Daily Archives: October 15, 2014

Ebola Transmission via Bodily-Released Aerosols Should Not Be a Surprise

The United States used to have a public health system that took the precautionary principle seriously when it came to microbial illness and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. That all began to change in the 1990s with the spread of AIDS and subsequent political agendas. 

Looks to me that the smartest “public health” people have educated themselves into complacency if not imbecility. (Now we see the consequences as good doctors and thousands are dying.)

Why is anyone surprised that a highly infectious viral disease can be transmitted from person-to-person via bodily-released aerosols? Hello. Anybody home?

“Healthcare workers play a very important role in the successful containment of outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola. The correct type and level of personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that healthcare workers remain healthy throughout an outbreak—and with the current rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it’s imperative to favor more conservative measures.” click here 


Magnetic Antimicrobial Agents for Water Disinfection

Ana S. Pina, ris L. ÍBatalha, Cláudia S.M. Fernandes,
Matheus A. Aoki, Ana C.A. Roque. Exploring the potential of magnetic antimicrobial agents for water disinfection. Water Research 2014-12-01 66:160-168.

Industrial and urban activities yield large amounts of contaminated groundwater, which present a major health issue worldwide. Infectious diseases are the most common health risk associated with drinking-water and wastewater remediation is a major concern of our modern society. The field of wastewater treatment is being revolutionized by new nano-scale water disinfection devices which outperform most currently available technologies. In particular, iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been widely used in environmental applications due to their unique physical–chemical properties. In this work, poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG)-coated MNPs have been functionalized with (RW)3, an antimicrobial peptide, to yield a novel magnetic-responsive support with antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli K-12 DSM498 and Bacillus subtilis 168. The magnetic-responsive antimicrobial device showed to be able to successfully disinfect the surrounding solution. Using a rapid high-throughput screening platform, the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined to be 500 μM for both strains with a visible bactericidal effect.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).

World Bank Chief Bankrupt on “Climate Change” Comment

This World Bank Chief does not know what he is talking about on “climate change”.

“But according to World Bank Chief Jim Yong Kin, Ebola and Global Warming are equally dangerous and “…we are running out of time to find solutions to both. “ “ click here

Ozone Production in the Middle Atmosphere a Climate Driver

M. E. Andersson, P. T. Verronen, C. J. Rodger, M. A. Clilverd, A. Seppälä. Missing driver in the Sun–Earth connection from energetic electron precipitation impacts mesospheric ozone. Nature Communications 5, 5197 doi:10.1038/ncomms6197

Energetic electron precipitation (EEP) from the Earth’s outer radiation belt continuously affects the chemical composition of the polar mesosphere. EEP can contribute to catalytic ozone loss in the mesosphere through ionization and enhanced production of odd hydrogen. However, the long-term mesospheric ozone variability caused by EEP has not been quantified or confirmed to date. Here we show, using observations from three different satellite instruments, that EEP events strongly affect ozone at 60–80 km, leading to extremely large (up to 90%) short-term ozone depletion. This impact is comparable to that of large, but much less frequent, solar proton events. On solar cycle timescales, we find that EEP causes ozone variations of up to 34% at 70–80 km. With such a magnitude, it is reasonable to suspect that EEP could be an important part of solar influence on the atmosphere and climate system.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Target-Specific Virus-Like Particles for Algicide Delivery

Kang BS, Eom CY, Kim W, Kim PI, Ju SY, Ryu J,Han GH, Oh JI, Cho H, Baek SH, Kim G, Kim M, Hyun J, Jin E, Kim SW. Construction of target-specific virus-like particles for the delivery of algicidal compounds to harmful algae. Environmental microbiology 2014 Oct 8. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12650.

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) can lead to substantial socio-economic losses and extensive damage to aquatic ecosystems, drinking water sources, and human health. Common algicidal techniques, including ozonation, ultrasonic treatment, and dispersion of algae-killing chemicals, are unsatisfactory both economically and ecologically. This study therefore presents a novel alternative strategy for the efficient control of deleterious algae via the use of host-specific virus-like particles (VLPs) combined with chemically synthesized algicidal compounds. The capsid protein of HcRNAV34, a single-stranded RNA virus that infects the toxic dinoflagellate, Heterocapsa circularisquama, was expressed in and purified from Escherichia coli and then self-assembled into VLPs in vitro. Next, the algicidal compound, thiazolidinedione 49 (TD49), was encapsidated into HcRNAV34 VLPs for specific delivery to H. circularisquama. Consequently, HcRNAV34 VLPs demonstrated the same host selectivity as naturally occurring HcRNAV34 virions, while TD49-encapsidated VLPs showed a more potent target-specific algicidal effect than TD49 alone. These results indicate that target-specific VLPs for the delivery of cytotoxic compounds to nuisance algae might provide a safe, environmentally-friendly approach for the management of HABs in aquatic ecosystems.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Renewable Energy for a Water Treatment Plant

Mariya Soshinskaya, Wina H.J. Crijns-Graus, Jos van der Meer, Josep M. Guerrero, Application of a microgrid with renewables for a water treatment plant. Applied Energy. Dec2014, Vol. 134, p20-34.

This research explores the techno-economic potential for a predominantly renewable electricity-based microgrid serving an industrial-sized drinking water plant in the Netherlands. Grid-connected and stand-alone microgrid scenarios were modeled, utilizing measured wind speed and solar irradiation data, real time manufacturer data for technology components, and a bottom-up approach to model a flexible demand from demand response. The modeled results show that there is a very high potential for renewable electricity at the site, which can make this drinking water treatment plant’s electricity consumption between 70% and 96% self-sufficient with renewable electricity from solar PV and wind power production. The results show that wind production potential is very high onsite and can meet 82% of onsite demand without adding solar PV. However, PV production potential is also substantial and provides a more balanced supply which can supply electricity at times when wind production is insufficient. Due to the supplemental supply over different parts of the day, adding solar PV also increases the benefits gained from the demand response strategy. Therefore, a solar–wind system combination is recommended over a wind only system. A 100% renewable system would require extremely large battery storage, which is not currently cost effective. Ultimately, even at the low wholesale electricity and sell-back price for large electricity consumers, grid-connection and the ability to trade excess electricity is extremely important for the cost-effectiveness of a microgrid system.