School experiment

Schools will be receiving a message from the Astronaut Tim Peake asking if they will help in with a project to compare the growth of seeds that have been in space with him to those that have remained on Earth.

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Tackling autism

Genetically modified (GM) monkeys which carry a genetic fault that causes a rare disorder in humans called MeCP2 duplication syndrome, develop symptoms of autism and have been created to help scientists discover treatments for the condition. This produces a wide range of medical conditions, some of which mirror those seen in autism, such as difficulties with social interactions.

Researchers say groups of the GM monkeys could be used to identify brain circuits involved in common autistic behaviours and to test new treatments designed to alleviate the symptoms.

Mathmaticians!

A computer in America has come up with a new prime number with 2 million digits, 5 million longer than the previous longest one, discovered in Jan 2013. This will of course be very useful to you!

Spacewalk Update

Being selected for a spacewalk was the astronaut’s greatest hope ahead of his mission to the International Space Station. He moves from a temperature of -157c to 121c as the spacecraft moves out of the earth’s shadow. A minor hitch was a slight tear in one of the gloves – not a good thing in the vacuum of space!

Spacewalk

Tim Peake is due to start his first spacewalk at 12:55 GMT tomorrow. It should last for six-and-a-half hours and during that time he is scheduled to replace a defunct voltage regulator.

Filament light bulbs to reappear?

Scientist have produced a special crystal structure which can reflect energy. This could be used to coat filament light bulbs, thus reducing the energy lost as heat. It is estimated that these light bulbs could have an efficiency of up to 40% compared to the present energy saving bulbs which can do no better than 14%.