Kate Middleton Biography

April 26, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

in full Catherine Elizabeth Middleton ( April 25, 2011)

Socialite. Fiancee of Britain’s Prince William. Born January 9, 1982, in Berkshire, England, to pilot Michael and flight attendant Carole Middleton. In 1987, the Middletons founded their own party goods company, which helped to make them millionaires. Kate, the oldest of three children, has a younger sister, Philippa (“Pippa”) and a younger brother, James. Middleton attended the exclusive St. Andrew’s Prep School until she was 13 and then Marlborough College, where she passed 11 GCSEs and three A-level exams.

Like Prince William, Kate Middleton was a student at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where she graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in art history. In 2001, while in her second year at the University of St. Andrews, Middleton met Prince William of Wales. Since 2003, she and the prince have been in an on-again-off-again relationship that has been the subject of intense media scrutiny.

In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail from the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department. This led to rumors that Middleton was being groomed for a position of royalty. In 2007, however, the couple publicly split. Media reports said otherwise, as Middleton had been spotted at several royal events accompanied by the prince, and other rumors indicated that the couple had been living together. Both parties denied the rumors.

In November 2006, Middleton accepted a position as an assistant accessories buyer with the British clothing chain Jigsaw, but it was reported that she left the company in order to study portrait photography. In 2010, it was revealed that Kate Middleton had been working on plans to start a new bakery business with her brother, James. Since 2007, James Middleton has been running The Cake Kit Company, with the goal of encouraging kids to cook and making the baking of party cakes easier.

On November 16, 2010, it was announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged after the prince proposed during a vacation to Kenya. The wedding is scheduled for April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey in London. The couple made plans to live in North Wales, where Prince William is stationed with the Royal Air Force, after their marriage.

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Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth dies

April 26, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
John Wilkes Booth is killed when Union soldiers track him down to a Virginia farm 12 days after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

Twenty-six-year-old Booth was one of the most famous actors in the country when he shot Lincoln during a performance at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., on the night of April 14. Booth was a Maryland native and a strong supporter of the Confederacy. As the war entered its final stages, Booth hatched a conspiracy to kidnap the president. He enlisted the aid of several associates, but the opportunity never presented itself. After the surrender of Robert E. Lee‘s Confederate army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, Booth changed the plan to a simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward. Only Lincoln was actually killed, however. Seward was stabbed by Lewis Paine but survived, while the man assigned to kill Johnson did not carry out his assignment.

After shooting Lincoln, Booth jumped to the stage below Lincoln’s box seat. He landed hard, breaking his leg, before escaping to a waiting horse behind the theater. Many in the audience recognized Booth, so the army was soon hot on his trail. Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, made their way across the Anacostia River and headed toward southern Maryland. The pair stopped at Dr. Samuel Mudd’s home, and Mudd treated Booth’s leg. This earned Mudd a life sentence in prison when he was implicated as part of the conspiracy, but the sentence was later commuted. Booth found refuge for several days at the home of Thomas A. Jones, a Confederate agent, before securing a boat to row across the Potomac to Virginia.

After receiving aid from several Confederate sympathizers, Booth’s luck finally ran out. The countryside was swarming with military units looking for Booth, although few shared information since there was a $20,000 reward. While staying at the farm of Richard Garrett, Federal troops arrived on their search but soon rode on. The unsuspecting Garrett allowed his suspicious guests to sleep in his barn, but he instructed his son to lock the barn from the outside to prevent the strangers from stealing his horses. A tip led the Union soldiers back to the Garrett farm, where they discovered Booth and Herold in the barn. Herold came out, but Booth refused. The building was set on fire to flush Booth, but he was shot while still inside. He lived for three hours before gazing at his hands, muttering “Useless, useless,” as he died.

