Connect with us

Technology

Carbon and metal air pollution particles found in the placenta 

Published

on

carbon and metal air pollution particles found in the placenta

Carbon and metal particles from road traffic have been found in the placentas of pregnant women for the first time, a shocking new study reveals. 

UK scientists have found the first evidence that carbon-based particles and metals including silicon, phosphorus and chromium enter the placenta, which is critical to provide nutrients to growing babies in the womb.  

Inhaled particulate matter from air pollution is moving from mothers’ lungs to the blood stream and is taken up by important cells in the placenta and other distant organs.

Particle pollution exposure has been linked to irregular heartbeat, decreased lung function, increased respiratory symptoms and difficulty breathing. 

Experts say the tiny particles are likely to be adversely affecting the hearts and brains of unborn babies in London, where pollution levels have breached legal limits, although they say more research is needed to confirm this.  

Electron microscopy images of placental cells from different participants, showing black particles (indicated by red arrows) from inhaled particulate matter

Electron microscopy images of placental cells from different participants, showing black particles (indicated by red arrows) from inhaled particulate matter

Electron microscopy images of placental cells from different participants, showing black particles (indicated by red arrows) from inhaled particulate matter

‘Our work has shown that potentially toxic, metal-rich nanoparticles from air pollution can be transported to the brain, the heart, and, now, the placenta,’ said  Professor Barbara Maher at Lancaster University. 

‘It’s highly unlikely that such particles, having gained access to the placenta, wouldn’t affect the foetus. 

‘It’s essential that exposure to particulate air pollution – especially to ultra-fine pollution particles like these – is reduced, and urgently.’  

Professor Maher said there’s already evidence of low birth weight in babies born to mothers living in areas with high concentrations of PM2.5 – particles 2.5 micrometres and under in diameter.  

‘It’s unlikely that the incursion of pollution nanoparticles into the amniotic fluid and the fetal bloodstream is going to be anything other than damaging to the developing foetus,’ she told MailOnline. 

‘We see impacts of nanoparticles on the hearts and brains of infants and young people in high-pollution areas, so logic suggests that similar impacts would be incurred in the womb, depending on the dose the mother, and thence the baby, during pregnancy. 

‘There’s work going on at present to investigate exactly these very important questions.’

Healthy non-smoking pregnant women were recruited from the Royal London Hospital. All participants lived in London, with 10 residing in Tower Hamlets borough. Urban Londoners are exposed to high and unsafe levels of air pollution

Healthy non-smoking pregnant women were recruited from the Royal London Hospital. All participants lived in London, with 10 residing in Tower Hamlets borough. Urban Londoners are exposed to high and unsafe levels of air pollution

Healthy non-smoking pregnant women were recruited from the Royal London Hospital. All participants lived in London, with 10 residing in Tower Hamlets borough. Urban Londoners are exposed to high and unsafe levels of air pollution

WHAT IS THE PLACENTA? 

The placenta is an organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy to provides oxygen and nutrients to a growing baby and removes waste products from a baby’s blood. 

The placenta attaches to the wall of the uterus, and your baby’s umbilical cord arises from it. 

The organ is usually attached to the top, side, front or back of the uterus. 

 

<!—->Advertisement

Placentas from 15 consenting healthy women living in London were donated to the study following the births of their children at the Royal London Hospital. 

Pollution exposure was determined in 13 of the women, all of whom had exposure above the annual mean WHO limit for particulate matter. 

This is set at 20 microgram per cubic metre (μg/m3) for PM10 – particulate matter 10 micrometers and smaller in diameter – and 10 μg/m3 for PM2.5 – 2.5 micrometres and under in diameter. 

The cells in the placentas were analysed using several techniques including light and electron microscopy, X-rays and magnetic analyses.  

Horrifyingly, the team found black particles closely resembling particulate matter from pollution in placental cells from all 15 women. 

These black participles appeared in an average of 1 per cent of the cells that were analysed.

‘We have thought for a while that maternal inhalation could potentially result in pollution particles travelling to the placenta once inhaled,’ said co-author Dr Lisa Miyashita from Queen Mary University of London. 

Carbon and metal air pollution nanoparticles in human placental cells, revealed by electron microscopy

Carbon and metal air pollution nanoparticles in human placental cells, revealed by electron microscopy

Carbon and metal air pollution nanoparticles in human placental cells, revealed by electron microscopy

‘However, there are many defence mechanisms in the lung that prevent foreign particles from travelling elsewhere, so it was surprising to identify these particles in the placental cells from all 15 of our participants.’ 

