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One Twin Went To Space For a Year, When He Came Back The Changes Were Compelling

Science loves twins. The ability to take one twin as a placebo and the other as the change factor works incredibly well since the twins are practically identical physically. No surprise, science goes bananas studying all the differences that can occur. That’s what happened with the Kelly twins, when Scott and Mark both became astronauts. Scientists decided to send one into space to study what physical changes happened — they were not disappointed with their findings…

Twins Expect Scrutiny

Mark and Kelly were not surprised by the attention they got. Twins regularly raise eyebrows, and the two brothers wondered whether they would end up being in a twin experiment when they got older. Their suspicions proved correct. In 2015, they became part of a stellar experiment.

Control Versus Experiment

For the twin study to work, one of them had to be a control factor. That meant one would stay on earth staying the same without any change. The other would go up in space to see what kind of differences would occur with a long-term space assignment. NASA had a boatload of surprises when the experiment was completed.

Mark on Earth

For Mark, the twin staying earthbound, life was pretty much the same. He continued to keep living, working, eating and entertaining himself as before without any change. His brother Scott, in space, had an entirely different regimen.

Scott in Space

For Scott, the long-term assignment aboard the International Space Station, or ISS, was a very confined, scheduled existence. Every hour in space mattered for NASA, so the lives of the astronauts was pretty much booked from wake up to go to sleep, and even their sleep was monitored for studies.

Stress Everywhere

Along with all the space assignments, Scott was spending everyday focused on producing results. That triggers a lot of mental stress in anyone, and NASA was busy measuring every iota of information about what was happening to Scott physically during the space assignment. For an entire year the process continued. NASA collected data and samples from both brothers which would later be used in comparison.

Scott’s Return

Finally, the day arrived that Scott would be back on earth. Because there isn’t a particular bus station for returning astronauts, the team ended up touching down in Russia. Scott not only got to go to space, he got to visit another country on his return to the planet. All was good it seemed. In his photo flanked by Russian scientists, Scott was all thumbs up.

Initial Studies

The first initial studies of Scott versus Mark showed significant changes to the space-borne brother. Space is entirely different on the body without gravity. The immediate changes were to Scott’s internal system. He had significant fluid deposit in his head and torso. Scott also has a changed metabolism, and his immune system was working at full tilt.

DNA-Related Changes

Scott wasn’t just changed in terms of things moving around inside him. He had been changed genetically. Scott’s DNA started having mistakes in its replication due to be in space for so long. That triggered physical changes to Scott that even his brother could see.

A Unique Study

The Mark-Kelly Twins study was a game-changer for NASA. It was the first time the space organization could really dissect what happens to a person at the genetic level and up when spending a year in space. The research will have a profound impact on future space missions given what it highlighted for scientists about what can happen to the body in space.

Changes as the Chromosome Level

Space affected Scott in how his chromosomes behaved and developed. They actually extended and grew longer. But when he was back on earth, things didn’t go back to “normal” the way he was before. Scott’s chromosomes stayed changed.

Stripped Protection

The end of the chromosomes are protected by telomeres. As Scott returned, gravity and earth’s environment took effect, and his chromosomes lost their extended length. But the protective telomeres ended up being shorter than normal.

Age and Telomeres

The ends of the chromosomes are a key indicators how physical old a person is. When we are children, they tend to be very long. As we age, the telomeres shrink more and more. Then we become more vulnerable to age-related problems. Scott’s telomeres had shrunk considerably, indicating rapid aging of his internal physical DNA.

Continued Studies

Mark and Scott are very likely to continue being studied as a result of the space mission to the end of their lives. NASA and a lot of other scientists are very curious to see what the telomeres change will mean for Scott’s longevity versus Mark and whether there is a predictable connection.

Nobody is Calling the Game Yet

Many will assume that by keeping telomeres longer, it can equal youth retention. However, NASA is very quick to argue that Scott’s telomeres which grew very long in space in fact aged faster in that environment than on Earth. So forced extension is not a fix or cure with this flawed logic.

The Opposite May Be True

Extended space travel may turn out to be highly risky and damaging to humans. And that brings into question how in the world, or out of the world, humans will be able to maintain long-term space exploration if their bodies age prematurely? Or do we make great sacrifices for space exploration and accept the risk? No one is making that decision yet, but the study raises a new, serious concern.

