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Uranium and Science of Producing Energy using Nuclear Fission

uranium

Uranium, a silvery-white metal, was discovered and identified in 1789 by a German chemist, Martin H. Klaproth. This important element is used as fuel in nuclear reactors to generate electricity. It has the atomic number 92, and its atomic symbol is U.

Discovery of Nuclear Fission

It was in the early 1930s, that scientists discovered that the atom is made up of proton and neutron particles, in addition to electrons. In 1938, two German scientists, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman and physicist Lise Meitner of Austria, discovered that they could split the nucleus of a uranium atom by bombarding it with neutrons. This is called fission.

As the uranium nucleus split, some of its mass was converted to heat energy. The next step was in 1942, when Enrico Fermi of Italy, noticed that the fission of one uranium atom gave off more neutrons which could in turn split other uranium atoms, starting a chain reaction. This meant that enormous amounts of energy could be produced by this process of nuclear fission. Otto Hahn and Enrico Fermi both won Nobel prizes for their work.

Nuclear Chain Reactions

Nuclear chain reactions are one of the modern applications of the fission process. The neutrons that are released during fission produce additional fission in at least one other nucleus. This in turn produces more neutrons which again trigger more fission- and thus more neutrons- to set a chain reaction into motion.

Heavy unstable elements like plutonium or uranium have far more neutrons than protons in their nucleus. When they are exposed to even more neutrons, they become even more unstable and split up through fission- producing yet more neutrons, along with enormous amounts of energy. Nuclear chain reaction processes are used in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.

Uranium Uses

Uranium is one of the heaviest of all naturally occurring elements. It occurs in most rocks in concentrations of 2 to 4 parts per million. It occurs in seawater and can be recovered from the oceans. Like other elements, it occurs in several slightly differing forms known as ‘isotopes’.

The isotope U-235 is important because under certain conditions it can readily be split, yielding a lot of energy. When the nucleus of a U-235 atom is hit by a moving neutron it splits in two and releases some energy. Two or three additional neutrons are also thrown off.

If enough of these expelled neutrons cause the nuclei of other U-235 atoms to split, releasing further neutrons, a fission ‘chain reaction’ can be achieved. Hence, uranium is widely used in nuclear experiments.

Uranium Ore

The fuel most widely used by nuclear plants for nuclear fission is uranium. It is a common metal found in rocks. Nuclear plants use a certain kind of element, referred to as U-235. Once uranium is mined, the U-235 must be extracted and processed, before it can be used as a fuel.

The ore is first crushed and dissolved in acid to separate the uranium metal from the unwanted rock material. In another method, boreholes are drilled down to uranium-bearing rock. A solvent is pumped down one hole. The solvent comes out of the second hole, carrying the uranium with it.

Next, It is taken out of the solution as uranium oxide, which is known as yellowcake. This is then transported to conversion plants, where it is changed into uranium dioxide, which is used as reactor fuel.

Origin of Uranium

It was identified as an element in 1789, was named after the then newly discovered planet Uranus. It is found not just on Earth, but also in space and on other planets. This is because it only forms inside supernovas- or exploding stars- and because it has so many protons and neutrons in it, it doesn’t form very easily.

The Earth’s uranium was produced when one or more stars exploded over six billion years ago. When these explosions occurred, the materials that were produced became a part of the solar system, of which the Earth too is a part. In space, it later became a part of the Earth’s continental crust.

Where It is found on Earth?

It can be found in very small traces in most rocks and in the ocean. In the Earth’s crust, It is found in minerals. Uranium deposits occur in many different rock types from sedimentary to volcanic. Since it is not found in a pure form, it has to be extracted from other elements.

It has three naturally occurring isotopes. U-238 is the most stable and makes up over 99 percent of the naturally occurring uranium. Several countries have significant resources for this element. Kazakhstan is the world’s top uranium producer. In India, U extraction mines are present in Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and Andhra Pradesh.

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Science

What is Pleural Mesothelioma and How is it Treated?

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the pleura, which is the thin membrane that lines the lungs and chest wall. This type of cancer is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos.

