May 10, 2014

Americans used to be a lot taller than Europeans but Europeans in several countries became taller after WW2 and this reflects early childhood health and nutrition

For centuries, Americans were the NBA players of the world. Americans were two inches taller than the Red Coats [british] the USA fought against in the American Revolution. In 1850, Americans had about two and a half inches on people from every European country. But our stature plateaued after World War II, and since then, other countries shot past us. White Americans have grown a bit taller since the early 1980s, but African Americans haven’t.

Your childhood environment can give you (or take away) three or four inches. A lack of nutrient-rich food and clean water explains why stunting is prevalent among children in developing countries. Studies of North Koreans found that those born after the country was divided in two were about two inches shorter than their counterparts in the South.

In a 2010 study, Timothy Hatton estimated that declining fertility was responsible for 40 percent of the height increase in Britain between 1906 and 1938. There is an updated 2014 study - "Health, Height and the Household at the Turn of the 20th Century".

Their findings point to a number of household features that are associated with differences in adult height. These affect height through both nutrition and disease. The first is the negative effect on height of the number of brothers and sisters. Our results therefore support the idea of a trade-off between the quantity of children and their quality in terms of health—something that is widely believed for the nineteenth century, but rarely measured. Other results include a negative effect of overcrowding on height as well as a negative effect of the share of earners in the household. In the presence of these variables the occupational class of the head of household also has a significant effect. However, local conditions still matter, in particular the disease environment as represented by infant mortality. This finding is consistent with those of other studies, and underlying it is the degree of overcrowding in the locality, its industrial character and the extent of female illiteracy. The last of these supports the idea that a more educated female population was conducive to the better nurturing of children.

Childhood determinants of height

Height is now a widely accepted indicator of the health status of populations. Aside from genetic influences, height is determined during childhood by nutrition and by the disease environment.

There was a 2009 study of height in the USA based on ethnicity, gender and income levels. Richer people tend to be taller.

Here is an article about heights of men in the USA and Europe

Norway, Germany and Netherlands are taller than Americans

Planetary Resources Anderson and Lewicki discuss Space Mining Plans and Progress

Planetary Resources' Co-Founder and Co-Chairmain Eric C. Anderson with President and Chief Asteroid Miner Chris Lewicki, commemorate a special occasion in the company's new facilities in Redmond, WA.

May 09, 2014

Graphene photonics breakthrough promises fast-speed, low-cost communications

Swinburne researchers have developed a high-quality continuous graphene oxide thin film that shows potential for ultrafast telecommunications.

Associate Professor Baohua Jia led a team of researchers from Swinburne’s Centre for Micro-Photonics to create a micrometre thin film with record-breaking optical nonlinearity suitable for high performance integrated photonic devices used in all-optical communications, biomedicine and photonic computing.

“Such a laser patternable highly nonlinear thin film, about one hundredth of a human hair, has not been achieved by any other material,” Professor Jia said.

Graphene is derived from carbon, the fourth most abundant element on earth. It has many useful properties, including light transparency and electrical conductivity, and can be completely recycled.

To create the thin film the researchers spin coated graphene oxide solution to a glass surface.

High-quality continuous (GO) thin films are prepared by a self-assembly method. Z-scan measurements during the laser-induced reduction process unveil in situ nonlinear responses in the GO film. Third-order nonlinear responses of the GO film can be tuned dynamically by varying the laser input fluence. GO thin films with tunable nonlinear responses and versatile patterning opportunities by using direct laser writing may serve as promising solid-state materials for novel nonlinear functional devices.

Advanced Materials - In Situ Third-Order Non-linear Responses During Laser Reduction of Graphene Oxide Thin Films Towards On-Chip Non-linear Photonic Devices

Unlimited heat conduction in graphene

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the National University of Singapore have attested that the thermal conductivity of graphene diverges with the size of the samples. This discovery challenges the fundamental laws of heat conduction for extended materials.

Davide Donadio, head of a Max Planck Research Group at the MPI-P, and his partner from Singapore were able to predict this phenomenon with computer simulations and to verify it in experiments.

