Bacteria that bind toxic metals Are they the future of nuclear waste

first_imgby Gina M. BussResearchers in Germany have found a way to use bacteria which are able to accumulate toxic metals and survive in nuclear waste as a way of cleaning up toxic dumps. Earth to Mars in 100 days: The power of nuclear rockets Explore further 230,000 tons of nuclear waste: that’s how much toxic metal can accumulate after 30 years of mining uranium – and that’s just one waste pile. With all the nuclear waste production throughout the world, this toxic metal is literally “piling up” in more and more places, and is encroaching on inhabited areas.During the process of generating nuclear power and nuclear weapons, radionuclides like uranium are discharged into the environment. These metals pose a serious ecological and health threat and usually contaminate the soil, sediment, and waters surrounding the waste piles.Conventional methods of cleaning up these toxic wastes are often expensive and not very effective. The environment is in dire need of a novel approach to waste clean-up and researchers in Germany may have the answer.A recent study from the Institutes of Radiochemistry and Nuclear Physics in Dresden outlines a way of using bioremediation as a means for eliminating nuclear waste. Bioremediation is a process that uses microorganisms to return an environment back to its original condition after it has been exposed to contaminants.Nuclear waste piles, such as the one in southeast Germany that’s highlighted in thestudy, are a reservoir for certain strains of bacteria. These bacteria have evolved special mechanisms to survive in this waste that would normally be toxic to other types of microorganisms.The strain Bacillus sphaericus has evolved a crystalline surface layer (S-layer) that covers the outside of the cell. This layer is more than a protective barrier to the bacteria, it serves to accumulate high amounts of toxic metals such as uranium, lead, copper, aluminum, and cadmium.Researchers are currently seeking out ways to exploit the bacteria’s strategies. New technology is incorporating the S-layer structure onto silicon wafers, metals, polymers, nanoclusters, and bioceramic discs. All of these products could be used to remove metals from contaminated water and soil.Additionally, these technologies could be used to recover precious metals such as platinum and palladium from industrial waste sites and recycle them for making electronic products.Bacteria may be the template for new technology aimed at nuclear waste removal. The time may be near when synthetic S-layer discs can be placed in contaminated areas and act as sponges, cleaning up a big toxic mess.Reference:Pollman K, Raff J, Merroun M, Fahmy K, and Selenska-Pobell S.Biotechnology Advances. 2005. Article in press.by Gina M. Buss, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Citation: Bacteria that bind toxic metals: Are they the future of nuclear waste cleanup? (2005, August 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-08-bacteria-toxic-metals-future-nuclear.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Super Talent Introduces a 128Gb SSD for Under 300

Super Talent Introduces a 128Gb SSD for Under 300

first_imgIf you have been waiting for the price of Solid State Drives (SSD) to come down in price, the time has finally come. Super Talent has introduced their 128Gb, 2.5-inch, SATA II “MasterDrive LX” for the affordable price of $299. This works out to about $2.49 per gigabyte. If that´s still too much money, then you can go for the 64Gb version that sells for $179. Super Talent´s MasterDrive SSDs offer five times better resistance to shock and vibration, consumes less power, supports a wider range of operating temperatures and altitudes, and are completely silent. Super Talent´s MasterDrive SSDs is backed by a 1-year warranty. The MasterDrive LX is built with NAND flash and uses a SATA-II 3Gbps interface that makes it 100% interchangeable with hard disk drives. These SSDs support sequential read speeds of up to 100 MB/sec, and sequential write speeds of up to 40 MB/sec. Integrated ECC, wear leveling and bad bit management functions dramatically improve the reliability and lifespan of these SSDs.The FTM64GO25H model is Super Talent´s 64GB 2.5-inch SATA-II SSD with a read/write speed of 100/40 MB/sec and sells for $179. The FTM28GO25H is Super Talent´s 128GB 2.5-inch SATA-II SSD with a read/write speed of 100/40 MB/sec and sells for $299. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Super Talent Introduces a 128Gb SSD for Under $300 (2008, September 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-super-talent-128gb-ssd.htmllast_img read more

