By Harry Babad, © Copyright 2010, All right Reserved

Introduction 

Read about my paradigms views, prejudices and snarky attitudes at:

https://mhreviews.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/the-greening-continues-a-column-intro-may-23-2010/

The materials I share in the articles that follow come from the various weekly science and environmental newsletters to which I subscribe. When I have time, I also check a variety of energy related and environmental blogs. In addition, I subscribe to New York Times, Time Magazine, The Economist, Business Week, Wired, National Geographic, Smithsonian – all which I skim for articles of interest.

Some of what I chase is called out in publications by the libraries of the Pacific Northwest [NewsBridge], Sandia, Argonne and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, which are managed by the US Department of Energy. Other articles I found interesting come from technology feeds from the, Discover Magazine, various international energy and green advocacy groups as well as The American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS]. from the American Nuclear Society [ANS] magazine Nuclear News is a source and for chemistry related news C&EN from the American Chemical Society [ACS],.

Article selection (my article – my choice} are obviously and intentionally biased by my training, experience and at rare times my emotional and philosophical intuitive views of what works and what will not… But if you have a topic I neglect, send us feedback and I’ll give it a shot.

Remember, conditions, both technical and geopolitical continuously change – So if you’ve made up your mind about either the best way to go, or about its all a conspiracy, move on to the next article in our blog. Today’s favorite is tomorrow unintended consequences. However, that’s better than sticking one’s head in the sand or believing in perpetual motion. Remember, there’s no free lunch and you must always end up paying the piper!

Since my tid-bits are only a partial look at the original article, click on through if you want more details, as well as <often> other references on the same topic(s).

Doc.

Now, As Usual, in No Formal Order, My New Nine Snippets

——— A List of Their Titles ———

  • Medical Radiation Overdoses in the US
  • Symposium Looks at Geoengineering Opportunities & Challenges
  • Energy Push Spurs Shift in U.S. Science
  • Nuclear Science Protects Revered Fruit
  • The Start-Up Pains of a Smarter Electricity Grid
  • No Surplus Snow Means No Surplus Power For BPA To Sell
  • U.S. Official Says Technology To Reduce Carbon Easier Than Politics
  • Success Of US Green Industry Could Hinge On China
  • New Detection Technology Identifies Bacteria, Viruses, Other Organisms Within 24 Hours

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Medical Radiation Overdoses in the US

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has widened its investigation into radiation overdoses that patients have received from a type of brain scan, suggesting the problem may be nationwide, it was reported today.

The agency says it is looking into possible overdoses at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank and a hospital in Alabama, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Providence St. Joseph is now the third hospital in Los Angeles County under investigation for problems with CT brain perfusion scans, a procedure used most often to diagnose strokes.

Unlike the other cases, which involved scanners made by General Electric, the scanner at Providence St. Joseph was made by Toshiba — adding a new dimension to the investigation, The Times reported.  
Angelo Bellomo, head of environmental health for the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said 34 patients appear to have received excessive radiation at Providence St. Joseph over a 20-month period ending in October, The Times reported. The problem was discovered by Los Angeles County radiation safety inspectors and reported to the FDA last week, FDA and county officials told the newspaper.

Patricia Aidem, a spokeswoman for the hospital, told The Times she was unaware of any problems with the scans and that the hospital had always complied with dosing standards.

The first indication that anything was wrong with the scans came in August when Cedars-Sinai discovered that it had accidentally exposed more than 200 patients to eight times the normal radiation for the procedure. In November, a similar problem was discovered at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

As I have noted previously, any technology is capable of getting out of control, and only eternal vigilance is the price of safety. <No I’m not sorry for the mixed metaphor and fractured quote…  – Doc.

Written by Los Angeles Sentinel News Service, on 12-10-2009

http://www.lasentinel.net/Radiation-Overdose.html

For More Current Details on Medical Overdoes Issues Check Out:
A Spate Of Radiation Overdoses In the U.S. 

