. Scientific Frontline: Video
Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Smallest mobile lifeform created

The origin of all biological movements, including walking, swimming, or flying, can be traced back to cellular movements; however, little is known about how cell motility arose in evolution.

A research team led by graduate student Hana Kiyama, from the Graduate School of Science at Osaka City University, and Professor Makoto Miyata, from the Graduate School of Science at Osaka Metropolitan University, introduced seven proteins, believed to be directly involved in allowing Spiroplasma bacteria to swim into a synthetic bacterium named syn3—through genetic engineering. syn3 was designed and chemically synthesized to have the smallest genomic DNA possible including the minimum essential genetic information required for growth from the smallest genomes of naturally occurring Mycoplasma bacteria.

“Studying the world’s smallest bacterium with the smallest functional motor apparatus could be used to develop movement for cell-mimicking microrobots or protein-based motors,” said Professor Miyata.

This genetically re-engineered syn3 changed from its normal spherical shape into a spiraling helix, which was able to swim by reversing the helix’s direction just like Spiroplasma. Further investigation revealed that only two of these newly added proteins were required to make syn3 capable of minimal swimming.

“Our swimming syn3 can be said to be the ‘smallest mobile lifeform’ with the ability to move on its own,” said Professor Miyata. “The results of this research are expected to advance how we understand the evolution and origins of cell motility.”


In the journal Science Advances

Source/Credit:  Osaka Metropolitan University


Monday, October 17, 2022

A Machine Learning-Based Solution Could Help Firefighters Circumvent Deadly Backdrafts

NIST researchers conducted hundreds of fire experiments to find out what conditions make a room ripe for backdraft and fed the data to a machine learning algorithm. The result was a backdraft-predicting computer model. The NIST's team plans to incorporate the model into handheld devices that firefighters could use to take simple measurements through small openings in a room.

A lack of oxygen can reduce even the most furious flame to smoldering ash. But when fresh air rushes in, say after a firefighter opens a window or door to a room, the blaze may be suddenly and violently resurrected. This explosive phenomenon, called backdraft, can be lethal and has been challenging for firefighters to anticipate.

Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have hatched a plan for informing firefighters of what dangers lie behind closed doors. The team obtained data from hundreds of backdrafts in the lab to use as a basis for a model that can predict backdrafts. The results of a new study, described at the 2022 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference, suggest that the model offers a viable solution to make predictions based on particular measurements. In the future, the team seeks to implement the technology into small-scale devices that firefighters could deploy in the field to avoid or adapt to dangerous conditions.

Currently, firefighters are looking for visual indicators of a potential backdraft, including soot-stained windows, smoke puffing through small openings and the absence of flames. If the cues are present, they may vent the room by creating holes in its ceiling to reduce their risk. If not, they may charge right in. Ultimately, first responders must rely on their eyes in a hazy environment to guess the correct action. And guessing wrong could come at a steep cost.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Exploring Europa Possible with Silicon-Germanium Transistor Technology

Europa Image
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Europa is more than just one of Jupiter’s many moons – it’s also one of most promising places in the solar system to look for extraterrestrial life. Under 10 kilometers of ice is a liquid water ocean that could sustain life. But with surface temperatures at -180 Celsius and with extreme levels of radiation, it’s also one of the most inhospitable places in the solar system. Exploring Europa could be possible in the coming years thanks to new applications for silicon-germanium transistor technology research at Georgia Tech.

Regents’ Professor John D. Cressler in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and his students have been working with silicon-germanium heterojunction bipolar transistors (SiGe HBTs) for decades and have found them to have unique advantages in extreme environments like Europa.

“Due to the way that they're made, these devices actually survive those extreme conditions without any changes made to the underlying technology itself,” said Cressler, who is the project investigator. “You can build it for what you want it to do on Earth, and you then can use it in space.”

The researchers are in year one of a three-year grant in the NASA Concepts for Ocean Worlds Life Detection Technology (COLDTech) program to design the electronics infrastructure for upcoming Europa surface missions. NASA plans to launch the Europa Clipper in 2024, an orbiting spacecraft that will map the oceans of Europa, and then eventually send a landing vehicle, Europa Lander, to drill through the ice and explore its ocean. But it all starts with electronics that can function in Europa’s extreme environment.

Cressler and his students, together with researchers from NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and the University of Tennessee (UT), demonstrated the capabilities of SiGe HBTs for this hostile environment in a paper presented at the IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference in July.

