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Showing results in Air pollution chokes Bangkok as artificial rain plan fails

News

Several attempts to reduce high levels of particulate air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand, by cloud seeding to induce rainfall which would wash out aerosols from the atmosphere, have failed to lower PM2.5 levels in the city. High pressure, continental cool air from the north had contributed to raising ‘real-time’ concentrations of PM2.5 to as high as 156 µg m 3 at one monitoring station, which forced the Pollution Control Department to issue warnings for vulnerable populations to stay indoors.

Research

Whilst the spread of influenza virus may commonly be thought to be due to coughing, sneezing, or contact with virus-laden surfaces, a new human volunteer study by researchers at the University of Maryland suggests that the act of breathing alone can spread the virus.
218 nasal swab samples were taken from 142 patients, aged 19-21, confirmed as suffering from either (or both) influenza A or B, while the patients also underwent 30-minute breath sampling capturing aerosols produced during normal breathing and speaking. Aerosols were collected via impaction, either directly (for particles > 5 µm, in this study termed ‘coarse’ particles) or following condensational growth (~ 50 nm to 5 µm, termed ‘fine’).

News

3D-printing has become a useful tool for prototyping and fabricating novel components and electronics, and the aerosol jet technique, rather than using liquid ink, allows printing on length scales as low as 10 µm.
Using silver nanoparticles in an aerosol jet 3D printer, engineers at 3 US universities have developed a new type of strain gauge. Aerosols of size 1 to 5 microns are produced via atomisation of silver nanoparticle-containing ink and aerodynamically focused into a narrow jet. The aerosolised ink is deposited onto a substrate, making several ‘passes’ to build up a porous 3D film.

Research

Traffic-related air pollution has been linked with adverse birth outcomes, in particular low birth weight, for some time, but confounding with noise pollution has been an issue in determining true causal association.
A new study from Imperial College, London has suggested that concentrations of traffic pollutants, especially particulate matter, but not noise (as an independent variable), are associated with low birth weight or being ‘small for gestational age’.

Research

The influence of anthropogenic aerosol on lightning has been investigated by researchers at the University of Washington and NASA. Analysis of lightning stroke data over 12 years from the World Wide Lightning Network, compared with modelled shipping emissions from the EDGAR model and measurements of aerosol optical depth (AOD), showed that the number of lightning strikes along busy shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea can be doubled compared to nearby regions with similar climate and prevailing meteorological conditions.

Research

Nanoparticles levitated in a bistable optical potential well, formed by using two infrared laser beams, have been used to directly corroborate a 77-year-old theory describing the rate of transition between the two potential wells due to ‘thermally-activated escape’ in high and low damping (friction) regimes.
Strong damping leads to increased collision rate between the particle and gas molecules, reducing net translational diffusion and hence lowering ‘escape rate’, while weak damping leads to decoupling between the particle and its environment, reducing the probability of the particle gaining enough energy to overcome the barrier.

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