The Hindu Newspaper, August 5, 2010.

http://www.hindu.com/seta/2010/08/05/stories/2010080552591700.htm

Hear That Drumbeat About CT Scans and Radiation Exposure? It’s Growing Louder. Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2010… and the links therein.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/04/news/la-heb-ct-scans-20100803

Clamping Down On CT Scans For Kids

The Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2010

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-kids-radiation-exposure-20100731,0,6285822.story

After Stroke Scans, Some Patients Face Serious Health Risks

New York Times – International Herald Tribune, July 31, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/health/01radiation.html

Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to Do Harm

New York Times – International Herald Tribune, January 25, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/health/24radiation.html?ref=radiation_boom

IAEA Enhances Patient Radiation Safety in Medical Diagnosis & Treatment

Concerns of Developing Countries Given More Importance

July 29, 2010 http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2010/radsafety.html

Some Things To Know About Radiological ProceduresTips and Suggestions for Ensuring Patient Safety

IAEA Staff Report, By Misha Kidambi, IAEA Division of Public Information, July 29, 2010. http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2010/radprocedures.html

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Symposium Looks at Geoengineering Opportunities And Challenges — Experts discuss possible solutions to climate change

McGill graduate and benefactor Lorne Trottier established the Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium in 2004 to hold public discussions on important scientific topics. In this year’s edition of the symposium, three climate scientists and one historian of science discussed today’s climate problems and possible solutions to prevent rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

Organized by professors in the Earth System Science program and the symposium office, the event, titled “Avoiding dangerous climate change: Geoengineering or mitigation?” brought together Professors David Keith of the University of Calgary, James Fleming of Colby College, Alan Robock of Rutgers University, and Philip Rasch from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Image from the Economist Magazine – I couldn’t resist — Doc.

McGill geography professor and symposium moderator Nigel Roulet initiated the discussion by presenting alarming statistics concerning global warming. Roulet cited a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting worldwide temperature levels to be 1.4 to 4.8 degrees warmer by 2100 compared to conditions in 1850. “There is a large body of literature that suggests that these kinds of changes in climate will have a profound effect on society, including things like the global economy, environmental resources, and water,” said Roulet.

Roulet introduced the two main policies for dealing with climate change: mitigation of greenhouse gases to reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and geoengineering, or the “deliberate manipulation of the physical chemicals and the biological aspects of the Earth system.”

Roulet then cleared the podium for Professor David Keith, a climate scientist who has worked closely in energy technology and public policy. While Keith argued that mitigation alone will not dramatically reduce CO2 concentrations, he also reasoned that current geoengineering strategies such as solar radiation management, the practice of reflecting sunlight to cool the planet, are not reliable enough to be implemented.

“Even if we cut emissions to zero today, we cannot eliminate the possibility of really horrific climate change,” said Keith. “I think we need a serious research program to develop the capability to do [geoengineering].”

While Keith expressed optimism in future uses of geoengineering, other panelists were more guarded about its applicability. Professor James Fleming, a historian of the American Meteorological Society, referenced failed attempts by the U.S. to control the weather. Fleming likened geoengineering to pulling a lever to move the earth.

“Where would the [Earth] roll if it were tilt?” asked Fleming. “I’m not in favor of technocratic, pulling the lever type of activities. I’m [also] not against [geoengineering research], I’m just in favor of indoors, peer-viewed research. Climate change is extremely complex and deserves attention from many people.”

Professor Alan Robock, the next speaker in line, cited experiments where sulfate aerosol was injected into the stratosphere to determine the effects on climate change. Upon compiling the results, Robock explained climate, political, and ethical reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea.

“While geoengineering may result in a cool planet, and reduce or reverse sea ice melting and sea level rise, there are seventeen reasons why it might be a bad idea [such as ozone depletion and drought in Africa and Asia],” said Robock.

Dr. Phil Rasch, a renowned expert in climate modeling, followed Robock and similarly criticized modern geoengineering as an unreliable method to control the climate. However, Rasch urged scientists and policymakers to shed any preconceived notions when discussing the future capabilities of geoengineering

“Geoengineering [techniques] require funding and systematic study, and we are far from a time when we can depend upon them,” said Rasch.

The presentations were followed by a question and answer session between the panelists themselves, which was later extended to the audience.

For more about geoengineering, an overview it’s methods and potential risk check out: 

A little bit of goggling would also inform and hopefully delight you.

Oh if this scares you, I suggest you create a full self-sufficient place well above sea level and close to the arctic then you now likely live.

Alternately, help colonize the moon. Otherwise, get educated, get involved and help make appropriate risk based decisions before you have to learn to either breath water, or worse, after a greenhouse trip-over, carbon-dioxide and methane. Doc

Article by Trip Yang in The McGill Tribune, November 24, 2009

http://media.www.mcgilltribune.com/media/storage/paper234/news/2009/11/24/News/Symposium.Looks.At.Geoengineering.Opportunities.And.Challenges-3840281.shtml

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Energy Push Spurs Shift in U.S. Science

The Obama administration’s push to solve the nation’s energy problems, a massive federal program that rivals the Manhattan Project, is spurring a once-in-a-generation shift in U.S. science.

