UPI NewsTrack Health and Science News

NASA TV to cover Soyuz landing

WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) — NASA TV says it will telecast the June 1 return to Earth of three International Space Station crew members aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft.

NASA said it will also televise the June 15 launch of the newest three ISS residents — the 24th crew to live and work on the orbiting laboratory.

Expedition 23 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov, NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi are to land their Soyuz spacecraft June 1 on the southern region steppe of Kazakhstan, completing nearly six months on the station.

On June 15, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronauts Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker will launch on Soyuz TMA-19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They will dock at the station June 17, joining Expedition 24 Commander Alexander Skvortsov, NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, who have been aboard the station since April 4.

NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information is available at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Key to child’s success: Books in the home

RENO, Nev., May 24 (UPI) — A U.S. sociologist says books in the home are key to a child’s success — whether in China or the United States.

Mariah Evans of the University of Nevada in Reno says books in the parents’ home were more important than the country of residence or parental economic status in determining a child’s educational level.

“The results of this study indicate that getting some books into their homes is an inexpensive way that we can help these children succeed,” Evans says in a statement.

Evans and colleagues conducted a 20-year study of more than 70,000 cases in 27 countries.

The study, published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, found being raised in a home with a 500-book library had as great an effect on the level of education attained by a child as having a parent with a university education. Both the home library and a parent’s education propelled a child on average 3.2 years further in education versus a child in a home without books or with parents who have less than three years of higher education.

Evans suggested having as few as 20 books in the home has a significant impact on propelling a child to a higher level of education, but the more books added, the greater the benefit.

“You get a lot of ‘bang for your book,’” she said.

SMOS begins its operational mission

PARIS, May 24 (UPI) — The European Space Agency says its SMOS satellite has completed its six-month commissioning and is now fully operational.

The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite is designed to provide global images of soil moisture and ocean salinity to improve science’s understanding of the water cycle, the ESA said. The satellite was launched in November.

SMOS will produce global maps of soil moisture every three days and maps of ocean salinity averaged over 30 days. By consistently mapping those two variables, SMOS will advance our knowledge of the exchange processes between Earth’s surface and atmosphere and also help to improve weather and climate models and be used in such areas as agriculture and water resource management, ESA scientists said.

The ESA has placed three of its Earth Explorer satellites in orbit within little more than a year — the GOCE gravity mission launched in March 2009, followed by SMOS in November and the CryoSat ice mission last month.

Results from the three missions are to be presented during the Living Planet Symposium at the end of June in Bergen, Norway.

Scientists identify a new cancer gene

LONDON, May 24 (UPI) — British and U.S. scientists say they’ve identified a new cancer gene that could lead to more effective treatments for pediatric glioma.

Researchers said their discovery was one of a number of significant genetic differences found between the adult and youth form of the disease. Gliomas are the most common form of brain tumor.

Clinicians and scientists at The U.K. Institute of Cancer Research, the University of Nottingham, the U.K. Children’s Cancer and Leukemia Group and the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the United States said they conducted the most comprehensive analysis to date of pediatric high-grade glioma, making a detailed scan of the genome of 78 newly-diagnosed patients, comparing pediatric tumor samples with the genome of adult gliomas.

“We found significant differences between the genomes of adult and young people’s gliomas,” said Dr. Chris Jones of the IRC. “This is an important finding because it means studies on adult gliomas cannot simply be applied to younger patients, and it has particular implications for drug trials.”

The discovery is reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Categorized | Education, Maps, Other
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