How Secure are iPhone and Android Apps

How Secure are iPhone and Android Apps

first_imgThe Android smartphone and iPhone handle application security radically different. (PhysOrg.com) — Today’s smartphones are pocket size computers that can be customized by downloading applications. This is what makes a smartphone vulnerable to cybercriminals. In this article we will examine how an iPhone and Android phone handles security. Both phones handle security radically different. Citation: How Secure are iPhone and Android Apps (2010, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-iphone-android-apps.html Lots of developers already developing apps for Apple’s iPad © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: Via: TechnologyReview In order for iPhone application to get listed in Apple’s App Store, developers must create an account and pay an annual fee. All applications are evaluated by a team at Apple and approve each version of the software before it’s made available in Apple’s App Store. Apple roughly disapproves about 10% of all applications submitted to the App Store because the applications would steal personal information or pose a threat in some other way to the user.In Android’s Marketplace, applications are not evaluated by Google. Android users are protected in a completely different way by using a security model based on “capabilities”. Each Android app that is installed must tell the phone’s OS what capabilities it requires.When an application is installed, the Android OS lists all the “capabilities” that is required in order for the application to run. This allows the capabilities-based system to be governed by the OS and preventing the application from doing more than what it’s supposed to.The capabilities-based system has its flaws. For instance, there is no way of knowing that the application will act the way it’s supposed to with the trust that it’s given. This system also can’t tell the difference if the privileges it grants the application is for legitimate use or not. For example, some applications will ask for a user name and password to communicate over the internet with a remote host. Other security features for the iPhone and Android phones is that they both can be set to lock after a length of inactivity; a password is then required to unlock the phone. The iPhone however has an additional security feature where 10 failed password attempts can erase all data on your phone. The iPhone also supports remote wipe. The Android OS has neither of these features making it less secure.No matter what security features are deployed in the iPhone or Android smartphones there are other ways of obtaining personal information from smartphones. Manufactures can only try to make it harder for cybercriminals obtaining your personal information. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

PARC goes xerographic Is that any way to make a computer

PARC goes xerographic Is that any way to make a computer

first_img They are building on a technique known as xerographic micro-assembly, possibly the future way of printing circuitry for electronics. The approach in the spotlight is based on laser printing, something about which Xerox knows more than a little. The machines they designed for their explorations is a laser printer like machine with the ability to precisely position large numbers of chiplets, tiny-sized chips, on a surface in the right place and in the right orientation. The chip designs are custom-assembled. The PARC researchers have been working on this with financing from the National Science Foundation and from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Future implications may be desktop manufacturing plants using chiplets to print circuitry for electronic devices. The system could be put to use toward building custom computers one at a time or as a system making a range of smart objects with computing as one of the object’s features.In a discussion of the technical challenges facing this initiative, ExtremeTech concluded nonetheless that if the PARC group can succeed in combining the assembly of electronic and mechanical components in new ways, then “we can look forward to some interesting products.”Back in 2004, PARC’s Eugene Chow and Jeng Lu filed a patent for “Xerographic micro-assembler.” They defined the ideas as both system and methodology. “The systems and methods involve manipulating charge-encoded micro-objects. The charge encoding identifies each micro-object and specifies its orientation for sorting. The micro-objects are sorted in a sorting unit so that they have defined positions and orientations. The sorting unit has the capability of electrostatically and magnetically manipulating the micro-objects based on their select charge encoding. The sorted micro-objects are provided to an image transfer unit. The image transfer unit is adapted to receive the sorted micro-objects, maintain them in their sorted order and orientation, and deliver them to a substrate. Maintaining the sorted order as the micro-objects are delivered to the substrate may be accomplished through the use of an electrostatic image, as is done in xerography. The substrate with the micro-objects is further processed to interconnect the micro-objects—through electrical wiring, for example—to form the final micro-assembly.” (Phys.org) —Talk about taking chip assembly to the next level: That 3-D-printer is not only to make the personalized phone case but the phone. At least this idea has some potential with a recent report making the rounds this week, where the author of an article in The New York Times wrote about what scientists at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) are up to. Citation: PARC goes xerographic: Is that any way to make a computer? (2013, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-parc-xerographic.html Mini robot builds NPL probe © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img Explore further Xerographic micro-assembler. Credit: US 8082660 B2 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Financial dispute EDMC North MCD mulling to move court sit on strike

