TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 19 Sep 2018, 03:26

Some would say that all my writing is another form of emission..... No day is wasted if a thousand words have been written!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 19 Sep 2018, 11:30

plaques wrote:
18 Sep 2018, 09:21
...talking about smoke!
`Air pollution linked to dementia, London study suggests' LINK
`Air pollution may be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia, research in London has suggested. A study shows a link between the condition and exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and toxic air particles.'

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 20 Sep 2018, 02:51

I always rely on my old snot test. If it's white you are relatively safe, if it's black you have been exposed to dangerous levels of pollution. Even in the old days London gave me black snot.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 20 Sep 2018, 09:08

It gave me grubby shirt collars even in the 1980s!

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 21 Sep 2018, 03:24

That as well. Mind you, as we found out when the Clean Air Acts came in (Whatever happened to them in respect of vehicles?) gardeners got a shock with the reappearance of mildew on their roses. It seems to be that the pollution in the air was protecting the plants! Once the air started to clear, back it came.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 04 Oct 2018, 08:34

`Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018: Harnessing the power of evolution' LINK
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is being awarded to Frances H. Arnold "for the directed evolution of enzymes" and jointly to George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter "for the phage display of peptides and antibodies."

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 05 Oct 2018, 03:09

I listened to the reports of the awards. The advances in science get more fantastic every year.... Is there any end to it or do we just get smarter and smarter....
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 26 Oct 2018, 08:56

This project continues to increase our understanding of how a large asteroid impact affects the Earth. The results also apply to impact craters on other planets and moons. They've now found that the impact immediately reduces the rock to particles about the same size as fine sand and this is then fluidised and moves about like water does when you drop a pebble into a pond. Don't be put off by the image of a rock core that shows large fragments. That's a poor choice of image to accompany the explanation although it's more likely to grab attention than a core that looks like plain sandstone. It's a core of impact breccia (fused broken rock) and will have come from a different part of the crater.

`Splosh! How the dinosaur-killing asteroid made its crater' LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 27 Oct 2018, 02:36

I can't find it on tinternetwebthingy but a new smart antibiotic was announced yesterday. It works on a different principle that involves fooling the cancer cell into allowing it entry. Didn't fully understand the explanation but nice to know someone is doing something.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 27 Oct 2018, 08:56

This is a development that will eventually make life better for us all...
The BBC reports today: `Researchers in the US have scaled up a new low-cost system that could provide efficient cooling for homes while using very little electricity. The team has developed a roof-top sized array, built from a highly reflective material made from glass and polymers. In tests, the system kept water around 10C cooler than the ambient air when exposed to midday sunlight in summer. The approach could also be scaled up to cool power stations and data centres.'

The BBC web page is short on explanation of how the system works and the articles linked below are more helpful. The system was first announced in Science journal in February 2017 and their web article is here: `Cheap plastic film cools whatever it touches up to 10°C' Science The press release from the University of Colorado Boulder is here: `Newly engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption' UC Boulder

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 28 Oct 2018, 03:04

Isn't it great when modern manufacturing technology comes up with new materials which enable us to do things like this. Bit like the transition from the Stone Age into the Bronze Age. This is the good side of modern science and the more it is celebrated the more kids will be persuaded to pursue it! (Public heath warning, it may involve getting your hands dirty!)
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 19 Nov 2018, 10:03

This is one for the cyclists...
`Swarmlike Collective Behavior in Bicycling'
Press release from the American Institute of Physics (AIP). Under embargo until 18/11/2018 23:00 GMT.
Whether it’s the acrobatics of a flock of starlings or the synchronized swimming of a school of fish, nature is full of examples of large-scale collective behavior. Humans also exhibit this behavior, most notably in pelotons, the mass of riders in bicycle races.

During the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics 71st Annual Meeting, which will take place Nov. 18-20 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Jesse Belden, a researcher at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, will describe the research he and his colleagues have been conducting on collective behavior in pelotons.

Using aerial video footage of bicycle races, Belden and colleagues analyzed peloton motion to determine what causes changes in the group’s large-scale collective behavior. They found that riders move through the peloton in a manner similar to circulation in a fluid and observed two types of propagating waves within pelotons. “You see all these patterns and motion behaviors emerge,” said Belden.

The researchers found two types of waves affect the structure of a peloton. First, the researchers found a wave that moves back and forth along the peloton, usually due to a rider suddenly hitting the brakes and others slowing to avoid a collision. The other type of wave is a transverse wave caused when riders move to the left or right to avoid an obstacle or to gain an advantageous position.

Pelotons maintain a persistent structure, and researchers previously thought this form was driven by individual riders seeking an aerodynamic advantage. However, aerodynamics only come into play at the outside edges of the peloton. Instead, the researchers found that peloton dynamics are likely driven by rider vision, with each rider keeping other riders within a range of peripheral vision that is most sensitive to motion. Additionally, wave propagation speeds were consistent with human reaction time rather than conscious cognitive decisions like improving aerodynamics.

