Outsource Our Energy Woes to the Microbes

first_imgDo we need to dig for oil forever?  Do we need to fret and fume over energy policy as more consumers compete for decreasing resources?  What if there were a virtually inexhaustible supply right under our noses?  That’s what the American Society for Microbiology asked in a press release reproduced by EurekAlert.  “The answer to one of the world’s largest problems – the need for clean, renewable sources of energy – might just come from some of the world’s smallest inhabitants – bacteria,” it teased.  Why reinvent the wheel, when microbes already know how to get fuel from the sun and other readily-available resources?  Some day, the article continues, you may be shopping for some really cool gadgets for the home:Imagine the future of energy.  The future might look like a new power plant on the edge of town – an inconspicuous bioreactor that takes in yard waste and locally-grown crops like corn and woodchips, and churns out electricity to area homes and businesses,” says Judy Wall of the University of Missouri – Columbia, one of the authors of the report.    Or the future may take the form of a stylish-looking car that refills its tank at hydrogen stations.  “Maybe the future of energy looks like a device on the roof of your home – a small appliance, connected to the household electric system, that uses sunlight and water to produce the electricity that warms your home, cooks your food, powers your television and washes your clothes.  All these futuristic energy technologies may become reality some day, thanks to the work of the smallest living creatures on earth: microorganisms,” Wall says.The study of microbial fuels is in its infancy, and current products are not yet cost-effective.  But the potential is enormous.  Microbes already know how to make “numerous fuels including ethanol, hydrogen, methane and butanol.”  They can also convert food sources directly into electricity.    Farmers and gardeners can look forward to a bright future, too, once scientists learn the secrets of low-energy nitrogen fixation mastered by bacteria.  EurekAlert reported that scientists are making progress understanding how the amazing machines called nitrogenases work.  Dinitrogen molecules are the toughest nuts to crack because of their triple bonds.  Man’s method (the Haber process), used to make ammonia fertilizer, is costly and energy-intensive.  Somehow, nitrogenase splits these tightly-bound atoms apart with ease at room temperature.  If we can figure out how bacteria achieve this feat, and replicate it, the economic boom that might result – with benefits for solving world hunger – can only be imagined.    By the way, when planning your future biotechnology home, with its termite air conditioning system (09/21/2004), don’t forget the worms (09/14/2004) for clean and efficient garbage disposal.  No worries; it will be a cinch to order whatever you need from your spinach cell phone (09/21/2004).This is what science ought to be doing.  Millions of people are starving in Africa and Asia and South America under totalitarian governments or superstitious shamans, and all some American and European scientists can think about is how to fight creationism and push Darwin dogma down people’s parched throats.  Sir Francis Bacon envisioned a science that improved people’s lives.  To distinguish good science from bad science, he appealed to Jesus’ proverb, “By their fruits you shall know them.”  Solomon said, “Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, but it is swept away by injustice” (Proverbs 13:23).  It’s time for some justice in modern science.  What has Darwinism brought us other than confusion (11/15/06), dogmatism (11/05/06) and genocide (11/30/2005)?    If you are a researcher or scientist working on ethically-sound biotechnology or biomimetics, God bless you!  Inspire your students.  There are secrets in the living world that can meet some of the world’s most pressing physical needs if we will just learn about them and apply them.  We are poised with new technologies to make a huge difference.  Look what the Christian creationist George Washington Carver was able to accomplish, and that was over half a century ago, before computers and genomes and nanotechnology.  Where are the Carvers of the information and biotechnology age?  Abundant resources, like acres of diamonds, lie all around us.  Imagine culling bountiful crops of healthy food out of desert sand, or generating non-polluting fuels from sunlight and weeds.  Imagine new ways to fight pathogens with biological tricks, to desalinate oceans and purify scarce water supplies.  Apply your intelligent design to the intelligent design impressed in living things.  Let’s get science back on track and make a difference.  Our microbial servants are there to help.(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Connecting pregnant women to vital information

