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Messages - AGelbert

Pages: 1 ... 425 426 [427] 428 429 ... 482
6391
Old time religion is one of my FAVORITE subjects!  ;D

Look at the way God (not evolution!) designed the fabulous Beaver.

Beavers




Aquatic architects

by Denis Dreves

The dam building ability of beavers is fairly well known, but beavers possess other amazing design features which God has included in their anatomy. Beavers are air-breathing mammals which spend a great deal of time in water. For this reason they need special equipment.

First, the beaver has special valves in its ears and nose. When the beaver dives below the water these valves automatically close so that no water can enter. When the animal resurfaces, the valves reopen and it breathes again.

Perhaps their more amazing piece of equipment is their eyelids. If you have done any diving or snorkelling you will know that water and materials in it can irritate your eyes and wash out natural lubricants. Not only that, but your eyes do not see well under water. That is why snorkellers wear goggles.


Were we original to think up this idea of goggles?


Not really. God designed beavers with ‘built-in’ goggles. Their eyelids are transparent, so they can close their eyes underwater and still see extremely well. Their transparent eyelids give protection to their eyes from water-borne irritants.

God designed beavers with ‘built-in’ goggles.

During winter, beavers must feed on the bark of trees they have cut and stored in the autumn, using their specially designed, self-sharpening front incisors (perhaps one of the beaver’s better known pieces of equipment).




The beavers collect the young trees (usually two to five centimetres (one to two inches) in diameter) for food, cut them to suitable lengths and then transport them, by holding them in their teeth, to their underwater cache, forcing the branches into the mud at the bottom of the pond.

The tail is often held at an angle for accurate steering.  :o

Amazing design

Which brings us to another amazing design feature. To retrieve the stored food in the winter months when ice covers the pond, the beavers may need to chew the sticks underwater. They can do this without water entering their mouths, because they have fur mouth flaps between their front incisors and their rear molar teeth, which are set considerably further back. These two folds of skin, one on each side of the mouth, meet behind the incisors and seal off the rest of the mouth.

The beaver’s large paddle-shaped tail, which has a scale-like skin covering it, is used as a rudder when it swims. This is particularly important when the animal is swimming with a branch in its mouth. The tail must compensate for any uneven drag from the branch, thus the tail is often held at an angle for accurate steering.

https://designeranimals.wikispaces.com/file/view/beaver-2.jpg/153105695/760x570/beaver-2.jpg
A beaver’s home is the world of a master builder. The lodge is built out of sticks, and sealed from the cold with mud (but leaving ventilation holes).

The rear feet of the beaver are large and webbed like a duck’s feet, to give the animal good swimming ability. The two inner claws of each foot have split toenails, which the beaver uses as a comb to groom itself and oil its fur.

Beavers use their smaller, unwebbed front paws to carry mud and other materials, and to dig canals which they use as a means of transporting wood and also as a means of quick escape from predators.

The fur of the beaver must be oiled to prevent water reaching the animal’s skin. The oil is provided from two large oil glands. They are filled with a rich, thick, deep yellow oily liquid, which the beaver spreads on its fur for water-proofing. This, along with its two layers of fur, are so effective that water rarely reaches the skin. A layer of fat beneath the skin gives further protection against the cold.




A beaver can swim submerged for perhaps 800 metres (a half-mile) or more. Most air-breathing creatures would be adversely affected by lack of oxygen to the brain. The beaver has special equipment to compensate for this need. Large lungs and liver allow for the storage of more air and oxygenated blood. In addition, a beaver’s heart beats more slowly when it dives, in order to conserve oxygen, and the blood is restricted to the animal’s extremities while the vital supply to the brain remains normal.



Engineering skills


Beavers construct dams that may be hundreds of metres long. Construction of the dam is done by cutting down trees and shrubs, dragging each piece to the dam-site, and laying them in the water parallel to the stream (end facing up-stream). Almost everything the beavers can find goes into the dam—live wood, dead wood, mud, grass and rocks. When the beaver’s pond floods, mounting pressure on the dam can cause it to break. To prevent this, if there is time, the beaver engineers a spillway to relieve pressure, then fixes it after the water subsides.


Beaver lodges are also the work of a master builder. They are built with sticks, and sealed from the cold with mud. The centre of the roof is not sealed, which allows some ventilation. Access is only from underwater, with more than one entry in case of the need to escape. The beavers can gain direct underwater access to the cache of sticks they have stored under the water when ice covers the pond in winter and this is their only available food.

