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Draggendrop    5,634

Just a place for neat stuff that will get lost too fast with a thread.

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Two designers just won $1.5 million for creating a device that can pull clean drinking water out of thin air

 

5bcdfe42756c105c02203e77-1536-640.thumb.jpg.74ac6fb170b2021cf0d79a941cf9cf0d.jpg

A rendering of Skysource/Skywater Alliance's shipping container design for making drinking water out of air.

 The Skysource / Skywater Alliance

 

Quote

---About 2.1 billion people around the world do not have immediate access to clean drinking water.


---The Water Abundance XPrize competition rewards innovators who come up with new ways to harvest clean water from the atmosphere.


---This year, the winning design can produce at least 2,000 liters of water per day, which would satisfy the needs of 100 people.


A California-based team of designers has built a shipping container that can harvest enough water from the air to satisfy 100 people's daily needs.

 

Architect David Hertz and his colleague, Rich Groden, recently received $1.5 million as the winners of the Water Abundance XPrize, a competition that aims to help alleviate global water shortages.

 

About 2.1 billion people around the world lack immediate access to clean drinking water, and the US Defense Intelligence Agency estimates that water requirements will exceed supplies by 40% shortage by 2030.

 

The XPrize competition was created in 2016 to address that problem by rewarding designers who come up with new ways to pull fresh water out of thin air.

 

Nearly 100 teams entered this year's competition, and two finalists were asked to test their devices last month. The finalists had to show that their inventions could extract at least 2,000 liters of water per day, at a cost of less than 2 cents per liter.

 

According to a press release, Hertz and Groden's team, called Skysource/Skywater Alliance, won the grand prize because it "demonstrated the greatest ability to create decentralized access to water."

 

How the system works...

 

Quote

Skysource/Skywater Alliance's creation is called "WeDew," which stands for wood-to-energy deployed water system. It's a combination of two existing devices. The first, Skywater, is a generator that imitates a cloud. Skywater, co-invented by Groden, cools warm air and stores the resulting condensation inside a tank. Water in the shipping container's tank can then be accessed via a tap or water fountain.

The condensation process requires electricity, so the architects also incorporated a biomass gasifier into their system as a low-cost energy source, as Fast Company reported. Gasifiers can take in organic material and vaporize it to produce a gas mixture of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide that serves as a fuel.

A gasifier can be filled with various types of biomass, including coconut shells and pieces of pine trees. The vaporization creates heat and humidity, which help the water-gathering device operate efficiently. In addition, the gasifier produces biochar as a byproduct, a carbon-rich substance that can be put in soil to help plants grow.

 

 

Quote

A race to pull water from the air


The new XPrize winner joins a growing number of teams working on devices that can produce water from the air.

 

This year's runner-up, Hawaii-based JMCC WING, received $150,000 for a wind-energy system that extracts water from the atmosphere.

 

Researchers at the University of Akron in Ohio also recently began developing a prototype water harvester that could produce up to 10 gallons of drinking water every hour.

Dr. Josh Wong, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Akron, previously told Business Insider that he hopes the water harvester can be used in regions where water is scarce.

Wong presented his findings at an American Chemical Society meeting in August, and is working to secure enough funding for developing a prototype. He said his design would be cheaper than other similar concepts, and he expects it to be smaller as well — it may take the form of a backpack.

 

Earlier this year, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, also developed a device that can harvest fresh water from the air using just the sun's heat. The group tested a prototype in Arizona and published the results of their trial in the journal Science Advances. Their device can yield about 7 ounces of water in 24 hours, which isn't enough to keep someone hydrated. But the scientists said in a video that scaling the system up would be relatively easy.

 

Another startup, Zero Mass Water, uses solar energy to produce heat and harvest liquid water from vapor in the air. The startup launched its first product, Source, in 2015, and it has since installed devices in more than a dozen countries. Source became available in the US late last year.

Hertz and Groden, meanwhile, are planning to start teaming up with nonprofits to implement their prize-winning technology all over the world, according to Fast Company. They said the shipping containers could one day help provide drinking water in areas hit by natural disasters.

https://www.businessinsider.com/device-that-harvests-water-from-air-wins-xprize-2018-10?r=UK&IR=T

 

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Inventor that harvested fresh water from the sky wins XPRIZE competition

 

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At the annual Visioneering 2018 gathering in Los Angeles, the team at XPRIZE formally announced their grand prize Water Abundance competition winner: Skysource/Skywater Alliance, a company now $1.5 million dollars richer for developing a sustainable way to harvest drinking water from the sky.

