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Comment author: morganism 23 March 2017 09:50:29PM 0 points [-]

Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth's greatest mass extinction

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X16300488

"The most significant marker of this event is the negative δ13C shift and rebound recorded in marine carbonates with a duration ranging from 2000 to 19 000 years depending on localities and sedimentation rates. Leading causes for the event are Siberian trap volcanism and the emission of greenhouse gases with consequent global warming. Measurements of gases vaulted in calcite of end Permian brachiopods and whole rock document significant differences in normal atmospheric equilibrium concentration in gases between modern and end Permian seawaters. The gas composition of the end Permian brachiopod-inclusions reflects dramatically higher seawater carbon dioxide and methane contents leading up to the biotic event. Initial global warming of 8–11 °C sourced by isotopically light carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions triggered the release of isotopically lighter methane from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrates. Consequently, the huge quantities of methane emitted into the atmosphere and the oceans accelerated global warming and marked the negative δ13C spike observed in marine carbonates, documenting the onset of the mass extinction period. The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans."

the OP article points out that breakdown is not easily accelerated, but once you hit a tipping point, is likely over.

Comment author: morganism 23 March 2017 10:01:06PM 0 points [-]

and Siberian Times just reports the tundra pingos are multiplying

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0905-7000-underground-gas-bubbles-poised-to-explode-in-arctic/

"The summer was abnormally hot for the Yamal peninsula, with the air temperature reaching 35C.

This heat impacted on the depth of seasonal thawing which grew both deeper spread wider than in the past, so causing the formation of new lakes and a noticeable change in the regional tundra landscape.

Scientists are simultaneously observing the sudden formation of the large craters, evidently caused by eruptions or explosions of methane gas which has melted below the surface.

On Yamal, the main theory is that the craters were formed by pingos - dome-shaped mounds over a core of ice - erupting under pressure of methane gas released by the thawing of permafrost caused by climate change.

The Yamal craters, some tiny but others large, were created by natural gas filling vacant space in ice humps, eventually triggering eruptions, according to leading authority Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky, of Moscow's Oil and Gas Research Institute.

Recently there were accounts of a 'big bang' triggering the formation of a crater on the Taimyr Peninsula. However, there was no pingo on this spot before the eruption in 2013. The noise could be heard up to 100 km away and one resident saw a 'glow in the sky' after the explosion, it was revealed. "

Comment author: morganism 23 March 2017 09:50:29PM 0 points [-]

Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth's greatest mass extinction

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871174X16300488

"The most significant marker of this event is the negative δ13C shift and rebound recorded in marine carbonates with a duration ranging from 2000 to 19 000 years depending on localities and sedimentation rates. Leading causes for the event are Siberian trap volcanism and the emission of greenhouse gases with consequent global warming. Measurements of gases vaulted in calcite of end Permian brachiopods and whole rock document significant differences in normal atmospheric equilibrium concentration in gases between modern and end Permian seawaters. The gas composition of the end Permian brachiopod-inclusions reflects dramatically higher seawater carbon dioxide and methane contents leading up to the biotic event. Initial global warming of 8–11 °C sourced by isotopically light carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions triggered the release of isotopically lighter methane from permafrost and shelf sediment methane hydrates. Consequently, the huge quantities of methane emitted into the atmosphere and the oceans accelerated global warming and marked the negative δ13C spike observed in marine carbonates, documenting the onset of the mass extinction period. The rapidity of the methane hydrate emission lasting from several years to thousands of years was tempered by the equally rapid oxidation of the atmospheric and oceanic methane that gradually reduced its warming potential but not before global warming had reached levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans."

the OP article points out that breakdown is not easily accelerated, but once you hit a tipping point, is likely over.

Comment author: drethelin 22 March 2017 11:40:00PM 1 point [-]

Planned obsolescence is technically difficult: it's relatively easy to design and use a material which lasts indefinitely, but harder to design a machine around materials that last a specified period and then fail. You need to tread the tight-rope between "too shitty to buy" and "too high quality to require frequent replacement."

Comment author: morganism 23 March 2017 08:10:18PM 1 point [-]

Some say that it failure comes with miniaturization too. Those SMD capacitors fail a lot easier in electronics, so while the microwave might still work, the display will fail pretty quickly.

Comment author: morganism 23 March 2017 07:57:50PM 2 points [-]

This is a plug in for Chrome browser right now, Firefox port is coming.