The government’s multibillion-dollar push into energy research is reinvigorating 17 giant U.S.-funded research facilities, from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory here to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. After many years of flat budgets, these labs are ramping up to develop new electricity sources, trying to build more-efficient cars and addressing climate change.

In fiscal 2009, the Obama administration increased the funding by 18%, to $4.76 billion, to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which oversees 10 national labs and funds research at another seven. The office will receive $1.6 billion in government stimulus spending, as well, much of which it will also channel to these laboratories.

The Office of Science estimates its bigger budget allowed it to create nearly 1,400 research jobs at the 10 labs it oversees in the fiscal year ending in September, up 11% from the previous year’s staffing levels. It estimates it created another 1,400 science jobs at universities. In addition, it says, funds from the Obama administration’s stimulus package created hundreds more government lab jobs. As a result, the balance of U.S. science is shading a few degrees — away from the pure research typically practiced at universities, and toward applied science.

These efforts mark a third wave of spending at national labs such as Oak Ridge, a vast complex of woods and research facilities not far from Knoxville, Tenn. Oak Ridge was one of three labs set up to help build the atomic bomb during World War II. It boomed again during America’s energy-independence push in the 1970s. Oak Ridge plans to increase its staff by 25%, or 800 positions, over the next 18 months — even as its neighbor, the University of Tennessee, has lost state funding and pared back faculty searches.

“We have a renewed sense of mission and urgency,” says Oak Ridge’s director, Thom Mason.

Critics of big government say the Obama energy plan gives politicians too big a role in how the nation conducts science, just as they fret about the government’s increased role in the financial sector. They also question whether the government’s funding push is sustainable amid mounting budget deficits. Others, in academics and industry, say that while government-funded research has made big gains, including advances in DNA mapping and magnetic-resonance imaging, the cost of administering such research is unnecessarily high. University-funded pure research has its own string of successes in areas from physics and chemistry to biomedicine and genetics, they say, including breakthroughs that led to the laser, pacemaker, ultrasound technology and rocket fuel.

In California, the Lawrence Berkeley lab says it will receive about $240 million for research in alternative energy sources, computing, energy efficiency and other areas.

“Most of our great breakthroughs have not been through [top-down government] funding,” says Michael Witherell, a former head of the government-funded Fermilab and now vice chancellor for research at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Diffuse Challenge — Even some of those involved in the energy push acknowledge its challenges. While a federal plan proved successful for building the atom bomb and putting a man on the moon — both clear-cut tasks — the energy problem is more diffuse, with hard-to-measure outcomes.

Link Up – Read On!

Article by Gautam Naik, The Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2009

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125910876247663245.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Doc’s afterthought — It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.

Alternatively — “Having limitless amounts of clean energy would do wonders for this world in terms of political stability, development, and quality of life. The second Renaissance so to speak.” — Robin Djang”

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Nuclear Science Protects Revered Fruit

IAEA Uses Sterile Insect Technique to Tackle Olive Fruit Fly

Homer wrote about olives in his Odyssey, Hippocrates praised olive oil for its medicinal purposes and olive tree leaves were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen.

But despite being revered by kings and symbolizing peace, this ancient tree is being attacked by Bactrocera oleae, more commonly known as the olive  fruit fly. This small, innocuous-looking pest, which only lays its eggs in olives, can infest up to 90% of a farmers fruit, damaging the crops and the livelihoods of the olive growers and exporters. The fly poses a serious threat to the olive and olive oil industries in southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the USA. However, help could be at hand for farmers affected by these olive-eating pests in the form of nuclear technology.

Scientists from the Joint Division of the IAEA and the UN´s Food and Agriculture Organisation are working on a project to control the fly using the proven and environmentally-friendly Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), which uses radiation to sterilize pests. This technique, also known as “birth control for insects”, suppresses populations by breeding large numbers of sterile males. When released into the wild, they breed with females who in turn produce eggs that do not hatch.

FAO/IAEA entomologist, Andrew Jessup, said: “SIT has worked in the past with other fruit flies and it’s now being put to the test to combat the olive fly in southern Israel.”

I hope you won’t be bugged by linking the original article to read on!

IAEA Staff Report, November 25, 2009

http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2009/olivefruitfly.html

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The Start-Up Pains of a Smarter Electricity Grid The smart grid will save energy and money, but implementation may prove costly

Only one thing is worse than the lights not coming on when the switch is flicked—and that’s the lights going out right afterward. The fact that the problem is most often a burned-out light bulb is testimony to the reliability of what’s sometimes called the world’s largest machine—the U.S. transmission and distribution grid for electricity.

