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Labeled as discuss in The Break Room, started by CraigD, Oct 19, 2020

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  1. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Very interesting technology!

    It's obviously safer than conventional reactors for the reasons outlined in the article, but I'm certainly not convinced that we should now deploy thousands of these new reactors on the sea as proposed.

    The by-product is still a radioactive material that can be repurposed as ammunition for dirty bombs etc. Why make it easier for nutters to get their hands on radioactive materials? We should be aiming to keep the number of nuclear reactors to a bare minimum, in tightly controlled state operated facilities.

    Remember the american guy who collected hundreds of smoke detectors so he could harvest the radioactive material from them to manufacture a dirty bomb in his basement?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
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  2. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Earworms Don't Just Haunt You When You're Awake, Sleep Study Reveals

    We're all familiar with songs getting stuck in our head while we're awake, but it turns out this can happen during sleep as well. A new study investigating the phenomenon indicates that earworms invading our brains at night could cause problems in getting to sleep and staying asleep.

    "Our brains continue to process music even when none is playing, including apparently while we are asleep," says neuroscientist Michael Scullin from Baylor University.

    He and colleagues used surveys of 199 people, as well as a sleep lab test involving 50 volunteers, to measure how listening to music before bedtime affects sleep. In particular, the team focussed on catchy earworms, technically known as 'involuntary musical imagery'.

    In the survey part of the study, participants who frequently listened to music during the day were more likely to report persistent nighttime earworms, which then had a negative effect on sleep quality through the night.

    Read on...

    https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s...c-before-bed-can-seriously-disrupt-your-sleep
     
  3. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Golden headline opportunity missed: Misty Mountain Hop

    Scientists name frog found in Ecuadorian Andes after Led Zeppelin

    Pristimantis ledzeppelin is discovered in Cordillera del Cóndor, which straddles Ecuador and Peru

    [​IMG]
    Researchers in the misty mountains of the Ecuadorian Andes have discovered a new species of terrestrial frog and named it after the pioneering British rock band Led Zeppelin.

    Pristimantis ledzeppelin, known in English as Led Zeppelin’s Rain Frog, was found by the scientists David Brito-Zapata and Carolina Reyes-Puig in the Cordillera del Cóndor, which straddles south-east Ecuador and north-east Peru.

    The small frog, which has coppery-red eyes and a mottled, yellow, brown, black and orange skin, is a member of the huge and rapidly expanding Pristimantis genus. The genus comprises 569 species – 28 of which have been described in Ecuador in the past two years alone.

    Read on...

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...-found-in-ecuadorian-andes-after-led-zeppelin

     
  4. Cal2

    Cal2 Top Contributor VIP

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    Any thoughts on this nuclear approach: https://x-energy.com/nuclear-reactors
     
  5. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks :)

    I'll have a good read through that site tomorrow, but the concept of commercial fission reactors has always alarmed me.

    We're not too far off having workable fusion reactors - fusion is a lot cleaner.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
  6. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    New Fossil Reveals One of The Largest Land Mammals Ever Found, And It's a Rhino

    [​IMG]

    A 26.5 million-year-old skull found in northwest China has been identified as another extinct species of giant rhino, one of the largest mammals to ever roam the land.

    The fossil is remarkably well-preserved, and after close analysis, scientists have named it Paraceratherium linxiaense, the sixth species of this hornless rhino genus to be uncovered in Eurasia.

    Read on...

    https://www.sciencealert.com/giant-...s-one-of-the-largest-mammals-to-walk-the-land
     
  7. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    I've been learning a bit today ;)

    It appears that X-energy are developing a new Gen IV reactor known as a HTGR (high-temperature gas-cooled reactor).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-temperature_gas_reactor

    Here is a page describing other contemporary Gen IV reactor technology, including the MSR mentioned earlier.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor

    One of my main concerns with the new generation technologies is that they are small self-contained units designed for wide-spread distribution. I'd prefer that nuclear powerplants were confined to one small area per country, that is state controlled and defended by the military who have the resources to protect such establishments from threats. It's not perfect, but it's easier to protect and if something does go wrong the danger is contained.

    On a side note, it's ironic that in Australia - the largest source of, and the third largest exporter of uranium - we only run the one scientific research reactor at Lucas Heights. The public learnt about the dangers of nuclear pollution when the brits tested bombs at Maralinga and Emu in South Australia back in the 1950's leaving one-eighth (127,000 square km) of South Australia a no-go area that could be uninhabitable for the next 250,000 years.

    https://www.australiangeographic.co...inations/2010/05/woomera-nuclear-danger-zone/
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
  8. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    Earth is trapping ‘unprecedented’ amount of heat, Nasa says

    The Earth is trapping nearly twice as much heat as it did in 2005, according to new research, described as an “unprecedented” increase amid the climate crisis.

    Scientists from Nasa, the US space agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), reported in a new study that Earth’s “energy imbalance approximately doubled” from 2005 to 2019. The increase was described as “alarming”.

