TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tripps » 15 Mar 2018, 11:04

Very good post Tizer. :good:

The words of the Russian guy who developed this nerve agent, and who now lives in USA, were quite chilling. He said the antidote is only temporary, and even if you live there will be severe permanent effects.

Now there are tents round the house, in Gillingham, of the man who drove the low loader which recovered the car. If it's that 'spreadable' what state must the intensive care section of Salisbury Hospital be?

Interesting to see how the politics of this are unfolding today. Several figures in the H o C and the media seem to be getting instructions directly from the Kremlin. :smile:
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by PanBiker » 15 Mar 2018, 11:13

I heard both of the statements given by an "expert" informant on the radio the other day. I was asking for conformation that the developer now lives in the USA maybe I should have included an if in my sentence as well. :smile: The latter point regarding Porton Down was that the substance had been found to match samples already known at the establishment and I drew my own conclusions. Conspiracy theorists would say that as the research establishment is only just up the road from where the dispersal was found, a source of our own making (if it exists) is probably more likely than a Russian import and deployment.

There is probably just as much evidence in existence for that conclusion as what they have for Russian collusion in my view. Not scientific I know but it's what my crap detector says. Very convenient as a nice diversion tactic for the meltdown in the Tory party.

I would ask the question why they hadn't already expelled the 23 "undeclared" agents supposedly masquerading for years as diplomats?

It's all smoke and mirrors and without proper direct evidence to prove one way or the other we will never get to know the truth, we are only plebs and are treated as such by those that consider themselves masters of the universe.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tripps » 15 Mar 2018, 11:35

PanBiker wrote:
15 Mar 2018, 11:13
I would ask the question why they hadn't already expelled the 23 "undeclared" agents supposedly masquerading for years as diplomats?
So would I. :smile: Perhaps just a continuation of The Great Game
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 15 Mar 2018, 16:56

Oh no, the Great Game! If I start reading about that I'll never get out of the house! I happened to be listening to a recording of Kate Adie's `From Our Own Correspondent' at lunchtime. One of the items was about the Pamiris in Tajikstan who want independence. They settled there in the past from Iraq and are now wanting `the west' to protect them.

Ian, I think you're being a bit too paranoid about the whole issue of the Russian and the nerve agent. Putin doesn't need to get his fingers dirty, he has plenty of pals, many of them criminals, and they're only too happy to eliminate someone to help him and gain a Brownie point. He operates through intermediaries all the time and doesn't have any reservations about killing people in other countries. Assassination has long been a Russian tradition and they see it as part of normal life. He'll be even more pleased with the results if he sees us suggesting that our own government might have been responsible for the death of a double agent on UK soil. :smile:

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 16 Mar 2018, 04:23

Tiz, I never said it was Porton Down where the F&M was being tested and I wasn't a mile out with the sewer pipe.
As for us manufacturing CBW. I seem to remember cases where soldiers volunteering for 'common cold research' had bad side effects from the compounds they were testing which turned out to be inorganic compounds.
Wonderful how quickly £48million was found for the extension to Porton or was this simply a good time to announce it?
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 16 Mar 2018, 11:11

I suspect the money for `extension to Porton Down' is simply what was happening already but now seems like a good time to publicise it. There's lots of money being spent there and at related sites because there are big changes afoot. People have the impression that Porton is all about CBW but it's a science park with facilities of Public Health England and a number of pharmaceutical companies. Work is done on all sorts of other things such as pollution and flu vaccines. There's so much going on it's probably quite easy for Mrs May to claim we're spending X million pounds there on an extension. It's being extended all the time. :smile:

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Whyperion » 16 Mar 2018, 19:17

Tizer wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 09:48
A BBC report on the type of nerve agent used in the Swindon poisoning...
`Russian spy: What are Novichok agents and what do they do?' LINK

That report doesn't tell us anything about the chemistry. The Novichok agents are organophosphate molecules that inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase which is a standard mechanism for nerve agents. Novichok isn't a single chemical type, rather it's a family of related molecular structures and a concept for their application. One of the main objectives of their development by the Russians was to create nerve agents that could bypass the international regulations and were less easy to detect. More information here: LINK
And I am wondering what actual antidote can do to reverse effects, or does one just slow down absorption ?

