Science & Technology Headlines

Report: Snap fires 2 execs after alleged sexual misconduct…

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Snap recently fired two executives after one allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a contract worker.

 
Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon…

Over the years, scientists have identified dams, pollution and vessel noise as causes of the troubling decline of the Pacific Northwest's resident killer whales. Now, they may have found a new and more surprising culprit: pink salmon.

 
Report: Facebook's privacy lapses may result in record fine…

Facebook may be facing the biggest fine ever imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations involving the personal information of its 2.2 billion users.

 
New technologies enable better-than-ever details on genetically m…

Salk researchers have mapped the genomes and epigenomes of genetically modified plant lines with the highest resolution ever to reveal exactly what happens at a molecular level when a piece of foreign DNA is inserted. Their findings, published in the journal PLOS Genetics on January 15, 2019, elucidate the routine methods used to modify plants, and offer new ways to more effectively minimize potential off-target effects.

 
Herpetologists describe new species of snake found in stomach of…

Herpetologists at The University of Texas at Arlington have described a previously unknown species of snake that was discovered inside the stomach of another snake more than four decades ago.

 
Targeting 'hidden pocket' for treatment of stroke and seizure…

The ideal drug is one that only affects the exact cells and neurons it is designed to treat, without unwanted side effects. This concept is especially important when treating the delicate and complex human brain. Now, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have revealed a mechanism that could lead to this kind of long-sought specificity for treatments of strokes and seizures.

 
Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria…

Engineers have created a bacteria-filtering membrane using graphene oxide and bacterial nanocellulose. It's highly efficient, long-lasting and environmentally friendly -- and could provide clean water for those in need.

 
Enhanced NMR reveals chemical structures in a fraction of the tim…

Researchers have developed a way to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), a technique used to study the structure and composition of many kinds of molecules, including proteins linked to Alzheimer's and other diseases.

 
Smart microrobots that can adapt to their surroundings…

Scientists have developed tiny elastic robots that can change shape depending on their surroundings. Modeled after bacteria and fully biocompatible, these robots optimize their movements so as to get to hard-to-reach areas of the human body. They stand to revolutionize targeted drug delivery.

 
Classic double-slit experiment in a new light…

An international research group has developed a new X-ray spectroscopy method based on the classical double-slit experiment to gain new insights into the physical properties of solids.

 
Researchers develop smart micro-robots that can adapt to their su…

One day, hospital patients might be able to ingest tiny robots that deliver drugs directly to diseased tissue, thanks to research being carried out at EPFL and ETH Zurich.

 
Classic double-slit experiment in a new light…

An international research team led by physicists from the University of Cologne has implemented a new variant of the basic double-slit experiment using resonant inelastic X-ray scattering at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble. This new variant offers a deeper understanding of the electronic structure of solids. Writing in Science Advances, the research group have now presented their results in a study titled "Resonant inelastic X-ray incarnation of Young's double-slit experiment."

 
Enhanced NMR reveals chemical structures in a fraction of the tim…

MIT researchers have developed a way to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), a technique used to study the structure and composition of many kinds of molecules, including proteins linked to Alzheimer's and other diseases.

 
NASA and China collaborate on Moon exploration…

The space agencies of the United States and China are coordinating efforts on Moon exploration, NASA said Friday, as it navigates a strict legal framework aimed at protecting national security and preventing technology transfer to China.

 
Barcelona taxis go on strike, block major street…

Dozens of taxis in Barcelona went on indefinite strike on Friday, blocking a major thoroughfare in protest against online ride-hailing services like Uber.

 
Specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injur…

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has identified specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Their findings support the theory of accelerated aging after SCI, and have important implications for further research.

 
Green turtle: The success of the reintroduction program in Cayman…

The reintroduction program for the green turtle in the Cayman Islands has been crucial in order to recover this species, which are threatened by the effects of human overexploitation, according to the first genetic study of the green turtle's reintroduction program in this area of the Atlantic ocean.

