Tag Archives: gold

Which is most valuable: Gold, cocaine or rhino horn?

According to study co-authored by UCLA ecologist, the answer is devastating news for Earth’s largest animals

Many of the world’s largest herbivores — including several species of elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses and gorillas — are in danger of becoming extinct. And if current trends continue, the loss of these animals would have drastic implications not only for the species themselves, but also for other animals and the environments and ecosystems in which they live, according to a new report by an international team of scientists. (more…)

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„Gold“ für die tierischen Athleten

Zum Start der Olympischen Winterspiele 2010 in Vancouver: WWF präsentiert Rekorde aus dem Tierreich.

Wenn am 12. Februar die Olympischen Winterspiele in Vancouver beginnen blickt die Welt gebannt nach Kanada und fiebert sportlichen Sensationen entgegen. Doch bei aller Bewunderung für die menschlichen Athleten, im Vergleich zu den Höchstleistungen im Tierreich verblasst der Glanz manch einer Goldmedaille: Pottwale tauchen bis zu 2500 Meter tief, Gletscherflöhe produzieren ihr eigenes Frostschutzmittel, der Amur-Tiger trotzt Temperaturen von bis zu 45 Grad unter Null und ein Schneeleopard kann 16 Meter weit springen. „All diese rekordverdächtigen Leistungen und Fähigkeiten sind evolutionär als Folge der Anpassung an einen bestimmten Lebensraum entstanden“, sagt Volker Homes, Leiter Artenschutz beim WWF Deutschland.  „Extreme Lebensräume, wie etwa Arktis und Antarktis, die Tiefsee oder das Hochgebirge, erfordern extreme Fähigkeiten.“ Diese Vielfalt gälte es, so der WWF, zu bewahren. Denn Klimawandel, Lebensraumzerstörung und Wilderei machten auch vor den extremsten Ökosystemen des Planeten nicht hal (more…)

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Olympische Winterspiele 2014 im frühlingshaften Sotschi

Am Freitag ist es soweit, dann werden die XXII. Olympischen
Winterspiele im russischen Sotschi eröffnet. Gestern, am Dienstag,
hat sich der größte Teil der deutschen Delegation auf den Weg in
Richtung Osten zur russischen Schwarzmeerküste aufgemacht, um bei den
Wettkämpfen um Gold, Silber und Bronze auf Schnee und Eis
mitzumischen. Jedoch ist die Küstenstadt Sotschi nicht gerade bekannt
für winterliche Bedingungen mit Schnee und Eis. Vielmehr können lokal
sogar Palmen begutachtet werden, die ein Symbol für ein maritimes und
mildes Klima sind. Aus diesem Grund wurden für die Kufen-Disziplinen
große Hallen gebaut und die Schneewettkämpfe in die etwa 30 km
nördlich gelegene Schneeregion um “Krasnaja Poljana” in Höhengebieten
zwischen 500 und 1000 m ausgegliedert. Doch auf welches Wetter müssen
sich nun die Athleten einstellen? (more…)

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Student’s Summer Internship Taught Her the Value of Elm Trees

Michelle Bayefsky hopes that London’s future will be filled with elm trees.

The Yale junior spent part of her summer in that city helping to ensure that will be the case.

An International Bulldogs Internship allowed Bayefsky the opportunity to work for an environmental charity called The Conservation Foundation, which among other initiatives is engaged in a project to re-establish elm tree populations in the United Kingdom (U.K.). For Bayefsky, the experience was not only an introduction to environmental work, but also confirmed that small actions can sometimes have a big impact. (more…)

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Detecting Cancer with Lasers Has Limited Use, Say Mu Researchers

COLUMBIA, Mo. — One person dies every hour from melanoma skin cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. A technique known as photoacoustics can find some forms of melanoma even if only a few cancerous cells exist, but a recent study by University of Missouri researchers found that the technique was limited in its ability to identify other types of cancer. Attaching markers, called enhancers, to cancer cells could improve the ability of photoacoustics to find other types of cancer and could save lives thanks to faster diagnoses, but the technique is in its early stages.

“Eventually, a photoacoustic scan could become a routine part of a medical exam,” said Luis Polo-Parada, assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology and resident investigator at the MU Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. “The technique doesn’t use X-rays like current methods of looking for cancer. It could also allow for much earlier detection of cancer. Now, a cancerous growth is undetectable until it reaches approximately one cubic centimeter in size. Photoacoustics could potentially find cancerous growths of only a few cells. Unfortunately, our research shows that, besides some cases of melanoma, the diagnostic use of photoacoustics still has major limitations. To overcome this problem, the use of photoacoustic enhancers like gold, carbon nanotubes or dyed nanoparticles is needed.” (more…)

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Copper Kills Harmful Bacteria, UA Researchers Find

Copper alloys may make more hygienic cooking surfaces than stainless steel, according to a recent study by Sadhana Ravishankar of the UA department of veterinary science and microbiology. Her lab group discovered that copper alloys have antimicrobial effects against the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enterica.

Each year a tiny, rod-shaped species of bacteria with a fondness for proliferating on human food causes numerous cases of food poisoning around the world, sometimes leading to severe illness and even death.

The culprit, Salmonella enterica, is a leading cause of diarrheal illness worldwide, said Sadhana Ravishankar, an assistant professor in the University of Arizona department of veterinary science and microbiology.

But Ravishankar’s lab may have discovered a way to reduce the number of food poisoning cases due to Salmonella and possibly other bacteria: prepare food on surfaces made with materials that contain some amount of the element copper, known as copper alloys. (more…)

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How Ion Bombardment Reshapes Metal Surfaces

Ion bombardment of metal surfaces is an important, but poorly understood, nanomanufacturing technique. New research using sophisticated supercomputer simulations has shown what goes on in trillionths of a second. The advance could lead to better ways to predict the phenomenon and more uses of the technique to make new nanoscale products.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — To modify a metal surface at the scale of atoms and molecules — for instance to refine the wiring in computer chips or the reflective silver in optical components — manufacturers shower it with ions. While the process may seem high-tech and precise, the technique has been limited by the lack of understanding of the underlying physics. In a new study, Brown University engineers modeled noble gas ion bombardments with unprecedented richness, providing long-sought insights into how it works.

“Surface patterns and stresses caused by ion beam bombardments have been extensively studied experimentally but could not be predicted accurately so far,” said Kyung-Suk Kim, professor of engineering at Brown and co-author of the study published May 23 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A. “The new discovery is expected to provide predictive design capability for controlling the surface patterns and stresses in nanotechnology products.” (more…)

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Touch of Gold Improves Nanoparticle Fuel-Cell Reactions

Chemists at Brown University have created a triple-headed metallic nanoparticle that reportedly performs better and lasts longer than any other nanoparticle catalyst studied in fuel-cell reactions. The key is the addition of gold: It yields a more uniform crystal structure while removing carbon monoxide from the reaction. Results published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Advances in fuel-cell technology have been stymied by the inadequacy of metals studied as catalysts. The drawback to platinum, other than cost, is that it absorbs carbon monoxide in reactions involving fuel cells powered by organic materials like formic acid. A more recently tested metal, palladium, breaks down over time. (more…)

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