Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Radiation

Boron neutron capture therapy can kill tumors without harming healthy neighboring tissue

Shortly after the discovery of the neutron in 1932, some scientists recognized the potential of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) as a cancer treatment. But despite decades of research, the problem of finding a delivery agent that would more effectively target the tumor without harming surrounding tissue persisted. Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) may finally have found a solution.  Read More

The nanoparticle with a core of the element actinium, surrounded by four layers of materia...

Gold nanoparticles have already shown promise in precisely highlighting brain tumors, “blowing up” individual diseased cells, and developing a lung cancer breath test. Now researchers have created gold nanoparticles that allow an alpha particle-emitting element to be directed to small cancer tumors. The researchers say the gold coating keeps the powerful radioactive particles in place at the cancer site so they do negligible damage to healthy organs and tissue.  Read More

Researchers have developed a simple blood test to determine a patient's exposure to ionizi...

Industrial and medical accidents have resulted in about 3,000 cases of acute radiation syndrome with over 100 deaths over the past 60 years. Far larger numbers are possible in the future from major reactor accidents or the use of dirty bombs. In the aftermath of a major incident, the radiation dosages of victims must be sorted out quickly, so that suitable treatment can begin as soon as possible. Medical researchers at the US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have now developed a simple blood test to determine the exposure of a patient to ionizing radiation, that can be carried out in the field with a hand-held analyzer.  Read More

Future manned deep space missions would expose astronauts to levels of radiation that can ...

Psychiatrists involved with the early days of NASA’s space program were concerned astronauts might succumb to “space madness” as a result of experiencing prolonged periods of microgravity and claustrophobic isolation. While their fears turned out to be unfounded, a new study has found cause for concern for the mental faculties of astronauts on planned future deep space missions. The study shows that the levels of radiation an astronaut would be exposed to on a mission to Mars could cause cognitive problems and accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Read More

New technology could make moldy bread a much less common sight (Photo: Shutterstock)

Bread may be the staff of life, but it doesn't keep very well. Left to its own devices, a loaf will start to go moldy in a week – a fact that costs consumers and the food industry millions of dollars each year. Now, according to the BBC, a Texas-based company have developed a process that kills spores so that a loaf of bread can stay mold-free for up to 60 days.  Read More

Toshiba's quadrupedal robot climbs stairs in a press demonstration (Photo: NHK)

Toshiba has unveiled a four-legged inspection robot, which will carry out work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where people cannot go. The newly developed robot – simply called a Quadruped walking robot – comes equipped with a smaller wheeled robot that can be deployed to navigate hard-to-reach areas. The legged robot can negotiate stairs, uneven terrain, and is able to avoid low-lying obstacles.  Read More

Wind patterns in Gale Crater, with Curiosity's position marked by an X (Image: NASA/JPL-Ca...

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now sending back weather reports and radiation measurements. Using the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) instrument built by Spain’s Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB), the nuclear-powered robot has been taking measurements of atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind speed and other factors to better understand the Martian environment in hopes of finding out whether life could still exist on the Red Planet.  Read More

Astronauts manning a proposed deep space station on the far side of the Moon would need en...

With astronauts venturing beyond the protection of Earth’s magnetic field exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation, the European Space Agency (ESA) has teamed with Germany’s GSI (Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung) particle accelerator in the search for materials to shield future astronauts going to the Moon, the asteroids and Mars, or manning a space station beyond the Moon. Amongst the candidates being assessed are Moon and Mars soil.  Read More

Orbit of the RBSPs in the Van Allen Belts (Image: NASA)

NASA’s twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) took a musical interlude and listened to the Earth singing to itself. This “Earthsong,” as NASA calls it, was recorded by the two spacecraft as they orbited inside the highly radioactive Van Allen Belts that surround the Earth. The “song” is in the form of radio waves generated by the belts and the study of it may provide a clue toward answering the question of how to protect satellites and astronauts from deadly radiation storms.  Read More

Three Sandia neutrister neutron generators mounted in a test box under vacuum

Neutron generators provide materials analysis and non-destructive testing tools to many industries, including oilfield operations, heavy mechanical construction, art conservancy, detective work, and medicine. Many of these applications have been limited by the rather large size of current industrial and medical neutron sources. Now Sandia National Laboratories, the lab that develops and supports the non-nuclear parts (including neutron generators) of nuclear weapons, has developed a new approach toward building tiny neutron generators.  Read More

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