Friday, March 4, 2016

Science Done Right

A blind woman has regained sight following a controversial stem cell treatment

Vanna Belton from Baltimore has been blind for more than five years, but after undergoing surgery where stem cells extracted from her bone marrow were injected into her right eye's retina and left eye's optic nerve, she has regained some of her sight.

"When I realised I could see the license plates, we started walking around the neighbourhood reading them," she told the Baltimore Sun, adding that for the first time since 2009, she’s been able to navigate her way around without a cane.
And this:
Big milestone at ORNL reactor: 1 Million Megawatts Days

At about a quarter past 10 on Saturday night, the High Flux Isotope Reactor achieved an amazing milestone — 1 million megawatt days of operation. It demonstrated the longevity and overall reliability of the world-class research reactor over the past half-century.

Think about this: The Oak Ridge National Laboratory reactor completed its first cycle of operations in June of 1966, and the HFIR continued to operate for more than 280 cycles at 100 megawatts power from 1966 until November of 1986. Because of embrittlement concerns regarding the pressure vessel and a lengthy review of the overall maintenance and oversight at the HFIR, the reactor was shut down for a few years in the late 1980s.

The power level was reduced to 85 megawatts when the reactor was restarted in January 1990, and it has been a workhorse ever since — with periodic time out for refurbishment, preventive maintenance and improvements, such as replacement of the beryllium reactor and installation of a Cold Source to enhance the experimental capabilities.

Overall, the reactor has operated for about 11,000 days. “This is impressive indeed!” lab reactor chief Tim Powers said via email.

The reactor is currently in its 465th cycle.
To prick at the evolution balloon, note that neither of these accomplishments involve Just So Story Telling.

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