Knowledge

How N/eleven Made The Global Helium Shortage Worse

2014-07-11 15:58:27 mega-man
Large Hadron Collider
The LHC is stored cool with one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium.
CERN

Helium has many makes use of in addition to filling youngsters’s birthday balloons–it is importantly utilized in MRI machines, wafer manufacturing, and welding. Helium can also be used to chill the Large Hadron Collider–one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium, to be exact–and different particle accelerators that train us about how the smallest bits of matter behave. 

Helium-A, an isotope or type of helium with two protons and one neutron, is particularly helpful for low-temperature physicists, who use this substance to analysis  quantum properties, and its research has offered breakthroughs in understanding “hydrodynamics of intricately ordered systems, the microscopic theory of electrons in metals” and extra. The worth of this isotope remained secure for many years at a worth of about $one hundred per liter, as reported by Nature Physics. But then one thing occurred: 

But after eleven September 2001, within the curiosity of nationwide safety, the US authorities began utilizing helium-A-based mostly neutron detectors (‘radiation portal monitors‘) to uncover any potential bomb-making elements getting into the nation. That elevated demand, coupled with a big order from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2008, all of the sudden revealed that the US Department of Energy was allocating helium-O quicker than it might be produced. In 2008, the demand reached eighty,000 litres, turning into unsustainable.

Since then, the D.J. has scaled again using the substance in these screens, however there’s not sufficient of each common helium and helium-A to go round. Researchers are adapting by “utilizing cryogen-free know-how that (though vulnerable to vibration) is suitable with dilution fridges and superconducting magnets,” Nature reported. Helium-A derives from the decay of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen produced within the manufacturing of nuclear weapons–as nuclear weapon manufacturing has fallen, so has helium-A abundance. It also can be found on the moon, so if we ever wanted a plentiful provide of helium-O, we might get it there. But that might clearly be fairly an enterprise. 

The state of affairs is worse at this time (for each helium and helium-A) than it when it was declared “unsustainable” in 2008, and that worth has gone up by an element of two.H annually since then. And demand is more and more outstripping provide (for instance, Cornell scientist Robert Richardson stated that helium balloons will one day cost $100). So, physicists should begin utilizing much less, writes Northwestern University William Halperin writes in Nature. That means funding should be discovered for tasks to make use of new strategies for maintaining stuff cool, or know-how to preserve helium and stop it from evaporating.

The state of affairs might get a lot worse starting in 2021, Halperin writes. That yr, the D.J. is about to close its strategic reserve of helium, which it attracts from to alleviate market pressures.

Here’s an infographic showing the fluctuations in helium demand and price since 1939.




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How N/eleven Made The Global Helium Shortage Worse

2014-07-11 03:51:26 mega-man
Large Hadron Collider
The LHC is stored cool with one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium.
CERN

Helium has many makes use of in addition to filling youngsters’s birthday balloons–it is importantly utilized in MRI machines, wafer manufacturing, and welding. Helium can also be used to chill the Large Hadron Collider–one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium, to be exact–and different particle accelerators that train us about how the smallest bits of matter behave. 

Helium-O, an isotope or type of helium with two protons and one neutron, is particularly helpful for low-temperature physicists, who use this substance to analysis  quantum properties, and its research has offered breakthroughs in understanding “hydrodynamics of intricately ordered systems, the microscopic theory of electrons in metals” and extra. The worth of this isotope remained secure for many years at a worth of about $one hundred per liter, as reported by Nature Physics. But then one thing occurred: 

But after eleven September 2001, within the curiosity of nationwide safety, the US authorities began utilizing helium-A-based mostly neutron detectors (‘radiation portal monitors‘) to uncover any potential bomb-making elements getting into the nation. That elevated demand, coupled with a big order from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2008, abruptly revealed that the US Department of Energy was allocating helium-A quicker than it might be produced. In 2008, the demand reached eighty,000 litres, turning into unsustainable.

