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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hibernation of people just few steps away?, 2010

Hello, everyone!
This blog was off for so long, I was wondering whether I should post in it anymore. I think there will be some changes in it, but for now, I'll clean up all the stuff I gathered and post them and then we'll see. If there are very few comments from me or too many links, that's the reason. Let's clean up the dust and start over clean :) Enjoy!

  1. Russia unveils stealth fighter to rival US
  2. Pentagon Tests Global Internet Routing Via Satellite
  3. Suspended animation coming to life: researcher
  4. New material traps radioactive ions using 'Venus flytrap' method
  5. Study of shark virgin birth shows offspring can survive long term
  6. Antibacterial silver nanoparticles are a blast

Russia unveils stealth fighter to rival US

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia on Friday unveiled a new fighter aircraft touted as a rival of the US F-22 stealth jet and developed amid the highest secrecy as part of a plan to modernize the armed forces.
The fifth generation fighter, manufactured by the Sukhoi company and known as the PAK FA, made a maiden flight of just over 45 minutes at the firm's home base of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Far East region.

"The aircraft performed well in all stages of the flight programme. It is easy and comfortable to pilot," said Sergei Bogdan, who flew the new plane, after returning to a hero's welcome.Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hailed the flight, saying that the aircraft would join the armed forces in 2013, with mass production starting in 2015.
The new plane can fly long distances above the speed of sound, simultaneously attack different targets and take off from a short runway, according to the Interfax news agency.As well as evading enemy radar, it can also collate information from satellites and other planes in line with the demands of modern warfare.
Only the United States has such a fifth generation fighter in its armed forces -- the F-22 -- although it is also developing the lighter F-35.China is also working to develop a fifth-generation model.
Its main defence partner India has also been involved in the PAK FA project and will develop a two-seater version of the aircraft under an intellectual property agreement made with Russia. source
My comment:Wow, I didn't know the F-22 can do all that. I wonder what exactly F-35 will be able to do. As for Russia - it's normal to want to modernize their army and considering how much money USA invest in their army, it's hardly a surprise. I personally somehow dislike the direction the army stuff are going - to drones and robot - it's great not to risk the life of your own soldiers, but should you risk the life of our civil people who get easier and easier to kill? And we see what happens in Afghanistan. Anyway, the new Russian fighter may bring some balance on the stage and at least, it will be piloted.

Pentagon Tests Global Internet Routing Via Satellite

By Jeremy Hsu Posted 01.25.2010 at 1:51 pm

Communication satellites have traditionally acted as transfer points for data beamed up from the ground. But the first commercial satellite with its own Internet router could eliminate the usual satellite-relay transfer lag and more flexibly handle voice, video and data communications for U.S. and NATO military forces anywhere around the world. The U.S. Department of Defense plans to kick off a three-month demo of the space technology this week, according to Aviation Week's Ares Defense Blog.
Cisco recently conducted a successful test of the Internet Protocol Routing in Space (IRIS) payload, which launched aboard an Intelsat IS-14 satellite last November. Instead of requiring multiple bounces for users scattered around the globe, IRIS can reroute data between any ground users in a single satellite hop, without involving any extra ground stations or multiple satellite beams. It essentially forms the backbone of a network for mobile Internet access anywhere in the world.
The space Internet router also regenerates received signals and boosts them again for better data reception among end users, whether those users are U.S. Special Forces in the mountains of Afghanistan or NATO troops operating out of Kandahar. source
My comment: Yes, additional convenience is that only the satellite owner will be able to spy on the internet traffic. Which set some new legal problems - who will have the right to spy and why. And how the people's data will be protected. For example, will we have  European and US satellites, on which case, under which jurisdiction will Google's servers work on. Very very interesting. Though, I personally don't know under what jurisdiction Google works even now. Yes, they say some legal stuff, but when it comes to my data, I want to know on what soil they appear and who has the right to spy on them. That - Google won't say. Ever. Anyway, the Space Internet might be good for the space, but when it comes to Earth, I think it will always be cheaper to have the traffic on the ground - because we already have the infrastructure and because launching satellites is expensive. But who knows, maybe one day, we'll all talk trough satellites.

