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By Admin (from 05/05/2011 @ 11:00:46, in en - Global Observatory, read 1282 times)

A consortium of scientists is developing a new type of large fluid battery that will be able to store enough renewable energy to power 2,000 homes. One of the roadblocks to large-scale renewable energy adoption is that it is intermittent — if the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing power can’t be generated, so there is a tremendous need for systems that store excess power to be released as needed. These new batteries are based on redox flow technology — which converts chemical energy to electrical currents very quickly — and each one will be the size of a handball court.

The scientists have already developed a working 2 kilowatt battery and are hoping to scale the model up to 20 megawatt hours. “The process already works reliably,” notes Dr. Christian Dötsch, business unit manager for a participating institute, Energy Efficiency Technologies at UMSICHT. “The challenge lies in the upscale version, the enlargement of these plants.”

In principle the scientists believe they can build an 80 kW battery with their present technology, and they hope to get a 20 kW system up and running by the end of this year. They are working on new membranes and battery designs that have the potential to create batteries with megawatt capacities in about five years. Though they’ve got a long way to go to reach their desired capacity, this technology is a promising candidate for large-scale renewable power storage facilities.

Source: Inhabitat

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By Admin (from 05/05/2011 @ 14:00:32, in it - Scienze e Societa, read 1287 times)

Secondo una ricerca condotta a Oxford, giocare a Tetris subito dopo un evento traumatico ridurrebbe brutti ricordi, flashback e sintomi da stress. Ma Pong, Pacman e tutti gli altri? Funzionano lo stesso?

L’immagine della vostra ex che se ne va con le valigie o un altro ricordo traumatico vi perseguitano e non riuscite a liberarvene? Provate a giocare a Tetris. Il suggerimento viene da un gruppo di ricercatori di Oxford secondo i quali cimentarsi con i tetramini (le figure del Tetris) dopo una brutta esperienza aiuterebbe a ridurre i flashback e i sintomi da disturbo post traumatico.
La notizia in realtà non è del tutto nuova: ciò che si è scoperto recentemente è che le proprietà "curative" sono proprie del Tetris, mentre altri videogiochi hanno l’effetto esattamente opposto.

(Video) giochi pericolosi

Gli scienziati hanno mostrato immagini traumatiche e violente a tre gruppi di volontari. Hanno poi invitato il primo gruppo a giocare a Tetris per 20 minuti, mentre il secondo si è cimentato con un quiz. Il terzo gruppo, utilizzato come gruppo di controllo, non ha fatto nulla. I risultati sono stati eclatanti: mentre i giocatori di Tetris hanno avuto molti meno flashback rispetto al gruppo di controllo, coloro che hanno giocato con il videoquiz ne hanno avuti molti di più. E l’effetto positivo del Tetris era ancora misurabile a ore di distanza dalla visione delle immagini. <> spiega Emily Holmes del dipartimento di Psichiatria dell’ Università di Oxford e responsabile dello studio. Ma come può un videogame avere effetti  paragonabili a quelli di uno piscofarmaco?

Le dimesioni contano

La mente umana ha due diverse dimensioni: una sensoriale, che raccoglie gli impulsi di vista, udito, tatto e gusto, l’altra concettuale, deputata a elaborare queste informazioni. Solitamente queste aree sono in equilibrio tra loro e lavorano insieme: per esempio quando ascoltiamo qualcuno che parla e comprendiamo ciò che dice.
Ma un trauma può sbilanciare questo meccanismo amplificando a dismisura percezioni e  sensazioni: allora l'incidente d’auto che abbiamo vissuto non ci appare più come una storia coerente, ma come un insieme di immagini sconnesse di lamiere contorte, airbag che esplodono e gomme che stridono. E queste scene possono tornarci ossessivamente davanti agli occhi anche per anni.

Neuroni occupati

Nelle sei ore immediatamente successive al trauma è però possibile intervenire sulla mente della vittima e interferire con la formazioni di questi ricordi .
Riconoscere le figure del Tetris e spostarle sulla griglia occupa il canale sensoriale del cervello: in questo modo le immagini e i suoni del gioco si sovrappongono a quelli dell'incdente e indeboliscono la formazione dei flashback. Ma secondo i ricercatori non basta distrarsi con un qualunque videogame: gli esperimenti hanno dimostrato che alcuni giochi possono avere effetto opposto anche se non è ancora chiaro come.
Ma quindi il Tetris farà parte della dotazione standard di ambulanze e squadre di soccorso? No, almeno non per adesso, visto che prima di una vera e propria sperimentazione clinica ci vorranno ancora diversi anni.

Fonte: Focus.it

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Claims that Pakistan is attempting to form an alliance with Saudi Arabia over the US after the US has invested billions in aid to Pakistan perfectly coincides with the timing of the death of bin Laden.

Press TV interviews Webster G. Tarpley, author, journalist and lecturer in Washington who describes anything to do with Osama bin Laden as unsubstantiated. He shares his assessment of how the US staged the death of bin Laden to implicate Pakistani authorities for reasons that go beyond the war on terror. Following is a transcript of his interview.