Financial dispute EDMC North MCD mulling to move court sit on strike

first_imgAmid the tussle between AAP government and BJP-ruled Municipal Corporations over financial issues, cash-strapped North and East Corporations have declared all out war against the government. The North Corporation, after convening a special House on Monday, announced to move court and sit on hungerstrike if funds are not released immediately. The East Corporation too announced to convene a special House this week for similar move. “I have directed the Commissioner to prepare to go to court for seeking our funds which are our legitimate right. In order to mount pressure, we are also planning to sit on hungerstrike in front of the CM’s residence,” said Mayor of North MCD Ravinder Gupta.   Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreGupta said: “The Delhi government has deliberately stopped releasing funds to the Corporations. Their global share and grants in various heads are not being given accordingly with efforts to paralyse civic services. We have not paid salaries and pensions and even have stopped councillors’ funds. A total of Rs 250 crore, deposited in the Provident Fund, have been spent to meet the expenses. If the sanitation system collapses and the staff go on strike due to non-payment of salaries, only the Delhi government would be responsible.”  Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThe EDMC, too, announced to go to court along with North Corporation. “East Corporation is running a loss of nearly Rs 1,000 crore every year and is facing acute shortage of money. If the government will not release money immediately, civic services will be badly hit,” said Harshdeep Malhotra, EDMC Mayor. Condemning the indifferent attitude of the Delhi government towards civic agencies, North MCD Mayor said efforts have been made to meet Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to demand the Corporation’s legitimate right to funds but in vain. He said for several years the Delhi government has not released funds and now, currently, the amount has reached a whopping Rs 2,000 crore. It is due to this that the civic body is not able to pay salaries to its employees for the past two months and pensions to beneficiaries besides payment to contractors since June last year.last_img read more

Book on Camerons Oxford University days causes stir

Book on Camerons Oxford University days causes stir

first_imgAn unofficial biography of Prime Minister David Cameron penned by former Conservative treasurer -turned-foe has caused a stir in the UK with revelations of alleged marijuana use and debauchery by him during his student days in Oxford University.Lord Ashcroft, who donated millions to the party before falling out with Cameron, has co-authored “Call Me Dave,” which makes a series of damming claims about the student days of Cameron.The book claims that Cameron smoked marijuana and took part in bizarre initiation ceremony as part of a university society, called the Piers Gaveston Society. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortHowever, sources close to the British Prime Minister have denied that he was ever a member of the club in question during his time at the Oxford University. “I am not intending to dignify this book by offering any comment. He (Ashcroft) has set out his reasons for writing it. The PM is focused on getting on with the job of running the country,” Cameron’s spokesperson said, in reference to Ashcroft’s admission that he had a “beef” or grudge against Cameron for ignoring him for a major job in the previous government despite making a promise.last_img read more

Three arrested in Kalimpong with arms explosives and detonators

Three arrested in Kalimpong with arms explosives and detonators

first_imgDarjeeling: Police have arrested 3 persons from Gorubathan in Kalimpong. Arms, explosives and detonators have been recovered from the trio.Juran Rai of Sombarey Bazaar, Ramesh Rai of Ambiok Bustee, and Dhiraj Pradhan of Upper Fagu were arrested on Wednesday night.Juran Rai is a close confidant of Gorkha Leader Bimal Gurung, who is at present on the run. He was the President, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Gorubathan unit.”They were arrested during a naka checking on Wednesday night. We have recovered arms and explosives from their possession. Investigations are on. We hope to recover more arms, ammunition and explosives,” stated Dhrubajyoti De, Superintendent of Police, Kalimpong. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe recovered arms and explosives include one improvised firearm (pipe gun), 6 gelatin sticks, 3 detonators bunches and one improvised small arm.They have been charged under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (criminal act done by several persons) of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Sections 4 and 5 of the Explosives Act.The trio were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Kalimpong and were remanded to 10-day police custody.Incidentally on August 30, five persons were arrested by the CID in connection with the 6th Mile police camp blast case that had taken place during the agitation last year.last_img read more