Friday, September 16, 2022

20 years of AIRS Global Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) measurements

Data visualization of global carbon dioxide (CO₂) for the period September 2002-May 2022, showcasing data products from NASA's Aqua mission 
Visualizations by Helen-Nicole Kostis

This data visualization shows the global distribution and variation of the concentration of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the NASA Aqua spacecraft over a 20-year timespan. One obvious feature that we see in the data is a continual increase in carbon dioxide with time, as seen in the shift in the color of the map from light yellow towards red as time progresses. Another feature is the seasonal variation of carbon dioxide in the northern hemisphere, which is governed by the growth cycle of plants. This can be seen as a pulsing in the colors, with a shift towards lighter colors starting in April/May each year and a shift towards red as the end of each growing season passes into winter. The seasonal cycle is more pronounced in the northern hemisphere than the southern hemisphere, since the majority of the land mass is in the north.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

13 Years and More at the Moon

This year, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) celebrates its 13th anniversary orbiting the Moon. This mission has given scientists the largest volume of data ever collected by a planetary science mission at NASA. Considering that success and the continuing functionality of the spacecraft and its instruments, NASA has awarded the mission an extended mission phase to continue operations. This is LRO's 5th extended science mission (ESM5), and during this time there will be 4 major areas of focus: 1) The study of volatiles; 2) Studying the Moon's interior, volcanic features, and the tectonics of the surface; 3) Studying the Moon's regolith and impact craters; and 4) Support for future missions. This video goes into detail about these focus areas and shows how LRO continues to be one of NASA's most valuable tools for advancing lunar science.


Video: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Final Editing and Conversion: Scientific Frontline
Full Credits embedded in video

Friday, June 24, 2022

The laboratory comet

The aim of several scientists is to trace the changes of a comet during its journey through the solar system by reproducing the thermal and light characteristics of the cosmos in the laboratory. This will enable them to understand where the elements that formed the Earth came from and to track down the first traces of life.

Source/Credit: French National Center for Scientific Research


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Robots play with play dough

The inner child in many of us feels an overwhelming sense of joy when stumbling across a pile of the fluorescent, rubbery mixture of water, salt, and flour that put goo on the map: play dough. (Even if this happens rarely in adulthood.)

While manipulating play dough is fun and easy for 2-year-olds, the shapeless sludge is hard for robots to handle. Machines have become increasingly reliable with rigid objects, but manipulating soft, deformable objects comes with a laundry list of technical challenges, and most importantly, as with most flexible structures, if you move one part, you’re likely affecting everything else.

Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Stanford University recently let robots take their hand at playing with the modeling compound, but not for nostalgia’s sake. Their new system learns directly from visual inputs to let a robot with a two-fingered gripper see, simulate, and shape doughy objects. “RoboCraft” could reliably plan a robot’s behavior to pinch and release play dough to make various letters, including ones it had never seen. With just 10 minutes of data, the two-finger gripper rivaled human counterparts that teleoperated the machine — performing on-par, and at times even better, on the tested tasks.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Black Hole Orrery

This visualization shows 22 X-ray binaries in our Milky Way galaxy and its nearest neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud, that host confirmed stellar-mass black holes. The systems are shown at the same physical scale, and their orbital motion is sped up by nearly 22,000 times. The view of each binary replicates how we see it from Earth. The star colors range from blue-white to reddish, representing temperatures from 5 times hotter to 45% cooler than our Sun.

While the black holes appear on a scale reflecting their masses, all are depicted using spheres larger than actual size. Cygnus X-1, with the largest companion star shown, is the first black hole ever confirmed and weighs about 21 times more than the Sun. But its surface – called its event horizon – spans only about 77 miles (124 kilometers). The enlarged spheres also cover up visible distortions produced by the black holes’ gravitational effects.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Some Volcanoes Might Warm Climate, Destroy Ozone Layer

A new NASA climate simulation suggests that extremely large volcanic eruptions called “flood basalt eruptions” might significantly warm Earth’s climate and devastate the ozone layer that shields life from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

The result contradicts previous studies indicating these volcanoes cool the climate. It also suggests that while extensive flood-basalt eruptions on Mars and Venus may have helped warm their climates, they could have doomed the long-term habitability of these worlds by contributing to water loss.

Video: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Final Editing and Conversion: Scientific Frontline
Additional credits are embedded 


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Finding Planets That Have No Star


Most planets orbit a star, but some planets can escape and “go rogue.” But how do astronomers study planets that wander the cold dark of interstellar space?

Join our host, Summer Ash of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, as she talks about how radio astronomers' study rogue planets.


Sunday, March 27, 2022

What Mercury’s Unusual Orbit Reveals About the Sun

Mercury is special. As the closest planet to the Sun, it occupies a region where the Sun’s influence is changing dramatically. The Sun’s magnetic field, which dominates space close to the Sun, is rapidly waning. And Mercury’s orbit – more elliptical or “oval-shaped” than any other planet – allows it to experience a wider range of solar magnetic field conditions than any other planet. As a result, Mercury provides a unique opportunity to study how the Sun’s influence on a planet varies with distance.

In a new study published in Nature Communications, Goddard scientists Norberto Romanelli and Gina DiBraccio used data from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft to study the Sun’s changing interaction with Mercury. As Mercury moves through the solar wind, the steady stream of particles escaping the Sun, some of them strike Mercury’s magnetosphere and bounce back towards the Sun. These rebounding solar wind particles generate low-frequency waves that reverberate through space, traveling “upstream” in the solar wind towards the Sun.