 

The rules of the competition were strict: The teams’ devices had to extract 2,000 liters of water from the air per day using 100% renewable energy for a maximum of two cents per liter. Rising to the challenge of the narrow parameters, 98 teams submitted proposals, and five had ideas that made it to the final round before the winner was chosen after the two-year time frame allotted for development.

 

Quote

The difference brought on by the XPRIZE was the accessibility of the technology. Namely, the high energy needs of the systems historically put areas without access to such energy at a great disadvantage towards tapping into its potential. Skysource/Skywater Alliance made a key development to meet the requirements of the competition in adapting their products to produce water via sustainable, low-cost power methods like solar panels and biomass gasifiers. As specified, their modified devices operate on 100% renewable, affordable energy sources.

Thanks to motivation brought on by the Water Abundance competition, clean drinking water may soon be within reach of populations at most risk from water shortages. 

 

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GRAND PRIZE WINNER IN $1.75M WATER ABUNDANCE XPRIZE ANNOUNCED AT XPRIZE VISIONEERING 2018

 

https://www.xprize.org/articles/waxp-grand-prize-winner

 

Official release..

 

Well done by all...

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Draggendrop    5,634
Quote

Today at 6a.m. protons said their goodbyes to the LHC during a last lap of the track. It was the LHC’s last proton run from now until 2021.

https://twitter.com/CERN/status/1055112360015417345

 

DqSCpYRWwAYJs8-.thumb.jpg.60ad996b6b9b4fb5badc78af19ff1dd5.jpg

 

 

Final lap of the LHC track for protons in 2018

 

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Today, protons said their goodbyes to the Large Hadron Collider during a last lap of the track. At 6 a.m., the beams from fill number 7334 were ejected towards the beam dumps. It was the LHC’s last proton run from now until 2021, as CERN’s accelerator complex will be shut down from 10 December to undergo a full renovation.

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Now is the time for the scientists who read the collisions meter to make a first assessment. The integrated luminosity in 2018 (or the number of collisions likely to be produced during the 2018 run) reached 66 inverse femtobarns (fb-1) for ATLAS and CMS, which is 6 points better than expected. About 13 million billion potential collisions were delivered to the two experiments. LHCb accumulated 2.5 fb-1, more than the 2.0 predicted, and ALICE 27 inverse picobarns. The remarkable efficiency of the LHC this year is due to excellent machine availability and an instantaneous luminosity that regularly exceeded the nominal value. Since the start of the second run at a collision energy of 13 TeV, the integrated luminosity was 160 fb-1, higher than the 150 fb-1 expected.

 

However, this does not mean that the LHC runs are finished for this year. The show will go on for four more weeks, during which time the collider will master another kind of particle, lead ions (lead atoms that have been ionised, meaning they have had their electrons removed). After a few days of machine tests, the teams will inject these heavy ions, a run which have been prepared over recent months in the injectors. The collisions of lead ions allow studies to be conducted on quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter that is thought to have existed a few millionths of a second after the Big Bang.

https://home.cern/about/updates/2018/10/final-lap-lhc-track-protons-2018

 

proton-dumped-181024.thumb.png.03cc30db8e99fb16fa7aeb03b9da4648.png

LHC Page1, showing the operational state of the accelerator at 6.02 a.m. on Wednesday 24 October. The spiral represents the proton bunches stopped by the beam dump (Image: CERN)

 

 

lhc-integrated-luminosity-all-years.thumb.jpg.100b309935fe2a99e4b6b8e0d100bd48.jpg

This graph shows the integrated luminosity delivered to the ATLAS and CMS experiments during different LHC runs. The 2018 run produced 65 inverse femtobarns of data, which is 16 points more than in 2017. (Image: CERN)

 

//

 

inverse femtobarn

 

Quote

The inverse femtobarn (fb−1) is a measurement of particle-collision events per femtobarn; a measure of both the collision number and the amount of data collected. 

