ISS News: January 2010 Archives

Scientists say crack HIV/AIDS puzzle for drugs, Reuters

"Scientists say they have solved a crucial puzzle about the AIDS virus after 20 years of research and that their findings could lead to better treatments for HIV. British and U.S. researchers said they had grown a crystal that enabled them to see the structure of an enzyme called integrase, which is found in retroviruses like HIV and is a target for some of the newest HIV medicines. "Despite initially painstakingly slow progress and very many failed attempts, we did not give up and our effort was finally rewarded," said Peter Cherepanov of Imperial College London, who conducted the research with scientists from Harvard University. The Imperial and Harvard scientists said that having the integrase structure means researchers can begin fully to understand how integrase inhibitor drugs work, how they might be improved, and how to stop HIV developing resistance to them."

Keith's note: The next time someone asks you what the value of growing large, perfect protein crystals is in biomedical research (such as those grown on the ISS) refer them to this discovery. In this instance, these crystals were grown on Earth, not in space. But I wonder if a zero G-grown crystal would have accelerated their research? Perhaps if NASA dropped (eliminated) the cost, others could utilize this facility more readily?

@Astro_Soichi is sending back pictures - live - from ISS via Twitter and Twitpic:

- Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, CA. Beautiful shadow :-) http://twitpic.com/10iitj
- Noctilucent clouds. Antarctic. Priceless. http://twitpic.com/10iiti

But wait - there's more yet to come from orbit: according to JT Creamer: RT @Astro_TJ: @space_pete Yes it's true: our internal cameras wlll stream to the Web beginning Monday! Wave when you see us!! :)

NASA's space tweets are part of a larger conversation, Government Computing News

"... the software upgrade that made it possible is pretty impressive. The system, which NASA calls the Crew Support LAN, taps into existing communications links -- a Ku satellite band with 3 megabits/sec upstream and 10 megabits/sec downstream -- to give astronauts Web access, along with the ability to better communicate with family and loved ones during their long stays on the space station. All that while traveling at 17,300 mph some 250 miles above the Earth."

White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work, Wall Street Journal

"The White House has decided to begin funding private companies to carry NASA astronauts into space, but the proposal faces major political and budget hurdles, according to people familiar with the matter. The controversial proposal, expected to be included in the Obama administration's next budget, would open a new chapter in the U.S. space program. The goal is to set up a multiyear, multibillion-dollar initiative allowing private firms, including some start-ups, to compete to build and operate spacecraft capable of ferrying U.S. astronauts into orbit--and eventually deeper into the solar system."

Reader note: Click on this NASA web site and download the 2010 ISS Calendar. Notice something odd about the dates? Did January 1, 2010 start on a Wednesday? Does February have 30 days? Does March have 31 days? Does April have 31 days? And December 1, 2010 is New Years Day. That's as far as I went. Doesn't anyone check these things before putting them on their web site? WOW! Must be the same group that mixed up miles and kilometers.

Keith's note: I looked a bit further. This calendar shows 24 January as the date that Apollo 8 circled the Moon (it was launched on 21 January - the date that this calendar claims that the Winter Solstice begins), that Challenger was lost on 28 December, that Columbia was lost on 1 November, that Sputnik 1 was launched on 4 March, that Yuri Gagarin's flight was on 12 September, and that Spring begins on 20 October 2010...

In fairness, the website does say "(Note: In order to print the document correctly, please select the two-sided print option in your printer dialog box)" - but there is nothing on the calendar file itself that says that. Indeed, the reader who alerted me to this said "I discovered the error when I went to put the dates of my vacation on it and they didn't match up with my airline reservation dates. I got nervous and checked another calendar and discovered the mistake. That's when I discovered some of the more obvious errors.". Anyone going directly to this link (that happens a lot, you know) will not know this. Moreover, not everyone has a printer that (easily) prints in two sided mode. Indeed when I went to print it, my computer automatically scaled it to fit on an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper - with the pages paired incorrectly - that is because of the way it was formatted (by NASA) as a PDF file.


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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from January 2010.

ISS News: December 2009 is the previous archive.

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