Researchers Build a Transistor Out Of a Single Electron

April 26, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Sketchset
An atomic-scale depiction of the SketchSET shows three wires (green bars) converging on the central island (center green area), which can house up to two electrons. Electrons tunnel from one wire to another through the island. Conditions on the third wire can result in distinct conductive properties. Credit: U. Pittsburgh
A University of Pittsburgh-led team has created a single-electron transistor that provides a building block for new, more powerful computer memories, advanced electronic materials, and the basic components of quantum computers.
The researchers report in Nature Nanotechnology that the transistor’s central component—an island only 1.5 nanometers in diameter—operates with the addition of only one or two electrons. That capability would make the transistor important to a range of computational applications, from ultradense memories to quantum processors, powerful devices that promise to solve problems so complex that all of the world’s computers working together for billions of years could not crack them.
In addition, the tiny central island could be used as an artificial atom for developing new classes of artificial electronic materials, such as exotic superconductors with properties not found in natural materials, explained lead researcher Jeremy Levy, a professor of physics and astronomy in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences. Levy worked with lead author and Pitt physics and astronomy graduate student Guanglei Cheng, as well as with Pitt physics and astronomy researchers Feng Bi, Daniela Bogorin, and Cheng Cen. The Pitt researchers worked with a team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison led by materials science and engineering professor Chang-Beom Eom, including research associates Chung Wun Bark, Jae-Wan Park, and Chad Folkman. Also part of the team were Gilberto Medeiros-Ribeiro, of HP Labs, and Pablo F. Siles, a doctoral student at the State University of Campinas in Brazil.
Levy and his colleagues named their device SketchSET, or sketch-based single-electron transistor, after a technique developed in Levy’s lab in 2008 that works like a microscopic Etch A SketchTM, the drawing toy that inspired the idea. Using the sharp conducting probe of an atomic force microscope, Levy can create such electronic devices as wires and transistors of nanometer dimensions at the interface of a crystal of strontium titanate and a 1.2 nanometer thick layer of lanthanum aluminate. The electronic devices can then be erased and the interface used anew.
The SketchSET—which is the first single-electron transistor made entirely of oxide-based materials—consists of an island formation that can house up to two electrons. The number of electrons on the island—which can be only zero, one, or two—results in distinct conductive properties. Wires extending from the transistor carry additional electrons across the island.
One virtue of a single-electron transistor is its extreme sensitivity to an electric charge, Levy explained. Another property of these oxide materials is ferroelectricity, which allows the transistor to act as a solid-state memory. The ferroelectric state can, in the absence of external power, control the number of electrons on the island, which in turn can be used to represent the 1 or 0 state of a memory element. A computer memory based on this property would be able to retain information even when the processor itself is powered down, Levy said. The ferroelectric state also is expected to be sensitive to small pressure changes at nanometer scales, making this device potentially useful as a nanoscale charge and force sensor.
Since August 2010, Levy has led a $7.5 million, multi-institutional project to construct a semiconductor with properties similar to SketchSET, he said. Funded by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program, the five-year effort is intended to overcome some of the most significant challenges related to the development of quantum information technology. Levy works on that project with researchers from Cornell, Stanford, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Michigan, and UW-Madison.
Provided by University of Pittsburgh
“Researchers create super-small transistor, artificial atom powered by single electrons.” April 18th, 2011. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-super-small-transistor-artificial-atom-powered.html

World Health Officials Debate Whether To Destroy Last Existing Samples of Smallpox