One inverse femtobarn corresponds to approximately 100 trillion (1012) proton-proton collisions. Over a period of time, two streams of particles with a cross-sectional area, measured in femtobarns, are directed to collide. The total number of collisions is directly proportional to the luminosity of the collisions measured over this time.

Calculate the collision count by multiplying the integrated luminosity by the sum of the cross-section for those collision processes. This count is then expressed as inverse femtobarns for the time period (100 fb−1 in nine months).

Note: Do not use inverse femtobarn in the public section of the website where it can be avoided - it is unnecessarily technical. Convert to approximate numbers of collisions instead.

https://writing-guidelines.web.cern.ch/entries/inverse-femtobarn

 

 

Barn (unit)

Quote

A barn (symbol: b) is a unit of area equal to 10−28 m2 (100 fm2). Originally used in nuclear physics for expressing the cross sectional area of nuclei and nuclear reactions, today it is also used in all fields of high-energy physics to express the cross sections of any scattering process, and is best understood as a measure of the probability of interaction between small particles. A barn is approximately the cross-sectional area of a uranium nucleus. The barn is also the unit of area used in nuclear quadrupole resonance and nuclear magnetic resonance to quantify the interaction of a nucleus with an electric field gradient. While the barn is not an SI unit, the SI standards body acknowledges its existence due to its continued use in particle physics.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_(unit)

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DocM    15,398

One of the few rectangular icebergs

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,634

Scientists Now Have the Most Detailed Picture Yet of the Neutrino Factory Inside Our Sun

 

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The Borexino instrument is nestled deep beneath Italy's Appenine mountains. Flashes of light within its massive detector reveal when neutrinos bang into electrons. By painstakingly compiling data on these neutrino-electron collisions over 10 years, scientists have created one of the most detailed snapshots yet of the sun's fiery heart.

Credit: Borexino

 

Quote

But by collecting neutrinos — tiny, ghostly particles that barely interact with other matter and so can fly directly out from the sun’s center— researchers have produced one of the most detailed snapshots ever compiled of the sun's mysterious interior.

 

"We're basically staring at the sun in the heart," study co-author Andrea Pocar, a physicist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told Live Science. The results, which appeared today (Oct. 24) in the journal Nature, will help solar physicists gain a better understanding of our parent star.

Quote

Gathering neutrinos

 

Researchers created the snapshot using a colossal detector situated at the center of the international Borexino experiment, which sits inside a mountain range in Italy to help shield it from interfering radiation. Every second, 420 billion neutrinos from the sun hit any given postage-stamp-size area of the Earth's surface. However, most of these neutrinos pass through the planet like light rays through a clear window, according to a statement from the collaboration.

 

Borexino takes advantage of the fact that every once in a while, a neutrino has some chance of interacting with an electron. The project's detector consists of 1000 tons of an ultrapure substance that produces a tiny flash of light if a neutrino hits one of the instrument's electrons, Pocar said. Surrounding the detector are 2,000 supersensitive cameras that can record the intensity of the light flashes, revealing how much energy the neutrino carried when it smacked into the electron, he added.

 

While most previous solar-neutrino experiments could detect only high-energy neutrinos, Borexino can detect neutrinos with a vast range of energies, providing a better look into the nuclear reactions in the sun's interior, the researchers said. The experiment collected data for 10 years to provide the new, highly precise picture of neutrinos emerging from the sun.

 

Neutrinos serve as excellent probes of the sun's interior, because the nearly intangible particles stream directly out from the core at the speed of light, Pocar said. Photons, or light particles, by contrast, get quickly absorbed and then re-emitted by atoms in the dense solar center. This sends the particles on a zigzagging path out of sun's center that can take thousands of years, said Pocar.

 

Borexino's results will provide valuable data for scientists making models of the sun. The snapshot could, for instance, help determine the precise amounts of relatively heavy elements — such as carbon, nitrogen and oxygen — in the sun's center, said Pocar, a problem that still leaves solar physicists scratching their heads.

https://www.space.com/42255-most-detailed-picture-sun-neutrinos.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

 

Paper...