"We recognized mechanisms of heat transfer that actually contradict Fourier’s law in the micrometer scale. Now all the previous experimental measurements of the thermal conductivity of graphene need to be reinterpreted. The very concept of thermal conductivity as an intrinsic property does not hold for graphene, at least for patches as large as several micrometers", says Davide Donadio.

Nature Communications - Length-dependent thermal conductivity in suspended single-layer graphene

Metamaterial Antenna Lens will allow a flat lens to act like a curved lens

Scientists from BAE Systems and Queen Mary University of London have seemingly defied the laws of physics by creating a novel composite material which has been used to manufacture a new type of antenna lens.

This breakthrough could revolutionise the design of aircraft, ships, radios and satellite dishes – potentially any product which uses an antenna.

Using a concept known as transformation optics combined with this new artificially engineered composite material known as a metamaterial, the electromagnetic properties of a curved lens have been emulated in a flat panel whilst retaining the same broadband performance. The new composite metamaterials flat antenna lens could be embedded into the skin of an aircraft without compromising aerodynamic performance, representing a major leap forward from current airborne antennas.

China Rolling out Global high speed rail plans and projects - From Pan-asian plan to future Africa projects and proposed China-Russia-Canada-US line

China's academy of engineering is talking about a global high speed rail network. There are reasons to doubt that the politics and negotiations can come together. However, China plans to have 50,000 kilometers high speed rail network built inside of China by 2020. The external line to the US via Russia and Canada would be an added 12000 km outside of China and a line to Europe via India would be of similar length. So 40% more high speed rail that China was planning and building already.

China's name in chinese is Middle Kingdom.

China would be building a high a global high speed rail network where the lines lead to and from the middle kingdown.

The Pan Asian line is funded and being built and will bring South East Asian economies closer to China.

China can afford to do it and the connections would be more powerful than any negotiated trade deal. It would be increased physical access.

China is adding a new $10 billion credit line for Africa on top of the existing $20 billion already offered. China will boost the China-Africa Development Fund by $2 billion, bringing it to a total of $5 billion

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang depicted a dream that all African capitals are connected with high-speed rail, so as to boost pan-African communication and development

Li's trip, which also takes in oil-rich Nigeria and Angola, would not simply be for energy deals and Beijing will be seeking to help boost African living standards.

Li said he hoped that some of the loans being offered would be used to support small and medium-seized companies in Africa, adding that economic development on the continent offered huge opportunities for both China and Africa.

"History and reality make clear to all: China's development gives opportunity to Africa; Africa develops, and China also benefits," he said.

Trips by Chinese leaders to Africa are often marked by big natural resource deals, triggering criticism from some quarters that China is only interested in the continent's mineral and energy wealth.

The state-run Beijing Times newspaper reports of a proposed high speed rail line that would begin in north-east China and run up through Siberia, pass through a tunnel underneath the Pacific Ocean then cut through Alaska and Canada to reach the continental US.

Crossing the Bering Strait in between Russia and Alaska would require about 200km (125 miles) of undersea tunnel, the paper said, citing Wang Mengshu, a railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"Right now we're already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years," Wang said.

The project – nicknamed the "China-Russia-Canada-America" line – would run for 13,000km, about 3,000km further than the Trans-Siberian Railway. The entire trip would take two days, with the train travelling at an average of 350km/h (220mph).

NBF - China's fastest test trains can go about double this speed and low air pressure tunnels could further boost the speed. If the line were built it could be upgrade for one day or even twelve hour or less travel times.

The reported plans leave ample room for skepticism. No other Chinese railway experts have come out in support of the proposed project. Whether the government has consulted Russia, the US or Canada is also unclear. The Bering Strait tunnel alone would require an unprecedented feat of engineering – it would be the world's longest undersea tunnel – four times the length of the Channel Tunnel.

According to the state-run China Daily, the tunnel technology is "already in place" and will be used to build a high-speed railway between the south-east province of Fujian and Taiwan. "The project will be funded and constructed by China," it said. "The details of this project are yet to be finalised."

Life created with two synthetic bases for 6 DNA letters with Original Four G, T, C, A and now X and Y and this expands amino acids from 20 to 172

From the moment life gained a foothold on Earth the diversity of organisms has been written in a DNA code of four letters. The latest study moves life beyond G, T, C and A – the molecules or bases that pair up in the DNA helix – and introduces two new letters of life: X and Y.

