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SCIENCE

American doctors offer to treat appendicitis with antibiotics

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Dr. David Flum

Every year, on average, up to 300 thousand Americans fall into the emergency department for the removal of appendicitis. The absolute majority of people are convinced, if the inflamed appendix is ​​not removed urgently, severe consequences can be expected to the fatal ones.

However, some doctors believe that this (albeit not a complicated) operation can be completely replaced by a course of antibiotics. In a number of European countries, 5 small studies were conducted involving 1,000 patients with appendicitis inflammation, who were offered pills as an alternative to surgery. As a result, about 70% of them chose medication, after which the need for surgical intervention has disappeared.

One of the leading US specialists in the field of emergency medicine and infectious diseases, Dr. David Flum and his colleague David Talan are convinced that the possibilities of antibiotics are not exhausted and with their help there is a chance to avoid surgery in general.

By the way, this assertion has already been tested in the days of the Cold War, when the sailors of nuclear submarines of the US Navy navigating during an attack of appendicitis were given antibiotics, and everything for them ended quite safely.

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SCIENCE

Gadget Lab Podcast: Nick Thompson Discusses the Facebook Cover Story

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Everything changed for Facebook two years ago. The company was accused of making politically biased choices about which news stories showed up as trending topics in users’ news feeds. The adjustments Facebook made in response to those criticisms not only changed Facebook’s platform in fundamental ways, but it also significantly altered the landscape of politics in America and elsewhere. WIREDs editor in chief Nick Thompson has just published—along with his coauthor, contributing editor Fred Vogelstein—a lengthy cover story about Facebook’s “two years of hell.” The gripping saga shows how the social network’s power to affect how its users see the world and its inaction in combatting bad actors have had disastrous consequences. This episode isn’t about gadgets, but it’s an important listen nonetheless.

Some notes: Read the Facebook story, which is also WIRED magazine’s March cover story. The launch of Instant Articles. Adam Mosseri’s 2016 post about the initial News Feed tweaks. Last month, Facebook tweaked the News Feed again. Nick interviews Tristan Harris in 2017. Mark Zuckerberg’s dream of the global community.

Recommendations this week: You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier, Jennifer Kahn’s profile of Lanier in The New Yorker, Havit’s Ultra Thin mechanical keyboard, and the game of Backgammon.

Send the hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric, Nick Thompson is @nxthompson, and Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

We’re also on Soundcloud, and every episode gets posted to wired.com as soon as it’s released. If you still can’t figure it out, or there’s another platform you use that we’re not on, let us know.

Go Back to Top. Skip To: Start of Article.

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SCIENCE

Gadget Lab Podcast: Google’s AI-Powered Camera Exposes Photography’s Future

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SCIENCE

Concepts of future air transportation: vibro-wings and drones – “scarecrow”

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Energy of oscillations of wings

At the end of May, a competition among engineers and future designers, offering their vision of the future of air transportation, will end in Hamburg. The winners will receive a prize of 30,000 euros.

The Multifun team at Delft University from the Netherlands suggested the idea of ​​collecting energy from the natural vibrations of the liner wings during the flight, for which they must be covered with composite leather. Piezoelectric fibers collect energy in special batteries built into the fuselage. After that, it can be used to power the auxiliary on-board systems.

Their opponents from the team Birdport have developed a concept of drones in the role of scarecrows that drive birds away from the runway area. Drones with the help of certain sounds and baits will lead flocks of birds to the side, thereby reducing the likelihood of collision with airplanes.

Drones-bugaboo

Team Retrolley from the University of São Paulo (Brazil) attracted the idea of ​​recycling the waste of passenger airliners after the flight. To do this, they developed a special cart, where rubbish will be sorted and disposed of by minimizing the volume of foil, paper and plastic. Liquid waste will also be collected there.

Carts for recycling airplane garbage

Meanwhile, a system developed at the Northwest Polytechnic University in China suggests using motion detection technology, infrared and visible information to alert pilots and ground workers about various obstacles.

Obstruction detection
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SCIENCE

Swedish artist-futurist painted an earth colony on Mars

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Station on Mars

In the early sixties, at the dawn of the space age, it seemed to many that it would soon be (in 40-50 years) Mars will be “in our pocket”. Alas, but so far these are only dreams that can be realized not earlier than in 15-20 years, which means there is an occasion to dream about how it will look.