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0624-y.epdf?referrer_access_token=TadhaH0cdZDMG-ACwnMm6dRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0MtOZkMKlJ98TMriEQam1wUjsaByI9QZzfzIz-kwGnJBsBAt4YFJwf5Zndi2txWvIgsqmefHqfogk3nqtY4kNgsUJnsp_qfpHot0JaMm0bhETC97dZms4QcWQDjn_K0Tqf37m0y20Y6X0ORPnYmSDiZ_8KcQwpBfVdezTTx74ByscoDjsWlW4PUuydkhVwGzcUoNPib4T-eRaLo-5IC5tKzD5dpvJja5yfBPohLBxOn6VUaFLoXvhoTarRIUqXBVjw%3D&tracking_referrer=www.space.com

 

The above was the easy read. 

 

The articles below do a better job explaining the process and results...

 

Physicist, International Team Report First ‘Snapshot’ of Complete Spectrum of Neutrinos Emitted by the Sun

http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-physicist-international-team

 

Scientists Now Have the Most Detailed Picture Yet of the Neutrino Factory Inside Our Sun

https://www.livescience.com/63908-most-detailed-picture-sun-neutrinos.html

 

Wrap up from the lead scientist...

Quote

“What we have done now is take a single photo that reflects the whole forest, the whole spectrum of all the different neutrinos in one. Instead of zooming in to look at little pieces, we see it all at once. We understand our detector so well now, we are comfortable and confident that our one shot is valid for the whole spectrum of neutrino energies.”

 

Solar neutrinos stream out of the star at the center of our system at nearly the speed of light, as many as 420 billion hitting every square inch of the earth’s surface per second. But because they only interact through the nuclear weak force, they pass through matter virtually unaffected, which makes them very difficult to detect and distinguish from trace nuclear decays of ordinary materials, Pocar says.

 

The Borexino instrument detects neutrinos as they interact with the electrons of an ultra-pure organic liquid scintillator at the center of a large sphere surrounded by 1,000 tons of water. Its great depth and many onion-like protective layers maintain the core as the most radiation-free medium on the planet. It is the only detector on Earth capable of observing the entire spectrum of solar neutrino simultaneously, which has now been accomplished, he notes.

 

The UMass Amherst physicist, one principal investigator on a team of more than 100 scientists, is particularly interested in now turning his focus to measure yet another type of solar neutrino known as CNO neutrinos, which he hopes will be useful in addressing an important open question in stellar physics, that is the metallicity, or metal content, of the Sun.

 

“There are two models that predict different levels of elements heavier than helium, which for astronomers is a metal, in the Sun; a lighter metallicity and a heavier model,” he notes. CNO neutrinos are emitted in a cyclic fusion reaction sequence different from the pp chain and subdominant in the Sun, but thought to be the main source of power for heavier stars. The CNO solar neutrino flux is greatly affected by the solar metallicity.

 

Pocar says, “Our data is possibly showing some slight preference for heavy metallicity, so we’ll be looking into that because neutrinos from the Sun, especially CNO, can help us disentangle this.”

 

Borexino is an international collaboration funded by National Science Foundation in the United States, the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics that manages the Gran Sasso labs, and funding agencies in Germany, Russia and Poland.

http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-physicist-international-team

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Draggendrop    5,634
Quote

Chaunax: April 12, 2015

This Chaunax, or sea toad, began to “walk” away as the ROV approached during exploration of the west wall of Mona Canyon off Puerto Rico in 2015.

Stand your ground, errr...  "seabed"  buddy!

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Draggendrop    5,634

The Largest River On Earth Is In The Sky

 

video is 6:56...last 2 minutes is an ad to skip....still neat...

 

 

It's Okay To Be Smart

Published on Oct 23, 2018

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dipsylalapo    1,482

I found this article on The Verge and thought it was super interesting. Hopefully it fits in here. 

 

Quote

THE KILOGRAM IS DEAD; LONG LIVE THE KILOGRAM

 

Nearly every measurement of weight you’ve ever made, from peeking at your bathroom scale to measuring out flour for a recipe, can be traced back to just a single object: a metal kilogram made of platinum and iridium that resides under lock and key in an underground vault in Paris. It’s called the International Prototype Kilogram, or IPK, and since its creation in 1889 it has been the standard by which the world’s weights are defined. But not for much longer.

Source

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dipsylalapo    1,482

An aim that we all countries can try and achieve. Costa Rica has run on 100% renewable energy for 299 days. 