Romesberg started out with E coli, a bug normally found in soil and carried by people. Into this he inserted a loop of genetic material that carried normal DNA and two synthetic DNA bases. Though known as X and Y for simplicity, the artificial DNA bases have much longer chemical names, which themselves abbreviate to d5SICS and dNaM.

In living organisms, G, T, C and A come together to form two base pairs, G-C and T-A. The extra synthetic DNA forms a third base pair, X-Y. These base pairs are used to make genes, which cells use as templates for making proteins.

Romesberg found that when the modified bacteria divided they passed on the natural DNA as expected. But they also replicated the synthetic code and passed that on to the next generation. That generation of bugs did the same.

Two new Bases that replicate in living cells, 152 new amino acids, more new proteins

"What we have now, for the first time, is an organism that stably harbours a third base pair, and it is utterly different to the natural ones," Romesberg said. For now the synthetic DNA does not do anything in the cell. It just sits there. But Romesberg now wants to tweak the organism so that it can put the artificial DNA to good use.

Nature - A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet

Planetary Resources will focus on mining asteroids for water and supplying space fuel depots

Planetary Resources has shifted the company's focus to a more mundane space resource: water.

Water found on or near asteroids, their theory goes, could be processed into fuel to extend the useful lives of aging commercial satellites.

"I still consider that mining," Planetary Resources co-founder Eric Anderson said in a recent interview disclosing the new game plan. "We're going to take the resources of space and turn them into a usable material."

Despite the risks, Mr. Anderson remains upbeat. He said test launches are slated for the end of this year and 2015, followed by plans for "sending our first swarm [of telescopes] to an asteroid target" in 2016. He compares Planetary Resources' proposed depots to building a highway for deep-space exploration. "If it works, it's a total game-changer."

May 08, 2014

KL-VS gene makes up six IQ points of cognitive difference and would be the most influential intelligence gene and elevated intelligence could come soon from a pill

Researchers have been studying the role in ageing of klotho, a protein encoded by a gene called KL. A particular version of this gene, KL-VS, promotes longevity. One way it does so is by reducing age-related heart disease. Dr Dubal and Dr Mucke wondered if it might have similar powers over age-related cognitive decline.

What they found was startling. KL-VS did not curb decline, but it did boost cognitive faculties regardless of a person’s age by the equivalent of about six IQ points. If this result, just published in Cell Reports, is confirmed, KL-VS will be the most important genetic agent of non-pathological variation in intelligence yet discovered.

Time, Distance and Shielding and Radiation Protection Factors and Buildings like sunscreen SPF

Three basic concepts apply to all types of ionizing radiation radiation protection (time, distance and shielding).

150 meters of air halves ionizing radiation. So 1.5 kilometers of air is 1024 times less and 3 kilometers is 1 million times less and 4.5 kilomters is 1 billion times less

Get down to a background exposure of 10 millisieverts over say one week and it will be fine. You have a whole week to move to a location a few more kilometers away

If China tracked to Japan then it will take about 22 years to catch up on nominal GDP per capita

Japan had caught up in about 25 years from having 10% of US per capita GDP.

In the 1970s, Japans GDP growth was 0-6% and mostly about 2-4%. However, the currency strengthened a lot and then moved up from 37% of nominal US gdp per capita to 100%.

China has nominal GDP per capita of about US$7400 in 2014 and new PPP GDP per capita of about US$13000.
The US has GDP per capita of $55000.
China has nominal GDP per capita of 13% of the US gdp per capita.
China has PPP GDP per capita of 23% of the US gdp per capita.

Nuclear power in the US makes up 60% of the power that does not emit carbon dioxide

Nuclear power supplied 19 percent of the total electricity in the U.S. in 2012 and it accounted for 60 percent of electricity generated at plants that don’t emit carbon dioxide. Whereas the total emissions associated with nuclear power is similar to that of wind or solar power, unlike wind and solar plants, nuclear plants can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making them suitable to provide baseload power.

