June 11, 2021

A New Study of the Distant Oort Cloud

The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 66
*A new study of the distant Oort cloud
Astronomers have undertaken a new analysis of the Oort cloud – the sphere of some 100 billion comets and chunks of icy debri...

The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.

SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 66

*A new study of the distant Oort cloud

Astronomers have undertaken a new analysis of the Oort cloud – the sphere of some 100 billion comets and chunks of icy debris in interstellar space which is gravitationally bound to the Sun.

*Heavy metals found in comets for the first time

Two separate studies have found heavy metals in the atmospheres of comets.

*Ultraluminous X-ray sources retain their mystery

Astronomers studying a mysterious object known as an ultraluminous X-ray source. have detected unusual flaring activity.

*Flying Dragons in space

SpaceX has successfully launched a new supply mission to the International Space Station.

*The Science Report

Second hand smoke exposure as a child linked to a higher risk of ADHD symptoms.

People who get their news mostly through social media are less likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Scientists say what is now the world’s largest iceberg could be around for years.

Study claims the maximum possible age for humans could be between 120 - 150 years old.

Skeptic's guide to the Health Practitioners Regulation Agency review.

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SpaceTime S24E66 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: [00:00:00] This is time series 24 episode 66, 4 broadcast on the 11th of June, 2021. Coming up on space time and your study of the distant Oort cloud heavy metals found in comments for the first time and astronomers studying mysterious objects known as ultra luminous x-ray sources detect unusual flaring activity.

Oh, that and more coming up on space time.

VO Guy: [00:00:28] Welcome

to space time

with Stuart, Gary.

Stuart: [00:00:48] Astronomers have undertaken a new analysis of the auth cloud, uh, sphere containing some 100 billion comets and chunks of icy debris and industry space, which had gravitationally bound to the sun. [00:01:00] The new study, right reported in the journal of astronomy and astrophysics and on the prepress physics website, archive.org looks at the first 100 million years of the history of the cloud in its entirety.

The cloud was first postulated back in 1950 by the Dutch astronomer Yon Henrik art. In order to explain why there continues to be so many new comments with elongated orbits in our solar system, the art cloud is thought to extend out more than 3000 astronomical units from the sun and astronomical unit being 150 million kilometers or 8.3 light minutes.

The average distance between the earth and the sun. The Oort cloud is different from the copper belt arena, frozen worlds comments that I see debris circling the sun beyond the orbit of Neptune between 20 and 50 astronomical units out. The copper belt was formed out of the builder's rubble leftover from the formation of the solar system.

4.6 billion years ago that the origins of the ORC cloud have remained somewhat more mysterious. [00:02:00] Then you compute a simulations by astronomers, Simon,  fat and colleagues from the university of Leiden suggest that the awkward is actually a mixture of remnant debris from the protoplanetary disk of gas and dust, which formed the solar system and interstellar material from other star systems captured when the newborn son was emerging from its stellar nursery.

Exactly how they all cloud formed has remained a mystery because the series of events which took place to build it involve complicated computer analysis, which are difficult to reproduce the author. Say some processes lasted only a few years and took place at relatively short distances, comparable with the distance between the earth and the sun or other processes lasted billions of years and took place over light years comparable with distances between stars.

So that says, if you want to calculate the whole sequence in a computer you're irrevocably run a ground. That's why until now only separate events have been simulated. [00:03:00] The light and university research team started from these separate events, but they were then able to connect these events with each other, using the end result of one calculation as the starting point for the next, in this way, they were able to map out the entire Genesis of the cloud.

This is space time still, the calm, heavy metals found in comments for the first time and astronomers studying mysterious objects known as ultra luminous x-ray sources detect unusual flaring activity, or that are more to calm. Um, space, time

to separate studies have found heavy metals in the atmospheres of comets. Once that it detected I and the nickel and the atmospheres of solar system based comments, even though it's far [00:04:00] from the sun. Meanwhile, a separate study found nickel vapor in the atmosphere of the IC interstellar comet. Boris of both studies are reported in the journal nature.

It's the first time heavy metals usually associated with hot environments as being found in the cold atmospheres of distant comments. Scientists from the university of leash, detected iron and nickel atoms in the atmosphere of some 20 comments they'd been observing for the past two decades. Even those far from the sun in the cold environment of deep space, astronomers have always known that heavy metals like nickel and iron exist in comments, dusty and Rocky interiors, but because solid metals don't usually sublimate at low temperatures.