Since then, the D.J. has scaled again using the substance in these screens, however there’s not sufficient of each common helium and helium-A to go round. Researchers are adapting by “utilizing cryogen-free know-how that (though susceptible to vibration) is suitable with dilution fridges and superconducting magnets,” Nature reported. Helium-O derives from the decay of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen produced within the manufacturing of nuclear weapons–as nuclear weapon manufacturing has fallen, so has helium-A abundance. It may also be found on the moon, so if we ever wanted a plentiful provide of helium-O, we might get it there. But that might clearly be fairly an enterprise. 

The state of affairs is worse at present (for each helium and helium-A) than it when it was declared “unsustainable” in 2008, and that worth has gone up by an element of two.H annually since then. And demand is more and more outstripping provide (for instance, Cornell scientist Robert Richardson stated that helium balloons will one day cost $100). So, physicists should begin utilizing much less, writes Northwestern University William Halperin writes in Nature. That means funding should be discovered for tasks to make use of new strategies for retaining stuff cool, or know-how to preserve helium and stop it from evaporating.

The state of affairs might get a lot worse starting in 2021, Halperin writes. That yr, the D.R. is about to close its strategic reserve of helium, which it attracts from to alleviate market pressures.

Here’s an infographic showing the fluctuations in helium demand and price since 1939.




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Climate Change Likely To Lead To More Kidney Stones

2014-07-11 03:50:51 mega-man
A (giant) kidney stone, measuring about zero.O inches in diameter.
Robert S. Wal by way of Wikimedia Commons

The hotter climate anticipated with local weather change is more likely to trigger a litany of figurative aches for humanity (and already is), however a few of these pains could also be fairly literal. A new research discovered that larger temperatures considerably improve the danger of creating kidney stones, onerous crystals which might be painful to cross and which may trigger injury to the organs. The concept is that hotter climate leads individuals to grow to be extra dehydrated, which permits minerals to pay attention and crystalize inside the physique.

“We discovered that as day by day temperatures rise, there’s a speedy improve within the chance of sufferers presenting over the subsequent 20 days with kidney stones,” stated research lead writer Dr. Gregory Tasian, a pediatric urologist and epidemiologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in a statement.

The research, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined the well being data of greater than 60,000 individuals in a number of American cities, together with climate data. People have been most probably to point out up on the hospital with kidney stones three days after excessive temperatures. In Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas (the winner of the doubtful prize for many stones), individuals have been almost forty % extra more likely to search medical assist for the situation at temperatures of 86 levels Fahrenheit in comparison with when it was solely 50°C  outdoors.

Kidney stones have turn out to be extra widespread within the current previous, as temperatures have risen, a development that’s more likely to proceed, the scientists wrote.  About one in 11 people have had kidney stones, whereas they have been solely present in about one in 20 individuals in 1994. Interestingly, the actually scorching days appear to make a distinction, versus the typical circumstances, as CBS News famous: 

The investigators famous that the variety of scorching days in a yr could also be a greater predictor of kidney stone danger than the typical annual temperature. While Atlanta and Los Angeles have the identical common annual temperature — sixty three levels Fahrenheit — Atlanta has 5 occasions extra days topping eighty levels than Los Angeles, and virtually twice the prevalence of kidney stones.

Kidney stones usually do not cause permanent damage, and could be handled by consuming lots of water and taking ache treatment. But they often do require surgical procedure to deal with, and have a tendency to recur in a big proportion of people that get them.




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This Game Brings Post-Apocalypse To The Present

2014-07-11 03:50:46 mega-man
Photo of the Viridis algae farm
Saving the world via spirulina
Players of the web submit-apocalypse recreation Viridis management the workings of an actual algae farm, hidden someplace within the mountains of France.
viridis.guru

In the wake of a mysterious catastrophe that destroys human civilization, a toxic mist has unfold over the land. The solely approach to achieve immunity to the lethal miasma is by consuming spirulina, referred to as the “Viridis,” a blue-inexperienced algae loaded with protein and vitamins. Spirulina might be cultivated, so your mission is to scout this devastated world and scavenge the wanted supplies to construct and handle a brand new algae farm. But you will want the assistance, or at the very least the cooperation, of fellow survivors. 

