Asteroid apocalypse: 'City-destroying space rocks will slip through NASA defences' - Express.co.uk - Canadanewsmedia
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Asteroid apocalypse: 'City-destroying space rocks will slip through NASA defences' – Express.co.uk

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This week, it was revealed a massive asteroid similar to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs was hurtling towards Earth and could be “potentially hazardous”. However, scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson says large space rocks, like the 1990 MU, which measures almost 5 miles in diameter, should not phase us. Instead, the American astrophysicist has insisted the public should be more concerned about smaller asteroids that have the potential to sneak under the radar unnoticed.

Appearing on a Joe Rogan podcast last year, Dr Tyson explained how it is easy to defend Earth against threats we can easily see.

He said: “It’s all about how much timing we have, what you want to do is go out and nudge it. 

“You just have to give it a sideways velocity relative to its path towards Earth. 

“If you do that, the sideways velocity sort of accumulates and the angle grows.

An asteroid could wipe out a city (Image: GETTY)

Asteroids are large chunks of space rock

Asteroids are large chunks of space rock (Image: GETTY)

The city killing ones will slip through

Neil deGrasse Tyson

“If you do that early enough it will miss Earth, but it’s still out there to harm you at another day.”

However, the Harvard University graduate offered more dim prospects for smaller asteroids.

He added: “I would say we could probably get something built in 10 years. 

“The good thing about species killing asteroids is that they are large and visible. 

“But city killing ones will slip through.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson featured on the Joe Rogan podcast

Neil deGrasse Tyson featured on the Joe Rogan podcast (Image: JOE ROGAN)

“Most of Earth’s surface is not a city, so it will probably hit the ocean.

“But yeah, if it doesn’t, it would take out a city.”

Dr Tyson went on to claim the US government is already planning for such an attack.

He continued: “There’s a branch of government part of Homeland Security where it worries about devastation to a region where the grid is taken out as well.

“Then you can’t bring emergency services with food, water, medicines, transportation.

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An asteroid is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs

An asteroid is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs (Image: GETTY)

Dr Tyson worries history could repeat itself

Dr Tyson worries history could repeat itself (Image: GETTY)

“We need a grid that can rewire itself rapidly to bring power to a region.

“They are sort of doing that now by making it lightning-proof.”

Dr Tyson previously warned asteroid Apophis could spark a tsunami on the US coast. 

He said in 2008: “If it goes through the keyhole, it will plunge down into the Pacific Ocean to a depth of three miles, at which point it explodes, caveating the Pacific in a hole that’s three miles wide.

That will send a tsunami wave outwards from that location that is 50 feet high.

Untapped value of asteroids

Untapped value of asteroids (Image: DX)

“Oceans don’t like having holes in them, so this three-mile-high wall does what? It collapses.

“It falls back into the hole sloshing against itself with such ferocity that it rises high into the atmosphere and falls back down to the ocean, caveating it again. 

“This cycle takes about 50 seconds, you can calculate it.”

He then revealed the sobering prospects for North America in such a scenario.

He continued: “So there you are on the beaches of Malibu and a tsunami comes in.

“The first wave needs a supply of water to exist, so the next wave actually sucks back on it to create itself.

“Whatever was there on the coastline is now brought back out to sea and the next tsunami brings it back to the shore.

“So what happens is, all the artificial stuff, all the houses, factories, they get churned into the force that sandblasts the entire west coast of North America clean.

“It’s April 12, 2029, and if it threads the keyhole it will hit Earth on April 13, 2036.”

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Sea Monsters in the Age of Dinosaurs being presented at Colchester Historeum – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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TRURO, N.S. —

Large creatures that once lived in the oceans and lakes will be the focus of an upcoming event at the Colchester Historeum.

‘Sea Monsters in the Age of Dinosaurs’ is an illustrated presentation by Danielle J. Serrato, curator of the Fundy Geological Museum and an educator in Earth sciences.

“I always had a love for the ocean, although I grew up landlocked in Texas,” she said. “My specialty is marine reptiles.”

