November 08, 2014

China will get more global High speed rail domination

A planned merger between China’s two leading train makers spells gloom for their European competitors. CNR and CSR, China's two train makers, which are respectively the world's largest and second-largest train makers, recently announced plans to merge in a move that will make them a powerhouse in the high-speed rail industry. No further details have been revealed, but initial estimates indicate that the merger will boost the two companies' profits by 14 percent, thanks not least to lower research and development costs as well as a less cut-throat price war.

China is also willing to finance 85 percent of international high project with the Import Export Bank of China.

Beijing's willingness to come up with an enticing credit proposal for the financing model when it sells Chinese high-speed trains abroad goes down especially well with emerging economies.

HSR construction costs in China tend to be lower than in other countries. Based on experience with World Bank supported projects, the cost of railway construction is about 82 percent of the total project costs mentioned earlier. China HSR with a maximum speed of 350 km/h has a typical infrastructure unit cost of about US$ 17-21 million. (RMB 100-125m) per km, with a high ratio of viaducts and tunnels. The cost of HSR construction in Europe, having design speed of 300 km/h or above is estimated to be of the order of US$25-39 m per km. HSR construction cost (excluding land, rolling stock and interest during construction) is estimated to be as high as US$ 52m per km in California. Based on D.P. Crozet, the unit cost for four HSR lines under construction in France in 2013 ranges between US$ 24.8m and 35.2m.

India needs a lot of big reforms to achieve 10% GDP growth potential

India has a rising stock market, falling oil prices and a stable, majority government all at the same time. India's government under Prime Minister Modi needs to execute reforms so that India can achieve its full growth potential of about 10% GDP growth. 10% GDP growth is the level that India should be able to achieve based on its young demographics and stage of development.

Industry leader Deepak Parekh, known for his candid views on issues related to Indian economy and markets, said it is "suffice to say that a 10 per cent GDP growth will not happen without extensive judicial, electoral, police, labor and land reforms, along with financial sector reforms."

Decoding cell division will be key to creating artificial chromosomes

Biologist Iain Cheeseman explores the complex structures that control cell division. Key to the process of cell division is the kinetochore, a cellular structure that holds onto each chromosome to guide it to the daughter cells during cell division. The kinetochore includes hundreds of proteins that interact with each other to maintain chromosomal stability. Cheeseman discovered many of these proteins, and has determined the functions of many more.

If there are uncorrected cell division errors, those errors can be catastrophic for the cell, with the potential to contribute to cancer progression. In fact, about 90 percent of cancer cells have the wrong number of chromosomes.

Elon Musk could participate in network of 700 cheaper and smaller space satellites for internet service

Elon Musk and Greg Wyler have discussed launching around 700 satellites, each weighing less than 250 pounds. That is about half the size of the smallest communications satellites now in commercial use. The satellite constellation would be 10 times the size of the largest current fleet, managed by Iridium Communications Inc.

Greg Wyler is a satellite-industry veteran and former Google Inc. executive. Mr. Wyler founded WorldVu Satellites Ltd., which controls a large block of radio spectrum.

The smallest communications satellites now weigh under 500 pounds and cost several million dollars each. WorldVu hopes to bring the cost of manufacturing smaller models under $1 million, according to two people familiar with its plans.

Building every possible energy alternative and China will still use coal for over 50% of its energy in 2030

Under the most aggressive assumptions China will still be using coal for over 50% of its power needs in 2030

At the same time as China renewables grow, the absolute amount of China coal fired generation will continue to skyrocket. According to Bloomberg, 343-450 Gigawatts of new coal generation will be built in China over the next fifteen years, more than the total capacity of the entire current US coal fleet, which is roughly 300 Gigawatts. Put another way, even in the Bloomberg best case, with the most aggressive solar and wind investments in the world, China will continue to bring on line roughly an average of one large 500 MW coal plant per week through 2030. This is on top of China’s existing 750 GW coal fleet, already more than twice the size of America’s.


