TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 21 Dec 2018, 04:20

Interesting. Isn't it nice to have people on the site like Tiz who can speak with authority. That's why I like Sue's explanations as well. I trust them absolutely!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 21 Dec 2018, 10:17

Discovery of novel mechanisms that cause migraines
Press release, 14/12/2018 CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Researchers at CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur, France and Inserm have demonstrated a new mechanism related to the onset of migraine. In fact, they found how a mutation, causes dysfunction in a protein which inhibits neuronal electrical activity, induces migraines. These results, published in the journal `Neuron' on December 17, 2018, open a new path for the development of anti-migraine medicines.

Even though 15% of the adult population worldwide suffers from migraines, no long-term, effective, curative treatment has been marketed to date. Migraine episodes are related, among other factors, to electric hyperexcitability in sensory neurons. Their electrical activity is controlled by proteins that generate current called ion channels, specifically by the TRESK channel, which inhibits electrical activity. The researchers have shown that a mutation in the gene encoding for this protein causes a split between two dysfunctional proteins: one is inactive and the other targets other ion channels (K2P2.1) inducing a great stimulation of the neuronal electrical activity causing migraines.

Though researchers had already shown the hereditary nature of migraines, they did not know the mechanism underlying migraine. By demonstrating that the TRESK split induces hyperexcitability in sensory neurons leading to migraine, this work, carried out at the Institut de Biologie Valrose (CNRS/Inserm/Université Côte d’Azur), opens new research path for the development of anti-migraine medicines. A patent application has been filed: the scope is targeting K2P2.1 channels to reduce the electrical activity of neurons and prevent migraines from being triggered.

What is more, the researchers propose that this new genetical mechanism, causing the formation of two proteins instead of just one, has now to be considered for the study of other genetic diseases and for diagnosing them.

`Migraine-associated TRESK mutations increase neuronal excitability through alternative translation initiation and inhibition of TREK'. Perrine Royal et al., Neuron, December 17, 2018.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 21 Dec 2018, 15:30

These images from the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission caught the attention of the news media. These are composites of photos of the Korolev Crater at the North Pole - 80km wide and filled with ice to a depth of 1.8km.
`Mars: Pictures reveal 'winter wonderland' on the red planet' LINK

Here are more images and information: LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 22 Dec 2018, 03:35

Is the ice frozen water?
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 22 Dec 2018, 10:48

Yes, it is frozen water. The average temperature on Mars is about minus 60C but at the poles (and the cater is at the north pole) it can get as low as minus 120C.

Reports about the planets often refer to other types of ice such as `methane ice'. I find that frustrating because the word ice originated as meaning frozen water. I would prefer to use `solid methane', for example.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 23 Dec 2018, 03:35

Thanks Tiz. I agree. That was what caused me to ask the question. The links didn't make it perfectly clear.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 26 Dec 2018, 06:53

THIS BBC report on research into cancer at Cambridge where they have made a virtual reality 3D model of a cancer sample and mapped it so that other researchers can 'go inside' it and examine the structure. Fascinating and it seems to be seen as an important tool for future research. Star Trek medicine is coming!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 03 Jan 2019, 06:47

See THIS report in the Wall Street Journal of the news that China have successfully landed an unmanned probe on the dark side of the moon. A very considerable achievement.....
Breaking news of a breath test that can reveal pre-cancer conditions. This could render many biopsies obsolete. It could be done in a local surgery.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 03 Jan 2019, 11:27

The Chinese moon landing has been a good opportunity for the news media to explain how `dark side' is really a misnomer. It gets as much sunlight on that side as it does on the side we see all the time. It's only called `dark side' because we can't see it. The reason we can see the moon is that it's lit by the sun but it also receives some earthlight, sunlight reflected from earth onto the moon. This is visible when there is a crescent moon - you can a see faint image of the rest of the moon too. You can find everything you want to know (and don't want to know) about the moon on this web page: Moon FAQ

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 04 Jan 2019, 04:03

I noted that in their reports the BBC referred to 'The Far side of the Moon'. More accurate.....
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 04 Jan 2019, 10:07

Yes, their web site started the day with `dark side' but at least they explained why it's a misnomer. I think somebody must have asked `Why are you using it then?' because then they quickly switched to `far side'. I hope our trusty leaders have realised that we won't be able to know what the Chinese are really up to on the far side of the moon. They've built artificial islands in plain view in the disputed South China Sea to create military bases so what might they do out of sight behind the moon? By the time other nations get there the astronauts will be able to get a takeaway curry, haha! :smile:

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by chinatyke » 04 Jan 2019, 10:15

Tizer wrote:
04 Jan 2019, 10:07
By the time other nations get there, the astronauts will be able to get a takeaway curry, haha! :smile:
That's Indian cuisine! :extrawink:

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 04 Jan 2019, 10:23

They'll probably be the next ones up there! :smile:

Stanley mentioned Professor James Lovelock (99) being on the radio news yesterday. He's moved from his cottage in the wilds of the upper reaches of the Tamar in Devon to West Dorset. There's an interesting article about him in this Dorset newspaper published in 2017. ..
`Dorset Lives: The man who set the sea on fire' LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 05 Jan 2019, 04:13