The majority of particles found in the placental cells were carbon-based, but researchers also found trace amounts of metals including silicon, phosphorus, calcium, iron and chromium, and more rarely, titanium, cobalt, zinc and cerium. 

Analysis suggested that they mostly came from traffic-related sources, such as fossil fuel combustion in engines and tyre friction against brakes and the road. 

Industrial sources, such as coal-burning power plants, usually contribute to airborne carbon, metal and magnetite-rich nanoparticles in the air. 

Top: Particles (indicated by red arrows) interacting with placental cells. Bottom: Nanoparticle clusters containing calcium and iron (B and C)

Top: Particles (indicated by red arrows) interacting with placental cells. Bottom: Nanoparticle clusters containing calcium and iron (B and C)

Top: Particles (indicated by red arrows) interacting with placental cells. Bottom: Nanoparticle clusters containing calcium and iron (B and C)

However, urban Londoners are unlikely to be exposed to this source since the nearest active coal-burning power stations are in Nottinghamshire and North Yorkshire. 

It’s also possible that nanoparticles generated inside the home, such as from open fires, cooking and cigarettes, may be a source too.  

The human placenta, and hence probably the fetus, appears to be ‘a target’ for such particles, the team say. 

A limitation of the study is that the women’s actual levels of exposure to pollution were measured, although they did live in a high-pollution city, and no placentas from women who did not live in high pollution areas were examined.

‘The significance of these findings is therefore unclear,’ said Professor Marian Knight at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, who was not involved with the study.  

Professor Andrew Shennan from King’s College London claimed it ‘remains uncertain’ if these particles cause harm to a baby. 

‘There is no direct evidence of harm to the baby after many years of pregnant women exposed to air pollution, but other research has linked air pollution to early birth,’ he said. 

‘This is an important area to continue study.’ 

The study has been published in Science of the Total Environment

PARTICULATE MATTER CAN AFFECT THE HEART AND LUNGS 

PM is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air.

They are created from a variety of sources, including traffic, construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires.

Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. 

Some PM, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, is large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. 

Other PM is so small it can only be detected using an electron microscope. 

PM2.5 – of diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller – differ from PM10 – 10 micrometers and smaller. 

PM1 particles (less than 1 micrometre) come from sources such as combustible fossil fuels, such as oil, diesel and gas, as well as power plants and internal combustion engines.

PM1 can negatively impact brain function, as they can access blood circulation easily after they’ve been breathed into the lungs.

Even smaller are ultrafine particles (less than 100 nanametres in diameter, also referred to as UFP or PM0.1). 

These contribute negligibly to the particle mass but significantly to particle number concentrations (PNC). 

UFPs are so small in their size that they can penetrate deep into the lungs and move to the other parts of the body. 

It is thought UFPs may have a greater potential for adverse health impacts compared with larger particles. 

UFPs are not covered by current ambient air quality regulations, according to Professor Prashant Kumar, Founding Director of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey. 

Source: US EPA/GCARE 

<!—->Advertisement

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Technology

Moment the Moon photobombs NASA observation satellite’s view of the Sun during lunar transit 

Published

on

By

moment the moon photobombs nasa observation satellites view of the sun during lunar transit

The moon stole the show from the sun during its lunar transit.

Astronomers observing the ball of gas caught the moon photobombing their footage on October 16 when it passed between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun.

The transit lasted for about 50 minutes and at its peak, the moon covered 44 percent the fiery surface.

Although the moon interrupted their views, scientists were able to capture footage of two regions on the sun that appear to be active due to it starting Solar Cycle 25.

NASA announced in September that ‘Solar Cycle 25 has begun’, which occurs when the sun passes from one of its 11-year activity cycles into another.

Scroll down for videos 

The moon stole the show from the sun during its lunar transit. Astronomers observing the ball of gas caught the moon photobombing footage on October 16 when it passed between NASA¿s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun

The moon stole the show from the sun during its lunar transit. Astronomers observing the ball of gas caught the moon photobombing footage on October 16 when it passed between NASA¿s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun

The moon stole the show from the sun during its lunar transit. Astronomers observing the ball of gas caught the moon photobombing footage on October 16 when it passed between NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and the sun

The solar cycle affects activity on the surface of the sun, such as sunspots which are caused by the sun’s magnetic fields.

However, as the cycle ends, the sun fades back to solar minimum and then a new cycle begins.

The latest Solar Cycle 25 appears to have started in December 2019 and experts say it will peak in 2025.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been observing the massive glowing star for a decade, snapping pictures of it ever 0.75 seconds.

¿This apparent crossing in space, called a lunar transit, lasted about 50 minutes, between 3:05pm and 3:53pm ET,¿ NASA shared in a statement

¿This apparent crossing in space, called a lunar transit, lasted about 50 minutes, between 3:05pm and 3:53pm ET,¿ NASA shared in a statement

‘This apparent crossing in space, called a lunar transit, lasted about 50 minutes, between 3:05pm and 3:53pm ET,’ NASA shared in a statement

The transit lasted for about 50 minutes and at its peak, the moon covered 44 percent the fiery surface

The transit lasted for about 50 minutes and at its peak, the moon covered 44 percent the fiery surface

The transit lasted for about 50 minutes and at its peak, the moon covered 44 percent the fiery surface

And the lasts set captured the moon making its lunar transit.

‘This apparent crossing in space, called a lunar transit, lasted about 50 minutes, between 3:05pm and 3:53pm ET,’ NASA shared in a statement.

‘At the peak, the Moon covered about 44% of the Sun. During this time, the Moon also happened to cover two of the spacecraft’s fine-guidance sensors — causing its view of the Sun to jitter slightly.’

‘The spacecraft, called SDO for short, recovered its steady view soon after the transit ended.’

Just days before NASA announced Solar Cycle 25 had begun, researchers in Europe shared an up-close look of intricate structures as small as 30 miles across on the sun’s fiery surface.

Although the moon interrupted their views, scientists were able to capture footage of two regions on the sun that appear to be active due to it starting Solar Cycle 25

Although the moon interrupted their views, scientists were able to capture footage of two regions on the sun that appear to be active due to it starting Solar Cycle 25

Although the moon interrupted their views, scientists were able to capture footage of two regions on the sun that appear to be active due to it starting Solar Cycle 25

Using the largest telescope in Europe, known as GREGOR, scientists captured stunning details of sunspot evolution and complex design of solar plasma.

These are the highest resolution images a European telescope has observed, which the team attributes to new optics capable of probing the massive star’s magnetic fields, convection, solar eruptions and sunspots with great detail – unlike ever before.

The photographs show solar magnetic fields taken at a wavelength 516 nanometers and sunspots at 430 nanometers, which astronomers say it is ‘as if one saw a needle on a soccer field perfectly sharp from a distance of one kilometer.’

Just days before NASA announced Solar Cycle 25 had begun, researchers in Europe shared an up-close look of intricate structures as small as 30 miles across on the sun¿s fiery surface

Just days before NASA announced Solar Cycle 25 had begun, researchers in Europe shared an up-close look of intricate structures as small as 30 miles across on the sun¿s fiery surface

Just days before NASA announced Solar Cycle 25 had begun, researchers in Europe shared an up-close look of intricate structures as small as 30 miles across on the sun’s fiery surface

In each, hot plasma rises up in the bright center of the cell before cooling off and sinking back into the star to form dark lanes that can be seen by GREGOR ¿ some have compared it to the look of popcorn

In each, hot plasma rises up in the bright center of the cell before cooling off and sinking back into the star to form dark lanes that can be seen by GREGOR ¿ some have compared it to the look of popcorn

In each, hot plasma rises up in the bright center of the cell before cooling off and sinking back into the star to form dark lanes that can be seen by GREGOR – some have compared it to the look of popcorn

Our star is covered in numerous cell-like structures — each the size of the US state of Texas — that are the product of the violent convection motions that transport heat up from deep within the Sun’s interior.

In each, hot plasma rises up in the bright center of the cell before cooling off and sinking back into the star to form dark lanes that can be seen by GREGOR – some have compared it to the look of popcorn.

Dr. Lucia Kleint, who led the project and the German solar telescopes on Tenerife, said: ‘This was a very exciting, but also extremely challenging project. In only one year we completely redesigned the optics, mechanics, and electronics to achieve the best possible image quality.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Technology

5G: O2 expands its UK coverage to more than 100 locations

Published

on

By

5g o2 expands its uk coverage to more than 100 locations

Telecoms firm O2 has expanded its 5G coverage to more than 100 locations across the UK, bringing it nearly level with EE, the nation’s biggest provider.

New towns and cities joining the expanding range of the ultra-fast internet network include Chelmsford, Ipswich, Milton Keynes and Slough. 

O2 customers can pick from a selection of 28 5G-enabled devices with their mobile plan, including the Apple iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, which will be released tomorrow. 

Of the other major providers, EE offers 5G in 112 locations, while Three customers can access high-speed internet in 66 locations and Vodafone 55.

34672016 0 image a 47 1603298094892

34672016 0 image a 47 1603298094892

Telecoms firm O2 (pictured) has expanded its 5G coverage to more than 100 locations across the UK , bringing it nearly level with EE, the nation’s biggest provider

‘When we launched 5G last October, we said it was the first step on a journey,’ said O2’s Chief Operating Officer Derek McManus.