Truly the beaver is yet another example of the wonderful provision and wise planning of a caring Creator God. Such variety of essential equipment could not have evolved over time by chance and selection. All of the beaver’s equipment must be present and fully functional in the animal from the beginning for it to survive its semiaquatic life-style. 


6392
General Discussion / Re: Homebody Handy Hints
« on: April 30, 2014, 11:52:42 pm »
Says the Handyman Club of America:
Trick Question About Ladder Injuries
Here’s the question: What are more than half of all ladder-related accidents among professionals related to?

That’s easy, you say. The answer is falling!


Nope. This being a trick question and all, it turns out the correct answer is strains and sprains caused by repeated handling of heavy ladders. Moving these monsters can be the toughest part of your task, but things lighten up a lot with the new Little Giant Velocity 24-ft. Fiberglass Extension Ladder. This ladder is lighter than ordinary extension ladders, which reduces fatigue, improves maneuverability and prevents injuries. Also:


Red “warning” rungs remind you not to climb too high. 

A balance-point sticker shows the best grasp-and-carry point.

A pulley-rope system placed on the outside of the climbing zone reduces tripping.    Also, side-mounted pulleys reduce the force required to raise the fly section by 60 percent.



Agelbert NOTE: Interesting info. But I have to ask, are these "idiot proof" measures going to work? Injuries occur when we become "idiots" (i.e. distracted). I don't see humans avoiding being distracted. It just happens. That's why when I do a job, my wife is watching me work. You see, I have, and always have had, a tendency to get distracted ("instant idiot" LOL!). So, I know of what I speak, so to speak.  :P  I have actually used ladders like the above made from aluminum to climb quite high inside bank buildings to (it's NOT what ya think!) apply reflective film to gigantic windows 12 to 18 feet tall and several feet across. They are light, worked well except for the rope being in the center back then and  those rotating feet with the rubber class are what saved my arse a few times ladders without those tend to slip when the angle isn't right on a floor inside a building.  ??? At the end of the day, your arse is dragging from moving the ladder around. Less weight (as long as there is no loss in ladder strength - I DO NOT WANT the rungs flexing under my feet!) have been welcome.  8) I Worked with scaffoldings too (easier but those are REALLY HEAVY compared with ladders). Their advantage is you just set them up once and roll them to the next giant glass panel until the job is done in a day or several. Then you take them down. If the job is big enough, scaffoldings can save time.



This is a church but ya get the idea... ;)


6394
Renewables / Re: Plant Based Products for a Sustainable civilization
« on: April 30, 2014, 10:41:32 pm »
I LOVE DUCKWEED!
https://youtu.be/_i_2h2CoQII
https://youtu.be/AVogwEYXGLo
http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/renewables/ethanol/msg217/#msg217


Pond-dwelling powerhouse’s genome points to its biofuel potential



Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that’s been known to drive people daffy. It’s one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants   ;D that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it’s also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce pharmaceuticals. Now, the genome of Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) has given this miniscule plant’s potential as a biofuel source a big boost. In a paper published February 19, 2014 in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Rutgers University, the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and several other facilities detailed the complete genome of S. polyrhiza and analyzed it in comparison to several other plants, including rice and tomatoes.

Duckweed, a small, common plant that grows in ponds and stagnant waters, is an ideal candidate as a biofuel raw material.  ;D Photo (at link) by Texx Smith, via flickr

 
Simple and primitive, a duckweed plant consists of a single small kidney-shaped leaf about the size of a pencil-top eraser that floats on the surface of the water with a few thin roots underwater. It grows in almost all geographic areas, at nearly any altitude. Although it’s a flowering plant, it only rarely forms small indistinct flowers on the underside of its floating leaves. Most of the time, it reproduces by budding off small leaves that are clones of the parent leaf. It often forms thick mats on the edges of ponds, quiet inlets of lakes and in marshes. It’s among the fastest growing plants, able to double its population in a couple of days under ideal conditions.

These and other properties make it an ideal candidate as a biofuel feedstock – a raw source for biofuel production. For example, unlike plants on land, duckweeds don’t need to hold themselves upright or transport water from distant roots to their leaves, so they’re a relatively soft and pliable plant, containing tiny amounts of woody material such as lignin and cellulose. Removing these woody materials from feedstock has been a major challenge in biofuel production. Also, although they are small enough to grow in many environments, unlike biofuel-producing microbes, duckweed plants are large enough to harvest easily. ;D

S. polyrhiza turns out to have one of the smallest known plant genomes, at about 158 million base pairs and fewer than 20,000 protein-encoding genes. That’s 27 percent fewer than Arabidopsis thaliana – which, until recently, was believed to be the smallest plant genome – and nearly half as many as rice plants.

