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SpaceX has posted a job for a 'Resort Development Manager' to be based out of Brownsville, a town near its Boca Chica test and development site. The company is looking to turn Boca Chica into a 21st-century spaceport. Elon Musk has previously revealed plans to build floating spaceports for both interstellar and point-to-point Earth travel. SpaceX plans to offer orbital return flights to paying customers using Space Dragon. Space Dragon is in the final stages of human flight certification and SpaceX could be offering private trips as early as next year.
Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees unless their emergency appeal to block the ruling is successful. The companies have been under pressure for months to reclassify their workers. A law signed in September provides a test for determining if someone is a contractor or an employee but the companies have denied that drivers are central to their ride-hailing business. Reclassifying workers to employees means that they will receive traditional benefits like minimum wage, health insurance, and workers' compensation. Uber and Lyft claim that the ruling will result in fewer jobs and that a vast majority of drivers wish to remain independent workers.
Researchers have used CRISPR-Cas9 on cephalopods for the first time, making some longfin inshore squid transparent by deleting a gene called TDO. TDO encodes a protein that adds pigment to the squid's eyes and chromatophores. The squids were treated as embryos and the treatment successfully affected more than 90% of the cells in the squid, suggesting that the technique could be used to modify genes involved in cephalopod brain function.
Ceres, long believed to be a barren space rock, is actually an ocean world with reservoirs of seawater beneath its surface. The discovery was made after scientists from the US and Europe analyzed images relayed from the Nasa Dawn spacecraft. Hydrohalite, a material common in sea ice, was found on the surface of the dwarf planet. There is likely ongoing water activity on the dwarf planet.
Canada's last fully intact ice shelf has split in two, forming an iceberg almost the size of Manhattan. The region's temperature was 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer this summer than the 1980 to 2010 average, likely contributing to the collapse of the shelf. Ice shelves float in the ocean and are typically hundreds to thousands of years old. Canada used to have a continuous ice shelf spanning the northern coast of Ellesmere, but it has broken apart due to human-made warming.
Thousands of people protested in Belarus on the weekend over the results of the presidential election. Long-time president Alexander Lukashenko won 80 percent of the vote, extending his 26-year long rule. Government authorities responded to protestors with rubber bullets, stun grenades, and a partial internet shutdown. Twitter announced that it had detected blocking and throttling and Access Now reported that dozens of websites had been blocked, including VPN services.
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