Science Without Borders
According to President Michael D Higgins, the new generation should embrace technology and science to the fullest capacity addressing past failures and delivering a better world in spite of the challenges that we are facing at the moment.
Science and technology should serve humanity without any exceptions or borders. Mr. Higgins said that the most innovative ideas in technology and science should be applied to areas of the most significant need for humanity and also to the current issues that humankind has at the moment. The urgent current problems we have as humankind are climate changes, migration, and isolation. Mr. Higgins said:
“What we are witnessing is a 4.5 billion-year-old planet being placed at risk because of badly thought-out policies that we often haven’t had the courage to correct, or to face.”
The main focus of technology and science should be on Africa, which by 2050 will be the continent with one-quarter of planet’s population, including over one billion of young people.
Mr. Higgins said to young students, and future researchers:
“Your contribution to Africa will be to ensure science and technology without borders.”
Could We Ruin the Research of Finding Life on Mars
Where there is water, there is life. Although there are signs of water on Mars, but not much. NASA released a statement that they plan to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The private sector is much more ambitious, and they plan to get there even earlier. In September 2017, Elon Musk announced his goal to launch the first SpaceX mission to Mars by 2024. That is six years from now! However, researchers are fearful that if humans arrive on Mars too soon, any chance of finding life could be ruined.
Humans carry whole communities of different microorganisms with them, spreading those bugs where ever they go.
Matthew Golombek, a planetary geologist of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said:
“If you want to know if life exists there now, you kind of have to approach that question before you send people.”
The big question here is how to protect other planets from the life on Earth and how to protect life on Earth from other planets. The so-called “planetary protection” question is coming to a boil right now when the race to Mars is in the media more than ever.
Although, studies are suggesting that microbes from Earth are not that much of a threat to life on Mars. However, the question is not only could we prevent the harmful impact of Earth on Mars, but the problem is also how to avoid bringing life from Earth to Mars?
John Rummel of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California said:
“If we send Earth organisms to a place where they can grow and thrive, then we might come back and find nothing but Earth organisms, even though there were Mars organisms there before. That’s bad for science; it’s bad for the Martians. We’d be really sad about that.”
A New Gel Might Help in the Fight Against Deadly and Drug-resistant Superbugs
A new gel, antibacterial ointment could help us fight deadly and drug-resistant bacteria. In the sample of human skin and mice studies, the medicine cleared wounds of MRSA, which is the strain of Staphylococcus aureus that is strongly resistant to methicillin and other antibiotics, as well as antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Both microbes cause severe infections that could be potentially deadly.
In the Netherlands, researchers created the critical ingredient for the gel, which is a chain of amino acids called SAAP-148. The synthetic peptide in the gel prevents pathogens from forming biofilms, colonies of microbes surrounded by a protective slime that shields them from antibiotics. Bacteria in a biofilm can be 10 to 1,000 times harder to kill.
David Weiss, a microbiologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said:
“This peptide could provide a much-needed boost to our arsenal of antibiotics.”
Unlike conventional antibiotics, the gel did not develop strong resistance to SAAP-148 after a few weeks of exposure. Studies of the gel and its effect on a human body will start this year.