Dutch Scientist assures that An Alien Invasion is Unlikely

Should we be fearful of an invasion by Aliens?  Probably not any time soon, according to researchers involved in scanning the skies for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Professor Michael Garrett, from the University of Leiden and the General and Scientific Director of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) is one of the scientists who conducted numerous radio observations over the years.

Based on his radio scans of the best candidate galaxies (those that held promise of hosting ETI) Garrett has determined that advanced ET civilizations are rare or are not present within the surveyed range of the universe.  He says that natural astrophysical processes are most likely behind the detection of any odd radio signals that had been received so far.

“In my view, it means we can all sleep safely in our beds tonight – an alien invasion doesn’t seem at all likely,” said Garrett.

Researchers find that Love is Rooted in Evolution

Humans aren’t the only species who are choosy when selecting mates.

A research team from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Ornithology recently conducted an experiment that found the Zebra Finch is also pretty fussy too, and for good reason: survival of its species.

For their experiment, the researchers had groups of 20 female Zebra Finches freely select their choice of mates from 20 males.

Once the birds had paired up, half of the zebra finch couples where allowed to go their own way, produce baby birds and live happily ever after.

For the remaining half, the researchers stepped in and broke up the couples.  The birds were forced to pair up and mate with a different companion, one who was just as heartbroken.

The researchers found that the happy, self-selected zebra finch couples produced significantly more chicks than the birds in the forced pairings.

On Sept. 15, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko reached the halfway point of the first one-year mission to the International Space Station. (NASA)

On Sept. 15, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (L) and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko (R) reached the halfway point of the first one-year mission to the International Space Station. (NASA)

ISS One-Year Mission Marks Halfway Point

Today (9/15/15) marks the halfway point of the one-year mission being conducted on the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have been up in the space station since March and aren’t scheduled to return to Earth until the spring of 2016 when their Soyuz spacecraft will land in Kazakhstan.

Typically, an ISS expedition lasts between four and six months.

The One-Year Mission was developed to gain an understanding of the effects of extended spaceflight on the human body.

Knowing this is quite important to NASA’s plans of sending humans deeper into space, such as manned flights to and from Mars.

NASA says that research conducted over the year in space may also benefit humans here on Earth.  For example, scientists and doctors can learn to better assist patients who’ve been confined to bed for long periods of time and could allow for the development of improved monitoring systems for those whose bodies have difficulty fighting infections.

Scott Kelly’s twin brother Mark was also a NASA Astronaut who flew on four Space Shuttle missions.  Throughout the One-Year Mission both Scott and his Earth bound brother, Mark, are being medically tested and monitored.  The results of each twin’s tests will later be compared to another.

Smokers Have Higher Risk of Losing Teeth

There are lots of good reasons to quit smoking.  Here’s another one: Keep smoking, and you’ll have higher risk of losing your teeth.

A new study just published in Journal of Dental Research shows that men who smoke are up to 3.6 times more likely than non-smoking guys to lose their teeth.

Among the ladies those who smoke are 2.5 more likely than those who don’t.

According to the study’s lead author Professor Thomas Dietrich, from the UK’s University of Birmingham, most people lose their teeth from either tooth decay or gum disease, which lists smoking as a risk factor.

Smoking can also hide the effects of gum disease so smokers may not realize the seriousness of their oral problems until it’s too late and the teeth start falling out.

And, if you think only old people lose their teeth because of smoking, think again.  The study also found that the connection between smoking and tooth loss was stronger among younger people than those who were older.