October 8, 2012
Barcode Turns 60 – The Daily Orbit
Will mouse-fat injections help you shape up?
Who’s turning the big 6-0?
And more to celebrate this Space week!
All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson. SpaceX has successfully launched its “Dragon” capsule, which is now headed toward the International Space Station. Part of the SpaceX program, “Dragon” will provide supplies to astronauts on the ISS. This marks the first operational resupply mission for both SpaceX and NASA. The spacecraft will rendezvous with the space station on Wednesday. The crew’s commander will use a robotic arm to draw “Dragon” to the ISS. Astronauts will then begin unloading the 1,000 pounds of materials from the capsule, and then reload “Dragon” with about 2,000 pounds of used equipment and experiments. “Dragon” will return to Earth in about three weeks. This is only the second time in history that a commercial vehicle has docked with the space station. In regards to the launch, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said “this was a critical event in spaceflight…”.
And where do I sign up for this next study? Researchers say they have developed a way for dieters to drop excess weight by injecting capsules with fat-like cells from MICE that have been genetically modified to burn off excess energy as body temperature. Researchers say that by putting fat-like cells from these mice in a capsule and injecting them into another creature’s body, the same thermogenic factors come into play, burning fat around the capsule’s area. The capsules are intended to target the fat linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, but could also be used for cosmetic purposes. Scientists plan on testing the procedure on obese dogs later in the year, and, if successful, could be available to humans in the next six years.
Well, this is a good day for lab mice. Not only are they boasting a slimmer more sculpted appearance, but now they’re producing offspring from their skin cells. Japanese scientists used skin cells from mice to create eggs, which they fertilized and implanted into a surrogate mouse mother. Not only did the eggs produce viable offspring, but the offspring eventually had their own offspring naturally. Couples that suffer from infertility or women who wish to have children post-menopause may eventually benefit from this research. Wow, I am just always amazed by what science can do!
And we here at the Daily Orbit wish a very happy birthday to …..the barcode! Those distinctive black-and-white stripes that let you easily check out at the supermarket or my fave, the shoe store, just turned a whopping 60 years old. First patented on October 7, 1952, barcodes didn’t appear in stores until 1974 since the laser technology to support them did not yet exist. And what was the first item to be scanned using the barcode technology? Well, that would be a pack of gum in an Ohio supermarket. Happy Birthday barcode, we love ya!
Did all you Orbiters across the pond in Europe get rained on a lot this summer? Well, new research suggests that may be due to warming of the Atlantic Ocean. The study looked at a phenomenon known as Multidecadal Oscillation, a pattern of warming and cooling of the ocean over a period of decades. During a warming period, such as now, scientists noticed a milder spring, summer, and fall in Europe with more rain in the northern and central Europe, and less than normal rainfall in southern Europe. They also say this current cycle will last as long as Atlantic warming continues.
That’s it for the Daily Orbit today! All, you geeks in Europe stay dry! (maybe with an umbrella!) “Singing in the rain, just singing in the rain….”