(Visited 82 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A slurry of algae with the right heat and pressure can produce crude oil in one hour.The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has succeeded in producing crude oil in an hour and is now working on making the process run continuously for rapid production. The process is actually faster than an hour, Science Daily reports:Engineers have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil minutes after they pour in harvested algae — a verdant green paste with the consistency of pea soup….In the PNNL process, a slurry of wet algae is pumped into the front end of a chemical reactor. Once the system is up and running, out comes crude oil in less than an hour, along with water and a byproduct stream of material containing phosphorus that can be recycled to grow more algae.Science Daily contrasts the rapid oil-producing process with the “millions of years” nature supposedly used. The headline reads, “Million-Year Natural Process Takes Minutes in the Lab.” Engineer Douglas Elliott believes that, too:“It’s a bit like using a pressure cooker, only the pressures and temperatures we use are much higher,” said Elliott. “In a sense, we are duplicating the process in the Earth that converted algae into oil over the course of millions of years. We’re just doing it much, much faster.“As our entry five years ago indicated, though (11/25/08, #7), scientists are not really sure how the earth produces crude oil. Experiments with fungi back then were so efficient at producing fuel from plant matter, a spokesperson said it “calls into question the whole theory of how crude oil was made by nature in the first place.”When you hear the moyboys tossing around their millions of years recklessly like this, realize they don’t know. They never experienced a hundred years, let alone a million. They are just creatures of habit, breathing out their assumptions like smokers puffing smoke. How long does it take to make oil? Minutes. Was there plant material after the Flood? Lots of it. Was there heat and pressure? Plenty. If you like your science built on empirical data, there it is.
The element phosphorus is hard to get to a planet’s surface where it is needed.Phosphorus, abbreviated P with atomic number 15, is an essential element in all living organisms. How do organisms use phosphorus?Phosphorus is an essential element in nucleic acids (DNA, RNA).The energy molecule ATP has three phosphate groups. A cell spends enormous effort recycling ATP.Phosphorylation is an important regulatory step in many cell processes.Cell membranes are composed of phospholipids.Bones and tooth enamel get their hardness from hydroxyapatite, a phosphorus-containing mineral.Phosphorus is taken up by plants from the soil. Its availability can be a limiting factor in ecosystems.Lack of phosphorus can cause malnutrition.“Oxidative phosphorylation” builds ATP in cells. A chain of complex molecular machines in mitochondria and chloroplasts sets up a proton gradient by carefully extracting electrons from the digestion of our food and passing them through a sequence of reactions (the citric acid cycle), with oxygen as the final acceptor in the electron transport chain. The resulting proton gradient then powers ATP synthase, a rotary engine, that uses the energy to “snap” phosphate groups onto ADP in three reaction centers (see animation by CMI). The ATP molecules can then be sent throughout the cell to power numerous enzymatic reactions that require the energy, such as the walking kinesins that carry cargo, and the numerous enzymes that operate on DNA in the nucleus.For all its value to life, phosphorus can also be toxic. Some of the most potent neurotoxins and pesticides contain phosphorus.Molecular machines at work in a living cell (Illustra Media)A highly reactive atom, phosphorus is never found in its elemental form on earth. Its elemental abundance is one gram per kilogram in Earth’s crust, about 16 times as plentiful as copper. On our planet, most of it is found in insoluble rocks. Phosphate mines have much of the element from the decomposed remains of living organisms.It would be hard to imagine a habitable planet without phosphorus, because most astrobiologists recognize the uniqueness of nucleic acids, ATP and phospholipids for cells. So this poses a question: how did Earth become blessed with so much of this element?Planetary Sources of PhosphorusAn article on NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine purports to tell us “How Phosphorus Came In from the Cold.” Below the pretentious headline of this just-so story, we begin