Friday, January 28, 2022

A 3D View of an Atmospheric River

Features in Earth’s atmosphere, spawned by the heat of the Sun and the rotation of the Earth, transport water and energy around the globe. Clouds and precipitation shown here are from NASA’s MERRA-2 reanalysis, a retrospective blend of a weather model and conventional and satellite observations.

Video: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
Final Editing and Conversion: Scientific Frontline


Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Roman Space Telescope's Simulated Ultra-Deep Field Image

This video demonstrates how Roman could expand on Hubble’s iconic Ultra Deep Field image. While a similar Roman observation would be just as sharp as Hubble’s and see equally far back in time, it could reveal an area 300 times larger, offering a much broader view of cosmic ecosystems.

Also on our You Tube channel 
Video: NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center
Music: "Subterranean Secret" and "Expectant Aspect" from Universal Production Music.
Final Editing and Conversion Scientific Frontline


Friday, January 7, 2022

Dog brains can distinguish between languages

Credit: Photo: Eniko Kubinyi
"Some years ago I moved from Mexico to Hungary to join the Neuroethology of Communication Lab at the Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University for my postdoctoral research. My dog, Kun-kun, came with me. Before, I had only talked to him in Spanish. So I was wondering whether Kun-kun noticed that people in Budapest spoke a different language, Hungarian.” — says Laura V. Cuaya, first author of the study. “We know that people, even preverbal human infants, notice the difference. But maybe dogs do not bother. After all, we never draw our dogs' attention to how a specific language sounds. We designed a brain imaging study to find this out.

Kun-kun and 17 other dogs were trained to lay motionless in a brain scanner, where we played them speech excerpts of The Little Prince in Spanish and Hungarian. All dogs had heard only one of the two languages from their owners, so this way we could compare a highly familiar language to a completely unfamiliar one. We also played dogs scrambled versions of these excerpts, which sound completely unnatural, to test whether they detect the difference between speech and non-speech at all.”

When comparing brain responses to speech and non-speech, researchers found distinct activity patterns in dogs’ primary auditory cortex. This distinction was there independently from whether the stimuli originated from the familiar or the unfamiliar language. There was, however, no evidence that dog brains would have a neural preference for speech over non-speech.

"Dog brains, like human brains, can distinguish between speech and non-speech.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

What Is the Ozone Hole?


Let’s back up to the basics and understand what caused the Ozone Hole, its effects on the planet, and what scientists predict will happen in future decades.

Final Editing and Conversion: Scientific Frontline
Music Credit: “Glacial Shifts” “Crystallize” “Morning Dew” from Universal Production Music
Video Credits:
Kathleen Gaeta (AIMM): Lead Producer
Paul Newman (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Susan Strahan (USRA): Scientist
Adriana Manrique Gutierrez (KBRwyle): Animator
Walt Feimer (KBRwyle): Animator
Alexander Bodnar (AIMM): Animator
Kathryn Mersmann (KBRwyle): Technical Support

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Destroying Black Holes

Watch as eight stars skirt a black hole 1 million times the mass of the Sun in these supercomputer simulations. As they approach, all are stretched and deformed by the black hole’s gravity. Some are completely pulled apart into a long stream of gas, a cataclysmic phenomenon called a tidal disruption event. Others are only partially disrupted, retaining some of their mass and returning to their normal shapes after their horrific encounters.

These simulations are the first to combine the physical effects of Einstein’s general theory of relativity with realistic stellar density models. The virtual stars range from about one-tenth to 10 times the Sun’s mass.

The division between stars that fully disrupt and those that endure isn’t simply related to mass. Instead, survival depends more on the star’s density.

Scientists investigated how other characteristics, such as different black hole masses and stellar close approaches, affect tidal disruption events. The results will help astronomers estimate how often full tidal disruptions occur in the universe and will aid them in building more accurate pictures of these calamitous cosmic occurrences.

Source/Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Taeho Ryu (MPA) 
Video Music: "Lava Flow Instrumental" from Universal Production Music
Final Editing and Conversion: Scientific Frontline
Full Credits included in video

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Terra Orbital Drift

Terra has consistently orbited Earth from pole to pole for over twenty years, collecting important data about Earth’s systems. Crossing the equator at 10:30 am mean local time allowed Terra’s five instruments to collect consistent, simultaneous data, important to Earth’s systems research and applications. In 2020, Terra completed its final inclination maneuver, using some of its limited fuel supply, to maintain that crossing time.

Since that final inclination maneuver, Terra has continuously drifted to an earlier equatorial crossing time. By the Fall of 2022, Terra’s crossing time will be earlier than 10:15 am. To ensure Terra, with limited fuel supplies, is a safe distance from other missions in the Earth Observing Satellite constellation orbit, Terra will be lowered to a new orbit, where it will be able to collect valuable data at an even earlier crossing time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Dark Energy, A Mysterious Force

 For the past 31 years, the Hubble Space Telescope has continued its important mission of uncovering the mysteries of the universe. One of those mysteries that Hubble has helped us begin to understand is dark energy and dark matter.

Source/Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.


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