Her favourite prehistoric creature is the elasmosaurus, an extremely long-necked being that lived underwater.

During the presentation, Serratos will talk about Mesozoic marine reptiles and their modern counterparts in film and folklore, including the Loch Ness Monster, and the mosasaur in Jurassic World.

“Sometimes changes are made so things will sound better in film,” she said. “In Jurassic Park there’s a lot of talk about velociraptors, but those were only about the height of turkeys. What they created for the film is deinonychus, but that name doesn’t sound as dangerous as velociraptor.”

She thinks people are drawn by the mystery and danger connected with prehistoric creatures.

“A lot of it has to do with the sense of curiosity humans have for world around them,” she said. “There’s a creative component because you have to use your imagination. You don’t have to be 100 per cent accurate because we’ve never seen these things and we never will. It’s probably a good thing we won’t see them because these were apex predators.

“We’re starting to realize how little we know about the soft tissues of these creatures, their colours and textures, whether they had fur, scales or feathers.”

Pictures of old movie posters, reconstructions and fossils will add to the presentation which will take place at the Colchester Historeum on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. The event is free for members, $5 for non-members.

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Sea Monsters in the Age of Dinosaurs being presented at Colchester Historeum – The Vanguard

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TRURO, N.S. —

Large creatures that once lived in the oceans and lakes will be the focus of an upcoming event at the Colchester Historeum.

‘Sea Monsters in the Age of Dinosaurs’ is an illustrated presentation by Danielle J. Serrato, curator of the Fundy Geological Museum and an educator in Earth sciences.

“I always had a love for the ocean, although I grew up landlocked in Texas,” she said. “My specialty is marine reptiles.”

Her favourite prehistoric creature is the elasmosaurus, an extremely long-necked being that lived underwater.

During the presentation, Serratos will talk about Mesozoic marine reptiles and their modern counterparts in film and folklore, including the Loch Ness Monster, and the mosasaur in Jurassic World.

“Sometimes changes are made so things will sound better in film,” she said. “In Jurassic Park there’s a lot of talk about velociraptors, but those were only about the height of turkeys. What they created for the film is deinonychus, but that name doesn’t sound as dangerous as velociraptor.”

She thinks people are drawn by the mystery and danger connected with prehistoric creatures.

“A lot of it has to do with the sense of curiosity humans have for world around them,” she said. “There’s a creative component because you have to use your imagination. You don’t have to be 100 per cent accurate because we’ve never seen these things and we never will. It’s probably a good thing we won’t see them because these were apex predators.

“We’re starting to realize how little we know about the soft tissues of these creatures, their colours and textures, whether they had fur, scales or feathers.”

Pictures of old movie posters, reconstructions and fossils will add to the presentation which will take place at the Colchester Historeum on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. The event is free for members, $5 for non-members.

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A dog's life: New study to investigate aging process in man's best friend – Ottawa Citizen

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Good dogs.


ipet photo / Unsplash

AUSTIN, Texas — A team of researchers is hoping old dogs can teach aging science new tricks. The scientists, with the backing of the U.S National Institute on Aging, have launched an ambitious project in which they want dog owners to enrol canines in a study of aging in man’s best friend, hoping it will help both dogs and humans live longer and better lives.

The “citizen scientists” will answer dozens of questions about their pooches over the lifetime of the animals, such as how much and how often they exercise, what they eat and how much, and their interactions with people or other pets in the household.

“These dogs will be doing what they do normally,” said Daniel Promislow, co-director of the Dog Aging Project.

Dog owners are very well-attuned to changes in their dog’s behaviour, which makes their observations valuable to science. “It’s the power of paying attention,” Promislow said.

As part of the study, a small number of the dogs will provide DNA, blood and urine samples. A select group of middle-aged canines will also be enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a drug that has already been shown to increase the lifespan of mice in the hope of determining whether it will have the same effect on dogs.


