Sometimes people ask: “Why bother studying space? Why not spend that money on starving children?”. In 1970 a Zambian nun wrote to NASA just those questions. Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger‘s reply was much better than anything I could ever hope to write.
I just watched a cool Vsauce video on YouTube about how the Earth moves through space. It went into some of the cool things like the difference between sidereal and solar days; the calendar and how 10 days just went missing in 1582, and the path that the Earth (and you) take through space as the Earth rotates on its axis, revolves around the sun, the sun moves through the Milky Way, and us being pulled towards the Great Attractor.
Another reason I liked it is that I was just teaching this a couple of weeks ago. Well, just the Earth’s rotation, revolution, calendar, and seasons. I also touched on the sidereal day.
Anyway, here’s the cool video:
Stem cells are the special cells that can turn into any kind of cell in the body. Embryos have them, and use them during development. This has lead to controversy as collecting stem cells needed destroying an embryo. Now we can take cells from an adult, and turn them into pluripotent stem cells by reprogramming them.
This can be done by turning on genes that are active in stem cells, and turning off genes that are active in whatever type of cell they are. Scientists also introduce proteins that are important during embryonic development.
Hopefully this will allow stem cell research in the United States to catch up with the rest of the world.