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FDA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for April 1st, 2020

 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration - FDASilver Spring, MD – Last Wednesday, April 1st, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the following actions taken in its ongoing response effort to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

FDA-ARGOS SARS-CoV-2 Reference Grade Sequence Data Now Available: In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the FDA—in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repository (BEI Resources) and the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)—developed quality-controlled, reference sequence data for the SARS-CoV-2 reference strain for the United States.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

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NASA instrument to help improve Earth Observations of the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A high-altitude NASA plane is taking off with a new instrument to measure the Moon’s brightness and eventually help Earth observing sensors make more accurate measurements.

The airborne Lunar Spectral Irradiance Instrument (air-LUSI) is flying aboard NASA’s ER-2 airplane. The ER-2 is able to soar above clouds, about 70,000 feet above ground.

The crew of the International Space Station snapped this image of the full Moon on April 30, 2018, as the station orbited off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. (NASA)

The crew of the International Space Station snapped this image of the full Moon on April 30, 2018, as the station orbited off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. (NASA)

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NASA’s NICER telescope records sudden spike of X-Rays

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MDNASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) telescope on the International Space Station detected a sudden spike of X-rays at about 9:04pm CDT on August 20th. The burst was caused by a massive thermonuclear flash on the surface of a pulsar, the crushed remains of a star that long ago exploded as a supernova.

The X-ray burst, the brightest seen by NICER so far, came from an object named SAX J1808.4-3658, or J1808 for short. The observations reveal many phenomena that have never been seen together in a single burst. In addition, the subsiding fireball briefly brightened again for reasons astronomers cannot yet explain.

Illustration depicting a Type I X-ray burst. The explosion first blows off the hydrogen layer, which expands and ultimately dissipates. Then rising radiation builds to the point where it blows off the helium layer, which overtakes the expanding hydrogen. Some of the X-rays emitted in the blast scatter off of the accretion disk. The fireball then quickly cools, and the helium settles back onto the surface. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA))

Illustration depicting a Type I X-ray burst. The explosion first blows off the hydrogen layer, which expands and ultimately dissipates. Then rising radiation builds to the point where it blows off the helium layer, which overtakes the expanding hydrogen. Some of the X-rays emitted in the blast scatter off of the accretion disk. The fireball then quickly cools, and the helium settles back onto the surface. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA))

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Lamar Alexander, Chris Van Hollen Introduce Legislation to Reauthorize ARPA-E, Increase Funding for Advanced Energy Research and Development

 

U.S. SenateWashington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and  Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) have announced the introduction of their bipartisan legislation to reauthorize funding for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E works to advance high-potential, high-impact energy technologies in the early stages of development.

The bill would increase funding levels from $428 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to $750 million in Fiscal Year 2024 to fund more ARPA-E projects.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

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NASA looks into amount of Atmosphere lost by Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – According to new observations by NASA-funded scientists, a key tracer used to estimate how much atmosphere Mars lost can change depending on the time of day and the surface temperature on the Red Planet.

Previous measurements of this tracer – isotopes of oxygen – have disagreed significantly. An accurate measurement of this tracer is important to estimate how much atmosphere Mars once had before it was lost, which reveals whether Mars could have been habitable and what the conditions might have been like.

This artist’s concept depicts the early Martian environment (right) – believed to contain liquid water and a thicker atmosphere – versus the cold, dry environment seen at Mars today (left). (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

This artist’s concept depicts the early Martian environment (right) – believed to contain liquid water and a thicker atmosphere – versus the cold, dry environment seen at Mars today (left). (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

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NASA reports Landsat Illustrates Five Decades of Change to Greenland Glaciers

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA says ice fronts have retreated, rocky peaks are more exposed, fewer icebergs drift to the ocean: the branching network of glaciers that empty into Greenland’s Sermilik Fjord has changed significantly in the last half century. Comparing Landsat images from 1972 and 2019, those changes and more come into view.