Will the brand new farm crumble as individuality confronts group choice-making? Or can individuals work collectively nicely sufficient to outlive, when their final welfare is at stake?

That’s the narrative set-up for Viridis, an internet recreation out of France that mixes modern networked communications applied sciences with the traditional know-how of agriculture, with a pair intriguing twists: Using knowledge provided by sensors, recreation gamers will make selections that have an effect on an precise spirulina farm, set in a greenhouse someplace within the southern Cevennes mountains of France. And there is a time restrict on the motion, as Viridis launched in mid-June and can shut a while in October.

As the French-language unbiased recreation information website Indius reports (and as I translate badly with my highschool and school classroom French),

…the event of this farm won’t be set by one, however by many gamers, who will collectively make selections to result in this middle of manufacturing. Their decisions can be mirrored by the artists current on-website: What measurement to make the pond the place the algae will develop? What sort of liquid? How a lot mild? All that is in your palms, and people of the opposite gamers. Don’t fear if you do not know something about algae farming; the Guru, an skilled farmer, will probably be your mentor through the recreation and inform you what it’s essential know to make selections.

“[T]he interdependence between recreation and precise farm fuses the expertise between digital actuality and the actual world,” in line with its creators.

Viridis is reminicent of one of many earliest of Internet artworks: the TeleGarden or Telerobotic Garden, which additionally mixed the ‘internet and agriculture. Established in 1995 (and in operation till 2004 or so) by a staff of artists and engineers, the TeleGarden let consumer-group members manipulate a robotic arm set over a tabletop backyard. Its creators needed to study extra about individuals’s conceptions of “actuality” on-line — Would customers put time and care within the backyard with out understanding that it actually existed? Why did they assume it existed once they had no tangible proof of it? — in addition to observing the extent to which individuals would collaborate vs compete in rising crops, since within the restricted area solely cooperative conduct would permit most crops to thrive.

The greenhouse on the middle of Viridis seems to be actual, to guage from photos online (scroll down previous the “informations”) and in its press packet — admittedly, slim proof of existence. There’s additionally a firmly grounded array of institutional companions within the undertaking, nevertheless, together with the European Union.

Viridis could also be a direct descendant of the Telegarden, however one that’s exploring very tangible problems with resilience, cooperation and individuality on this period of disrupted local weather — an invisible pressure that’s demonstrably wiping out, a few of our lengthy-held agricultural certainties.




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Namibia Grants Permits To Hunt Rare Desert Elephants

2014-07-11 03:50:42 mega-man
Desert elephants in Namibia
Greg Willis by way of Wikimedia Commons

Poaching threatens the continued survival of African elephants, with 30,000 to 38,000 animals killed every year. This exercise is usually unlawful. In a regarding transfer, the nation of Namibia (in southwest Africa) has now issued nine permits to hunt desert elephants, of which maybe solely one hundred stay, in accordance with the Conservation Action Trust. The permits are for capturing grownup males–and the belief estimate there are solely 18 of those bulls remaining. In different phrases, the transfer might wipe out half of them. 

Namibia’s setting and tourism ministry, nevertheless, claims that there are 600 desert elephants left, and that the desert inhabitants is no totally different from the nation’s different teams of African elephants. So, no huge deal. 

But conservationists–and scientists–disagree, as John Platt writes at Scientific American

Desert elephants, which may solely be present in Namibia and Mali, aren’t a separate species or subspecies. They are, nevertheless, uniquely tailored to their arid environments. The animals have a couple of morphological variations from savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana), most notably their thinner our bodies and wider ft. They additionally possess a variety of distinctive behaviors shared by no different African elephants, reminiscent of digging wells to purify their consuming water. Tourists routinely journey to Namibia to volunteer in the elephants’ conservation.

