The DIME Bomb (The Other Chemical Weapon)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Phosphorus weapons cause chemical burns and the Red Cross and human rights groups argue they should be treated as chemical weapons. Usage of this type of chemical ammunition causes burns and injuries in soft tissue and cannot be traced by X-ray.

This takes you back to the post I made about Depleted Uranium , but no one cared. Chemical or depleted uranium could be used in ammunition production. Banned weapons, including phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs may be in use today, by both Israel and Hamas.

The use of chemical weapons against civilians or against military targets in civilian areas is outlawed by the Geneva Conventions.

Doctors in the past have reported wounds very similar to Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME). DIME is a carbon-encased missile that shatters on impact into minuscule splinters, at the same time setting off an explosive that shoots blades of energy-charged, heavy metal tungsten alloy (HMTA) powder, such as cobalt and nickel or iron, with a carbon fiber casing. It turns to dust on impact, as it loses inertia very quickly due to air resistance, burning and destroying through a very precise angulation everything within a four-meter range.

Tungsten, the main material that would stray outside of the target zone, is also said to be highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment. Past samples has shown a very high concentration of carbon, as well as copper, aluminum and tungsten in the soil, leading to a question of DIME.

Since DIME is new, international law has not passed judgment on its legality, in other words,

DIME would be the perfect weapon.


Melting Ice/Snow

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If you live in an area with a cold and icy winter, you have probably experienced salt on sidewalks and roads, used to melt the ice and snow and keep it from refreezing. Salt is also used to make homemade ice cream. In both cases, the salt works by lowering the melting or freezing point of water. The effect is termed 'freezing point depression'.

How Freezing Point Depression Works

When you add salt to water, you introduce dissolved foreign particles into the water. The freezing point of water becomes lower as more particles are added until the point where the salt stops dissolving. For a solution of table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water, this temperature is -21°C (-6°F) under controlled lab conditions. In the real world, on a real sidewalk, sodium chloride can melt ice only down to about -9°C (15°F).

Colligative Properties

Freezing point depression is a colligative property of water. A colligative property is one which depends on the number of particles in a substance. All liquid solvents with dissolved particles (solutes) demonstrate colligative properties. Other colligative properties include boiling point elevation, vapor pressure lowering, and osmotic pressure.

More Particles Mean More Melting Power

Sodium chloride isn't the only salt used for de-icing, nor is it necessarily the best choice. Sodium chloride dissolves into two types of particles: one sodium ion and one chloride ion per sodium chloride 'molecule'. A compound that yields more ions into a water solution would lower the freezing point of water more than salt. For example, calcium chloride (CaCl2) dissolves into three ions (one of calcium and two of chloride) and lowers the freezing point of water more than sodium chloride. Here are some other de-icing compounds:

Chemicals Used to Melt Ice

Name Formula Lowest Practical Temp Pros Cons
Ammonium sulfate (NH4)2SO4 -7°C
Fertilizer Damages concrete
Calcium chloride CaCl2 -29°C
Melts ice faster than sodium chloride Attracts moisture, surfaces slippery below -18°C (0°F)
Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) Calcium carbonate CaCO3, magnesium carbonate MgCO3, and acetic acid CH3COOH -9°C
Safest for concrete & vegetation Works better to prevent re-icing than as ice remover
Magnesium chloride MgCl2 -15°C
Melts ice faster than sodium chloride Attracts moisture
Potassium acetate CH3COOK -9°C
Biodegradable Corrosive
Potassium chloride KCl -7°C
Fertilizer Damages concrete
Sodium chloride (rock salt, halite) NaCl -9°C
Keeps sidewalks dry Corrosive, damages concrete & vegetation
Urea NH2CONH2 -7°C
Fertilizer Agricultural grade is corrosive


Depleted Uranium

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Radiological dirty bombs has moved well beyond the plotting and
shooting stage, and has produced dire consequences. Toxic, radioactive uranium-238, called depleted uranium may be responsible for deadly health

Depleted uranium "penetrators" as they are called burn on impact and up to 70 percent of the DU is released (aerosolized) as toxic and radioactive dust that can be inhaled and ingested and later trapped in the lungs or kidneys.

These uranium oxide particles emit all types of radiation: alpha, beta and gamma, and can be carried in the air over long distances.

DU is left after uranium ore has gone through the gaseous diffusion process that removes most of the fissionable isotope U-235. DU is used in munitions for piercing armor plate.

The most serious exposure to DU occurs when a large amount is taken into the body, absorbed by the blood, and then carried to tissues and organs where it can do damage. There are three
primary ways that DU can enter your body. They are by ingestion (drinking or eating), inhalation (breathing dust), and through wound contamination or DU fragments embedded in the body. Skin contact or being near intact DU munitions or armored tanks will not cause this type of exposure or bring DU into your body. DU dust can be inhaled during and immediately after DU munitions have struck a vehicle or if DU munitions are involved in a fire on the battlefield. DU dust can also be inhaled by people in or around armored vehicles after they are damaged by DU munitions. People near the crash of some aircraft may also be exposed to DU dusts from burning counterweights if the DU is exposed to prolonged intense heat.

