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Green K.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Tuan T.,Research and Training Center for Community Development | Hoang T.V.,Family Health International | Thi Trang N.N.,Life Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management | Year: 2010

Symptom assessment and treatment for people living with HIV (PLHIV) cannot only lead to improvements in quality of life but contribute to combination antiretroviral adherence and early detection of virologic rebound. The majority of PLHIV in Vietnam receive their care in HIV outpatient settings, whereas very few clinics provide palliative care. The Ministry of Health has called for palliative care to be incorporated into existing HIV and cancer services, but there is limited guidance regarding how to operationalize integration. An HIV outpatient clinic palliative care intervention was tested in northern Vietnam to explore the accessibility, acceptability, and feasibility of integrated services. Primary outcome measures included changes in identification and treatment of pain and other symptoms, the prevalence of depression and anxiety, and perceived social support. The palliative care intervention included introduction of tools and mentoring to assess and treat pain and other symptoms as well as mental health and social support screening, counseling, and treatment services. The intervention resulted in significant changes in provider practice and service delivery. Providers and patients reported overall satisfaction with the intervention and resulting improvements in quality of care. © 2010 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee. Published by Elsevier Inc. Source

« 2017 Chevrolet Colorado updated with all-new V-6 and class-exclusive 8-speed automatic; cylinder deactivation | Main | UTA study indicates air contamination near fracking sites result of operational inefficiencies, not inherent to the extraction process » General Motors is adding 2 million water bottles from Flint, Michigan residents into its Do Your Part water bottle recycling initiative. The company partnered with Schupan Recycling to collect the bottles. The plastic is washed, flaked and turned into fleece to make three products: Chevrolet Equinox V-6 engine covers; insulation for The Empowerment Plan coats for the homeless; and air filters for 10 GM plants. The program engages a supply web of 11 organizations and reduces landfill waste. The resulting social impact contributes to the initiative’s progress and expansion. GM supplier Filtration Services Group involved the N.E.W. Life Center in Flint to make air filter panels from the 9,000 square feet of fleece created since Do Your Part launched in April. After at-risk individuals participate in programs dedicated to employment preparation or life change, this nonprofit training center employs them to further develop their skills. GM is donating enough insulation for The Empowerment Plan’s seamstresses—formerly homeless women—to make 6,500 coats that transform into sleeping bags that are given to those in need at no cost. The nonprofit trains their employees in lean manufacturing and teaches them soft and hard skills to propel them to bigger and better opportunities. Scott says GM’s insulation provides the warmth needed for the homeless to withstand cold nights. Each coat contains 31 water bottles. The GM Foundation also supports The Empowerment Plan, providing it with $220,000 since 2013. An estimated 1.2 million bottles from five GM facilities throughout metro Detroit and Flint supplemented the significant volumes coming from the Flint community. The company recently added its Romulus Powertrain plant to the program. While many employees bring reusable water bottles to work, all of GM’s facilities provide water bottle recycling.

News Article | February 10, 2016
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/earth.xml

A female bamboo shark is set to give birth to two babies after nine months. There is an interesting twist though: the shark is a virgin and has not had contact with a male shark in two years. In 2013, the white-spotted shark arrived at the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre. It was evacuated from another facility in Hunstanton, Norfolk after it was immensely flooded. During her stint at its present home, it was not accompanied by any species of its kind. Interestingly, experts were able to confirm that it had produced two fertile eggs, which is about to hatch soon. "They will be the first such births in the Sea Life network, and we're excited and privileged to be expecting such a miraculous event," says Darren Gook, a shark expert and marine biologist. Experts at Sea Life Center have removed the two fertilized eggs of the white-bamboo shark from its nursery tank. Visitors may now be able to view it and experts will closely monitor its entire development. While the occurrence seems miraculous, it is not entirely the case. There is actually a scientific explanation for it. Experts call it parthenogenesis. In the said process, female sharks somehow manage to produce an additional set of chromosomes to its eggs thus, allowing it to generate an offspring. The babies come out as complete clones or half-clones of its mother. Parthenogenesis is a phenomenon that has been present in domestic chickens and some reptiles however, its occurrence in sharks has only been discovered in 2008. So far, parthenogenesis in sharks have been noted in bonnethead, blacktip, white-bamboo and zebra sharks. Gook says asexual reproduction or generating offspring without sexual contact is nature's way of helping species grow in population. Such processes conveys that nature is doing something to ensure that species survive in the face of massive drops in numbers. Declines in population disable male and female species from finding each other thus limiting the chances for reproduction. In the past, experts think that offsprings produced via parthenogenesis do not have the ability to reproduce further. The babies are rendered infertile and evolution stops at its part of the family tree, but recent events in Germany proved that it is not. Experts in Germany have just announced the second-generation virgin birth of the same species.

