TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 27 Apr 2019, 08:41

Surveys of living organisms often ignore the viruses, not least because they are hard to culture and identify, so it's good to see a project like this one. People might query the relevance of the results but just imagine if a virus suddenly began to kill off the photosynthetic plankton. It would affect the whole food chain in the ocean.
`Hundreds of thousands of viruses in oceans' LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 28 Apr 2019, 04:07

I heard that report Tiz and thought OMG! Another threat! We have to be very selective about what we worry about......
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 30 Apr 2019, 04:23

Just listened to a fascinating half hour on World Service (04:00 - 04:30) On the work of the FSC, The Forest Stewardship Council. (LINK). What fascinated me is the fact that they are working to establish a database of samples and characteristics of wood based on Stable Isotope Analysis (LINK). Using this they can determine the origin of a piece of timber to within 10km. The results are enabling them to determine whether the declared origin of wood is correct. They estimate that up to 40% of traded wood artefacts are in fact from illegal, non-sustainable sources.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 01 May 2019, 10:12

It's a technique that has revolutionised archaeology. For example being able to show that the cattle slaughtered and consumed at Stonehenge came from all over the British mainland, not just locally. Imagine herding your cows from Scotland to the south of England in 3000 BC!

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 02 May 2019, 03:21

One of the big areas where all our assumptions about ancient people and their habits have been proved totally wrong is travel. Dated deposits of wine and oil jars in the Shetlands shows they were trading with the Mediterranean before the Romans came. We have evidence of English flints being traded across Europe in the Stone Age. See 'The Voyage of Pythias the Greek' for evidence of regular maritime trade with the Isles and beyond in 1500BCE.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 03 May 2019, 09:15

I knew about LIGO but now I'm impressed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), `a new instrument able to scan large swathes of the sky swiftly for anything new and unusual'. This bit grabbed my attention - how to do `big science' from your bed!

`The alert on Mansi Kasliwal's phone went off at two in the morning. Shrugging off the sleep, she squinted at the message. It was from LIGO, the Nobel Prize-winning scientific collaboration that operates gravitational wave detectors. A far-off violent event had sent ripples in space-time through the Universe, to be picked up by LIGO's sensor in Louisiana, and it looked from the data like there should be visible "fireworks", too. Thanks to the smartphone revolution, she could react without leaving her bed. A few taps on the screen, and the Zwicky Transient Facility, a robotic telescope on Mount Palomar, was reprogrammed to start the hunt.'
`Gravitational waves hunt now in overdrive' LINK

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 04 May 2019, 03:15

Isn't that impressive! When you take a moment to think about it it's mind-boggling how science and technology has progressed during my lifetime. Reading Len Deighton's 'Bomber' and mentally comparing it to the science of bombardment today is instructive. The same advances are in my kitchen now, how else would I be posting this?
If anyone had told me when I was a lad.......
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 04 May 2019, 10:23

One scene from Len Deighton's 'Bomber' that I've never been able to erase from my mind is when a hospital is hit, the walls collapse, the building tilts and the beds with their occupants on the upper floor slide across and drop into the street below. The horror of war.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 05 May 2019, 03:27

I agree Tiz. 'Bomber' and 'Slaughterhouse Five' are two of the most memorable accounts of aerial bombardment that spring to mind. Also, a Little Known Fact. Kenneth Galbraith served on a post war committee that examined the effectiveness of aerial bombing and the verdict was damning in respect of accuracy and effect on war production. The same applied to the famous dam-busters in terms of effects on production in the Ruhr and the accuracy of naval long range gunfire.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 05 May 2019, 09:24

I can't remember now which biography it was in but there's a lovely tale about a Lancaster ground crew loading up a 10,000 lb bomb. It slipped off the cradle onto the concrete and everyone dashed for cover. The driver of the lorry slammed the accelerator to the floor and raced away but he swore that someone passed him on a bicycle! :smile:

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 06 May 2019, 02:12

Those wires and winch mechanisms always looked extremely frail to me! Just think about the ten ton Grand Slam......
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 09 May 2019, 05:32

We have mentioned the possible prospects of Phage Therapy as a reinforcement/substitute for antibiotics. See THIS hopeful story about a possible cure where antibiotics failed. I hope this is more than a straw in the wind.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 11 May 2019, 04:12