Do the Twins Still Match?

The general question when Scott got back to Earth was whether the two brothers still looked identical or did Space dramatically change the bond they had on the planet before the launch.

Mark Did It

As it turned out, Mark was enjoying himself quite a bit on land, even growing a mustache. So, right up front, he may have fouled up some comparisons by his own living c hoices. Mark turned out to have more DNA changes in total due to his lifestyle. That said, Scott had a few secrets he brought home with him.

Slower Thinking

Scott’s eye shape had been modified by the space stay, but everything was working slower in his mind. His brain cognitive speed had slowed down, and now he has a higher risk for heart disease.

Further Studies

NASA wants to keep studying twins as much as possible, but the practical aspect of getting twins ready to be astronauts with all the necessary study and training is an almost impossible job. It’s hard enough just to be an astronaut, but to find twins from an early age and steer them to the career is unheard of. Mark and Scott Kelly were an anomaly from the start.

Definitive Result #1

NASA did come out with one clearly positive result from the study – the organization could effectively study the genetic status of an astronaut on a long-term space mission, which had never been done before. That opens the door for a lot of new research going forward.

Definitive Result #2

Given the results of what happened to Scott, the deep thinkers at NASA are going to have a lot to work on with trying to figure out how safely engage a mission to Mars. Any such venture will have an extensive time requirement on a given astronaut with serious physical effects. The implications have to be addressed now to make the mission success probable. Which is a new challenge now defined and clear versus being a theoretical what-if problem for NASA engineers.

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Stroke Survivor Launches Pandemic Pet Project, Draws Adorable Portraits For Rescue Groups!

Amanda J

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At the beginning of 2020, we really didn’t know what the world had waiting for us. By the time that March rolled around, the entirety of the planet was consumed by discussions surrounding the coronavirus as well as its impact. Over a full year later, with almost 90 million confirmed infections, the pandemic has become part and parcel of our daily life’s experience. With that being said, one resident from California did his best to make the pandemic as productive and pleasant as possible for rescue animals around California.

Ed Attanasio was the owner and operator of a small advertising agency in San Jose. As a local artist, Ed had seen his work featured at the Kaleid Gallery where he performed as an artist-in-residence. Ed was known at the time for his eclectic drawings and unique caricature work, something that would put him on the radar of a family friend during the quarantine. 

At the time that the pandemic shut everything down, Ed recognized that he was pretty much going to be locked down and furloughed for the remainder of quarantine. After sitting on his hands for a while, Ed would receive a phone call from a friend that changed everything. The family friend had been quarantining with their own family while struggling to keep their kids entertained. Ed offered to send some artwork over and the friend was more than happy to take him up on the offer. 

It didn’t take long for Ed to find his muse at the other end of his pen. Ed began doodling and before he knew it, Ed was drawing unique cartoonish portraits of pets belonging to his friend. Attanasio sent the pictures over whereupon they were received quite well by the family. One of the children said, “This is abstract art. Ed is like Picasso!”

And that was that.

Word quickly began to spread about Ed’s affinity and talent for caricature work. Soon Ed was thinking of using the momentum and attention to help others. Ed said, “I should turn this into a charity model. Why not?” Ed went on to say that he had always believed in supporting children and pets as they are among our most vulnerable. Ed said, “Kids and pets have always been my causes.”

After finding a receptive crowd for his work, Ed would go on to launch the Pandemic Pet Project on Facebook as a charity initiative. Ed would offer to compose Post-it Note Portraits of pets for customers from anywhere in the world. Ed asked for donations in lieu of payments and he has since drawn more than 900 portraits. Through his work, Ed has created llamas, blind raccoons, ferrets, birds, snakes, cats, and dogs. Ed said, “There was supposed to be a two-pet limit but I am a pushover.” 

Of course, Ed has been well rewarded for his efforts. At the time of this writing, Ed has personally helped to raise more than $40k for the Pandemic Pet Project to help shelters and at-risk pets all around the country. His work was well received and warmly embraced by a man from Bend, OR, who was so satisfied with his pet’s portrait that he donated $1,000 to the Pandemic Pet Project. 

As Ed continues to work on amazing portraits for his happy clients, the Pandemic Pet Project is pushing forward and into the future as one of the brightest spots of 2020. Ed says of his portraits, “I am always thinking that I want them to look different. Different color (combinations) shapes, different ears, different noses — It’s original art.”