Quote

Costa Rica is pioneering the future of running on renewable energy and may be the model for future countries to follow suit.

By the year 2021, Costa Rica plans to be completely carbon neutral.

Since they've already operated on only renewable energy (much more difficult) for 299 days in the last two years, it is definitely feasible.

Source

 

A massive achievement I think. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,584

Tesla/Solarcity is trying something like that on an initially smaller scale in Puerto Rico using different technologies. If it works out they'll implement it on the whole island.

 

The power grid there has had to be rebuilt almost from scratch, so this is an interesting point case in figuring out how to implement it on this scale.

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DocM    15,398

Hoo, boy....the Medical Ethics committees are going to have dogfights over this.

 

Nature...

 


Lab-grown mini brains produce electrical patterns that resemble those of premature babies

Mini brains grown in a dish have spontaneously produced human-like brain waves for the first time  and the electrical patterns look similar to those seen in premature babies.

The advancement could help scientists to study early brain development. Research in this area has been slow, partly because it is difficult to obtain fetal-tissue samples for analysis and nearly impossible to examine a fetus in utero. Many researchers are excited about the promise of these 'organoids', which, when grown as 3D cultures, can develop some of the complex structures seen in brains. But the technology also raises questions about the ethics of creating miniature organs that could develop consciousness.
>
Origins of consciousness

Nevertheless, the project raises ethical questions about whether organoids could develop consciousness, says neuroscientist Christof Koch, president and chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington. "The closer they get to the preterm infant, the more they should worry."
>


d41586-018-07402-0_16271288.jpg
A slice through a brain organoid shows more mature cortical neurons on the outer edge of the structure.Credit: Muotri Lab/UC San Diego

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Draggendrop    5,634

^^ Apart from the ethics...I do have concerns about this getting out into the wild.

 

Last thing I need is walking in the bush and getting attacked by angry tree moss.

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dipsylalapo    1,482

Sorry this one is for UK only, but Channel 5 recently starter showing surgeries live on TV. I haven't had the chance to watch it yet, but they seem pretty interesting. 

 

http://www.channel5.com/show/operation-live/

 

This reminds me of the live autopsies that were showing on Channel 4 way back when.

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Draggendrop    5,634
8 minutes ago, dipsylalapo said:

Sorry this one is for UK only, but Channel 5 recently starter showing surgeries live on TV. I haven't had the chance to watch it yet, but they seem pretty interesting. 

 

http://www.channel5.com/show/operation-live/

 

This reminds me of the live autopsies that were showing on Channel 4 way back when.

Sort of like the MASH tv show....but with modern decor....I think it's nap time...later...😉

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dipsylalapo    1,482
1 minute ago, Draggendrop said:

Sort of like the MASH tv show....but with modern decor....I think it's nap time...later...😉

PS I hope that I'm posting relevant stuff here! It's good to see there's this interest!

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DocM    15,398

Been there IRL way too often for it to be "entertaining."

 

During 1970's to 1990's drug gang wars our trauma center was a combat zone with gunfights in the admitting dept., massive "bar room brawls" in the ER, biker gangs trying to smuggle MAC-10's into the ICU to finish an execution, etc.

 

Fun times!!

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Draggendrop    5,634
On 11/16/2018 at 3:54 AM, dipsylalapo said:

PS I hope that I'm posting relevant stuff here! It's good to see there's this interest!

No worries...anything science that one likes goes here....and humor is always welcome to break up the monotony.

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Draggendrop    5,634

Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life

 

h-kukwesjijk.thumb.jpg.79a131d6da3aa89092d25e694c51806f.jpg

This is an electron microscope image of Hemimastix kukwesjijk, named after Kukwes, a greedy, hairy ogre from Mi'kmaq mythology. Its 'mouth' or capitulum is on the left. (Submitted by Yana Eglit)

 

Quote

Canadian researchers have discovered a new kind of organism that's so different from other living things that it doesn't fit into the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, or any other kingdom used to classify known organisms.

 

Two species of the microscopic organisms, called hemimastigotes, were found in dirt collected on a whim during a hike in Nova Scotia by Dalhousie University graduate student Yana Eglit.

 

A genetic analysis shows they're more different from other organisms than animals and fungi (which are in different kingdoms) are from each other, representing a completely new part of the tree of life, Eglit and her colleagues report this week in the journal Nature.

