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Health News
Michael Phelps: 'I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life'
Far from the familiar waters of an Olympic pool, swimmer Michael Phelps shared the story of his personal encounter with depression at a mental health conference in Chicago this week.

Flu widespread throughout the nation, 30 children dead
This year's flu season ranks among the most severe in recent years.

A blood test for cancers gets one step closer
Scientists develop an experimental blood test that could make it easier to detect eight major types of cancer in their early stages, but more research is needed before such a test could be widely used.

Women who marched, one year later: 'We are exhausted but we're here and we're still marching'
One year ago, Allison Busch-Vogel of South Orange, New Jersey rented four buses even before she knew if she could fill them.

8-year-old dies of flu despite flu shot
Eight-year-old Tyler Dannaway died from the flu in Arkansas despite having received a flu shot.

Doctor delivers baby on international flight
This definitely wasn't what Dr. Sij Hemal was expecting when he booked a flight with Air France from India to the United States.

Family of patient found at a cold bus stop demands justice
A young patient, dressed only in a thin, hospital gown and tube socks, was left standing outside by a bus stop earlier this month after being discharged from a Baltimore hospital, as seen in a viral video.

Fight a cold by ... eating yogurt?
This winter, there's a good chance you might be looking for anything and everything to rid yourself of an annoying, lingering and sometimes debilitating cold.

Screw up (in small ways) at parenting. It's good for your kids
Your parents messed up. They didn't mean to, but they did, somehow.

Former NFLers call for end to tackle football for kids
Several former NFL players called Thursday for an end to tackle football for kids ages 13 and under.

Repeated hits, not concussions, cause CTE, study finds
The neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy can start early and without any signs of concussion, according a study released Thursday.

A better way to build a flu vaccine?
In the quest for improved and universal vaccines, scientists turned to a mutant virus to build an experimental flu vaccine. So far, the vaccine only has been studied in mice and ferrets.

Breakfasts that keep you fuller longer
What you eat in the morning can affect how much you consume the rest of the day. Nutritionist Lisa Drayer breaks down your best bets for breakfast.

Boy dies after contact with rabid bat
A 6-year-old Florida boy died after he came in contact with a bat and contracted the rabies virus.

Will #MeToo be a turning point for younger girls, too?
There is hope that the #MeToo conversation on sexual harassment will halt the decline in confidence that young girls experience in middle and high school.

Why it's so hard to treat dementia
Finding a cure for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's is challenging. They're difficult to diagnose, and drugs struggle to get into the brain as the brain's blood supply is largely separate to the rest of the body.

President Trump has common form of heart disease
Like most men of his age, President Donald Trump has a common form of heart disease, relatively easy to address if he increases the dose of his cholesterol-lowering medication and makes necessary lifestyle changes. Without those changes, the President has a moderate risk of having a heart attack in the next three to five years, according to the Mayo Clinic.

This is the cognitive test the president passed


Cigarettes and pot linked to teen psychosis
For teens, using either marijuana or cigarettes is associated with higher odds of psychotic-like experiences, a new study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found. Psychosis describes the mental condition of losing touch with reality, such as experiencing hallucinations or delusions.

Poison control calls 'spike' due to online laundry pod challenge
It used to be that washing your kid's mouth out with soap was seen as a punishment. Now, authorities are trying to keep teens from doing just that.

UK tackles social isolation with minister for loneliness
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a minister for loneliness in a drive to tackle social isolation, a problem endured by 9 million Britons.

Aetna customers get $17 million in HIV privacy settlement
After thousands of customers' HIV statuses were revealed in mailings last year, a federal class-action lawsuit against health care company Aetna has reached a $17 million settlement.

Six teen suicides in six months in one Ohio district
Late last week, Hayden Porter, a 15-year-old freshman at a high school in Ohio, took his life. He was the sixth current or former teenage student from the school district to kill themselves within the past six months.

Sore throat remedies: How to soothe a sore throat
Fight your sore throat with some common sense remedies.

Black Death spread by humans, vindicating rats
One of the worst pandemics in human history, the Black Death, along with a string of plague outbreaks that occurred during the 14th to 19th centuries, was spread by human fleas and body lice, a new study suggests.

Gupta: 'Competent' or 'crazy' misses the point of presidential mental health


The modern problem with pursuing perfection
"Perfection, by definition, is an impossible goal, and that's the first thing to say."

Dad's depression may rub off on kids
Doctors and researchers have known for years that children are more likely to develop mental-health problems if their mother has struggled with depression. But what if it's the father who's depressed?

Can your smartphone tell you if you have depression?
Getting a diagnosis of depression usually involves filling out questionnaires about your mood and undergoing lengthy interviews with a psychiatrist. But smartphone apps might be able to handle some of that work, and at least tell you if you are at risk of depression, simply by collecting GPS and other data, according to a new study.

Using downward dogs to treat depression
When Cesar Castillo's cancer returned for the second time, he fell apart.
Astronomy News

12.18.2007

Dec. 18, 2007: A powerful jet from a supermassive black hole is blasting a nearby galaxy, according to new data from NASA observatories. This never-before witnessed galactic violence may have a profound effect on planets in the jet's path and trigger a burst of star birth in its destructive wake.