" Millions of researchers are currently uploading their own fulltext PDFs to preprint servers and institutional repositories worldwide, making them free for anyone to read. But there was no easy way to find them as we browsed. So we made one! Eventually, we hope tools like Unpaywall will nurture the transition to fully open access scholarly publishing, by closing the gap between readers and freely-available fulltext.

We gather content from thousands of open-access repositories worldwide. To help us, we rely on some fantastic open data services, especially PubMed Central, the DOAJ, Crossref (particulary their license info), DataCite, and BASE. "

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170319/02251236949/unpaywall-browser-add-on-that-finds-legal-free-copies-academic-papers-you-see-as-you-browse-web.shtml

Comment author: morganism 23 March 2017 07:54:29PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: morganism 20 March 2017 09:29:42PM 0 points [-]

Deep brain stimulation provides long-term relief from severe depressions. (wire-heading)

"Most of the patients respond to the therapy. The remarkable thing is that the effect is also lasting. Other forms of therapy often lose their effectiveness in the course of time. This makes deep brain stimulation a highly promising approach for people with previously non-treatable depression,"

The eight test subjects had suffered continuously for three to eleven years from a severe depression that responded neither to drugs nor to psychotherapy or treatments like electroconvulsive therapy. The doctors implanted razor-thin electrodes and stimulated a brain region that is involved in the perception of pleasure and is thus also important for motivation and quality of life."

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/uof-dbs032017.php

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2017.01.581

Comment author: morganism 20 March 2017 08:50:51PM 1 point [-]

" the team reprogrammed lymphocytes (immune cells) from six entirely new bipolar patients, some of whom are known lithium responders. The team found the same hyperexcitability in the lymphocyte-derived neurons

"Although responders and nonresponders both produce more electrical impulses and spontaneous activity, when we look at the electrophysiological properties, the two groups are very different from each other."

The Salk team characterized the electrical firing patterns of all six patients' neuronal lines, measuring spike height, spike width, the threshold for evoking a reaction and other qualities. The overall patterns were noticeably different in responders versus nonresponders.

And machine learning :

"Wondering whether the differences could be predictive, the team trained a computer program to recognize the variations between the profiles of responders and nonresponders using the firing patterns of 450 total neurons over six independent training rounds. In each round, they started fresh with the neurons of five of the patients to train the system. They then tested the system with the neurons of the sixth patient, whose lithium status was known to the team but not to the program. They repeated the process five more times, which allowed them to build essentially six independent models. Each model was trained on the data from five out of the six patients, leaving a different patient out of the training data each time, and then letting the model classify this remaining patient as a responder or nonresponder. Using the firing patterns of just five of any patient's neurons, the system identified the person as a responder or nonresponder with 92 percent accuracy."

Comment author: morganism 20 March 2017 08:40:44PM 0 points [-]

Altering pH bumps proteins from clumping

"While prion's transmission method is quite unusual, the process of protein clumping is quite common in a number of diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease,"

"the team found that prion-related protein chains reconfigure slowly at neutral pH, thus avoiding the sticky middle speeds.

"If rearrangement is fast, when two chains come into contact, they can rearrange rapidly enough to avoid making interactions that lead to clumping," Lapidus said. "When moving slow, neither chains will have sticky patches exposed. But when the rearrangements are happening at the same speed as the random collisions between two proteins, then clumping can occur more quickly."

Lapidus proved that astemizole is effective in speeding up protein self-interactions even further and preventing prion clumping.

Astemizole was once used to treat allergies, but it was pulled from the market due to rare but sometimes fatal side effects. The antihistamine, however, also has shown promise in some Alzheimer's research."

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/altering-ph-bumps-prions-out-of-danger-zone/

Comment author: morganism 18 March 2017 10:28:51PM 0 points [-]

Native GPU programming with CUDAnative.jl

http://julialang.org/blog/2017/03/cudanative

"You can now write your CUDA kernels in Julia, albeit with some restrictions, making it possible to use Julia’s high-level language features to write high-performance GPU code."

"The programming support we’re demonstrating here today consists of the low-level building blocks, sitting at the same abstraction level of CUDA C. You should be interested if you know (or want to learn) how to program a parallel accelerator like a GPU, while dealing with tricky performance characteristics and communication semantics."

Comment author: morganism 18 March 2017 10:22:23PM 1 point [-]

"A competition from the Global Challenges Foundation, founded in 2012 by the Szombatfalvy, is calling for solutions to the world's most pressing problems, like conflict, climate change and extreme poverty."

https://globalchallenges.org/en

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