SCIENCE:

ASTRONOMY

 

In March we studied the Earth from its formation through many stages of solidification and tectonic plate movements and ice ages up to the present.

We meet again on Monday 9th April at 2:00pm at the Driftwood Spars, Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes for what will be the last of the present series of talks before the long summer recess.

In the autumn, I am thinking of starting again from the beginning and repeating the whole series for the benefit of folks who either haven't been before or who have missed certain topics this time.

We plan to look at the evidence for the spread of mankind from our early appearence in Africa, as we advanced and retreated throughout almost 800,000 years of evolution.

Many of us enjoy lunch together before the meeting, from 1:00pm. Do join us.

John Baldock
(jbaldo7679@aol.com, 01872 554241)

SCIENCE MEETING.


Please note that the time and day of the meetings for 2018 has been changed to 10:45 on the second Thursday of month at the Victoria Inn, Threemilestone Coffee is available from 10.00 am.

Last month at short notice Peter Goldsmith gave a most interesting talk on "Alternative Energy Production" reflecting on his career, initially working at Harwell where the first fusion project(ZETA) started. He began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 years, before finishing his training in 1964 at Culham.  He then worked in their Surface Physics division until 1973 before joining the Large Fusion experiments where he worked until his retirement in 1993.
Fusion hopefully will solve our future energy needs by generating electricity from hydrogen isotopes with no carbon dioxide emissions and relatively little nuclear waste. Peter explained to us the JET(Joint European Torus) project which is based on the Russian tokamak model involving a doughnut-shaped vacuum vessel which is essential for generating a plasma that is locked inside the vacuum vessel by magnetic fields that are created by an array of superconducting magnetic coils. The magnetic coils generate a current in the plasma as well as confining it, heating the plasma to 10 million °C. Further energy input with microwaves and radio waves is still required to fuse the atoms of deuterium and tritium together generating energy with temperatures of over 100 million °C, ten times hotter then in the core of the sun.     
Before Peter started his talk, his he displayed many of his photos of Cornwall. At the end he finished with a map of the county marked with many blue spots, indicating how it has been blighted by numerous solar farms. Although fusion power is still many years away, he  considers that renewable forms of energy provision are inadequate for our current needs as they fail to provide for peak energy demand. It is not easy to replace a 2000 MW coal power station with a collection of small renewable devices, hence the need to rely on US built diesel farms to regularly top up the National Grid. We need to develop more tidal lagoons and look to unlock the potential of the wave hub until the new generation of nuclear reactors come on line.                                        
More information on fusion can be found at: http://www.ccfe.ac.uk/assets/Documents/CPS16.49_May2016_low.pdf
On 12th July, Dr Anne Leonard, Research Fellow at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro campus, will talk on “ Surfers and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria”.
Faecal pollution regularly contaminates surface waters, introducing microorganisms, including bacteria and bacteria resistant to antibiotics, to coastal waters. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) present a global public health problem. With numbers of community-acquired resistant infections increasing, understanding the ways in which people are exposed to and colonised by ARB can help inform effective strategies to prevent their spread to the community. The role natural environments play in this is poorly understood. The Beach Bum Survey aimed to address this knowledge gap by combining surveillance of ARB in UK bathing waters, human exposure estimates and an epidemiological survey to explore the association between exposure to ARB in coastal waters and faecal carriage of ARB by surfers.
There will not be a meeting in August.

Read Dr Adam Feldman's "Introduction to renewable energy."

14th June,  Normal and Abnormal Blood Cell Morphology – Phil Carson
Blood is a complex liquid that circulates around the body to deliver substances to the cells and transports waste away to support life. It comprises of various fluids, a multitude of chemicals and many types of cells. Cells comprise about 45% of the volume of blood.
The erythrocytes or red blood cells are in the great majority, their essential role is to carry oxygen in the circulation to cells around the body and remove carbon dioxide from them. The characteristic red colour of blood is derived from the iron contained in the chemical Haemoglobin within the erythrocytes. Hereditary abnormalities, deficiencies and disorders may alter the red cells membrane or their constituent chemicals. Modifications may then occur in red cell size, shape, capacity to carry oxygen and affect their ability to function normally. Parasites such as Malaria may also interfere the red cells functions.
Leucocytes or white blood cells fight infection, some types engulf or phagocytose microbes and yet others participate in the body’s immune response. Leucocyte disorders may result in a poor response to infections which could be due to malignancies such as Leukaemia or Lymphoma. The accurate identification and classification of these diseases is essential so that the correct therapy is selected. Further investigations may be necessary using bone marrow and lymphoid tissue.
Colour photographic images will be used to review normal and abnormal blood cells to highlight normal functions and demonstrate the effect of deficiencies and defects.



Roy Fisher    raf59@talktalk.net

 

For all activities, please check our Google Calendar to confirm dates, times and locations

Pat Harrod & Wendy MorrisGroups coordinator