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NASA releases a video showing rugged surface of Mars

Gorkha Post

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NASA has released a video showing the rugged surface of Mars from the perspective of its Curiosity space rover.

The rover is close to finishing a crossing of the most rugged and difficult-to-navigate terrain it has tackled since arriving on the red planet in 2012 to explore the Gale Crater.

The rover climbed onto the “Naukluft Plateau” of lower Mount Sharp in early March after spending several weeks investigating sand dunes.

The path of about a quarter mile (400 meters) westward across it is taking Curiosity toward smoother surfaces leading to geological layers of scientific interest farther uphill.

Curiosity earlier this month shot a panorama from what NASA said were the ‘highest viewpoints’ the rover has reached.

“The scenes show wind-sculpted textures in the sandstone bedrock close to the rover, and Gale Crater’s rim rising above the crater floor in the distance,” NASA said in a statement.

The next part of Curiosity’s journey will take it to three sites that have been key destinations since the rover landed.

The rocky surface of the plateau raised concerns about how Curiosity’s wheels would fare during its trek.

But NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory deputy project manager Steve Lee said the rover’s wheels were carefully and continually monitored, and that the rover was still expected to reach its key destinations.

“Cracks and punctures have been gradually accumulating at the pace we anticipated,” he said in a statement.

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Researchers successfully grow human cells in sheep embryos

Raghu Kshitiz

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Researchers successfully grow human cells in sheep embryos. Represenatational image

KATHMANDU — In an incredible development that could possibly go a long way in medical practices, scientists in California are working on a way to reduce organ transplants and rejections: Growing embryos in sheep and pigs containing human patients’ cells.

In a transplant breakthrough, scientists at the University of California said they have achieved sheep embryos in which around one in every 10,000 cells was human, according to UPI report.

The researchers presented preliminary findings Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

The new finding paves way for genetically tailoring the organs to be compatible with the immune system of the patient receiving them, thus removing the possibility of rejection, the report said.

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The hybrid embryos contain both human and sheep cells and were created in an early step toward growing human organs in farm animals before transplanting them into patients.

Last year, the same researchers introduced human stem cells into early pig embryos, producing embryos with about one in every 100,000 cells being human.

The experiment began with Hiro Nakauchi, from the University of Tokyo, who grew a mouse with a rat pancreas and a rat with a mouse pancreas.

When cells from the rat-grown mouse pancreas were transplanted into a diabetic mouse, they made enough insulin to cure the condition without being rejected.

Mice and rats are different types of rodents with the former having thin slightly hairy tails, while rats have thicker hairless scaly tails.

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“The next step was to move into large animals,” Nakauchi said. Since this was prohibited in Japan, he moved to the Stanford University in the US.

Nakauchi’s rodent work has demonstrated that you can “grow organs in a different species and cure a disease without [suppressing the immune system],” added co-researcher Pablo Ross, Professor at from the University of California, Davis.

“We are working together to translate the technology into humans, to solve the terrible shortage of organs for transplantation. In the US, 20 people die every day because they cannot get the organs they need,” Ross explained.

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