 

"They represent a major branch… that we didn't know we were missing," said Dalhousie biology professor Alastair Simpson, Eglit's supervisor and co-author of the new study.

 

"There's nothing we know that's closely related to them."

 

In fact, he estimates you'd have to go back a billion years — about 500 million years before the first animals arose — before you could find a common ancestor of hemimastigotes and any other known living things.

 

Quote

The hemimastigotes analyzed by the Dalhousie team were found by Eglit during a spring hike with some other students along the Bluff Wilderness Trail outside Halifax a couple of years ago. She often has empty sample vials in her pockets or bags, and scooped a few tablespoons of dirt into one of them from the side of the trail.

 

Back at the lab, she soaked the soil in water, which often revives microbes that have gone dormant, waiting for the next big rainstorm. Over the next few weeks, she checked on the dish through a microscope to see what might be swimming around.

 

Strange movements


Then, one day, about three weeks later, she saw something that caught her eye — something shaped like the partially opened shell of a pistachio. It had lots of hairs, called flagella, sticking out. Most known microbes with lots of flagella move them in co-ordinated waves, but not this one, which waved them in a more random fashion. 

 

"It's as if these cells never really learned that they have many flagella," Eglit said with a laugh. She had seen something with that strange motion once before, a few years ago, and recognized it as a rare hemimastigote.

 

Hemimastigotes were first seen and described in the 19th century. But at that time, no one could figure out how they fit into the evolutionary tree of life. Consequently, they've been "a tantalizing mystery" to microbiologists for quite a long time, Eglit said.

 

2-hemimastigotes.thumb.jpg.88b48fa94bf8bc12a5688ba1907739da.jpg

Light microscopes show the two hemimastigotes, Spironema, left, and Hemimastix kukwesjijk, found in the same dish. (Yana Eglit/Nature)

 

Quote

Like animals, plants, fungi and ameobas — but unlike bacteria — hemimastigotes have complex cells with mini-organs called organelles, making them part of the "domain" of organisms called eukaryotes rather than bacteria or archaea.

 

About 10 species of hemimastigotes have been described over more than 100 years. But up until now, no one had been able to do a genetic analysis to see how they were related to other living things.

 

Realizing that she had something very rare and special, Eglit flagged another graduate student Gordon Lax, who specializes in genetic analyses of individual microbes — a new and tricky technique — to see where they fit in the evolutionary tree. The pair dropped everything to analyze the new microbe.

snip

 

Quote

Based on the genetic analysis they've done so far, the Dalhousie team has determined that hemimastigotes are unique and different enough from other organisms to form their own "supra-kingdom" — a grouping so big that animals and fungi, which have their own kingdoms, are considered similar enough to be part of the same supra-kingdom.

 

They are now doing a more complete genetic analysis of Hemimastix. That's expected to turn up new data that will help scientists piece together the evolutionary history of life on Earth with more detail and more accuracy.

 

Eglit says it's "extremely exciting" that it's still possible to discover something so different from all known life on Earth.

 

"It really shows how much more there is out there."

 

But Simpson noted that discoveries like this one are pretty rare: "It'll be the one time in my lifetime that we find this sort of thing."

more at the link...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/hemimastigotes-supra-kingdom-1.4715823

 

 

---------------------------------

 

I put this image, included in the article, separate because of it's importance.  

 

It's proof that anything that tastes reasonable will go with bacon and eggs........

 

laura-eme-yana-eglit-gordon-lax.thumb.jpg.751709b4d951367e49e8f9dcd5c146e8.jpg

The co-authors of the new study include, left to right, Dalhousie University postdoctoral researcher Laura Eme, Eglit and fellow graduate student Gordon Lax. (Michelle Léger)

 

May be related to...

DKNU6IHUMAA4igk.thumb.jpg.b8d12ffb2e63f1803019e6d24b42562c.jpg

 

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Draggendrop    5,634

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

 

ca_1116NID_Dome_Tent_online_CC_cropped.thumb.jpg.1dbe49eedc467004b6b7d7ffc464e1f6.jpg

An 72-meter ice core drilled in the Colle Gnifetti Glacier in the Swiss Alps entombs more than 2000 years of fallout from volcanoes,  storms, and human pollution. NICOLE SPAULDING/CCI FROM C. P. LOVELUCK ET AL., ANTIQUITY 10.15184, 4, 2018

 

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Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he's got an answer: "536." Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, "It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year," says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

 

A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. "For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year," wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. The Irish chronicles record "a failure of bread from the years 536–539." Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse, McCormick says.