to see problems: “phosphorus is rare” in interplanetary dust clouds. “It is even more scarce in the rest of the Solar System,” Sarah Wild writes. “Phosphorus is one of the key elements in biology,” says Matthew Pasek, an astrobiologist and geochemist at the University of South Florida.Unlike the other elements essential for life, phosphorus is mainly found in solid form, whereas the likes of hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen are often found as a gas. “[Studying phosphorus] keeps us grounded in actual hard rock samples. Unlike the others, there is no obvious gas form, so has to come from rock sources,” Pasek says. “We hope to tie that eventually to biology and life.”Some meteorites contain phosphorus. The problem, then, is how to get those rocks to Earth in sufficient quantities to season the crust with it. Secular cosmologists believe that all the elements beyond lithium (atomic number 3) were “cooked” by supernovae. Phosphorus, therefore, had to come from a supernova, then get incorporated into interstellar dust clouds, from which they believe planetary systems were made. Pasek worries, though, in his recent paper in Icarus, that “Phosphorus would not have been present as a volatile throughout much of the Solar nebula.”Through a convoluted series of steps, Pasek brings phosphorus in from the cold outer reaches of the solar system by suggesting that it existed in a rare gaseous form called phosphine (PH3) in the cold outer reaches of the Solar System beyond Saturn. (Out to Saturn, it would have been locked up in solids.) From there, Pasek has the problem of getting that phosphide gas to Earth. Also, meteorites from those far reaches could have brought phosphorus to Earth in the form of phosphides. How they could have been distributed equally on the early earth was not addressed.One critic of Pasek’s model says that it is “contentious that gas movement toward the Sun, which was not modeled in the paper, could be faster than the diffusion of gas away from the Sun.” It would seem that the latter would predominate.This is an ongoing problem for astrobiologists, in other words. But it’s fun to get paid for thinking about problems that may not have a naturalistic solution. “The work was supported through NASA’s Emerging Worlds Program,” the article ends. “NASA Astrobiology provides resources for this and other Research and Analysis programs within the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) that solicit proposals relevant to astrobiology research.” NASA money, of course, is taxpayer money.Maybe we need to add another zone to our list of habitable zones: the “Phosphorus Availability Zone.” But this is only a problem for materialists. The Creator tells us in His word that He “made the world to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18). Obviously he put the ingredients required for life where they were needed, in the abundances required.See more about habitability requirements in Dr Henry Richter’s book, Spacecraft Earth: A Guide for Passengers, chapter one.For earlier articles on phosphorus and biology, see:Most exoplanets are not habitable (26 June 2018)Why astrobiologists hammer planets (26 Sept 2016)Fooling around with OOL (31 May 2010).Invent animals: Just add phosphorus (11 June 2007)or search on “phosphorus” in the search bar. (Visited 490 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
10 December 2003South Africa produces just a fraction of the total world export market in flowers, but a few factors may help the country blossom into a serious exporter in the near future.According to the South African Exporter – a Business Day newspaper supplement – South Africa produces only 0.5% of the total world export market, which records about US$25-billion in annual sales. However, deals with Kenya and Holland look set to expand the industry’s capacity.South Africa’s floriculture exports – including bulbs, cut flowers, foliage and plants – rose by 51% to R279-million last year, according to the South African Exporter. However, this was mainly thanks to the strong rand, because volumes only grew by 13%. The biggest growth in weight was in plants, which was up 69%. Cut flowers contributed R140-million.According to the SA Flower Export Council (Safec), 80% of all exports go to countries directly north of South Africa, 12% to the Americas and 8% to Japan.Safec is a federation of associations, namely the KwaZulu-Natal Cutflower Growers Association, the SA Flower Growers Association and Somerfleur, that work together on a national level.Members of these associations can take part in international flower shows organised