‘One year on and we have made some incredible progress, not just in terms of our roll-out but in bringing about new capabilities that will make real changes to people’s everyday lives.’

‘No one could have predicted the way this year has turned out — and that almost overnight, customers would turn to their networks more than ever before to keep them connected to loved ones, colleagues and suppliers.’

According to research by O2 and Development Economics, 4G and 5G connectivity helped to enable firms to still undertake £205 billions worth of business in the period from March to September this year during a time many were working remotely. 

List of O2 5G locations in the UK  

Aberdeen

Ashford

Aughton

Aylesbury

Banstead

Basildon

Beaconsfield

Bedford

Belfast

Birmingham

Blaydon

Bradford

Bridge of Don

Brighton

Bristol

Bury St Edmunds

Byfleet

Cambridge

Cardiff

Chadwell St Mary

Chatham

Chelmsford

Chesterfield

Chipstead

Colchester

Coventry

Dartford

Derby

Dewsbury

Doncaster

Dundee

Durham

Dyce

Eastbourne

Edinburgh 

Epsom 

Esher

Eton and Windsor 

Gillingham

Glasgow

Gravesend

Grays

Great Yarmouth

Halifax

Harlington

Harlow

Hemel Hempstead

Hextable

High Wycombe

Hove

How Wood

Huddersfield

Hull

Ipswich

Jarrow

Leeds

Leicester 

Lincoln

Lisburn

Liverpool

London

Longford

Loughborough

Lowestoft

Luton

Manchester

Mansfield

Middlesbrough

Milton Keynes

Morley

Newcastle Upon Tyne 

Newtownabbey 

North Shields 

Northampton

Norwich 

Nottingham

Nuneaton

Orpington

Oxford

Peterborough 

Plymouth

Rainham

Redhill

Rotherham

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Rugby

Sheffield

Shepperton Green

Slough

South Shields

Southend-On-Sea

Staines 

Stevenage

Stockton

Stoke-on-Trent

Sunbury

Sunderland

Thundersley

Tynemouth

Warrington

Washington

Weybridge

Whickham

Whitley Bay 

Worthing

York 

 

 

 

 

<!—->Advertisement

Since March, O2 has doubled the capacity of its voice network to meet the increased demand — which surged by 57 per cent on the first day of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Alongside this, the service provider has boosted its 4G provisions in around 5 per cent of the UK’s postcodes. 

‘Connectivity has never been more important, and we want our network to continue to raise the bar,’ Mr McManus continued.

‘We firmly believe 5G has a role in helping to rebuild Britain, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society.’

‘We’re excited to keep pushing ahead with our rollout along with our partners Ericson and Nokia, to keep supporting our customers, businesses and society.’

O2 is also bringing it 5G services to aid corporate customers.

With the Northumbrian Water Group, for example, the service provider has been working to aid experienced technicians to remotely direct on-the-ground teams using augmented reality.

Moreover, O2 is collaborating with researchers at the University of Glasgow and the European Space Agency to deliver a trial 5G-connected ‘clinic-on-wheels’ to help monitor COVID-19 across six care homes in Glasgow. 

EXPLAINED: THE EVOLUTION OF MOBILE BROADBAND UP TO 5G

The evolution of the G system started in 1980 with the invention of the mobile phone which allowed for analogue data to be transmitted via phone calls.   

Digital came into play in 1991 with 2G and SMS and MMS capabilities were launched. 

Since then, the capabilities and carrying capacity for the mobile network has increased massively. 

More data can be transferred from one point to another via the mobile network quicker than ever.

5G is expected to be 100 times faster than the currently used 4G. 

Whilst the jump from 3G to 4G was most beneficial for mobile browsing and working, the step to 5G will be so fast they become almost real-time. 

That means mobile operations will be just as fast as office-based internet connections.

Potential uses for 5g include: 

  • Simultaneous translation of several languages in a party conference call 
  • Self-driving cars can stream movies, music and navigation information from the cloud
  • A full length 8GB film can be downloaded in six seconds. 

5G is expected to be so quick and efficient it is possible it could start the end of wired connections.  

By the end of 2020, industry estimates claim 50 billion devices will be connected to 5G.