GJM demands upgradation of PulBijanbari Block into SubDivision

GJM demands upgradation of PulBijanbari Block into SubDivision

first_imgDarjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has demanded the upgradation of Pul-Bijanbari Block in Darjeeling into a Sub-Division along with the bifurcation of other large Blocks in Darjeeling. “Pul-Bijanbari Block is the largest in West Bengal. It consists of 23 Gram Panchayats. Such a large Block is difficult to administer and also for people to reach out to the BDO office for various administrative requirements. As the Block is in the Hills and travel is difficult and time taking due to the terrain,” stated Sandip Chettri, Spokesperson, GJM Darjeeling Sub-Division committee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePosters with this demand were pasted on the walls of the town and in different parts of the Bijanbari Block on Wednesday. “Mirik Block with 6 Gram Panchayats was upgraded into a Sub-Division. Hence, we are positive that Bijanbari Block with 23 Gram Panchayats can be upgraded into a Sub-Division as well. It is a justified demand. We will soon meet the concerned authorities and present memorandums to this effect,” added Chettri. Bijanbari Block has an area of 416 sq km and a population of 1.26 lakh.last_img read more

Asthmatic kids more likely to become obese

Asthmatic kids more likely to become obese

first_imgChildren with asthma are over 50 per cent more likely to become obese within ten years of being diagnosed, warns a new study which suggests that using inhalers during the attack may prevent this effect.Researchers at University of Southern California (USC) in the US indicated that children who used asthma inhalers when they had an attack were 43 per cent less likely to become obese.”Early diagnosis and treatment of asthma may help prevent the childhood obesity epidemic,” said Frank Gilliland, professor at USC. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Part of the problem may be a vicious cycle where asthma and obesity negatively affect each other. Our results also suggest that asthma inhalers may help prevent obesity in children,” said Gilliland.”Although this observation warrants further study, it is interesting that the correlation exists irrespective of physical activity and other asthma medication use,” Gilliland added.Researchers reviewed the records of 2,171 Southern California kindergarteners and first-graders who were not obese when they enrolled in the Children’s Health Study. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSome 13.5 per cent of children had asthma when they enrolled in the study.They followed the students for up to 10 years. During that decade, 15.8 per cent of the children became obese. The scientists confirmed their results using a different group of fourth-graders who were followed until high school graduation.The Children’s Health Study is one of the largest and most detailed studies of the long-term effects of air pollution on the respiratory and metabolic health of children. Looking at 20 years of data, USC researchers have found that air pollution increases obesity, that children’s lungs grow stronger as air quality improves and that fewer children in Southern California have bronchitis as a result of decreasing pollution levels in the region.Parents completed questionnaires on socio-demographic factors, history of respiratory illness, physical activity patterns, smoking exposures at home and other household characteristics.Participants or their parents answered questions about the number of exercise classes students attended and the number of days they spent in outdoor sports in the last 12 months.The researchers adjusted for health insurance coverage, overweight status, ethnicity, household income, smoking exposure at home and physical activity.Children were labelled obese if they had a body mass index at or above the 95th percentile when compared to the standards of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and achieving asthma control through medication can improve childrens’ overall health while reducing the risk of obesity, the researchers suggested.last_img read more

Learn how to stop workers from being lazy unproductive

first_imgIf you crib about your employees being dull, lazy and unproductive, stop blaming them. Start leading your professional life with a purpose instead.According to the researchers, when managers displayed purposeful behaviour, employees were less likely to quit, showed more satisfaction, were willing to go the extra mile, tend to be better performers and were less cynical.The study characterised purposeful leadership as having three core qualities: leaders must have a strong moral compass, a commitment to stakeholders as well as clear vision. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The study shows that the modern workplace is as much a battle for hearts and minds as it is one of rules and duties,” said Catherine Bailey, Professor at the University of Sussex in Britain.People tend to expect an organisation to go beyond short-termist, financial imperatives — blamed by many for causing the 2008 recession.”In turn, they respond to leaders who care not just about themselves but wider society, who have strong morals and ethics and who behave with purpose,” Bailey added, in the study conducted in concert with the non-profit organisation CIPD. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe researchers suggest that there is much that organisations can do to foster purposeful and ethical leadership, including the adoption of relevant policies, leader role-modelling, alignment around a core vision, training and development, and organisational culture.The traditional focus on leader behaviour only goes so far as to develop their ability to perform in a role. “Instead, what is required is a development of the whole person, while accepting that it is impossible to mould all individuals into a uniform model of morals and ethics,” explained Amanda Shantz from the University of Greenwich.last_img read more