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September 22, 2014

U.S., Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates hit ISIS in Syria

The U.S. and five Arab countries launched airstrikes Monday night on Islamic State group targets in Syria, expanding a military campaign into a country whose three-year civil war has given the brutal militant group a safe haven.

Using a mix of manned aircraft — fighter jets and bombers — plus Tomahawk cruise missiles, the strikes were part of the expanded military campaign that President Barack Obama authorized nearly two weeks ago in order to disrupt and destroy the Islamic State militants, who have slaughtered thousands of people, beheaded Westerners — including two American journalists — and captured large swaths of Syria and northern and western Iraq.

Carnival of Nuclaer Energy 227

The Carnival of Nuclear Energy 227 is up at Hiroshima Syndrome


Forbes James Conca - First American Nuke Plant In 21st Century To Open Soon

Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 Nuclear Generating Station is in the final phase of construction in preparation for its start-up next year. Watts Bar 2 will be the first nuclear power plant to come online in the U.S. in this century, the first of five commercial nuclear reactors under construction. It is expected to produce over 700 billion kWhs of extremely low-carbon electricity over its life, at an actual cost of only 6 ¢ per kWhr.


Telomerase, even when present, can be turned off with a genetic switch which could be an antiaging breakthroug

Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered an on-and-off “switch” in cells that may hold the key to healthy aging. This switch points to a way to encourage healthy cells to keep dividing and generating, for example, new lung or liver tissue, even in old age.

In our bodies, newly divided cells constantly replenish lungs, skin, liver and other organs. However, most human cells cannot divide indefinitely–with each division, a cellular timekeeper at the ends of chromosomes shortens. When this timekeeper, called a telomere, becomes too short, cells can no longer divide, causing organs and tissues to degenerate, as often happens in old age. But there is a way around this countdown: some cells produce an enzyme called telomerase, which rebuilds telomeres and allows cells to divide indefinitely.

Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered that telomerase, even when present, can be turned off.

Genes and Development Journal - Regulated assembly and disassembly of the yeast telomerase quaternary complex

September 21, 2014

Russia makes progress to closed nuclear fuel cycle

Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC), based in Tomsk, said yesterday it has completed testing of the first full-scale TVS-4 fuel assembly containing nitride fuel. The assembly is intended for the BN-600 fast neutron reactor, which is the third unit of the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant.

These are two new milestones in Russia's ‘Proryv’, or Breakthrough, project to enable a closed nuclear fuel cycle. The ultimate aim is to eliminate production of radioactive waste from nuclear power generation.

High Temperature gas nuclear pebble bed fuel production

The installation of equipment has been completed at a pilot production line in Baotou in Inner Mongolia for fuel elements for China's Shidaowan HTR-PM, a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) demonstration project. The new pilot production line will have an annual capacity of 300,000 fuel elements. The National Nuclear Security Administration issued a permit for its construction in February 2013 and a groundbreaking ceremony was held the following month. It is expected to be commissioned in August 2015

Stanford researchers create 'evolved' protein that may stop cancer from spreading

A team of Stanford researchers has developed a protein therapy that disrupts the process that causes cancer cells to break away from original tumor sites, travel through the bloodstream and start aggressive new growths elsewhere in the body.

This process, known as metastasis, can cause cancer to spread with deadly effect.

"The majority of patients who succumb to cancer fall prey to metastatic forms of the disease," said Jennifer Cochran, an associate professor of bioengineering who describes a new therapeutic approach in Nature Chemical Biology.

Today doctors try to slow or stop metastasis with chemotherapy, but these treatments are unfortunately not very effective and have severe side effects.

The Stanford team seeks to stop metastasis, without side effects, by preventing two proteins – Axl and Gas6 – from interacting to initiate the spread of cancer.

Nature Chemical Biology - An engineered ​Axl 'decoy receptor' effectively silences the ​Gas6-​Axl signaling axis

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