Press TV: What about the timing of this announcement that it has come at this point. How can we really be sure that he was killed then and not before? There are no remains, no pictures of his death, and we can mention the interview of Benazir Bhutto (2007) where she states that bin Laden was killed by Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh who was convicted of kidnapping and killing US journalist Daniel Pearle.

Webster Tarpley: I am an author on an exhaustive study on precisely this issue entitled '9/11 synthetic terror made in the USA'. As you have pointed out there are no pictures. When the US captured Saddam Hussein they had pictures and pictures of him dead. He (bin Laden) was shot in the face -- a mafia technique I'm told -- buried at sea quickly so no DNA evidence -- no proof, no substantiation; this is the story of bin Laden for the past ten years.

Everything attributed to him is essentially an unsubstantiated assertion by the US government -- his role in 9/11 never proven -- al-Qaeda in 9/11 never proven; asserted and repeated a million times, but never ever proven.

I think the most realistic hypothesis is that the biological individual known as bin Laden has been dead for a long time and what we've been seeing over the past ten years pretty much is a series of doubles -- a series of people maneuvered by US intelligence; we've seen a fat Bin Laden, a thin Bin Laden, Bin Laden the stout, Bin Laden the gaunt; we've seen him angry, scowling and of all types. And now he has been liquidated.

If he's been liquidated after the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to make this person an ego ideal and hero figure for the Arab and to some extent the Islamic world, why has that been done? I think it's extremely ominous. It indicates a flight forward by US imperialism and the very ominous part of this is war between the US and Pakistan.

Only last week we had the Washington Post and other papers conveniently helped along by Wikileaks -- that CIA limited hangout operation -- telling us that the centre of al-Qaeda was in Karachi, Pakistan -- that was the headline of the Washington Post a week ago. Now we have the story of bin Laden the fact that he was caught and the fact he was caught in Abbottabad, which is like a military reservation; it's like saying he was found at WestPoint or at an air force academy and the implication is that bin Laden was being shielded and protected by the Pakistani military and the Pakistani ISI (secret service). Given the way things are going that makes them a target.

The reason has nothing to do with the war on terror; it is about the fact that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have attempted to form an alliance to get off the US plantation or out of the US empire. And precisely at the time Prince Bandar had gone to Pakistan to set this up the attacks on Pakistan (by US drones) intensified.

Press TV: We have to look at the consequences of this announcement, why it was announced now and the significance of it. One such consequence is that it may increase the chance of a revenge attack. Is the US setting up the grounds for any type of military incursion or adventurism? Perhaps looking at the situation in Yemen for example -- Tell us whether this is a scenario for something to come by the US?

Webster Tarpley: I'm afraid that the door to a false flag terror operation staged by the US, British or the NATO intelligence community is now wide open. It could be something attributed to al-Qaeda, a revenge attack, but at the same time it will be explained as promoted by Pakistan or some other country that the US wishes to target. And people should realize that this is the dynamic of false flags.

What we're seeing now is why when the Spanish empire collapsed you had virtually a world war; the French empire, the British empire all of these collapses of empires led to world wars and we are now in the collapse phase of the US empire. As was discussed in Aspen Colorado last summer, we are now in a very acute danger of a world war.

Since we have Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (potentially) joining together to get out of the US empire with Russia and China backing them up, an attack on Pakistan could easily lead to a collision between the US and China and perhaps also between the US and Russia with the Russians being very displeased about what the US is doing in Libya. So this is all going on.

The other thing I should stress is that this now leaves the so-called al-Qaeda -- this gaggle of patsies and psychotics and fanatics -- the leader I'm guessing of that right now is Anwar al-awlaqi who is known in the trade as al-awlaqi the CIA lackie; in other words a fairly obvious double agent.

The irony right now is that the US is allied with al-Qaeda most obviously in Libya in the city of Darna, but also in Yemen, whereas in Afghanistan and Pakistan al-Qaeda is used as a target to be bombed.

Source: PresstTV.ir

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By Admin (from 06/05/2011 @ 08:00:27, in ro - Observator Global, read 1780 times)

 În 1993, medicul american Steven M. Greer a demarat proiectul „Disclosure” (Dezvaluirea). Avand sediul în Crozet, Virginia, acest proiect a convins sute de persoane cu responsabilitati, inclusiv cu rang înalt din armata si din CIA, sa semneze declaratii privind întamplari, aspecte senzationale si documente relevante legate de fenomenul OZN, aparent tinute secret de oficialitati.

