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What would a nuclear winter look like?

You’ve seen what a nuclear winter looks like, as imagined by filmmakers and novelists. Now you can take a look at what scientists have to say.

In a new study, a team of four U.S. atmospheric and environmental scientists modeled what would happen after a “limited, regional nuclear war.”

To inexpert ears, the consequences sound pretty subtle—two or three degrees of global cooling, a nine percent reduction in yearly rainfall.

Still, such changes could be enough to trigger crop failures and famines. After all, these would be cooler temperatures than the Earth has seen in 1,000 years.

Let’s take a detailed look at some of these super-fun conclusions, shall we?

First, what happened?

The team imagines 100 nuclear warheads, each about the size of the atomic bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima, detonate over the Indian subcontinent. The team members are imagining an India-Pakistan nuclear war. It seems unfair to single out these nations, but I guess they’re the poster children because they have relatively small nuclear stockpiles compared to countries such as the U.S., Russia and China. The idea is, If these lightweights can do this to Earth, imagine what the bigwigs can do.

After the Indian-Pakistani nuclear exchange…

  • Five megatons of black carbon enter the atmosphere immediately. Black carbon comes from burned stuff and it absorbs heat from the sun before it can reach the Earth. Some black carbon does eventually falls back to Earth in rain.
  • After one year, the average surface temperature of the Earth falls by 1.1 kelvin, or about two degrees Fahrenheit. After five years, the Earth is, on average, three degrees colder than it used to be. Twenty years on, our home planet warms again to about one degree cooler than the average before the nuclear war.
  • Earth’s falling temperatures reduces the amount of rain the planet receives. Year five after the war, Earth will have 9 percent less rain than usual. Year 26 after the war, Earth gets 4.5 percent less rain than before the war.
  • In years 2-6 after the war, the frost-free growing season for crops is shortened by 10 to 40 days, depending on the region.
  • Chemical reactions in the atmosphere eat away Earth’s ozone layer, which protects Earth’s inhabitants from ultraviolet radiation. In the five years after the war, the ozone is 20 to 25 percent thinner, on average. Ten years on, the ozone layer has recovered so that it’s now 8 percent thinner.
  • The decreased UV protection may lead to more sunburns and skin cancers in people, as well as reduced plant growth and destabilized DNA in crops such as corn.
  • In a separate study, published in 2013, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War estimated 2 billion people would starve in the wake of a 100-A-bomb war.

Okay, I know I’ve just made your day with this list. Still, there’s a point to all this doom and gloom, the modelers write in their paper. The scientists want to motivate countries to destroy the estimated 17,000 nuclear weapons they still hold.

Will this work? Well, scientists and artists have been imagining the dire consequences of an atom-bomb war for decades. The very idea of a “nuclear winter” entered the popular imagination in 1983, when a study, authored by a team including Carl Sagan, first proposed that soot from fires after a nuclear war would block sunlight from reaching Earth.

Twenty-five years later, environmental scientists began using modern climate models to figure out what might happen after a nuclear war. Yep, these are the same models that scientists use to predict the effects of human-driven global warming. This new paper combined a number of those state-of-the-art models. If you check out the paper, published in the journal Earth’s Future, you can see how these conclusions compare to previous climate-model-based calculations. Different modeling efforts have come up with slightly different years for when the Earth would be coldest after a nuclear war, for example, but they generally agree that the effects would be, well, severe and long-term.

This article originally appeared on Popular Science

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Tue, July 22 2014 » Business » Comments Off

It´s official: Mosquitoes are no fans of blood type A

Recently I have posted about mosquitoes preferring blood type O and immediately my attention was drawn towards Os having higher percentages of secretors amongst them than As, meaning they carry blood cells in their saliva and sweat, attracting mosquitoes with that smell.

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Not surprisingly—since, after all, mosquitoes bite us to harvest proteins from our blood—research shows that they find certain blood types more appetizing than others. One study found that in a controlled setting, mosquitoes landed on people with Type O blood nearly twice as often as those with Type A. People with Type B blood fell somewhere in the middle of this itchy spectrum. Additionally, based on other genes, about 85 percent of people secrete a chemical signal through their skin that indicates which blood type they have, while 15 percent do not, and mosquitoes are also more attracted to secretors than nonsecretors regardless of which type they are.

(Source)

But according to the official studies, even amongst secretors, mosquitoes landed on saliva of blood type Os almost twice as much as blood type As´.

We demonstrated in this study that blood group O subjects attracted more Aedes albopictus than other blood groups (B, AB, and A) but were only significantly more attractive than blood group A subjects in 64 human landing tests. We collected saliva from the subjects and tested it for agglutination inhibition, categorized the subjects into secretors or nonsecretors, and studied mosquitoes’ landing preferences for those groups. The mean relative percent landing on blood group O secretors (83.3%) was significantly higher than on group A secretors (46.5%). We also compared the attraction to subjects according to blood groups using forearm skin treated with ABH antigens. Blood group O disaccharide (H antigen) attracted significantly more Ae. albopictus than did blood group A trisaccharide (A antigen), and subjects treated with blood group A disaccharide attracted significantly more Ae. albopictus than did subjects treated with blood group B trisaccharide (B antigen), but ABH antigens did not, in general, influence the landing preference of mosquitoes among ABO blood groups.

Mon, July 21 2014 » Blood Type Studies » Comments Off

New video shows man dead after police arrest

Here is a video of Eric Garner dead on the ground after police put him into a choke hold.

Warning: It´s graphic.
Video can be seen here: Facebook

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was stripped of his shield and gun, and placed on modified duty Saturday.
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Sun, July 20 2014 » Business » Comments Off

Actor James Garner dies at age 86

Sun, July 20 2014 » Celebrities » Comments Off

Medical Mistakes Are 3rd Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

According to the following political debate, 440,000 patients die annually due to medical errors.