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the pleura, which is the thin membrane that lines the lungs and chest wall. This type of cancer is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was once widely used in various industries due to its heat-resistant properties. Unfortunately, it can take decades for symptoms of pleural mesothelioma to appear after exposure to asbestos, which can make diagnosis and treatment challenging.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, and weight loss. These symptoms can be caused by other conditions as well, which is why it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional.

Diagnosing pleural mesothelioma typically involves a combination of imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, as well as a biopsy, which involves taking a small tissue sample from the affected area for examination under a microscope. If you have a history of asbestos exposure and are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Treatment Options

The treatment options for pleural mesothelioma depend on the stage of the cancer and other factors, such as the patient’s age and overall health. In general, the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the more treatment options are available. Some of the most common treatment options for pleural mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Surgery may be used to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible, and can include procedures such as pleurectomy and decortication (P/D), which involves removing the pleura and any visible tumors, or extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), which involves removing the entire lung and surrounding tissue. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be used to shrink tumors or slow the spread of cancer.

In some cases, clinical trials may be available for patients with pleural mesothelioma. These trials can involve testing new treatments or combinations of treatments to see if they are effective in treating the cancer.

Prognosis and Survival Rates

The prognosis for pleural mesothelioma can vary depending on a number of factors, including the stage of the cancer, the patient’s age and overall health, and the treatment options chosen. Unfortunately, the survival rates for pleural mesothelioma are generally low, with most patients surviving for less than a year after diagnosis. However, some patients may live for several years with the help of aggressive treatment and supportive care.

Prevention

The best way to prevent pleural mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. This means that individuals who work in industries where asbestos is still used, such as construction or shipbuilding, should take precautions to limit their exposure, such as wearing protective gear and following safety protocols. If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your risk of developing pleural mesothelioma and to undergo regular screenings to catch any potential cancer early.

In conclusion, pleural mesothelioma is a rare but serious form of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. While the prognosis for this type of cancer is generally poor, there are treatment options available that can help improve quality of life and prolong survival. If you are at risk for pleural mesothelioma or are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and explore your treatment options.

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History

The History of Nursing: From Ancient Times to Modern Healthcare

Nursing is a profession that has been an integral part of human society for thousands of years. It is the practice of caring for the sick, injured, or vulnerable and promoting health and well-being.

The History of Nursing

Nursing is a profession that has been an integral part of human society for thousands of years. It is the practice of caring for the sick, injured, or vulnerable and promoting health and well-being. Nursing has evolved over time to become a highly respected profession that requires specialized knowledge and skills. In this article, we will explore the history of nursing and its etymology.

Etymology of Nursing

The word “nurse” comes from the Latin word “nutrire,” which means to nourish. The term “nurse” has been used to describe women who provide care for others since ancient times. In ancient Rome, nurses were often slaves or women from lower social classes who were tasked with caring for sick and injured individuals. The word “nurse” was also used in the Middle Ages to refer to wet nurses, women who breastfed infants that were not their own.

The modern meaning of the word “nurse” began to take shape in the 19th century when nursing began to be recognized as a profession. The first nursing school was established in 1860 by Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale’s work during the Crimean War revolutionized nursing and set the standard for nursing education and practice.

History of Nursing

Nursing has a long and varied history that dates back to ancient times. In many early societies, nursing was seen as a woman’s role and was often performed by midwives, priestesses, or other women in the community.

In ancient Egypt, nursing was a highly respected profession that was often performed by men. The goddess Isis was considered the patroness of nursing, and many nurses wore her symbol, the horned viper, on their clothing.

In ancient Greece, nursing was also considered a respected profession. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recognized the importance of nursing and wrote about the role of nurses in caring for the sick.

During the Middle Ages, nursing was primarily performed by religious orders, such as nuns and monks. These orders established hospitals and provided care for the sick and injured.

The 19th century saw a significant shift in the way nursing was practiced and perceived. Florence Nightingale, a British nurse, revolutionized nursing by emphasizing the importance of cleanliness, hygiene, and patient care. She established the first nursing school and wrote extensively on the subject of nursing.

During World War I, nursing played a crucial role in caring for wounded soldiers. Nurses worked in field hospitals and on the front lines, often in dangerous and difficult conditions.

In the 20th century, nursing continued to evolve as medical technology advanced. Nurses began to specialize in different areas, such as pediatrics, oncology, and critical care. Today, nursing is a highly respected profession that requires specialized knowledge and skills.

