Diagnosing liver damage earlier could help to prevent liver failure in many patients. — ScienceDaily

About 25 percent of the U.S. population suffers from fatty liver disease, a condition that can lead to fibrosis of the liver and, eventually, liver failure.

Currently there is no easy way to diagnose either fatty liver disease or liver fibrosis. However, MIT engineers have now developed a diagnostic tool, based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), that could be used to detect both of those conditions.

“Since it’s a noninvasive test, you could screen people even before they have obvious symptoms of compromised liver, and you would be able to say which of these patients had fibrosis,” says Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the senior author of the study.

The device, which is small enough to fit on a table, uses NMR to measure how water diffuses

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Learn From Failure, Not Just From Success

By Johnny Wood

When it comes to offering lessons on navigating a fulfilling career in engineering, Mario Gaia has no shortage of rich material to draw on. He’s worked for more than a half century in energy, as an engineer, innovator, entrepreneur and businessman.

Gaia, the founder and honorary chairman of MHI Group company Turboden, started out on the research team of Professor Gianfranco Angelino at Politecnico di Milano, investigating Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) thermodynamics and design. ORC systems generate electric and thermal power from multiple sources, including renewables, traditional fuels and waste heat from industrial processes, waste incinerators, engines or gas turbines, making them an important and versatile technology in decarbonization.

Enthusiastic about the impact the technology could have, Gaia went on to found Turboden in 1980, which became part of MHI Group in

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Component failure in NASA’s deep-space crew capsule could take months to fix

Engineers are racing to fix a failed piece of equipment on NASA’s future deep-space crew capsule Orion ahead of its first flight to space. It may require months of work to replace and fix. Right now, engineers at NASA and Orion’s primary contractor, Lockheed Martin, are trying to figure out the best way to fix the component and how much time the repairs are going to take.

In early November, engineers at Lockheed Martin working on Orion noticed that a power component inside the vehicle had failed, according to an internal email and an internal PowerPoint presentation seen by The Verge. The component is within one of the spacecraft’s eight power and data units, or PDUs. The PDUs are the “main power/data boxes,” for Orion according to the email, responsible for activating key systems that Orion needs during flight.

Orion

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Read his own words on how Amazon embraced failure to drive innovation and success



Jeff Bezos wearing a suit and tie: Failure pays off if you want to figure out what customers really want, writes Bezos. John Locher/AP


© John Locher/AP
Failure pays off if you want to figure out what customers really want, writes Bezos. John Locher/AP

  • The following is an excerpt from the new book, “Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos,” a collection of writings and public statements by Jeff Bezos, with an introduction by journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson.
  • Bezos shares how a customer-first mentality allowed Amazon to flourish and bounce back from financial failures.
  • From the early beginnings of Prime to failed initiatives, Bezos explains why differentiating between experimental and operational failures lifted his ecommerce site to new heights of innovation and change. 
  • “If we build a new fulfillment center and it’s a disaster, that’s just bad execution. That’s not good failure,” Bezos said. “But when we are developing a new product or service or experimenting in some way, and it doesn’t work, that’s okay. That’s great failure.”
  • The excerpt is
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Vega Rocket Failure Apparently Caused by Human Error

Screen capture from yesterday’s failed launch.

Screen capture from yesterday’s failed launch.
Image: Arianespace

An Arianespace Vega rocket carrying two satellites failed to reach orbit yesterday after experiencing a catastrophic failure eight minutes into the launch. Officials are attributing the loss of the rocket to a “series of human errors.”

Vega Flight VV17 started off well, with the 98-foot-tall (30-meter) rocket departing the Guiana Space Center at 8:52 p.m. ET. The first three stages, all powered by solid-fuel, did their job, propelling the vehicle and its cargo over the Atlantic ocean toward space. It was when the liquid-fueled upper stage kicked in that things went sideways.

According to satellite launch company Arianespace, the trouble began around the eight-minute mark of the mission. At that point, the upper stage, called AVUM (Attitude and Vernier Upper Module), correctly detached itself and ignited, in what was supposed to be the first of four consecutive

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Upper stage issue causes Arianespace launch failure, costing 2 satellites

images of people in clean suits standing near metal hardware.
Enlarge / Technicians lower one of the doomed satellites into the Vega’s payload hardware.

An overnight launch of Arianespace’s Vega rocket failed after reaching space, costing France and Spain an Earth-observing satellite each. The failure represents the second in two years after Vega had built up a spotless record over its first six years of service.

The Vega is designed for relatively small satellites, typically handling total weights in the area of about 1,000 kilograms, though it can lift heavier items into lower orbits or take lighter ones higher. The trip to space is powered by a stack of three solid rocket stages; once in space, a reignitable liquid-fueled rocket can perform multiple burns that take payloads to specific orbits.

Vega had started off with a flawless launch record, averaging about two a year for its first six years of service before a solid booster failure caused the first loss

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Healthy sleep habits help lower risk of heart failure — ScienceDaily

Adults with the healthiest sleep patterns had a 42% lower risk of heart failure regardless of other risk factors compared to adults with unhealthy sleep patterns, according to new research published today in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation. Healthy sleep patterns are rising in the morning, sleeping 7-8 hours a day and having no frequent insomnia, snoring or excessive daytime sleepiness.

Heart failure affects more than 26 million people, and emerging evidence indicates sleep problems may play a role in the development of heart failure.

This observational study examined the relationship between healthy sleep patterns and heart failure and included data on 408,802 UK Biobank participants, ages 37 to 73 at the time of recruitment (2006-2010). Incidence of heart failure was collected until April 1, 2019. Researchers recorded 5,221 cases of heart failure during a median follow-up of 10 years.

Researchers analyzed sleep quality as well as

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Toward an understanding of when and how slope failure may occur — ScienceDaily

Across the western U.S., severe wildfires fueled by tinder-dry vegetation have already burned more than 3.2 million hectares (8 million acres — an area the size of Maryland —  as of th end of October, 2020, and nearly six times that area burned this year in Australia. And even though neither country’s worst-ever fire year is not yet over, concerns are already mounting regarding the next hazard these regions will face: dangerous and destructive debris flows.

Debris flows are fast-moving slurries of soil, rock, water, and vegetation that are especially perilous because they usually occur without any warning. Some debris flows are powerful enough to cart off everything in their paths, including trees, boulders , vehicles — and even homes.

Two years ago in Montecito, California, 23 people were killed and more than 400 homes damaged by a series of debris flows spawned by intense rain falling on hills scorched

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Understanding when and how slope failure may occur

Post-wildfire hazards: Understanding when & how slope failure may occur
The aftermath of the 9 Jan. 2018 debris flows in Montecito, California. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

Across the western U.S., severe wildfires fueled by tinder-dry vegetation have already burned more than 3.2 million hectares (8 million acres [as of the time of this press release])—an area the size of Maryland—in 2020, and nearly six times that area burned this year in Australia. And even though neither country’s worst-ever fire year is not yet over, concerns are already mounting regarding the next hazard these regions will face: dangerous and destructive debris flows.


Debris flows are fast-moving slurries of soil, rock, water, and vegetation that are especially perilous because they usually occur without any warning. Some debris flows are powerful enough to cart off everything in their paths, including trees, boulders , vehicles—and even homes.

Two years ago in Montecito, California, 23 people were killed and more than 400 homes damaged by

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