They didn't expect to find them in the atmosphere of cold comets that have traveled far from the sun. Yeah, Nicola and I, and vapor was observed in the atmosphere of comments more than 480 million kilometers from the sun. That's some three times more than the earth sun distance. [00:05:00] Interestingly, also the Belgian team found iron and Nicklin comets atmospheres in approximately equal amounts material in our solar system.

For example, that fan in the sun and he meteorites usually contains about 10 times more iron than nickel. That means these new results have serious implications for astronomy's understanding of the early solar system. Although the team is still trying to decode exactly what those implications are, comments or thought are formed around 4.6 billion years ago when the solar system itself was forming and haven't changed much since that time, they therefore provide really good archeological record of the early history of the solar system.

Meanwhile, astronomers from the Jaguar Eliani and university in Poland have detected gaseous Nagel in the atmosphere of the interstellar comet. Borisov the first identified alien comment to pass through our solar system where a salve was observed when it was some 300 million kilometers from the sun.

Again, about twice the earth, sun distance, both teams, discoveries were [00:06:00] made using the European Southern observatory is very large telescope in Chile. The find out more about what these discoveries could mean. And you're directly speaking with astronomer professor Fred Watson. Now, Fred, let's

Guest: [00:06:11] start with heavy metals in comment, vapor.


Stuart: [00:06:15] is just been discovered in I'm guessing there's a paper

Guest: [00:06:19] or at least some form of study. That's

Stuart: [00:06:22] come up with this interesting discovery, this interesting

Guest: [00:06:25] find. Indeed. Yeah. Um, th there is, there is paper and, um, lots of press about it as well, because it's a really interesting result. And I should tell you that, um, these studies use the telescopes of the European Southern observatory down there in Chile, which, um, are.

Pretty well, the, the best equipped, uh, large telescopes in the Southern hemisphere, there are a few other ones down there that are pretty damn good as well, but the four telescopes of the very large telescope they're cracking good. And so they were used to make these observations. And what's interesting about [00:07:00] this is by heavy metals.

Actually, we should, we should. Perhaps just define that for a minute, Andrew, because astronomy is that ID. I've got a, I've got a very funny view of what constitutes a metal and a metal in astronomy is anything other than hydrogen and helium. So oxygen's a metal calcium's about right? Yeah. Um, it's it's, it's always been like that.

I guess, probably since the start of astronomical spectroscopy, the idea of breaking up the light from stars and finding out what signatures of elements you can get in there. But yeah, metal, is there anything heavier than hydrogen and helium? So when you talk about heavy metals, You're really talking about what you and I would call metals in normal life.

And in particular, iron and nickel and iron is the commonest metal in their universe. In fact, one of the communist elements and it's because it's a, it's a byproduct of the nuclear processes that go on inside stars when they're in their normal adult life. So I, and it's being created. Towards the end of the life [00:08:00] of this star actually.

Anyway, the bottom line is iron is common. Nicholas common. Now there is an interesting little factoid about this though, and that is that we find, for example, in the core of the earth, it's an iron. Cool, cool. And the ion usually outweighs the nickel when you find it in nature, like. Metallic asteroids or the core of a planet.

It's usually 10 times more iron than nickel, which is understandable because irons more readily produced inside stars. But in this story, we find that in these comments you've got more or less equal proportions, and that is unexpected that there are equal proportions of iron and nickel in the comments.

Now we've known for a long time that comments must have this sort of stuff in the material. Remember become itself. I see bodies. With lots of dust embedded in the eyes. And that dust includes heavy metals and the temperatures of these things are typically colder than minus a hundred degrees Celsius. So they're very, very cold and the metal is normally remain very much as grains of dust.

Basically not anything [00:09:00] that's vapor, but that's the surprise with these observations. And it comes from groups in Poland and Melbourne, I think, sorry. Poland of Belgium, I think are the main centers where the astronomers who worked on this come from, there are two studies actually. In fact, let me get it right.

The first study is the solar system comets and that's the Belgian study. The second one is our old friend comment bar itself, which has been looked at by, I grew up from Poland. Boris that's the one. Yeah, both of them are found this. Unexpected result that the metals turn up in the vapor of the comment, the stuff that's ejected from the comment when it gets near the sun.