 
Scientists discover natural fitness watch in fishes that records…

Scientists have shown for the first time that the energetic cost of living (the metabolic rate) of fish can be measured in structures that grow in their ears. This new tool can be used to show how fish are influenced by and adapt to changes in their environment, including climate change.

 
Waves in Saturn's rings give precise measurement of planet's rota…

Saturn's distinctive rings were observed in unprecedented detail by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and scientists have now used those observations to probe the interior of the giant planet and obtain the first precise determination of its rotation rate. The length of a day on Saturn, according to their calculations, is 10 hours 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

 
Does being bilingual make children more focused? Study says no…

Bilingual children do not have more advantages than monolingual children when it comes to executive function, which includes remembering instructions, controlling responses, and shifting swiftly between tasks.

 
Air pollution increases ER visits for breathing problems…

As levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER with breathing problems, according to the largest US study of air pollution and respiratory emergency room visits of patients of all ages.

 
Placentas adapt when mothers have poor diets or low oxygen during…

Researchers have discovered the placenta regulates how much oxygen and nutrients it transports to babies during challenging pregnancies in the first study of its kind. The placenta is one of the least understood human organs and it is notoriously difficult to study. This new research focused on analyzing the placental mitochondria and it is hoped the new findings could lead to tests to determine whether a mother's placenta is functioning properly.

 
Synaptic logic for connections between two brain hemispheres…

Researchers have developed a new combination of technologies that allows them to identify the functional properties of individual synapses that link the two hemispheres and determine how they are arranged within a neuron's dendritic field.

 
'Happiness' exercises can boost mood in those recovering from sub…

Brief, text-based, self-administered exercises can significantly increase in-the-moment happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders, report researchers.

 
Free public transport is great news for the environment but it's…

When Luxembourg announced recently that all public transport in the country will be free from next year, this radical move was received with astonishment. After all, most nations would surely shy away from putting such strain on public finances and from antagonising those taxpayers who don't use public transport.

 
Fighting deadly drug resistant bacteria in intestines with new an…

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a potentially deadly infection in the large intestine most common in people who need to take antibiotics for a long period of time, particularly in Australia's ageing population. But when doses of a new antibiotic called Ramizol were given to hamsters infected with a lethal dose of the bacteria, a significant proportion of hamsters survived the infection.

 
As shutdown drags on, scientists scramble to keep insects, plants…

Three days a week, Don Weber shows up to work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture campus in Beltsville, Md. The parking lot is empty and the hallways are dark. Like other federal facilities across the country, the lab is closed because of the partial government shutdown.

 
Man-made chemicals in our environment cause 'worrying' changes in…

Exposure to man-made chemicals found all around us has caused 'worrying' changes in sheep livers, according to the researchers behind a new study.

 
Data breaches are inevitable – here's how to protect yourself a…

It's tempting to give up on data security altogether, with all the billions of pieces of personal data – Social Security numbers, credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords and much more – breached and stolen in recent years. But that's not realistic – nor is the idea of going offline entirely. In any case, huge data-collection corporations vacuum up data about almost every American without their knowledge.

 
Government can't force people to unlock phones using facial recog…

A federal judge in Oakland ruled that law enforcement agencies cannot force people to use biometric features such as facial-recognition to unlock their phones and other devices in a case that highlights the fight between Big Tech and law enforcement over users' privacy.

 
Two thirds of people in their 20s now live with their parents –…

Gone are the days when living at home in your 20s was seen as an embarrassing sign of arrested development. Today, 63% of single adults between the ages of 20 and 29 live with their parents, as do just over half of 25- to 29-year-olds. This inevitably raises issues about how families share costs, and what sort of living standards both older and younger generations can maintain in this arrangement.

 
Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?

Compared to gene-edited babies in China and ambitious projects to rescue woolly mammoths from extinction, biotech trees might sound pretty tame.

