Engineering scientists reportedly have invented what they call a new type of “super wood.” It is said to be 10 times stronger than regular wood, and is being promoted as an innovation that could be a practical replacement for steel and harder building materials.
They call it “densified wood.” To compress wood like this, a certain chemical treatment and then a heated process of compression occurs. “The resulting chemical bonds make the wood strong enough to one day be used in buildings and vehicles,” according to Science Alert. The research was published in the journal where everything is published, in Nature.
The engineers fired projectiles similiar to bullets at their densified wood, and report that the material causes the projectile to become lodged in it, rather than going straight through it. They suggest advancements in armor plating could arise from this.
University of Maryland senior researcher Liangbing Hu said:
“This new way to treat wood makes it 12 times stronger than natural wood and 10 times tougher. This could be a competitor to steel or even titanium alloys, it is so strong and durable. It’s also comparable to carbon fibre, but much less expensive.”
“It is both strong and tough, which is a combination not usually found in nature,” Teng Li of the University of Maryland, another team member added.
“It is as strong as steel, but six times lighter. It takes 10 times more energy to fracture than natural wood. It can even be bent and moulded at the beginning of the process.”
So what chemicals exactly are used to make densified wood? There are two steps: natural wood is boiled in a mixture of sodium sulphite and sodium hydroxide, kind of similiar to the process of creating wood pulp for paper.
Then, the walls between individual cells in the wood are collapsed during a phase of compression. New chemical bonds are encouraged by heat as the wood continues to undergo compression. Remember how plants have strong cell walls?
Polymers beneficial to the wood’s strength are preserved during this process, and polymers that allow the new wood to reform are stripped out.
The science behind it apparently lies in several hydrogen atoms creating bonds to nanofibers of cellulose. However, they claim the chemical reactions are actually complex, despite how simple and inexpensive the process is.
The technique also reportedly works on many different types of wood. That’s very good if you think about hemp. More trees don’t need to be cut down, but what if this type of technology could be applied to other plant based materials?
Ever heard of hempcrete?
Other engineering scientists unrelated to the study commented on the technique. According to Huajian Gao of Brown University in Rhode Island:
“It is particularly exciting to note that the method is versatile for various species of wood and fairly easy to implement. The [published] paper provides a highly promising route to the design of lightweight, high performance structural materials, with tremendous potential for a broad range of applications where high strength, large toughness and superior ballistic resistance are desired.”
In conclusion a lot of scientific research these days can be seen as taking technology too far, or manipulating nature too far for the ends of whoever funded the research, but not this.
Some technologies genuinely advance the ability of regular people to live prosperous lives, and this would probably fall into that category: a technology that is useful, harmless, and can be decentralized.
(Image credit: Science Alert)
The 2017-2018 flu season is turning out to be one of the worst outbreaks in recent history. Already this year, the flu has claimed the lives of dozens of children and hospitalized countless others. In the midst of the turmoil and sickness, however, the medication to treat the flu—Tamiflu—is also reportedly claiming lives.
As this is one of the worst outbreaks, the makers of Tamiflu are seeing record sales. However, this is not good for the children whose parents are coming forward to expose the horrendous side effects caused by the medicine which—in some instances—have proven to be far worse than getting the flu.
Oseltamivir, the antiviral medication marketed as Tamiflu, is used to treat flu symptoms caused by influenza virus in patients who have had symptoms for less than 2 days. While there are plenty of common side-effects ranging from hives to difficulty breathing, some of the less common side effects have parents crying foul.
Some people using Tamiflu have had rare side effects of sudden confusion, delirium, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or self-injury. Adding to the ominous nature of these side-effects is the fact that these symptoms have occurred most often in children.
Last month, 16-year-old Charlie Harp was given Tamiflu, the entirely normal boy then took his own life hours later.
“Had I known this was an issue, I would’ve never given it to him,” remarked Jackie Ray, Harp’s aunt and guardian.
The parents of a six-year-old little girl gave their daughter Tamiflu and she began hallucinating, ran away, and then tried to kill herself by jumping out of a window.
“She was about to jump out the window when my wife came up and grabbed her,” recalled the girl’s father, who wanted to stay anonymous.
As KRBK reports, the Wallens say their 2-year-old son, Steven, was twitching, hallucinating, and slamming his head in pain after taking the medicine after being diagnosed with the flu.
“When I walked in the room I was greeted with him slapping me across the face, and then continually smacking his head into the pillow saying ‘ouch, ouch, ouch,’” says Andrea Wallen, Steven’s mother.
When they stopped giving him Tamiflu, the erratic behavior stopped.
“Tamiflu, like any medication, has potential side effects,” Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital explained to News 5 Cleveland.
Among them: “neuropsychiatric” side effects.
Because there are so many people now taking Tamiflu, the side-effects are skyrocketing. “We are seeing the side effects more this year than we’ve seen it in previous years, but that’s just because the total number of kids taking the medication has gone up, not because there’s something wrong with the medicine itself,” cautioned Dr. Edwards.