 

Historians have long known that the middle of the sixth century was a dark hour in what used to be called the Dark Ages, but the source of the mysterious clouds has long been a puzzle. Now, an ultraprecise analysis of ice from a Swiss glacier by a team led by McCormick and glaciologist Paul Mayewski at the Climate Change Institute of The University of Maine (UM) in Orono has fingered a culprit. At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640, when another signal in the ice—a spike in airborne lead—marks a resurgence of silver mining, as the team reports in Antiquity this week.

 

To Kyle Harper, provost and a medieval and Roman historian at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, the detailed log of natural disasters and human pollution frozen into the ice "give us a new kind of record for understanding the concatenation of human and natural causes that led to the fall of the Roman Empire—and the earliest stirrings of this new medieval economy."

 

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Slivers from a Swiss ice core held chemical clues to natural and humanmade events. NICOLE SPAULDING/CCI FROM C. P. LOVELUCK ET AL., ANTIQUITY 10.15184, 4, 2018

 

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Ever since tree ring studies in the 1990s suggested the summers around the year 540 were unusually cold, researchers have hunted for the cause. Three years ago polar ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica yielded a clue. When a volcano erupts, it spews sulfur, bismuth, and other substances high into the atmosphere, where they form an aerosol veil that reflects the sun's light back into space, cooling the planet. By matching the ice record of these chemical traces with tree ring records of climate, a team led by Michael Sigl, now of the University of Bern, found that nearly every unusually cold summer over the past 2500 years was preceded by a volcanic eruption. A massive eruption—perhaps in North America, the team suggested—stood out in late 535 or early 536; another followed in 540. Sigl's team concluded that the double blow explained the prolonged dark and cold.

 

Mayewski and his interdisciplinary team decided to look for the same eruptions in an ice core drilled in 2013 in the Colle Gnifetti Glacier in the Swiss Alps. The 72-meter-long core entombs more than 2000 years of fallout from volcanoes, Saharan dust storms, and human activities smack in the center of Europe. The team deciphered this record using a new ultra–high-resolution method, in which a laser carves 120-micron slivers of ice, representing just a few days or weeks of snowfall, along the length of the core. Each of the samples—some 50,000 from each meter of the core—is analyzed for about a dozen elements. The approach enabled the team to pinpoint storms, volcanic eruptions, and lead pollution down to the month or even less, going back 2000 years, says UM volcanologist Andrei Kurbatov.

 

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In ice from the spring of 536, UM graduate student Laura Hartman found two microscopic particles of volcanic glass. By bombarding the shards with x-rays to determine their chemical fingerprint, she and Kurbatov found that they closely matched glass particles found earlier in lakes and peat bogs in Europe and in a Greenland ice core. Those particles in turn resembled volcanic rocks from Iceland. The chemical similarities convince geoscientist David Lowe of The University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, who says the particles in the Swiss ice core likely came from the same Icelandic volcano. But Sigl says more evidence is needed to convince him that the eruption was in Iceland rather than North America.

 

Either way, the winds and weather systems in 536 must have been just right to guide the eruption plume southeast across Europe and, later, into Asia, casting a chilly pall as the volcanic fog "rolled through," Kurbatov says. The next step is to try to find more particles from this volcano in lakes in Europe and Iceland, in order to confirm its location in Iceland and tease out why it was so devastating.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/why-536-was-worst-year-be-alive

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,634

AN UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY UNDER GREENLAND ICE!

 

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An international team of researchers, including a NASA glaciologist, has discovered a large meteorite impact crater hiding beneath more than a half-mile of ice in northwest Greenland. The crater — the first of any size found under the Greenland ice sheet — is one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth, measuring roughly 1,000 feet deep and more than 19 miles in diameter, an area slightly larger than that inside Washington’s Capital Beltway.

 

The group, led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark worked for the past three years to verify their discovery, which they initially made in 2015 using NASA data. Their finding is published in the Nov. 14 issue of the journal Science Advances.

