4 new elements added to periodic table!

Any chemists dream come true! Through a collaborative effort from Russia, USA, and Japan, 4 new elements have been officially recognized by IUPAC and added to the bottom row of the periodic table of the elements. They are “superheavy” elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 116, and 117. From NPR:

For now, they’re known by working names, like ununseptium and ununtrium — two of the four new chemical elements whose discovery has been officially verified. The elements with atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 will get permanent names soon, according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

With the discoveries now confirmed, “The 7th period of the periodic table of elements is complete,” according to the IUPAC. The additions come nearly five years after elements 114 (flerovium, or Fl) and element 116 (livermorium or Lv) were added to the table.

The elements were discovered in recent years by researchers in Japan, Russia and the United States. Element 113 was discovered by a group at the Riken Institute, which calls it “the first element on the periodic table found in Asia.”

Three other elements were discovered by a collaborative effort among the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. That collaboration has now discovered six new elements, including two that also involved the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Classified as “superheavy” — the designation given to elements with more than 104 protons — the new elements were created by using particle accelerators to shoot beams of nuclei at other, heavier, target nuclei.

The new elements’ existence was confirmed by further experiments that reproduced them — however briefly. Element 113, for instance, exists for less than a thousandth of a second.

The seventh period of the periodic chart is now complete, thanks to the addition of four new elements.

The seventh period of the periodic chart is now complete, thanks to the addition of four new elements.

IUPAC

“A particular difficulty in establishing these new elements is that they decay into hitherto unknown isotopes of slightly lighter elements that also need to be unequivocally identified,” said Paul Karol, chair of the IUPAC’s Joint Working Party, announcing the new elements. The working group includes members of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

The elements’ temporary names stem from their spot on the periodic table — for instance, ununseptium has 117 protons. Each of the discovering teams have now been asked to submit names for the new elements.

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CDC announces record-high life expectancy of 78.8 years for USA in Data Brief

The CDC has issued a data brief on mortality in USA, with the most recent data from 2012. The report has tons of information, including the main finding that the average life expectancy in the US is now a record high of 78.8 years!

This report presents 2012 U.S. final mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics. These data provide information on mortality patterns among residents of the United States by such variables as sex, race and ethnicity, and cause of death. Information on mortality patterns is key to understanding changes in the health and well-being of the U.S. population (1). Life expectancy estimates, age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity and sex, 10 leading causes of death, and 10 leading causes of infant death were analyzed by comparing 2012 final data with 2011 final data.

Other key findings included:

  • The age-adjusted death rate for the United States decreased 1.1% from 2011 to 2012 to a record low of 732.8 per 100,000 standard population.
  • The 10 leading causes of death in 2012 remained the same as in 2011. Age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly from 2011 to 2012 for 8 of the 10 leading causes and increased significantly for one leading cause (suicide).
  • The infant mortality rate decreased 1.5% from 2011 to 2012 to a historic low of 597.8 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2012 remained the same as in 2011.

#Ebola by the numbers = West Africa + Spain + USA

cdcus

In case you missed it, there have now been travel associated cases of Ebola in the United States and Spain. Hopefully with proper medical care and procedures, these will remain isolated cases. Or at worst, be limited to just a few cases.

On 9/30/2014, CDC confirmed, the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States. CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent the spread of Ebola within the United States. CDC is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other domestic and international partners and has activated its Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. CDC has also deployed teams of public health experts to West Africa and will continue to send experts to the affected countries.

 Info on the Spanish case from the Guardian:

Health authorities announced on Monday that a Spanish nurse at Madrid’s Carlos III hospital who treated a patient repatriated from Sierra Leone had twice tested positive for Ebola.

Her husband had also been admitted to hospital and was in isolation, and a second nurse from the same team that treated both repatriated Ebola victims was also being tested. In this case, the nurse contacted the authorities on Monday complaining of a fever. She was in isolation in the Carlos III Hospital while authorities waited for the test results, a spokesperson for the Madrid regional government said.

#ThingsTimHowardCouldBlock … including his own Tourette’s?

In a remarkable display of talent and athleticism, Tim Howard broke records yesterday for saving an insane number of Belgian goal attempts at the World Cup Round of 16 USA vs Belgium game.  This guy is a hero, no doubt, but says he owes part of his talent to… his Tourette’s syndrome. 

The BBC takes a look at the science behind Howard’s claim that his Tourette’s actually helps with his impecable goal-saving skills. Says Howard, “I realised I was faster than others when it came to certain movements, and that these reflexes were linked to my disorder”

Turns out this claim may have some truth to it: 

Studies have shown that individuals with Tourette’s are “super-good at controlling their voluntary movements”

and 

A hypothesis is that people with the condition become highly conscious of their physical actions as they learn to control their tics.

More power to you Howard! You are a role model to all!!