September 21, 2014

Ultra-thin Diamond Nanothreads with strength and stiffness greater than carbon nanotubes

For the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers.

"From a fundamental-science point of view, our discovery is intriguing because the threads we formed have a structure that has never been seen before," Badding said. The core of the nanothreads that Badding's team made is a long, thin strand of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental unit of a diamond's structure -- zig-zag “cyclohexane” rings of six carbon atoms bound together, in which each carbon is surrounded by others in the strong triangular-pyramid shape of a tetrahedron. "It is as if an incredible jeweler has strung together the smallest possible diamonds into a long miniature necklace," Badding said. "Because this thread is diamond at heart, we expect that it will prove to be extraordinarily stiff, extraordinarily strong, and extraordinarily useful."

Nature Materials- Benzene-derived ​carbon nanothreads

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) has entered Mars Orbit

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft successfully entered Mars’ orbit at 10:24 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21, where it now will prepare to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere as never done before. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars.

“As the first orbiter dedicated to studying Mars’ upper atmosphere, MAVEN will greatly improve our understanding of the history of the Martian atmosphere, how the climate has changed over time, and how that has influenced the evolution of the surface and the potential habitability of the planet,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “It also will better inform a future mission to send humans to the Red Planet in the 2030s.”

Freer Trade Green Rules and Green Trade Zones

There have been a lot of problems getting effective global environmental agreements (Kyoto and other attempts) that actually reduce soot and carbon emissions. Carbon emissions keep going up and soot is also increasing. This is probably because in spite of the talk the issues of carbon emissions and soot emissions are not viewed as being worth fixing or only worth being fixed by someone else. The sources are the carbon emissions from coal power and cars, ships, planes and trains. There would be the difficult complete elimination and there is significant reduction. Natural gas produces about one third of the emissions of coal power. There are far more effective pollution mitigation systems that can be placed on power plants, factories and vehicles. If we assume that this is a problem that needs to be fixed faster then how could it be done ? To at least stop increasing then China and developing countries cannot continue to double coal power plants and cannot gasify coal and Japan cannot use the methane from the ocean floor.

China does want to build out and export cheap nuclear power plants
China does want to build high speed rail everywhere around the world
China does want to build cleaner cities for 600 million more people in China and billions in other countries
The US wants to exports its shale natural gas revolution
The US has the lead with electric cars
Japan and the US have the lead with hybrid cars

A new approach has begin where tariffs are eliminated green products.

These trade talks are solely about tariffs. Total global trade in environmental goods such as wind turbines and solar panels amounts to $1 trillion and growing fast. Tariffs on some of these products are as high as 35%. Eliminating needless taxes at the world's borders would speed the flow of new green technologies to all the places in the world that need them urgently in the struggle to confront climate change.

September 20, 2014

A Real Project and Product that seems like a Dilbert Cartoon

The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk is a collaboration at Pier 9 between Artist-in-Residence RobbGodshaw and Instructables Developer Will Doenlen.

Two UAE reactors should be operational by 2020 and Saudi Arabia could complete twelve nuclear reactors from 2022-2034

1. Regulatory approval was granted for the construction of Barakah units 3 and 4, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has stepped up efforts to develop a skilled Emirati workforce to staff the country's growing nuclear sector.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) board of management approved ENEC's application to build two additional Korean-designed APR1400 pressurized water reactors yesterday. The licence permits ENEC to construct the reactors, as well as to import equipment and technology exclusively for use in the project and to conduct activities related to the construction project, but not to operate the reactors. For that, the company must apply for a separate operating licence. According to FANR, ENEC is expected to apply next year for a licence to operate the first two Barakah units. Unit 1 is expected to come on line in 2017, with unit 2 following in 2018.

Site preparation work is already under way for units 3 and 4 under a limited construction licence from FANR. The approval of the full construction licence will enable the company to go ahead with pouring initial safety concrete. The units are scheduled to enter operation in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Carnival of Space 372

Carnival of Space 372 is up at EverydaySpacer

Completely Clandestine CLIO Climbs through Clouds to Orbit on Mystery Mission

United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the CLIO mission for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company launched at 8:10 p.m. EDT September 16, 2014 from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Credit: Ken Kremer –

Gene therapy helps weak mice grow strong and helped those with neuromuscular disease live longer

A virus that shuttles a therapeutic gene into cells has strengthened the muscles, improved the motor skills, and lengthened the lifespan of mice afflicted with two neuromuscular diseases. The approach could one day help people with a range of similar disorders, from muscular dystrophy to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Many of these diseases involve defective neuromuscular junctions—the interface between neurons and muscle cells where brain signals tell muscles to contract. In one such disease, a form of familial limb-girdle myasthenia, people carry two defective copies of the gene called DOK7, which codes for a protein that’s needed to form such junctions. Their hip and shoulder muscles atrophy over many years, and some eventually have trouble breathing or end up in a wheelchair. Mice similarly missing a properly working Dok7 gene are severely underweight and die within a few weeks.