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“Solar minimum between cycles 23 and 24 was exceptionally protracted with many days of almost no sunspots.
It was also marked by the lowest recorded values of the
interplanetary magnetic field near the Earth, the lowest in 50 years since space measurements began. These conditions taken together arguably provide the best opportunity for the onset of pandemics. An open gateway is offered for the ingress of new pathogens which are inevitably electrically charged in space. Virions, phages, bacteria, and other micron-sized biological entities can cross the weakened interplanetary magnetic field and readily reach the Earth’s surface. A low or zero magnetic fields would also provide an opportunity for
mutational events caused by increased fluxes of galactic cosmic rays.
2010-2016 Scarlet fever (Streptococcus pyogenes)
2013 Influenza A H7N9
2009 Influenza H1N1(China, India, Sri Lanka)
Table 1: Lists of conspicuous pandemic and epidemic events during the
“Sunspot Cycle Minima and Pandemics: The Case for Vigilance?”
“Direct records of sunspots and the solar cycle have been maintained in astronomical observatories for about 1610 AD, while indirect records derived from 14C analysis of ice cores go back to about 900 AD. Minima in the sunspot cycle present conditions conducive to the entry or activation of new pathogens and also for mutations of already circulating bacteria and viruses. Three grand minima of solar activity on record–the Sporer minimum (1450-1550 AD), Maunder minimum (1650-1700 AD) and the Dalton minimum (1800-1830) have all been marked by a preponderance of pandemics–Small Pox, English Sweats, Plague and Cholera. The sunspot numbers recorded for the present period 2002-2017 include the deepest sunspot minimum (Cycle 23-24) since records began, and a trend to declining numbers throughout the cycle. The same period has seen the resurgence of several pandemics–
SARS, MERS, Zika, Ebola, Influenza A. We consider it prudent to take note of these facts whilst planning future strategies for pandemic surveillance and control.”
“Significant neutron fluxes do, however, reach
ground level and have the potential of causing mutations in both
viruses and cells in general.
More significantly, in our view, during solar minimum, new viruses,
bacteria and other microscopic biological entities can penetrate the
interplanetary magnetic field barrier and reach the stratosphere.
Descent of such particles to ground level by means of gravitational
settling might take months or years depending on size. The final
descent phase through the troposphere would be mostly controlled by
meteorological events. It is also of interest to note that the first descent
of viral-sized particles deposited in the stratosphere will occur at places
where the stratosphere is thinnest; and by this argument populated
areas of China lying eastward of the Himalayan mountain range would
present the best candidates. It is therefore not surprising to find that
first strikes of new or renewed viral diseases are often recorded in
China. We should however stress that not every minimum in the
sunspot cycle would be associated with a new epidemic or new
pathogen. Additional conditions need to be fulfilled, most importantly
that the Earth has recently encountered a stream of cometary debris
containing disease-causing dust-e.g. phages, virions, microorganisms.”
In a careful study Engel and Macko found that the ratio of concentrations of d/l alanine was 0.5 and d/l glutamic acid was 0.3 in samples from the Murchison meteorite . The extraterrestrial origin of the amino acids studied and, consequently, of the excess of l-amino acids was supported with isotopic abundances of C13 and N15 greatly different from the terrestrial values. This observation is surely important in connection to point 2 because it could add further evidence to those studies which offer arguments for the extraterrestrial origin of the precursors of biomolecules . The authors of such studies argued that precursors of biomolecules, even amino acids were synthesized in Cosmos and acquired homochirality there. Many observations demonstrated that organic molecules might be found in meteorites fallen to Earth, in the interstellar clouds or on the surface of the interstellar grains . Comets, meteorites and interstellar grains could have delivere these substances to Earth .
An explanation for the origin of the enantiomeric excess is, however, necessary. Engel and Macko tentatively ascribed it to the possible influence of the circularly polarized light from neutron stars. This idea was proposed earlier as a possible source of extraterrestrial enantiomeric excess . This explanation, however, seems to involve serious controversies though it is known that circularly polarized light could induce asymmetric synthesis or decomposition of enantiomers. Some of the controversies were already discussed in ref. . Here we offer two further critical notes. The non-circularly polarized light from other stars, in addition to the light of the neutron stars, could also produce interstellar organic molecules. The ratio of the intensity of the radiations from the two sources surely influenced the value of the enantiomeric excess. It is impossible to estimate the uncertainty evolving from this ratio.
The unexpected ripples generated by chemical reactions, especially when catalyzed (accelerated by substances not themselves consumed), propagate long-range. For chemists and physicists, this work challenges the textbook view that molecular motion and chemical reaction are decoupled, and that reactions affect only the nearby vicinity. For engineers, this work shows a powerful new approach to design nanomotors at the truly molecular level.
Screening 15 organic chemical reactions, the researchers study chemical reactions that are workhorses with wide application within the organic chemical, pharmaceutical and materials industries.
NOx is a generic term for the nitrogen oxides that are most relevant for air pollution, namely nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO
2). These gases contribute to the formation of smog and acid rain, as well as affecting tropospheric ozone.
So Ouranós, aka Uranus (for the Romantics) is actually Grandfather Sky.