However, while these dangerous side effects are rare, they are experienced by one to two percent of children. A one in fifty shot that your child may try to take their own life is a pretty big deal. Parents are now faced with the choice to medicate their kids to fight the flu virus or let them ride it out.
Doctors are urging parents to consider their options when their child has the flu, only recommending that high-risk children get the medicine and if they do take it, watch them closely.
“For the parents who are insisting that their kid get Tamiflu because of how scared they are about the pediatric deaths we’ve had, if your kid is not high risk, then you do need to think about the fact that this drug does come with side effects, and so we do not give it to every person that has influenza routinely,” Dr. Edwards explained.
If your child has taken Tamiflu, experts are saying to take them to the hospital immediately if they experience any change in behavior.
Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, posted to London as the Sri Lankan High Commission’s defense attaché last year, can be seen standing outside the High Commission opposite members of the Tamil community who were peacefully protesting the ongoing persecution of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Footage shows him repeatedly running a finger across his throat, signaling the slitting of one’s neck.
Labour MPs Joan Ryan and Siobhain McDonagh have called on Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to expel Fernando from Britain, saying his actions were “an obvious attempt to intimidate the Tamil people who were present.”
“This is inappropriate, unacceptable and threatening behavior, from someone who is serving in an official capacity as a guest of this country,” Ryan and McDonagh, respectively the vice chair and senior vice chair of the Tamil All Parliamentary Group (APPG), said in their letter to Johnson.
“We urge you to make immediate representations to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner about this matter, and we request that you withdraw Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s diplomatic papers and expel him.”
Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) and the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) released a report following the incident that said Fernando was identified as a commander who led troops in a military offensive in 2009 that massacred tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.
It added that as part of the military offensive in 2009, Fernando fought in Weli Oya and Janakapura for the 11 Gemunu Watch Battalion as part of the 59 Division of the Sri Lankan Army. The United Nations OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka detailed multiple incidents, implicating the 59 Division in the shelling of hospitals south of Mullaitivu, JDS and ITJP says.
“Brigadier Fernando was clearly active in the final offensive in the north of Sri Lanka from at least April 2008 – and on those grounds alone should have been subjected to a scrupulous vetting process by both the government of Sri Lanka and the UK which should have precluded his diplomatic appointment to London,” the briefing said.
“The UK government has clearly not done the due diligence to ensure that potential human rights violators are prevented from entering the UK and being allowed to hold office in the UK.”
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The billionaire tech tycoon promised a fire-spewing weapon from his deceptively-titled The Boring Company—Musk’s infrastructure and tunnel construction firm—would arrive following the sellout of much dorkier branded hats in December.
The password has since been changed, but screengrabs indicate that the fiery $600 gadget is available for preorder.
The listing reads, “Prototype pictured above. Final production flamethrower will be better.”
Is this too good—or ridiculous—to be true? Popular Mechanics doesn’t think so.
There’s nothing to prevent Musk from selling his flamethrowers the way other companies already are: by simply avoiding sending them to areas where they are regulated.
Hmmm, good to know. Between being the inspiration for Iron Man‘s Tony Stark, dating Amber Heard and launching giant rockets into space, Musk didn’t even need to start selling flamethrowers to be a total badass. But it certainly doesn’t hurt.
h/t: High Snobiety
Source Article from https://www.maxim.com/gear/elon-musk-flamethrower-2018-1
Over the past year, the world watched as bitcoin shot up in value turning those who had the foresight to invest in it into millionaires. Now, we are seeing the true power of this new creation of wealth as it manifests into charity. One charity, in particular, is paradigm shifting as it doesn’t seek to hold extravagant dinners or events to pat themselves on the back and get notoriety. Instead, the Pineapple Fund remains entirely anonymous and donates to causes governments wouldn’t go near—like MDMA.
As the NY Times wrote last month, the organization was started in December by an anonymous donor who goes by the nickname “Pine” and claims to be among the 250 largest holders of Bitcoin in the world. The fund aims to give away $86 million worth of Bitcoin, and has already given $20 million worth of the currency to 13 organizations, including million-dollar donations to the Water Project, which provides clean water to people in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights watchdog.
The Pineapple Fund has bankrolled everything from clinical trials of psychedelics for PTSD to teaching kids to read and write. The man, or woman, behind the curtain has shown that they intend on making the world a better place by challenging the status quo and couldn’t care less about taking any credit for it.
One of Pine’s funding projects is a group founded in 1986, called the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.
The ‘party drug’ was used in Phase 2 trials on roughly 200-300 patients with severe PTSD. Results showed a remarkable improvement in most patients, with 61 percent reporting no PTSD symptoms after 2 months and 68 percent being PTSD-free after a year.
With the “breakthrough” status granted by FDA, Phase 3 trials can proceed much more quickly, and with input on “design, primary endpoint, and statistical approach” from FDA.
