Egypt Independent: Science-Main news en From sadness to wow, Facebook launches reaction buttons beyond like <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Like it or not, Facebook Inc&#39;s trademark &quot;like&quot; button is set to get more expressive.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Users will soon be able to do more than &quot;like&quot; posts. They will be able to love them and express sympathy, anger or sadness with animated emoticons.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The social network said on Thursday it is launching a pilot test of &quot;Reactions,&quot; with users able select from seven emotions, including like and &quot;wow.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Dislike,&quot; however, is not one of the options.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post Thursday that users have been requesting ways other than like to respond to posts, such as when someone posts about the death of a loved one or a tragic news story.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy,&quot; wrote Zuckerberg, who said last month the company was working on expanding the like button. &quot;A like might not be the best way to express yourself.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a video accompanying a Facebook post by Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, the six new buttons appear as animated emoticons and pop up when the &quot;like&quot; button is long-pressed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The company said it would pilot the new features in Ireland and Spain on iOS, Android and desktops. The feedback from the pilot test will be used to improve the feature. The company hopes &quot;to roll it out to everyone soon,&quot; Cox wrote in the post, which was &quot;liked&quot; by more than 7,500 people within two hours.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;As you can see, it&#39;s not a &#39;dislike&#39; button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request more broadly,&quot; Cox wrote in his post.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Zuckerberg&#39;s comments last month, which many users took to mean the social network was working on a &quot;dislike&quot; button, spearheaded a debate over whether it would cause cyberbullying and negativity on the site.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But users mostly welcomed Cox&#39;s announcement, saying on social media it was a smart idea.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Facebook user Marc Marasco posted on Cox&#39;s Facebook page: &quot;Elegant solution.&quot;</div> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:10:00 +0000 Reuters 2459051 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/10/43/facebook.jpg Egypt to restore King Tut mask after botched epoxy job <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Egypt&#39;s state-run news agency says the restoration of King Tutankhamun&#39;s world-famous golden mask will begin Saturday, over a year after the beard was accidentally broken off and hastily glued back with epoxy.</p><p>The news agency says Friday a German-Egyptian team will repair the mask at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.</p><p>The beard became detached during work on the relic&#39;s lighting in August 2014 and then was hastily reattached with epoxy.</p><p>In a January press conference by Egypt&#39;s antiquities ministry, days after the botched reattachment came to light, restoration specialist Christian Eckmann said the epoxy could be removed and the mask properly restored.</p><p>Eckmann said the beard on the 3,300-year-old pharaonic mask had likely loosened over the years and has been detached previously</p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:02:00 +0000 AP 2459060 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/09/02/499612/the_golden_mask_of_pharaoh_tutankhamen_is_seen_on_display_at_the_egyptian_museum_in_cairo_january_24_2015._reuters.jpg Science won't stop until it beats AIDS, says HIV pioneer <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="line-height: normal;">More than 30 years after she identified one of the most pernicious viruses to infect humankind, Francoise Barre Sinoussi, who shared a Nobel prize for discovering HIV, is hanging up her lab coat and retiring.</span></p><div>She&#39;s disappointed not to have been able to claim ultimate victory in the battle against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes the killer disease AIDS, but also proud that in three decades, the virus has been beaten into check.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While a cure for AIDS may or may not be found in her lifetime, the 68-year-old says, achieving &quot;remission&quot; - where infected patients control HIV in their bodies and, crucially, can come off treatment for years - is definitely within reach.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I am personally convinced that achievable. When? I don&#39;t know. But it is feasible,&quot; she told Reuters at her laboratory at Paris&#39;s Pasteur Institute, where she and her mentor Luc Montagnier discovered HIV in 1983.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;We have &#39;proof of concept&#39;. We have...the famous Visconti patients, treated very early on. Now it is more than 10 years since they stopped their treatment and they are still doing very well, most of them.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sinoussi is referring to a study group of 14 French patients known as the Visconti cohort, who started on antiretroviral treatment within 10 weeks of being infected and stayed on it for an average of three years. A decade after stopping the drugs, the majority have levels of HIV so low they are undetectable.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>These and other isolated cases of remission, or so-called &quot;functional cure&quot;, give hope to the 37 million people worldwide who, due to scientific progress, should now be able to live with, not have their lives cut short by, HIV.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In developed countries at least - and in many poorer ones too - an HIV positive diagnosis is no longer an immediate death sentence, since patients can enjoy long, productive lives in decent health by taking antiretroviral drugs to control the virus.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&#39;s a long way from the early 1980s, when Sinoussi remembers sick, dying HIV-positive patients coming to the doors of the Pasteur and pleading with scientists there for answers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;They asked us: &lsquo;What we are going to do to cure us&rsquo;,&quot; she says. At that time, she says, she knew relatively little about HIV, but what she was sure of was that these patients would never live long enough to see a treatment developed, let alone a cure. &quot;It was very, very hard.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Yet this interaction with real patients, and with their doctors and later their advocates, gave Sinoussi an important insight into what was needed to make her life in science one with meaning and impact -- collaboration.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Working across barriers - be they scientific disciplines, cultural, religious and political divides, international borders or gender distinctions, has been and remains Sinoussi&#39;s driving force.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In her earliest days, feeling disengaged while working on her PhD and itching for action in a real-life laboratory, she hustled her way in to working at the male-dominated Pasteur Institute for free with a virologist researching links between cancers and retroviruses in mice.