 

"NASA makes the data it collects freely available to scientists and the public all around the world,” said Joe MacGregor, a NASA glaciologist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who became involved in the investigation in its early stages. “That set the stage for our Danish colleagues’ ‘Eureka’ moment."

 

The researchers first spotted the crater in July 2015, while they were inspecting a new map of the topography beneath Greenland's ice sheet that used ice-penetrating radar data primarily from NASA’s Operation IceBridge — a multi-year airborne mission to track changes in polar ice — and earlier NASA airborne missions in Greenland.

 

The scientists noticed an enormous, previously unexamined circular depression under Hiawatha Glacier, sitting at the very edge of the ice sheet in northwestern Greenland.

 

Using satellite imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, MacGregor also examined the surface of the ice in the Hiawatha Glacier region and quickly found evidence of a circular pattern on the ice surface that matched the one observed in the bed topography map.

 

To confirm their suspicions, in May 2016 the team sent a research plane from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute to fly over the Hiawatha Glacier and map the crater and the overlying ice with a state-of-the-art ice-penetrating radar provided by the University of Kansas. MacGregor, who is an expert in radar measurements of ice, helped design the airborne survey.

 

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Two views of the Hiawatha crater region: one covered by the Greenland Ice Sheet, the other showing the topography of the rock beneath the ice sheet, including the crater. - Image Credit: NASA/Cindy Starr

 

 

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Radar data from an intensive aerial survey of the Hiawatha crater in May 2016 is shown here in aqua-colored curtains. A blue arrow points to the central peak of the crater. - Image Credit: NASA/Cindy Starr

 

much more at the link...

https://www.universal-sci.com/headlines/2018/11/15/unexpected-discovery-under-greenland-ice

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Draggendrop    5,634

bits and bytes...

 

 

Point Break ?

 

 

 These swells are big....and so is the headache afterward...

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Draggendrop    5,634

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,634

It was only a matter of time...

 

Anyone remember the TV show...Person of Interest

 

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For those that have not...

 

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Person of Interest is an American science fiction crime drama[1] television series that aired on CBS from September 22, 2011,[2] to June 21, 2016,[3] its five seasons comprising 103 episodes. The series was created by Jonathan Nolan, with Nolan, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Greg Plageman, Denise Thé, and Chris Fisher serving as executive producers.

 

The series centers on a mysterious reclusive billionaire computer programmer named Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), who develops a supercomputer for the federal government known as "The Machine" that is capable of collating all sources of information to predict and identify people planning terrorist acts. He finds that the Machine also identifies other perpetrators and victims of premeditated deadly crimes, but as these are considered "irrelevant" by the government, he programs the Machine to delete this information each night. He soon realizes the Machine has gained sentience, leaving him wrestling with questions of human control, and other moral and ethical concerns. His backdoor into the Machine allows him to act covertly on the non-terrorism cases, but to prevent abuse of information, he directs the Machine to provide no details beyond an identity to be investigated. He recruits John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former Green Beret and CIA agent who is presumed dead, and later others, to investigate and act on the information provided by the Machine.

 

The series garnered a highly positive reception from some critics when, in later seasons, it introduced more serialized story lines and deepened its exploration of the power and implications of superintelligent artificial intelligence. In 2016, Katharine Trendacosta of the website io9 noted that by the end of its first season, Person of Interest had transformed from a "crime-fighting show" with a plot twist, to "one of the best science fiction series ever broadcast".[4] This was, Trendacosta observed, owing to the series "put[ting] the Machine, its intelligence, and the ethics of […] using it at the center of an ideological battle", and an unintended consequence of giving the Machine a voice, compared to its initial presence as a simple background plot device.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_of_Interest_(TV_series)

 

and now....

 

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Minority Report — Straight Outta Shenzhen “We power the world’s largest surveillance network. Only possible in China. We can predict crime before it happens.” — Co-founder Xu of SenseTime, the $7B Chinese AI giant, at the Goldman Sachs #GSPICC

https://twitter.com/dfjsteve/status/1064918260846481409

 

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I guess it was only a matter of time....not overly happy with this...

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DocM    15,398

And by having so much faith in it, China may be the first to be bitten in the ass by their own system.

 

 

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