 
Stoking conflict between farming and conservation hurts everyone…

Canada's future prosperity will depend on effective environmental conservation and sustainable —and profitable —agriculture. Unfortunately, recent comments from former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall pit the two concerns against each other unnecessarily.

 
'Make love, not CO2': Swiss students march for climate action…

Thousands of school children and university students across Switzerland skipped class on Friday to march in the streets and demand climate action, telling politicians "There is no planet B".

 
Bad math: Software error tweaks grades in N Carolina schools…

A software error caused public school students around North Carolina to receive incorrect end-of-term grades this school year, state education officials said.

 
Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks…

A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate.

 
New research finds that when it comes to crowdsourcing, less is m…

New research from Cass Business School has found a solution that deals with one of the primary challenges businesses face when they crowdsource innovation.

 
Nanoparticle breakthrough in the fight against cancer…

A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a novel targeted drug delivery system in the fight against cancer.

 
Fossil fuel era is ending, but the lawsuits are just beginning…

"Coal is dead."

 
Researchers come face to face with huge great white shark…

Two shark researchers who came face to face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded are using their encounter as an opportunity to push for legislation that would protect sharks in Hawaii.

 
Waves in Saturn's rings give precise measurement of planet's rota…

Saturn's distinctive rings were observed in unprecedented detail by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and scientists have now used those observations to probe the interior of the giant planet and obtain the first precise determination of its rotation rate. The length of a day on Saturn, according to their calculations, is 10 hours 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

 
Poor sleep and heart-related death…

Elderly men who experience extended episodes of interrupted breathing while asleep have a high risk of heart problems. Research shows for the first time that poor blood oxygenation is a good indicator of the chance of heart-related death, which cannot be attributed to sleep apnoea alone.

 
Killer blows? Knockout study of pair of mouse MicroRNA provides c…

Researchers used knockout mouse models created by gene editing to reveal that the miRNA miR-146b, like miR-146a, is involved in the development of cancers, with them having similar but not identical effects. The knockout mice should help in the fight against cancers involving miRNA dysregulation.

 
How musicians communicate non-verbally during performance…

Scientists have discovered a new technique to examine how musicians intuitively coordinate with one another during a performance, silently predicting how each will express the music.

 
Mangrove patches deserve greater recognition no matter the size…

Governments must provide stronger protection for crucial small mangrove patches, experts say.

 
Short bouts of stairclimbing throughout the day can boost health…

It just got harder to avoid exercise. A few minutes of stair climbing, at short intervals throughout the day, can improve cardiovascular health, according to new research.

 
Exposure to chemicals during pregnancy is not associated with an…

Exposure to certain chemicals such as phthalates, parabens or Bisphenol A could be associated with a decrease in blood pressure during pregnancy.

 
New ways to harness wasted methane…

The primary component of natural gas, methane, is itself a potent greenhouse gas. A recent study has unveiled a high performance catalyst for methane conversion to formaldehyde.

 
Hand-knitted molecules…

Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips -- in a sense as a 'hand-knitted' unique specimen. The properties of the molecules can be monitored in real time while they are being produced. The research results have just been published in Nature Communications.

 
New therapeutic avenue in the fight against chronic liver disease…

A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a novel targeted drug delivery system in the fight against cancer.

 
Mediterranean freshwater fish species susceptible to climate chan…

Climate change will strongly affect many European freshwater fish species. This is particularly the case for species in the Mediterranean region.

 
Potential biotech and health applications with new knowledge on b…

New research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications.

 
Plant peptide helps roots to branch out in the right places…

How do plants space out their roots? A research team has identified a peptide and its receptor that help lateral roots to grow with the right spacing.

 
Home-based hypertension program produces 'striking' results…

Pilot study finds that an innovative care-delivery program helped 81 percent of participants achieve blood pressure control in seven weeks.