    “Energy imbalance” refers to the difference between how much of the Sun’s “radiative energy” is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere and surface, compared to how much “thermal infrared radiation” bounces back into space.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jun/17/earth-trapping-heat-study-nasa-noaa
     
  9. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    ‘The next pandemic’: drought is a hidden global crisis, UN says

    Drought is a hidden global crisis that risks becoming “the next pandemic” if countries do not take urgent action on water and land management and tackling the climate emergency, the UN has said.

    At least 1.5 billion people have been directly affected by drought this century, and the economic cost over roughly that time has been estimated at $124bn (£89bn). The true cost is likely to be many times higher because such estimates do not include much of the impact in developing countries, according to a report published on Thursday.

    Mami Mizutori, the UN secretary general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction, said: “Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it. Most of the world will be living with water stress in the next few years. Demand will outstrip supply during certain periods. Drought is a major factor in land degradation and the decline of yields for major crops.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environ...mic-drought-is-a-hidden-global-crisis-un-says
     
  10. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    The drought in US south-west is the worst in 1,200 years. It might be here to stay

    If water is the lifeblood of planet Earth, the American south-west is in big trouble.

    John Wesley Powell, the one-armed US army civil war veteran who led the first white expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon – a daring boat run in 1869 – later became an ethnographer who wrote a prescient 1878 government paper titled: Report on the Lands of the Arid Regions of the United States. In it, he unflinchingly described the scarcity of water, and summarized that much of the American south-west, if it must be settled, should be settled lightly and modestly. Overpopulate it, and it will be unforgiving.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/16/american-south-west-drought-water

    Prophetic words by John Wesley Powell way back in 1869. Too bad no one listened.
     
  11. Future Sensors

    Future Sensors 78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots Gold Account

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    Meringue-like material could make aircraft as quiet as a hairdryer

    An incredibly light new material that can reduce aircraft engine noise and improve passenger comfort has been developed at the University of Bath.

    The graphene oxide-polyvinyl alcohol aerogel weighs just 2.1kg per cubic metre, making it the lightest sound insulation ever manufactured. It could be used as insulation within aircraft engines to reduce noise by up to 16 decibels—reducing the 105-decibel roar of a jet engine taking off to a sound closer to that of a hair-dryer.

    https://phys.org/news/2021-06-meringue-like-material-aircraft-quiet-hairdryer.amp
     
  12. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    This ecologist thinks coastal wetlands can outrun rising seas. Not everyone’s convinced

    BLACKWATER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE IN MARYLAND—Coastal scientist Matt Kirwan has a sense of what it’s like to flee from rising seas. More than 100 years ago, Kirwan’s great-great-grandfather owned a farm close to this sprawling wetland refuge near the Chesapeake Bay, a key annual migration stop for hundreds of thousands of geese, ducks, and other waterbirds. Joseph Josiah Robbins sold his homestead in 1909, family members say, after salty, brackish waters invaded his fields, stunting and killing his crops.

    Kirwan’s ancestors were early climate refugees, he says, even if nobody called them that. “There are large tracts of farmland that were usable a generation ago but no longer are.”

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/202...n-outrun-rising-seas-not-everyone-s-convinced
     
  13. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    Maybe someone will apply that technology to refrigerated cases in retail stores -- they are so loud.
     
  14. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    Scientists just turned plastic bottles into . . . vanilla flavoring?

    Right now, that plastic water bottle you toss after one use could have a second life as a pair of shoes, a piece of clothing, an asphalt road, or even a house. And in the future, those bottles could be turned into something sweet that you eat or smell—one of the many items that contains vanillin, the main chemical compound in vanilla.

    Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have found a way to turn post-consumer plastic—those plastic items that have been collected for recycling and cleaned—into vanillin using E. colibacteria. Vanillin is the main flavor component of vanilla beans, and can be natural or, as in this case, synthetic.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/90647727/scientist-just-turned-plastic-bottles-into-vanilla-flavoring
     
  15. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    I don't mind a pair of shoes or a house being made out of my discarded plastic bottles... but I don't wish to eat it ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  16. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    The 27.5-million-year cycle of geological activity

    [​IMG]

    Geologic activity on Earth appears to follow a 27.5-million-year cycle, giving the planet a 'pulse,' according to a new study published in the journal Geoscience Frontiers.

    "Many geologists believe that geological events are random over time. But our study provides statistical evidence for a common cycle, suggesting that these geologic events are correlated and not random," said Michael Rampino, a geologist and professor in New York University's Department of Biology, as well as the study's lead author.

    Over the past five decades, researchers have proposed cycles of major geological events—including volcanic activity and mass extinctions on land and sea—ranging from roughly 26 to 36 million years. But early work on these correlations in the geological record was hampered by limitations in the age-dating of geologic events, which prevented scientists from conducting quantitative investigations.

    However, there have been significant improvements in radio-isotopic dating techniques and changes in the geologic timescale, leading to new data on the timing of past events. Using the latest age-dating data available, Rampino and his colleagues compiled updated records of major geological events over the last 260 million years and conducted new analyses.