But that reliability is tenuous at best and perhaps temporary: the machine needs an update to meet increasing demands for more electricity and to deliver it reliably and safely, according to the Obama administration and others. “If Alexander Graham Bell returned to Earth today, the progress in telecommunications over the last 125 years would be mystifying,” said Robert Catell, chairman of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, at a smart grid event in New York City at New York University (NYU) in February. “If Thomas Edison came back today, not only would he recognize our electricity system, he could probably fix it” when problems arise.

That’s no surprise: Today’s grid was largely finished by the 1970s and contains mostly the same system of devices in use since the 1920s. And, after the wholesale power market was deregulated in 1992, many utility companies stopped investing in the grid—leaving it in a perilous state of disrepair today. An update could cost, according to some estimates, as much as $1 trillion over the next several decades—the stimulus plan alone provided $11 billion for a smart grid, including 32 demonstration projects in 21 states administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.

What exactly a smart grid is depends on who you ask.

“What really makes a grid smart?” asked electrical engineer Farshad Khorrami of Polytechnic Institute of New York University at the February event. His answer: “the control system in that grid.” In essence, it’s the telecommunications and information technology industries applying their innovations to the infrastructure that made computers possible, in large part, or overlaying the utility infrastructure with communications and control systems that will allow energy technology to be more productive.

There’s lot’s more to read in the article, so check it out. Hoever the bottom line is…

Bumps in the Grid But the smart grid has already run into resistance. Class-action lawsuits have been filed in California, alleging inaccuracy in the 5.5 million smart meters installed by PG&E, resulting in electricity bills as much as 300 percent higher. The company contends that such increases are a result of already approved rate hikes as well as a hotter than average summer in 2008—but also admits that thousands of meters were improperly installed and have manifested various problems, including communication malfunctions. Such growing pains can literally turn off customers: a smart homes pilot program in Westchester County, N.Y., lowered bills for almost all participants, but still 30 percent quit the program entirely.

Ultimately, the customer pays for all the fixes through rate increases. Whether a consumer with the smart grid saves money or, at least, breaks even “remains to be proven,” admitted Aubrey Braz, Con Ed’s corporate vice president in charge of smart grid technology.

Balance of Power — Another key challenge for a smart grid is the fact that electricity is an instantaneous commodity—it is consumed at the exact same moment that it is produced. Running an electric grid is “harder than rocket science,” says Stephen Wright, president of the Bonneville Power Authority based in Portland, Ore., simply because supply and demand must be so closely matched and both vary throughout the day…

By David Biello, Scientific American, May 10, 2010

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=start-up-pains-of-smart-grid

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No Surplus Snow Means No Surplus Power For BPA To Sell

Northwest Oregon’s dry winter and spring will mean a tight summer for the region’s hydroelectric system. The Bonneville Power Administration announced Friday that the region is experiencing the fifth driest season since dams were built on the Columbia River.

A lack of snow in the mountains means less water this summer to turn the turbines. BPA spokeswoman, Katie Pruder-Scruggs says there’ll be plenty of electricity for Northwest customers – but not for anyone else.

Katie Pruder-Scruggs: “We will meet the needs of our customers. The shortfall is that surplus. Like, for instance, in the summertime, the California folks turn their air conditioners on and if we have surplus power, we can sell that at market rates, and use it to keep our rates low here in the Pacific Northwest.” Pruder-Scruggs says no surplus snow means no surplus power, and no surplus power means nothing to sell.

Without electricity sales, BPA anticipates it may have to raise rates – though ratepayers wouldn’t see those increases for more than two years.

Doc Sez: Whether you blame climate change of the laws of averages; we’re only seeing the tip of what’s likely to be a challenge for those who only want to relay on renewable energy – Draught happen, the wind blows too hard or not at all and the vagrancies of nature, forget unintended consequences, are real. In addition relative to this article – in the US –there are few damned few places left to build large dams and alas mini-dams don’t produce enough power.

By Rob Manning, Oregon Public Broadcasting News,  May 10, 2010 | Portland.

http://news.opb.org/article/7267-no-surplus-snow-means-no-surplus-power-bpa-sell/

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U.S. Official Says Technology To Reduce Carbon Easier Than Politics

Developing the technology to reduce carbon emissions from the use of coal may be easier than persuading the public that fossil fuels remain a viable and environmentally friendly energy source, a Department of Energy official said Tuesday.

