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Health News
Judge denies Monsanto's request to scrap $250 million punishment -- but there's a catch
In a sharp turn of events, a San Francisco judge denied Monsanto's request to nix a $250 million award to a man who said he got terminal cancer from Roundup weedkiller.

155 cases of polio-like illness now under investigation, CDC says
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday that there are 155 patients under investigation this year for acute flaccid myelitis, a condition that that can cause paralysis and mostly affects children.

Can diverse children's books tackle prejudice?
Marley Dias says she was tired of reading books about "white boys and their dogs" in school.

India's top court partially bans firecrackers as smog season begins
The Indian Supreme Court banned the sale of most firecrackers Tuesday, amid concerns their use during annual Diwali celebrations next month will again send pollution levels spiking across the country.

Roman Reigns gives up WWE Universal Championship to fight leukemia
Professional wrestler Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, better known by his stage name Roman Reigns, has announced that he is stepping away from the ring due to an ongoing fight against leukemia.

5-year-old's wish of becoming a Ghostbuster fulfilled in Sacramento
A 5-year-old boy's dream of becoming a Ghostbuster and fighting off ghouls became a reality Monday.

3 million common procedures in England could become 'life threatening' without antibiotics
Over 3 million surgeries and cancer treatments could become deadly in England without working antibiotics, Public Health England said.

College students experienced trauma symptoms after Trump's election, study says
The 2016 election was psychologically traumatic for some, according to a new study published in the Journal of American College Health. It found that 1 out of 4 students surveyed experienced clinically significant event-related distress short term.

Immunotherapy-chemo combo extends life for women with aggressive form of breast cancer, study finds
A combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy added months to the lives of women with triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive type that attacks women under 50.

Report says the UN's global 'war on drugs' has been a failure
The United Nations' drug strategy of the past 10 years has been a failure, according to a major report by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), which has called for a major rethinking of global policy on illegal narcotics.

Marlboro maker attacked for "hypocritical" anti-smoking campaign
The world's biggest international tobacco company has come under fire for a "hypocritical" campaign encouraging people to give up cigarettes.

You can cut your cancer risk by eating organic, a new study says
You can protect yourself from cancer by eating organic, a new study suggests. Those who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine finds. Specifically, those who primarily eat organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to those who rarely or never ate organic foods.

Deadly violence in DRC hampers Ebola control
A fresh round of deadly violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province -- the epicenter of an Ebola outbreak -- continues to hamper efforts to stamp out the disease.

When it comes to living longer through exercise, is more better?
"Even in old age, exercise and moderation can preserve something of young vigor," Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero reported in 44 B.C. And since then, research into the important role of exercise for good health and longevity has confirmed his declaration.

Child at center of legal fight to keep her on a ventilator has died
Payton Summons "passed naturally" after her heart stopped beating on its own Friday around 8:30 p.m., while she was still on the ventilator that had become the crux of a legal battle between her parents and a Texas hospital, her family's attorney said.

Astronaut recounts harrowing failed space launch
Two minutes into his first trip to space last Thursday, US astronaut Nick Hague found himself thinking how smoothly the flight was going. "It was everything I expected it to be," he told NASA director Jim Bridenstine at Johnson Space Center on Tuesday.

Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals
We've all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

Women are more faithful than men, and other myths on female infidelity


New self-lubricating condoms could boost their use, prevent STDs
Self-lubricating condoms may be the answer in helping prevent sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies, researchers have found.

Ten vegan versions of tailgate classics


Veteran battling suicidal thoughts opens horse ranch to help military families
October in Georgia is when summer finally gives way to fall and the atmosphere paces itself like a perfectly curated air conditioner. One recent Saturday morning, on a rural property in Fortson, the sound of children laughing and playing could be heard between the occasional horse's neigh.

Memes lead to teenage obesity, lawmakers told
It's been a bad few weeks for memes.

Rare eye condition was behind da Vinci's genius, research claims
A rare eye condition helped Leonardo da Vinci paint distance and depth of objects on flat surfaces with the accuracy which he became famous for, new research claims.

Most burger chains fail on annual antibiotics report card
Twenty-five of the top US burger chains were graded on their antibiotic policies in a collaborative report released Wednesday. Only two chains received As, Shake Shack and BurgerFi; the other 23 got a D minus or F.