For perspective, consider this: the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions calculates that in a scenario in which nuclear power was replaced completely by fossil fuels after 2012, the added emissions between then and 2025 would be four to six billion metric tons. That’s the same amount the EPA hopes to avoid, over the same time frame, through vehicle efficiency standards.

May 07, 2014

Fifty dollar 150X magnifying lens that sticks onto any smartphone with 5 megapixel or better camera

The Micro Phone Lens provides 15x magnification for any model of smart phone or tablet. You can pre-order a 150x magnification lens.

15x micro phone lens for $15

Micro Phone Lens 150x Starter Kit
150x magnification lens for cell phone or tablet was funded by a kickstarter. The 150x lens starter kit includes lens, case, light source, 6 prepared slides, as well as blank slides and cover slips. Estimated Ship date in August. You will not be charged until it is ready to ship. $49.99 for the 150x lens. Free Shipping for USA, $10 Shipping International.

150x micro phone lens prototype

Alberta population projected to be 7 million in 2041

Alberta’s population is expected to expand by 2 million people through 2041, from 3.99 million in 2013 to about 6 million in 2041 according to the medium scenario. Under the low and high scenarios, Alberta’s total population is projected to surpass 5 million and 7 million respectively by 2041.

The population of Alberta at the beginning of 2014 was estimated to be 4,082,600. So the 2012 projections of population appear to be tracking to the high scenario.

In all three scenarios, future population growth is mainly driven by migration, particularly international migration. For the period between 2013 and 2041, total net migration is projected to account for 67.8% (1.38 million people) of population growth in the province under the medium‑growth scenario. Natural increase accounts for the remaining 32.2%. Of the anticipated 1.38 million net migrants, 76.1%, or over 1 million, would come from other parts of the world.

Population growth declines from about 2.0% between 2012–2021 to 1.3% in the long term (2022–2041) for the medium projection. On average, Alberta’s population would grow by 1.5% annually between 2012–2041.

Canada GDP growth by province in 2013 and forecast by province for 2014 and 2015

Statistics Canada says in a new report issued Tuesday that improvement in economic output last year was heavily slanted toward resource-rich regions.

Saskatchewan, which also benefited from a bump in the agriculture sector, posted a 4.8% surge in gross domestic product in 2013, while oil-rich Alberta realized a 3.9% growth rate.

Newfoundland and Labrador, which also has a resource-based economy, actually led the country in GDP improvement with a booming 7.9% acceleration, but that was somewhat misleading because it came in the wake of a 4.2% slump in 2012.

May 06, 2014

This project could reduce energy costs by ten times and change the world - Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Crowdfunding Effort Launched

The Focus Fusion crowdfunding effort for the Lawrenceville Plasma Physics project has launched.

Scientists at LPP Fusion, led by Chief Scientist Eric Lerner, are just one step away from this groundbreaking technology and we need your help for the final push.

With only 1/1000th the budget of the huge government funded projects, they are closer to affordable, unlimited, and ultra-clean energy than anyone else in the world.

They need to raise $200,000 to fund the purchase of new electrodes for the final phase of research, to prove that Focus Fusion works.

They have heated the fusion fuel up to 1.8 billion degrees—200 times hotter than the center of the sun, and confined it in a tiny plasmoid for 10 billionths of second. This is not a long time, but it is all they need. The third condition, which they still have not achieved, is enough density so the fuel will burn up during the confinement time. They have to get 10,000 times more density—a lot, but they know how to do this. That is what they are planning to do in the coming year to 18 months—if they have the financial resources they need.

Focus Fusion works by driving over a million amps of current across a pair of cylindrical electrodes, creating a dense plasma where fusion reactions occur.

Updated energy flow diagram

Sweden's roads have 1/3 death rate of US because of smarter planning and priortizing saving lives over speed or convenience

In 2013, 264 people died in road crashes in Sweden, a record low. Although the number of cars in circulation and the number of miles driven have both doubled since 1970, the number of road deaths has fallen by four-fifths during the same period. With only three of every 100,000 Swedes dying on the roads each year, compared with 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union, 11.4 in America and 40 in the Dominican Republic, which has the world's deadliest traffic, Sweden’s roads have become the world’s safest. Other places such as New York City are now trying to copy its success. How has Sweden done it?