Speaking at the ninth annual conference on carbon capture and sequestration, James R. Markowsky, assistant secretary for fossil fuels, said “developing the technology will be much less difficult than developing the kind of confidence” needed to win public support for the idea.

Carbon capture and sequestration — also referred to as carbon capture and storage or CCS — is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions and storing them a mile or more underground so that they do not escape into the atmosphere.

The Obama administration is committed to the approach, Mr. Markowsky said, with $4 billion earmarked for making the process commercially viable. The money is helping to fund a series of projects to demonstrate techniques for capturing, storing and even reusing carbon dioxide. There’s more, enjoy!

Doc Sez, so what’s new! –  On the technically tough side, the quest for the holy grail of fusion power, of course my current favorite findings an acceptable way to geoengineer climate. But even before the research is proven, politics and vested interest will again raise their ugly heads – mankind gains someone individually loses is an essential as the ten commandments, and politics will continue to overcome reason  and evidence and any thought of a universal good.

By Elwin Green, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10132/1057406-28.stm#ixzz0vtXanwDq

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Success of US and Western World Green Industry Could Hinge On China

The future of green industry in the U.S. rests in large part on the world’s supply of rare earth minerals, 97 percent of which currently come from China. The situation has sparked calls for action by lawmakers and is under review by the Department of Energy, which expects to issue a report later this year.

Rare earth materials, which comprise 17 metallic elements, are critical to the production of clean-energy technologies, specifically hybrid cars that require rare earth magnets, along with wind turbines, energy-efficient light bulbs and solar panels, whose reliability without the precious materials would be severely reduced.

Most troublesome is China’s decision in the last three years to reduce exports and increase export taxes on all rare earth materials by 15-25 percent due to its own surge in consumption. A Government Accountability Office report released in April warned that the U.S. is vulnerable and incapable of supplying rare earths on its own…

There certainly is a dependency, and yes, there are risks involved any time you’re dependent on a single source,” said Belva Martin, GAO’s acting director for the Acquisition and Sourcing Management team, who oversaw the report.

“In essence, China has become the Saudi Arabia of rare earths,” Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colo) wrote in a recent op-ed. Coffman is the author of the Rare Earths Supply-Chain Technology and Resources Transformation (RESTART) Act, which he hopes will re-establish a competitive domestic supply chain to “break away from our reliance on China.”

Coffman’s RESTART Act requires the Department of Energy, which was awarded funds under the stimulus bill and houses a loan program for energy-efficient producers, to write specific guidance for rare earth mining companies hoping to win government loans.

The U.S. wasn’t always so dependent on China. The Mountain Pass mine in California once “produced the majority of the global supply of rare earth materials,” according to the GAO report. But digging came to a halt in 2002 due to a combination of permitting issues, cheap Chinese competition and environmental worries…

Environmentalists remain skeptical of the pollution caused by mining. In Inner Mongolia, rare earths are dissolved by way of extremely corrosive acids, ammonia and other chemicals, including the radioactive element thorium. The Chinese dump the waste into ponds along the Yellow River, polluting the water downstream to the point where local authorities have warned it is unsafe even for irrigation.

Environmentalists share Coffman’s concern over rare earth mineral dependency but argue that proper regulation can alleviate the potential for pollution. Environmentalists “want to develop technologies that are less reliant on these precious heavy metals,” said Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress. Weiss is looking to lithium mines in Bolivia, which he says have developed more environmentally responsible mining techniques.

Molycorp Minerals, the company that owns the Mountain Pass mine, is eager to reopen its facility and is trumpeting a new model for responsible mining by eliminating wastewater. To process the loads of byproduct salt water without dumping it or resorting to pipelines that could leak or rupture, Molycorp has developed a way to reuse the waste by pumping it back into the mine.

“Basically our salt is just going in a loop,” said Chief Technology Officer John L. Burba. “We’re not putting any out into the environment.”

This innovation is expensive from a capital standpoint, and Molycorp estimates it would cost around $500 million to restart mining. Along with filing for an initial public offering to help generate revenue, Molycorp applied for a DOE loan through the wind turbine loan program, arguing that turbines can’t be made without rare earths, but was denied on the grounds that the project “went too far upstream,” according to CEO Mark A. Smith. Last year the company received a $3 million earmark by way of Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., but more money is needed.

Because rare earth materials are “strategic and critical” in manufacturing numerous weapons, according to the GAO report, the Department of Defense has begun assessing the national defense threat caused by dependency on China and is scheduled to publish its findings in September. “We see these resources as vital to our operational needs” and the report will suggest ways to “obtain and store these materials for the future,” said DOD spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin.

