Blocking Out The Sun

Jeff Bezos, the founder and executive chairman of Amazon is finding ways to block out the rays of the Sun. Bezos revealed that Amazon has collaborated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and SilverLining, which is a non profit organization which researches and works in order to keep a safe climate. Amazon’s role in this research is that Amazon’s cloud infrastructure is being used to test different plans these organizations have created to see how the world will react when the Sun Rays will be blocked out. The central idea behind this “blocking the Sun out” plan is to cool the earth down if Global Warming keeps acting the way it is right now. The three organizations are intending to create thirty simulations including one where humans will artificially inject aerosols in the air in order to fade the Suns light resulting in cooling down the Earth.

The burning of fossil fuels is vastly increasing Global Warming which can result in constant high temperatures throughout the year, melting of ice, frequent flooding, more severe storms and droughts, increasing sea levels, scarcity of food, loss of species, high health risks and eventually poverty and unemployment. These are the reasons that scientists are working so hard to prevent further climate change.

Amazon providing its cloud to help with the research is a very cheap alternative to supercomputers which are usually used in these types of scientific researches. Supercomputers are not only highly expensive, but they also take a lot of time to set up and operate. Amazon’s cloud system is so strong that it can perform like a supercomputer. Performing this research is very important as it will not only identify the advantages of blocking out Sun rays, but will also determine the potential downsides the world will face when (and if) they decide to go with this plan. Disadvantages could include huge negative impacts on the agriculture sector and their crops which will be nearly impossible to control once it happens. This whole experiment is a huge risk which could put the whole world into danger, which is why thorough research and data collection is needed.

Entirely blocking out the Sun is also a very bad idea as the world will become a super cold place where the temperature will not be bearable, the oceans would freeze, photosynthesis will stop and due to the sudden drop in the temperatures, most of the living things will eventually die eventually. So, in short, life without Sunlight is impossible which is why the experiment these scientists are performing only includes dimming the Sun rays instead of blocking the whole Sun. Fading the Sun rays is the best and long lasting solution for the extreme climate change the world is experiencing right now which is causing a lot of problems, but to make sure that this is the right experiment, they need time.

Moon Cube

China’s robotic lunar rover, Yutu 2, which formed part of the Chinese Chang’e 4 mission to the Moon, discovered a cube shaped object over the surface of the moon. The cubical object was found on the horizon to the north and roughly 260 feet (80 meters) away in November during the mission’s 36th lunar day. The object was referred to as a “mystery hut” which is the official translation of what they used in their native language to describe it. The more accurate description tells us that the cube seems like a boulder which was probably dug out from some surface and might have reached that place due to some natural impact. The Chinese are saying that they are trying to get closer to the cube to get a better look at it. For all we know, this cube could be an illusion too as the picture has been taken far away from the object and the “cubical boulder” can only be seen at a few pixels. China previously also claimed that they discovered a gel-like substance on the moon which was later turned out to be just some rocks. As the moon is mainly covered with rocks, this cubical object could just be in fact an illusion.

The cube is supposedly found in the Von Kármán crater, where the Yutu 2 has been travelling since 2019. The Yutu 2 made its first landing on the moon on the 3rd of January, 2019 and has been going around the 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán crater ever since. The Yutu 2 rover and Chang’e 4 lander were together to make this landing. Chang’e 4 is China’s fourth lunar landing mission and the second mission which included a rover too. The first two missions, known as Chang’e 1 and Chang’e 2 were orbiting missions while Chang’e 3 landed on the Moon’s surface along with their first rover. China has also launched the Chang’e 5 which is currently on a test mission. According to reports the Yutu 2 rover discovered that the surface of the moon was made out of different materials than was previously thought. This discovery is useful to us as the materials that make up the moon’s structure will help in determining how the earth’s internal layers will change in the future.

In order to investigate the cubical object more, it will take the Yutu around 2 to 3 lunar days which calculate to around a month for our earth days. Through more investigation of this cubical boulder, scientists will be able to understand more about the history of the moon (and maybe other planets too) and perhaps the moon’s composition and structure. But we should not get our hopes up high, as this boulder could just be one of the many other ordinary boulders that already exist on the moon.