In 1997 the Swedish parliament wrote into law a "Vision Zero" plan, promising to eliminate road fatalities and injuries altogether. "We simply do not accept any deaths or injuries on our roads," says Hans Berg of the national transport agency. Swedes believe—and are now proving—that they can have mobility and safety at the same time.

May 05, 2014

Spacex Reusable Falcon 9 flies to 1000 meters

The Falcon 9R rocket rose to a height of 3280 feet (1000 meters) in its latest test, posted on May 1st, 2014. The legs were in a fixed down position from launch to landing, but future tests will begin with them stowed. Footage courtesy of SpaceX

South Korea has the best plastic surgeons with amazing before and after transformations

South Korean plastic surgeons are among the best in the world. In fact they’re so good that people from other countries like China and Japan are actually having trouble getting back home.

That’s sounds really crazy, but it’s true. When most people get a nose job or a lip job, they just look like ‘enhanced’ versions of themselves. But people returning from a plastic surgery vacation in South Korea are truly transformed. You’d have to look very closely at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs, and even then, it’s hard to make a connection. So I suppose you couldn’t really blame airport officials for stopping these tourists from returning home.

Korean hospitals have found a way to work around the issue. They are now handing out ‘plastic surgery certificates’ on request to overseas patients. These certificates include the patient’s passport number, the duration of stay, the name and location of the hospital and the hospital’s official seal. Travelers can use the certificate to help convince immigration officials on the return trip home.

How much longevity could be achieved with rejuvenation of 98.5% of the body ?

More References for the antiaging GDF11 rejuvenation of brains and muscle in mice

Here is more of the research and description of the rejuvenation of brains and muscles in mice using young blood GDF11 protein. Injections of a protein known as GDF11, which is found in humans as well as mice, improved the exercise capability of mice equivalent in age to that of about a 70-year-old human, and also improved the function of the olfactory region of the brains of the older mice—they could detect smell as younger mice do.

Both studies examined the effect of GDF11 in two ways. First, by using what is called a parabiotic system, in which two mice are surgically joined and the blood of the younger mouse circulates through the older mouse. And second, by injecting the older mice with GDF11, which in an earlier study by Wagers and Richard Lee, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital who is also an author on the two papers released today, was shown to be sufficient to reverse characteristics of aging in the heart.

Doug Melton, PhD, co-chair of HSCRB and co-director of HSCI, reacted to the two papers by saying that he couldn’t “recall a more exciting finding to come from stem cell science and clever experiments. This should give us all hope for a healthier future. We all wonder why we were stronger and mentally more agile when young, and these two unusually exciting papers actually point to a possible answer: the higher levels of the protein GDF11 we have when young. There seems to be little question that, at least in animals, GDF11 has an amazing capacity to restore aging muscle and brain function,” he said.

Wagers said that the two research groups are in discussions with a venture capital group to obtain funding to “be able to do the additional preclinical work” necessary before moving GDF11 into human trials.

“I would wager that the results of this work, together with the other work, will translate into a clinical trial and a treatment,” said the stem cell biologist. “But of course that’s just a wager.”

Science - Restoring Systemic GDF11 Levels Reverses Age-Related Dysfunction in Mouse Skeletal Muscle


Parabiosis experiments indicate that impaired regeneration in aged mice is reversible by exposure to a young circulation, suggesting that young blood contains humoral “rejuvenating” factors that can restore regenerative function. Here, we demonstrate that the circulating protein growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) is a rejuvenating factor for skeletal muscle. Supplementation of systemic GDF11 levels, which normally decline with age, by heterochronic parabiosis or systemic delivery of recombinant protein, reversed functional impairments and restored genomic integrity in aged muscle stem cells (satellite cells). Increased GDF11 levels in aged mice also improved muscle structural and functional features and increased strength and endurance exercise capacity. These data indicate that GDF11 systemically regulates muscle aging and may be therapeutically useful for reversing age-related skeletal muscle and stem cell dysfunction.

China National Nuclear Power will have a $2.6 billion IPO to support China push for 200 GW of nuclear power by 2030

China National Nuclear Power Co Ltd plans to raise 16.3 billion yuan ($2.60 billion) in the industry's first initial public offering, as part of the world's biggest expansion of civilian nuclear power capacity.