News Article
Site: http://www.treehugger.com/feeds/category/technology/

Quite a few websites (including TreeHugger here) covered the new CO2 heat pump installation at the Alaska Sea Life Center. It’s impressive, and so was their press release with its title ASLC shifting 98% of the Center's heating needs from fossil fuel to ocean water as source heat. Many tried to explain how it worked, using the complicated description in the press release. I found these hard to understand, and thought it might be a good idea to go back to first principles and try and explain a) how a heat pump works, and b) how a CO2 heat pump is different. All of us use heat pumps every day; that is what your fridge is, and your air conditioner. They pump heat from inside the box to outside. The big heat pumps work pretty much the same way: When you use an aerosol can, it gets cold. That’s because there is a propellant, often something like propane, that is liquid under pressure but when you release the pressure, turns into a gas. In that process it absorbs what is called the heat of vaporization; it takes energy to break those bonds that hold it together as a liquid. That’s why the can gets cold. You could probably build a very nice air conditioner or fridge around propane but it is flammable, so they invented non-flammable refrigerants that did the same thing, originally freon, (bad for the ozone layer and a serious greenhouse gas) and then its replacements like R-134a that is in the old ASLC heat pump. (still a greenhouse gas but not quite as bad). In your fridge, the heat is sucked out of the box to evaporate the refrigerant. In the ASLC's older heat pump system, (1) 40°F sea water goes through a (2) heat exchanger to move heat to cooler fresh water with ethylene glycol antifreeze. That’s the second law of thermodynamics in action: heat moves from the hotter to cooler medium. If they just put the seawater through the heat pump it would probably freeze solid, and saltwater is corrosive. This (3) water and antifreeze is then is sent to the (4) evaporator in the heat pump and even though the water is barely above freezing, there is enough heat in there that the evaporating refrigerant can suck it out. The (5) warmer, low pressure vapour refrigerant is then piped to the (6) compressor. If you have ever pumped up a bike tire you find quickly that compressing a gas makes it warm. Compress it a lot and it gets hot as the molecules bump and grind together. But at these pressures, it wants to be a liquid like propane in your bbq tank. To turn into a liquid, it has to release that heat of vaporization, which it does in the (7) condenser. The heat that was gathered up out of the ocean water is now concentrated and available for use, and is transferred to the (8) building heating system loop. Then the liquid refrigerant under pressure is piped to the (9) expansion valve, which drops the pressure to the point where the liquid wants to turn into a gas, but needs that heat of vaporization, which it gets out of the glycol loop in the (4) evaporator and the process starts over again. That’s the “vapour compression cycle.” And that’s how your heat pump (and your fridge) works; just leave off the seawater loop. Heat pumps are more efficient because they move heat rather than make it, but it still takes energy to run the water pumps and the compressors. That’s where the COP or Coefficient of Performance comes in: a COP of 4 means that it produces 4 times as much heat as straight resistance heating would for a given amount of electricity. The variations in home heat pumps are ground source, where loops of water remove heat from the ground or dump it back in, water source, where loops are put in the water or as in Alaska, the water is pumped in and returned, or air source, like you see more commonly now in the little mini-splits. explanation of CO2 heat pump from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo. A CO2 heat pump is a bit different. Unlike the artificial refrigerants, CO2 is not designed for this function and the heat pump has to be designed around its properties. A lot of people are rooting for CO2 as the Next Big Thing as a refrigerant because it is so much more benign environmentally. The new Alaska installation uses Myekawa water source heat pumps (we showed their “Eco-cute” unit on TreeHugger here; cute is not a description of how it looks, but short for kyūtō or “supply hot water”). The main advantage (besides the refrigerant) is that they operate at much higher temperatures and can be used to replace traditional boilers. A key difference between the conventional heat pump and the CO2 heat pump is that CO2 pumps operate at much higher pressure. Engineer John Straube tells Alex Wilson of BuildingGreen: They are also what is called “trans-critical”- the CO2 does not condense in a condenser. Again from BuildingGreen: So the drawing is pretty much the same for the CO2 heat pump except the (7) condenser is this gas cooler thing. However CO2 heat pumps are “ridiculously efficient”, with a COP of as much as 8, and the output is really high temperature, delivering water at 150° to 194°. That’s why it is perfect for the hot water heating system at the Alaska Sea Life Center. And while the ASLC may have shifted 98 percent of its heating needs from directly burning fossil fuels, it still needs electricity to run these heat pumps- I think each of the four has a 25 kW motor. Then there are the pumps that move the thousands of gallons of seawater. Given the mix of sources for Alaska, they are certainly not 98 percent off fossil fuels. And by the way, this is why I really think we should never use the word "geothermal" to describe ground source heat pumps. The technology is pretty much exactly the same whether you are pulling the heat out of the water, the ground or out of the air. However geothermal means one specific thing: heat from the ground that is used directly, like steam in Iceland or drilling really deep for hot rock a few miles down. We really shouldn't mix the two. This has caused me a lot of trouble in the past but we should get it right. Tip of the hat to Energy Vanguard for this explanation that got me started.