The evolution of from 1G to 5G. The predicted speed of 5G is more than 1Gbps - 1,000 times greater than the existing speed of 4G and could be implemented in laptops of the future 

The evolution of from 1G to 5G. The predicted speed of 5G is more than 1Gbps - 1,000 times greater than the existing speed of 4G and could be implemented in laptops of the future 

The evolution of from 1G to 5G. The predicted speed of 5G is more than 1Gbps – 1,000 times greater than the existing speed of 4G and could be implemented in laptops of the future 

<!—->Advertisement

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Technology

Wacky tube man could keep dingoes from killing cattle in Australia, study finds

Published

on

By

wacky tube man could keep dingoes from killing cattle in australia study finds

Forget about scarecrows – Australian farmers hoping to save their livestock from dingos might want to borrow a wacky tube man from their local used car dealer.

A new study suggests the humorous figures’ unpredictable gyrations can scare off the legendary wild dogs.

Dingoes are a major problem for Australia’s sheep industry, slaughtering thousands of animals and causing up to $60 million in damages annually.

Animal rights advocates decry shooting or poisoning the creatures, and killing off a parent dingo can lead to more attacks from reckless pups.

So scientists in Adelaide tested out a tube man to keep dingos away from a bowl of dog food.

They were successful 75 percent of the time, with nine of the twelve canines running away in fear. 

Scroll down for video 

Dingoes are a major problem for Australia's sheep industry, slaughtering thousands of animals and causing up to $60 million in damages annually. Researchers believe the unpredictable movements of inflatable tube men could be an effective and nonlethal deterrent

Dingoes are a major problem for Australia's sheep industry, slaughtering thousands of animals and causing up to $60 million in damages annually. Researchers believe the unpredictable movements of inflatable tube men could be an effective and nonlethal deterrent

Dingoes are a major problem for Australia’s sheep industry, slaughtering thousands of animals and causing up to $60 million in damages annually. Researchers believe the unpredictable movements of inflatable tube men could be an effective and nonlethal deterrent

Farmers have tried non-lethal approaches before, including shrill sirens, but the dingos quickly adapt.  

 ‘They’re very intelligent,’ Bradley Smith, an animal behaviorist at Central Queensland University in Adelaide, told Science magazine. ‘It’s hard to scare them for too long.’ 

And dingoes serve an evolutionary purpose, keeping the number of prey animals, like kangaroos, in check. 

So Smith and his colleagues brought ‘Fred-a-Scare,’ a 13-foot skydancer, to a dingo sanctuary in Melbourne and placed him near a bowl of dry dog food. 

[embedded content]

Nine of the twelves dingoes ran away after laying eyes on the tube man, compared with only one that bolted after hearing the sound of gunshots. Over three days, 'Fred' scared away the dogs 75 percent of the time

Nine of the twelves dingoes ran away after laying eyes on the tube man, compared with only one that bolted after hearing the sound of gunshots. Over three days, 'Fred' scared away the dogs 75 percent of the time

Nine of the twelves dingoes ran away after laying eyes on the tube man, compared with only one that bolted after hearing the sound of gunshots. Over three days, ‘Fred’ scared away the dogs 75 percent of the time

As reported in the journal Pacific Conservation Biology, pairs of hungry dingoes were brought into the yard downhill from the inflatable effigy.

Nine of the twelves dingoes ran away in fear after laying eyes on Fred, compared with only one that bolted after hearing a speaker that played the sound of gunshots.

Over the course of three days, Fred successfully protected the dog food three-quarters of the time.

‘When you have sound, the dingoes will flinch. They’re a bit nervous but they don’t run away,’ Smith said. ‘But the wavy man, boy, they bolted.’

It’s not a fool-proof solution, though.

Though dingos are a major nuisance they serve an evolutionary purpose, keeping the numbers of prey animals in check. Farmers have tried nonlethal approaches before but the dogs quickly adapt

Though dingos are a major nuisance they serve an evolutionary purpose, keeping the numbers of prey animals in check. Farmers have tried nonlethal approaches before but the dogs quickly adapt

Though dingos are a major nuisance they serve an evolutionary purpose, keeping the numbers of prey animals in check. Farmers have tried nonlethal approaches before but the dogs quickly adapt

Each wind-blown tube man requires about 1000 watts to power, about the same as a dishwasher.

And the dingos could eventually get used to even this weird sight.

But it wouldn’t be the first time someone’s resorted to a mechanical boogeyman to keep an animal nuisance at bay.

Smith was actually inspired to try out Fred after hearing about conservationist Suzanne Stone, who used a wacky tube man to scare off wolves from a ranch in Oregon.    

And restaurateurs around the famed Sydney Opera House have employed a mechanical falcon to scare off seagulls that attack tourists and diners.

But a spokesperson for the venue said the imitation bird of prey, which costs about $6,500, hasn’t proven very effective.

In Japan, farmers are protecting their crops from wild boars using robotic wolves that have fangs, fur and red eyes

The two-foot-tall canines howl when another creature approaches them.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.