These findings shed new light on large-scale collective behavior in humans and could apply to varied topics including traffic and crowd management. Additionally, understanding the role of sensory input in collective behavior is important to building better autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars. This research has also given insights into the cognitive processes involved with individual rider actions and their effects on broader peloton dynamics. “Unlike birds or fish, you can talk to the cyclists,” Belden said.

“Continuum behavior in cycling pelotons” by Jesse Belden, Mohammad Mansoor, Aren Hellum, Andrew R. Meyer, Rafid Rahman, Christopher Pease, Scott Koziol and Tadd T. Truscott, presented at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Abstract: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD18/Session/E17.5

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 20 Nov 2018, 04:33

Fascinating Tiz. Thanks for that.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 20 Nov 2018, 10:51

`Iceland Possibly To Blame For “Worst Year To Be Alive” In World History' LINK
I like finding out about these massive climate and geological events because they provide the backdrop to historic events experienced by humans and wildlife. It's `Events, dear boy, events' on a global scale. This eruption is close to an outbreak of bubonic plague starting in Egypt in 541 which is estimated to have killed half the population of the Byzantine Empire. The adverse effects of the volcano are estimated to have lasted a hundred years and we know the end of that period coincides with the migration of Saxons into the British Isles.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 21 Nov 2018, 04:37

I first became interested in the global effects of volcanic eruptions when I read that Turners sky colours and the lurid sky in Edvard Munch's painting 'The Scream' were possibly a result of observing the effects of the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. Later I found references in archaeology to other massive eruptions. The inference from these is that they could happen again..... There could be far worse consequences than cancelled airline flights.
Then I started reading up on the Black Death of C.1348....... Then I read of the latest set back in the fight against Ebola in the Congo.
I agree with you Tiz, Events Dear Boy.........
Later, I was fascinated to hear about THE TETRA FISH which is giving scientists clues as to how other fish like the Zebra fish have the ability to repair their own hearts. They did this by comparing river fish to those that live in caves as they have different abilities. The hope is that this genetic repair mechanism can be transferred to humans by gene editing.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 23 Nov 2018, 16:29

Laser technology uncovers medieval secrets locked in Alpine ice core
Press release, 15/11/2018, from University of Nottingham
A new study has found ground-breaking evidence from an ice core in the Swiss-Italian Alps that proves the 7th century switch from gold to silver currencies in western Europe actually occurred a quarter of a century earlier than previously thought. The findings, from the University of Nottingham and which are published in the journal Antiquity, will have major implications on the history of the European monetary system, and what we thought we knew about trade and the economy during this period. The long-standing dating of all events and archaeological remains linked to the old dating of the first silver coinage will also have to change in light of the new study.

During the second half of the 7th century AD the coin-using regions of North West Europe switched from gold to silver currency. This change was a significant point in history and resulted in major social and economic transformations which saw increased long-distance trade and the emergence of major ports and trading centres, such as London and continental counterparts around the Channel and southern North Sea coast. Until now, experts have reported this switch to be between 675 AD and 680 AD – but using new high precision technologies, a team of climate scientists, volcanologists, archaeologists and historians working on the ‘Historical Ice Core Project’ (HICP), have pinpointed definitively that the switch actually happened in 660 AD. The HICP research is led by Professor Michael McCormick, Harvard University and Professor Paul Mayewski, Climate Change Institute (CCI), University, University of Maine, with the University of Nottingham and the University of Heidelberg, funded by the Arcadia Charitable fund.

The establishment of the chronology was made possible using ultra-high resolution laser analysis of elements on the 72m-deep ice core from Colle Gnifetti in the Swiss-Italian Alps, drilled in 2013. The laser-based chronology was further refined by linkage to markers of volcanic eruptions, from tephra and other known events. This included the tephra (volcanic glass) from the 536 mega-eruption. Analysis of the 536 tephra in this study suggests, for the first time, that the mega-eruption occurred on Iceland, with major climate implications for northwest Europe especially. A unique atmospheric modelling programme developed at CCI, Climate Re-analyzer™, also provides a unique insight on wind directions and origins of the lead pollution (the by-product of silver-mining/smelting) that was deposited in the Alps.

Professor Christopher Loveluck (lead-author of the Antiquity article), from the Department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, said: “We found huge lead pollution peaks in the ice, a by-product of large-scale silver mining and bullion production in the mid-7th century, in AD 640 and 660. The existing gold coinage started to be debased with silver in 640 and was replaced by a new silver coinage in 660, almost simultaneously in France and southeast England.”

The team used the unique atmospheric modelling programme, and weather data from NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to learn which direction the lead was carried from, with the evidence indicating the mines at Melle in western France, the largest known silver source for Western Europe in the eighth and ninth centuries AD.

The new study shows that its paramount role probably began in the period from 640-660. The lead was released into the atmosphere during the smelting process and carried over the Alps, where it was deposited and frozen in the ice.

