Perhaps, bioterrorists will not be able to spread lethal bacteria of anthrax in envelopes all over the world. Siberian biologists and physics have thought up how to adapt electron accelerator that is usually used for sterilizing medical equipment for decontamination of letters. To optimize the power of the accelerator they calculated how many bacteria could get into a human body when touching the letter infected and how many bacteria should be destroyed to avoid the tragedy.
For their experiment the scientists chose two bacteria species that form almost ineradicable spores. Both species were genetically close to anthrax. One of them is a harmless inhabitant of soils whereas the other causes a disease in insects. Its spores in the mixture with the powdered mineral kaolin can be used as insecticide.
When imitating the probable actions of mail terrorists the scientists made 60 paper packets with the sides of 50 and 25 millimeters and poured a quarter of a gram of sterile kaolin. Then several drops of suspension, which contained 10 million spores per one milliliter, were added into each packet and intensively mixed with kaolin. Then the packets were dried at 70 C and put into envelopes.
Alexander Barne | alfa
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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