Conclusion

Nursing is a profession that has evolved over time to become an integral part of modern healthcare. From its roots in ancient societies to the establishment of the first nursing school by Florence Nightingale, nursing has a rich and varied history. Today, nurses are essential members of healthcare teams and play a vital role in caring for the sick and injured. The etymology of the word “nurse” reflects the fundamental role of nursing in nourishing and caring for others.

 

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Biology

20 Mindboggling Fun Facts about Heart for Kids

Fun Facts about Heart

Fun Facts about Heart

The heart is the hollow muscular organ located behind the sternum and between the lungs; its rhythmic contractions move the blood through the body. In all humans, other mammals, and birds, the heart has 4 chambers while in fishes it is divided into two chambers.

Did you know that heart-related diseases or CVD account for 32% of all human deaths around the globe as of 2015? Isn’t that scary? Here is a list of 20 Amazing Fun Facts about Heart, check it out!

Fun Facts about Heart

#1-#10

#1 Xenographic transplants involve taking an organ from an animal and using it in a human being – a chimpanzee heart was transplanted into a man in Mississippi, the USA in 1964, but the patient died two hours later.

#2 Your right lung is larger than your left – this is because the left lung needs to make room for your heart. Did you know Your heart beats about 35 million times a year?

#3 The pressure created by your heart can squirt blood almost ten meters.

#4 The blue whale has the slowest heartbeat of any animal – it only beats four to eight times a minute.

#5 The heart is the only muscle that doesn’t take its signal from the nervous system – it has its own stimulator in the right atrium.

#6 The larvae of the pork tapeworm, hatched from eggs eaten in infected pork, can travel around the body and live in the brain, eyes, heart, or muscles.

#7 A giraffe has special valves in its arteries so that its blood can reach up to its head. Without them, it would need a heart as big as its whole body!

#8 About 70 milliliters (around 2.5 fluid ounces) of blood are spurted out of your heart with each beat.

#9 Your heart pumps around 182 million liters (48 million gallons) of blood in your lifetime – with an endless supply of blood, it could fill a swimming pool in less than a month!

#10 Nuttall’s poorwill is an American bird that hibernates in the winter, hiding in a crack in a rock. During this time, it uses only a thirtieth of the energy it uses in the summer and its heartbeat becomes so faint that it can’t be felt.

#11-#20

#11 When you sneeze, all your body functions stop – even your heart stops beating. A very long sneezing fit can cause a heart attack.

#12 Newts can re-grow body parts that are lost or damaged, including legs, eyes, and even hearts. Scientists who have studied how they do this think they might be able to persuade human bodies to do the same.

Newt

#13 In Vietnam, cobra hearts are a common snack. They can be eaten raw, even still beating, with a small glass of cobra blood or dropped into a glass of rice wine. The kidney is often included as an extra titbit.

#14 The Scottish dish haggis is made by cutting up the heart, lungs, liver, and small intestine of a calf or sheep and cooking it with suet, oatmeal, onions, and herbs in the animal’s stomach.

#15 During heart surgery in 1970, a patient with hemophilia (an inherited condition which stops the blood clotting) needed 1,080 liters of blood – nearly 15 baths full – as he kept bleeding.

#16 The poet Shelley drowned off the coast of Italy in 1822. His body was washed up, half-eaten by fish, and cremated on the beach by his friends. One of them cut his heart from the burnt body and gave it to Shelley’s wife who kept it all her life.

#17 The glass frog is lime green but has a completely transparent stomach. It’s possible to see the blood vessels, the heart, and even check whether it’s eaten recently or might like a snack.

Glass Frog

#18 People who killed themselves used to be buried at a crossroads with a stake through their heart. It was thought that they couldn’t go to heaven, and the cross-roads would confuse their ghost so that it couldn’t find the way home to haunt anyone.

#19 A robotic caterpillar controlled by a joystick can be inserted through a small hole in the chest, and crawl over a person’s heart to inject drugs or install implants to heal any damage. Is it nanotechnology?

#20 Apart from the heart, an Egyptian mummy doesn’t have any internal organs left inside the body. The others were removed and put into separate canopic jars that were buried with it. You can continue reading 10 More interesting facts about the Human Digestive System.

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