November 07, 2014

Launching tiny interstellar spacecraft from Jupiter

Consider a particle accelerator. On Earth, these systems accelerate charged particles like electrons to relativistic velocities so that physicists can study subatomic phenomena. Now imagine the Sprite as a particle. A Sprite is a thin computer chip that is nearly the complete basis of a spacecraft. It would be electrostatically charged, like a toy balloon on a dry day, and in that way resembles a very large electron. Could we build a kind of particle accelerator to launch Sprites out of the solar system at very high speed? The Navy already has a railgun that uses electromagnetic effects to launch large masses. Their recent successes show that the concept is perfectly sound. In fact, if you could direct the energy of their 30 kg railgun into a, say, 30 mg Sprite, that’s a factor of 1000 higher speed. Such a Sprite could be the first interstellar explorer. Michio Kaku and Mason Peck have discussed the wild notion of a ring-shaped Sprite accelerator on the moon or in Jupiter’s orbit (in fact, the idea appeared on his Sci Fi Science TV show). In principle, such a launch system could send a Sprite to the nearest star system in a few decades.




Jupiter's magnetic field can provide propulsion and power

Jupiter's magnetic field can provide propulsion and power to spaceships or satellites

Electrodynamic tether (EDT) can be used propulsion and power generation for a spacecraft in the Jovian system. The environment of the Jovian system has properties which are particularly favorable for utilization of an EDT. Specifically, the planet has a strong magnetic field and the mass of the planet dictates high orbital velocities which, when combined with the planet's rapid rotation rate, can produce very large relative velocities between the magnetic field and the spacecraft. In a circular orbit close to the planet, tether propulsive forces are found to be as high as 50 Newtons and power levels as high as 1 MW.

A tether length of 10 km has been assumed, along with a cylindrical tether of l-mm diameter.
The voltage peaks at 290,000 V and the current peaks at 26.5 A. The power peaks at 6.6 Megawatts.

In a circular orbit near the planet, it appears that induced tether voltages can reach as high as 50,000 V, currents can become greater than 20 A, power levels can reach over a million watts, and propulsive forces can reach higher than 50 N.


Soft exoskeletons and wearable technology will merge with clothing and other currently inert wearables

The US army has mentioned a goal of providing soft exoskeletons to 90% of soldiers

Tens of millions of elderly and disabled people could benefit by wearing effective soft or hard exoskeletons that help them walk and monitor and provide therapy for medical conditions. Wearable external and implanted automatic defibrillators are currently only prescribed for people with a very high risk of heart attacks.

Mini-strokes might be a cause of Alzheimers brain damage and are often not detected or diagnosed. Highly precise perpetual medical sensors would be helpful in improving diagnosis and treatment.

Exoskeletons are being deployed in factories to shift the weight of tools from workers so that they do not get injured or tired. There are hundreds of millions of jobs worldwide that involve heavy lifting or moving heavy objects. Nursing requires the movement of heavy patients, factory workers and transportation workers often require the movement of heavy objects.

Millions of people have wearable wrist and other devices now for monitoring sports and exercise activity and provide dynamic coaching and fitness training. The wearable device market is expected to top 19 million units this year and could be hundreds of millions by 2020.

The military, workers, elderly and disabled markets should develop to tens to hundreds of millions of soft exoskeletons and very complete and highly functional smart wearables in the thousand to tens of thousands of dollar price range.

Having wearables and soft exoskeletons reach the level of adoption of cellphones and smartphones will require a broad range of form factors and prices in the low hundreds of dollars and eventually a premium of 10-30% over regular clothing.

Wearable soft sensors for monitoring health




Low Cost Millimeter Sensors can provide Haptic Feedback for Robotic Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is becoming more popular. A surgeon uses video game like controls to manipulate robotic arms with long tools on them. These surgical robotic systems do not provide haptic feedback. This can result in accidents that cause bleeding or broken sutures.

Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RMIS) holds great promise for improving the accuracy and dexterity of a surgeon while minimizing trauma to the patient. Even greater widespread clinical success would be possible if there was not the lack of haptic (force and tactile) feedback for the surgeon.

Haptics generally describes touch feedback, which may include kinesthetic (force) and cutaneous (tactile) feedback. In manual minimally invasive surgery (MIS), surgeons feel the interaction of the instrument with the patient via a long shaft, which eliminates tactile cues and masks force cues. Some studies have linked the lack of significant haptic feedback in MIS to increased intra-operative injury. In teleoperated robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RMIS), all natural haptic feedback is eliminated because the surgeon no longer manipulates the instrument directly.