 
Unraveling of 58-year-old corn gene mystery may have plant-breedi…

In discovering a mutant gene that 'turns on' another gene responsible for the red pigments sometimes seen in corn, researchers solved an almost six-decades-old mystery with a finding that may have implications for plant breeding in the future.

 
Violence in PG-13 rated movies not linked to violence in US socie…

New research suggests that policy makers should remain focused on issues that have been demonstrated to impact criminal behavior, such as family environment, mental health, poverty and education.

 
Gene therapy promotes nerve regeneration…

Researchers have shown that treatment using gene therapy leads to a faster recovery after nerve damage. By combining a surgical repair procedure with gene therapy, the survival of nerve cells and regeneration of nerve fibers over a long distance was stimulated. The discovery is an important step towards the development of a new treatment for people with nerve damage.

 
Why do Hydra end up with just a single head?

Hydra is able to regenerate any part of its body to rebuild an entire individual. The head organizer performs two opposite activities, one activating, which causes the head to differentiate, and the other inhibiting, which prevents the formation of supernumerary heads. Researchers have discovered the identity of the inhibitor, called Sp5, and deciphered the dialogue between these two antagonistic activities, which helps maintain a single-headed adult body and organize an appropriate regenerative response.

 
Frailty could make people more susceptible to dementia…

New research suggests that frailty makes older adults more susceptible to Alzheimer's dementia, and moderates the effects of dementia-related brain changes on dementia symptoms. The findings suggest that frailty should be considered in clinical care and management of Alzheimer's dementia.

 
Salad, soda and socioeconomic status: Mapping a social determinan…

Seattle residents who live in waterfront neighborhoods tend to have healthier diets compared to those who live along Interstate-5 and Aurora Avenue, according to new research on social disparities. The study used local data to model food consumption patterns by city block. Weekly servings of salad and soda served as proxies for diet quality.

 
Bee surveys in newest US national park could aid pollinator studi…

Declines in native bee populations are widely reported, but can existing data really analyze these trends? Entomologists report findings about pollinator biodiversity in California's Pinnacle National Park derived from three separate surveys spanning 17 years and say similar studies in other areas are needed.

 
Bioethicists call for oversight of consumer 'neurotechnologies' w…

The marketing of consumer 'neurotechnologies' can be enticing: apps that diagnose a mental state, and brain devices that improve cognition or 'read' one's emotional state. However, many of these increasingly popular products aren't fully supported by science and have little to no regulatory oversight, which poses potential health risks to the public. Two bioethicists suggest the creation of a working group that would further study, monitor, and provide guidance for this growing industry -- which is expected to top $3 billion by 2020.

 
Scientists create a renewable source of cancer-fighting T cells…

A study by UCLA researchers is the first to demonstrate a technique for coaxing pluripotent stem cells -- which can give rise to every cell type in the body and which can be grown indefinitely in the lab -- into becoming mature T cells capable of killing tumor cells.

 
Orchards in natural habitats draw bee diversity, improve apple pr…

Apple orchards surrounded by agricultural lands are visited by a less diverse collection of bee species than orchards surrounded by natural habitats.

 
Telling stories using rhythmic gesture helps children improve the…

For the first time it has been shown that a brief training session with rhythmic gestures has immediate benefits for narrative discourse in children of 5 and 6 years of age.

 
Psychological distress is a risk factor for dementia…

A new study suggests that vital exhaustion -- which can be perceived as an indicator of psychological distress -- is a risk factor for future risk of dementia.

 
Combination therapy treats leishmaniasis, HIV patients…

Coinfection with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been observed in at least 35 countries on four continents and requires special case management. Currently, the World Health Organization recommends AmBisome monotherapy for treatment. Now, researchers have showed that a combination therapy of AmBisome and miltefosine is more effective.

 
Saturn hasn't always had rings…

In its last days, the Cassini spacecraft looped between Saturn and its rings so that Earth-based radio telescopes could track the gravitational tug of each. Scientists have now used these measurements to determine the mass of the rings and estimate its age, which is young: 10-100 million years. This supports the hypothesis that the rings are rubble from a comet or Kuiper Belt object captured late in Saturn's history.

