Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Short Takes – 12-26-23

Doctors found a way to 3D print inside the human body. BGR.com article. Pull quote: “It’s an amazing breakthrough that could allow for a ton of medical applications, including mending broken bones, stopping leaky organs, and more. The development of this new option builds off the past creation of photosensitive ink that hardens when exposed to light.”

Turning plastic trash into chemistry treasure. Newswise.com article. Pull quote: “The reuse of waste plastic was demonstrated by adding plastic shreds of a common grocery bag to the ball mill jar and successfully carrying out the reaction. The team also showed their method could be applied to the treatment of highly toxic polyhalogenated compounds, which are widely used in industry. Polyethylene was employed to initiate a radical reaction that removed multiple halogen atoms from a compound commonly used as a flame retardant, thus reducing its toxicity.”

NASA asteroid sampling mission renamed OSIRIS-APEX for new journey. “OSIRIS-APEX will arrive at the asteroid [Apophis] on April 13, 2029 [just before the asteroid’s closest approach to Earth], and operate in its proximity for about the next 18 months. In addition to studying changes to Apophis caused by its Earth encounter, the spacecraft will conduct many of the same investigations OSIRIS-REx did at Bennu, including using its instrument suite of imagers, spectrometers, and a laser altimeter to closely map the surface and analyze its chemical makeup.”

New Nuclear Deflection Simulations Advance Planetary Defense Against Asteroid Threats. HomelandSecurityNewswire.com article. Pull quote: “This model will allow researchers to build upon the insights gained from NASA’s recent Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, where, in September 2022, a kinetic impactor was deliberately crashed into an asteroid to alter its trajectory. However, with limitations in the mass that can be lifted to space, scientists continue to explore nuclear deflection as a viable alternative to kinetic impact missions.”

4,4′-Methylene bis(2-chloroaniline); Request Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for Records and Reports of Significant Adverse Reactions to Health or the Environment. Federal Register EPA adverse reaction notice. Summary: “Through this notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring manufacturers (including importers) and processors of the chemical substance 4,4′-methylene bis(2-chloroaniline) to submit the records and reports of allegations that this chemical substance causes significant adverse reactions to health or the environment that they are required to maintain and submit to EPA when requested under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Information submitted to the Agency in response to this notice will help inform future EPA activities regarding this chemical, including aiding EPA activities related to this chemical substance having been identified as a candidate for designation as a High-Priority Substance for TSCA risk evaluation.”

Finally, a good reason to travel to space. WashingtonPost.com article. Pull quote: “Instruments themselves might also be adapted for space. In recent years, a few people have experimented with bringing music-makers on parabolic flights — where astronauts train for missions and scientists carry out experiments in spurts of zero gravity that last about 20 to 25 seconds. DJ and music producer Marc Marzenit found it tiring to play a keyboard in this environment and said he could imagine wanting a vertical piano for low gravity.”

GOP seeks upper hand as prospect of automatic budget cuts stirs fears. TheHill.com article. Pull quote: “Experts and congressional aides are now warning that nondefense funding could wind up seeing a harder hit from the threat of the automatic 1 percent cut. This is because the new scoring by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows funding for nondefense is over $30 billion higher than its recorded levels initially set by lawmakers for fiscal 2023.” Spending bill just get more confusing.

NASA Issues New Space Security Best Practices Guide. NASA.gov article. Pull quote: “As space missions and technologies grow increasingly interconnected, NASA has released the first iteration of its Space Security Best Practices Guide to bolster mission cybersecurity efforts for both public sector and private sector space activities.”

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