There is new evidence that the sun’s UV rays are even more damaging than previously thought.
The sun emits two kinds of UV rays to the earth’s surface: UVA and UVB. It had been thought that those rays do not damage the deeper layers of the skin as much as they damage the top layers. New research from Kings College London has found that is the case for UVB rays, but not for UVA rays. The study has found UVA rays are more carcinogenic than previously realised – a finding scientists say underscores how important it is to limit exposure to the sun and to tanning studios. The study was led by Antony Young, Professor of experimental photobiology at King’s College. Read the full article »»»»
45 Million Americans - thats double the entire population of Australia – 20% or one in five adult Americans has experienced mental illness in the past year, according to a new government survey. Major depression affects 15 million adults in the U.S.A. 8.4 million adults had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year; of those, 2.2 million made a plan for killing themselves and 1 million attempted it. Among this 45 million people, nearly 9 million people had substance dependence or abuse problems. The World Health Organization has estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading disability causing disease in the world. In many developed countries, like the United States, depression is already among the top causes in terms of disability and excess mortality. Clearly, this presents a major challenge since the majority of people with depression do not receive treatment or are prescribed suboptimal care.
UCLA and NeuroSigma have developed a third alternative to the standard psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs treatments. There is often a frustrating trial-and-error period involved in finding the right drug for the right patient, side effects can include obesity, sexual dysfunction, and fatigue to name a few. Los Angeles-based company NeuroSigma is now looking into an alternative drug-free therapy, that could ultimately incorporate electrodes implanted under the patient’s skin. In an eight-week clinical trial conducted last June, researchers at UCLA externally stimulated the cranial trigeminal nerve of patients who suffered from depression. The stimulator that was used in the depression clinical trial is about the size of a large cell phone. Two wires from the stimulator are passed under the clothing and connected to electrodes attached to the forehead by adhesive. The electrodes transmit an electrical current to the nerve. All the patients in the trial used the device for approximately eight hours every night while asleep. In contrast to antidepressants, no major side effects were noted. Read the full article »»»»
Their mission is very simple, they are working towards launching a human being into space, NO not NASA Copenhagen Suborbitals, yes that’s right the Danes are intent on conquering space. Copenhagen Suborbitals is a non-profit suborbital space endeavor founded and lead by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, based entirely on sponsors, private donaters and part time specialists.
Since May 2008 these Danes have been working full time to reach their goal of launching themselves into space, to show the world that human space flight is possible without major government budgets and over administration. Sending a man to outer space in a homebuilt spacecraft worth US$70,000 may seem like a crazy idea to most of us, but not for a Danish group of enthusiasts who call themselves Copenhagen Suborbitals. Their shoestring-budget single-person flying bullet might have come one step closer to an actual manned flight, thanks to a partially successful test flight on June 3, 2011.
The Danish space engineers prepared everything just as if it was going to be a real flight to space, apart from the passenger, which actually was a crash-test dummy. The rocket HEAT 1-X was launched from a floating ramp called “Sputnik” on the Baltic Sea, carrying a single-person standing capsule known as Tycho Brache – named after the Danish astronomer.
The Liftoff was successful however didn’t live up to expectations, HEAT 1-X reached a maximum altitude of 2.8 km / 1.74 miles, which is far less than the Suborbitals team planned of around 15 km/9.32 miles. For comparison, the Kármán line - the border of outer space – lies at an altitude of 100 km /62 miles. As well the parachute was torn apart due to air drag and failed to fully open. This wasn’t the first attempt at launching HEAT 1-X. Copenhagen Suborbitals planned the test for last year, though it failed because of a malfunctioning hairdryer, which was used as a heater inside the rocket. This time the team had more luck, and despite the parachute’s failure, they celebrated the fact that the rocket actually flew.
Peter Madsen and Kristian von Bengtson are the brains behind the non-profit Copenhagen Suborbitals organization, having worked on the project since May 2008. Their aim is to lift people to altitudes as high as 120 km (74.56 miles). The person standing in the Tycho Brache capsule would actually not be a pilot or an astronaut, as the machine is controlled remotely from the Earth. “He’s not doing anything with the spacecraft; he’s not flying it in any way. He’s there as an observer,” Madsen explained in a New Scientist interview.
Taking into account that the rocket is just 65 cm/25.59 inches in diameter, it will require viking like courage to take this trip. Copenhagen Suborbitals launch vehicle is designed to boost the Spacecraft into a suborbital trajectory with apogee above 100 km. The mission of the propulsion group is to develop this launch vehicle.
The challenge for the launch vehicle group of Copenhagen Suborbitals is to cover the big gap from small amateur rockets to the multi ton rockets needed to haul the 300 kg spacecraft payload beyond 100 km Kármán line. In order to meet this challenge we must master a non-solid type of rocket propulsion to such perfection that we ultimately can commit it to launching a human into space.
Green Space? A driving force in the design of their rockets is that the group try not to use toxic, corrosive or dangerous propellants. “All propellants – especially oxidizers – are dangerous if not handled properly, but we tend to chose those with the least problems. That sends us away from solids and into hybrids and liquids – and it sends us into the extensive use of liquid oxygen as the prime oxidizer. Its non toxic properties comes at cost in operational complexity – but we prefer to get better of handling that than to suit up to handle toxic, storable propellants. Of cause somethings just can´t be done with out toxic materials – and then we develop procedures for its safe use. However – we try our best the pick the least toxic solutions no mater if its the paint, the welding technique or the propellant. Its a basic choice any launch vehicle development will need to answer early in the process” said Madsen
The propulsion group have initially concentrated on hybrid propellant rockets. The reason for this is the lower complexity compared to bi fuel liquid propellant rockets and the very promising results from static testing of epoxy resin / nitrous oxide. Also the likelihood of catastrophic explosive failure is less with this type of rocket. Nitrous oxide was chosen as oxidizer for at start for its ease of use in small rockets. It has excellent hybrid combustion properties.