Suspended animation coming to life: researcher

LONG BEACH, California (AFP) – A gas proven deadly in chemical weapons could one day be used to put people into life-saving suspended animation.
While hydrogen sulfide is toxic in large doses, small amounts of the gas have the potential to make animals appear dead for a while then allow them to wake up unharmed, according to biochemist Mark Roth.
"In the future an emergency medical technician might give hydrogen sulfide to someone suffering serious injuries and they might become a little more immortal giving them time to get the care they need."Suspended animation takes place in the natural kingdom, with bears hibernating through winters while plant seeds and bacterial spores are able to biologically sleep for millions of years, according to the researcher.
Roth found that hydrogen sulfide in bonds in spots in bodies that would usually be occupied by oxygen, ostensibly becoming a sort of dimmer switch for metabolism."We did it with a mouse; this was cosmic," Roth said. "We found a way to do this with a mammal. All you had to do was put it in room temperature and it was no worse for the wear."
Roth's lab has completed early phase human trials but hasn't actually tried the process in a person. source
My comment: Wow, huh? Forget about medicine, think about SPACE! You breath the stuff and go in hibernation and wake up some place very very far from here. Ok, the process is very far from this stage and it won't say for how long you can stay in hibernation and do you age and so on, but still, that's quite exciting. I don't know if staying hibernated forever until someone find out a cure for a specific disease or for old-age as a whole is a good thing, but still it will be nice to have it as an option. 

New material traps radioactive ions using 'Venus flytrap' method

February 26, 2010 By Louise Lerner
( -- Like a Venus flytrap, a newly discovered chemical material is a picky eater -- it won't snap its jaws shut for just anything. Instead of flies, however, its favorite food is radioactive nuclear waste.

Mercouri Kanatzidis, a scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, and Nan Ding, a chemist at Northwestern University, have crafted a sulfide framework that can trap radioactive cesium ions. This mechanism has the potential to help speed clean-up at power plants and contaminated sites.
Excising the few deadly isotopes from waste has proved difficult; most materials don't distinguish between the toxic ions and the harmless ones.
The new material, a rigid frame composed of metal sulfides, has a negative charge. Its pores, therefore, attract positively charged ions. This makes it a good candidate for ion exchange—when immersed in a solution with other positive ions, the ions tucked inside the pores switch places with the ions outside.

Sodium ions do this dance freely, switching as many times as they're immersed. However, when the team filled the material with cesium , they refused to move out of the material.
"It also works over a large range of acidities—an essential property for cleanup at different sites around the world, where pH can range considerably." sourceMy comment: That could be useful, but they don't mention how easy it is to produce it. And also, what would they do with the radioactive ions after they catch them.

Study of shark virgin birth shows offspring can survive long term

January 25, 2010
Shark pups born to virgin mothers can survive over the long-term, according to new research published Jan. 25, 2010 in the Journal of Heredity. The study shows for the first time that some virgin births can result in viable offspring
Genetic analysis led by a Field Museum scientist working with numerous colleagues has confirmed the first known case of a virgin female shark producing multiple offspring that survived. Two daughters of the white-spotted bamboo shark are now more than five years old. Earlier research proved that reproduction occurred in two other shark species without aid of male sperm, a phenomenon called parthenogenesis, but the offspring did not survive in those cases. source

Antibacterial silver nanoparticles are a blast

May 24, 2010
Writing in the International Journal of Nanoparticles, Rani Pattabi and colleagues at Mangalore University, explain how blasting silver nitrate solution with an electron beam can generate nanoparticles that are more effective at killing all kinds of bacteria, including gram-negative species that are not harmed by conventional
Researchers in India point out that silver nanoparticles are not only antibacterial against so-called gram-positive bacteria, such as of Staphylococcus aureus and but, also against gram-negative Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Researchers have been experimenting with radiation to split silver compounds, releasing that then clump together to form nanoparticles. The incentive lies in the fact that such an approach avoids the need for costly and hazardous reducing agents and can be fine-tuned to produce nanoparticles of a controlled size, which is important for controlling their properties. Pattabi and colleagues have used technology to irradiate silver nitrate solutions in a biocompatible polymer, polyvinyl alcohol, to form their silver nanoparticles.
Preliminary tests show that nanoparticles produced by this straightforward, non-toxic method are highly active against S. aureus, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa. source
My comment: Hm, now that's a great news. Not so much for the stupid antibacterial gels and other shit, but for real antibiotics which we badly need - something that the bacteria won't get resistant to in a decade. Though they have no way to know if the bacteria will or won't. Hopefully, no, but who knows. And we know how creative bacteria can be.