CLOSE
Original image
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), J. Bally/H. Drass et al.

See Baby Stars Explode in Orion

Original image
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), J. Bally/H. Drass et al.

It must be nice to be a star; even their accidents are spectacular. Astronomers have shared new images of the dazzling collision of two newly formed stars. They described the pyrotechnic wreck in The Astrophysical Journal [PDF].

The constellation Orion lies about 1350 light-years from your screen.

ASA/JPL-Caltech/D. Barrado y Navascués via Wikimedia Commons// Public Domain

It’s a bustling stellar metropolis, home to both the Orion nebula and the Orion Molecular Cloud 1 (OMC1), which brews up baby stars and rolls them out into the cosmos. Like any factory, the OMC1 occasionally gets backed up. That’s what happened about 100,000 years ago, when the cloud produced a passel of little stars at once. The forces of gravity began pushing the stars toward each other, faster and faster, and eventually, about 500 years ago, two of them smashed right into one another.

Paper author John Bally first spotted the glowing wreckage on a telescope in Hawaii, then in Chile. The new images, which provide the fullest picture yet, were captured by Bally and his team at Chile’s Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array.

ESO/C. Malin // Public Domain

“The OMC1 explosive outflow and stellar ejection poses many puzzles,” they write. “Are there additional ejected stars…? How were the hundreds of CO streamers produced? How much do such events contribute to feedback and self-regulation of star formation?”

Dr. Bally, we will let you figure that out. You just keep those lovely images coming.

Original image
Courtesy of Nature
arrow
science
Scientists Create Three Puppy Clones of 'Snuppy,' the World's First Cloned Dog
Original image
Courtesy of Nature

Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, died in 2015, but his genetic legacy lives on. As the National Post reports, South Korean scientists recently described in the journal Scientific Reports the birth of three clone puppies, all of which are identical replicas of the famous Afghan hound.

Those who lived through the 1990s might remember Dolly, the Scottish sheep that gained fame for being the very first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. Following Dolly's 1996 cloning, scientists managed to replicate other animals, including cats, mice, cows, and horses. But dog cloning initially stymied scientists, Time reports, as their breeding period is limited and their eggs are also hard to extract.

Ultimately, researchers ended up using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to clone a dog, the same method that was used to make Dolly. In the early 2000s, a team of South Korean scientists inserted DNA harvested from an Afghan hound's skin cells into a dog egg from which the DNA had been removed. The egg divided, which produced multiple cloned embryos.

The scientists implanted 1095 of these embryos in 123 dogs, an exhaustive initiative that yielded just three pregnancies, according to NPR. Of these, Snuppy—whose name is a combination of "puppy" and Seoul National University's initials—was the only survivor.

Snuppy died from cancer in April 2015, just shortly after his 10th birthday. To celebrate his successful life, the same South Korean researchers decided to re-clone him using mesenchymal stem cells from the dog's belly fat, which were taken when he was five. This time around, they transferred 94 reconstructed embryos to seven dogs. Four clones were later born, although one ended up dying shortly after birth.

The tiny Snuppy clones are now more than a year old, and researchers say that they don't think that the pups face the risk of accelerated aging, nor are they more disease-prone than other dogs. (Dolly died when she was just six years old, while cloned mice have also experienced shorter lifespans.) Snuppy's somatic cell donor, Tai, lived just two years longer than Snuppy, dying at age 12, the average lifespan of an Afghan hound.

Researchers say that this new generation of Snuppys will yield new insights into the health and longevity of cloned animals. Meanwhile, in other animal cloning news, a Texas-based company called ViaGen Pets is now offering to clone people's beloved pets, according to CBS Pittsburgh—a service that costs a cool $50,000 for dogs.

[h/t National Post]

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Hate Waiting at Baggage Claim? Here's How to Make Sure Your Suitcase Arrives First
Original image
iStock

Air travel involves plenty of waiting, from standing in long security lines to preparing for takeoff. And even after you land, your trip is stalled until you locate your luggage on the carousel. Luckily for impatient fliers, there are several ways to game the system and ensure a speedy suitcase delivery once you step off the plane, according to Travel + Leisure.

To score true VIP luggage treatment, ask the representative behind the check-in counter if they can attach a “fragile” sticker to your bag. Suitcases with these kinds of labels are often loaded last and unloaded first. (Plus, they receive the type of kid-glove treatment that ultimately helps them last longer.)

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need a new tag each time you fly. If it looks old, or was issued by a different airline, the crew might not pay attention to it, according to Condé Nast Traveler. Also, consider upping your suitcase game, as quality, hard-shell bags look like they contain delicate or important items. Their appearance—along with the fragile sticker—will inspire baggage handlers to give them special treatment.

Another trick that can shave a few minutes off your wait time is making sure you're the last person to check in, instead of rushing to be first. If you can't resist getting to the airport early, try asking if you can check it at the gate. This could make your bag one of the last on the plane, and thus one of the first taken out. This method isn't surefire, however, as loading and unloading systems vary among flights.

And if all else fails, Thrillist advises that you try upgrading your flight. Some airlines give priority to bags that belong to elite travelers and business class, meaning they’ll be stored separately from other luggage and come out first. Good luck! No matter what happens, at least you can't have it worse than the lady who had to wait 20 years for her bag to show up.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios