Posted: May 6th, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Applied Science, Physics | Tags: Atomic Movie, Guinness World Records, IBM, IBM Research, Stop-Motion-Film | No Comments »
Researchers from tech-behemoth IBM have unveiled – confirmed by Guinness World Records – the world’s smallest movie, made with atoms. Named A Boy And His Atom, the movie used thousands of precisely placed atoms to create nearly 250 frames of stop-motion action.
The movie depicts a character named Atom who befriends a single atom and goes on a journey that includes dancing, playing catch and bouncing on a trampoline. Set to a playful musical track, the movie represents a unique way to convey science outside the research community.
It takes around 1 million atoms to store a single bit of data on a computer, a bit being the basic unit of information in computing. Recently, IBM Research announced it can store that same bit of information in just 12 atoms. In order to make the movie atoms were moved with a scanning tunnelling microscope. The microscope weighs two tonnes, operates at minus 268 degrees Celsius and magnifies the atomic surface more than 100 million times :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 15th, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Medicated | Tags: Australian Medical Association, Dr Google, Healthy Communities, Immunisation, Inoculation, National Health Performance Authority, Vaccinatiom | No Comments »
Research from the National Health Performance Authority has found 77,000 Australian children are not fully immunised. The study – Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011-12 – measures the percentage of children who were considered fully immunised at one, two, three and five years of age. It found 32 areas where the percentage of children fully immunised was 85 per cent or lower for at least one age group. The Australian Medical Association says anything below 93 per cent is unsafe.
The success of immunisation programs depends on public support. A lack of public support for these programs can contribute to a significant increase in preventable diseases, and can be directly linked to the resurgence of once common illnesses like measles and pertussis – whooping cough – of which we’ve recently seen outbreaks of in Australia.
Scientific evidence for the effectiveness of large-scale immunisation is well published, in the US full-vaccination from birth save an estimated 35,000 lives annually and prevents an estimated 14 million infections. Some opponents of vaccination argue that the reduction in infectious disease are a result of improved sanitation and hygiene – rather than vaccination – or that the diseases were already in decline before the introduction of vaccination, unlike medicine however, they don’t process any evidence for these anecdotes.
Repating sometimes is the only way of getting a point across; for vaccination programs to work, 93 per cent of people need to be immunised, any number below this presents a danger for communities. In Australia there are pockets with rates of immunisation as low as 85 per cent. More concerning however is that there are communities relying on Dr Google for medical information, forming what the perceive as informed decisions and lowering immunisation rates in the process. Affluent Eastern Sydney for example has an immunisation rate of 89 per cent, this well educated region is choosing to place it’s children in danger of serious infection due to misguided information? :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 3rd, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Medicated | Tags: Bird Flu, china, H5N1, H7N9 | No Comments »
Health authorities in China are investigating the deaths of two people attributed to a strain of bird flu not thought to have previously infected humans. An 87-year-old man and a 27-year-old man in Shanghai both fell sick in February and died earlier this month, a 35-year-old woman in nearby Anhui province is in a critical condition. Avian bird flu strain H7N9 has been identified as the cause of their deaths.
All three initially suffered fever and coughs, but later developed severe pneumonia and problems with breathing. China’s National Health Commission says it has been unable to identify the route of infection to the three victims, but 88 people close to them currently show no signs of the infection.
There is currently no vaccine against the H7N9 strain. The World Health Organisation says there is no evidence of human to human transmission of the disease, and transmission of the strain to humans appears to be inefficient, meaning the public health risk is low. The WHO says more than 360 confirmed human deaths from the H5N1 strain of avian influenza have been reported to it globally from 2003 until March 12 this year. UPDATE! 4 April 2013 :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: March 21st, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Cosmology | Tags: ESA, European Space Agency, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, Planck Satellite, Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, WMAP | No Comments »
A new, super detailed map of the most ancient light-radiation in the cosmos has revealed our universe to be almost 90 million years older than previously thought, providing a more accurate view of the universes standard model.
The 50-million pixel, all-sky snapshot of radiation left over from the Big Bang was compiled from data gathered by the European Space Agency – ESA – Planck satellite, launched four years ago. Planck was created as part of ESA’s Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme.
The snapshot depicts Cosmic Microwave Background – CMB – or relic radiation at a point 380,000 years after the Big Bang, as the newly-formed universe started cooling down.
Planck was launched in May 2009, reaching the Earth/Sun’s L2 point in July, and by February 2010 had successfully started a second all-sky survey. according to the ESA team the universe is 13.798 billion years old, it contains nearly 5 percent ordinary matter, 27 per cent dark matter and a whopping 68 per cent dark energy :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: February 14th, 2013 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Favorite New Thought, From The Web | Tags: Chromodoris Reticulata, Molusc, Penis, Regrow Penis, Sea Slug | No Comments »
I’m not so sure this would work for human men, who tend to have a problem finding one good name, let alone three, Scientists have spruiked the bizarre sex life of a sea slug that discards its penis after copulation, and then grows a new one.
Dubbed Chromodoris Reticulata – Latin, the red-and-white slug – the clever little creature is technically a shell-less mollusc that inhabits the warm waters of – where else but – South East Asia.
These thumb-sized creatures are hermaphrodites, they have both male and female sexual organs, allowing the creatures to perform dual sexual roles during copulation. Eeek alert! While giving sperm to a mating partner they simultaneously receive sperm, which they store for later insemination :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 12th, 2012 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Medicated | Tags: Barwon Health, Deakin University, Diet Link Depression, Diet Research, Mediterranean Diet, Severe Depression Diet, St Vincent's Hospital | No Comments »
Researchers from Victoria’s Deakin University are conducting the world’s first clinical study of whether a healthier diet can assist people suffering from major depression.
Scientists from Deakin University, St Vincent’s Hospital and Barwon Health are recruiting 200 people in Melbourne and Geelong to take part in the study, researchers will be looking at whether a Mediterranean and red meat diet can alleviate depressive symptoms.
The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Portugal, Spain, southern Italy, southern France, Greece and parts of the Middle East :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 9th, 2012 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Medicated | Tags: Aspirin, Autumn Crocus, Colchicine, Colchicum Autumnale, Familial Mediterranean Fever, Gout, Heart Attack Medication, Heart Attack Preventative, Meadow Saffron | No Comments »
A West Australian-led study has found a person’s risk of heart attack could be dramatically reduced by taking a common medication to treat gout. More than 500 people participated in the Heart Research Institute study at Perth’s Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Some participants were given the Gout treatment/medication Colchicine. It’s a toxic natural product and secondary metabolite, originally extracted from plants of the genus Colchicum, Meadow Saffron, Autumn Crocus, Colchicum Autumnale.
Colchicine has been used originally to treat rheumatic complaints, especially gout, and still finds use for these purposes today despite dosing issues concerning its toxicity. It’s also prescribed for its cathartic and emetic effects.
In addition to gout, colchicine is use to treat familial Mediterranean fever, pericarditis, and Behçet’s disease. It is also being investigated for its use as an anticancer drug, it’s use as a heart attack preventative is a first.
Lead researcher Professor Peter Thompson says the results are very exciting. ”When we gave the drug to the patients compared with those who did not receive the drug, the risk of heart attack was reduced by half and the side effects were minimal,” Professor Thompson said. ”Larger and more detailed studies are yet required to check that there are no unusual or unexpected side effects, but at this stage, it’s looking highly promising.”
Professor Thompson says the results could change the way heart disease is treated around the world. ”This is a drug which is relatively inexpensive and widely available and has quite dramatic effects and other drugs are being trialled and developed but they are quite expensive and relatively inaccessible,” Professor Thompson has presented his findings at the American Heart Association conference in Los Angeles :: Read the full article »»»»