Tag Archives: Research

Patent for a 20 kilometer tall tower for space launch and research

Concept of a space elevator by Thoth Technology (Source: Thoth Technology)
Concept of a space elevator by Thoth Technology (Source: Thoth Technology)

Thoth Technology, a Canadian tech company, has recently filed a patent for a 12.4 mile high (i.e. about 20 kilometer tall reaching the stratosphere, and about 20 times higher as compared to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa) “space elevator” that can become an alternative to rocket for astronauts, i.e. this invention will help to launch astronauts as well as tourists into orbit.

According to the patent of the company, it will be an inflatable, pneumatically pressured tower having a liftoff point (platform to launch) to space at the top. According to the company, this invention will help to save over 30% of the fuel of a conventional rocket.

“From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight,” stated Brendan Quine, who is the inventor of the ThothX Tower.

This invention will help to launch the rocket in a horizontal manner by removing the requirement for vertical launch, i.e. flight will be much like a passenger plane.

“In our concept, you ascend electrically and remove the whole vertical launch phase,” Quine stated. “Then you get into a space plane, which is like a passenger jet, and take off horizontally.”

This tower will serve not only for the launch of astronauts but it would also help in the generation of wind-energy, scientific research, communications, and tourism (as told earlier).

It is still on the paper but patent is showing that the company has moved a step to bring the physical product.

Source: Thoth Technology (http://thothx.com/news-2/)

New type of vaccine-resistant polio virus

Polio virus (Credit:  Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr)
Polio viruses in black and white (Credit: Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr)

Main Point:

Scientists have found a new strain of polio virus that is thought to be responsible for the major epidemics of polio cases in the recent times. This polio virus is not affected by polio vaccines. Continue reading New type of vaccine-resistant polio virus

Making research findings freely available is an essential aid to medical progress

Research (Credit: Benjamin Watson/Flickr)

Main Point:

In a PLOS Medicine guest editorial, Paul Glasziou, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Bond University in Australia, explores how open access publications could help moderate and reduce the vast waste of global medical research.

Published in:

PLOS Medicine

Study Further:

Continuing on from his previous work, which highlighted how most of the world’s expenditure on medical research was thrown away, Glasziou outlines how bad the situation is and suggests how it might be improved. Subscription-based academic journals make money by through copyrights assigned by authors to publishers who lock the articles behind paywalls. Open access models, in which journals charge a publication fee and then make research and related content fully and immediately available to all, stand to aid the dissemination of knowledge and to improve its quality. Continue reading Making research findings freely available is an essential aid to medical progress

Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

Main Point:

Dive guides monitoring sharks on coral reef at similar level to telemetry.

Published in:

PLOS ONE

Study Further:

Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools, according to results published April 23, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriel Vianna from The University of Western Australia and colleagues.

Shark populations are declining globally, and scientists lack data to estimate the conservation status of populations for many shark species. Citizen science may be a useful and cost-effective means to increase knowledge of shark populations on coral reefs, but scientists do not yet know enough about how data collected by untrained observers compares to results from traditional research methods. To better understand the reliability of datasets collected by citizen science initiatives, researchers in this study compared reef shark sightings counted by experienced dive guides (citizen scientists), with data collected from tagged reef sharks by an automated tracking tool (acoustic telemetry). 62 dive guides collected data during over 2,300 dives using standardized research protocols, including reporting on the dive site, date, species, counts, estimated depth, current, visibility, and number of tourist divers in the group. Both data sets were collected at coral reefs on the Pacific island of Palau over a period of five years.

Continue reading Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks