May 20th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

Brain research the new 'moon shot'

Editor's note: Patrick Kennedy served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the author and lead House sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008, founder of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus and 21st Century Health Care Caucus, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and is currently co-chairman of One Mind for Research. He discusses his battle with addiction, the pain of losing his father to brain cancer, and "One Mind" on "Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports: Patrick Kennedy: Coming Clean," Sunday on CNN, 7 p.m. ET.

A recession loomed large in the nation's rear-view mirror. The economic recovery, still fragile, was marred by chronic unemployment, especially for workers whose jobs had been erased by technological innovation.

Meanwhile, an ongoing battle against foreign enemies consumed a large share of public resources. It was, in short, hardly the moment one would expect for a political leader to lay down a public challenge whose goal - and costs - staggered the imagination.

FULL STORY

New kind of planet discovered
May 18th, 2011
03:33 PM ET

New kind of planet discovered

The planets in our solar system get along with each other pretty well. But sometimes when multiple planets orbit the same star, there’s a confrontation – that is, the gravity of one planet interferes with another’s. In this way, smaller ones can get kicked out, left to float in the dark without a star to go around.

These “lonely planets” represent an entirely new category of planets, and are perhaps more numerous in our galaxy than stars, scientists report Wednesday in the journal Nature.

"It gives us a good clue about how planet formation works. It suggests that there's a lot of violent encounters between planets near the end of the planet formation process," said David Bennett, astronomer at the University of Notre Dame.

FULL STORY from CNN's This Just In.

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Filed under: Discoveries • In Space
'Space junkies' ponder end of space shuttle program
Lloyd Behrendt, left, and John Johnson are members of the close-knit family of shuttle fans who regularly attend launches.
May 18th, 2011
02:14 PM ET

'Space junkies' ponder end of space shuttle program

Kennedy Space Center, Florida (CNN) - On the morning of the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, Lloyd Behrendt paced the floor of NASA's news center at the Kennedy Space Center, rubbing elbows with reporters while keeping an eye on the countdown clock.

Behrendt wore a baseball hat adorned with pins from previous shuttle missions. His media credential dangled from his neck. A camera strap was slung over one shoulder.

But he doesn't take photographs for a major publication, nor does he report for a television station, newspaper or radio network. Behrendt is a member of a close-knit group of people that some call space junkies.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: On Earth • Voices

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