La 9 mai 2001, ora 9 dimineata, la National Press Club din Washington DC, a avut loc în acest sens o conferinta de presa. Circa 250.000 de persoane s-au conectat sa urmareasca conferinta de presa în direct, prin internet, un numar considerat fara precedent. Majoritatea marturiilor au fost însa partiale. Pentru detalii, martorii ar fi trebuit sa aiba permisiunea sa vorbeasca, permisiune care le-a fost însa refuzata, pe motiv ca s-ar divulga secrete militare sau de stat. Dr. Greer a cerut Congresului S.U.A. sa le permita acestor oameni sa spuna ce stiu; cererea sa a ramas însa fara raspuns si, din pacate, evenimentele din 11 septembrie 2001 au eclipsat preocuparile legate de fenomenul OZN.

Într-un interviu dat lui Jean-Noel Bassior, publicat în noiembrie 2005 în revista Hustler, Dr. Steven M. Greer spunea ca dispune de o lista de circa 450 de militari si functionari guvernamentali „de interior”, care au fost de fata la evenimente care nu pot fi negate. Greer este convins ca guvernul american si anumite corporatii stiu mai mult decat spun despre contactele cu civilizatiile extraterestre.

El e convins ca daca aceste informatii s-ar desecretiza, noi am putea intra în posesia unor tehnologii care sa schimbe viata tuturor locuitorilor planetei. Între altele, nu am mai avea nevoie de combustibili fosili si nici macar de centrale nucleare pentru a produce energie. Aceasta situatie ar duce însa la pierderea averilor si a pozitiilor unor persoane care controleaza din umbra destinele omenirii, deci care sunt interesate ca lucrurile sa ramana asa cum sunt.

Greer a dat informatiile de care dispunea unei importante retele de televiziune. A aflat cu aceasta ocazie ca emisiunea nu poate fi difuzata decat cel mult la o ora imposibila, deoarece „ei” nu permit. S-a gandit sa le trimita lui Bill Clinton, printr-un prieten apropiat al acestuia. Conform acestuia, presedintele de atunci avea bunavointa si dorinta sa dezlege mai multe enigme de acest tip, dar a fost repede convins ca e mai bine pentru el sa urmeze politica lui „nu întreba si nu spune”.

Greer a recunoscut ca s-a întalnit el însusi de cateva ori cu un OZN. Prima data, la începutul anilor 60, cand avea opt sau noua ani si era într-un grup de prieteni, a vazut un obiect discoidal, cenusiu. În 1990, în Belgia, Greer si echipa de investigatori cu care lucra au avut sansa sa se întalneasca cu un triunghi masiv care a coborat chiar peste masina în care se aflau. Vibra totul de un bazait profund, „ca un transformator enorm”. Apoi, în 1992, în Anglia, a vazut în fata lui, plutind la circa 3 metri deasupra solului, un disc cu diametrul de 30 de metri. Aparent, semnaliza, comunica si avea persoane la bord.

Greer detine marturii conform carora guvernul SUA ar poseda cateva zeci de vehicule extraterestre si zeci de fiinte nepamantene decedate, din rase diferite. Unele sunt pastrate într-o constructie subterana, în Arizona. Dupa declaratiile a zeci de martori ar fi în desfasurare programe acoperite pentru a pune în evidenta energiile care stau la baza propulsiei OZN-urilor. Ar fi vorba de o fizica de un tip complet nou, care ar putea ajuta omenirea sa genereze energie din ceea ce se numeste „vid cuantic”, o energie fundamentala care se gaseste peste tot în spatiul înconjurator. S-a estimat ca fiecare centimetru cub de spatiu ar contine energie suficienta pentru întregul glob timp de o zi. Daca informatia privind noile tehnologii ar deveni publica – spunea Greer – în cel mai scurt timp oamenii nu ar mai avea nevoie de titei, carbune sau centrale nucleare.

Greer spunea ca el însusi a vazut un dispozitiv lucrand cu energie din vidul cuantic. Exista deja aparate de ordinul a catorva sute de wati – ceea ce e suficient pentru cateva dispozitive pe care le ai în casa;  dar nu exista înca produse destinate vanzarii. Dr. Eugene Mallove, care a lucrat în acest sens împreuna cu Greer, a fost asasinat în mai 2004. Astfel de acte se datoresc dorintei de a mentine dinamica actuala a macro-economiei mondiale si a balantei de putere.

Greer mai spunea ca are informatii ca sistemele de înalta tensiune au efectele antigravitationale. În cadrul anumitor experimente controlate, se poate reduce greutatea lucrurilor. Ar exista deja si nave, fabricate pe ascuns de firme cunoscute, care strabat cerul propulsate de forta antigravitatiei.

Autor: DAN D. FARCAS - Magazin.ro

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'Cell surgery' using nano-beams.

Fig. 1: RIKEN’s old accelerator, which had been barely holding on to life, was brought back to full operation by the nano-beam project (from right: Walter Meissl, Naoko Imamoto, Yasunori Yamazaki). 

From a nucleus to mitochondria, lysosomes and the nuclear pore complex, every animal cell contains a range of organelles within just 1–100 micrometers of space. How might cell functions change if one of these organelles becomes damaged? Despite rapid progress in molecular biology research, such experiments have yet to be fully developed because organelles are too small and fragile to be manipulated individually.