by the department of trade and industry (DTI) in co-operation with Growtech International. The DTI supports and works closely with Safec in putting together opportunities for international marketing and investment.The head of Safec, Dirk de Bruin, told the South African Exporter that “there is no doubt that the world is starting to recognise SA for the serious competitor it has become.”South Africa produces mainly roses, Proteas and Cape foliage, but it’s in the chrysanthemum where its strength lies.The South African Exporter reports that local producers have tied up contracts to supply their Kenyan counterparts with chrysanthemums, which the Kenyans will include in bouquets destined for export to UK chain stores such as Tesco and Sainsbury. Similar deals have been sealed with Dutch producers, who have traditionally supplied the European market.While Kenya exports nine times more flowers than South Africa, the country is unable to grow chrysanthemums. Also, it was not economically viable for South Africa to export the chrysanthemums it produces because of a low price-to-weight ratio.In another development, mining company Gold Fields has started a rose-growing project to ensure continuation of employment once its gold reserves are eventually depleted.The increase in the production of chrysanthemums and roses is likely to boost export volumes and reduce freight costs. However, the lack of co-operation between highly competitive flower producers in the pooling of cargo may also hamper exports.Another obstacle to the country’s export ambitions is the high demand for flowers on the local market. According to the South African Exporter, South Africa consumes about half of its flower production, while the other half is exported.Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths, in particular, have followed international trends by selling value-added products such as mixed bouquets on the local market.This means that when the global market gets tough, producers can simply fall back on the domestic market. But De Bruin argues that producers should change their mindsets and concentrate on becoming consistent exporters.Another problem the industry faces is the high capital, management and labour costs required to realise profits. Also, says De Bruin, the frequent emergence of new producers puts pressure on the more established players.The withdrawal of the South African Protea Producers and Exporters Association from the SA Flower Export Council, which represents the bulk of the country’s flower producers, is also seen as a negative development. De Bruin says the lack of unity forces the government to deal with two agencies instead of one, and that this creates confusion among foreign clients.SouthAfrica.info reporter
3 May 2012 While the government is stepping up measures to combat rhino poaching in South Africa, joint initiatives are called for if the war is to be won, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. Speaking in Cape Town on Wednesday ahead of her department’s budget vote in Parliament, Molewa said South Africa had lost a total of 199 rhinos to poacher since the beginning of the year. “I would like to assure you that the department, our provinces and its public entities such as SANParks view this illegal killing of our national treasure in a very serious light, and will continue to prioritise our fight against this crime jointly with our security cluster ministers and their departments,” she said. Molewa said the government would continue to implement the initiatives set up last year, as well as introduce added measures to combat poaching. South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members, working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, have been deployed to various borders, and a crime line has been established to improve cooperation with the public as well as to provide easier access for would-be informers.Cross-border conservation partnerships Molewa said the ongoing scourge underscored the importance of collaboration between southern African countries in the development of transfrontier conservation areas. “The resolution is not managing through fences, but to continue the southern African initiative of cross-boundary conservation partnerships,” she said. The minister added that South Africa was working with perceived transit or consumer countries in the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. According to the latest statistics from the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Kruger National Park is still the most targeted area, having lost a total of 119 rhinos from the beginning of this year. Targeted provinces include Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and KwaZulu-Natal, together accounting for 73 of the rhinos killed this year. A total of 122 arrests have so far been made, of which 108 were poachers, 10 receivers/couriers, and four couriers/buyers. Source: BuaNews