A young Swedish futurist artist Wil Eriksson created a series of drawings dedicated to the first earthly colonists on Mars. In them he displayed several fragments of the development of the Red Planet, which for a number of features is similar to the Earth and is the most accessible.

Martian plantations

As a result of the rotation around the Sun, our planets sometimes converge to 34-55 million km or vice versa they are removed to 400 million km. At the moment of closest approach, space launches are launched to Mars. According to the calculations of scientists , flight crew can take up to 9 months, after which within a year they have to wait for another rapprochement, to go on the return journey.

So Wil Eriksson represents the space station on the near-Martian orbit. In it, for sure, many will see similarities to the ISS:

Space station in orbit of Mars

And these are settlements of earthlings. In the representation of Eriksson, these are huge transparent domes with cities and fields inside, on which grow earth plants that give food and oxygen. Domes are completely hermetic and people can be there without spacesuits:

Settlement on Mars

The conquest of Olympus – the highest extinct volcano of the solar system. Its height is almost 3 times higher than Everest, and its diameter is 540 km:

The Conquest of Olympus
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SCIENCE

Is the sun a star or a planet?

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The sun

Our luminary contains many secrets. To find the answer to the question “The sun is a star or a planet,” you first need to figure out how the planets and stars form and what they are.

How stars appear

Stars are incredibly huge accumulations of gas held by the force of their own gravity. In their bowels there are reactions of thermonuclear synthesis, as a result of which colossal energy is released. The first stars appeared at the dawn of the universe from clouds of gas and dust particles. These particles collided, forming large and large objects. And the larger the object became, the stronger it attracted new particles.

Such embryos of future stars warmed up from the constant bombardment of dust and larger pieces of matter. As a result, their gravity gathered around itself a cloud of gases, warming it up. Then the first thermonuclear reaction took place, and the star began to “shine”! The remaining gases and dust formed a disk around the young star.

The sun

How the planets appear

After the birth of a star, there are many “building materials” around it. This gas-dust disk rotates, carried away by the force of its gravity. All new and new particles of dust in it collide, creating larger objects. From constant collisions they warm up. Therefore, the first planets resembled volcanic lava, which gradually cooled, covered with bark of stone. Others gathered around themselves clouds of gas, becoming gas giants.

When the solar system only appeared, there were several dozen planets in it. They circled in a mad dance around their star, colliding, collapsing or merging. Small fragments attracted larger ones, becoming a part of them. Others flew to the periphery of the system, forming a belt of asteroids, existing, to this day. And all that is left inside this belt, attracted by the planets.

What is the Sun?

Now we have found out that our Sun belongs to the stars. But what is our luminary and what is its composition?

The sun consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. It contains other substances, but in much smaller quantities. There is at it a nucleus in which thermonuclear reactions proceed. Because of the incredible gravity, a photon from the core of the Sun reaches its surface for hundreds of thousands of years. Sometimes this path takes millions of years. After that, the photon needs only 8 minutes to get to the Earth. Every day we see the light formed in the bowels of the Sun hundreds of thousands of years ago.

The temperatures of the surface and the core of the star differ by several million degrees. The outer shell of the Sun is a crown, it consists of energy eruptions and prominences. Too strong eruptions send the flow of electrons, protons, neutrinos and other particles towards the Earth . When interacting with the magnetic field of our planet, they create one of the most beautiful spectacles – the northern lights!

The sun is an amazing heavenly body. It gives light to each of us. Everything in the solar system, including our planet and ourselves, consists of those particles of gas and dust that formed it. However, on the scale of the universe, the Sun is only a small star, the Yellow Dwarf, but which is native and close to each person!

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SCIENCE

The first cars on hydrogen fuel appeared in besieged Leningrad

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Auto Refueling with Hydrogen

According to ecologists, cars with hydrogen fuel should become one of the priority directions in the development of transport of the future. A number of the world’s leading automakers have already presented prototypes that attracted the attention of experts and car owners. And yet this is just a “test pen.”

However, few people know that the massive use of hydrogen in automobile engines already took place 74 years ago and not somewhere, but in besieged Leningrad in the most difficult days of 1941.

In the air defense system of Leningrad, barrage balloons were actively used, which were filled with hydrogen. However, over time, hydrogen exited through the damages in the skin, and its place was filled with air. To replenish the balloons it was necessary to lower them to the ground with the help of winches installed on cars. Below low-quality hydrogen bleed and refueled a new one.