State-owned China National Nuclear said in a preliminary prospectus on the regulator's website that it plans to sell 3.651 billion shares, or 25 percent of its enlarged capital base, to fund projects and replenish working capital.

The listing would be part of the government's drive toward cleaner energy, under which it aims for installed nuclear power capacity of 58 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 from 14.6 GW in 2013, rising to 200 GW by 2030 - a goal analysts labeled ambitious.

200 GW will be double the current level of nuclear power in the United States.

China, the world's largest power producer, has emerged as the biggest market for nuclear plants, approving four to eight projects a year for the rest of the decade, many using U.S. or French technology, according to some estimates.

Nextbigfuture reaches 40 million pageviews and almost 15000 articles

Nextbigfuture has reached 40 million pageviews (per Google Analytics) and almost 15000 articles. Nextbigfuture has been going for 8 years now.

Just under one year ago we were at 30 million pageviews and about 13000 articles.

Thanks for all the readership and comments.

Mice Vampirism is a bloody fountain of youth - Young blood can rejuvenate muscle, brain, heart and blood vessels

NExtbigfuture covered research last year on the blood protein GDF11 from young mice which seems to rejuvenate older mice.

In recent years, researchers studying mice found that giving old animals blood from young ones can reverse some signs of aging, and last year one team identified a growth factor in the blood that they think is partly responsible for the anti-aging effect on a specific tissue--the heart. Now that group has shown this same factor can also rejuvenate muscle and the brain.

"This is the first demonstration of a rejuvenation factor" that is naturally produced, declines with age, and reverses aging in multiple tissues, says Harvard stem cell researcher Amy Wagers, who led efforts to isolate and study the protein. Independently, another team has found that simply injecting plasma from young mice into old mice can boost learning.

So far only two other interventions--the drug rapamycin and caloric restriction—have been shown convincingly to slow or reverse aging in multiple tissues, says Kaeberlein. Wagers points out that GDF11 could be safer than a drug because it’s found naturally in blood. Harvard has filed for patents on GDF11, and Wagers says she and her colleagues are "in the process of talking with people" about commercializing it to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Giving GDF11 itself "would require huge amounts of protein," Wagers says, so it may be better to use a modified form or to target the GDF11 pathway with a different molecule. “These are tractable problems," Wagers says. "The most important hurdle was figuring out a pathway to go after."

May 04, 2014

DARPA researching brain implants to restore lost memory which is part of US $100 million human brain research project

Memory loss could soon be a thing of the past. US military researchers say they’re developing a new brain implant that could restore mental faculties. This could bring a new lease of life to millions around the world, but raises ethical concerns.

The project is being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA), and could help soldiers who have suffered brain injuries during service, or millions of sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease. The program is expected to take around four years to complete and is part of a $100 million program. - Restoring Active Memory (RAM) - DARPA seeks new methods for analysis and decoding of neural signals in order to understand how neural stimulation could be applied to facilitate recovery of memory encoding following brain injury. Ultimately, it is desired to develop a prototype implantable neural device that enables recovery of memory in a human clinical population. Additionally, the program encompasses the development of quantitative models of complex, hierarchical memories and exploration of neurobiological and behavioral distinctions between memory function using the implantable device versus natural learning and training.

The ultimate goal of the Restoring Active Memory (RAM) Program is to develop, fabricate, test, and validate a prototype device programmed to mitigate neural dysfunction in the injured brain, enabling the restoration of long-term memory in human clinical populations. In parallel to human clinical efforts, the program will leverage animal studies to further advance the quantitative model to account for the encoding and retrieval of complex memories and memory attributes, including their hierarchical associations with one another. The program will also entail the exploration of potential distinctions between multi-scale spatiotemporal neural and behavioral correlates of memory function that occur naturally and how well they relate and generalize to those generated via the memory restoration device.