The discovery of volcanic tephra from the 536 mega-eruption in the Colle Gnifetti core, and its sourcing to Iceland, when fixing the chronology of the study, also has a profound impact on assessing very rapid climate change in Britain and Northern and Western Europe in the mid-sixth century, now referred to as the ‘Late Antique Little Ice Age’. The tephra particles from the 536 eruption were thought previously to have come from a volcano in California, but after an expert analysis by the tephra team, led by Professor Andrei Kurbatov (CCI) they were actually found to match an Icelandic source.

Professor Loveluck said: “Iceland is a lot closer to Britain and North West Europe than California which means that the impact of this eruption at the time on climate in these areas would have been much greater than previously thought. It would have made places very cold very quickly and would have been most felt in Britain and places in North Western Europe. The consequences for these areas would have been immediate, with an increased likelihood of famine and ill health due to poor crop yields.”

The research was carried out by experts from the Department of History at Harvard University, the Climate Change Institute, the University of Nottingham and the Institut für Umweltphsik at Heidelberg University in Germany. `Alpine ice-core evidence for the transformation of the European monetary system, AD 640–670', Antiquity, C.P. Loveluck et al., https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2018.110

Below is an exterior view of some of the early medieval mining galleries at Melle (Deux-Sèvres, Poitou-Charente, France). (copyright: Prof Michael McCormick, Harvard University)...

Image

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 24 Nov 2018, 03:37

That's a fascinating report Tiz and so important for the economic history. Lovely work by the researchers and thanks for posting it. Another dent in the dodgy name we gave to the period, The Dark Ages. They weren't as 'Dark' as previously thought!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 24 Nov 2018, 15:36

The idea that the Saxons invaded the British Isles is also going out of favour as evidence accumulates that they came here as peaceful farmers and settled. A survey of hill forts of the time has shown little evidence of warfare. Farming, commerce and industry were the order of the day.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by PanBiker » 24 Nov 2018, 16:12

You mean we actually let "Johnny Foreigner" in all those years ago just because they were good for the country, whatever next. Oh I know lets send them all home and pick our own veg. :extrawink:
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 25 Nov 2018, 04:08

Quite right Tiz and the same revision is taking place for 'The Vikings'. I was listening to an expert on the period a few days ago and she pointed out that originally, Viking was a verb, not a noun and covered all the Scandinavian countries, it meant going abroad to seek an improvement which is just what they were doing, looking for better land and an easier life. A bit of mayhem was no doubt handy at times but look at the way the Danelaw spread so quickly to take in the whole of the north eastern part of the country as far south as London. That was not done solely by conquest but by assimilation on both sides. Our 'modern' view of rape and pillage and wearing hats with horns on them is a modern fairy tale. The irony is of course that in the end the 'Vikings' succeeded in taking over the Isles but via a migration to Normandy and a change of name, the Normans were originally Vikings who settled in Normandy and assimilated.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 01 Dec 2018, 10:22

A video on the BBC News web site about work at Cardiff University...
`Climate change: How slag can remove CO2 from the air' LINK
`Scientists in Wales are looking at how slag heaps can be used to remove CO2 from the air in the fight against climate change. Slag is the waste left over from an old ironworks and the researchers at Cardiff University are using it to suck the gas away. The technique isn't perfect, and won't completely solve the wider global warming problem, but it can help.'

This is not new, the idea was being studied in various countries and reports were being published at least as early as 2005. It's another step along the way but the journalists want us to think it's brand new, of course. What doesn't get mentioned is that steelmaking generates CO2 and even if you could use all the slag produced in the future to sequester CO2 you'd only account for 50% of the gas production. The old slag heaps have often been landscaped and are not likely to be used. So the process could help to some extent but won't balance out all the CO2 from steelmaking.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by PanBiker » 01 Dec 2018, 13:39

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to plant millions of trees. We only have about 10% of what we had 500 years ago I believe. Henry VIII did for all the Oaks didn't he?
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 02 Dec 2018, 03:14

I saw that report on slag as well Tiz. Good idea but as you say, limited scope.
Trees. The biggest agent of deforestation historically was clearing land for agriculture and then for use as furnace fuel, domestic fuel and building. Deforestation today is mainly for agriculture and I saw a report on the Amazonian forests recently that showed the level of clearing was up again, almost entirely due to clearing land for farming.
Once again, not an easy answer but it would be a useful contribution. Easter Island springs to mind, a civilisation that destroyed itself by growth and exploitation of timber.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 05 Dec 2018, 08:12

See THIS BBC report about a woman in Brazil who was born without a womb but had one transplanted from a 32 year old donor who died from a bleed on the brain. After waiting for 7 months to ensure the womb was healthy, fertile eggs were implanted and in 2016 the lady gave birth by Caesarian Section to a healthy 6lb baby. I can't possibly imagine what this meant to her. A lovely story.....
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 05 Dec 2018, 10:02

PanBiker wrote:
01 Dec 2018, 13:39
Wouldn't it be a lot easier to plant millions of trees. We only have about 10% of what we had 500 years ago I believe. Henry VIII did for all the Oaks didn't he?
We lost most of the elms to disease and now the same is happening to oaks and ash, unfortunately. Eventually we'll have resistant varieties but it takes a while - especially for oaks!

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