Feeds

NASA to irradiate monkeys for science

Progress goes 'ook'

SANS - Survey on application security programs

It's good to see NASA getting back into the old spirit of space exploration these days. After years of settling for what are essentially low orbit field trips, the space agency is not only setting sights back on the moon, it's reintroducing the neglected trade of doing strange and unusual things to moneys for science.

NASA will now be exposing 18 to 28 squirrel monkeys to low doses of daily radiation to better understand effects of long-term exposure outside Earth's protective magnetic shield, Discovery News reports. It's the first time NASA has experimented on monkeys in decades.

Space boffins are particularly eager to discover how the type of radiation that astronauts would encounter on trips to distant planets will impact the central nervous systems and behaviors of the monkeys. NASA has been irradiating rats and mice like gangbusters, of course, but nothing says science quite like the smell of over-exposed simian.

"Obviously, the closer we get to man, the better," said Eleanor Blakely, a biophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to Discovery.

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley lab are now training squirrel monkeys to carry out various behavioral tasks. Once they get comfortable, they'll be shipped to NASA's Space Radiation Laboratory in New York and exposed to varying levels of radiation to see what happens.

NASA said the monkeys will not be killed and will retire to McLean Hospital in Boston where veterinarians and staff will oversee the animals for the remainder of their lives.

After the Space Shuttle Challenger carried two monkeys up to space in 1985, NASA has largely left out our simian friends from the field of space exploration. This gap sadly left Russia with a decades-long lead on the USA in the field of simian rocket science. But the commencement of monkey radiation studies leaves hope that these noble beasts may regain their place as cosmic pilgrims in the name of American science. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.