The glaciers appear brownish grey in this true-color Landsat 8 satellite image from August 12th, 2019. The color indicates that the surface has melted, a process that concentrates dust and rock particles and leads to a darker recrystallized ice sheet surface.

Glaciers in southeastern Greenland including, from left, Helheim, Fenris and Midgard are seen in a Landsat 8 image from August 12th, 2019. (NASA/Christopher Shuman)

Glaciers in southeastern Greenland including, from left, Helheim, Fenris and Midgard are seen in a Landsat 8 image from August 12th, 2019. (NASA/Christopher Shuman)

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NASA Ocean Ecosystem, Atmosphere Mission passes Major Review

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s newest mission to study the health of Earth’s ocean ecosystems and atmosphere is ready to move from design to reality after passing a key review hurdle.

The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission will study phytoplankton — microscopic plants and algae that live in the ocean — as well as the clouds and atmospheric aerosol particles above the water. Every mission goes through a rigorous review process on its journey from idea to launch, and PACE is now cleared to move forward to the critical design phase of the mission.

The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission will study phytoplankton — microscopic plants and algae that live in the ocean — as well as the clouds and atmospheric aerosol particles above the water. (NASA / Walt Feimer)

The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission will study phytoplankton — microscopic plants and algae that live in the ocean — as well as the clouds and atmospheric aerosol particles above the water. (NASA / Walt Feimer)

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CMCSS announces Herbert Nelson Jr. will fill District 3 School Board Seat

 

Clarksville Montgomery County School System (CMCSS)Montgomery County, TN – The unexpired term of the District 3 Clarksville-Montgomery County School Board seat has been filled by Herbert A. Nelson, Jr., a 20-year U.S. Army veteran with seven years working elite Special Operations and counter-terrorism missions

Herbert Nelson Jr. selected to fill District 3 Clarksville-Montgomery County School Board seat.

Herbert Nelson Jr. selected to fill District 3 Clarksville-Montgomery County School Board seat.

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Tennessee Lady Vols faces #20/24 UCLA in first round of NCAA Tournament

 

Tennessee Lady Vols (19-12 | 7-9 SEC) vs. UCLA (20-12 | 12-C Pac-12)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 | 12:00pm CT
College Park, MD | XFINITY Center | TV: ESPN2

UT Lady VolsKnoxville, TN – The Tennessee Lady Vols (19-12, 7-9 SEC) are the No. 11 seed in the Albany Region and will meet No. 6 seed UCLA (20-12, 12-6 Pac-12) at College Park, MD, on Saturday in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

Tip-off is slated for approximately 12:00pm CT at the XFINITY Center on the University of Maryland campus. The game will be televised by ESPN2 and carried by the Lady Vol Radio Network.

In the other first round game in College Park, No. 3 seed Maryland (28-4) will meet No. 14 seed Radford (26-6) at 10:00am CT on Saturday. The winner of those games will advance to the second round and play in College Park on Monday. Tip time and TV info. are to be determined.

Tennessee Women's Basketball to take on UCLA in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Saturday. (UT Athletics) «Read the rest of this article»

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NASA’s NICER instrument discovers Black Hole consuming nearby Star

 

Written by Jeanette Kazmierczak
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Scientists have charted the environment surrounding a stellar-mass black hole that is 10 times the mass of the Sun using NASA’s Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) payload aboard the International Space Station.

NICER detected X-ray light from the recently discovered black hole, called MAXI J1820+070 (J1820 for short), as it consumed material from a companion star. Waves of X-rays formed “light echoes” that reflected off the swirling gas near the black hole and revealed changes in the environment’s size and shape.

In this illustration of a newly discovered black hole named MAXI J1820+070, a black hole pulls material off a neighboring star and into an accretion disk. Above the disk is a region of subatomic particles called the corona. (Aurore Simonnet and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

In this illustration of a newly discovered black hole named MAXI J1820+070, a black hole pulls material off a neighboring star and into an accretion disk. Above the disk is a region of subatomic particles called the corona. (Aurore Simonnet and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

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