Militant attacks saw no let up in Kashmir despite the Centre’s ceasefire in place for the past 17 days, with four grenade attacks leaving six persons injured on Friday. However, there is an 80% dip in security forces-civilian confrontation in the first two weeks, according to the police data.Compared to the incidents of law and order in the last two weeks of March and April, May witnessed significant dip of 80%. “South Kashmir would witness at least two confrontations per day prior to the halting of operations for the month of Ramzan. It has come down to one to two confrontations a week,” suggest the police data.Militants, who attacked the security forces with grenades more than eight times since May 16, injured four CRPF personnel, a policeman and a civilian in a grenade attack on Friday afternoon.“A joint party of the CRPF’s 140 Battalion and the police in Khanabal was attacked with a grenade, in which five sustained splinter injuries,” said the police.A CRPF vehicle and a Peoples Democratic Party MLA, Mushtaq Shah, were attacked with grenades in two separate incidents in Pulwama. A CRPF official said militants lobbed a grenade at a bunker at Hari Singh High Street. “The grenade exploded away from the target and no injuries were reported,” said the officials.2 protesters injuredTwo protesters were hit by a CRPF vehicle near the historic Jamia Masjid after Friday prayers.A police official said the two protesters were hit by a security forces vehicle when it came “under heavy stone pelting near the mosque.” “The condition of one of the injured is critical,” said hospital officials. Youth hurled stones at the security forces after Friday prayers.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday searched several locations in Gurugram, Aizawl and Imphal in connection with the alleged embezzlement of ₹332 crore by the then chairmen of Manipur Development Society (MDS), including former Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh.The searches were conducted on the day when Manipur Congress legislators led by the former Chief Minister staged a protest in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the Naga accord.Speaking to The Hindu, he said he was not scared and he would fight for justice.“Not only the CBI, we welcome other agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the National Investigation Agency also. I will give full cooperation,” he said, adding that the probe should not have any political vendetta.A CBI official said the agency had taken over two cases instituted earlier by the Manipur police, on a reference from the State government. Clubbed as one case, the FIR was registered on Wednesday. “During searches, ₹26.49 lakh in demonetised notes were found on Mr. Ibobi Singh’s premises,” he said.Among the former MDS chairmen named are Mr. Ibobi Singh, and retired IAS officials D.S. Poonia, P.C. Lawmuknga and O. Nabakishore Singh. Former project director Y. Ningthem Singh and then administrative officer Ranjit Singh of the MDS have also been arraigned.As alleged, while working as chairmen of the MDS from June 30, 2009, to July 6, 2017, they misappropriated the amount allocated for development works.According to the CBI, the searches led to seizure of ₹15.47 lakh in cash and about ₹36.49 lakh in demonetised currency. Documents of several immovable properties and bank accounts were also found.“From the premises of the former Chief Minister, ₹11.47 lakh in cash was seized apart from the demonetised notes. Several vehicles were also found. Another amount of ₹10 lakh in trashed notes was seized on the former project director’s premises, besides papers of two palatial properties in Imphal.Preliminary CBI findings suggested that Mr. Poonia allegedly had properties located in Delhi, Gurugram and Noida.Mr. Nabakishore has a four-storey building spread over 7,000 square feet, two more houses, one flat each in Gurugram and Ghaziabad, and an under construction two-storey building in Manipur, said the official. His wife and son have a car dealership in Imphal.The administrative officer has a house in Aizawl and an agricultural land in Imphal in his wife’s name, as alleged.Possessing demonetised currency is an offence under the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, and the guilty can be fined five times the amount involved.