New sensors will provide milliNewton sensitivity with measurements 100 times per second.



Design principles of the assistive soft exosuit

Harvard published details of their soft exosuit that they are making with DARPA funding.

A soft lower-extremity robotic exosuit is intended to augment normal muscle function in healthy individuals. Compared to previous exoskeletons, the device is ultra-lightweight, resulting in low mechanical impedance and inertia. The exosuit has custom McKibben style pneumatic actuators that can assist the hip, knee and ankle. The actuators attach to the exosuit through a network of soft, inextensible webbing triangulated to attachment points utilizing a novel approach we call the virtual anchor technique. This approach is designed to transfer forces to locations on the body that can best accept load. Pneumatic actuation was chosen for this initial prototype because the McKibben actuators are soft and can be easily driven by an off-board compressor. The exosuit itself (human interface and actuators) had a mass of 3500 g and with peripherals (excluding air supply) is 7144 g. In order to examine the exosuit’s performance, a pilot study with one subject was performed which investigated the effect of the ankle plantar-flexion timing on the wearer’s hip, knee and ankle joint kinematics and metabolic power when walking. Wearing the suit in a passive unpowered mode had little effect on hip, knee and ankle joint kinematics as compared to baseline walking when not wearing the suit. Engaging the actuators at the ankles at 30% of the gait cycle for 250 ms altered joint kinematics the least and also minimized metabolic power. The subject’s average metabolic power was 386.7 W, almost identical to the average power when wearing no suit (381.8 W), and substantially less than walking with the unpowered suit (430.6 W). This preliminary work demonstrates that the exosuit can comfortably transmit joint torques to the user while not restricting mobility and that with further optimization, has the potential to reduce the wearer’s metabolic cost during walking.


Work published in 2014 [Multi-joint Actuation Platform for Lower Extremity Soft Exosuits], the system delivered 4.01W on average over a gait cycle of 1.08 seconds with the ankle suit, and 3.27 W on average over a gait cycle of 1.06 seconds for the hip suit. The total energy delivered by the system over a single gait cycle was 4.33J and 3.47J respectively. During each gait cycle, the ankle joint received 3.02 J for an efficiency of 70%. The hip joint received 1.67 J for the flexion with an efficiency of 48%. Compared to biological joint power, the system provided 14.3% of energy needed by the ankle power and 9.6% of energy needed by the hip power on flexion.

In general, an exosuit should be able to create paths to transfer load between the assisted joint and other parts of the body where those forces can be handled without impeding natural human walking dynamics and comfort.

November 06, 2014

Japan wants elder care robots instead of foreign workers

According to Transparency Market Research, the medical robotic systems market will reach $13.6bn in 2018 (from $5.5bn in 2011), with the lion’s share going to surgical robots while the rest is used for other forms of health robotics such as prosthetics, robot nurses and micro-robots that deliver pills to specific parts of the body.

Japan is expecting robotics to be about a $90 billion industry in 20 years and be about the size of the television electronics market.

Japan would expect to need 1 million mostly foreign elderly care workers by 2025. Japan does not like foreign workers, so they are very motivated to get robots instead.

Yomiuri Shimbun. The Japanese government plans to extend financial assistance to help firms develop low-cost nursing care robots with a price tag of about 100,000 yen ($1,020).

IBM Expects Watson Artificial Intelligence to earn $10 billion per year in Revenue within ten years

IBM Watson is still a work in progress. Some companies and researchers testing Watson systems have reported difficulties in adapting the technology to work with their data sets. IBM’s CEO, Virginia Rometty, said in October last year that she expects Watson to bring in $10 billion in annual revenue in 10 years, even though that figure then stood at around $100 million.

IBM is moving aggressively to commercialize the technology. Last week the company announced it had teamed up with Twitter and the Chinese social network Tencent to offer a service that will try to find useful insights from the torrent of messages sent through these services every day. Using the technology a company that sells kitchen equipment might, for example, learn about a possible problem with one of its products from comments made by restaurant patrons.

C3PO claims that Star Wars Episode 7 will be better than Empire Strikes Back

Anthony Daniels, probably fresh from the "Episode VII" wrap party over the weekend, made a pretty big claim on Twitter this weekend.

