September 11, 2013
Application Period Complete For One-way Mars Trip – The Daily Orbit
All applications are in for a one-way trip to Mars.
Masking the scent of a human.
And catching up with Curiosity on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
If you didn’t get your MarsOne application in yet, you’ve missed the boat, or the spaceship rather. The submitting period for the Astronaut Selection Program for the future Mars colony has ended with over 200,000 applications received. The U.S. expressed the most interest with 24% of the applications followed by India with 10%. Mars One is looking to establish a permanent human settlement on the Red Planet by 2023. Round one of a three-round elimination process will begin soon to find the most “committed, creative, resilient, and motivated of all the applicants” to be one step closer to a one-way ticket to Mars. See, when I hear one-way, that ends it for me.
And if you have the blood type that mosquitoes consider a delicacy, then you’ll be excited about this! Previously published research revealed that mosquitoes prefer certain blood types and humans secrete a chemical to let mosquitoes know that you are “their type.” A new study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society found that lactic acid, a common component of human sweat, was a top lure for mosquitoes. But scientists also discovered that the substance, 1-methypiperzine that naturally occurs in human skin, can actually block a mosquito’s sense of smell. They say the compound could be synthesized for use in lotions, cosmetics, and clothing. One researcher put it in plain English, “if a mosquito can’t sense that dinner is ready, there will be no buzzing, no landing, and no bite!”
Not only can science erase a mosquito’s sense of smell, but it can also erase a person’s mind. I know Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones were able to do it 10 years ago but this is for real. Neuroscientists from the Scripps Research Institute in Florida were able to wipe out deeply engrained drug-related memories in mice without harming other memories. They explained that the creation of our memories actually causes structural changes in nerve cells. Scientists were able to inhibit this change during the maintenance phase of methamphetamine-related memory formation, without affecting any other memories. They say these findings have strong implications for sufferers of PTSD and drug addicts, for whom memories can be lethal.
But here’s a prehistoric animal that has not been forgotten—crocodiles. They flourished during the age of the dinosaurs and they’re still kicking it. New research says that ancient crocodiles were far more diverse than their modern freshwater-living, mammal and fish-eating descendants. Some were built for running on land, while others lived the ocean life, feeding like whales. This diversity is how crocs flourished. Researchers at the University of Bristol found that the crocodile’s lower jawbone evolved during major events in time and different periods to adapt for environment and available food allowing them to recover from the end-Triassic extinction and continue on to this day. I guess you can sum it up by saying crocs are highly adaptable creatures.
And let’s close today’s show with an update on America’s #1 little curious rover. Curiosity has reached a new waypoint on the Martian surface where it will now perform a close up study. Panorama Point is a patch of exposed bedrock. From images taken by the MastCam, scientists will pick a precise spot for Curiosity to use its instruments to further examine. They have 5 points selected for study during the rover’s 5.3 mile trek from Glenelg to Mount Sharp—looking at both older and younger layers of rock. Researchers hope to use this information to stitch together a timeline of how that area developed.
And that’s it’s for your Daily Orbit! See you tomorrow!