Physicist Walter Meissl has been trying to solve this problem by developing an ultra-narrow ion beam that can pinpoint a single organelle while leaving the surrounding cellular functions intact. Since joining RIKEN in March 2009, the Austrian postdoctoral fellow has succeeded in hitting a nucleus with the ‘nano-beam’, and is now preparing for his ultimate target: a centrosome, one of the smallest organelles. “If a nucleus was like a soccer ball, a centrosome would be only one little point on that ball,” Meissl says.

Creating nano-beams using glass capillaries

Meissl is a central figure of the nano-beam project, which was originally established with a grant from the President’s Fund for fiscal 2007 and 2008. The project was initiated by Yasunori Yamazaki, chief scientist of the Atomic Physics Laboratory at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, in collaboration with Naoko Imamoto, chief scientist of the Cellular Dynamics Laboratory at the same institute (Fig. 1). Although the grant ended in March 2009, the researchers still continue to work together in an effort to implement what they call ‘cell surgery’.

Previously from the Vienna University of Technology in Austria, Meissl first heard about the project when Yamazaki gave a talk at his institute in 2008. “I was intrigued with the idea of getting into the interdisciplinary work between physics and biology,” says Meissl, who then decided to join Yamazaki’s laboratory.

Meissl’s work is a small but highly innovative product of Yamazaki’s lab, the main focus of which is the investigation of exotic collision products such as antihydrogen atoms and the development of advanced cooling techniques to capture these particles. The lab has also been developing slow, highly charged ion beams (the aggregation of charged atoms and molecules) with nanometer-scale diameters using glass capillaries. Yamazaki says it is extremely difficult to focus highly charged ions into nano-sized spots, and other groups around the world have been attempting to do so using dedicated lenses that combine the effects of electric and magnetic fields. No-one had thought of using glass, because it does not conduct electricity and is susceptible to the build-up of static electricity, which deteriorates the quality of the ion beam, he says.
Instead, Yamazaki took advantage of glass’s insulation properties. When ions are first injected into the inlet of a glass capillary, they accumulate on the capillary’s inner wall; when the accumulation of ion charge on the inner walls becomes sufficient, subsequently injected ions are naturally guided all the way to the outlet. At a cost of 50 yen (US$0.40) per capillary, “it was so simple, like a joke, but we could confirm the beams were strong enough,” says Yamazaki.

A tweak for biological applications

Nano-beams can be used to manipulate molecules and atoms on surfaces, so demand is growing for their use in the fabrication of semiconductor materials. But Yamazaki wanted to use the technology for unconventional purposes, and sought ideas at one of RIKEN’s informal chief scientist meetings, at which chief scientists with various backgrounds come together to learn about each other’s activities. Yamazaki became intrigued with the potential biological applications of his nano-beams, and suggested a collaboration with Imamoto, whose primary area of study is in the regulation and maintenance of nuclear function. “But at first, my idea was rebuffed,” Yamazaki says, “because the beams can only be produced in a vacuum chamber, and cells die without air.”

Fig. 2: A thin glass cap at the tip of the glass capillary makes it possible to apply the nano-beam in biological experiments.

Yet Yamazaki was undaunted and hit upon the idea of adding a thin glass cap at the capillary outlet so it can be immersed in a liquid while maintaining the capillary vacuum (Fig. 2). The beam can be controlled so that it travels only 100 nanometers to several micrometers and the ions have enough energy to penetrate the window, allowing it to be used to irradiate a single organelle, or even a part of one, Yamazaki says. Another advantage of glass is that it is transparent and thus enables researchers to observe the irradiation point directly using an optical microscope. Compared to conventional ionizing radiation, which does not have the precision or selectivity of the nano-beam, "the new beam could lead us to observe more precisely how the damage to an organelle affects overall cell dynamics,” Imamoto says.

A physicist learns how to culture cells

Yoshio Iwai, a postdoctoral researcher who recently left the laboratory, spent the first 18 months of the project constructing a dedicated beam line for a small tandem accelerator at RIKEN. Now, much of the work has been handed over to Meissl. Unlikely for a physicist, he started with learning from Imamoto how to culture a cell, multiply it, and prepare solutions for experiments. “It is very exciting and totally different from my previous work because a living cell shows unpredictable results, a drastic change from surface physics,” Meissl says.

Meissl also made some additional changes to the beamlines. “Usually in physics, you fight for more ions, more intensity. But for biological experiments, we need as little radiation as possible because even a single particle can harm a cell.” He installed a fast beam switch that allows attenuation of the ion beam down to short packets containing as little as a single ion.

From nucleus to centrosome

The most difficult part of the experiments is manually setting up the cell in the best position for nano-beam irradiation, Meissl says (Fig. 3). An equally important step is to optimize the strength of the ion beam and calculate the right irradiation time. By switching the beam on and off in less than one microsecond, Meissl takes multiple shots at the cell surface, but each time he obtains different results. “I need much more target practice,” he says. “It’s not as easy an experiment as it looks. A lot of patience is required,” Imamoto adds.