 
Artificially produced cells communicate with each other…

Researchers have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins.

 
New thermoelectric material delivers record performance…

Taking advantage of recent advances in using theoretical calculations to predict the properties of new materials, researchers have discovered a new class of half-Heusler thermoelectric compounds, including one with a record high figure of merit -- a metric used to determine how efficiently a thermoelectric material can convert heat to electricity.

 
New findings reveal surprising role of the cerebellum in reward a…

A study in rodents found that the brain's cerebellum -- known to play a role in motor coordination -- also helps control the brain's reward circuitry. Researchers found a direct neural connection from the cerebellum to the ventral tegmental area (a brain area long known to be involved in reward processing and encoding). The findings shed light on the brain circuits critical to the affective and social dysfunction seen across multiple psychiatric disorders.

 
Gene therapy blocks peripheral nerve damage in mice…

Scientists have developed a gene therapy that blocks axonal degeneration, preventing axon destruction in mice and suggesting a therapeutic strategy that could help prevent the loss of peripheral nerves in multiple conditions.

 
Size matters: To livebearer fish, big fins are a big deal…

Biologists studied the evolution of 40 molly and Limia species, and concluded dorsal fin displays arose first for males to compete with other males, only later being used in courtship displays to females. These changes in fin function went hand in hand with enlargement of the male dorsal fin. The fins reached extreme sizes in a few species and appear to be associated with rapid evolution, especially in mollies.

 
Wired for obesity…

Researchers have discovered a set of genes that help to establish brain connections governing body weight.

 
Can a critic-turned-believer sway others? The case of genetically…

When an advocate for one side of an issue announces that he or she now believes the opposite, can that message affect others' views? Research shows that such a conversion message can influence public attitudes. Using video of environmentalist Mark Lynas speaking about his change from an opponent of genetically modified crops to an advocate, researchers found that message had a greater impact than his direct advocacy message.

 
Blocking hormone uptake burns more fat…

A newly discovered regulatory mechanism helps the body control the rate of fat metabolism, according to a new study. The finding may lead to new drugs to help burn stored fat and reduce weight.

 
Scientists accidentally engineer mice with unusually short and lo…

Researchers from two groups studying mouse development have accidentally created mice with unusually long and unusually short tails. Their findings offer new insight into some of the key aspects controlling the development of tails in mice and have implications for understanding what happens when developmental pathways go awry.

 
How to rapidly image entire brains at nanoscale resolution…

A powerful new technique combines expansion microscopy with lattice light-sheet microscopy for nanoscale imaging of fly and mouse neuronal circuits and their molecular constituents that's roughly 1,000 times faster than other methods.

 
Scientists learn how common virus reactivates after transplantati…

A new study challenges long-held theories of why a common virus -- cytomegalovirus, or CMV -- can reactivate and become a life-threatening infection in people with a compromised immune system, including blood cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation.

 
Brain cells that make pain unpleasant…

If you step on a tack, neurons in your brain will register two things: that there's a piercing physical sensation in your foot, and that it's not pleasant. Now, a team of scientists has identified a bundle of brain cells in mice responsible for the latter -- that is, the negative emotions of pain.

 
How our cellular antennas are formed…

Most of our cells contain an immobile primary cilium. The 'skeleton' of the cilium consists of microtubule doublets, which are 'pairs' of proteins essential for their formation and function. Scientists have developed an in vitro system capable of forming microtubule doublets, and have uncovered the mechanism and dynamics of their assembly. Their study reveals the crucial role of tubulin, a real building block, in preventing the uncontrolled formation of ciliary structures.

 
Individual lichens can have up to three fungi…

Individual lichens may contain up to three different fungi, according to new research from an international team of researchers. This evidence provides new insight into another recent discovery that showed lichen are made up of more than a single fungus and alga, overturning the prevailing theory of more than 150 years.