THIS caught my attention this morning. New Jersey has named the microbe form which Streptomycin was developed as the 'State Microbe'. It was found in soil in Passaic county and developed at Rutgers.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 15 May 2019, 05:25

Tizer seems to be AWOL, enjoying the sun no doubt!
THIS BBC report caught my eye. It could qualify for the Climate topic also. The headline is 'Jakobshavn Isbrae: Mighty Greenland glacier slams on brakes'. This is the glacier that probably calved the iceberg that sank the Titanic and it has surprised scientists by slowing down when the trend in general is for glaciers to thin and speed up.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 16 May 2019, 03:42

Research into the affects modern trainers are having on foot health threw up an interesting fact, that if you walk flat footed you are more prone to heart attacks. The researchers admitted that this was probably because the less you walk the more likely you are to develop flat feet and lack of exercise could be the vector that is causing the correlation.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 16 May 2019, 09:34

Stanley wrote:
15 May 2019, 05:25
Tizer seems to be AWOL, enjoying the sun no doubt!
Partly true - sorting the new garden, plus having met up with relatives to hand over my model railway. Andrew now has some of it set up and his 4-year-old daughter insisted on donating her Brio train set even though it's rather out of scale! :smile:

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 17 May 2019, 02:57

Quite right too Tiz, those matters are far more important than gossiping on the web!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 29 May 2019, 09:20

The following is from the BBC Reality Check Team...
`Are rare earth minerals China's trump card in its trade war with US?' LINK
The answer is in the last sentence: `The restriction of exports to the United States, if enforced, could have a major impact on major US industries worth trillions of dollars that rely on rare earth minerals.'

As well as the significance to the US economy and political scene, this report illustrates another side of the rare earth metals story. We've all become very dependent on these metals but we don't pay enough attention to how they're mined. People in China are working under awful and dangerous unhealthy conditions to provide us with our everyday gadgets. In the West we now make a fuss about our clothes being produced in sweatshops in Africa and Asia but it's time we cared about the miners.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 30 May 2019, 02:47

I've been aware of that for a while Tiz and agree with you. I wonder if Trump realises what a hornet's nest he has disturbed as he waves his big stick?
I heard a report yesterday on BBC Today of a new version of targeted immunotherapy that has great promise but can't find it on the web.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 30 May 2019, 09:33

Probably this story...In multicellular organisms all cells are constantly being deliberately killed and replaced with new, a process called apoptosis. Ferroptosis is a similar process in tumour cells that involves iron and oxidised lipids.
New target to improve response to cancer immunotherapy LINK
Study is first to define how a little-known type of cell death impacts tumor cells and immune cells
Date: May 1, 2019
Source: Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Summary: Researchers have looked at a little-understood type of cell death called ferroptosis. They found ferroptosis occurs in tumor cells and plays a role in cancer immunity, suggesting the potential of targeting this pathway to improve immunotherapy treatments.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 31 May 2019, 02:46

I've read the link Tiz and am not sure if that is the same study. The one I heard was targeted using gene manipulation for individual patients. It works on mice and on human tissue. Anyway the message is that it is being worked on....The immunotherapy using BCG live virus seems to have worked for me (So far!) That's why I noticed it.
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 04 Jun 2019, 05:44

On the face of things THIS BBC report looks like a major advance. A patch for hearts damaged by a heart attack that initiates healing.... I don't know enough to assess this but it looks promising!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 14 Jun 2019, 10:41

`Greenland map captures changing Arctic in fine detail' LINK
Laura Gerrish, a geographical information systems and mapping specialist at the British Antarctic Survey, has created a superb up-to-date map of Greenland that help track changes and be great for polar scientists. The reverse of the map is shown at the end of the article - it has a lot of detail on the Arctic.

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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Stanley » 15 Jun 2019, 03:03

I heard her on Today and was struck by how honest she was and what a useful endeavour this is. Some things are still working well and we should celebrate them!
What a lovely map!
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Re: TIZER'S SCIENCE NEWS

Post by Tizer » 02 Jul 2019, 08:58

There's fascinating information in this article...
`Game of Stones: Tracking conflict diamonds with lasers' LINK

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