Fig. 3: Meissl manually prepares the cell and sets up the incident direction of the ion beam.

In the summer of 2009, Meissl succeeded in hitting a nucleus, and the cell died immediately. After a number of attempts, he has fine-tuned the strength of the beam and is now able to hit the nucleus while keeping the cell alive. He is now preparing to target a centrosome. At less than one micrometer in diameter, the centrosome exists as a pair of organelles floating near the nucleus, and organizes microtubules to divide chromosomes into daughter cells during cell division. Yamazaki and Imamoto are curious to see what will happen if one of the pair is damaged, but Meissl says it is incomparably more difficult than targeting a nucleus.

Fig. 4: The nano-beam has been successfully used to selectively damage a nucleus (fluorescent green) in a cancer cell.

“The project is just becoming science,” Yamazaki says. “We have just begun to explore the potential of this new technique that can lead to unprecedented applications bridging biology and physics.”

Source: PhysOrg

References

1. T. Ikeda, Y. Kanai, T. M. Kojima, Y. Iwai, T. Kambara, M. Hoshino, T. Nebiki, T. Narusawa & Y. Yamazaki. Production of a microbeam of slow highly charged ions with a tapered glass capillary. Applied Physics Letters 89, 163502 (2006). article

2. Y. Iwai, T. Ikeda, T. M. Kojima, Y. Yamazaki, K. Maeshima, N. Imamoto, T. Kobayashi, T. Nebiki, T. Narusawa & G. P. Pokhil. Ion irradiation in liquid of μm3 region for cell surgery." Applied Physics Letters 92, 023509 (2008). article

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By Admin (from 06/05/2011 @ 14:00:07, in it - Video Alerta, read 1434 times)

Come sarebbe una vita senza pubblicità? Se lo sono chiesto alcuni artisti moderni, un po' creativi e un po' smanettoni, che hanno sviluppato dei software capaci di eliminare, almeno virtualmente, marchi e proposte commerciali da ciò che vediamo.

Stufi della solita pubblicità? Provate con la realtà... diminuita, una nuova forma di arte digitale che applica a smartphone e videocamere le più recenti tecnologie per eliminare dal nostro campo visivo, almeno virtualmente, loghi, insegne e cartelloni pubblicitari. Č insomma l’esatto contrario della realtà aumentata, quell’insieme di applicazioni grazie che permettono a telefonini, webcam e occhi elettronici vari di farci vedere cose che nella realtà non ci sono.

Jeff Crouse, un artista newyorkese, ha sviluppato Unlogo, un programma capace di identificare i marchi aziendali all’interno di un flusso video, per esempio generato dalla telecamera di un cellulare, e sostiturli con qualcosa d’altro. L’ultima versione del suo sofware visualizza, al posto dei loghi delle aziende, la faccia del rispettivo amministratore delegato. Non male! Jeff continua comunque a sviluppare il suo codice con l’obiettivo di mettere a punto un filtro che elimini le pubblicità dai filmini domestici.

 

Julian Oliver, un designer di Berlino, si è spinto oltre e ha realizzaro Artvertiser: un paio di occhiali elettronici (vedi foto) che, una volta indossati, sostituiscono i cartelloni publicitari con opere d’arte.

Ma la realtà diminuita può essera anche uno strumento di denuncia:  Mark Skwarek, un giovane artista digitale americano particolarmente arrabbiato con la BP per il disastro del Golfo Messico,  sviluppato un application per smartphone capace di riconoscere i loghi della BP quando vengono inquadrati con la fotocamera del telefono e di visualizzare al loro posto una copiosa perdita di petrolio che sommerge tutto ciò che c’è nelle vicinanze.
"Questo modo di re-intepretare i marchi aziedali offre agli artisti e agli attivisti un modo nuovo, potente e non distruttivo per comunicare", spiega Mark ai media. Chissà cosa ne pensano gli ambientalisti...

Fonte: Focus.it

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The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.

They say this is the first set of experiments to show that the compound, Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), inhibits EGF-induced growth and migration in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressing non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Lung cancers that over-express EGFR are usually highly aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy.

THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.

"The beauty of this study is that we are showing that a substance of abuse, if used prudently, may offer a new road to therapy against lung cancer," said Anju Preet, Ph.D., a researcher in the Division of Experimental Medicine.

Acting through cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endocannabinoids (as well as THC) are thought to play a role in variety of biological functions, including pain and anxiety control, and inflammation. Although a medical derivative of THC, known as Marinol, has been approved for use as an appetite stimulant for cancer patients, and a small number of U.S. states allow use of medical marijuana to treat the same side effect, few studies have shown that THC might have anti-tumor activity, Preet says. The only clinical trial testing THC as a treatment against cancer growth was a recently completed British pilot study in human glioblastoma.