first_img22 August 2014The Department of Health has launched a new mobile phone-based messaging service to provide South Africa’s estimated 1.2-million pregnant women with free antenatal health care information.The department will seek to register as many pregnant women as possible with the SMS service, MomConnect, which will both provide information and advice on pregnancy as well as notify the department about poor service.Launching the service at Soshanguve Multipurpose Community Centre outside Pretoria on Thursdasy, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the service would advise women on what to do at any stage of their pregnancy and also encourage them to start ante-natal care at an early stage.“We will say, Mom, since you registered with us you are now 13 weeks pregnant, this is what you must do, this is where you must go and this is what you must avoid.“Even after the birth of the baby, we will continue to send the messages for the period of one year. The messages will include advice on the baby, this is what you must do, this is what the baby must get.”He said pregnant women would also be able to send messages to the department to criticise or compliment the services they had received.“In a particular period, we will be able to know from here in Pretoria that in the past six months that most of the messages that are bad were coming from a particular clinic.”The R59-million project will be funded for the first two years by the US government, which is providing R49-million, and Johnson & Johnson and ELMA Philanthropies, each of whom contributed R5-million.The department, with the help of its partners, has trained 10 300 health workers nationally to help pregnant women to register for MomConnect and to provide associated services.“In the coming weeks, every health facility in the country will have at least one person who is trained and whose job will be to assist and register pregnant women,” Motsoaledi said.Mobile operators Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom are providing a 50% discount on SMS’s sent to pregnant mothers as part of the service.Pregnant mothers and health workers at the Motubatse Clinic in Soshanguve welcomed the initiative on Thursday. Pregnant mother Patricia Mokese, who is already registered, said the project would help them with their check-up dates, since this could be confusing.“We have lot on our mind at home and work, and sometimes we forget to go to the clinics on time,” said Mokese, who is expecting her second child. “The project will help us, especially when something you don’t understand happens to you during the pregnancy. We can send a message for assistance.”Sister Innocentia Hlongwane, who works at the mother and child ward in the clinic, said MomConnect would help expecting mothers to book their appointments early and provide them with information ahead of time.“We can get early bookings for antenatal care,” Hlongwane said. “It will also reduce the risk of the maternal rate and help us as health workers because they will already know the warning signs if there is an emergency.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Tell the Story of Your Geocaching Journey

first_imgDon’t Forget to Log Your Geocaches OnlineThere’s more to a geocache than just a location and a container. Every time it’s found—or not found—there’s a story. Those stories are the logs geocachers leave on the geocache’s page. The reasons to leave quality logs on the geocaches you attempt are numerous, but here are just a few to get you started:– Geocache owners love reading new logs. It also helps them keep tabs on how their geocache is doing.– Other geocachers may check previous logs for hints or information.– DNF logs help let others know that the geocache may be more difficult than expected or may need maintenance.Let’s show the geocaching community what it means to write a great log: head over to the Geocaching Facebook page and share the best log you’ve ever read (or written).(Hier kannst Du den Artikel auf Deutsch lesen)Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedDIY “Wow Power” for Your Next LogJune 8, 2014In “Geocaching Quizzes”It’s Time to Kick It Up a Notch — Apollos pool with the million dollar view (GC13VNK) —Geocache of the WeekSeptember 25, 2013In “Geocaching with Kids”Here are 9 Geocaching Tools – What Else Should You Pack?February 6, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