Anti Covid Chewing Gum

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania claim that they are creating a chewing gum which could be used to prevent the spread of CoronaVirus in your body. The researchers, who published their study in the journal Molecular Therapy are saying that this chewing gum is coated with a plant based protein which supposedly neutralizes the virus, SARS-CoV-2 which causes covid, by trapping it while the protein is in the saliva which can cut down the transmission of the Covid-19. This research was led by Henry Daniell at the Penn’s School of Dental Medicine where scientists from different universities like Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Wistar Institute, and Fraunhofer USA also worked. These scientists were aiming to create a cheaper option to fight the virus, and they believe that this chewing gum could work.

The SARS-CoV-2 is multiplied within the salivary glands and when an affected person sneezes, coughs or opens their mouth, the SARS-CoV-2 virus transmits and can reach other people. Through the chewing gum, the infected person will not be able to transmit the virus as the SARS-CoV-2 will neutralize when it when it comes in contact with the infected person’s saliva. The protein, which is the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) was studied by Henry Daniell before the spread of CoronaVirus and he was researching it in order to treat hypertension. According to different researches, the ACE2 injection can also treat many severe viruses. The main idea of creating a protein laced chewing gum by Henry Daniell and his colleague, Hyun Koo, was to fight dental plaque but then Henry Daniell got the idea of making the chewing gum with the ACE2 in order to prevent the deadly CoronaVirus.

Henry Daniell then contacted Ronald Collman, who is a virologist at Penn Medicine, and they did some research on this protein and developed the chewing gum and created some samples. They tested those samples on some Covid positive patients which proved that their research works to a great extent. Further research was performed at the Wistar Institute and the School of Veterinary Medicine where it was proved that the chewing gum prevented viruses or viral particles from entering cells. When the scientists did test swabs, the change in the presence of the virus was huge, the presence became almost undetectable. This means that up until now, the researches have proved that this chewing gum could totally work.

This anti covid chewing gum could be useful for healthcare workers, as well as for patients who need to go to the dentist where the taking off of masks is necessary as the chewing gum will prevent the transmission of the CoronaVirus. Currently, the team of researchers are trying to gain permission for conducting a trial of their anti covid gum to make sure it has no negative effects.

Blood of the Young

According to scientists, you can now stay younger if you transfuse blood from younger people into your body. The very first experiment on this was done in the early 1950s which is known as Parabiosis where they took two mice, a young mouse and an old mouse and paired them together by removing a part of each mouse’s skin from their sides and stitching them together so the two mice shared their blood systems. The muscles of the older mouse started becoming like the younger mouse’s muscles after about a month of the pairing. Scientists then again started researching this experiment in the early 2000s which gained a lot of interest. By 2016, this idea became so popular that an American business called Ambrosia started collecting the plasma from young blood, which was quite pricey. This organization was later shut down by the authorities as the benefits of this transfusion were not yet completely proven to work and was also a threat to the health of the young donors. Scientists are now researching to see if the blood of people of younger ages could cure some age related diseases. 

The mouse experiment worked because mice have different particles in their blood called extracellular vesicles (EV) which send instructions for to longevity protein called “Klotho” which in turn sends signals to the muscle cells. Scientists are now working to see if the same blood transfusion will be able to work on humans as well. Currently a team from the University of Pittsburgh is working on finding how effective the blood transfusion from a younger person could be. Their aim is to figure out if this transfusion will help in slowing down the aging process as well as helping to understand how muscle regeneration and its biology works. The mice experiment could also prove if a young persons blood transfusion will slow down the aging process or even possibly stop it.

This blood transfusion process could be a big risk to the lives of the young people as they have developing systems which is why scientists are also working to ensure that it is a safe practice for both parties. Some scientists are also analyzing the differences between the cells in order to find some supplements or alternatives to provide to aged people which provide similar benefits to young blood plasma. The reversing of age might also change the way people look which is also a big plus point for people who are conscious about their skin and their wrinkles. But as younger people are involved in this, it is very important to be 100% sure that this transfusion is completely safe.

Organic Molecules on Mars

In 2017, NASA’s Mars Curiosity swept up the first samples of Martian dirt. Successful researchers have teamed up to test those samples. Using chemical reagents, a mixture was prepared inside the cup. As the mixture cooled, organic molecules were released, which NASA did not investigate or detect ever before. Scientists and researchers have been trying to untangle the mystery behind this discovery.