April 26, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Smallpox Vacine

Smallpox Vaccine Wikimedia Commons

By Rebecca BoylePosted 04.13.2011 at 12:00 pm

Humanity’s worst scourge, the smallpox virus, may finally wind up on death row in May if health officials decide to destroy the last known samples. The virus was eliminated in human populations more than 30 years ago, but several international groups want to kill any remaining virus samples stored in test tubes on two continents.
Destruction of the smallpox virus, which was eradicated in the 1970s, has been mulled since 1980, but World Health Organization officials renewed debate about the matter earlier this year and will decide the viruses’ fate at an upcoming meeting.
Two labs possess the last known live samples of the variola virus — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and a Russian facility in Siberia. Officials in developing nations, where smallpox is more likely to spread should it resurface, have been pushing for their destruction since 1980. The World Health Assembly decided to kill the samples in 1996, but they have been granted stays of execution in the decade and a half since, with the United States, Russia and others arguing the virus samples could seed new vaccines and potential treatments for infected patients.
In January, WHO officials again started discussions about whether to destroy the samples. The World Health Assembly will decide in May. LiveScience reviews the controversy here.
Epidemiologists believe smallpox has killed about one-third of those it has infected throughout history, accounting for hundreds of millions of victims dating back to ancient Egypt. A decade-long global vaccination effort eliminated the virus from human populations; the last natural case was found in October 1977 in Somalia. The elimination of Rinderpest, a cattle plague, will be only the second such disease eradication story in human history.
Officials in the U.S. and Russia have said they will fight efforts to set a destruction date, arguing the viruses are needed for research and to guard against bioterrorism. Some fear nations like North Korea or Iran may possess secret samples, although those countries deny it.
[LiveScience]

Research Requests

April 25, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
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Jonas Salk Developer of Polio Vaccine

April 25, 2011 · Posted in Medicine · Comment 

Biography: Jonas Salk Developer of Polio Vaccine Jonas Salk Date of birth: October 28, 1914 Jonas Salk Date of death: June 23, 1995 Back to Jonas Salk Biography In America in the 1950s, summertime was a time of fear and anxiety for many parents; this … by The American Academy of Achievement

In America in the 1950s, summertime was a time of fear and anxiety for many parents; this was the season when children by the thousands became infected with the crippling disease poliomyelitis, or polio. This burden of fear was lifted forever when it was announced that Dr. Jonas Salk had developed a vaccine against the disease. Salk became world-famous overnight, but his discovery was the result of many years of painstaking research.

Jonas Salk was born in New York City. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants who, although they themselves lacked formal education, were determined to see their children succeed, and encouraged them to study hard. Jonas Salk was the first member of his family to go to college. He entered the City College of New York intending to study law, but soon became intrigued by medical science.

While attending medical school at New York University, Salk was invited to spend a year researching influenza. The virus that causes flu had only recently been discovered and the young Salk was eager to learn if the virus could be deprived of its ability to infect, while still giving immunity to the illness. Salk succeeded in this attempt, which became the basis of his later work on polio.

After completing medical school and his internship, Salk returned to the study of influenza, the flu virus. World War II had begun, and public health experts feared a replay of the flu epidemic that had killed millions in the wake of the First World War. The development of vaccines controlled the spread of flu after the war and the epidemic of 1919 did not recur.

In 1947, Salk accepted an appointment to the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. While working there, with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, Salk saw an opportunity to develop a vaccine against polio, and devoted himself to this work for the next eight years.

Salk 2In 1955 Salk’s years of research paid off. Human trials of the polio vaccine effectively protected the subject from the polio virus. When news of the discovery was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a miracle worker. He further endeared himself to the public by refusing to patent the vaccine. He had no desire to profit personally from the discovery, but merely wished to see the vaccine disseminated as widely as possible.

Salk’s vaccine was composed of “killed” polio virus, which retained the ability to immunize without running the risk of infecting the patient. A few years later, a vaccine made from live polio virus was developed, which could be administered orally, while Salk’s vaccine required injection. Further, there was some evidence that the “killed” vaccine failed to completely immunize the patient. In the U.S., public health authorities elected to distribute the “live” oral vaccine instead of Salk’s. Tragically, the preparation of live virus infected some patients with the disease, rather than immunizing them. Since the introduction of the original vaccine, the few new cases of polio reported in the United States were probably caused by the “live” vaccine which was intended to prevent them.

In countries where Salk’s vaccine has remained in use, the disease has been virtually eradicated.

Salk 3In 1963, Salk founded the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies, an innovative center for medical and scientific research. Jonas Salk continued to conduct research and publish books, some written in collaboration with one or more of his sons, who are also medical scientists.

Salk’s published books include Man Unfolding (1972), The Survival of the Wisest(1973), World Population and Human Values: A New Reality (1981), and Anatomy of Reality (1983).

Dr. Salk’s last years were spent searching for a vaccine against AIDS. Jonas Salk died on June 23, 1995. He was 80 years old.

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