The city ended with gasoline, there was no electricity, and balloons were needed, like air. The way out was found by the junior military technician of the regiment of balloons, the talented mechanic-self-taught Boris Shelishch. He suggested using contaminated hydrogen as a fuel. The system is now striking with its ingenious simplicity.

The spent hydrogen from the balloon through the hose was fed to the intake manifold of the engine “Semi-trailers”, and then through the technological adapter directly to the cylinders. The dosage of the fuel mixture of hydrogen and oxygen was carried out by means of a throttle valve and an accelerator pedal.

But the first experience almost ended tragically – there was an explosion of the mixture. Then B. Shelisch proposed to make a water gate: the used fire extinguisher was filled with water and the mixture was now absorbed through the water without the danger of an explosion.

Over the years of the blockade, several hundred cars were transferred to hydrogen. However, after its removal, they were again transferred to ordinary fuel, and a brilliant invention for many years lay in the archive.

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SCIENCE

What is a black hole?

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Black hole

Just like a black hole, just a decade ago, scientists treated with caution, believing that this is not more than one of the theories put forward by astrophysicists. Since then, a lot has changed, and now the existence of black holes is not disputed by anyone.

What is a black hole

When a star dies, amazing transformations take place. Due to the shortage of hydrogen, gradually fading, the aging star adds in size, which subsequently leads to its explosion. After this happens, the cooled star undergoes a powerful influence of gravity and becomes small, by the standards of space, a body, but with a powerful gravitational field, pulling in itself everything that will be in the zone of accessibility.

Black hole

These very “voracious” cosmic objects are capable of absorbing, with an undisguised appetite, space ships, and rays of light, and stardust, and not very large stars, such as our Sun, if they are nearby.

Curious is the fact that the black hole is almost invisible – earthy astronomers do not yet have instruments and other instruments to see it. Scientists judge the presence of a black hole only by external manifestations, observing how this cosmic vacuum cleaner eagerly sucks in the next star. At the same time, a black hole behaves like a bloodthirsty predator: by delaying the victim, it causes it to fly to shreds. And in the last stage the disappearing object begins to radiate a farewell light before it becomes invisible. Moreover, these farewell rays are X-rays, which made it possible for scientists to see an amazing process.

How many black holes in the universe

Astrophysicists claim that this phenomenon in the universe is common. Such eaters of stars and matter are present in every Galaxy. Therefore, if there are other civilizations other than the earthly one, then no one can feel safe, and therefore it is not superfluous to think about mastering not only other planets, but also other star systems.

Black holesThe accumulation of black holes

The point is that you need to keep a close eye on not only the black holes already known to astronomers today, but also to observe the processes that result in the same black holes appearing much closer to the Earth. So far the closest of them, as scientists say, exists in our Galaxy – it was called Sagittarius. And the consolation is due to the fact that this most ruthless Sagittarius is far from our planet, although it belongs to the rank of supermassive.

Earth and the Sun until the black hole threatens

Our planetary system so far can feel relatively safe from black holes, unless, of course, as a result of conflicts, it explodes itself. Hint, of course, on the conflicts that have erupted on Earth. As for Sagittarius, he is waiting for his new victims at a distance of more than 20,000 light years from us. Therefore, his activities can still be observed with the inquisitiveness of scientists who are investigating the activity of a spider woven its nets, but does not threaten us. While nothing says that a black hole can appear in our Galaxy in the coming centuries.

Black hole

What’s next, beyond the black hole?

This question excites the imagination of many scientists. After all, these objects of the universe are, as it were, beyond the bounds of time and space. There is even a theory that black holes are just a kind of transition, like the underground under a wide highway, which allows you to move to an unknown part of the universe. But skeptics consider this to be nothing more than an excuse for writing novels by science fiction writers. However, other, more solid versions do not exist yet, and therefore writers with might and main use stories with black holes in their works.

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SCIENCE

Blade-free wind turbines will be able to produce electricity without rotation

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Bezlopastnye generators

Scientists continue to search for the most efficient way of obtaining wind energy. The creators of the unusual start-up from Spain suggested using shaking poles as its source. As a result of the influence of the wind, they come into motion, like many buildings.

In the turbines are installed special magnets, which provide maximum oscillation of the poles, regardless of the strength of the wind. Then vibration with the help of a generator is converted into electricity.

The resulting energy is 40% cheaper than what is produced by “classic” windmills, since their blades are quite expensive to manufacture, and in the windmills themselves there are many moving parts. However, while no one is going to refuse them, since they produce energy still 30% more than the “newcomer”.

