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Medicine

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Penn Medicine Team Develops Cognitive Test Battery to Assess the Impact of Long Duration Spaceflights on Astronauts’ Brain Function

Penn Medicine researchers have developed a cognitive test battery, known as Cognition, for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to measure the impact of typical spaceflight stressors (like microgravity, radiation, confinement and isolation, exposure to elevated levels of CO2, and sleep loss) on cognitive performance. This computer-based test has already been tested by astronauts on Earth. It will be performed for the first time in a pilot study on the International Space Station (ISS) on November 28.

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Science

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UF/IFAS Process Can Convert Human-Generated Waste Into Fuel in Space

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Who would've known human waste could be used to propel spacecraft from the moon back to Earth? UF/IFAS researchers responded to the call from NASA and came up with a process to convert waste to methane and propel spacecraft to Earth.

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Espresso in Space

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Espresso-loving astronauts, rejoice! You may soon be able to enjoy your beloved beverage in space, thanks to a new cup designed specifically to defy the low-gravity environments encountered aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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Life

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Is Interstellar’s Science So Stellar?

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Interstellar features astronauts who take a wormhole ride to another galaxy to explore planets around a massive black hole. In a conversation last week, Berkeley Lab's David Schlegel discussed the science in the movie and what Hollywood could learn from scientists about fantastic settings in outer space.

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How Water Could Have Flowed on Mars

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The surface of Mars clearly shows what looks like evidence of flowing water: riverbeds, deltas, and the like. But these signs have been a puzzle – until now. The Weizmann Institute’s Dr. Itay Halevy and Brown University’s Dr. James Head III have identified a possible source: violent eruptions from massive volcanoes that periodically melted Mars’ ice.

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Spiraling Back in Time

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Using a code developed for GPU supercomputing architectures, including that of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Cray XK7 Titan, to simulate the evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, a team of researchers from the Netherlands and Japan is a Gordon Bell Prize finalist. The prize recognizes outstanding achievement in high-performance computing and will be present by the Association for Computing Machinery at SC14 on November 20.

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The Party's Over for These Youthful Compact Galaxies

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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered young, massive, compact galaxies whose raucous star-making parties are ending early. The firestorm of star birth has blasted out most of the remaining gaseous fuel needed to make future generations of stars. Now the party's over for these gas-starved galaxies, and they are on track to possibly becoming so- called "red and dead galaxies," composed only of aging stars. An analysis of 12 merging galaxies is suggesting that energy from the star-birthing frenzy created powerful winds that are blowing out the gas, squelching future generations of stars. This activity occurred when the universe was half its current age of 13.7 billion years.

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An Interstellar Journey: Webcast to Examine Human Colonization of Space

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On December 3, join Dr. Cameron Smith as he discusses the challenges associated with interstellar voyages and long-term space settlement.

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Mars, Too, Has Macroweather

Weather, which changes day-to-day due to constant fluctuations in the atmosphere, and climate, which varies over decades, are familiar. More recently, a third regime, called “macroweather,” has been used to describe the relatively stable regime between weather and climate. A new study finds that this same three-part pattern applies to atmospheric conditions on Mars.

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Life

Law and Public Policy

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Historic Comet Landing Highlights Space Law Mission

Space law experts at the University of Nebraska say the Philae probe's touchdown on the surface of a comet heightens their mission to resolve the legal dilemmas of space

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