Spirodela is one of the smallest plants in the world. Here (at the link)it is displayed with other comparable plants.

 
“The most surprising find was insight into the molecular basis for genes involved in maturation – a forever-young lifestyle,” said senior author Joachim Messing, director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University.

S. polyrhiza leaves resemble cotyledons, embryonic leaves inside plant seeds that become the first leaves after germination. But where other plants develop other kinds of leaves as they mature, S. polyrhiza’s never progresses and continuously produces cotyledon leaves. This prolonging of juvenile traits is called “neoteny.” S. polyrhiza had fewer genes to promote and more genes to repress the switch from juvenile to mature growth.

“Because of the reduction in neoteny, there is an arrest in development and differentiation of organs. So this arrest allowed us to uncover regulatory networks that are required for differentiation and development,” Messing said.

Also intriguing to the research team were which genes were preserved over time and which were not. Many of the genes responsible for cellulose and lignin production in land dwelling plants were missing,   and there were fewer copies of those that were present. Genes for another compound related to cell walls called “expansins” which are involved with cell wall and root growth were also reduced.

Genes for starch production, on the other hand, were retained and are probably used for creating starch-filled turions, specialized buds produced by aquatic plants for overwintering, enabling them sink to the bottom of ponds and revive in warmer weather. Moreover, despite the reduced number of total genes, S. polyrhiza has more copies of genes for enzymes involved in nitrogen absorption and metabolism than in other plants. This is probably linked to the plant’s ability to utilize excess nitrogen in contaminated waters.


A thorough understanding of the genome and cellular mechanisms of S. polyrhiza could greatly enhance current efforts to recruit duckweed as a biofuel source. Messing estimates that duckweed will be a viable biofuel source within the next five years and points to Ceres Energy Group in New Jersey, which is already producing electricity from duckweed. Understanding which genes produce which traits will allow researchers to create new varieties of duckweed with enhanced biofuel traits, such as increased reduction of cellulose or increased starch or even higher lipid production. Starch can be directly used as a biofuel source and it can be converted to ethanol, the way corn is currently converted to ethanol fuel, but oils would have greater energy than ethanol.

Duckweed is a relatively simple plant with fronds that float on the surface of the water and roots that extend into the water. In the flask on the left, you can see the dormant phase, turions, that have dropped to the bottom. Photo (at link) by Wenquin Wang
 
“Classical breeding or genetics does not apply here because of its clonal propagation and rare flowering, but these organisms can be transformed with DNA,” Messing said. “Therefore, new variants can be created with modified pathways for industrial applications. These variants would be an enhancement over what can be done now.”

This genome was sequenced as part of a DOE Office of Science JGI Community Science Program (CSP) project (formerly the Community Sequencing Program). It exemplifies the collaborative approach and innovative projects that the CSP enables among researchers. Messing pointed to the study’s advances over previous research.

“The sequencing of this genome opens new frontiers in the molecular biology of aquatic plants,” said Messing. “This publication represents the single largest advance in this field and a new milestone in plant molecular biology and evolution, as previous studies were either classical botany or biochemistry of photosynthesis. The placement of the Spirodela genome as a basal monocot species will serve as a new reference for all flowering plants.”

A video interview with Messing on the promise of duckweed can be found here:

https://youtu.be/PLVPfoKw2rs

The authors on the publication also include researchers from MIPS/IBIS, Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany; University of California, Davis; Georgia Institute of Technology; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Donald Danforth Plant Science Center; University of Jena, Germany, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; and the Leibniz-Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Germany.

The DOE Joint Genome Institute has announced a new call for letters of intent for the 2015 Community Science Program, due April 10, 2014. Details of the 2015 CSP call can be found at: http://bit.ly/CSP-15.

The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, supported by the DOE Office of Science, is committed to advancing genomics in support of DOE missions related to clean energy generation and environmental characterization and cleanup. DOE JGI, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., provides integrated high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis that enable systems-based scientific approaches to these challenges. Follow @doe_jgi on Twitter.

DOE’s Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

Filed Under: News Releases
http://jgi.doe.gov/pond-dwelling-powerhouses-genome-points-biofuel-potential/

6395
Step right up an claim your bragging rights HERE. Publish your portfolio. We will see if you can predict profitable Renewable Energy stocks. Who ever is in first place has the right to castigate all participants with a wet noodle.  


On April 29, 2013, I began this mock portfolio with $20,000.00 ("cash deposit") of imaginary money.
The "Cost Basis" of $42,798.33 is due to reinvestment of sold shares. I have not extracted any cash so
YEAH, I've made 150% on the initial investment. ;D  Now if I can just convince my wife that I can continue
this success, I'll put some real money where my imaginary money is.  FAT CHANCE! She says with my luck,
the instant I start investing real money I wil lose everything.  ::) She's probably right.  ;) 8)

6396
Geopolitics / You had to know this was coming
« on: April 30, 2014, 04:28:11 pm »
The 1% "disproves" Piketty's book about Capital

by
gjohnsitFollow .
 
  You had to know this was coming.

When Thomas Piketty's book about capital and inequality became a best-seller the shills for the 1% recognized the danger.

 The soft Marxism in Capital, if unchallenged, will spread among the clerisy and reshape the political economic landscape on which all future policy battles will be waged. We’ve seen this movie before.

So in the same spirit that brought us physician tested and approved cigarettes, I present to you the official response from the "serious" economists of the 1%. .

Quote
The Boston University economist Christophe Chamley and the Stanford economist Kenneth Judd came up independently with what we might call the Chamley-Judd Redistribution Impossibility Theorem: Any tax on capital is a bad idea in the long run, and that the overwhelming effect of a capital tax is to lower wages. A capital tax is such a bad idea that even if workers and capitalists really were two entirely separate groups of people—if workers could only eat their wages and capitalists just lived off of their interest like a bunch of trust-funders—it would still be impossible to permanently tax capitalists, hand the tax revenues to workers, and make the workers better off.
 And the thing about this is that it’s a rather well known finding too. Which is why optimal taxation theory insists that the correct rate of taxation of returns to capital is zero. ZERO! 



That's what "real" economists know for a "fact".  :P

   The article goes on to tell us that the only possible reason why anyone would want to tax capital, earned or unearned, is for reasons of jealousy.  It's all science.

 Right. 

 Who could possibly be such a leftist wacko as to suggest that capital should ever be taxed?   

 Jefferson cited Adam Smith, the hero of free market capitalists everywhere, as the source of his conviction that (as Smith wrote, and Jefferson closely echoed in his own words), "A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural." Smith said: "There is no point more difficult to account for than the right we conceive men to have to dispose of their goods after death."

 'Ol Crazy Thomas Jefferson and Nutzo Adam Smith. What conservative economist would ever listen to them, right? Or Herbert Hoover or Teddy Roosevelt.

    Marxist wackos wanting to tax wealth and redistribute it like Piketty and John Maynard Keynes.

  It reminds me of something I was reading about the other day.
 

 Back in the 1830's in England, some people wanted to reform the factories there. It seems they were disturbed by 9-year old children working 12 hours a day around dangerous machinery.

    So without consulting any serious economist  ;) they passed the first of the Factory Acts. This law, which can only be considered as "socialism" had various elements, such as:

* Children (ages 14–18) must not work more than 12 hours a day with an hour lunch break. Note that this enabled employers to run two 'shifts' of child labour each working day in order to employ their adult male workers for longer.
 * Children (ages 9–13) must not work more than 8 hours with an hour lunch break.
 * Children (ages 9–13) must have two hours of education per day.
 * Outlawed the employment of children under 9 in the textile industry.
 * Children under 18 must not work at night.

  Well the Cotton Manufacturers were not going to stand for this! 

 So they hired  a "serious" Oxford economist called Nassau William Senior, who like the economists of the 1% today, was very well respected by his peers. Together with the Manchester cotton tycoons, they wrote a letter to the President of the Board of Trade.

 Mr. SENIOR then enters into an analysis, from which it appears that the whole net profit is derived from the work done in the last hour. If the factory could be kept at work an hour and a half longer, the net profit would be doubled ; if the time were reduced one hour per day, net profit would be destroyed ; and if it were reduced an hour and a half, even gross profit would go.
 
 You see. It's simple economics.
    If we don't work our children by at least 12 hours a day then the mills will be unprofitable and they will all shut down. It's scientifically proven!  

 Any plan, therefore, which should reduce the present comparatively short hours, must either destroy profit, or reduce Wage

 The "comparatively short hours" of 11 hour days for 12 year old children is an iron-clad law of economics. It can never change. Just like taxing capital on any level will reduce wages.

 Professor Senior had a few other opinions he liked to share as well:
[The Irish Famine] "would not kill more than one million people, and that would scarcely be enough to do any good."

    - Nassau William Senior


  It all reminds me of how famous, respected, and loved by the right-wing, economist Alan Greenspan somehow failed to predict the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan in 1989, and then failed to predict the failure of Wall Street in 2008. Both times it was "impossible to predict".
 
   In between those two events "serious" economists waited on his every word as he explained that businesses didn't need to be regulated because they were self-regulating. It's an iron-clad law of economics, you understand. If you disagree then you simply aren't smart enough.
.
Originally posted to gjohnsit on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anti-Capitalist Chat.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/28/1295399/-The-1-disproves-Piketty-s-book-about-Capital?detail=email

6398
NRDC Partnership Produces First-Ever Stock Index Excluding  ;D  Fossil Fuel Companies

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/29/nrdc-stock-index-fossil-fuel/

6399
Renewables / Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« on: April 30, 2014, 03:54:21 pm »
World’s Largest Solar Plant Could Power 230,000 Homes

Brandon Baker | April 30, 2014 9:32 am 

NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar unveiled the new king in solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities this week. 


Located on 2,400 acres of land between Yuma and Phoenix, AZ, Agua Caliente is now operational as the world’s largest PV solar facility in the world.  The 290-megawatt (MW) project uses solar energy to avoid the annual emission of about 324,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—equivalent to taking nearly 70,000 cars off the road.

Under a 25-year power purchase agreement, NRG and MidAmerican sell solar power to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. At peak capacity, the plant will generate enough energy to power 230,000 homes.


NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar announced the completion of Agua Caliente, the world's largest photovoltaic solar facility at 290 megawatts. The Arizona plant sells clean power to Pacific Gas & Electric Company under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Photo credit: Business Wire/NRG Energy

NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar announced the completion of Agua Caliente, the world’s largest photovoltaic solar facility at 290 megawatts. The Arizona plant sells clean power to Pacific Gas & Electric Company under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Photo credit: Business Wire/NRG Energy

NRG was also involved in another record-setting solar project this year—the launch of Ivanpah, the world’s largest concentrating solar thermal power plant.

“Proving that we can build both the world’s largest solar thermal and now one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities advance NRG’s mission to reshape the energy landscape that is incredibly beneficial to both the economy and in how we produce and consume energy,” Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar, said in a statement.

FirstSolar designed and constructed the project using advanced thin-film PV modules and will operate and maintain the facility for NRG and MidAmerican Solar. Peter W. Davidson, executive director of the Loan Programs Office (LPO) said the energy companies received a $967 million loan guarantee for Agua Caliente. In a blog post for the U.S. Department of Energy, Davidson displayed pride in aiding clean energy.

“Despite the strong and consistent public demand for greater development of solar energy, these achievements seemed more aspirational than attainable in 2009, given the state of financial markets at the time,” Davidson wrote. “However, with the help of loan guarantees, these projects were able to move forward.

“We aren’t done yet.    By the end of next year, we expect all five solar PV plants in our portfolio to be completed with a combined capacity of 1,510 MW—enough to power more than a quarter million average American homes.”


Agua Caliente, located in Yuma County, AZ, is now the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the world. Photo credit: (at link) NRG Energy

Agua Caliente is the largest of 10 operational utility-scale solar PV facilities in three states that NRG has an ownership interest in. By this time next year, it may no longer be the largest PV plant, as work continues on another MidAmerican project, the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County, CA.

“In 2012, our company made a commitment to invest in its first utility-scale solar project to foster economic development while demonstrating our commitment to the environment,” said Richard Weech, chief financial officer of MidAmerican Renewables.

“It is exciting to see this project become fully operational and begin to realize the full benefit of emissions savings with the clean energy generated at Agua Caliente.”

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/30/worlds-largest-solar-plant-could-power-230000-homes/

6400
Climate Change / Shocking Success! Supreme Court Rules For Clean Air
« on: April 30, 2014, 03:43:19 pm »
Shocking Success! Supreme Court Rules For Clean Air  ;D




SustainableBusiness.com News

 Given the decisions issued by the US Supreme Court of late, today's ruling that upholds a critical EPA rule is pleasantly shocking.

 In another 6-2 vote, the court ruled in favor of EPA's Cross-State Pollution rule, issued in 2011, which would regulate emissions that travel from coal-heavy states in the Midwest and Appalachia to eastern states that have cleaner air.

 Should a coal plant in Ohio be able to pollute New York's air, for example? Besides sending polluted air their way, it also makes it unfairly harder for states to meet federal ambient air quality standards.


Coal emissions


When it finally goes into effect, an estimated 240 million Americans will benefit from cleaner air.    It cuts sulfur dioxide emissions across the US by 73% (compared with 2005 levels)  and nitrogen oxide emissions by 54%.

 Both pollutants can travel long distances, forming smog and soot, which are linked to respiratory illnesses and other disease. It is expected to save 34,000 lives each year and prevent 400,000 asthma attacks, for example. Overall, the economic and health benefits are in the range of $120 billion to $280 billion in exchange for an $800 million investment by the coal industry. 

Today's vote reverses the US Court of Appeals ruling against the EPA, brought by guess who - coal companies and utilities that use lots of coal, such as Southern Company and Peabody Energy. 14 "upwind" states challenged the rule, while "downwind" states defended it.

In writing the majority decision, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls the rule a "permissible, workable, and equitable interpretation" of the "good neighbor" provision of the federal Clean Air Act.   



Learn more about the Cross-State Pollution rule:

 
Website: www.epa.gov/airtransport/

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25677

6401
Water-based 'engine' propels tumor cells through tight spaces in the body

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a new mechanism that explains how cancer cells spread through extremely narrow three-dimensional spaces in the body by using a propulsion system based on water and charged particles.
    

The finding, reported in the April 24 issue of the journal Cell, uncovers a novel method the deadly cells use to migrate through a cancer patient's body. The discovery may lead to new treatments that help keep the disease in check. The work also points to the growing importance of studying how cells behave in three dimensions, not just atop flat two-dimensional lab dishes.

Based on such lab dish studies, cancer researchers had concluded that tumor cells require actin and other proteins to form arm-like extensions to "crawl" across the flat surfaces. This type of travel was believed to be the primary means of how cancer spreads within a patient, a process called metastasis. Based on this conclusion, researchers have been working on ways to disable actin and its molecular helpers, hoping this can keep cancer from spreading.

But in a study published in 2012, a Johns Hopkins team led by Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, found that tumor cells could move through narrow spaces without using actin and its biochemical partners.

"That was a stunning discovery, not in line with the prevailing beliefs about how cells migrate," Konstantopoulos said. "So we wanted to figure out exactly how the tumor cells were able to move through these spaces without relying on actin."

He collaborated with Sean X. Sun, a Johns Hopkins associate professor of mechanical engineering with experience in math modeling and physics at microscopic levels.

"The mystery we needed to solve," Sun said, "was how the cells in these confined spaces could still move when you took away their usual 'engine,' the actin."



Kostantopoulos said Sun and Hongyuan Jiang, a postdoctoral fellow working in Sun's lab, "came up with a phenomenal mathematical model that provided insights into how the cells might use a different system to travel." Then Konstantopoulos and other team members, including Kimberly Stroka, a postdoctoral fellow in his own lab, used a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip and imaging techniques to conduct experiments establishing the new mechanism of migration proposed by Sun and Jiang's model. The tests utilized human and animal cancer cells. Stroka and Jiang were designated co-lead authors of the resulting journal article.

As reported in the article, the tumor cells' new "engine" turned out to be a combination of sodium-hydrogen ions, cell membrane proteins called aquaporins, and water.

                                                                 Aquaporin

The researchers found that within tight spaces, cancer cells create a flow of liquid that takes in water and ions at a cell's leading edge and pumps them out the trailing edge, propelling the cell forward. In the actin-dependent migration model, the cell is pushed forward by the biochemical equivalent of a boat engine. The water-based mechanism, the researchers said, more closely resembles the way a sailboat is thrust ahead by gusts of wind. The team called this mechanism the Osmotic Engine Model.

"This discovery is important because it reveals one reason why some diseases like cancer don't always respond to certain treatments," Konstantopoulos said. Sun added, "It's because these diseases have redundant mechanisms—more than one method—for migrating through the body."

Agelbert Note: This discovery is also important because it underlines the vital importance of maintaining a proper level of hydration in the human body. DEHYDRATION will slow immune system response but WON'T slow the cancer mets!  :o :P This is another good reason to stay properly hydrated.


 Explore further: Cancer cells don't take 'drunken' walks through the body

Journal reference:  Cell search and more info website

Provided by  Johns Hopkins University

graphics and video at link


http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-04-water-based-propels-tumor-cells-tight.html


6402
Renewables / Re: Plant Based Products for a Sustainable civilization
« on: April 30, 2014, 02:51:37 pm »
US Navy Says Biofuels Are New Normal  ;D

SustainableBusiness.com News

After experimenting with biofuels for several years, the US Navy announced its use will now be standard practice, incorporated into all solicitations for jet engine and marine diesel fuels.

"The Navy has a long history of energy innovation. From sail to coal, coal to oil, and then to nuclear, the Navy's led the way. We see biofuel as that next energy innovation, and we're taking action," says Tom Hicks, acting undersecretary of the Navy."

 Under "Farm-to-Fleet," biofuel blends - such as waste oils from cooking grease and algae - will be purchased in all Department of Defense (DOD) domestic solicitations.

 "This effort marks the start of the ‘new normal,' where drop-in biofuels will be fully integrated with our regular fuel operations, says Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Navy

The initiative began in 2010, when President Obama challenged the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy to collaborate on speeding development of domestic, competitively-priced "drop-in" diesel and jet fuel substitutes.

You may remember that Republicans were up in arms when they heard the Navy used $15 per gallon biofuels for its Great Green Fleet demonstration. Just a few years later, DOD expects to buy the fuels at competitive prices - less than $4 per gallon by 2016. The program starts with a bulk fuels solicitation this year, with deliveries in mid-2015.

"We absolutely have to have - particularly in this constrained budget environment - a stably priced, domestically produced alternative to fossil fuels that do spike just on world crises," explains Mabus.  "Every time the price of oil goes up $1 per barrel, it costs the Navy Department an extra $30 million."


They are starting with blends of 10% and growing to 50% with conventional fuels over the next few years. Starting small will help biofuel companies get to the volumes and price points they need. 

To meet its goal of cutting petroleum use 50% by 2020, the Navy also plans to have its own biorefineries, at no cost to taxpayers. Its also leading on microgrids and, of course, solar.

 Another promising technology converts seawater into liquid fuel ( http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/renewables/hydcrocarbons-from-seawater-(carbon-neutral)-for-less-than-$3-a-gallon!/msg904/#msg904 ) , while removing carbon at the same time. The Navy recently invested $30 million in Hawaii's Energy Accelerator to speed technologies to market.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25679

6403
Surly,
That is so tragic.  >:( All those people out there with "gluten" digestion problems and a host of other digestive track problems that cause maladsorption, anemia, inflammation AND THEN colon cancer or/and pancreatitis that leads to cancer of the pancreas and liver may be ACTUALLY caused to a great degree by this crappy wheat. 

American wheat and corn is not food. In my household we go out of our way to eat only American (i.e. LOCAL VERMONT) organic EVERYTHING. It isn't just the healthy thing to do; it's a moral imperative. Every nickel the conscience free Big Ag food processing Corporations make is money to buy government tyranny hand in hand with big oil planet killing use of fossil fuels.

Eating organic is not mainly about price or health; it's about human decency.


6404
Renewables / China Fuels Highest Solar Silicon Demand Since 2011
« on: April 30, 2014, 01:44:37 pm »
China Fuels Highest Solar Silicon Demand Since 2011


 Stefan Nicola and Marc Roca, Bloomberg 
 April 30, 2014 

BERLIN -- The polysilicon industry is headed for its biggest boom since a price war started three years ago. It can thank a burst of solar-panel orders in China and Japan.



Demand for the commodity used to make photovoltaic cells will jump 15 percent this year, the most since 2011, Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts. The price of the material, made from super-heated silicon particles and sliced into wafers, has reached its highest since the middle of 2012. Global sales may top $6 billion at that price.


Manufacturers led by GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. of China and Wacker Chemie AG in Germany are expanding production, anticipating higher revenue will restore their margins. They’re benefiting from a renaissance in the renewable energy industry, which last year rivaled fossil fuels for new power generation capacity added worldwide.

“We are seeing a massive recovery in the entire solar industry, also in polysilicon,” said Stefan De Haan, a solar analyst at IHS Inc. “2013 was the year of the turnaround, and the situation will further improve in 2014.”

Factories producing the material will be at their busiest in at least two years, according to IHS. All that is an about- face for manufacturers who for the last two years had to idle capacity or post losses as poly prices plunged.

Asian Demand
China and Japan are driving the rebound with subsidies for solar panel installations. About 44.5 gigawatts of solar capacity will be added around the world this year, a 21 percent increase over 2013, according to the average estimate of nine analysts and companies. The two Asian countries may account for half of all new projects. A gigawatt of electricity is about as much as a new nuclear reactor produces.

Renewable energy accounted for 44 percent of the new generation capacity added worldwide last year, according to data from New Energy Finance, which is owned by Bloomberg LP.


“Japan has a fantastic subsidy that’s fueling a domestic boom, and there’s significant demand and government support for new projects in China,” said Jenny Chase, lead solar analyst at New Energy Finance in Zurich. “The entire polysilicon industry will benefit from this.”

Polysilicon prices, which tumbled 42 percent during 2012, and were little changed for most of 2013, have been rising since November. They may jump to as high as $25 a kilogram this year, from $21.75 on April 21, Chase said.


Prices Rising


IHS expects the average polysilicon price to rise as much as 10 percent this year. Revenues for suppliers will jump 33 percent to $5 billion, De Haan said on April 24.

China became the biggest solar market last year. Surging demand will benefit European and local makers the most, since the government in Beijing introduced import tariffs for U.S. and South Korean-made polysilicon in January. Chinese companies, which make most PV panels, import more than half the polysilicon they need from abroad.

China imposed anti-dumping charges up to 57 percent for U.S. makers including Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., REC Silicon and SunEdison Inc. OCI Co., South Korea’s largest polysilicon producer, got a tariff of just 2.4 percent. That contributed to a 30 percent drop in U.S. polysilicon imports into China last year. South Korea and Germany raised shipments.

Today, China imposed duties of 14.3 percent to 42 percent for polysilicon it imports from Europe, though it exempted Wacker Chemie from the decision citing a price commitment the German company already has made.

Shares Surge


Shares of solar companies already have responded. GCL-Poly is up about 48 percent in Hong Kong in the past year and Wacker by 43 percent. OCI has risen about 28 percent. Hemlock is a owned by Dow Corning Corp. and Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. Ltd.

“Hemlock Semiconductor has also seen increased business activity in the polysilicon industry,” Jarrod Erpelding, a spokesman at Dow Corning, said by e-mail. “While spot prices are an indicator of increased demand, the large majority of our sales are through long-term contracts.”

Wacker and SunEdison declined to comment, citing quiet periods ahead of their earnings reports. GCL didn’t answer phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

The demand surge is trickling down the value chain. The number of Chinese companies producing polysilicon more than doubled to 15 last year. Just four years ago, before prices collapsed, at least 100 companies were manufacturing it.

Tokuyama Corp., a materials maker based in Shunan, Japan, plans to start production this year at a new polysilicon factory in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Industry Rebounds  ;D

Polysilicon producers reduced output as prices crashed in 2012, with many small companies halting altogether. LDK Solar Co. dropped out of the top 10 makers as it defaulted on bond payments. OCI reduced output last year. This year, the South Korean company is investing in streamlining its production plants to fill an increase in demand it expects in the second half of the year, a spokesman said.

“The price will mostly depend on whether there would be a major demand increase or what would be expected after competitors restructuring in the market,” Park Sangbae, senior manager for public relations at OCI, said by e-mail. “We are expecting the price to increase.”

Rising production in China may cause poly prices to sag again, said Shiro Okada, a spokesman for the Tokuyama. Factory utilization, which De Haan says is good health indicator for the polysilicon industry, will increase by 14 percentage points to 78 percent this year.

‘Oversupplied’

“The industry remains oversupplied,” Okada said by phone from Tokyo. “The market is expected to grow globally, but companies already have enough production capacity.”

The market is dominated by five companies -- GCL-Poly, OCI, Wacker, Hemlock and REC. They alone can almost cover all the demand for high-grade polysilicon. Their capacities are on the edge of becoming short of what the market needs this year.

“Supply and demand has reached a really tight point,” said Jade Jones, an industry analyst at GTM Research in Boston. “Polysilicon makers have been able to raise prices because they know that there’s growing demand. If you listen to their recent earnings calls, there’s hope in their voices.”

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/04/china-fuels-highest-solar-silicon-demand-since-2011

6405
New Inventions / Re: AIA's 2014 top ten green buildings in the US
« on: April 30, 2014, 12:11:06 am »
One knee is a bummer.  :( However, you could make your way up and down with a solar powered elevator. The one below works on vacuum and installs in a jiffy (so they say...).


No need to miss out on that GREAT VIEW!

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