago, researchers from the University of Hawaii used the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System or ATLAS and found a Trojan asteroid called 2019 LD2. This asteroid was found to have a strange orbit, and also very active. On top of that it has an icy tail, and according to astronomers appears to be a unique "crossover" between an asteroid and a comet.
Trojans are usually found to be billions of years old, and most of the time, the ice has been melted due to exposure from the sun and they are no longer active. Astronomers also detailed that the newly found Jupiter Trojan has only been active for less than a year, suggesting that Jupiter may have captured the asteroid from a distant colder orbit. Another theory is that the asteroid was hit by another space rock that caused its once safe ice to be exposed. If you want to read more, check out the press release from the University of Hawaii here.
Have you ever wanted to taste food without eating it? The future is nearly ready for you, with researchers from Meiji University in Japan using LED lighting to replicate taste on the human tongue.
The study was done by Homei Miyashita, who names the "taste gadget" the "Norimaki Synthesizer". How does it work? It uses uses ion electrophoresis in five electrolyte gels to (at least in its early stages) recreate the five basic tastes. The study kicked off being inspired by how our eyes can be tricked into seeing something that doesn't necessarily exist.
For example, the monitor or screen you're sitting in front of consists of red, green, and blue (RGB) elements that combine to create full-cover images and video. Miyashita thought that he could use a similar method to trick the human tongue into "tasting" something that isn't there -- thus, the taste display was born.
SpaceX will be launching NASA astronauts into space from the United States, which might not sound like much -- but it's the first time it has happened in nearly 10 years.
President Trump will be attending the historic moment in Florida, where he will be in-person (even during the COVID-19 pandemic) in Florida for the Demo-2 mission launch on May 27 from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. This is the first time that the US has sent astronauts into space from US soil since 2011, when the Space Shuttle Program was wrapped up.
The White House said in a statement to CBS News: "President Trump is continuing to deliver on his promise to reassert American dominance in space. Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security".
NASA is looking for US citizens to sign up for an 8-month study into social isolation, something it is doing to prepare for future missions to both the moon, and Mars.
The US space agency will be studying the effects of social isolation and confinement on US citizens, where successful applicants would work towards completing simulated science missions. NASA will be pushing the boundaries of your mind during these times, where participants will be thrusted into the same environmental aspects that future astronauts will experience on Mars.
NASA is forming a small international crew that will be living together in isolation for 8 months "conducting scientific research", where successful applicants would be using VR and performing robotic operations, as well as a bunch of other tasks. The research will concentrate on the "effects of isolation and confinement as participants work to successfully complete their simulated space mission. Results from ground-based missions like this help NASA prepare for the real-life challenges of space exploration and provide important scientific data to solve some of these problems and to develop countermeasures".
The US Navy has tested a new laser weapon system, with the video below showing the docked USS Portland testing its new laser weapon system that is capable of blowing an aircraft up out of the sky mid-flight.
In the video above, the US Navy has its USS Portland testing "the first system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid state laser". The laser disables a drone mid-flight, where you can see in the second half of the clip the drone burning from being hit by the laser.
We don't know how strong the laser itself is, but according to a report published in 2018 from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, it's expected to be at least a 150-kilowatt laser. That's some serious laser weaponary right there, but the US Navy hasn't provided any specifics.