Pillar wind turbines are much simpler in design and their design allows you to install in a certain space a lot more turbines than vane generators. The 12.5 meter model is already ready for release, which will go on sale next year. Serial release is expected to begin in three years.

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SCIENCE

Su-27. Heavenly Knight

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Su-27 from the Squadron Russian Knights

Su-27 – one of the most outstanding creations of the famous Soviet “defense industry”. After his appearance at the Sukhoi Design Bureau, the fame of the smithy of unsurpassed combat aircraft was finally fixed.

Long road to the sky

Work on the creation of the first 4th generation fighters in the US and the USSR began in the late 60s. The main participants of this race were McDonnel Douglas and Sukhoi Design Bureau. As a result, by 1972 the F-15 Eagle fighter was created in the USA. His Soviet counterpart was called T-10.

Prototype Su-27 T-10

Americans are still ahead of us for several years. F-15 began to come into service in 1976, when the T-10 was still in operation. However, Soviet designers were able to benefit from their lagging, taking as a basis the characteristics of the already operating American fighter with the aim of improving them by 10%.

Sukhoi Design Bureau

The cradle of the future Su-27 was the elite OKB – V.I. Antonov, O.S. Samoilovich, V.A. Nikolaenko. A huge contribution to its creation was made by the first major designers of the T-10 NS. Chernyakov, M.P. Simonov (later led the OKB), as well as a team of designers led by LI Bondarenko.

One of the features of the new machine was that the lift was created not only by the wing, but also by the fuselage. This allowed to increase the internal space of the glider, where it became possible to install capacious fuel tanks and new electronic equipment.

 Su-27 performs the cobraSu-27 performs “cobras”

Taking into account some static instability of the pitch plane, it was for the first time that EDSU was installed in it – an electrical remote control system borrowed from the long-range (and not held) T-4 missile carrier, the famous “hundred”.

Test pilot VS Ilyushin

Put on the wing of the Su-27 was entrusted to the illustrious test pilot VS Ilyushin. The aircraft are assembled at the aviation enterprise in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The serial production of the Su-27 began in 1984, but it was officially adopted only six years after the elimination of the shortcomings. The first Su-27s were produced in two versions – serial Su-27S and interceptor Su-27P for air defense forces.

Technical features

People directly connected with aviation will unanimously say that all good planes are very beautiful. The magnificent elegance of the Su-27 gives a smooth transition of the wing into the fuselage, forming a monolithic body, which ends with a vertical two-keel plumage. The fighter is extremely easy to control and maneuver, thanks to the electric-remote control system, which has precision and high speed.

On the fighters were installed powerful, economical turbojet engines AL-31F, developed in KB Saturn with a maximum thrust of 7770 kgf. On afterburner, the engine gave all 12,500 kgf. The large capacity of the Su-27 was supported by large fuel tanks for 9.5 tons of kerosene, which provided it with a combat radius of almost 1,500 kilometers and the possibility of flying almost 4,000 kilometers without refueling.

The real feature of the Su-27 is the system of controlled thrust vector, which allows controlling nozzles within plus or minus 15 degrees and integrated into the SCP-flight control system. She reacts sensitively and immediately executes the pilot’s commands. The new system greatly expanded the maneuver capabilities at speeds close to zero, with the exit at large angles of attack. The most striking example of the possibilities of a unique system is the famous “cobra”.

Controlled thrust vector
Controlled thrust vector

The front and rear view of the pilot is provided by the H001 airborne radar, respectively, up to 80 and 40 km. It is capable of controlling up to 10 goals at a time. Additional capabilities in the accuracy of the Su-27 support are provided by a quantum optic-location station.

Assemblage of Su-27 at the plant.  Gagarin
Assemblage of Su-27 at the Aviation Plant. Gagarin

The Su-27 arsenal is located at 10 suspension points in the form of 6 R-27 air-to-air missiles, 6 R-73 missiles intended for close combat and 2 missiles with thermal guidance.

The "Russian Knights" aerobatic team at the Su-27
The Russian Knights aerobatic team at the Su-27

If we compare

In 1992, the pilots of the Lipetsk center on the Su-27 UB visited the US Air Force base in Langley on a friendly visit, and four years later the Americans visited their L-15 and the Savasleik base at their F-15D. As a result of joint maneuvers, our fighters surpassed their American counterparts in maneuverability at transonic speeds.

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