According to the team of researchers, they conducted the rover’s wet chemistry experiments, which were successful, and, they found two evident chemicals present in the mixture; ammonia and benzoic acid. Both of these chemicals are clear indicators of ancient life. While searching for organic molecules on Mars, the scientists aimed to understand and learn about the past viability for life on Mars, and are looking to discover where these molecules originated.

In addition to showing the past habitability of Mars, the studies also suggest that these molecules might have developed from the planet’s geological processes. Moreover, these studies have demonstrated that the onboard experiment technique of the rover can be used to explore organic molecules. Scientists have carried out these experiments without drilling any holes into the rocks. According to the researchers, these organic molecules are complex and were floating around on the lake of Mars over 3 billion years ago.

The organic molecules found are made from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and many other elements as well. An analysis by Curiosity shows that billions of years ago, a lake inside the Gale cavity had everything necessary for life, including synthetic structure blocks, energy sources, and fluid water. Observing and finding antiquated carbon preserved right on the Martian surface gives researchers certainty that NASA’s Mars 2020 rover and the European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover will find considerably more organic material on a superficial level.

The rover was originally planned to be used during a two-year mission to accumulate information and samples to help understand if the planet could uphold life, have fluid water, as well as study the environment and geology of Mars. But because of its success, the mission has been expanded endlessly and has now been active for more than 2,000 days. Moreover, the rover has a few logical instruments ready, including the Mast Cam, which comprises two cameras and can take high-goal pictures and recordings in genuine shading.

Further investigations of Mars will ideally find more components of the planet that could uncover much more with regard to its origin and what conditions could potentially support life there. Furthermore, as the astrobiologists’ study shows, there might be more associations between Earth and Mars.

The unexpected occurrence and discovery of these molecules has made it easier for scientists to understand and gather information about the history of Mars. Moreover, besides being cold and barren in today’s time, scientists believe that Mars once had an ancient microbial life.

Cheaper Nuclear Fusion

At a Shanghai facility the size of a soccer field, Chinese scientists are firing powerful laser beam pulses at a tiny pair of gold cones in a bid to replicate the nuclear fusion process at the heart of the sun.

The cones, as small as pencil tips, have narrow ends which face each other and emit a plasma of hydrogen. When the two hot gas streams collide at precisely the right time and place, and in the right manner, they trigger a fusion reaction – the process which ultimately could provide a source of endless, sustainable energy.

With government funding of 1 billion yuan (US$156 million) over six years, Zhang Zhe and his colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physics in Beijing began their unprecedented experiments at the Shenguang II laser facility in Shanghai last summer.

The research team has conducted three tests so far, with another scheduled for next month, and encountered some unexpected challenges. But initial results suggest the theory works and part of the findings were published recently in domestic peer-reviewed journal Acta Physica Sinica.

“Our goal is to achieve sustainable fusion,” Zhang said in a phone interview, “the cones can be mass-produced and loaded as bullets in a machine that will rotate and fire like a Gatling gun”.

The race to fusion power heated up in 2021, when researchers with the US National Ignition Facility (NIF) achieved an energy output eight times greater than ever before. While the output was still lower than the energy input, the breakthrough gave hope as well as added pressure to research teams in other countries, including China.

The NIF experiment aimed more than 100 extremely strong laser beams at a single target, using some of the largest laser generators on Earth, producing enough heat to deform mirrors but also reducing accuracy after repeated shots.

In China, researchers were looking for a cheaper, simpler way to achieve fusion with a less powerful laser. One result was the double-cone ignition scheme developed in 1997 by Zhang Jie, a leading Chinese physicist and former president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The plasma generated by relatively weak laser beams on a single target was insufficient to create the right conditions for fusion, but when two plasma streams hit each other, the temperature, density and pressure of the gas would increase significantly to allow two atoms to fuse into one and release energy in the process.

The idea remained on paper for two decades because the required cutting-edge laser technology was not available. However, Chinese scientists have recently built some of the world’s most powerful ultra-fast laser sources able to release a considerable amount of energy in a split second. It was these new technologies which paved the way for the government’s greenlight of the experiment in Shanghai last year.

The gold cones vaporize after fusion, but “the cost of gold will be extremely small – if not negligible – in the future operation of a power plant”, Zhang Zhe said. “A small grain of gold can make thousands of cones.”