I think Empire Strikes Back was the best of the Star Wars movies. Hopefully the actor who played C3PO is right that Episode 7 due December 15, 2015 is correct.

The official title for the 7th Star Wars movie is the Force Awakens






Common Blood Pressure Drug Reverses Diabetes in Mice, Human Trials funded for 2015

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US, raising risks for heart attack, blindness, kidney disease and limb amputation. But researchers who have shown that a common blood pressure drug totally reverses diabetes in mice are about to begin a new clinical trial to see if it can do the same for humans. Diabetes affects 12.3% of Americans over the age of 20 and costs the nation $245 billion each year.

The researchers, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and led by Dr. Anath Shalev, have been working on this research for over a decade in UAB's Comprehensive Diabetes Center.

They explain that their previous research has shown that high blood sugar causes an overproduction of a protein called TXNIP - which is increased within beta cells in response to diabetes. Too much TXNIP in pancreatic beta cells leads to their deaths, stopping the body's efforts to produce insulin and further promoting diabetes.

UAB scientists have also uncovered that the drug verapamil, which is widely used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and migraine headaches, can lower TXNIP levels in these beta cells — to the point that, when mouse models with established diabetes and blood sugars above 300 milligrams per deciliter were treated with verapamil, the disease was eradicate

The trial will test an approach different from any current diabetes treatment by focusing on promoting specialized cells in the pancreas called beta cells, which produce insulin the body needs to control blood sugar. UAB scientists have proved through years of research that high blood sugar causes the body to overproduce a protein called TXNIP, which is increased within the beta cells in response to diabetes, but had never previously been known to be important in beta cell biology. Too much TXNIP in the pancreatic beta cells leads to their deaths and thwarts the body’s efforts to produce insulin, thereby contributing to the progression of diabetes.

The UAB researchers have received a 3-year, $2.1 million grant from JDRF - the largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research - to conduct a clinical trial in 2015 in humans.



300 million college graduates in developing countries are more likely to take your job than a robot for the next 20 years

The global labor force will be about 3.5 billion in 2030. Based on current trends in population, education, and labor demand, a McKinsey Global report projects that by 2020 the global economy could face the following hurdles:

* 38 million to 40 million fewer workers with tertiary education (college or postgraduate degrees) than employers will need, or 13 percent of the demand for such workers

* 45 million too few workers with secondary education in developing economies, or 15 percent of the demand for such workers

* 90 million to 95 million more low-skill workers (those without college training in advanced economies or without even secondary education in developing economies) than employers will need, or 11 percent oversupply of such workers

Around the globe today, 200 million people are out of work, according to the International Labor Organization. About 40 million of these people live in advanced economies and tens of millions more in those nations are underemployed or have become discouraged and dropped out of the labor force.

Technology is changing the nature of work: as companies redefine how and where different tasks are carried out, they require new skills and new employer-employee relationships. Globalization plays a role, too, by expanding access to pools of low-cost talent and creating greater need for workers with higher levels of education and specific skills in advanced economies.

16 million more college educated people each year vs 180,000 industrial robots



Robotics Industry is far smaller than Global Outsourcing

Information technology industry body Nasscom said the global business process management (BPM) spend will grow at six-seven per cent annually till 2020 resulting in significant opportunities for the sector. Global BPM spend, which stands at $130 billion across different sectors in 2013, are likely to grow to $233 billion by 2020, it said.

The global industrial robotics market was valued at USD 28.93 billion in 2013, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2014 to 2020 and is estimated to reach USD 44.48 billion in 2020.

[Boston Consulting Group] Spending on robots worldwide is expected to more than quadruple from just over $15 billion four years ago to about $67 billion by 2025—a 10.4 percent.


There will be about 16 million new college educated people being added every year from now to 2030.About ten million per year will be added from China and India.

'Direct writing' of diamond patterns from graphite a potential technological leap

A new technique uses a pulsing laser to create synthetic nanodiamond films and patterns from graphite, with potential applications from biosensors to computer chips.

"The biggest advantage is that you can selectively deposit nanodiamond on rigid surfaces without the high temperatures and pressures normally needed to produce synthetic diamond," said Gary Cheng, an associate professor of industrial engineering at Purdue University. "We do this at room temperature and without a high temperature and pressure chamber, so this process could significantly lower the cost of making diamond. In addition, we realize a direct writing technique that could selectively write nanodiamond in designed patterns."