Doc Sez, this is another example of a real problem that is being politicized.  If my reading on the use of such scarce metal in areas ranging from chemical catalysis, photovoltaics, hydrogen from water, enhancing the performance if lithium batteries and a myriad if other technology areas is correct; we are making difficult to achieve but great strides in potentially replacing or minimizing the use of such materials. No not a done deal, and of course making China the villain (it may indeed be) is great politics.

By Ashlie Rodriguez, National Journal.com, May 11, 2010

http://energytopic.nationaljournal.com/2010/05/success-of-green-industry-coul.php

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New Detection Technology Identifies Bacteria, Viruses, Other Organisms Within 24 Hours

Law enforcement authorities seeking to detect bioterrorism attacks, doctors diagnosing diseases and regulatory agencies checking product safety may find a new ally in a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) detection technology.

The advance, known as the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA), could enable law enforcement, medical professionals and others to detect within 24 hours any virus or bacteria that has been sequenced and included among the array’s probes.

Developed between October 2007 and February 2008, the LLMDA detects viruses and bacteria with the use of 388,000 probes that fit in a checkerboard pattern in the middle of a one-inch wide, three-inch long glass slide. The current operational version of the LLMDA contains probes that can detect more than 2,000 viruses and about 900 bacteria.

The next version of the array, which is being prototyped as you read this, will be able detect or identify within a 24-hour period any of the approximately 60,000 viruses or 2,500 bacteria worldwide that have been sequenced.

“The ability to detect the major bacterial and viral components of any sample can be used in countless different ways,” said Tom Slezak, LLNL’s associate program leader for Informatics. “This is important because it fills a cost-performance gap that is relevant to many missions: biodefense, public health and product safety.”

In the area of biodefense, current systems are centered upon the detection of smaller prioritized sets of high-risk pathogens, rather than testing for a much broader spectrum of organisms.

Beyond its application in the early detecting of a bioterrorism incident, “One result of this research is that it demonstrates how modern technologies could change and drastically improve product safety,” Slezak said.

There’s more – check on!

Doc Sez – Wow! Years ago, while teaching at Denver University, he worked, almost, on a project proposal to detect nerve gas with the Denver Research Institute (DU). Why almost? Our team wasn’t low bidder, but our wives were pleased.

For nerve gases, your protective-suited outside-observer masks up, enters the ‘containment laboratory and immediately stabs {you} the exposed person with an atropine injector. It keeps them alive; however if you had a heart attack or just a fainting spell the cure kills you. At least that was the theory at the time.

ScienceDaily, May 6, 2010

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505143126.htm

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Copyright Notice: Product and company names and logos in this review may be registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Some of the articles listed in this column are copyright protected – their use is both acknowledge and is limited to educational related purposes, which this column provides.

Sources & Credits: — Many of these items were found by way of the links in the newsletter NewsBridge of ‘articles of interest’ to the national labs library technical and regulatory agency users. NewsBridge is electronically published by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, in Richland WA.  If using NewsBridge as a starting point, I follow the provided link to the source of the information and edit its content (mostly by shortening the details) for information for our readers. I also both follow any contained links, where appropriate, in the actual article, and provide you those references as well as those gleaned from a short trip to Google-land. Obviously if my source is a magazine or blog that the material I work with.

In addition, when duplicating materials that I cite, I do not fill the material with quotation makes, the only place I keep quotes intact is where the original article ‘quotes’ another source.  Remember, when Doc sticks his two bits in, its in italics and usually indented.

In Closing

I’ll be posting articles for you comfort and anger in the next few months. I never respond to flaming, but will take time to provide evidence in the form of both primary technical and secondary {magazine articles} references for those who ask. However, most of you can reach out and Google such information for your selves.

Readers Please Note — Many of the technologies I share still have to prove that they are reliable, durable and scalable — and if you Google them in detail, you will find studies saying they are capable of being commercialized and often as many studies that are skeptical. All I know is this: for green energy related items, if we put a simple price (tax) on carbon (greenhouse gases), these new technologies would have a better chance to blossom. With American ingenuity, thousands more ideas would come out of innovators’ garages. America still has the best innovation culture in the world. But we need better policies to nurture it, better infrastructure to enable it and more open doors to bring others here to try it.

May your world get greener and all creatures on Earth become healthier and more able to fulfill their function in this Gaia’s world.

– Harry, aka doc Babad

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