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These pits are what trigger the second, larger explosion. The weapons in the U. The main concern of people pushing to resume testing is that the plutonium pits may have deteriorated from their own radiation in the 25 years since they were made and will not properly trigger the second fusion stage of the explosion.
Since most of the previous tests were done on much younger bombs with newer plutonium pits, supporters of testing claim that the subcritical tests cannot accurately test this part of the process. The deterioration of the plutonium pit is a valid concern. To study this, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used a far more radioactive type of plutonium and artificially aged the metal to simulate the effects of what would be equivalent to years of radiation on a normal plutonium pit.
However, these scientists do not suggest that it is necessary to conduct live nuclear tests. Decades of experimental studies by nuclear weapons laboratories have led experts to believe that the U.
Additionally, a new, billion-dollar facility is currently being built in Nevada that will provide even finer detail to the data from subcritical test explosions. Once subcritical test facilities are up and running, it is relatively inexpensive to run experiments. So is it politics? Currently, nuclear powers around the world are all improving the missiles that carry nuclear warheads, but not yet the warheads themselves.
With little evidence, the Trump administration has sought to sow suspicion that Russia and China may be secretly conducting very low-yield nuclear tests, implying that the countries are trying to build better nuclear warheads.
In response, movement towards testing in the U. The Senate Armed Services Committee recently approved an amendment to spend US million to cut the time it would take to conduct a test if the president ordered one. Some officials seem to believe that a resumption of U. But we believe the opposite to be true.
Even though the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has not entered into force, nearly every nuclear power on earth has more or less followed its rules. But if the U. No other country, aside from Russia, has as robust a foundation. If the ban were broken, it would give other countries like Iran, India, Pakistan and China a chance to gather huge amounts of information and improve their weapons while the U.
When it comes to the U. This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Some insects, like mosquitoes, bite people and make them sick — remember Zika? Now the U. Some insects, like bees, are pollinators that help produce our food. Others, like locusts, currently threaten crops in East Africa and Asia, preferring to eat our food instead.
Insects have proven themselves extremely capable at evolving strategies to get around control methods, such as chemical insecticides and habitat modification, and current pest control technologies are simply not keeping up. We are both insect scientists. Our research has included engineering a fungus to control malaria mosquitoes, uncovering the reproductive biology of honey bee workers and understanding the health impacts of invasive ticks.
This technology can guarantee that a trait will be inherited by the next generation. Such traits include making mosquitoes immune to the malaria parasite so they cannot spread the disease to humans. Recently we contributed to a statement that advocates for continuing gene drive research. In light of calls for a moratorium, this statement recognizes that a ban on gene drive research would hamper a better understanding, and thus mitigation, of risks associated with this technology.
Moratoriums on gene drive technology have been called for and rejected at the last two United Nations Conventions on Biological Diversity. But there is a new push for a moratorium. What is gene drive? Gene drive is a technology that could allow society to control insects in a more targeted manner. The general underlying principle of all gene drives is an organism that will produce offspring similar to themselves.
Some characteristics are randomly passed on from parents to the next generation. However, gene drive forces a different type of inheritance that ensures a specific characteristic is always present in the next generation. Scientists engineer gene drive using various molecular tools. Gene drive is not just a human invention; some occur naturally in insects. This type of genetic phenomenon has been well studied by scientists.
To date, gene drive has been discussed in the media primarily in order to eradicate malaria. This may give you the impression that gene drive can be used only to drive mosquitoes to extinction. However, gene drive technologies are highly versatile and can be designed to bring about different outcomes. They can also be applied in most insect species that scientists can study in the laboratory. Why insects? Insects reproduce quickly and produce lots of offspring, which makes them obvious candidates for a technology that relies on inheritance like gene drive.
This is why insects are at the leading edge of gene drive research. Gene drive is a new technology that could provide a solution to a variety of insect issues society faces today. For instance, a gene drive has been developed to stop a major crop pest, the spotted-wing Drosophila.
Insecticide sensitivity could be spread through populations of this pest species to stop tens of millions of dollars in crop damage every year in the United States. In the United States, millions of dollars have been spent on removing fire ants using techniques including chemical insecticides, but if these persistent ants are not completely eradicated, they invade again.
Aside from how good insects are at circumventing our strategies to control them, another major struggle for controlling insects is finding them. Insects have evolved to quickly find the opposite sex to mate, and gene drives, which are passed on by mating, can take advantage of this fact of insect life. This also means this technology targets only the intended species, which is not the case for chemical insecticides currently in use. Insect scientists, inspired by natural examples of gene drive, have wanted to design gene drive in insects for decades.
For now, gene drive insects live in laboratories and none has been released into the wild. Still, a lot can be learned about how gene drive works while it is safely contained in a laboratory. Criticisms of gene driveUsing gene drive is not a universally popular idea.
Criticisms tend to fall into three categories: ethical concerns, mistrust of technology and unintended ecological consequences. Ethical concerns about gene drive are often motivated by larger issues, such as how to stop gene drive from being used in biological weapons by engineering insects that are more dangerous. Then there is the question of who should decide which gene drive projects move forward and what types of insects with gene drive can be released into the environment.