Lenny Kravitz – GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter, record producer and actor – is urging people to join UNICEF to bring about an end to preventable child deaths.Video: Lenny Kravitz: Immunization – we can reach every last childAs many as 1.5 million children die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases.“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare – an extremely ill child,” said Kravitz. “UNICEF’s goal is to make sure that 100 per cent of children are immunized against preventable diseases. Failing to reach every last child is unacceptable, especially when the cost of a vaccine is so little.”Kravitz took time from recording his new album to film Public Service Announcements (PSAs) around the importance of reaching every child with life-saving immunizations. It comes nearly one year after he lent his support to UNICEF’s efforts to save and improve the lives of millions of children by providing them with access to clean water and adequate sanitation. In addition to the PSAs, Kravitz will use his social media platforms to share UNICEF’s call for 100 per cent immunization.Despite immunization remaining one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions — a lifesaving immunization against measles costs less than one dollar — nearly 20 per cent of the world’s children are still not immunized.Children in remote areas and in impoverished communities are more likely to not be immunized against killer diseases. This effectively leaves these children unprotected against disability and death. Often times, immunization is a gateway to a healthier life for children of poor and isolated communities. Mass immunization campaigns allow for poor and isolated communities to receive other vital health services like insecticide-treated bed nets and nutritional supplements.“As the largest procurer of vaccines, UNICEF helps immunize more than one third of the world’s children,” said Jos Vandelaer, Chief of Immunization for UNICEF. “UNICEF is well positioned to deliver vaccinations to every last child, which is very important if we are ever to reach a day where 100 per cent of children are fully immunized.”Vaccines are responsible for eradicating smallpox and for preventing an estimated two to three million deaths each year from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough measles and polio. Fifty years ago, this disease was once one of the most feared diseases in the world. Anyone not immunized against the disease can contract polio, but children under five years of age are especially vulnerable. Timely immunization with today’s safe and effective oral vaccines is the most effective way to prevent infection. As a result, polio is now endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.Source:UNICEF
Sting and Trudie Styler hosted their 25th anniversary Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert on Thursday.The show, which took place at New York’s Carnegie Hall, featured performances from a plethora of stars including Paul Simon, James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, Stephen Stills, Patti Scialfa and Renee Fleming.Also making appearances at the event were Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey. Among the famous faces spotted in the crowd were Rita Wilson and Melanie Griffith.The concert raised awareness and funds for the important work the Rainforest Fund provides to communities of indigenous peoples throughout Brazil and other countries including Belize, Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.The biennial Rainforest Fund concert provides a major source of funding for the work of the Fund, which was started by Sting and Trudie in 1989, out of a desire to help a community of indigenous Amazonian people in Brazil. Since this humble start, the work of the Fund has expanded to include 23 countries on three continents. Partnering with more than 100 local organizations, The Fund seeks to conserve the environment as well as support hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in their fight to protect their rights to their own land, livelihoods and cultures.
LCD panel shipments are set for a “moderate seasonal decline” this quarter after seeing record shipments for TV and tablets in the last three months of 2013, according to the latest report from IHS Technology.Global LCD panel shipments for the first quarter will reach 220 million units, down 9% on the quarter to December, according to the researchers.December saw exceptionally high panel shipments, according to IHS, with TV panel shipments reaching 20.2 million units. The 50-inch-and-above segment grew its share in the fourth quarter to 14%, up from 10% in the third quarter.Tablet panel shipments grew to 31.1 million in December, up 43% year-on-year.While the notebook panel market also grew, the monitor segment saw panel shipments fall by 2% month-on-month and 8% year—on-year to 13.7 million in December.“After completion of the pre-stocking and rush orders in the fourth quarter, market demand for LCD panels will not be as strong in January, which will affect overall volume for the first quarter,” said Ricky Park, senior manager for large-area displays at IHS.
Freesat has delivered the new Saorview mobile app, web-powered TV guide and Spotlight recommendation service for RTÉ in Ireland as part of its partnership with the public broadcaster.The new services are part of an ongoing deal with RTE to deliver Saorview Connect, a forthcoming service that will let viewers access on-demand content and TV channels from a new set-top box.The Saorview app features a seven-day programme guide, Spotlight editorial recommendation service and is based on Freesat’s own TV guide app.The new services are powered by Metaphor, Freesat’s white label connected TV guide solution that is designed to let operators build a customisable connected TV offering.“It’s exciting to see the Saorview brand brought to life through Freesat’s technology. Saorview customers looking for an enhanced free TV service will enjoy a taste of what’s to come when the Saorview Connect box launches,” said RTÉ chief technology officer, Richard Waghorn.Freesat chief technology officer, Matthew Huntington, said: “Operators are looking for ways to deliver more compelling TV solutions to viewers and our Metaphor solution provides a tried and tested approach. Freesat’s latest delivery for RTÉ will give Irish audiences the chance to experience a connected TV service that rivals pay TV providers.”