Since kidneys remove uranium, urine tests can identify when people have been exposed to higher than normal amounts of uranium, including depleted uranium.

While the term "depleted" implies it isn't dangerous, depleted uranium is still radioactive and
chemically toxic.


Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The December 7, 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history.

Two Army operators at Oahu's northern shore radar station detect the Japanese air attack approaching and contact a junior officer who disregards their reports, thinking they are American B-17 planes which are expected in from the U.S. west coast.

The attacking planes came in two waves; the first with 51
'Val' dive bombers, 40 'Kate' torpedo bombers, 50 high level bombers and 43 'Zero' fighters, commences the attack with flight commander, Mitsuo Fuchida, sounding the battle cry: "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!). The second wave targets other ships and shipyard facilities.

The air raid lasts until 9:45 a.m. Eight battleships are damaged, with five sunk. Three light cruisers, three destroyers and three smaller vessels are lost along with 188 aircraft. Within a short time five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged.

Behind them they left chaos, 2,403 dead, 188 destroyed planes and a crippled Pacific Fleet that included 8 damaged or destroyed battleships.

The casualty list includes 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed, with 1,178 wounded. Included are 1,104 men aboard the Battleship USS Arizona killed after a 1,760-pound air bomb penetrated into the forward magazine causing catastrophic explosions.

America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant.



1000 die of cholera in Zimbabwe

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cholera, a waterborne disease that causes diarrhea, dehydration and, if not treated, death in a matter of hours. Zimbabwe warns that the contagious disease is spreading fast since raw sewage from burst pipes near the capital, Harare, flowed into wells, rivers and streams, the only source of drinking water for many Zimbabweans.

One way of getting clean drinking water is the SkyHydrant. The design is compact, robust and self-cleaning. It is intended for efficient transport and deployment with minimal training and operator interface. The system works by pumping water through approximately 20,000 ultra-fine fibers, a process that removes all pathogens with diameters of over 0.1 micrometers. The system doesn’t require electric power or purification chemicals. One is used at the Gona Dam in Kenya.

In Zimbabwe at least 565 people have lost their lives in the outbreak, according to a statement from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday. More than 1,000 have died. The U.N. says that about 12,000 more people are suspected to be infected.
Lets see how quick a portable water purification system will be sent to Zimbabwe or any country that has outbreaks of diarrhea, cholera, and typhus.



Biosensing, the future on Nanotechnology

Monday, December 1, 2008

Peptide nucleic acids (PNA) are synthetic DNA analogues or mimics with a polyamide backbone instead of a sugar phosphate bone. The significant of this post is the importance to biosensing, PNAs exhibit superior hybridization characteristics and improved chemical and enzymatic stability compared to nucleic acids. Both double and triple stranded complexes are capable of being formed by PNA in association with nucleotides the negatively charged ribosephosphate backbone of nucleic acids is replaced by an uncharged N-(2-aminoethyl)-glycine scaffold to which the nucleobases are attached via a methylene carbonyl linker.

The neutral amide backbone also enables PNA to hybridize to DNA molecules in lowsalt conditions because no positive ions are necessary for counteracting the interstrand repulsion that hampers duplex formation between two negatively charged nucleic acids.
Consequently, the abundance and stability of intramolecular folding structures in the DNA or RNA analytes are significantly reduced, making the molecules more accessible to complementary PNA oligomers. Because the intramolecular distances and configuration of the nucleobases are similar to those of natural DNA molecules, specific hybridization occurs between PNAs and cDNA or RNA sequences.

The uncharged nature of PNAs is responsible for a better thermal stability of PNA–DNA duplexes compared with DNA–DNA equivalents and, as a result, single-base mismatches have a considerably more destabilizing effect As with DNA, the decrease in duplex stability depends on the position of the mismatch within the sequence. Thus, the use of PNAs will contribute significantly to establishment of faster and more reliable biosensing applications.
PNAs have now been used to replace DNA to functionalize gold nanoparticles and, upon hybridization to complementary DNA strands and formation of nanoparticle aggregates, resulted in (1) a red-to-blue color transition and (2) high discrimination of DNA single-base mismatches. PNAs are stable across a wide range of temperatures and pHs. Of significant importance in clinical samples, PNAs are resistant to nucleases and proteases. In contrast to DNA molecular beacons, stemless PNA beacons are less sensitive to ionic strength and the quenched fluorescence of PNA is not affected by DNAbinding proteins. This enables the use of PNA beacons under conditions that are not feasible for DNA beacons.

The very different nature of PNA molecular structure enables new modes of detection, especially procedures that avoid the introduction of a label. The change of color results from the shift of surface plasmon band upon aggregation and this property is now the basis of colorimetric biosensors for selective detection of DNA. PNA functionized gold nanoparticles have been shown to be simple, highly sensitive and selective. Xi and coworkers used DNA and PNA molecular beacons to detect and quantify rRNA in solution and in whole cells. Of clinical relevance, PNA molecular beacons are ideal tools for detection of whole bacteria in solution and in real time. Xi and coworkers use
real-time confocal microscopy to detect the fluorescence emitted from DNA and PNA molecular beacons in microfluidic systems.


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