Dr Richard* Member
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Posts by Dr Richard*

    The omicron pandemic is far from over, survival depends on new vaccines and new tried-and-tested antiviral compounds, from Nature today:

    How BA.5 is reshaping the pandemic

    The rise and rise of the BA.5 variant of SARS-CoV-2 — a sub-variant of Omicron — raises questions about how we will deal with a pandemic in which many more people get COVID-19 or experience repeated reinfections. Focusing on the United States, where the variant is spreading quickly, science writer Ed Yong debunks some false assumptions. He also urges US leaders to tighten up the country’s slackening health-protection policies against COVID-19. “This is what ‘living with COVID” means’,” writes Yong. “A continual cat-and-mouse game that we can choose to play seriously or repeatedly forfeit.”

    The Atlantic | 10 min read

    This video depicts what all pessimists recognise as the inevitability of nuclear Third World War - well who wants to carry on living in a post-apocalyptic world as Chinese-Russian slaves? I feel sorry for the younger generations who are going to have to face up to these survival issues, there will be no-one coming to rescue us since all diplomacy will ultimately fail as it has done so far between Russia and Ukraine. On a positive note, it's time to head for the hills and design your prepper's shelter!

    We need to convert as much hydrogen to helium in LEN reactors as is possible. Now that we know that electron flow follows fluid dynamics, the most practical system to date is probably Brillouin's hydrogen hot tubes reactors in which the Q-pulses stimulate such behaviour whether the Widom-Larson theory of electron capture is correct or not. Providing a new primary energy resource at the same time as reversing Global Warming.

    The highest probability now is that most of our UK population has been infected with Omicron. When I was vaccinated (twice) with Pfizer's mRNA jab I suffered no effects whatsoever. When I was exposed to Omicron by other members of my family on a visit to Cornwall I still suffered no symptoms despite a positive lateral flow test. I simply put all this down to my continuous intake of anti-virals which we outlined in Anti-Bat. A simple broad statement of the TRUTH!

    Unfortunately, the tidal power lagoon proposed for Cardiff Bay was shelved in 2018 even though the Welsh Government was willing to invest in it (on the grounds that the electricity it would produce would be too expensive - which in hindsight would be simply untrue). There are now only two tidal systems in the UK:

    There are (as of February 2021) only two operational tidal power stations operating within the UK: MeyGen, on the Pentland Firth in Scotland, is operational but not fully completed, while Bluemull Sound in the Shetland Isles is also operational.2 Mar 2021

    Political decisions, I guess, making cheap electricity a Tidal Power dream!

    This is the latest publication I could find and shows that Tanabe's group are successfully working on cold fusion!

    Spatially and temporally heterothermic kinetic model of hydrogen absorption and desorption in metals with heat transport


    • Jun 2022

    Numerical modelling of hydrogen transport is effective for designing and optimizing various energy systems, including hydrogen storage devices, fuel cells, and nuclear fusion reactors. In the present study, we propose and demonstrate a spatiotemporally heterothermic, autonomous kinetic model of hydrogen absorption and desorption in metals for preci...

    Request full-text

    Helion seem to be doing well in boosting confidence in future fusion, I saw this article published by the Financial Times:

    Record fundraising by a nuclear fusion start-up

    A nuclear fusion start-up backed by Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman and Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital has secured $500m to demonstrate commercially viable power by 2024 in the largest capital raise yet by a private fusion company.

    The investment in US-based Helion is the latest sign of growing private sector confidence in the potential of nuclear fusion to provide clean, cheap power that would fundamentally transform the world’s ability to cut carbon emissions.

    “On the whole, fusion has been missing from the global conversation about what we’re going to do about the climate crisis, but that is rapidly changing,” Altman, who will join Helion’s board as executive chair, told the Financial Times.

    The newly formed Fusion Industry Association said last week that at least 35 different companies were now pursuing nuclear fusion around the world and predicted that fusion energy would be connected to the grid in the 2030s.

    The prospect of fusing atoms to generate almost unlimited power from minimal fuel has tantalised scientists for decades. Soviet scientists pioneered the development of the first fusion machine, known as the “tokamak”, in the 1950s but no group has been able to achieve fusion while producing more electricity than the system consumes.

    Unlike the traditional tokamak approach, which uses energy from the fusion reaction to drive steam turbines, Helion’s system enables it to generate electricity directly from the fusion reaction as the fuel expands.

    David Kirtley, Helion’s chief executive, compared it to the regenerative breaking system in a Tesla electric car, where the kinetic energy from the vehicle is used to recharge the battery system.

    Helion engineers test equipment
    “The key there is that we can bypass all the capital cost and all the complexity of all those steam turbine systems . . . and focus on getting fusion as small and fast as possible.”

    The $500m investment, led by Altman, fully funds Helion to build by 2024 what would be the first fusion demonstration plant to generate net electricity. If successful, the investors, who also include Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and sustainability-focused Capricorn Investment Group, have committed to a further $1.7bn to fund future manufacturing.

    Rather than building a large single fusion plant, Helion wants to produce shipping container-sized 50 megawatt fusion generators that can be transported to a site and plugged in. Sufficient to power 40,000 homes, the company initially hopes to power data centres and other industrial sites.

    “With a small amount of fuel you can generate a tremendous amount of energy,” Kirtley said. The company’s approach uses the hydrogen isotope deuterium, which can be extracted from seawater. It is combined with helium and heated to more than 100m degrees Celsius, causing the atomic nuclei to fuse, releasing vast amounts of energy in the process.