The ability to selectively "write" lines of diamond on surfaces could be practical for various potential applications including biosensors, quantum computing, fuel cells and next-generation computer chips.

The technique works by using a multilayered film that includes a layer of graphite topped with a glass cover sheet. Exposing this layered structure to an ultrafast-pulsing laser instantly converts the graphite to an ionized plasma and creates a downward pressure. Then the graphite plasma quickly solidifies into diamond. The glass sheet confines the plasma to keep it from escaping, allowing it to form a nanodiamond coating.

"These are super-small diamonds and the coating is super-strong, so it could be used for high-temperature sensors," Cheng said.


This illustration depicts a new technique that uses a pulsing laser to create synthetic nanodiamond films and patterns from graphite, with potential applications from biosensors to computer chips. (Purdue University image/Gary Cheng

Nature Scientific Reports - Direct Laser Writing of Nanodiamond Films from Graphite under Ambient Conditions

November 05, 2014

Google inbox program invites

google inbox program invites by emailing inbox@google.com for the next 15 minutes



DOE wants to make US buildings twice as energy efficient by 2030

Orbital Science might turn to Spacex to Fulfill NASA Space Station Contracts

Initial evidence shows that the decades-old rocket engines used by Dulles-based Orbital Sciences Corp. were the cause of the catastrophic explosion Oct. 28, spurring the company to look to its competitors to help launch its vehicle to the International Space Station.

Orbital will need to go to direct competitors to launch its Cygnus cargo spacecraft. CEO David Thompson said the company is in discussions with three launch providers — two in the U.S. and one based in Europe.

The two primary U.S. launch companies are Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the other company with a contract to deliver cargo to the space station, which has its Falcon 9 rocket, and United Launch Alliance, which has its Atlas and Delta rocket family.

Orbital said it will likely need to launch only one or two non-Antares rockets to satisfy its NASA commitments.



India and China in 2025

Rand has a forecast of India and China in 2025

Both countries will have a population in 2025 of about 1.4 billion. India's population will be younger and the population will still be growing and will likely be about 1.6 billion in 2050.



Predictions of China's Military in 2020 and 2030

By 2020, the actual—as opposed to announced–Chinese defense budget is estimated to rise to USD259 billion, up from USD143 billion in 2011. Russian spending will increase to USD108.3 billion in 2020, up from USD57.2 billion in 2011.

US spending is likely to decline to USD540 billion at the end of the decade, down from USD720 billion in 2011.

Chinese military spending might match that of the US by the 2030s but it will be decades before it rivals the United States as a military superpower, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council Roger Cliff testified in front of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Hearing on China’s Military Modernization and its Implications for the United States.

The huge technological edge the U.S. military has enjoyed over China is eroding. This is the result of China’s rapid economic growth and integration into the world economy, ever-increasing defense spending in China, and the “follower’s advantage” that results from the fact that it is easier to imitate the technological successes of others than to develop fundamentally new technologies. By my estimates, in 2020 the weaponry of China’s military forces will be roughly comparable to that of the U.S. military in 2000. One way to look at that is to say that even in 2020 China’s military will still be 20 years behind the U.S. military. Another way to look at it, however, is to ask how much more advanced the U.S. military will be in 2020 as compared to 2000.


November 04, 2014

More Antiaging work from Harvard's Sinclair Lab

The Harvard Lab of David Sinclair has nine new antiaging publications since the work published in Dec, 2013 where there was partial reversal of some aspects [restoring mitochondrial cellular communication] of aging in mice.

Cell Metabolism - The Ratio of Macronutrients, Not Caloric Intake, Dictates Cardiometabolic Health, Aging, and Longevity in Ad Libitum-Fed Mice

Highlights

•Food intake is regulated primarily by dietary protein and carbohydrate
•Low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets are associated with the longest lifespans
•Energy reduction from high-protein diets or dietary dilution does not extend life
•Diet influences hepatic mTOR via branched-chain amino acids and glucose



Spacex in final phase of Air Force Launch Certification

Spacex is expected to begin a series of review boards with the U.S. government’s chief engineer the week of Oct. 27 as it enters the “final phase” of its quest to earn the Air Force certification necessary to launch national security missions, a service spokeswoman said.