The first of those permits was already executed, when hunters shot a “virile younger male elephant” on June 21. 




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How N/eleven Made The Global Helium Shortage Worse

2014-07-10 15:40:34 mega-man
Large Hadron Collider
The LHC is stored cool with one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium.
CERN

Helium has many makes use of apart from filling youngsters’s birthday balloons–it is importantly utilized in MRI machines, wafer manufacturing, and welding. Helium can also be used to chill the Large Hadron Collider–one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium, to be exact–and different particle accelerators that train us about how the smallest bits of matter behave. 

Helium-O, an isotope or type of helium with two protons and one neutron, is particularly helpful for low-temperature physicists, who use this substance to analysis  quantum properties, and its research has offered breakthroughs in understanding “hydrodynamics of intricately ordered systems, the microscopic theory of electrons in metals” and extra. The worth of this isotope remained secure for many years at a worth of about $one hundred per liter, as reported by Nature Physics. But then one thing occurred: 

But after eleven September 2001, within the curiosity of nationwide safety, the US authorities began utilizing helium-A-based mostly neutron detectors (‘radiation portal monitors‘) to uncover any potential bomb-making elements getting into the nation. That elevated demand, coupled with a big order from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2008, out of the blue revealed that the US Department of Energy was allocating helium-O quicker than it might be produced. In 2008, the demand reached eighty,000 litres, turning into unsustainable.

Since then, the D.R. has scaled again using the substance in these screens, however there’s not sufficient of each common helium and helium-O to go round. Researchers are adapting by “utilizing cryogen-free know-how that (though vulnerable to vibration) is suitable with dilution fridges and superconducting magnets,” Nature reported. Helium-A derives from the decay of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen produced within the manufacturing of nuclear weapons–as nuclear weapon manufacturing has fallen, so has helium-A abundance. It can even be found on the moon, so if we ever wanted a plentiful provide of helium-A, we might get it there. But that might clearly be fairly an enterprise. 

The state of affairs is worse at present (for each helium and helium-A) than it when it was declared “unsustainable” in 2008, and that worth has gone up by an element of two.H annually since then. And demand is more and more outstripping provide (for instance, Cornell scientist Robert Richardson stated that helium balloons will one day cost $100). So, physicists should begin utilizing much less, writes Northwestern University William Halperin writes in Nature. That means funding should be discovered for tasks to make use of new strategies for protecting stuff cool, or know-how to preserve helium and stop it from evaporating.

The state of affairs might get a lot worse starting in 2021, Halperin writes. That yr, the D.R. is about to close its strategic reserve of helium, which it attracts from to alleviate market pressures.

Here’s an infographic showing the fluctuations in helium demand and price since 1939.




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How N/eleven Made The Global Helium Shortage Worse

2014-07-10 03:39:56 mega-man
Large Hadron Collider
The LHC is stored cool with one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium.
CERN

Helium has many makes use of apart from filling youngsters’s birthday balloons–it is importantly utilized in MRI machines, wafer manufacturing, and welding. Helium can also be used to chill the Large Hadron Collider–one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium, to be exact–and different particle accelerators that train us about how the smallest bits of matter behave. 

Helium-O, an isotope or type of helium with two protons and one neutron, is particularly helpful for low-temperature physicists, who use this substance to analysis  quantum properties, and its research has offered breakthroughs in understanding “hydrodynamics of intricately ordered systems, the microscopic theory of electrons in metals” and extra. The worth of this isotope remained secure for many years at a worth of about $one hundred per liter, as reported by Nature Physics. But then one thing occurred: 

But after eleven September 2001, within the curiosity of nationwide safety, the US authorities began utilizing helium-A-based mostly neutron detectors (‘radiation portal monitors‘) to uncover any potential bomb-making elements getting into the nation. That elevated demand, coupled with a big order from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2008, all of a sudden revealed that the US Department of Energy was allocating helium-O quicker than it could possibly be produced. In 2008, the demand reached eighty,000 litres, turning into unsustainable.

