Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New parts of the brain become active after students learn physics

An fMRI study of brain activity before and  after physics instruction finds that unexpected areas of the brain light up as students learn. This probably is true of other disciplines but I think physics was a good test case because of the way it formalizes the study of force and motion into mathematical expressions not encountered in everyday life.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Woman survives metastatic breast cancer thanks to new treatment

A woman with advanced breast cancer has made a dramatic recovery after receiving a personalised therapy using her own immune cells. It’s the first time this type of therapy has worked in breast cancer, suggesting that it may be able to help many more people with common types of cancer, even after they’ve spread to other parts of the body.
The future is coming.

The U.S. Has Lost the Nuclear Race

We are no longer the leaders in nuclear technology. Instead, Russia, China, France and South Korea are in the driver's seat. We can still hope to lead in the small modular reactor category.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Researchers developing renewable energy approach for producing ammonia

If ammonia could be produced on a small scale with catalysts, renewable energy can be the more easily utilized for this process that is essential to so much of our agriculture.

Human Cost of Fossil Fuels

In case you aren't aware, part of the price for our fossil fuel energy economy is human lives. Natural gas death rate was 4,000 per trillion deaths over the last 40 years. Nuclear power had 90 per trillion worldwide with 0.1 deaths per trillion in the U.S.

New, climate-friendly use for local basalt

In the Northwest, there's lot's of both basalt and low-CO2 energy available to crush it. And there are lots of fields on which it could be spread.

Vaccination apathy fueled by decades of misinformation

In short, vaccines work and are safe.  If we fail to avail ourselves of them, the consequences could be serious.

Mysterious sunstones in medieval Viking texts could really have worked

Calcite crystals polarize light. Using these crystals, the Vikings could determine the position of the sun with precision even in cloudy weather. These would make latitude navigation quite possible. Even in the last days of wooden ships in the 19th century, bad weather made the use of sextants for latitude positioning iffy.