In the present study, the researchers first demonstrated that two different lung cancer cell lines as well as patient lung tumor samples express CB1 and CB2, and that non-toxic doses of THC inhibited growth and spread in the cell lines. "When the cells are pretreated with THC, they have less EGFR stimulated invasion as measured by various in-vitro assays," Preet said.

Then, for three weeks, researchers injected standard doses of THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer cells, and found that tumors were reduced in size and weight by about 50 percent in treated animals compared to a control group. There was also about a 60 percent reduction in cancer lesions on the lungs in these mice as well as a significant reduction in protein markers associated with cancer progression, Preet says.

Although the researchers do not know why THC inhibits tumor growth, they say the substance could be activating molecules that arrest the cell cycle. They speculate that THC may also interfere with angiogenesis and vascularization, which promotes cancer growth.

Preet says much work is needed to clarify the pathway by which THC functions, and cautions that some animal studies have shown that THC can stimulate some cancers. "THC offers some promise, but we have a long way to go before we know what its potential is," she said.

Source: The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research

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By Admin (from 07/05/2011 @ 08:00:53, in it - Osservatorio Globale, read 1924 times)

Le balene non sopportano più il Sole e... si scottano: negli ultmi anni la percentuale di cetacei con vesciche ed eritemi solari è aumentata di sei volte. Secondo  ricercatori è colpa del buco nell'ozono che lascia filtrare quantità sempre maggiori di raggi UV. Ma non tutti sono d'accordo.

Quanta crema solare servirà per proteggere dalle scottature... una balena? Sarà il caso che qualcuno inizi a fare i conti: secondo un gruppo di ricercatori britannici i grandi cetacei che nuotano nelle acque del Golfo della California hanno cominciato a dare i primi segni di intolleranza al sole.
La loro pelle si sta riempiendo di piaghe e bolle dolenti, proprio come succede a noi quando esageriamo con la tintarella. Secondo Laura Martinez-Levasseur e Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse dell’Istituto di Zoologia di Londara è tutta colpa del buco nell’ozono che stenta a chiudersi. E così le povere balene, quando risalgono in superficie per respirare, si scottano.

Tanto va la balena al sole...

Tra il 2007 e il 2009 le ricercatrici hanno scattato oltre 150 fotografie ad alta risoluzione ad altrettanti cetacei e hanno effettuato numerose analisi epidermiche, scoprendo che in tre anni il numero di balene piagate dai raggi UV è passato dal 10 al 60% della popolazione. Le più colpite sono le balenottere azzurre,che hanno la pelle più chiara e si ustionano più facilmente.
Questi animali, all’inizio della stagione estiva, arrivano nel Golfo della Cailfornia dai mari più freddi e l’improvvisa esposizione al sole estivo è per loro molto dolorosa. Ma come accade all’uomo, con l’avanzare della stagione anche la pelle delle balene si abitua al sole, aumenta la produzione di melanociti, si scurisce (esatto, anche le balene si abbronzano), e la situazione migliora.

Più ozono (quasi) per tutti

Ma non tutti sono convinti che le ustioni sui cetacei sia imputabili all’esposizione ai raggi UV: secondo i metereologi i livelli di ozono sono costanti dal 2000. E secondo una ricerca pubblicata qualche mese fa da Geophisical Research Letters, sulla regione antartica il buco nell’ozono si sta addirittura richiudendo, anche se molto lentamente. I ricercatori della World Meteorological Organization affermano che si chiuderà completamente tra il 2060 e il 2075 e che entro il 2045 non modificherà in modo sostanziale le sue dimensioni.
Non ci sono invece previsioni per ciò che riguarda lo strato di ozono sopra l’Artico: i dati a disposizione sono troppo pochi per realizzare proiezioni affidabili sul futuro.

Fonte: Focus.it

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By Admin (from 07/05/2011 @ 11:00:08, in ro - Observator Global, read 1885 times)

 Perioada interbelica a reprezentat, mai ales in conditiile crizei economice mondiale, un teren propice pentru inflorirea unor miscari populiste, extremiste, inclinate spre „vanatoarea de vrajitoare” si pe atribuirea situatiei generale in continua deteriorare fie evreilor, fie politicienilor corupti, fie insesi esentei democratiei, ca o oranduire care nu selecteaza varfurile. Nu este de mirare ca in acest context tendinte totalitariste au aparut chiar si in state democratice cu traditie, ca Marea Britanie si Statele Unite. Si daca toata lumea stie astazi despre dictaturile de sorginte fascista din Germania, Italia, Ungaria, Spania, Bulgaria sau Romania, putini cunosc faptul ca Statele Unite a fost pandita, la un moment dat, de instaurarea unei asemenea dictaturi...

Liga Libertatii dorea dictatura

„Complotul afaceristilor” sau „puciul de la Casa Alba” a fost o conspiratie cu largi ramificatii, menita sa-l rastoarne de la putere pe presedintele democratic ales, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in anul 1933, adica intr-o perioada cand la Berlin Adolf Hitler isi asuma puteri totale si pornea marsul nebunesc spre aruncarea lumii in haosul celui de-al doilea razboi mondial.

