Sunday 2 February 2014


An artist's interpretation of an asteroid belt in the closest known planetary system, Epsilon Eridani, 
via Mashable.

Do you remember that meteor explosion above Chelyabinsk, Russia, that happen almost a year ago? That meteor, even though it was a small one, injured more than 1,400 people and it was an unequivocal reminder that the skies are filled with thousands of potential catastrophes-in-waiting. Contrary to the expected, Eric Larsson in Mashable tells us, "we don't employ hundreds of people to monitor for space rocks around the clock. Often our fate lies in the hands of amateur observers and research teams, some of which staff teams of eight or fewer." But there are some asteroid hunters out there, like Stephen Larson, a senior staff scientist at the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona, who has been tracking asteroids since 2004, basically trying to save, you know, the planet. Read this intersting story in Mashable. E.T.P. 20'

*This piece is part of Mashable Spotlight, which presents in-depth looks at the people, concepts and issues shaping our digital world. 

Photo via The Guardian.

"Researchers have created genetically modified monkeys with a revolutionary new procedure that enables scientists to cut and paste DNA in living organisms. . . The feat was applauded by some researchers who said it would help them to recreate devastating human diseases in monkeys, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The ability to alter DNA with such precision is already being investigated as a way to make people resistant to HIV. But the breakthrough is controversial, with groups opposed to animal testing warning that it could drive a rise in the use of monkeys in research. One critic said that genetic engineering gave researchers "almost limitless power to create sick animals". Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P. 8'

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