So that material vaporizes now, normally these elements they're vaporize at very high temperatures. 700 degrees Celsius or thereabouts. And we're talking here about minus a hundred. So what's going on. Just clarify there that when I say vaporize, I mean they sublimate and sublimation is the process when a solid turns directly to a gas, which happens a [00:10:00] lot in astronomy because it's what elements do in a vacuum.

Basically go straight from Solidere. To gas. It's why on the surface of Mars, which is not a vacuum, but not quite ice doesn't turn into water. It just turns straight into water vapor. So that's the process sublimation, but the mystery. Yeah. Why, why is it that at these ultra low temperatures, these metals are turning into vapors.

And I think as I understand the research, I can quote actually from the paper. And you'll see the problem. The paper says Unbound nickel atoms seem to originate from the photo dissociation of short-lived nickel containing molecule. That sublimate said not low temperatures or is otherwise released with major volatile compounds.

You get all that, Andrew, because that's the answer. Yeah. Okay. What it means is that the key word there is footed association. It's the radiation of the sun hitting these things. And it's a nickel containing molecule. And basically the radiation from the sun shoots out the nickel atoms. And the same is probably true with the iron.

I think [00:11:00] that's the story that it's all about. The sun's radiation acting directly on. If you'd asked me Fred,

Stuart: [00:11:06] if you'd asked me to guess. Before you told me the answer, I would have said I'm, I'm going to imagine it's something to do with the sun, hitting the comment. Yeah. See,

Guest: [00:11:13] here's what I want to say. It should be an astronomer, Andrew.

Cause you, well, you've been mixed up with them, but yeah, absolutely. Right. Um, I'll be a journalist. We don't have to think much. I think that's not quite true, but nevermind. Sorry. It's I don't think you think at all. No, no. I never said that. Journalists. I think I have to think now an awful lot. And, um, a lot of them, these forensic journalists and investigative journalists, they're doing a fantastic job and covering all kinds of myths that make many friends now, but you don't.

I bet you know, it's a good job. You've got me. Isn't it. Really? Yes. And you're going back to that. You were right on the money it's to do with the sun's radiation. To be honest, I would have guessed. Something similar, but I think I would have got it wrong. I think you've got it right. I would have thought, oh, it's the subatomic [00:12:00] particles in the solar wind that do this.

And it doesn't look as though that's what it is. It's the, it's actually the radiation, the light radiation from the sun. So there you go. When

Stuart: [00:12:09] I, when I say, I think it's got something to do with the sun, that's a pretty

Guest: [00:12:12] broad answer. Yes. That could mean anything. So that's a journalist at work. Yeah, that's right.

Make it broad. So I guess the nice twisted, this is the Polish work that has looked at comic Boris off the first interstellar comment that we've ever observed and found that he's got very, very similar properties to solar system comments. And in fact, some work revealed that, um, it seems to be like a solar system.

To comment in every way, except it's never been near a star. So it's a pristine sample of the, of the raw material of stars and planets really interesting that it's an IC remnant of the gas and dust cloud, that solar system, wherever it was, was formed and this work, you know, kind of underlines that. Yeah.

Yeah. I'm not surprised the Polish

Stuart: [00:12:56] looked at Borisov it's

Guest: [00:12:57] a very Eastern block. [00:13:00] That's right. I wonder if that's why they chose

Stuart: [00:13:03] to look at it. Well, it's just the opportunity presented itself, I imagine. And I don't suppose we'll ever, can we ever

Guest: [00:13:09] figure out exactly where it came from from Barra self? No, it's kind of a bit of a mystery.

Really. You can see what direction it came from, but you don't know how long it's been traveling in that direction. Um, and yeah. Like our old friend , which, uh, came from the direction of the bright star Vega. But when Maura was where Vega is Vega wasn't there, it was somewhere else because Vegas moving as well.

Isn't it? The comments moving in Vegas anyway. So we'll probably know

Stuart: [00:13:36] that's Dr. Fred Watson and astronomy with the department of science speaking with Andrew Dunkley on our sister program space nuts. And this is space time still the calm astronomers studying a mysterious object known as an ultra luminous x-ray source of detected unusual flaring activity and space X has successfully launched the new supply mission to the international space station, [00:14:00] all that, and more still to come.

Space space-time

astronomers studying a mysterious object known as an ultra luminous x-ray source have detected unusual flaring activity. First discovered back in the 1980s by the Einstein observatory, three ultra luminous x-ray sources are point sources of intense x-ray energy, less luminous than the active galactic nuclei of feeding supermassive black holes, but consistently more luminous than any known stellar processes.