Making art is helping heal veterans, parolees


India treats first case of 'Netflix addiction'
"Netflix and chill" has morphed into an apparent case of "Netflix addiction" for a man in India, where the video-streaming site has surged as areas long cut off from the internet get connected with on-demand entertainment.

Spain to lead Japan in global life expectancy, US continues to to slide
Spain will overtake Japan's long-held position at the top of the world's life expectancy table by 2040, while the United States is set to take a big fall in rankings, new research finds.

First child in Florida has died of flu this season, state reports
A Florida child died due to flu-related illness during the week ended October 6, according to the state's Department of Health. The child, the first to die in the state, had not received a flu vaccination.

Climate change to cause global beer shortage, study says
Beer is the prom king of alcoholic beverages, winning the popularity contest in terms of total volumes drunk. And because its main ingredient, barley, is sensitive to extreme drought and heat, climate change will cause undue pain for all who love their lager, new research suggests.

Young survivor of rare polio-like illness now thriving
Lydia Pilarowski had a fever and cough that developed into intense pain, she had unusual weakness, and she couldn't move her left arm.
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

A Slow Trip To A Hot Planet: Spacecraft Launches For Mission To Mercury
The European Space Agency's BepiColombo will take seven years to reach the innermost planet in our solar system, where temperatures at the surface can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

'Brief Answers To The Big Questions' Is Stephen Hawking's Parting Gift To Humanity
The physicist's posthumous book highlights his belief in the rationality of nature and in our ability to uncover its secrets — and a faith in science's ability to solve humanity's biggest problems.

For Sale! Certified Lunar Meteorite — Weight 12 Pounds — Mileage 250,000
Ever look at the moon and say, "Yeah, I want a piece of that"? Well, an online auction house has one for sale.

U.S. And Russian Astronauts Safe Following Rocket Malfunction After Launch
NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield about Thursday's failed launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying a U.S.-Russian crew to the International Space Station.

Booster On Soyuz Rocket Malfunctions, Trip To Space Delayed
Rachel Martin talks to reporter Matthew Bodner, who's in Moscow, about crew members who were forced to abort the launch of a Soyuz rocket — abandoning a mission to the International Space Station.

Rocket Headed For International Space Station Fails, Makes Emergency Landing
Astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were on board when their Soyuz MS-10's booster malfunctioned. The two made it out safely.

Space Shuttle Missions Remembered During NASA's Anniversary
NASA is celebrating an anniversary. The space agency officially opened its doors 60 years ago on Oct. 1, 1958. Franklin Chang-Diaz flew seven missions during NASA's space shuttle years.

For 30 Years, Michigan Man Has Been Using Meteorite As A Doorstop
A recent check determined that the rock that weighed more than 22 pounds was the sixth-largest meteorite found in Michigan, and could be worth as much as $1,000.00.

Scientists Find What Could Be A History-Making Moon
Scientists have detected plenty of planets outside our solar system. Now, they say, they've found the first moon circling one of them.

Probe Lands On Ryugu Asteroid In Latest Success For International Group
On Twitter, the craft echoed Alice in Wonderland, declaring: "And then I found myself in a place like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery and danger!"

A Small Planet With Big Implications
Astronomers have found a distant dwarf planet that appears to confirm the existence of Planet Nine, a giant planet lurking in the outer reaches of the solar system.

Holly Ridings On Breaking A Glass Ceiling At NASA
Holly Ridings, NASA's first-ever female chief flight director, weighs in on being a woman in the field with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

You've Been To Mars And A Comet; Japan's Space Agency Invites You To An Asteroid
Two Japanese rovers touring an asteroid have sent home photos and a video, which were published by JAXA on Thursday.

NASA Hosts Conference All About Looking For Signs Of Civilization Beyond Earth
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with astrophysicist Adam Frank, who is attending a NASA conference in Houston that's exploring how to discover intelligent life beyond earth.

Space Mining — Learning How To Fuel An Interplanetary Gas Station
Real space travel will necessitate interplanetary gas stations on the moon, or on asteroids. A Colorado university has launched the first degree program in "space mining."

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