If Russia backs Corbyn why play to TM and Tories by 'attacking' on British Soil?

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tripps » 16 Mar 2018, 23:07

I've found the Russian chap I mentioned yesterday. Worth looking at this -

Novichok

Having looked at it again - it's difficult to imagine that anyone involved can have survived. I'm surprised they let the PM visit the hospital, and let her anywhere near the victims.

Seems Novichok means offcomed'un (newcomer).
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 17 Mar 2018, 10:47

Thanks for that link. It confirms what I was trying to explain about Novichok being a combination of chemicals, each of which is not subject to CBW prohibitions. Some news reports say that the Novichok precursors can be made in a commercial agrochemicals lab, i.e. where they make organophosphate agricultural chemicals. But I guess the problem comes when anyone tries to mix up a Novichok brew. It will be deadly to the `brewer' unless they have the world's most high-security lab facilities!

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 18 Mar 2018, 03:27

We used to use a herbicide in the 1950s called Denocate, DNOC base (LINK. I think that was dangerous..... It turned everything yellow, even the rabbits!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 18 Mar 2018, 09:42

I seem to recall Tripps was concerned that Novichok could hang around for a long time in the environment. Professor Alistair Hay of Leeds University and a recognised expert on these chemicals is quoted in The Times as saying they degrade quickly, especially in the presence of water. He's concerned that all traces of the agent will have disappeared by the time the reps from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrive to make tests.
Whyperion wrote:
16 Mar 2018, 19:17
And I am wondering what actual antidote can do to reverse effects, or does one just slow down absorption ?
The only antidote is one that counters the immediate action of the agent but it has to be administered quickly and can't reverse the changes caused by the nerve agent. That drug is atropine. The nerve agent block the break down of acetylcholine which builds up and triggers the nervous system into overdrive. This has dangerous consequences throughout the body. Atropine blocks the receptor for acetylcholine and lets the nervous system slow down again. But permanent damage will already have been done.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tripps » 18 Mar 2018, 11:09

That's good to hear. I was wondering how you detected a tastless odourless invisible substance which was designed not to be discovered, especially in very small quantities. Perhaps the traders of Salisbury won't go bust after all, though it will be a while before it goes away.

I must admit, I was never very enthusiastic about NBC training. They made us wear the suit and mask for one day a month - it was very uncomfortable. I managed to recall that fullers earth was used in training though and it was dabbed on to the affected parts.

I see you can still get it for the same purpose. Fullers Earth

I'm amused by the conspiracy theories about the proximity of Porton Down to Salisbury. It happened in Salisbury because that's where the target lived. Are we saying he was re-settled there because it would be handy to poison him there, when it became expedient?

Remember Occam's razor. :smile:
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Whyperion » 18 Mar 2018, 11:29

I suppose wherever one suggests to a Spy where is a good place in the UK to settle, there is some kind of UK military/politcal establishment nearby. Even around here think RR etc. BBC R4 The Now Show FriEve/Sat Lunch Repeat had a good Estate Agent Spoof on why Salisbury was desirable.

Thanks for the 'anti-dote' - better described as an inhibitor. I had been reading about the take up of nerve/cell function agents effectively in Tropical Frogs after a TV (repeat?) Crime Fiction drama which featured them. Interesting that that toxin comes from the leaves of a plant, that only a couple of caterpillars can tolerate, in turn most animals cannot tolerate the build up of the toxin in the caterpillars apart from some frogs, and some birds, and so the birds and the frogs become toxic (possible there is one snake that can tolerate - I cannot remember ). The toxin effects cell electrical function, leaving a switch unable to close so the cell effectively wears out at a rapid rate, the animals which tolerate the toxin have inihibtors which slow the take up of the agent, or cells that adapt to the sodium/ other chemical ion states differently to what the toxin tolerated. There may have been more animals that tolerated the plant agent, but the plants themselves over time have modified 'doseage' or electro-chemical make-up of the toxin to beat the insects feeding on them. All rather interesting but I assume those 'natural' agents are more easily detectable.