Ed had previously worked as a journalist and stand-up comedian until he was afflicted by a stroke in 2009 at the age of 50. Ed weighed 350lbs at the time and has since focused on turning his health around, too. Since 2009, Ed has lost more than 120lbs and his new mindset was matching his rejuvenated body.

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Cleaning Out The Attic? Look To See If You Have These Valuable Items

Sarrah M

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Most households in the U.S. have a collection of stuff that’s been bought over the years, whether it’s music, clothing, toys or books and just about everything else. However, something happens after an item reaches 30 years from when it was first sold. A couple of those products actually become extremely valuable. Call it nostalgia or collectability or plain old silliness, Americans have a serious connection to their past with things, and this list of valuable throwaways proves the case. You might even find one or two you had yourself growing up.

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Honest Man Bikes 3 miles to Return Lost Wallet

Sarrah M

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Losing a wallet can be absolutely anxiety-ridden and frustrating. Most people don’t realize their wallet is gone until long after it has been lost, usually hours after the fact. By then, the imagine, every credit card in the wallet has been used and they will be lucky to head off the damage if they can get a hold of their financial accounts services beforehand. However, for one mother in Hawaii, that was not the case. Instead, her wallet was personally returned to her.

Chloe Marino was a having a typical challenging day, trying to manage her 5-month old as well as get groceries in a hurry when she was at her local market in Kahului. The Foodland grocery provides their shoppers grocery carts like most markets, and Chloe had stuffed hers in the cart as she was loading food and goods to purchase and take home. Unfortunately, while she was unloading the cart to her car, she forgot her wallet in the process. However, the sharp eye of the local security guard, Aina Townsend, saved the day.

Townsend happened to see the wallet in the shopping cart left behind before anyone was able grab it. He protected it until his workday was over, and then he got on his bike. The wallet had Chloe’s information and home address, and he knew where the location was based on her data. So, traveling on his personal bike, he covered 3 miles to get to her home. He knew what it was like to lose a wallet himself, so Townsend wanted to make sure this one got back to its owner safe and sound. As he told the news later on, it just felt like the right thing to do.

When Chloe and her husband answered the door and realized what Townsend had done for them, they were floored. The effort in travel and just making sure everything was protected completely surprised them. Chloe still had no idea her wallet had been missing earlier in the day until Townsend showed up and handed it back to her. She had never met him before, had no connection to the security guard, and has noted repeatedly how Townsend went more than the extra mile for a total stranger.

Chloe’s husband, Gray, was so moved by it, he put the story on Facebook, giving full credit to Townsend for his bike ride and how it embodied an Aloha spirit Hawaiians espouse as an ideal. The local community was so amazed and impressed by Townsend’s efforts and behavior, they triggered a GoFundMe account to give the young guard a really big Christmas present, a car of his own. Townsend was completely humbled by the efforts and the fund drive. For him, a car would be like scoring the big winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. Beyond just transportation for himself, a car would mean wheels to help is family out as well. Yet even with all the thanks, Townsend’s humility still comes through. He doesn’t believe he did anything special aside from just doing right by the owner of the wallet getting it back to her safe and sound.

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Dominique Rousselle: A Guardian Angel for Thai Stray Dogs

Jolie

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Dominique Rousselle, a Canadian tourist, travels to Thailand to help stray dogs. Rousselle rides his green bicycle through Rama IV Road and small alleys to feed stray dogs. He carries two large bags of dog food on his bicycle to feed Thai Strays in the Lumpini Park area. 

People who do not know Rousselle or have not seen him before often see him as a tourist who loves feeding homeless dogs. However, for those who live in the Lumpini Park area and near Rama IV Road think of him as a guardian angel for dogs. Most people also call him the leader of the pack. 

According to Sunee Saetae, a housewife who lives near Rama IV Road said that Rousselle is a compassionate man. His love for homeless dogs is unprecedented – said Saetae.  She has also been taking care of stray dogs for nearly two decades – and had never seen a foreigner so dedicated and devoted to caring for animals. 

Who is Dominque Rousselle? 

Dominque Rousselle was born in 1957 in Paris, France. He moved to Toronto with his mother around in 1995. He is 63 years old retired teacher who travels to Thailand every year for one month to shelter and feed stray dogs. 

Although he is a Canadian citizen, he loves dogs and takes care of them. He has volunteered for the Toronto Human Society in Canada where he provides shelter to sick dogs. In simple words, he helps find dogs a new home. In Thailand, he works as a volunteer to help stray dogs and educate people to take care of homeless dogs. 

Rousselle is caring for Thai dogs for a decade now. He started rescuing dogs in Toronto and provided them with shelter and food. Over time, his love, fondness, and compassion for stray dogs grew, and that’s why he devotes his free time to help abandoned dogs. 

Rousselle Pays from His own Pocket 

For nearly a decade, Dominique Rousselle has been spending money from his own pocket to help poor dogs. He would even pay for the food, medicine, and other essential when he would bring dogs to the organization where he volunteered.

In Thailand, people often see him bringing chicken and cutting it into smaller pieces to feed hungry stray dogs. He takes care of dogs in bad condition, but most often, he realizes that feeding is not enough. That’s why he also buys medicine for dogs to treat their health conditions. Rousselle said that he treats at least 40 dogs daily. 

Dogs are in better health when they receive primary care. Rousselle takes sick dogs to the veterinarian, buys medicine, and other stuff from his own pocket. If a dog needs proper treatment, he takes it to Sukhumvit Veterinarians, a dog clinic located on Sukhumvit SOI 51. 

Moreover, Rousselle pays around $270 that equates 10,000 baht for the stray dogs to travel with him on the plane. Rousselle said that he spends $5,000 on each trip to Thailand to shelter, feed, and neuter, and treat stray dogs. 

Final Words 

Taking care of dogs and other animals is a great act, and everyone needs to learn from Dominique Rousselle who at the age of 63 pays from his own pocket to shelter, feed, and treat stray dogs in Thailand. Rousselle is indeed an inspiration for all those who love animals, but ignore these poor animals when they need them the most. 

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Indian School Charges Students in Plastic for Education

Danielle S

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Plastic is a harmful material to human health and ecosystem wellbeing. Human bodies absorb chemicals added to plastic products, and some of these toxic compounds can cause hormonal changes, leading to potential health effects. Marine animals often ingest plastic debris that can injure or poison them. 

The UV rays of the sun and burning cause the plastic to release several greenhouse gases, leading to global warming and climate change. As a result, the earth gets is getting hotter every day because of human practices. Research shows that plastic waste breaks down into ethylene and methane, which increase the rate of global warming. 

While many countries are making substantial efforts to save the planet, Akshar, an untraditional school in Assam, India charges student in a plastic waste instead of money for education. 

The Incredible Story of Akshar

According to Mazin Mukhtar, the co-founder of Akshar, the idea was developed by him and his wife. The couple had dreamed about starting a new kind of educational institution for children in poverty. 

Mukhtar said that most parents were not cooperating with him when he first started a recycling center in the school. That’s why he came up with the idea of “Plastic School Fees” to encourage parents and children to recycle. 

The school was providing free education to poor children before Mukhtar came up with the recycling policy. Mukhtar said that recycling plastic is like mandatory homework than fees. However, he calls it plastic fees to remind the parents. 

Although education is free, Mukhtar wants parents of students to help clean, dry plastic waste from their homes. The purpose is to reduce the intensity of plastic waste and lower the damage caused by it. Mukhtar is making efforts to aware students and parents of global warming and climate change. 

The school likewise teaches students and parents about the adverse effects of plastic waste. Many households used to burn plastic material to warm their homes – said Parmita. After the school started educating students and parents, they were shocked to learn about the harmful effects of plastic and how it affected their health. 

Besides working in the recycling center of the school, children learn Science, English, and Math. However, the secondary school curriculum also incorporates photography, carpentry, embroidery, and solar technician course. Mukhtar said that the school is focusing on developing career-based curriculums that will help the poor students find jobs or start businesses. 

Final Words 

Akshar is a school in Assam, India, and it has got admiration from all over India and other countries. The school’s focus on recycling plastic waste has grabbed the attention of numerous environmental enthusiasts who are now willing to help the school financially. 

Every student brings around 20-25 pieces of plastic waste a week as their contribution to the ecosystem and the local community. Students are now earning money in school by educating smaller children about recycling plastic waste and by working in the recycling center. 

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