This real-life scene, worthy of the most outlandish science fiction, is playing out in a faraway binary galaxy system known as 3C321. Two galaxies are in orbit around one another. A supermassive black hole at the core of the system's larger galaxy is spewing a jet in the direction of its smaller companion.

see caption

Above: A composite image of 3C321. Scroll down the page to see an artist's illustration labeling the galaxies and the jet.

"We've seen many jets produced by black holes, but this is the first time we've seen one punch into another galaxy," says Dan Evans, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and leader of the study. "This jet could be causing all sorts of problems for the smaller galaxy it is pummeling."

Jets from super massive black holes produce large amounts of radiation, especially high-energy X-rays and gamma-rays, which can be lethal in large quantities. The combined effects of this radiation and particles traveling at almost the speed of light could severely damage the atmospheres of planets lying in the path of the jet. For example, protective layers of ozone in the upper atmosphere of planets could be destroyed.

see caption

Above: An artist's illustration of 3C321 with galaxies and jets labeled.

The effect of the jet on the companion galaxy is likely to be substantial, because the galaxies in 3C321 are extremely close at a distance of only about 20,000 light years apart. They lie approximately the same distance as Earth is from the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The jet and galactic assault were discovered through the combined efforts of both space and ground-based telescopes. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope were part of the effort. Two sophisticated radio telescopes--the Very Large Array (VLA) in Socorro, New Mexico, and the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN) in the United Kingdom--were also needed for the finding.

A bright spot in the VLA and MERLIN images shows where the jet has struck the side of the galaxy, dissipating some of the jet's energy. The collision disrupted and deflected the jet.

A unique aspect of the discovery in 3C321 is how relatively short-lived this event is on a cosmic time scale. Features seen in the VLA and Chandra images indicate that the jet began impacting the galaxy about one million years ago, a small fraction of the system's lifetime.

It's possible that the event is not all bad news for the beleaguered galaxy. The massive influx of energy and radiation from the jet could spark the formation of large numbers of stars and planets after its initial wake of destruction is complete. In the distant future, say researchers, whole new star systems may have the lethal jet to thank for their very existance.

Outlandish, indeed.

Credit: Science@NASA

Night Became Day In Detroit As Meteor Lit Up Sky
A meteor streaked over southeast Michigan Tuesday night, creating a sonic boom so loud it shook houses. After seeing the spectacle in the night sky, thousands of people took to social media to share what they witnessed.

Black Holes: Where Reality Beats Fiction
We know that at the heart of pretty much every galaxy, there is a giant black hole. There is a lot that we know about black holes — and a lot that we don't know, says astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser.

Bright Light, Sonic Boom As Meteor Streaks Across Southern Michigan
The space rock punched through the clouds near Detroit just after 8 p.m. with a boom that shook houses and registered magnitude 2.0 on U.S. Geological Survey instruments.

Remembering A Comet-Discoverer
Thomas Bopp, who helped discover the Hale-Bopp Comet in 1995, died last week.

Researchers Spot Massive Black Hole In Double 'Burp'
The cosmic sinkhole is at the center of a galaxy 800 million light-years from Earth and supports the theory that such objects can switch their power output on and off in relatively short time-scales.

Astronomical Growth Turns Out To Be 'Fake News,' Says Japanese Astronaut
Norishige Kanai said he had grown up to 3 1/2 inches since arriving in space, sparking worry about whether he'd fit in the spacecraft home. Turns out, Kanai did grow, just not that much.

U.S. Spy Satellite Reportedly 'Write Off' After Failing To Reach Orbit
The multi-billion dollar satellite, launched by SpaceX, was initially thought to have made a successful low-Earth orbit, but there have been several unconfirmed reports since indicating it is lost.

SpaceX Rocket Launches Secret Government Payload Into Orbit
The launch of the top-secret Zuma satellite into an undisclosed orbit ended with yet another pinpoint landing for the Falcon's first-stage booster, which will be reused.

Star 'Treknology': Imagining The Future Into Being
From its first appearance, Star Trek has always been hopeful about the relationship between society and technology. Ethan Siegel doesn't lose sight of this in his book, Treknology, says Adam Frank.

Astronaut John Young, Who Flew In Space 6 Times, Dies At 87
One of NASA's most accomplished astronauts died Friday. He flew in space six times, including a moon landing, and later headed the office that chose crews for space shuttle missions.

Astronomers Find Huge Stars More Common Than Previously Thought
A survey of a neighboring galaxy turned up 30 percent more super-heavy stars than expected. The discovery has implications for how stars form.

UFO Investigations: The Science And The Will To Believe
Employing science's methodology is key — as it's the best antidote we have to the very human propensity to turn something we want to believe into a reality, says astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser.

The Year In Space Discoveries
It's been a banner year in space. We hear about 2017's biggest highlights, including the "Great American Eclipse" and NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

What Does A Newly Born Pacific Island Say About Life On Mars?
Take five minutes of your day, watch this amazing video of the birth of a new island in Tonga, and let its story and science knock you to the floor, says astrophysicist Adam Frank.

SpaceX Rocket Launch Lights Up The California Sky, Freaks Out Some Residents
The rocket carrying 10 satellites into low-earth orbit sparked alarm among some fearing a UFO. The Los Angeles Fire Department was prompted to release a statement about the "mysterious light."

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