« SAE World Congress technical track on advances in fuel cell vehicle applications | Main | IIHS: Speed limit increases in US caused 33,000 deaths over 20 years » General Motors is turning its employees’ recycled water bottles into a noise-reducing fabric insulation that covers the Chevrolet Equinox engine. The bottles—collected from five of its Michigan facilities—are also being turned into air filtration components and insulation in coats for the homeless community. Given its drive to zero waste, all of GM’s global facilities recycle their water bottles. However, the bottles collected at the five locations are now funneled into its “Do Your Part” project, where 11 businesses collaborate to give them a second life. The air filtration components are used in GM facilities to protect air quality; and the insulation goes into Empowerment Plan coats that transform into sleeping bags. GM pursued this project after analyzing its impacts from a holistic business case: GM demonstrates how a supply chain can become a supply web where business opportunities stem from an original project, furthering the mission and driving more social and economic impact. Each partner engaged in this initiative brings specific capabilities. Hamtramck Recycling bails the plastic bottles collected from GM’s world headquarters at the Renaissance Center, Warren Technical Center, and Orion Assembly, Flint Tool and Die, and Flint Engine plants. Clean Tech Inc. washes the bottles and converts them to flake. Unifi, Inc. recycles the bottle flake into resin. Palmetto Synthetics processes the resin to create fibers and William T. Burnett & Co. processes the fibers into various forms of fleece, serving all three applications. Rogers Foam Corp. die cuts the fleece and EXO-s attaches it into the nylon cover for the Chevrolet Equinox V6 engine. The part helps further dampen engine noise to deliver a quiet ride. Filtration Services Group works with New Life Center, a nonprofit jobs development and training mission in Flint, to make the panels for the air filtration fleece, which is then sent to 10 GM facilities. The coat insulation is sent to Carhartt, a workwear company established in Detroit in 1889, who cuts it to size for The Empowerment Plan. GM also is working with various organizations such as Schupan Recycling in Flint to collect additional water bottles to plug into the project. GM uses recycled content in many of its vehicles. Cardboard from various GM plants is recycled into a sound-dampening material in the Buick Verano headliner; plastic caps and shipping aids from its Fort Wayne facility are mixed with other materials to make radiator shrouds for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra; and test tires from Milford Proving Ground are shredded and used in the manufacturing of air and water baffles for a variety of GM cars. GM has 131 landfill-free facilities around the world and recycles the equivalent of 38 million garbage bags of byproducts each year.

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