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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Science Scene

Obama plans Florida forum for future of NASA

President Barack Obama will explain the future of American astronauts next month in Florida.

The conference pleases Florida lawmakers who have criticized the Obama’s administration desire to eliminate NASA’s program to send Americans to the moon. Such lawmakers include Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, whose district includes the Kennedy Space Center. She said in a New York Times article on Mar. 8 that she requested a meeting when she and other congressional leaders met last month with the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama’s science adviser John P. Holdren.

The conference will occur Apr. 15 although a location and attendance has not yet been released.

The NASA has spent five years and $9 billion on the Constellation moon project. The proposed Obama administration budget would cancel the project.

(Source: nytimes.com)

New evidence of more water on moon

Scientists have found more convincing evidence that the moon holds water ice deep into craters near the south pole.

Evidence was found with the crash of a NASA spacecraft into one of the craters last October, which discovered up to 26 gallons of water.

Last week, scientists reported there is also ice located in the north pole craters of the moon. They estimated 600 million metric tons of water. Lunar scientist Paul Spudis said it is most likely pure water.

This could been that these craters could easily be tapped for future lunar explorers, not only for drinking water, but also to break apart into oxygen for breathing and hydrogen fuel. Scientists could not rule out the possibility that the water was locked up within rocks and could be difficult to remove.

(Source: nytimes.com)

DNA speed reading may help cancer

Johns Hopkins University researchers have recently developed a way to monitor progress of patients’ cancer treatments. The new method will rapidly decode large amounts of DNA.

This new method goes against the traditional that everyone has a single version of DNA in their mitochondria-the numerous energy-providing machines inside every cell.

Besides the cell mutations found in cancer patients, even those not with cancer have several differentiations in their mitochondrial DNA although at a smaller scale.

The finding was reported in the current issue of Nature by Dr. Bert Vogelstein, Kenneth Kinzler and colleagues to monitor the presence of cancer cells through mutated DNA in blood.

(Source: nytimes.com)

– Compiled by ANGELA RUGGIERO

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