Sunday, April 01, 2007

Submarine Mystery: No Photo Available and other Rarities

Record Holder- The deepest fish
In the Puerto Rico Trench at a depth of 27,460 feet (5.2 miles). The fish is a species of cuskeel designated as Abyssobrotula galatheae ["Abby Gals"], about which scientists apparently know very little other than the detailed classification here. The species was classified by Nielsen in 1977. Almost 30 years have elapsed, now. Why is no photo of this deepest denizen available? More of story linked here.

Port Security WMD Cargo Problem
The media has reliably reported solutions, or just potential problems? You be the judge.
From the 2005 R&D Awards: Adaptable Radiation Area Monitor (ARAM).
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that on July 20, 2006, a large rig passing through a California-Nevada border check point triggered the radiological alarm on the ARAM system detector. The alarm prompted action from the Truckee Fire Protection District and the Nevada County Health Services, as well as the Truckee Fire’s Hazardous Materials Unit, which conducted the inspection and finally cleared the vehicle for release.
More of story linked here.

Is that the last solution? By no means. New but not news in 2007
Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence Imaging detects uranium, radioactive materials, nerve agents, and high explosives. More about this technology linked here.

A drug to fend off radiation - The US government plans to award a contract for the treatment for acute radiation syndrome later this month under its revamped BioShield fund for civilian defences against chemical, biological and nuclear threats.
People exposed to radioactive material often die weeks later of acute radiation syndrome, as blood cells vital to clotting and fighting infection die off, and bone marrow cells killed by radiation cannot replace them. There is currently no preventive treatment.
Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals of San Diego, California, now reports that 5-androstenediol (AED), an adrenal gland hormone that stimulates marrow-cell growth, cuts the death rate among monkeys exposed to 6 grays of radiation - usually enough to kill 32 per cent of them - to 12 per cent, mainly by boosting blood platelets (International Immunopharmacology, vol 7, p 500).
More of story linked here. Prediction: will be added to US Submarine pharmacopeia (onboard medical treatments) in the near future.

Less Scientific Consensus, please
UK impact crater debate heats up
A deep scar under the North Sea thought to be the UK's only impact crater is no such thing, claims a leading geologist. Professor John Underhill, from the University of Edinburgh, says the Silverpit structure, as it is known, has a far more mundane explanation. Detailed surveys reveal nine similar vast chasms in the area, he says.

The group that discovered the structure in 2002 stands by its original theory of a cataclysmic asteroid or comet impact about 60-65 million years ago. I bet that they are global warming fanatics, as well. More of story linked here.



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