Although the Milky way, galaxy has no known ultra luminous x-ray sources, most galaxies have at least one and some have several. Astronomers use the XMA. Mutan you start Chandra and swift space telescopes to observe an ultra alumnus [00:15:00] x-ray source nearness X seven. It's one of two ultra luminous x-ray sources.

The other designated X 10 located in the intermediate spiral, galaxy NGC four or 5, 5, 9, some 29 million light is a way in the constellation coma. . A report on the prepress physics website, archive.org says X seven's longterm x-ray light curve shows flux variation, but up to a factor of six over just a few hours such activity wasn't seen in earlier observations of X seven and early manifests.

When the source is at its highest observed, luminosity is. In fact, during the peak of the flares, the luminosity was that a factor three higher than pre-flight illuminosity indicating the maximum variability of the source can span almost an order of magnitude. It's thought that many Archer luminous x-ray sources are in fact far background quasars, powerful jets produced by feeding supermassive black holes.

Another possibility is that they could be feeding [00:16:00] intermediate mass black holes while a third possibility is that they're unusually bright supernova remnants, at least on short timescales, the mystery continues. This is space time still the comm space X successfully launches a new supply mission to the international space station.

And later in the science report, secondhand smoke exposure as a child linked to our higher risk of attention, deficit, hyperactivity disorder, all that, and more still to come. Um, space time.

Okay. Let's take a break from that show for a word from our sponsor. namecheap.com. As their slogan says, search and buy domains from Namecheap at the lowest prices. Yeah, this is the service that our team of bites.com [00:17:00] used to buy and manage our domain names. And we're really happy with the service support and the value we're getting, buying the right domain name.

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You'll find the URL details in the show notes and on our website, just visit the support page that space-time with. Stuart gallery.com forward slash Namecheap. And now it's back to our show. You're listening to Springs time with Stuart

VO Guy: [00:18:34] Gary

Stuart: [00:18:37] space X has successfully launched a new supplier mission to the international space station.

On board, the dragon to cargo capsule or some 3,300 kilograms of supplies, equipment, and laboratory experiments for the opening outpost. The CRS 22 mission was floated about a Falcon nine rocket from space launch complex 39 8 at the Kennedy space center at the Cape Canaveral [00:19:00] space for a station in Florida.

Today's cargo mission known as commercial resupply services. Mission 22 is scheduled to launch at 1:29 PM Eastern time. It will be the second resupply mission to the space station on the upgraded cargo dragon

Narrator: [00:19:14] spacecraft. It's the fifth dragon flight to the international space station since May, 2020.

With many more plans for the upcoming year. And as you mentioned, this will be the second cargo resupply mission for upgraded dragon. This cargo vehicle will be joining the crew to vehicle on orbit began just the third time that we've had two dragons dock at the space station. They brand new Falcon nine booster.

This is actually the first new booster that we're using this year and the vehicle stands 229 feet tall. Or slightly taller than a 21 story building. Now, Falcon nine is a reusable two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by space X for the reliable and safe transport of both people and payloads into earth orbit.

And beyond this Falcon nine rolled out to the pad and [00:20:00] went vertical on Tuesday, June 1st, around 3:00 PM Eastern time. And actually, uh, just before the program started at around T minus 35 minutes, we began loading propellants on the Falcon nine. Fucking nine uses two propellant. The first of those is a fuel, a refined form of Carson known as RP one or rocket propellant one.

And for our oxidizer we use super chill that liquid oxygen referred to as of locks. We tell the locks well below the boiling point, which helps increase its density so we can load more of it into the first and second stages. Now does start the engines. We also need an ignition source for that. Falcon nine uses a chemical igniter called T tab.

You'll see a characteristic green spark at, around the team on a zero. Uh, mark right before the rocket takes off. Now, the bottom two thirds of the vehicle is what we refer to as the first stage its objective is to accelerate the vehicle through the Earth's atmosphere to space. And then it'll separate from the rest of the rocket.

Today we will be attempting to recover this first [00:21:00] stage on our drone ship named of course, I still love you that stationed out in the Atlantic ocean. And if you've been keeping count at home, if we successfully land the Falcon nine today, it'll mark our 86th successful landing of an orbital class, rocket.

On top of the first stage we have fucking nine second stage. It has a single Merlin vacuum or end back engine that ignites after the first stage separates. The second stage is ultimately what will carry dragon into its intended orbit, allowing dragon to then separate and then eventually for it to continue.