Here is the official study:
A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care.

Abstract
OBJECTIVES:

Based on 1984 data developed from reviews of medical records of patients treated in New York hospitals, the Institute of Medicine estimated that up to 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. The basis of this estimate is nearly 3 decades old; herein, an updated estimate is developed from modern studies published from 2008 to 2011.
METHODS:

A literature review identified 4 limited studies that used primarily the Global Trigger Tool to flag specific evidence in medical records, such as medication stop orders or abnormal laboratory results, which point to an adverse event that may have harmed a patient. Ultimately, a physician must concur on the findings of an adverse event and then classify the severity of patient harm.
RESULTS:

Using a weighted average of the 4 studies, a lower limit of 210,000 deaths per year was associated with preventable harm in hospitals. Given limitations in the search capability of the Global Trigger Tool and the incompleteness of medical records on which the Tool depends, the true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year. Serious harm seems to be 10- to 20-fold more common than lethal harm.
CONCLUSIONS:

The epidemic of patient harm in hospitals must be taken more seriously if it is to be curtailed. Fully engaging patients and their advocates during hospital care, systematically seeking the patients’ voice in identifying harms, transparent accountability for harm, and intentional correction of root causes of harm will be necessary to accomplish this goal.

Sat, July 19 2014 » Health » Comments Off

Obama blames Russian-backed separatists for taking down Malaysian plane

According to Barack Obama, Ukrainian separatists backed by Russia are responsible for taking down flight 17.

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President Obama said Friday that the United States believed that a Malaysian jetliner was shot down by surface-to-air missiles from an area inside Ukraine that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

In remarks at the White House, Mr. Obama said the nearly 300 lives taken in the plane crash were an “outrage of unspeakable proportions” and a “global tragedy.” He vowed to investigate exactly what happened to end the lives of “men, women, children, infants who had nothing to do with the crisis” in that region. Among the dead was at least one American, Quinn Lucas Schansman, a dual United States-Dutch citizen​.

More here: Obama Says Plane Was Shot Down From Rebel-Held Ukraine Area

Fri, July 18 2014 » Business » Comments Off

Did you know?: The Shrek character was inspired by a real person

Maurice Tillet (October 23, 1903 – September 4, 1954) was a Russian-born French professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, The French Angel. Tillet was a leading box office draw in the early 1940s and was twice recognized world heavyweight champion by the American Wrestling Association run by Paul Bowser in Boston. BnnWAlIIYAIgTHa

Fri, July 18 2014 » Business » Comments Off

1937-1968: From the discovery of the rh factor to bringing Rhogam to the market

The so-called Rh factor makes few headlines these days, but until the middle of the 20th century it was a serious public-health concern, implicated in the deaths and severe disabilities of 10,000 babies in this country every year. SUB-FIRS-popup The presence or absence of the blood protein Rh (for rhesus, the monkey in which it was discovered) can lead to runaway immune reactions in Rh-positive babies born to Rh-negative mothers, or in people receiving transfusions of incompatible blood.

So in hindsight, The New York Times’s first mention of the Rh factor, on Sunday, March 26, 1944, should have made bigger news than it did — in a brief article at the bottom of the “Science in Review” column on Page 9 of Section 4, The News of the Week in Review. “The recently discovered Rh factor in human blood,” it said, “need not cause infant deaths and childless marriages.”

The article quoted Dr. Alexander S. Wiener, who in 1940, along with his colleague Karl Landsteiner, first described the Rh factor in humans. “Dr. Wiener believes that some method may be developed to desensitize mothers so that their babies may be saved,” the article said. “Research based on this hope has already been started.”

The first mention of a preventive treatment for newborns with Rh disease appeared on April 24, 1947, in a report of a conference at which Dr. Philip Levine said that “the destruction of red blood cells in new-born babies of mothers with an Rh disturbance in their blood may be controlled if the Rh negative pregnant woman receives only Rh negative blood in the event of a transfusion,” and that her baby “may be saved by the transfusion of Rh negative blood.” Unfortunately, he added, blood tests for the Rh factor were not widely available to pregnant women.

But they were available to lawyers and their clients. On July 21, 1947, The Times reported the first use of the Rh factor, an inherited trait, as a test of parentage in a court case. The judge decided that on the basis of the man’s Rh test he could not be the father

It was not until Sept. 11, 1965, that the paper reported on clinical trials of a drug treatment for Rh disease. The article did not refer to the substance by name, but this was the first test of Rh immune globulin, a solution of antibodies derived from human plasma.

Injected into the Rh-negative mother, the antibodies bind to and destroy fetal Rh-positive blood cells that have passed from the fetus to the mother during birth. If the trials succeeded, the vaccine would prevent the maternal immune reaction that can cause Rh disease in babies.

The trials did succeed. On April 24, 1968, an article on Page 48 by Jane E. Brody began, “A New Jersey pharmaceutical laboratory announced yesterday that its vaccine to prevent Rh blood disease in infants had been approved for marketing and would be generally available in June.”

On April 28, Ms. Brody reported that the drug, Rhogam, “will be made available to hospitals at $64.80 a dose” — about $407 in today’s money. Rh immune globulin, or RhIg (Rhogam is one of several brands), now costs about $100 a dose. Rh blood disease is no longer a threat. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/health/04first.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=Alexander+Wiener&st=cse&

Fri, July 18 2014 » Rh Negative Blood » Comments Off

100 top AIDS researchers were on board of the Malaysian plane

Fri, July 18 2014 » Breaking News » Comments Off

All airline passengers are believed to be dead

Thu, July 17 2014 » Business » Comments Off