Spacex has provided data from three successful launches for analysis and to pass 19 engineering review boards, among other tasks, to earn certification.

Check out the new look and comment system for Nextbigfuture at the Mirrornbf

There is a new look for Nextbigfuture at a mirror site. (mirrornbf.blogspot.com) and a new SolidOpinion comment system.

Please take a look and let us know if changes or improvements should be made.


Ending the age of steam with Supercritical CO2

The age of steam has generally referred to the use of the Steam engine from 1770 to 1914 However, for power generation, we have not left the age of steam. It will take the next several decades to scale up supercritical CO2 turbines. The other class of technologies for ending the age of steam would be to directly convert fast-moving charged particles [from fusion power] directly into electrical current. Wind, solar and hydro also do not involve steam but they have not eliminated steam turbine power from fossil fuels.

Toshiba Corporation announced that it will supply a first-of-a-kind supercritical CO2 turbine to a demonstration plant being built in Texas, USA. The plant will be developed by NET Power, LLC, a U.S. venture, together with CB and I, the most complete energy infrastructure focused company in the world, Exelon Corporation, one of the leading competitive energy providers in the U.S., and 8 Rivers Capital, the inventor of the unique supercritical CO2 power cycle that will be demonstrated by this plant. The turbine is an essential part of the system, and Toshiba will start delivering the key equipment in August 2016. The plant is expected to enter the commissioning stage later in 2016.

Supercritical CO2 could make coal plants up to 40% more efficient and enable capture of pipeline ready CO2.

Supercritical CO2 technology can make solar and nuclear power more efficient and lower cost as well. Those energy sources would not require the efficiency gains to be used on CO2 capture and storage.

The US National Energy Technology Lab lists the Dept of Energy funded Supercritical CO2 projects.


Buying about $ 8 trillion of foreign assets and companies will prevent Chinese yuan from strengthening beyond 5 to 1 until about 2045

According to the most recently published data, in 2011 total deposits held in these institutions by corporations, individuals and other entities amounted to 80.9 trillion yuan ($13.3 trillion)—70% more than China's GDP. (In the U.S. in 2014, M2—consisting of total demand deposits, savings deposits and small time deposits—was 35% less than U.S. GDP).

If and when full yuan convertibility occurs, a significant share of these yuan balances (perhaps 10% or more) will diversify into other foreign assets, especially dollar assets. Buying up foreign assets on a major scale means flooding the market with yuan, putting downward pressure on its value. And as long as China maintains an annual current account surplus—currently about $190 billion—some of it will further boost demand for foreign assets, thereby further weakening the yuan's exchange rate.

These three factors mean that the yuan's value is likely to stabilize toward the lower end of the 16 cents to 20 cents range. That said, so long as China's unusually high savings rate persists—about 40% of GDP compared with less than 10% in the U.S.—so too will large surpluses recur in its current account.

Charles Wolf of Rand Predictions Summarized

HSBC expects yuan to be a top three currency for trade settlement in 2015 and fully convertible by 2018

* Wolf expects China will buy $2 trillion initially in foreign assets (companies, properties etc...) around 2018 with full convertibility

* China will continue to have a surplus and will buy more assets $100-200 billion per year ($1-2 trillion per decade)

It will likely take about 30 years for China's savings rate to get to the 10% range

November 03, 2014

Coal is Still Dominant and no solution is being scaled to meet the challenge of cheap energy

Far East and African demand for energy will be realized in majority by coal in the next 25 years. Majority = 60%, in this case. This is not consistent with the loud plea to cut CO2 output and tomorrow’s IPCC report will have a stronger warning that time is running out.

Coal, which now accounts for about 40 percent of all global electricity production, will likely maintain its dominant role for decades to come. Electricity-poor countries, along with those that are electricity-rich, are currently building hundreds of gigawatts of new coal-fired electricity-generation capacity. Since 2003, global coal consumption has increased by about 24.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. In absolute terms, that was nine times faster than the growth seen in wind-energy consumption and 40 times that of solar energy

It is one thing to cite a problem, to recommend a general goal, yet introduce precisely no real-world solutions … which is what IPCC report has always been about. But if there is going to be a substantial increase in CO2 output by way of Coal burning, as well as increased loading of the ecosphere with toxics like lead and mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals, well … perhaps we need to be “”groundroots” activating.

