The Daily Dose: So about that 2024 moonwalk… It don’t look good

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Vice President Mike Pence had a great time declaring the United States at the forefront of space exploration. Accompanied by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, the VP declared that the government was fully behind the effort to put man back on the moon in five years. Enter the MIT Technology Review and their five reasons why it just ain’t happenin’. Click the link and find out the very depressing reasons. http://bit.ly/2NAkWOC

While we’re on the topic of the moon, the Space Force is placing increasing importance on the stretch between the Earth and moon, the so called cislunar space. According to Space.com, “the protection of trade routes and lines of communication are traditional military responsibilities, and this will continue to be true as cislunar space becomes “high ground” — a position of advantage or superiority.” http://bit.ly/2NEwss7

It’s well known that zinc deficiency increases susceptibility to bacterial infection. Researchers investigated the role of zinc in Streptococcus pneumoniae. They report that the presence of zinc does, in fact, fight infection. “S. pneumoniae was shown to be highly sensitive to zinc intoxication, with this process impaired in zinc restricted mice and isolated phagocytic cells. Collectively, these data show how dietary zinc deficiency increases sensitivity to S. pneumoniae infection while revealing a role for zinc as a component of host antimicrobial defences.” http://bit.ly/2NEE6CV

Leptospirosis is a serious problem around the world, particularly in developing countries, yet there a significant gaps in current knowledge about the disease’s epidemiology. A paper in PLoS reviewed the literature, concluding “As such, this necessitates a call for standardized protocols for the testing and reporting of such studies, especially pertaining to the diagnostic methods used. A deeper understanding of the ecology and epidemiology of Leptospira spp. in rats in urban environments is warranted.” http://bit.ly/2NFYHHa

A recent find of a nearly fully intact skull of the early hominin Australopithecus anamensis has many in the paleoanthropolgical field shook. The implications of the find may force a revision to the way Lucy, perhaps the most famous early hominin, is viewed. Researchers hail the skull as one of the most significant hominin discoveries in decades. “It’s a spectacular find,” says Carol Ward, an evolutionary anatomist at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia. “A number of teams—mine included—have been looking for an australopith skull like this. … This is the specimen we’ve been waiting for.” Let the sniping and backbiting begin. http://bit.ly/2NLAJdg

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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