Mississippi and Los Angeles are key locations in battle to establish large scale Gigabit Internet across the United States and Google could enable Fiber partners

C Spire is using the Google Fiber plan as a blueprint for building its own fiber-to-the-home network that the company hopes will eventually blanket Mississippi. C Spire is a regional wireless operator that owns its own infrastructure. Since 2003, the company has invested more than $1 billion in network infrastructure improvements, including upgrading its cellular backhaul network with fiber to support 4G wireless services. As a result, C Spire has access to more than 4,000 route miles of fiber deployed to some 1,800 cell sites around the state, most of which are located in large population centers.

"We already had most of the fiber in the ground," Moncrief said. "What we needed was a business model that took enough of the risk out of building that last mile portion of the network. And that's what I came away with from my time in Kansas City talking to Google and others. The crowd-sourcing model can work."

If CSpire can make a success of the Google business model then it could enable Google to implement a large franchise and joint venture models. Google could help regional players by providing access to its nationwide fiber network. The regional player either already has local fiber or gets access to it.

Los Angeles was trying to get a vendor to make a combined gigabit fiber and free WiFi network to all of its 3.5 million residents and all businesses. LA expects the fiber buildout to cost $3 billion to $5 billion, but the cost would be borne by the vendor. LA does not want to put money into it but presumably would clear the regulations to support Google Fiber like plans.

I would predict that within Dec, 2019 there will be Google Fiber or a related large fiber to the home system (municipal fiber system or copycat of Google Fiber or Google enabled partner) in over half of the US states.

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 207

1. ANS Nuclear Cafe - "Food Irradiation Can Save Thousands of Lives Each Year" by Lenka Kollar

“Not using irradiation is the single greatest public health failure of the last part of the 20th century in America,” says Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Lenka Kollar discusses the potential for food irradiation to prevent needless death and disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 6 people get food poisoning each year in the United States and that 3000 die from foodborne illness. Food irradiation can drastically decrease these numbers by killing harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella in meat and produce.

Irradiation does not change the nutritional value of the food, nor does it make it radioactive or dangerous to eat.

The United States already uses irradiation to clean medical equipment and other consumer products.

Spices and Processed food - your eating irradiated ingredients already

Spices are commonly irradiated and the practice is growing for imported fruits and vegetables. Americans are already eating much more irradiated food than they realize because irradiated ingredients in processed foods do not need to be labeled.

Irradiation advocates have fought to remove the label because it does not change the food, while other treatment processes such as chemical washes for chickens and fumigation for strawberries do not require labels. The word “irradiation” scares consumers because they are unfamiliar with the technology.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 25 percent of the world’s food supply is lost every year due to pests and bacteria while people die of hunger. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by diseases caused by contaminated food. Irradiation using radioisotopes has proved effective in controlling pathogenic bacteria and parasites in food products and can make our food safer and last longer.

Food Irradiation is permitted by over 50 countries, with 500,000 metric tons of foodstuffs annually processed worldwide.

David Byron, Head of the IAEA´s Food and Environmental Protection Section says, "We look at irradiation as a form of pasteurization. It´s like any other food process. There are no residues, no radioactive material.

Campylobacter, listeria, salmonella, shigella, E. coli, vibrio, yersinia bacteria and the waterborne parasite cryptosporidium are some of the most common causes of food poisoning.

Approximately 1.8 million children in developing countries (excluding China) died from diarrhoeal disease in 1998, caused by microbiological agents, mostly originating from food and water.

Of course the deep green environmentalists will say that we will save all those people some other way than using irradiated food. But they have not been saved. The deaths continue and the plumbing and other food infrastructure projects are slow and food poisoning continues in the US and Europe.

Carnival of Space 352

The Carnival of Space 352 is up at Everyday Spacer

Universe Today - NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) literally ‘saw the light’ just days before crashing into the lunar farside last Thursday April 17. Skimming just a few kilometers above the moon’s surface, mission controllers took advantage of this unique low angle to gaze out over the moon’s horizon in complete darkness much like the Apollo astronauts did from lunar orbit more than 40 years ago.

Universe Today - Space enthusiast and software engineer Ciro Villa has brought some of these references closer to home with these fun graphics that provide accurate size ratios and proportions of objects in space compared to places on Earth.

This graphic imagines asteroid 243 Ida as it would fantastically hover over the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Credit and copyright: Ciro Villa.

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