Societal mistrust of technology is a hurdle that some powerful, innovative technologies must overcome for public acceptance. The issue of technological mistrust often stems from disagreements about who should be developing technology to control insects and for what purposes.
The third common argument against gene drive technologies is that they might cause unintended consequences in the ecosystem because gene drive is designed by humans and unnatural. What will happen to the natural ecosystem if a population, even of mosquitoes that make people sick, is driven to extinction?
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Tue, 14 Jul GMT Foreign workers struggle to return to UAE amid virus limbo Eudinson Uy and his pregnant wife planned to return to their home in the United Arab Emirates after a vacation in Armenia, but due to a subsequent lockdown of the Gulf country over the coronavirus pandemic, she ended up giving birth there. Four months later, the Filipino couple and their baby boy are still stuck in Armenia, like thousands of others now trying to return to the UAE, which relies on a vast foreign workforce.
Trump casts a long shadow over the Alabama race, backing Tuberville after turning decisively against his former Cabinet member. Sessions held the seat safely for 20 years before resigning to lead Trump's Justice Department.
Schools confront the politics of reopening On the other side are parents and teachers who call for safeguards that would have been unimaginable before the coronavirus pandemic: part-time school, face coverings for all or a fully online curriculum.
With many districts still finalizing how they may reopen, President Donald Trump has ramped up pressure to get public schools back in business, threatening to withhold federal funding from those that don't resume in-person classes.
China accused the U. Other governments avoided direct comment on the U. However, it has kept interfering in the issue," the Chinese Embassy in the United States said in statement published on its website.
But Japan's annual defence review accuses China of pushing its territorial claims amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspects Beijing of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations fighting Covid The white paper described "relentless" intrusions in waters around a group of islets claimed by both nations in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
In the South China Sea, it said Beijing was asserting territorial claims by establishing administrative districts around disputed islands, that forced countries distracted by the coronavirus outbreak to respond.
Japan sees China as a longer-term and more serious threat than nuclear-armed North Korea. Beijing now spends four times as much as Tokyo on defence as it builds a large modern military. Japan's defence review also claimed China appeared to be responsible for "propaganda" and "disinformation" amid "social uncertainties and confusion" caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Such disinformation included online claims that the coronavirus was brought to China by a US military member, or that Chinese herbal remedies could treat Covid, a defence ministry official said at a briefing.
Other threats faced by Japan include North Korea's ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as well as a resurgence of military activity by Russia in the skies and waters in Japan, at times in joint drills with China, the defence review said Tue, 14 Jul GMT UN: Airstrike in northwest Yemen kills 7 children, 2 women Tue, 14 Jul GMT EU summit may not reach recovery fund deal: Merkel German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday it is unclear whether EU leaders will reach agreement on a billion-euro pandemic recovery fund at this week's summit, amid resistance from more frugal member states.
Putin has been urging such a summit that would bring him together with US President Donald Trump, potentially just before the Republican vies for reelection in November.
In Baltimore, people with hearings to reach final decisions were allowed to enter the federal building housing the immigration court only if they wore masks. Benches in a courtroom and seats in a waiting area were blocked off with tape, and social distancing signs were placed on the floor and elevators. Mon, 13 Jul GMT Rights group: Reporter jailed in Egypt dies from virus Mon, 13 Jul GMT Row erupts over exclusion of social care workers from health visa despite their sacrifices during pandemic Care home staff have been virtually excluded from the new post-Brexit, fast-track visa for health and social care workers, as the Government insisted British workers could make up the shortfall.
Government officials admitted the vast majority of care staff - many from Eastern Europe - will fall short in the new points-based immigration system that will only allow in migrants from January 1 next year if they have skilled job offers, speak English and meet minimum salary thresholds. It raised hopes in the social care sector which claims it faces shortages of , staff. He said it demonstrated that Government claims to be integrating health and social care were hollow and would leave the sector facing chronic shortages.
There is a mismatch between rhetoric and reality. It also sparked a political row. With the ending of free movement, skilled EU and non-EU migrants will be treated the same and have to earn 70 points to work in the UK. To get the first 50, they need to have a job offer from an approved employer, speak English and have a job at the appropriate skill level A-level or above.
Border Force and immigration officials will also be able to bar foreign migrants found guilty of serious harm even if they have been sentenced to less than a year in jail as well as persistent offenders such as prolific thieves, burglars and pickpockets. They will be expected to pass a test or have an academic degree taught in English or be a national of a majority English speaking country.
The money raised through the levy will pay for training up British workers but is expected to be reviewed in depending on migrant numbers. There will be no limit on the number of international students to approved universities or colleges, while foreign graduates at UK universities will be allowed to stay in the UK for two years, rising to three years for PHD graduates.
Allentown police released a much longer surveillance video of the incident that showed the officer putting his knee on the man's head and neck area twice while he was being restrained a few steps from the emergency room entrance — the first time for eight seconds, the second for 20 seconds.
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