Detalii asupra acestei chestiuni au inceput sa iasa timid la iveala in momentul cand generalul Smedley Butler, fostul sef al Statului Major al Marinei, a depus marturie in fata unei comisii senatoriale, prin care recunostea ca se incercase atragerea lui intr-un complot vizand alungarea de la putere a lui Roosevelt. Butler a depus aceasta marturie, inainte a comisiei McCormack-Dickstein, in 1934.

Desi in final, comisia a recunoscut existenta unei tentative de puci, nimeni nu a fost acuzat, nici o alta investigatie nu a urmat si lucrurile au fost musamalizate. Butler va sustine insa pana la sfarsitul vietii ca problema a fost cat se poate de serioasa si ca o organizatie numita Liga Libertatii s-a aflat in spatele actiunii. Printre membrii acestei organizatii se numarau cei mai bogati magnati americani, patronii de la US Steel, General Motors, Standard Oil, Chase National Bank, Goodyear, ca si membri familiei Du Pont. Un documentar realizat recent de BBC demonstreaza ca si Prescott Bush (in fotografie, alaturi de presedintele Roosevelt) bunicul actualului presedinte al Americii, a fost implicat in complot!

Fascinatia raului

Cum de a fost posibil totusi ca in „tara libertatii” sa se poata urzi un complot vizand instaurarea unei tiranii? Intr-un articol publicat in revista History Today, britanicul Clayton Cramer, specialist in istorie interbelica, sustine ca lipsurile cauzate de Marea Criza din anii 1929-1933, care a afectat grav economia mondiala, i-au facut pe multi americani sa puna la indoiala insesi temeliile democratiei liberale.

„Multi conservatori, din Europa si de peste Atlantic, deveneau atrasi de ideile fasciste si de national-socialism. Altii inclinau mai curand spre socialism si comunism, dar ceea ce a determinat magnatii americani sa puna la cale un complot fascist a fost siguranta ca un astfel de regim, spre deosebire de cel comunist, le-ar fi garantat in continuare privilegiile si nu s-ar fi ajuns la nationalizarea averilor lor, ca in statele comuniste. Nu trebuie uitat ca un curs similar s-a inregistrat in Germania, unde patronii concernelor Krupp sau IG Farbenindustrie l-au sprijinit activ si constant pe Hitler, tocmai pentru a asigura o contrapondere bolsevismului, in continua expansiune”, explica Clayton Cramer.

Un frate geaman al lui Hitler?

Audiat de senatori, incepand cu 20 noiembrie 1934, generalul Butler a marturisit ca primise, din partea complotistilor, propunerea de a conduce o armata de 500.000 de soldati, organizata dupa modelul fascist al lui Mussolini, armata care avea sa marsaluiasca spre Washington, spre a-si impune vointa prin forta, 30 milioane de dolari, drept sprijin financiar si o puternica sustinere mediatica. Este clar ca Butler fusese ales de conspiratori pentru simpatiile sale totalitare, exprimate cu temeritate.

Generalul era privit cu speranta de milioanele de someri si de fosti soldati in timpul primului razboi mondial, ramasi acum pe drumuri. Cel care l-a contactat a fost Gerald MacGuire, mostenitorul fabricilor Singer si un infocat admirator al lui Hitler. De altfel, MacGuire, care ducea o viata luxoasa la Paris, urmarea cu interes evenimentele din Europa si fusese fascinat de reusitele si proiectele lui Mussolini si Hitler in plan economic. MacGuire i-a vorbit despre suferintele indurate din cauza crizei economice de catre fostii lui soldati si i-a aratat ca doar o mana ferma, a sa, poate stavili degringolada spre care se indreapta America.

Lui Butler i s-a propus functia de dictator si a fost asigurat ca Roosevelt nu va pati nimic, ci va ramane presedinte, dar postul sau urma sa fie pur onorific. Adevaratul conducator al Statelor Unite trebuia sa fie Butler, cu conditia sa inceteze politica pacifista a predecesorului sau si sa se implice mai mult in reimpartirea sferelor de influenta, chiar cu pretul unui nou razboi mondial. Temandu-se ca este folosit pentru a scoate din foc castanele, in folosul altora, generalul a dat un raspuns evaziv si s-a adresat imediat autoritatilor. Va imaginati cum ar fi aratat lumea daca un „frate geaman” al lui Hitler ar fi carmuit peste Atlantic?

Roosevelt, adevaratul invingator

Dar marturia sa a fost primita cu ostilitate de presa si elita afaceristilor americani, lucru care n-ar trebui sa ne mire, intrucat magnatii erau si „moguli de presa”, care se vedeau astfel dati in vileag de propriul lor candidat la dictatura. In publicatii precum The New York Times, Philadelphia Post sau Time Magazine  a inceput o campanie agresiva de denigrare a lui Butler si de ridicularizare a afirmatiilor lui. Desi Congresul i-a audiat si pe acuzati, marturiile lor nu au fost niciodata publicate si in 1975, cand s-a incercat limpezirea apelor, s-a ajuns la concluzia ca benzile cu inregistrarea interogatoriilor disparusera fara urma...

