Friday, April 12, 2024

Short Takes – 4-12-24

Japanese astronaut to be first non-American to set foot on moon. article. Pull quote: “"Two Japanese astronauts will join future American missions, and one will become the first non-American ever to land on the moon," Biden said in a press conference with Kishida.”

More states are finding bird flu in cattle. This is what scientists are watching for. article. Pull quote: “There are still big questions about exactly how bird flu plays out in cattle, since it's only now being followed closely. "There certainly are many mutations that occurred with this jump from wild birds into cattle and we don't necessarily understand what they mean," says Hill.”

SpaceX all set for a record-breaking rocket launch on Friday. article. Pull quote: “Those tuning in will witness the Falcon 9 rocket climb into the sky for a record 20th time, along with stage separation and the deployment of SpaceX’s internet satellites. The webcast will also show the first-stage booster landing upright on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship in the Atlantic Ocean about eight minutes after launch, a feat that will pave the way for the rocket’s 21st flight.” NOTE: This did happen today.

The Islamic State in Khorasan Province: Exploiting a Counterterrorism Gap. article. Pull quote: “ISKP is a wholly rejectionist group, meaning that it opposes all the governments in the region as well as the major powers allied with them. This stance is an anomaly in South Asia where most militant groups benefit from at least one government backer. Instigating so many enemies at the same time should be a losing strategy; it certainly was for the Islamic State core in Iraq and Syria. But there has not been such cooperation against ISKP. Instead, it has exploited three counterterrorism gaps to plot and conduct attacks in Afghanistan, the broader region, and beyond.”

Scientists discover first algae that can fix nitrogen — thanks to a tiny cell structure. article. Pull quote: “Understanding how the nitroplast interacts with its host cell could support efforts to engineer crops that can fix their own nitrogen, says Zehr. This would reduce the need for nitrogen-based fertilizers and avoid some of the environmental damage they cause. “The tricks that are involved in making this system work could be used in engineering land plants,” he says.”

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