 
Stress fracture? Your foot hitting pavement wasn't the main probl…

It starts as a persistent and irritating pain in the foot or lower leg, then it gets more intense, maybe with swelling, and soon a runner knows she's being sidelined by one of the most common running injuries: a stress fracture. These tiny cracks in the bone can halt training for months or even end a sports season. A segment of the multibillion-dollar wearables industry aims to save potential victims from this fate, but an engineering professor found a major problem: the devices are measuring the wrong thing.

 
New hope for stem cell approach to treating diabetes…

Researchers have tweaked the recipe for coaxing human stem cells into insulin-secreting beta cells and shown that the resulting cells are more responsive to fluctuating glucose levels in the blood.

 
Scientists find increase in asteroid impacts on ancient Earth by…

A team of scientists has determined the number of asteroid impacts on the Moon and Earth increased by two to three times starting around 290 million years ago. Previous theories held that there were fewer craters on both objects dating back to before that time because they had disappeared due to erosion. The new findings claim that there were simply fewer asteroid impacts during that earlier period.

 
Reinforcement learning expedites 'tuning' of robotic prosthetics…

Researchers have developed an intelligent system for 'tuning' powered prosthetic knees, allowing patients to walk comfortably with the prosthetic device in minutes, rather than the hours necessary if the device is tuned by a trained clinical practitioner. The system is the first to rely solely on reinforcement learning to tune the robotic prosthesis.

 
Body-painting protects against bloodsucking insects…

A study by researchers from Sweden and Hungary shows that white, painted stripes on the body protect skin from insect bites. It is the first time researchers have successfully shown that body-painting has this effect. Among indigenous peoples who wear body-paint, the markings thus provide a certain protection against insect-borne diseases.

 
NASA Astronaut, Crewmates Return to Earth After 197-Day Mission i…

Three members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 57 crew, including NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, returned to Earth Thursday, safely landing at 12:02 a.m. EST (11:02 a.m. local time) in Kazakhstan.

 
NASA Administrator Statement on Passing of Rona Ramon…

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine about the passing of Rona Ramon, widow of Ilan Ramon:

 
Bettina Inclán Named to Head NASA Office of Communications…

Bettina Inclán has been named by Administrator Jim Bridenstine to be NASA’s Associate Administrator for Communications.

 
NASA Begins America’s New Moon to Mars Exploration Approach in…

NASA welcomed a new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, deputy administrator, Jim Morhard, and chief financial officer, Jeff DeWit, in 2018. Their focus is on firmly establishing the groundwork to send Americans back to the Moon sustainably, with plans to use the agency’s lunar experience to prepare to send astronauts to Mars.

 
NASA Sends CubeSats to Space on First Dedicated Launch with US Pa…

A series of new CubeSats now are in space, conducting a variety of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations, following launch Sunday of Rocket Lab’s first mission for NASA under a Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract.

 
NASA TV to Air International Space Station Crew Landing…

Three residents of the International Space Station, including one NASA astronaut, are scheduled to wrap up their stay aboard the orbital laboratory Wednesday, Dec. 19.

 
NASA Contracts for Engineering, Technical Support Services…

NASA has selected Analytical Mechanics Associates in Hampton, Virginia, and New Horizons Aeronautics in Chantilly, Virginia, to perform engineering and technical support services (ETSS) for the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.

 
NASA Awards Contract for Programmatic, Institutional Assessment C…

NASA has awarded a contract to Booz Allen Hamilton of Houston to provide independent programmatic and institutional assessment capabilities at the agency’s Johnson Space Center, also in Houston.

 
NASA’s Newly Arrived OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Already Discovers Wa…

Recently analyzed data from NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has revealed water locked inside the clays that make up its scientific target, the asteroid Bennu.

 
Media Invited to News Conference, Interviews with Next Space Stat…

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Hammock Koch will discuss their upcoming mission to the International Space Station in a news conference at 3 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 12, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.