    One glass of the fuel is equivalent to the energy potential of 1m gallons of oil and could generate 9m kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power a home for 865 years, according to Helion.

    Not only would the energy be carbon-free and almost limitless, it would also be cheap. While some technical hurdles remain, Kirtley estimated that Helion’s system could produce power for less than $0.01 per kilowatt hour. That compares with average residential power costs in the US today of roughly $0.13 per KWH.

    Sceptics remain unconvinced given fusions’ many false dawns but its proponents are increasingly optimistic.

    “In addition to being our best path out of the climate crisis, less expensive energy, I think it is transformational for society,” said Altman. “If the company can accomplish that it will be one of the most important moments in the history of energy and just a massive transformation of how the world works.”

    As a matter of personal Sci-Fi preference I find the Blade-Runner 2049 rather 'old hat' and prefer Ian M Banks's vision of the future as being 'more realistic' especially in 'Dark Matter'. Or if you want to go backwards in time read Steven Erickson's 10-book series starting with 'Gardens of the Moon' but in evolutionary terms 'Memories of Ice' is really good, much better than 'Game of Thrones'. After all, the only conclusion I can draw is that Nature and Human Nature are, will, and always have been inseparable and inter-dependent. Everything Lauren Holt says above is correct though and further food for thought.

    Yes, but as you know THHuxleynew all hypotheses are speculative especially in cold fusion until they are radically disproven. Science only moves forward in small steps by advancing theories thought up initially in 'thought experiments' like in Einstein and Sternglass's case, proven correct by the advent of hydrogen bombs which 'work'. The mRNA vaccines also 'work' but in both cases terrestrial use of virus or nuclear technology both can have disastrous side-effects, on the one hand destroying the innate immune system and on the other wiping out the whole planet in nuclear armageddon. Which fate do you prefer?

    The latest from someone who has apparently bought the patents for the Papp engine:

    Peter Lusk, Jr.

    Peter Lusk, Jr.

    4 months ago

    I did some due diligence on buying the patents and parts from his widow. A physicist friend I brought thought it was a fusion engine. The magnetic design was key in aligning the gasses as it compresses and the spark is hit enough to fuse h2. I doubt it but it sounded reasonable as the later design was the charged cylinder passes thru a magnetic field so that an he is compressed ionized and fission could happen when it sparks...thought it was very dirty and many who worked on it died of leukemia and other cancer but who knows. The investors did not buy the old parts and prototype

    Well said Edo, your training as an environmental chemist reveals all the lies and nonsense put out by the carbon dioxide dilemma. And the horrific consequences of the unjustified rises in retail electricity bills, which whilst I agree it is a good idea to use less energy, the big companies like EDF etc. are conning us that they are saving the planet by hiking the prices!

    ......and furthermore:

    To succeed, future variants will have to evade immunity. But they could come with other worrying properties. Sato’s team found that BA.4 and BA.5 were deadlier in hamsters than was BA.2, and better able to infect cultured lung cells6. Epidemiology studies, such as the one led by Jassat, suggest that successive COVID-19 waves are getting milder. But this trend should not be taken for granted, Sato cautions. Viruses don’t necessarily evolve to become less deadly.

    It’s also unclear when the next variant will appear. BA.4 and BA.5 started emerging in South Africa only a few months after BA.1 and BA.2, a pattern now being repeated in places including the United Kingdom and United States. But as global immunity from repeated vaccination and infection builds, Althaus expects the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 waves to slow down.

    One possible future for SARS-CoV-2 is that it will become like the other four seasonal coronaviruses, the levels of which ebb and flow with the seasons, usually peaking in winter and typically reinfecting people every three years or so, Althaus says. “The big question is whether symptoms will become milder and milder and whether issues with long COVID will slowly disappear,” he says. “If it stays like it is now, then it will be a serious public-health problem.”

    doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-01730-y


    1. Tegally, H. et al. Preprint at medRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.01.22274406 (2022).
    2. Cao, Y. et al. Nature https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04980-y (2022).

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    3. Tuekprakhon, A. et al. Cell https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2022.06.005 (2022).

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    4. Khan, K. et al. Preprint at medRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.04.29.22274477 (2022).
    5. Wang, Q. et al. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.26.493517 (2022).
    6. Kimura, I. et al. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.26.493539 (2022).
    7. Reynolds, C. J. et al. Science https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abq1841 (2022).

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    From Nature Briefing today, the future of COVID looks bleak:

    What will come next?

    That’s anybody’s guess. The parade of Omicron subvariants could continue, with new variants picking further holes in existing immunity. “Nobody can say BA.4/5 is the final variant. It is highly probable that additional Omicron variants will emerge,” says Kei Sato, a virologist at the University of Tokyo. Researchers have identified several spots on the spike protein that are currently recognized by the antibodies that are triggered by vaccination and previous infection, but that could mutate in future Omicron strains2.

    Another possibility is the emergence of a variant from a branch of the SARS-CoV-2 family tree different from the one that bore Omicron. Repeat Omicron infections could build broad immunity against successive lineages, creating an opening for a totally different SARS-CoV-2 variant that is unfamiliar to people’s immune responses, says Gupta. “The bar is getting higher and higher for a virus to take over.”

    Increasingly, scientists think that variants including Omicron and Alpha probably originated from months-long chronic SARS-CoV-2 infections, in which sets of immune-evading and transmissibility-boosting mutations can build up. But the longer Omicron and its offshoots continue to dominate, the less likely it is that a totally new variant will emerge from a chronic infection, says Mahan Ghafari, who researches viral evolution at the University of Oxford, UK.