But it's rendezvous to the international space station. I finally at the very top of the rocket is the dragon spacecraft. Dragon was designed from the beginning to be reused. This new version of dragon was designed for up to five flights while the previous version could only support three. Just like today's Falcon nine, we're flying a brand new dragon space path, which we'll hope to fly again in the future.

That today is a cargo mission and VR delivering nearly 7,000 pounds of cargo to the international [00:22:00] space station. That includes critical material to support dozens of science and research investigations that'll happen onboard the orbiting laboratory. To this day, dragon remains the only spacecraft currently flying that's capable of transporting significant amounts of cargo to, and from planet earth.

One other really cool thing about this first stage booster, if space SpaceX successfully recovers it and refurbishes it. This is the same booster slated to launch, uh, for the next four astronauts to the international space station in October. Uh, those will be NASA astronauts, Russia, Chari Thomas Marshburn.

Kayla Baron and European space agency, astronaut Mateus malware. So NASA is commercial crew program folks. I'm watching this mission closely with a particular interest in that first stage booster

VO Guy: [00:22:47] Falcon. I

Stuart: [00:22:47] didn't start up dragging

Tim Mendham: [00:22:48] as in countdown LD, go for launch we'll launch director,

Narrator: [00:22:52] launch director, Paul Dale for launch all systems are currently go days.

You want press for flight.

Stuart: [00:22:57] Second nine is

Narrator: [00:22:58] configured for flight

[00:23:00] Stuart: [00:23:00] 9 8 7 6 5. 4 3,

Narrator: [00:23:06] 2, 1,

VO Guy: [00:23:12] and liftoff. Second

Narrator: [00:23:14] space X cargo resupply mission, bringing new solar arrays to the international space station. Phenomenal. We're coming up on the next major milestone. That's the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure. That's when these stresses on the vehicle will be the highest attribute. So in preparation for maximum aerodynamic pressure, we throttled down those Merlin Wendi engines.

Now that we're through that point, we'll continue to we'll throttle back up and continue on to the next of our sequence of events. We have several happening in rapid succession. That'll be main engine cutoff. Followed by a stage separation, then we'll have a first stage flip maneuver. Second engine start number one, and then a boost back burn on the first stage.

[00:24:00] Now main engine cutoff or Mico. That's where all nine of the Berlin one D engines on the first stage will shut down. That's followed shortly after by stage separation. When both the person, the stones will separate. From there. The first stage will flip to prepare itself for entry. A few seconds later, the Merlin vacuum engine on the second stage, like night to boost the dragon into a low or orbit that's called SES one.

And then finally on the first stage, we'll have boost fat burns starts to slow down the first stage in preparation for re-entry eh,

Stuart: [00:24:32] Mico state separation

Tim Mendham: [00:24:34] confirmed in bag ignition stage one

VO Guy: [00:24:37] boots back startup.

Narrator: [00:24:39] So successful. Berlin vacuum engine startup for stage has begun it's boost back burn that burn expected to last about 30 or so seconds.

And the second stage will continue to burn here for several minutes until about the T plus eight minute mark stage one boots back, shut down. This is space. X is 17 for launch of the year. Now the rocket has to do more than just [00:25:00] go up. It has to go sideways really fast at liftoff. Gravity is pulling straight down on the rocket, but as we ascend, we tilt the envelope, the engines that's called gambling, and that begins to turn into rocket horizontally.

Or something going up, but we're also heading horizontally away from the launchpad that maneuver is called a gravity turn. The rocket typically needs to go about 7.5 kilometers per second, or about 17,500 miles an hour to avoid being pulled back down to earth. And to get into orbit. So that's what the second stage is doing right now.

Now the first stage in order to make its way back to our drone ship named, of course, I still love you guys. Two more burdens to do. First is an editor to burn. It'll ignite three of its Merlin. One engines that'll help to slow it down as it reenters the Earth's atmosphere. And then the next activity will happen much closer to the drone ship.

That is a, the landing burn like night, just the single center Merlin engine to bring the vehicle speed rapidly down to zero diva grid fins that are extended. We use those for atmospheric control. They help. [00:26:00] Steer the Falcon nine to make sure we make our way back to that drone ship. As we get into the thicker parts of the Earth's atmosphere, periodic bursts of a white gas, that's our attitude control system, giving us little corrections to our attitude.

The next major event coming up here for the first stage is entry burn is three of the Maryland one D engines like night, second stage burn, continuing to look nominal. Second stage as a little ways to go. It won't be done with this burn until about the T plus stage one entry

Stuart: [00:26:26] burn start-up stage one FTS trajectory,

Narrator: [00:26:29] nominal burn, shut down.

So from here, the grid fins will continue to take the first stage towards our drone ship stationed out in the Atlantic. Ocean is point T plus six and a half minutes into flight. Second stage is making its way to be initial orbit. To drop off the cargo dragons based craft stage during re-entry. Once we get closer to the drone ship, we will deploy our four symmetric landing legs around the base of the first stage for hopefully a nice soft touchdown on that drone ship age, one landing leg, deploy picture [00:27:00] perfect landing of that.

Falcon nine for the first landing for this first stage 86 successful recovery overall for space X. Fantastic. I coming up shortly. Second stage is not done. It will be coming up on a second engine cutoff shut down of the second stage engine from here. We'll be looking at telemetry, make sure we are in the intended orbits, nominal orbit insertion.

Fantastic. So that's the second stage has just one major task left. There's commanding separation of the dragon spacecraft until separation. The second stage will be making some small adjustments during this coast prior to Dragon's separation

Stuart: [00:27:42] included in the manifest. We're 128 tiny baby bobtail squid, and some 20,000 microscopic tardigrades often known as water bears tardigrades can survive in extreme environments on earth and even desiccate in the vacuum of space.

[00:28:00] By identifying the genes behind their adaptability scientists, hope to better understand the stresses on the human body during long duration space flights. As for the bobtail, squid will, they're part of a study investigating the relationship between beneficial bacteria and their animal hosts. See the squid are in a symbiotic relationship with the microbes.

Other experiments in Bo dragon will examine oral hygiene in space. The increased susceptibility of astronauts to develop kidney stones during space flight, as well as experiments growing chili pepper, plants and cotton seedlings in micro gravity also included were fresh lemons, onions, avocados, and cherry tomatoes for the station seven crew members and the first of three sets of new high-tech solar panels designed to bolster the space stations, power grid.

Astronauts will conduct two space walks. Later this month, the hope installed the two roll out solar panels, which will be placed alongside the existing solar arrays, which have now been in continuous [00:29:00] use for more than 20 years. The added power will be useful now that the station standard crew compliment is increased to seven people.

And that more space tourists are likely to be flying up there in the next few years. This space-time

and Tom had to take yet another brief look at some of the other stories, making news and science this week with a science report, a new study has linked secondhand smoke exposure as a child with a higher risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms. The findings were reported in the journal of the American medical association, looked at the exposure to smirk of 45,562 children with ADHD.

The authors found that 10% of kids regularly exposed to secondhand smoke had ADHD symptoms compared to just over one in 20 children who had rarely been [00:30:00] exposed are one in 30 who had never been exposed to secondhand smoke. And your study has concluded that people who get their news mostly through social media are less likely to go for the COVID 19 vaccine, a report in the journal.

Plus one looked at the social media habits and opinions on the COVID-19 vaccine of 2,650 us residents. They found that two in five participants were likely to have the vaccine just under half with somewhat hesitant and just over one in eight or unlikely to take the vaccine. The study found that those less likely to get the vaccine you social media is their sole or primary source of news and information while traditional news sources like local and national TV and radio and newspapers were associated with a higher willingness to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, and you survey warns that 29% of Australian adults say they are unlikely to take the COVID-19 vaccination. The [00:31:00] research by resolve strategic found that 15% of adults surveyed said they were not at all likely and 14%. So they were not very likely to be vaccinated in the next few months. The world health organization now estimate some 8 million people have been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with over 3.6 million confirmed fatalities and over 172 million people infected since the deadly disease for spread out of warhead, China.

Say to say, what is now the world's largest iceberg could be around for several years. The massive block of ice, which is larger than the Spanish or the Majorca has been named a 76 and is some 170 kilometers long by 25 kilometers wide covering an area of 4,320 square kilometers. The iceberg carved off Western Dr.

Gus road. I show up on may the 13th and is now floating in the Wordle sea. A 76 is the latest in a series of massive [00:32:00] icebergs to have broken off in the region, which is acutely vulnerable to climate change. It joins a 23 a which at 3000 and 180 square kilometers was the previous record holder and has remained in the same area since 1980.