So if the Russian originated agent is water soluable is that a change to a beguine chemical state or a breakdown of its consitutants?

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by chinatyke » 19 Mar 2018, 02:55

Stanley wrote:
18 Mar 2018, 03:27
We used to use a herbicide in the 1950s called Denocate, DNOC base (LINK. I think that was dangerous..... It turned everything yellow, even the rabbits!
I used to be in charge of a plant that made it. Nasty stuff and a persistent & cumulative toxin.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 19 Mar 2018, 03:49

We do have a wide experience on this site don't we. That's interesting China. I remember we used quite a few chemicals then with wild abandon and no protective gear and most of them were subsequently banned. We even used Cymag (40% sodium cyanide) for gassing vermin without protection, just spooned it into the holes and popped a sod over them. Ignorance was bliss!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 20 Mar 2018, 16:49

Bad news just out that a Red Arrows Hawk jet has crashed at RAF Valley in Anglesey. Two people were in the aircraft but at present witness reports are confusing as to whether one or two baled out. An air ambulance was called. The plane was said to be on its way to Scampton so it sounds like the crash happened at take-off.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 21 Mar 2018, 04:42

Later news is that the pilot ejected and survived but is injured, the second man, an engineer, died in the crash.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 26 Mar 2018, 05:48

I came across LINK which is a report about a new source of Titanium by recovering it from the waste produced when oil is extracted from tar sands. If the promise shown in experiments come to fruition it will be a much cheaper source than conventional mining.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 26 Mar 2018, 08:55

That news coincides with the announcement in the UK of a new method of producing titanium that will halve the cost of making titanium alloy parts. The University of Sheffield did the initial research and now a large-scale fast furnace facility will be built at Porton Down. LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 27 Mar 2018, 03:32

I heard that report as well and confused it with the other. Thanks Tiz.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 03 Apr 2018, 04:21

THIS report on a possible relationship between allergies and the use of antacids and antibiotics on young children attracted my attention. It has the ring of truth about it and deserves more investigation.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 03 Apr 2018, 09:12

It's good to see another study confirming earlier claims of association. It's terrible to think infants might be given antibiotics in cases where they are not absolutely essential.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 04 Apr 2018, 03:51

They cited it as a contributory cause of asthma as well. I have long been concerned about the rise of 'glue ear' and wheezing after exercise in the young. Iatrogenic disease again!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 16 May 2018, 05:32

See THIS for a link to Professor Dame Caroline Dean revealing fascinating secrets about plant genetics on 'The Life Scientific'. Riveting stuff. The big surprise to me was that she and her colleagues have proved that the long held connection between soil temperature and the start of growth is not how it actually works. They have found that plants can alter the function of their genes from dormancy to growth and one fact that got me was that the trigger for the switch is the first time in the year the temperature exceeds 15C.
Allying this with another programme I heard the other day which revealed the rich symbiotic relationship between plants. This basic fact has been known for years but they have shown that it is far more complicated and can be used for transferring nutrients from one tree or plant to another. What struck me was that one of the arguments used by vegetarians against meat-eating is that it involves killing sentient beings. It looks as though vegetables are equally sentient but in a different way.
I remember once being in a laboratory at Appalachian State University and they had an experiment running there which involved monitoring the tiny signal being emitted by the plant and translating them to a steel ball hanging on a filament above a disk that accepted the amplified signals. If you held a heat source near the leaves of the plant the ball went berserk!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 16 May 2018, 08:57

A plant attacked by a pest can send a warning signal to a neighbouring plant which can then set up its defences in advance of attack. The signal can pass through the roots and the soil fungal mycorrhiza which acts a bit like the Internet. It can also emit a volatile molecular signal that passes through the air, rather like the way we use mobile phone messages.

We listened to a man who makes elderflower cordial commercially and has the only elder tree plantation in the UK. If he wants to replace old elder trees he has to do it with a different type of tree and put the new elders in a part of the farm where they haven't been grown. Elders leave something in the soil that prevents other elders from growing there, presumably a way that each tree defends its patch from other elders. In the past, people planted elder trees next to their outdoor privies in the belief that they emitted something that deterred flies.

We've still got a lot to learn (thank goodness!). :smile:

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