Since then, the D.J. has scaled again using the substance in these screens, however there’s not sufficient of each common helium and helium-A to go round. Researchers are adapting by “utilizing cryogen-free know-how that (though vulnerable to vibration) is suitable with dilution fridges and superconducting magnets,” Nature reported. Helium-A derives from the decay of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen produced within the manufacturing of nuclear weapons–as nuclear weapon manufacturing has fallen, so has helium-A abundance. It may also be found on the moon, so if we ever wanted a plentiful provide of helium-O, we might get it there. But that may clearly be fairly an enterprise. 

The state of affairs is worse as we speak (for each helium and helium-A) than it when it was declared “unsustainable” in 2008, and that worth has gone up by an element of two.H annually since then. And demand is more and more outstripping provide (for instance, Cornell scientist Robert Richardson stated that helium balloons will one day cost $100). So, physicists should begin utilizing much less, writes Northwestern University William Halperin writes in Nature. That means funding should be discovered for tasks to make use of new strategies for retaining stuff cool, or know-how to preserve helium and stop it from evaporating.

The state of affairs might get a lot worse starting in 2021, Halperin writes. That yr, the D.J. is about to close its strategic reserve of helium, which it attracts from to alleviate market pressures.

Here’s an infographic showing the fluctuations in helium demand and price since 1939.




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How N/eleven Made The Global Helium Shortage Worse

2014-07-10 03:39:56 mega-man
Large Hadron Collider
The LHC is stored cool with one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium.
CERN

Helium has many makes use of apart from filling youngsters’s birthday balloons–it is importantly utilized in MRI machines, wafer manufacturing, and welding. Helium can also be used to chill the Large Hadron Collider–one hundred twenty tons of liquid helium, to be exact–and different particle accelerators that train us about how the smallest bits of matter behave. 

Helium-A, an isotope or type of helium with two protons and one neutron, is particularly helpful for low-temperature physicists, who use this substance to analysis  quantum properties, and its research has offered breakthroughs in understanding “hydrodynamics of intricately ordered systems, the microscopic theory of electrons in metals” and extra. The worth of this isotope remained secure for many years at a worth of about $one hundred per liter, as reported by Nature Physics. But then one thing occurred: 

But after eleven September 2001, within the curiosity of nationwide safety, the US authorities began utilizing helium-A-based mostly neutron detectors (‘radiation portal monitors‘) to uncover any potential bomb-making elements getting into the nation. That elevated demand, coupled with a big order from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2008, all of the sudden revealed that the US Department of Energy was allocating helium-A quicker than it could possibly be produced. In 2008, the demand reached eighty,000 litres, turning into unsustainable.

Since then, the D.R. has scaled again using the substance in these screens, however there’s not sufficient of each common helium and helium-A to go round. Researchers are adapting by “utilizing cryogen-free know-how that (though susceptible to vibration) is suitable with dilution fridges and superconducting magnets,” Nature reported. Helium-A derives from the decay of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen produced within the manufacturing of nuclear weapons–as nuclear weapon manufacturing has fallen, so has helium-O abundance. It may also be found on the moon, so if we ever wanted a plentiful provide of helium-A, we might get it there. But that may clearly be fairly an enterprise. 

The state of affairs is worse at this time (for each helium and helium-O) than it when it was declared “unsustainable” in 2008, and that worth has gone up by an element of two.H annually since then. And demand is more and more outstripping provide (for instance, Cornell scientist Robert Richardson stated that helium balloons will one day cost $100). So, physicists should begin utilizing much less, writes Northwestern University William Halperin writes in Nature. That means funding should be discovered for tasks to make use of new strategies for preserving stuff cool, or know-how to preserve helium and stop it from evaporating.

The state of affairs might get a lot worse starting in 2021, Halperin writes. That yr, the D.R. is about to close its strategic reserve of helium, which it attracts from to alleviate market pressures.