Toti cei vizati de dezvaluirile lui Butler au negat vehement ca ar avea vreo vina, singurul care a acceptat sa vorbeasca despre complot, in schimbul unor garantii privind libertatea si siguranta sa, fiind MacGuire. Pe 15 februarie 1935, comisia a prezentat Camerei Reprezentantilor un raport final, prin care respingea toate acuzatiile lui Butler. Complotul, era concluzia raportului, nu existase decat in mintea fostului general... Si totusi, istoricii americani care au studiat acest caz par de acord sa accepte realitatea complotului si faptul ca s-a produs musamalizarea lui.

De fapt, argumenteaza ei, povestea era atat de stanjenitoare pentru multe personalitati influente de la Washington incat aflarea adevarului ar fi dus la distrugerea carierei lor publice. Proprietarii ziarelor americane (magnatii detineau 82% din totalul publicatiilor care apareau in SUA, in anul 1934) au avut tot interesul sa-l discrediteze pe Butler, care le ameninta interesele prin dezvaluirile sale. Chiar si unii dintre consilierii lui Roosevelt erau implicati in complot si au cautat, in mod firesc, sa-si spele rufele murdare in familie.

Istoricul britanic John Buchanan spune ca insusi Roosevelt a fost pus la curent, in cele din urma, cu conspiratia, si a acceptat sa-i ierte pe complotisti, cu conditia ca ei sa-i sprijine grandiosul proiect economic numit New Deal, care nu convenea mai deloc magnatilor capitalisti. Ceea ce, pana la urma, chiar s-a intamplat, schimbarea brusca de macaz a miliardarilor americani, care aveau mai mult de pierdut decat de castigat din reformele economice propuse de Roosevelt, putand constitui un argument in plus in favoarea ipotezei ca fusesera, intr-adevar, prinsi cu mata-n sac...

Autor: GABRIEL TUDOR - Sursa: Magazin.ro

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Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have achieved a breakthrough in the field of nanoscience by successfully altering nanocrystal properties with impurity atoms -- a process called doping – thereby opening the way for the manufacture of improved semiconductor nanocrystals.

Semiconductor nanocrystals consist of tens to thousands of atoms and are 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. These tiny particles have uses in a host of fields, such as solid-state lighting, solar cells and bio-imaging. One of the main potential applications of these remarkable materials is in the semiconductor industry, where intensive miniaturization has been taking place for the last 50 years and is now in the nanometer range.

However, these semiconductors are poor electrical conductors, and in order to use them in electronic circuits, their conductivity must be tuned by the addition of impurities. In this process, foreign atoms, called impurities, are introduced into the semiconductor, causing an improvement in its electrical conductivity.

Today, the semiconductor industry annually spends billions of dollars in efforts to intentionally add impurities into semiconductor products, which is a major step in the manufacturing of numerous electronic products, including computer chips, light emitting diodes and solar cells.

Due to the importance of doping to the semiconductor industry, researchers worldwide have made continuing attempts at doping nanocrystals in order to achieve ever greater miniaturization and to improve production methods for electronic devices. Unfortunately, these tiny crystals are resistant to doping, as their small size causes the impurities to be expelled. An additional problem is the lack of analytical techniques available to study small amounts of dopants in nanocrystals. Due to this limitation, most of the research in this area has focused on introducing magnetic impurities, which can be analyzed more easily. However, the magnetic impurities don't really improve the conductivity of the nanocrystal.

Prof. Uri Banin and his graduate student, David Mocatta, of the Hebrew University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, have achieved a breakthrough in their development of a straightforward, room- temperature chemical reaction to introduce impurity atoms of metals into the semiconductor nanocrystals. They saw new effects not previously reported. However, when the researchers tried to explain the results, they found that the physics of doped nanocrystals was not very well understood.

Bit by bit, in collaboration with Prof. Oded Millo of the Hebrew University and with Guy Cohen and Prof. Eran Rabani of Tel Aviv University, they built up a comprehensive picture of how the impurities affect the properties of nanocrystals. The initial difficulty in explaining this process proved to be a great opportunity, as they discovered that the impurity affects the nanocrystal in unexpected ways, resulting in new and intriguing physics.

"We had to use a combination of many techniques that when taken together make it obvious that we managed to dope the nanocrystals. It took five years but we got there in the end," said Mocatta.

This breakthrough was reported recently in the prestigious journal Science. It sets the stage for the development of many potential applications with nanocrystals, ranging from electronics to optics, from sensing to alternative energy solutions. Doped nanocrystals can be used to make new types of nanolasers, solar cells, sensors and transistors, meeting the exacting demands of the semiconductor industry.

Source: EurekAlert

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