China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, and South Korea—are planning to build about 550 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity over the next two and a half decades. The vast majority of that, some 400 gigawatts, is planned for China.


Worldwide Extreme Poverty Reduction has mostly been the rise of China but next is India and Africa

Worldwide extreme poverty reduction has mostly been the economic rise of China. Further reduction in extreme poverty will mostly be about success in India and then Africa. Americans have not only not been aware of the success against extreme poverty but mainly believe the opposite that poverty has increased and do not believe that poverty will be reduced in the future.

The World Bank reported on Oct. 9 that the share of the world population living in extreme poverty had fallen to 15% in 2011 from 36% in 1990. Earlier this year, the International Labor Office reported that the number of workers in the world earning less than $1.25 a day has fallen to 375 million 2013 from 811 million in 1991.

There are some other statistics on poverty that count all people and not just workers. In 1990, 43% of the population of developing countries lived in extreme poverty (then defined as subsisting on $1 a day); the absolute number was 1.9 billion people. By 2000 the proportion was down to a third. By 2010 it was 21% (or 1.2 billion; the poverty line was then $1.25, the average of the 15 poorest countries’ own poverty lines in 2005 prices, adjusted for differences in purchasing power). The global poverty rate had been cut in half in 20 years. Over 660 million of the people lifted out of poverty were in China. China's faster than expected economic success has been the reason for the faster than expected worldwide move out of extreme poverty. A large part of the remaining success has been other countries in Southern Asia (India, Indonesia, Thailand etc...)

China has owed its economic rise to cheap coal energy and becoming the global factory for manufactured goods.


Worldwide Annual Electric bikes production at 39 million

The China Bicycle Association reports that 36,950,000 electric bicycles (e-bikes) were produced in 2013; 5.4% more than in 2012. Production of regular bikes reached 82 million units in 2013; 0.9% down on the 2012 total.

Electric Bike Worldwide Report (EBWR) had projected worldwide electric bike sales at 35 million for 2014, 40 million in 2025, and 50 million in 2035. China's Bike Association numbers would indicate that worldwide electric bike production is already 39 million per year.

There are several electric bike in wheel motors being developed. These would electrify existing bicycles.

Zehus Bike+ has an all-in-one (AIO) drive system. The Italian startup, based in Milan, had equipped three different bicycles with their mirror-finished motor. Its relatively small 160 watt hour battery and controller are housed inside the hub motor. So far, it is the closest e-bike I have ridden that operates like a conventional bicycle… with one significant exception: it has regenerative braking, just like an electric car.



India will have a credible nuclear triad capability in about 2015

India will probably have a credible nuclear strategic triad capability in 2015. India’s first ballistic nuclear submarine (SSBN), the INS Arihant (which means destroyer of enemies), has been moved out of harbor for sea trials. The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) recently tested a 3,000 km range submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) named K-4, from a pontoon submerged 30 feet deep, off the coast of Visakhapatnam located on the eastern coast.

The longer range K-4 will complement the shorter range K-15, also known as Sagarika, with a range of 750 km. The K-15’s range is a significant limitation, and constricts room for maneuvering. The submarine has to move close to enemy shores to launch the missile, making it vulnerable to detection. The K-4, with a range of 3,000 km, gives the submarine enough standoff distance to fire while remaining hidden deep in the Indian Ocean, or within territorial waters. Each Arihant class submarine, displacing 6000 tons, can carry four K-4 missiles or twelve K-15 missiles. While the K-15 has been repeatedly tested and validated, the K-4 has only been test fired for the first time. Several more tests are required before it can be cleared for serial production and operationally deployed.

The first Arihant-class submarine is undergoing sea trials in 2014 and will be succeeded by three additional submarines, expected to be in commission by 2023.

There is a 66 page report that assesses India and China's nuclear triad capabilities.



China is getting nuclear triad capability in 2014. China is deploying a nuclear missile submarine this year. They already have HK6 strategic bombers and land based nuclear missiles.

