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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Technology Links

Even marginal success in research delaying aging is a better investment than cancer, heart disease research

An analysis, from top scientists at USC, Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and other institutions, assumes research investment would conservatively lead to a 1.25 percent reduction in the likelihood of age-related diseases. In contrast to treatments for fatal diseases, slowing aging would have no health returns initially, but would have significant benefits over the long term. With even modest gains in our scientific understanding of how to slow the aging process, an additional 5 percent of adults over the age of 65 would be healthy rather than disabled every year from 2030 to 2060
China, Russia, India, S Korea all building reactors at about 1/3rd the European cost.

China's nuclear reactors tend to cost from $1500 to $2500 per KW. This is a far lower cost than in Europe or the US. Controlled cost is a good reason that China is building about 28 out of the 69 nuclear reactors under construction in the world. China, Russia, India and South Korea are where 50 out of the 69 world nuclear reactors are being built. They all have construction costs under control and tend to be 2 to 3 times cheaper than in Europe or the USA.

    Since the RAE figures show British nuclear is about 40% of the cost of the average of the basket we use (probably less as prices rise) combined with it being possible to drop the prices by 2/3rds means the cost of our electricity bills not only could be reduced by about 90% but that this is happening elsewhere in the world.

   If reactors were allowed to be mass produced the cost would certainly fall furt
her - mass production always means that.
   Jerry Pournelle publishes my opinion in why Parliament was right not to support bombing Syria

(I have already published the wording as an unpublished letter)
Cubesats in Glasgow and
Glasgow University's space probe
"If my three kids ask about science … I cannot honestly praise British science and suggest they seek a career there. As a science graduate, I wou
ld like to be able to say “yes a science degree is a good thing”. But the reality is that academic science is so politically motivated and so appalling at delivering anything useful to those doing degrees or to society in general … that whilst I would prefer a scientifically literate society, I cannot in all honesty recommend British science to anyone."
Scientific Alliance newsletter and Scottish Branch set up
Best energy ideas for tomorrow
Genes changing but not through direct inheritance?

A scientist has tested the genetic effect of swapping baby sweet tempered European honeybees with aggressive African killer bees. (H/T Chris Phoenix)

They took 250 of the youngest bees from each hive, and painted marks on the bees’ tiny backs. Then they switched each set of newborns into the hive of the other subspecies.

He didn’t expect the bees’ actual DNA to change: Random mutations aside, genes generally don’t change during an organism’s lifetime. Rather, he suspected the bees’ genes would behave differently in their new homes—wildly differently.....

 When Alaux looked at the gene-expression profiles of the bees exposed again and again to alarm pheromone, he and Robinson saw why: With repeated alarms, hundreds of genes—genes that previous studies had associated with aggression—grew progressively busier. The rise in gene expression neatly matched the rise in the aggressiveness of the bees’ response to threats.


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