Don’t fret over NRC: Bangladesh MP Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury

first_imgTension emanating from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam is “uncalled for” Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, MP, and Organising Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League, said on Sunday. He was here to attend a conference on safety of minorities and democracy.“We think that there is considerable tension in the region over this (NRC). This is totally uncalled for and unnecessary,” Mr. Chowdhury told The Hindu on the sidelines of the conference. It was organised by the Indo-Bangladesh Cultural Centre along with civil society organisations.Peaceful South AsiaHe also said that the tension over NRC will be “harmful” to all stakeholders in the region. “If we want South Asia to remain peaceful, then all of us have to work on the issue in a dedicated manner,” said Mr. Chowdhury.The Awami League leader said no one should act in such a manner which will disrupt regional peace. “We have to be more dedicated in maintaining peace in the region,” said Mr. Chowdhury.Huge humanitarian crisisEarlier, noted rights activist Teesta Setalvad alleged that the NRC exercise in Assam was causing a “humanitarian crisis of huge dimension” as it has left out a large number of people from the draft NRC list.“Over 40 lakh people have been left out of the draft NRC list. We are also looking at a process that is politically whipping up the worst kind of sentiments for us as a society,” she said at a conference on NRC in the city.She further alleged that, “Dangerous politics is being played over the NRC. The humanitarian crisis is of such a scale that the family members of a former President have been left out of the NRC,” said Ms. Setalvad pointed out.last_img read more

Osteotomy of the knee

first_imgDefinitionOsteotomy of the knee is surgery that involves making a cut in one of the bones in your lower leg. This can be done to relieve symptoms of arthritis.Alternative NamesProximal tibial osteotomy; Lateral closing wedge osteotomy; High tibial osteotomy; Distal femoral osteotomyDescriptionThere are two types of surgery:Tibial osteotomy is surgery done on the shin bone below the knee cap.Femoral osteotomy is surgery done on the thigh bone above the knee cap.During surgery:You will be pain-free during surgery. You may get spinal or epidural anesthesia, along with medicine to help you relax. You may also receive general anesthesia, in which you will be asleep.Your surgeon will make a 4 – 5 inch cut on the area where the osteotomy is being done.The surgeon may remove a wedge of your shinbone from underneath the healthy side of your knee. This is called a closing wedge osteotomy.The surgeon may also open a wedge on the painful side of the knee. This is called an opening wedge osteotomy.Staples, screws, or plates may be used, depending on the type of osteotomy.You may need a bone graft to fill out the wedge.In most cases, the procedure will take 1 – 1 1/2 hours.Why the Procedure Is PerformedOsteotomy of the knee is done to treat symptoms of knee arthritis. It is done when other treatments no longer offer relief.Arthritis most often affects the inside part of the knee. Most of the time, the outside part of the knee is not affected unless you have had a knee injury in the past.advertisementOsteotomy surgery works by shifting the weight away from the damaged part of your knee. For the surgery to be successful, the side of the knee where the weight is being shifted should have little or no arthritis.RisksThe risks for any anesthesia or surgery are:Allergic reactions to medicinesBreathing problemsBleedingInfectionOther risks from this surgery include:Blood clot in the legInjury to a blood vessel or nerveInfection in the knee jointKnee stiffness or a knee joint that is not well-alignedBefore the ProcedureAlways tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.During the 2 weeks before your surgery:You may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), and other drugs.Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.Tell your doctor if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol — more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.If you smoke, try to stop. Ask your doctor for help. Smoking can slow down wound and bone healing.On the day of your surgery:You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.After the ProcedureBy having an osteotomy, you may be able to delay the need for a knee replacement for up to 10 years, but still stay active.A tibial osteotomy may make you look “knock-kneed.” A femoral osteotomy may make you look “bow legged.”Outlook (Prognosis)Your doctor may fit you with a brace to limit how much youre able to move your knee during the recovery period. The brace may also help hold your knee in the correct position.You will need to use crutches for 6 weeks or more. At first, you may be asked to not place any weight on your knee. Ask your doctor when it will be OK to walk with weight on your leg that had the surgery. You will see a physical therapist to help you with an exercise program.Complete recovery may take several months to a year.ReferencesCrenshaw AH. Soft tissue procedures and corrective osteotomies about the knee. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbells Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 9.Review Date:8/12/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.last_img read more