A 10-year-old chihuahua participates in the Pawlooza’s dog fashion show in London, Ont., earlier this year. As small dogs, chihuahua would normally have longer live expectancy than larger breeds of dogs such as Great Danes.

Max Martin /

Postmedia

In the long run, the study, which has $22.8 million U.S. in funding from the National Institute on Aging, will help the scientists understand the factors that affect “healthspan” — the proportion of life that is spent in good health.

The project was launched last Thursday with a splashy media conference at the annual scientific meeting of the American Gerontological Society in Austin. While the official goal is to enrol 10,000 canines, the researchers aspire to follow as many as 100,000 dogs.

Within a few hours of announcing the project, 16,000 dog owners had “nominated” their pets online.

The hypothesis in gerontology circles is that, if aging can be delayed, it will also delay chronic diseases such as arthritis and Type 2 diabetes, leading to a longer and healthier life, said Dr. Marie Bernard, a geriatrician and deputy director of the National Institute on Aging.

Researchers have already shown they can increase the lifespans of yeast, fruit flies and mice through a number of measures, including caloric restriction, periodic fasting and administering a combination of metformin, which reduces blood sugar, and the immunosuppressant drug rapamycin.

Jay Olshansky, a respected expert in pushing the boundaries of longevity, has estimated that curing cancer, heart disease or both in humans would only extend life expectancy by between three and eight years. However, slowing aging could extend life expectancy by over 30 years, and it would maximize the portion of life free of chronic disease and disability.

“Those years would be spent in fairly good health,”’ said Matt Kaeberlein, co-director of the Dog Aging Project.

“It sounds like science fiction, but it’s science fact.”


A woman walks her dog on Bank Street.

Tony Caldwell /

Postmedia

Nature has figured out how to modify the rates of aging in different species, Kaeberlein said. The naked mole rat, a burrowing rodent native to East Africa, can live to be more than 30 years old, for example, while most mice and rats live only a few years.

The Dog Aging Project’s goal is to understand the genetic and environmental factors behind dog aging. Dogs age about seven times faster than humans, so data on thousands of dogs over their lifespan would yield important information about what correlates with a long and healthy life for a dog over an accelerated time frame.

In general, larger animals live longer than smaller animals, but the reverse is true in dogs. A chihuahua has a longer life expectancy than a Great Dane, for example, said Dr. Kate Creevy, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University and a member of the research team. Mixed-breed dogs also live, on average, about a year longer than purebred counterparts.


A black Great Dane.

jsclark89 /

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The researchers will also be searching for dogs who have led exceptionally long lives: the canine equivalent of human centenarians.

The project is an open science initiative. Eventually the raw data, with confidential information scrubbed from it, will be available to any researcher who wants to use it to seek out patterns, including members of the public.

The study is open to dogs of all breeds and ages, but so far funding for the research is limited to dogs in the United States, Promislow said.

Rapamycin has been shown to restore heart function and boost immunity in middle-aged mice. It has already been used on a small number of dogs in a research study and their owners have noted no negative side effects and some positive side effects, including that the dogs were more energetic and affectionate.

“People love their dogs. Our No. 1 priority is the safety of the dogs,” Promislow said.

Rapamycin is approved for a limited number of uses in humans, including preventing rejection in organ transplantation. It appears to dampen the inflammation that comes with aging, but it’s still a long way from being approved as an aging delay drug for humans, Kaeberlein said.

This is a longitudinal study, which means it will follow the subjects over their entire lives. While researcher often have problems keeping in touch with their subjects in longitudinal studies, dog owners involved in research have been remarkably co-operative in previous long-term studies, he said.

“This is the most ambitious project on companion dogs and one of the most ambitious projects on aging,” Promislow said. “We’ll have tons of data.”

Joanne Laucius was awarded a 2019 journalism fellowship in aging by the Gerontological Society of America. The program is funded by the Silver Century Foundation, the Retirement Research Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the John A. Hartford Foundation.


A man walks with his dogs.

Sebastian Gollnow /

AP


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