National Nuclear Agency with IAEA develops new radiopharmaceutical to detect TB

While several radiopharmaceuticals are able to detect TB, they are not specific enough to the disease and hence cannot be used for clinical diagnosis.

Brought under control in much of the developed world, tuberculosis, or TB, remains one of the leading causes of death in many developing countries. In Indonesia, where over 360,000 cases are discovered each year, and another 600,000 cases are estimated as unreported, detection of a form of tuberculosis that affects organs other than the lung will soon become easier – thanks to a new radiopharmaceutical developed by the country’s National Nuclear Agency (BATAN), with support from the IAEA. Read more.

NNSA, TVA agree to ‘down-blend’ uranium to produce tritium for weapons

The National Nuclear Security Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority announce that they intend to enter into an agreement to “down-blend” highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium in order to help produce tritium, a key “boosting” component in nuclear weapons. The highly enriched uranium used for the “down-blending” is processed, packaged, and shipped from the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, according to the NNSA. Y-12 is the main storage facility for certain categories of highly enriched uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons and in naval reactors. Read more.

Comparability of Meteoric Water Lines: Daily, Monthly, Or Annual Data?

The stable isotopes of hydrogen (δ2H) and oxygen (δ18O) have been widely applied in hydrology. The equation relating δ2H to δ18O in precipitation, also defined as a meteoric water line, can provide a reference point for interpretation of stable isotopic compositions of a range of water samples in an area. Influenced by many spatial and meteorological factors, the slopes and intercepts of meteoric water lines vary depending on location. Read more.

USGS wants to help America mine asteroids, the moon and Mars ahead of global cosmic gold rush

There is big money floating around space—so much so we could be on the brink of a cosmic gold rush, with nations across the globe all hoping to cash in. Now, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has said it wants a piece of the action, with the agency saying it has been paying “close attention” to space resources for a number of years. Laszlo Kestay, a research geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, says that as commercial ventures hoping to mine asteroids edge closer to reality, it is the the job of the USGS to get involved. “The USGS realized that our congressional mandate to assess natural resources extends to space.” Read more.

Three new physics experiments could revamp the standard model

Physicists build giant machines to study tiny particles

Diana Parno’s head swam when she first stepped inside the enormous, metallic vessel of the experiment KATRIN. Within the house-sized, oblong structure, everything was symmetrical, clean and blindingly shiny, says Parno, a physicist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “It was incredibly disorienting.”

Now, electrons — thankfully immune to bouts of dizziness — traverse the inside of this zeppelin-shaped monstrosity located in Karlsruhe, Germany. Building the experiment took years and tens of millions of dollars. Why create such an extreme apparatus? It’s all part of a bid to measure the mass of itty-bitty subatomic particles known as neutrinos. Read more.