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While viruses are her thing, she has throughout her career worked with, cajoled and learned from immunologists, cancer specialists, experts in diseases of aging, pharmaceutical companies, AIDS patients, campaigners, and even the pope.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;When you work in HIV, it&#39;s not only working in HIV, it&#39;s working far, far beyond,&quot; she said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Freshly armed with her Nobel award and fired up about a lack of support for proven methods of preventing HIV&#39;s spread, Sinoussi wrote an open letter to then-Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 criticising him for saying that condoms can promote the spread of AIDS.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In what was widely seen as a modification of his stance in response to such criticism, Benedict said in a book a year later that use of condoms could sometimes be justified in certain limited cases as a way to fight AIDS.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sinoussi says: &quot;HIV has shown the way to go in the field of science. You can&#39;t be isolated in your laboratory. You need to work with others.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And this, she adds, is the &quot;all together&quot; spirit with which she advises her successors to continue after she&#39;s gone.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/screen_shot_2015-10-09_at_12.02.44_pm.png" style="width: 454px; height: 301px;" /></div><div><em>Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, French virologist and director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Division (Unite de Regulation des Infections Retrovirales) at the Institut Pasteur, poses during an interview with Reuters, in Paris, France, October 1, 2015.&nbsp;</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Many will be sad to see her leave, but she has faith that her chosen field will deliver for the people who need it.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Of course, I would love to have stopped and to see we had a vaccine against HIV and another treatment that could induce remission &ndash; but that&#39;s life. I encourage the new generation of scientists today to continue our work.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Science never stops,&quot; she says. &quot;Just because a scientist stops, the science should not stop.&quot;</div> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:28:00 +0000 Reuters 2459033 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/23/43/reuters.jpg NASA unveils missing pieces in journey to Mars <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>NASA on Thursday outlined the many challenges that remain before humans can set foot on Mars, calling the problems &quot;solvable&quot; but setting no firm date for an astronaut mission to the Red Planet.</p><p>Updated details of the US space agency&#39;s Mars strategy were contained in a 36-page document released to the public ahead of upcoming talks with Congress about budgets for space exploration and a major international meeting of the space industry to be held in Jerusalem next week.</p><p>The United States is &quot;closer to sending American astronauts to Mars than at any point in our history,&quot; said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.</p><p>&quot;In the coming weeks, I look forward to continuing to discuss the details of our plan with members of Congress, as well as our commercial and our international partners, many of whom will be attending the International Astronautical Congress next week,&quot; he said in a statement.</p><p>Astronauts who journey to Mars could spend three years in deep space, where radiation is high and so are the risks of cancer, bone loss and immune problems, said the document, called &quot;NASA&#39;s Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Living and working in space require accepting risk, and the journey is worth the risk,&quot; it said, calling Mars &quot;an achievable goal&quot; and &quot;the next tangible frontier for expanding human presence.&quot;</p><p><strong>Three phases&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The plan ahead is divided into three stages, the first of which is already under way with testing and experiments on human health and behavior, life support systems like growing food and recycling water, and 3-D printing aboard the International Space Station.</p><p>The second phase, called &quot;Proving Ground,&quot; begins in 2018 with the launch of the new deep space capsule Orion and the most powerful rocket ever built, known as the Space Launch System, or SLS.</p><p>The space agency plans to practice other missions in the area of space between the Earth and Moon, or in the Moon&#39;s orbit, known as cislunar space.</p><p>These include sending a robotic spacecraft in 2020 to lasso a boulder from a near-Earth asteroid and ferry it to an area in deep space that astronauts can investigate.</p><p>&quot;NASA will learn to conduct complex operations in a deep space environment that allows crews to return to Earth in a matter of days,&quot; said the report.</p><p>&quot;Primarily operating in cislunar space, NASA will advance and validate capabilities required for human exploration of Mars.&quot;</p><p>The third phase involves living and working on Mars&#39; surface and in transiting spaceships &quot;that support human life for years, with only routine maintenance,&quot; as well as &quot;harvesting Martian resources to create fuel, water, oxygen, and building materials.&quot;</p><p>NASA gave no precise dates for this phase in the report, though one graphic mentioned &quot;human missions to Mars vicinity in 2030+.&quot;</p><p><strong>Obstacles remain&nbsp;</strong></p><p>As NASA presses further into space, the agency acknowledged that the problems will grow more complex.</p><p>&quot;Future missions will face increasingly difficult challenges associated with transportation, working in space, and staying healthy,&quot; said the report.</p><p>NASA also said it needs to develop adequate space suits for deep space exploration, and must test advanced solar electric propulsion to power spacecraft efficiently.</p><p>&quot;NASA will have to learn new ways of operating in space,&quot; said the report.</p><p>&quot;Crews must be protected from the unique hazardous environments of deep space and on the Martian surface. Often, systems will have to operate autonomously or remain dormant for years in preparation for crew,&quot; it said.</p><p>&quot;Overcoming these challenges will be essential on the journey to Mars.&quot;</p><p>Before humans ever set foot there, the US space agency and global partners plan a series of new robotic rovers, adding to those already sent by NASA, including the Curiosity rover which touched down in 2012.</p><p>Even that rover&#39;s spectacular sky-crane powered landing must be completely revamped for a human-scale landing, which would be 20-30 times heavier.</p><p>A vehicle to lift humans from the surface of Mars into Mars&#39; orbit is also needed, and is considered &quot;critical to crew survival.&quot;</p><p>NASA said &quot;the most important challenge for human pioneering missions is keeping the crew safe for long-duration missions up to 1,100 days.&quot;</p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 08:51:00 +0000 AFP 2459027 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/07/08/501010/mars_07-08-15.jpg