That's a well written article Tiz. I like the portrayal of him..... but then I'm biased, I have always rated him.
I see the universities are renewing their warnings about the dangers to scientific cooperation and funding. Aspirations and vague assurances from T May and her cohorts don't seem to be cutting it. Who do we believe.......?
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 07 Jan 2019, 09:58

This seems bizarre but India seems to have suffered from having some scientists with ideas that go beyond any evidence. I can remember some from my own time in science...
`India scientists dismiss Einstein theories' LINK
`Indian scientists have hit out at speakers at a major science conference for making irrational claims. Some academics at the annual Indian Science Congress, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had dismissed the discoveries of Issac Newton and Albert Einstein. They had also said ancient Hindus had invented stem cell research. Hindu mythology and religion based theories have increasingly become part of the Indian Science Congress agenda. But academics said remarks at this year's ongoing summit were even more astounding than usual. The head of a southern Indian university cited an old Hindu text as proof that stem cell research was discovered in India thousands of years ago.
G Nageshwar Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University, also said a demon king from the Hindu religious epic, Ramayana, had 24 types of aircraft and a network of landing strips in modern-day Sri Lanka...'

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 08 Jan 2019, 04:36

I'd go further than saying 'it seems bizarre'. I'd say they were barking!
"'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds'. The story of Oppenheimer's infamous quote.
The line, from the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad-Gita, has come to define Robert Oppenheimer, but its meaning is more complex than many realise."

Does this mean the gods invented the atomic bomb?
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 15 Jan 2019, 09:26

This video shows the location and movement of high levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution across Europe. The text points out some particular aspects such as the plume left by ships queuing to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar.
`Watch how air pollution moves across Europe' LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 16 Jan 2019, 04:28

We are a lot of dirty buggers aren't we..... I note that a recent report includes scented candles as a major factor in indoors air pollution. They should have included all aerosol smell destroyer sprays and those plug-in jobbies! I don't trust any of them!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 16 Jan 2019, 10:26

And new carpets `off-gassing' volatiles!

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 17 Jan 2019, 03:52

Shades of Napoleon and wallpaper!
When I was in Oz I noted the almost universal use of anti-mosquito sprays. Very effective but I did wonder about the affects on humans......
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 17 Jan 2019, 10:24

Do you remember the `fly paper' that was probably killing us as well as the flies? Wikipedia says: `Arsenic extracted by soaking flypaper in water has been used by several convicted murderers, among them Frederick Seddon and Florence Maybrick.' :surprised:

Here's a suggestion for safe home-made fly paper: LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 18 Jan 2019, 16:02

Tizer wrote:
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 full research paper in the journal Antiquity is now available for free access on this web page and you can click on the HTML or PDF full versions: LINK
It's long but definitely worth having a look at. The chemical analysis details can be skimmed but look at the history! :smile: The switch from gold to silver and the increased need for coins is significant.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 19 Jan 2019, 04:36

Fly killing.... I remember reading that about soaking the fly-papers. Do you remember the yellow waxy blocks made by ICI, 'Vapona' was the trade name I think. Brilliant at killing flies but withdrawn from sale when it was appreciated just how harmful they were to humans as well!

The coinage.... My mate Martha did a lot of work on this and I have sent her the link.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 20 Jan 2019, 11:15

The ice core story that I posted above got me searching for more information about glaciers. This is a great article from the British Antarctic Survey explaining how ice cores are used to study CO2 and methane levels in the past: LINK The methane curve is particularly interesting because this gas is generally said to have 20 to 30 times more global warming effect than CO2. What isn't said so often is that the calculation is usually based on a 100-year period. We should be more concerned about its effects in the next 25 years. The reason is that methane disappears from the atmosphere faster than does CO2 and over the shorter period the warming potential is more like 70 to 100 times that of CO2.

Furtling always throws up odd facts of wider interest. For example, I learnt that the South Polar Station in Antarctica gets its fresh water from a melt hole. They melt some ice to get water, then melt the ice below for the next lot and so on,until it becomes a well. The ice is so deep that they just carry on melting the same hole. Now here's the fun bit! Every time they melt another lot and extract the water they then put down a sort of vacuum cleaner and suck up any bits from the bottom of the hole. Why? Because it always yields small meteorites that were embedded in the ice! As well as analysing them they can work out roughly when they fell from the sky. That's what I like about the scientist's approach - creative and innovative. I was disappointed to see the the director of an arts organisation quoted in the newspaper as saying schools and universities should teach more creative subjects and not just science and maths. I wouldn't have minded if she'd said `teach more arts' but if she thinks scientists aren't creative she should get out more! :smile:

Oh, and here's a super photo from 1942 of the very long Kahiltna Glacier in Alaska (it may not be as long now). What makes it so special is that you don't usually get to see all those tributary glaciers lined up along the sides. LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 21 Jan 2019, 04:19

" if she thinks scientists aren't creative she should get out more! :smile:" Couldn't agree more Tiz and include engineering as well! Nothing more creative than the whole progress of experiment and observation leading to innovation and improvement which is the base story behind all archaeology. Start with the fact that when the Neanderthals noticed that the hunting was better at water holes in clearings they created their own by burning around woodland ponds. This was the starting point of agriculture, capture and domestication of animals and settled habitation in the first permanent communities. (They drew the process on the walls of caves as well so art did play a part but the hunting came first!) You want creative?
Love the meteorite fragments in the well......
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