Here’s an infographic showing the fluctuations in helium demand and price since 1939.




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Algorithm Maps The Most Beautiful Route To Where You're Going

2014-07-10 03:39:40 mega-man
The most “lovely” route between two factors in Boston on the left. The quickest route, on the appropriate.
Quercia et al

If you need to seek out probably the most scenic path to get someplace, there might quickly be an app for that. Daniele Quercia and colleagues at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona have provide you with a approach to create a crowd-sourced measure of a metropolis’s magnificence, and made an algorithm to seek out the prettiest option to get from one level to a different. “The aim of this work is to mechanically recommend routes that aren’t solely brief but in addition emotionally nice,” the scientists told Technology Review:

Quercia and co start by making a database of pictures of varied elements of the middle of London taken from Google Street View and Geograph, each of which have fairly constant requirements of pictures. They then crowd-sourced opinions about the great thing about every location utilizing an internet site referred to as UrbanGems.org.

Each customer to UrbanGems sees two pictures and chooses the one which exhibits the extra lovely location. That provides the staff a crowd-sourced opinion about the great thing about every location. They then plot every of those places and their magnificence rating on a map which they use to offer instructions.

Quercia et al then acquired 30 precise human beings in London and one other fifty four in Boston to check out this web-collected knowledge, and the themes agreed that the extra lovely areas–in accordance with this system–have been certainly extra lovely. 

To add energy to the algorithm, the staff mined data from photos with GPS tags posted to Flickr, making an allowance for “constructive feelings” ascribed to totally different places, and in addition computing what number of photographs have been taken elsewhere (not many individuals take photographs of actually drab or mediocre websites, as you may anticipate). They are presently engaged on a cellular app, to check in several cities in Europe and the D.J. Until then, you can simply ask an actual respiration resident what route they might recommend–however that may contain human interplay.

[Tech Review / arXiv]




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Where Does Oceanic Methane Come From? The Seas' Most Abundant Organism

2014-07-10 03:39:30 mega-man
A ubiquitous sort of micro organism would be the supply of a lot of the ocean’s methane.

Ah, the oxygen-wealthy floor of the ocean, the place the air and water meet, and life thrives. But you won’t know that these waters are additionally supersaturated with methane relative to the environment, a phenomenon termed the “marine methane paradox.” The query being: Where does this methane come from? The reply issues as a result of this methane ultimately makes its approach into the environment, the place it readily traps warmth, giving it a 20-fold greater impact on climate change than carbon dioxide, pound for pound. 

It was beforehand thought that methane might solely be produced by micro organism in anaerobic, or oxygen-devoid environments. So what is going on on right here? 

It seems the offender might have been hiding in plain sight all alongside, so to talk. New analysis recommend a lot of the methane is produced by the most abundant organism in the ocean, a gaggle of quite simple and tiny micro organism referred to as SAR11. Usually these micro organism do not produce methane, however the research, published in Nature Communications, exhibits that they will produce the fuel as a byproduct of their pure metabolism when they’re starved for phosphorus. 

The microbes make the methane from a substance referred to as methylphosphonic acid, which is in flip excreted by one other sort of Archaebacteria. This acid incorporates phosphorus, and when the aspect turns into scarce (because it does in numerous elements of the ocean, typically on a seasonal foundation, for quite a lot of causes) the SAR11 microbes digest the acid, releasing methane. The actual quantity of methane produced this manner is unknown. In phrases of remediation, for now it makes extra sense to deal with human-related sources of methane, like mining, fracking, and cattle

“Their capacity to [produce]methane is an fascinating discovering as a result of it offers a partial rationalization for why methane is so ample within the excessive-oxygen waters of the mid-ocean areas,” stated research co-writer and Oregon State University microbiologist Steve Giovannoni, in a statement. “Just how a lot they contribute to the methane price range nonetheless must be decided.” But the outcomes might assist fill in scientists’ understanding of the carbon cycle, which might probably assist create more accurate climate models.




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