“For the first time ever, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy will be evaluated in Phase 3 trials for possible prescription use, with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD leading the way,” said Rick Doblin, PhD. Executive Director of MAPS at the time.
The only problem with the FDA legalizing clinical trials is the fact that these trials cost money. That’s where MAPS steps in.
The very next day after going to the Pineapple Fund website, MAPS received a whopping 59.8 bitcoins or roughly one million dollars. This donation created a trend and the very next day they received 51.54 bitcoins from another anonymous donor. Only a few days after that, Lunyr (LUN) tokens worth over $769,000 were anonymously given.
The response was so overwhelming that Pine stepped up the game and announced last week that they would match the next $4 million donated to MAPS for the shared goal of attempting to cure PTSD with MDMA.
“PTSD is a severe condition that affects everyone from sexual assault survivors to military veterans,” wrote “Pine,” the Pineapple Fund’s founder in a statement last week. “Existing treatments have so much room for improvement, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has shown great promise. We’re offering the matching grant because we think the psychedelic and cryptocurrency communities can work together to finish funding Phase 3 clinical trials.”
The money raised and donated by Pine will allow MAPS to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy legally available to millions of people suffering from PTSD. Because their research challenges the status quo, they receive no government funding and the group relies entirely on contributions from individuals, businesses, and foundations.
“The Pineapple Fund’s support is a dream come true,” says Doblin. “With no funding available for these trials from government agencies or major medical research foundations, legally available MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD will indeed be a gift to the world from the psychedelic science and cryptocurrency communities.”
As the cryptocurrency haters come out of the woodwork to claim there is “no value” in bitcoin or other altcoins, this is one of many scenarios that prove them wrong. As the world continues to wake up to the value of decentralized money, we can expect more amazing stories like this one. Please share this story to show others the true power and value of good people coming together and working outside of the centralized monetary system.
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/anonymous-bitcoin-millionaire-mdma/
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Camel milk gained steam during the last few years as a potential superfood against diabetes, and a new study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines demonstrated that the dairy product might indeed bolster diabetes management. A team of researchers from Egypt’s premier universities and health agencies examined rat models of diabetes to carry out the study.
The researchers studied 75 male albino rats that were divided into five equal groups. The scientists designated two groups as either negative or positive diabetes controls. The team also gave two other groups camel milk, while the last group was given the diabetes drug metformin. The experts supplemented the rats with camel milk for two consecutive months. The research team then ran a series of assays to examine the animals’ serum glucose, leptin, and insulin levels as well as liver, kidney and lipid profile.
The results revealed that diabetic rats given camel milk exhibited a decline in glucose levels compared with the controls. The researchers explained that the changes in glucose levels were associated with the increase in insulin secretion among rats given camel milk. The findings also showed that camel milk supplementation helped increase leptin levels and improve peripheral glucose utilization and homeostasis in treated rats.
“Our results showed that administration of camel milk showed restoration of insulin secretion in diabetic rats; this means that the Langerhans islets β-cells restored their activity…Camel milk is a natural product that can be considered as a nutritional supplement that helps in treatment of diabetes and it metabolic associated disorders such as insulin resistance. It has dynamic effects on the…stimulation of insulin production and secretion from the pancreas,” the researchers concluded.
More studies show camel’s milk improves diabetes management
The recent findings add to a growing number of studies that demonstrate the efficacy of camel milk in diabetes management. For instance, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis revealed that camel milk supplementation might bolster blood glucose management in patients with type 1 diabetes. According to the review, patients who took camel milk as an adjunct therapy for three months exhibited marked reductions in insulin doses that were required for proper blood glucose control.
The review also noted that camel milk administration might significantly improve total cholesterol levels, lipid profile, triglyceride rates and lipoprotein profile in diabetic patients. Moreover, the analysis showed that taking camel milk as an add-on to insulin treatment may lead to further reductions in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients with diabetes. (Related: There are amazing health benefits from drinking camel’s milk.)
“Based on evidence-based reviews of research findings on the use of camel milk in diabetes management, it can be concluded that camel milk has a powerful effect in reducing blood glucose levels and insulin requirement, and it limits diabetic complications such as elevated cholesterol levels, liver and kidney diseases; decreased oxidative stress; and delayed wound healing. Camel milk is safe and efficient in improving long-term glycemic control and can provide a significant reduction in the dose of insulin required by type 1 diabetic patients. Therefore, the daily consumption of camel milk may reduce the risk of diabetes,” the researchers reported.
Another animal study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that camel milk contains powerful hypoglycemic effects that may improve disease management in patients with type 1 diabetes. The researchers enrolled 24 type 1 diabetes patients as part of the study. The participants were divided into two groups, one of which received usual care alone while the other received usual care plus camel milk.
The scientists observed that patients who received camel milk displayed significant decreases in mean blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c levels, and insulin doses compared with the controls. Likewise, the researchers found that three of 12 participants in the camel milk group no longer needed insulin shots after the treatment. The research team concluded that camel milk might be a safe and effective adjunct treatment for long-term diabetes care.