And you studied claims. The maximum possible age for humans could be between 120 and 150 years. The findings reported in the journal nature communications is based on a new method using blood tests that determined biological age, which they call the dynamic organisms, state indicator fluctuations in a person's dynamic organism state indicators score show their ability to recover from things like diseases.

The authors found that dynamic organism state indicator fluctuations increase with age due to an increase in recovery times. Based on those calculations, the researchers suggested the maximum human lifespan tops out at around 150 years of age. [00:33:00] The Australian health practitioners regulation agency will soon be releasing revised regulatory principles to strengthen regulatory action on dodgy medical practitioners.

Tim Mendham from Australian skeptic says it's important. The agency actually do something more than simply give shonky health practitioners, a slap on the wrist. Basically,

Tim Mendham: [00:33:19] this is the Australian health practitioner regulation agency opera, which looks after a 15. Different, uh, health practitioner boards.

It works with them implementing standards and accreditation schemes. Those boards covered everything from Chinese medicine, chiropractic, dental, medical standard, medical nursing, occupational therapy, optometry osteopathy, blah, blah, blah. That is 15 of these different things. And basically those different boards are supposed to monitor and I credit and looked out the Jamie Lee, the practices of the members, except the chiropractice, et cetera.

Opera then works with these boards and make sure that they're doing the right thing. Hopefully. So [00:34:00] the big point, it's looking at suggestions on how it operates at the moment. I've had a submission programming from the public and from sort of various groups, which is recently closed, pretty high level stuff.

Actually, it's not the day-to-day details of how it operates. It's more sort of it's approach and that sort of thing, which I know that a number of scripts associated with the skeptics have put in submissions, et cetera.

Stuart: [00:34:23] To me, how you can compare a medically trained general practitioner with someone doing acupuncture or a chiropractor is

Tim Mendham: [00:34:31] I know, and that's part of the problem.

And, and the next stage with this opera review is actually looking at its dealings with these boards and how well the boards are actually reacting and, and you're right. I mean, the medical board has the medical fraternity standard GP. Process for receiving and dealing with complaints and to have a pretty strict Sudafed judgment system on, on doctors who are stepped over the line.

And you always hear the doctor doing something wrong, losing his accreditation as a doctor being taken off the books, et cetera, other [00:35:00] boards, not so strong in looking after monitoring their members. It's rare. For the chiropractic board to stamp down on an individual chiropractor and say, you cannot practice anymore.

They might get a slap on the wrist. There was a famous case of the chiropractor who was cracking the back of an infant baby, like a few days old and happily put that up on YouTube. And he got the admonition that you can no longer perform chiropractic on anyone. On the 12th, not to say you can't practice chiropractic.

You just can't do it with them on kids rather than say yo dialogue or chiropractor you're out of this business. So that's part of the problem that various of these boards receive on a pro-rata basis, more complaints than others. The question is how well is opera putting the, the hard word on these boards to actually implement what they're supposed to do?

Some boards, some boats seem to be, it

Stuart: [00:35:48] goes further than that too, because you're putting, um, The shanks on the same level as medically trained people and then not on the same level. You can't regulate them the same way [00:36:00] because it's water and oil.

Tim Mendham: [00:36:02] Yeah. I mean, so some of these bullets are obviously dealing with areas of medicine, which we would regard as sort of having a lot of problems, the inherit problems, the Chinese medicine board and the chiropractic board are certainly dealing with areas that there's a lot of shonky practitioners.

There's a lot of chunky practices and a lot of very dodgy claims. Not to say they're all like that. But I mean, obviously there are some common practice we deal purely with lower back pain and that sort of stuff, which is fine when they get into weed areas that we think the boats should be clamping down more on the associations, which monitor their members.

There's various chiropractic boards, chiropractic associations. One is chiropractic association of Australia and there's the Australian chiropractic ascites. There's various groups which have different attitudes towards how chiropractic should be on the tight end. The question is, is the. National board of chiropractic monitoring all those and acting appropriately.

And is opera acting appropriately in overseeing those bullets? It's complicated, but it actually should be a good system. Probably like my systems in some areas

Stuart: [00:36:59] probably more [00:37:00] than others. From Australian skeptics.

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Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics

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Andrew Dunkley


Radio Broadcaster and Space Nuts Podcast host

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Fred Watson


Astronomer at large and Space Nuts Podcast Host