November 02, 2014

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 233

1. Atomic Insights - Neural network analysis "unequivocally" reveals threshold dose response in atomic bomb victims

Radiation doses below about 100 - 200 mSv suppress cancer.

That bold, conventional wisdom-challenging statement is supported by an incredibly important paper titled Cancer risk at low doses of ionizing radiation: artificial neural networks inference from atomic bomb survivors published in the Journal of Radiation Research. It first appeared in an online version in December 2013.

Cancer risk at low doses of ionizing radiation remains poorly defined because of ambiguity in the quantitative link to doses below 0.2 Sv in atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki arising from limitations in the statistical power and information available on overall radiation dose. To deal with these difficulties, a novel nonparametric statistics based on the ‘integrate-and-fire’ algorithm of artificial neural networks was developed and tested in cancer databases established by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation. The analysis revealed unique features at low doses that could not be accounted for by nominal exposure dose, including (i) the presence of a threshold that varied with organ, gender and age at exposure, and (ii) a small but significant bumping increase in cancer risk at low doses in Nagasaki that probably reflects internal exposure to 239Pu. The threshold was distinct from the canonical definition of zero effect in that it was manifested as negative excess relative risk, or suppression of background cancer rates. Such a unique tissue response at low doses of radiation exposure has been implicated in the context of the molecular basis of radiation–environment interplay in favor of recently emerging experimental evidence on DNA double-strand break repair pathway choice and its epigenetic memory by histone marking.


Difference in ERR by gender and organ (Hiroshima). (a) Oral cancer. (b) Esophageal cancer. (c) Stomach cancer. (d)Colorectal cancer. (e) Pancreatic cancer. (f) Gallbladder cancer. (g) Liver cancer. (h) Lung cancer. (i) Thyroid cancer. (j)Cancer of urinary system. (k) Skin cancer (non-melanoma). (l) Brain cancer (cancer of central nervous system). (m)Prostate cancer. (n) Breast and cervical cancer. (o) Ovarian cancer. M = male, F = female.

Liquid cancer. (a) City differences for ERR. (b) Gender difference for ERR in Hiroshima. (c) Gender difference for ERR in Nagasaki (including factory workers) (N − a). (d) Gender difference for ERR in Nagasaki (excluding factory workers) (N − b). (e) The dose–responses after city- and gender-adjustment. For Nagasaki, adjustments were made using non-factory workers. M = male, F = female, H = Hiroshima, N = Nagasaki, T = two cities combined.

Carnival of Space 378

The Carnival of Space 378 is up at Is Universe.

Double Disc Found Feeding Each Other In Binary Star System


This artist’s impression shows the dust and gas around the double star system GG Tauri-A. Researchers using ALMA have detected gas in the region between two discs in this binary system. This may allow planets to form in the gravitationally perturbed environment of the binary. Half of Sun-like stars are born in binary systems, meaning that these findings will have major consequences for the hunt for exoplanets.

Progress towards a medical device to help the paralyzed speak and multisensory mind-reading devices

Researchers have eavesdropped on the internal monologue in our brains for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot physically speak communicate with the outside world.

Pasley and his colleagues recorded brain activity in people who already had electrodes implanted in their brain to treat epilepsy, while they listened to speech. The team found that certain neurons in the brain's temporal lobe were only active in response to certain aspects of sound, such as a specific frequency. The team built an algorithm that could decode the words heard based on neural activity alone.

The algorithm isn't perfect, says Stephanie Martin, who worked on the study with Pasley. "We got significant results but it's not good enough yet to build a device."


Electrodes distributed over the brain Credit: Adeen Flinker, UC Berkeley

A model to unlock the money of wealthy people to get more disease cures through clinical trials

There are over 100,000 people in the world worth more than £20 million($30 million). According to medical statistics, between three and five people in every 100,000 get neuroendocrine cancer every year. So, three to five supremely wealthy people will have neuroendocrine cancer.

For £1 million($1.5 million) , sell one or two of the rich but sick people a place in a relevant clinical trial.

The researchers agreed to rename the drug after anyone who donated the first £1 million.

Dominic Nutt, a communications specialist, had neuroendocrine cancer and helped organize an Indiegogo campaign. He had an a piece in the Telegraph that said that said "‘Would I take an untested cancer treatment myself? Hell, yes!’"



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