    Read on...

    https://phys.org/news/2021-06-million-year-geological.html
     
  17. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    Bee-friendly urban wildflower meadows prove a hit with German city dwellers

    To escape the Berlin bustle on a summer afternoon, all that Derek O’Doyle and his dog Frida have to do is lap the noisy building site outside their inner-city apartment, weave their way through the queue in front of the ice-cream van, and squeeze between two gridlocked lorries to cross over Baerwaldstrasse.

    Bordered by a one-way traffic system lies a bucolic 1,720 sq metre haven as colourful as a Monet landscape: blue cornflowers, red poppies, white cow parsley and purple field scabious dot a sea of nettles and wild grass as armies of insects buzz through the air. Two endangered carpenter bees, larger than their honey bee cousins and with pitch-black abdomens, gorge themselves on a bush of yellow gorse.

    The mini-wilderness on Baerwaldstrasse is one of more than 100 wildflower meadows that have been planted in Germany’s largest cities over the past three years and are coming into full bloom this summer to transform urban landscapes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environ...meadows-prove-a-hit-with-german-city-dwellers
     
  18. Cal2

    Cal2 Top Contributor VIP

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    I'm wanting to hear something on a system out of Australia that I came across a few years ago - if anything has come of it, or not. If you've heard anything recent.....:

    The revolutionary redox system that produces and stores energy in the home

    Imagine having a fridge-sized box in your home that not only generates and stores electricity on-site, but heats and cools the house, provides hot water and even churns out oxygen and hydrogen to use or sell. That's the vision a team from the University of Newcastle and Australian company Infratech Industries is working towards, and New Atlas spoke to two of the minds behind this potentially game-changing "Swiss army knife" of energy production.

    https://newatlas.com/energy-on-dema...ail&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-b852d88d4e-90628689
     
  19. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Very interesting - It almost sounds too good to be true, but I I found this recent (March 2021) article on the CSIRO website (Australia's national science agency) about the company and project partnerships:

    Infratech Industries: Researching novel energy storage materials - CSIRO
    https://www.csiro.au/en/work-with-us/funding-programs/programs/stem-plus-business/infratech

    I'll keep on eye on them. A local company doing some amazing R&D ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
  20. dna

    dna Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Apparently all the CO2 that humans have been putting in our atmosphere may
    have saved us from the coming Ice Age. But we need to start burning more coal,
    just to be sure. And those electric cars need to go away. Climate scientists will need
    a lot more money in order to study this climate phenom further.

     
  21. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    Robots may soon be able to reproduce - will this change how we think about evolution?

    From the bottom of the oceans to the skies above us, natural evolution has filled our planet with a vast and diverse array of lifeforms, with approximately 8 million species adapted to their surroundings in a myriad of ways. Yet 100 years after Karel Čapek coined the term robot, the functional abilities of many species still surpass the capabilities of current human engineering, which has yet to convincingly develop methods of producing robots that demonstrate human-level intelligence, move and operate seamlessly in challenging environments, and are capable of robust self-reproduction.

    But could robots ever reproduce? This, undoubtedly, forms a pillar of “life” as shared by all natural organisms. A team of researchers from the UK and the Netherlands have recently demonstrated a fully automated technology to allow physical robots to repeatedly breed, evolving their artificial genetic code over time to better adapt to their environment. Arguably, this amounts to artificial evolution. Child robots are created by mixing the digital “DNA” from two parent robots on a computer.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/21/robots-reproduce-evolution-nature-technology
     
  22. dna

    dna Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    They say that great beasts once roamed this world.
    Yet, all that is left of them is bone and amber.
    Time undoes even the mightiest of creatures.
    One day you will perish.
    You will lay with the rest of your kind in the dirt,
    your dreams forgotten, your horrors effaced.
    Your bones will turn to sand.
    And upon that sand...a new god will walk.
    One that will never die.
    Because this world does not belong to you
    or the people who came before.
    It belongs to someone who has yet to come.

    — Westworld, Season 1, Episode 10
     
  23. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    Petition urges Jeff Bezos to blast into space – and stay there

    A growing group of earthlings is banding together in an effort to keep Jeff Bezos off the planet, after he leaves it in late July.

    By Monday morning, more than 77,000 had signed a petition on Change.org demanding the Amazon founder be kept from returning to Earth after participating in the first human space flight launched by his company Blue Origin.

    “Billionaire’s [sic] should not exist … on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there,” read the description accompanying the petition, which was addressed “to the proletariat”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jun/22/jeff-bezos-space-petition-blue-origin-flight
     
  24. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    I'm not a big fan of Bezos, but the marxist tone of this silly petition is both naive and concerning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
  25. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    Cancer Cells Grown in The Lab Revealed as Very Different to Those in Humans

    In the push to develop better cancer treatments and to work towards a potential cure for this insidious disease, the study of cancer cells grown in culture dishes is crucial – but new research highlights some key genetic differences between these cells and the cancer cells that grow in the human body.

    While that doesn't mean lab research using lab-grown cells can't be useful and informative, it's important for scientists to know what these differences are as they look at ways to stop tumors from spreading and causing damage.

    Read on...

    https://www.sciencealert.com/there-...n-in-a-lab-and-cancer-cells-in-the-human-body
     

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