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7.2 Information sources

7.2.1 How do I find the information required to carry out COSHH risk assessments?

The best source of information is the material safety data sheet (MSDS). By law (CHIP3) this should accompany any chemical that is purchased. However, if this is not available, or the chemical is old, then copies can be obtained from the manufacturer's website or information can sometimes be found in the
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5.2 Cryogenic liquids and ionising radiation safety

5.2.1 Cryogenic liquids

There are a number of hazards associated with cryogenic liquids, the main one being that when accidentally released the liquid expands hugely to form a gas (600 times in the case of nitrogen). The formation of such a large volume of gas can lead to asphyxiation in confined areas.

The other main hazard is cold burns (frostbite).

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Acknowledgements

Course image: Žarko Šušnjar in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary, used under licence and not subject to Creative Commons licensing. See Author(s): The Open University

A strategy for ridding the world of VAD?

In July 2000, Time magazine announced that a potential solution to VAD had been found - 'Golden Rice' (Figure 8). This was a variety of rice that had been genetically modified to introduce β-carotene into the endosperm (part of the grain of the rice). The name arises from the fact that the otherwise white grains of rice are given a golden colour by the presence of carotenoid compounds.

The announcement came at the height of the global controversy over genetically modified crops.
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2.2 Using A. tumefaciens to genetically modify plant cells

Genetic engineers have capitalised on the fact that part of the DNA from the Ti plasmid of A. tumefaciens is integrated into the plant genome during the infection process. Ti plasmids can be isolated and a foreign gene spliced in at an appropriate point, making it possible to transfer the novel gene into the plant.

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1 Hydropower

Hydroelectric energy is ultimately solar energy converted through evaporation of water, movement of air masses and precipitation to gravitational potential energy and then to the kinetic energy of water flowing down a slope. That energy was harnessed for centuries through the use of water wheels to drive mills, forges and textile works, before being supplanted by coal-fired steam energy. Electricity generation using water turbines, although first centred on constricted streams, has increasing
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2.1 The problems of iron uptake

Iron has a high natural abundance. It is the second most abundant metallic element by mass in the Earth's crust (7.1 per cent).

Activity 1

What are the main oxidation states of iron?

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3.8 Review

In this unit we have looked at some of the factors which infuence a couple's decision to have a child. For people who choose not to do so, at least for some part of their lives, a range of contraceptive practices is available. We have looked at the biological processes involved in producing gametes, and at the precise sequence of events necessary to produce a healthy, fertilized egg. We have seen how this egg develops, first as a pre-programmed, free-living embryo, then becomes buried within
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3.6.1 Identifying the pregnacy

Our description of the developing embryo has, so to speak, detached it from its mother. But we should remember that on the other end of the placenta is a woman whose reaction to her pregnancy may lie almost anywhere in the scale of human emotion, and whose behaviour during her pregnancy will have an enormous effect on its outcome. This section attempts to look at the pregnancy from the mother's point of view. Of course, it cannot possibly be applicable to all women in all pregna
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3.1 Pre-implantation and assymetric division

Let us now return to the Fallopian tube, where a fertilized egg is assembling its chromosomes prior to commencing a series of mitotic divisions which will eventually give rise to the millions of cells that make up the human body. Obviously these millions of cells do not just exist as an amorphous mass: they are differentiated into many different types of cell, and they are organized into recognizable, discrete structures: tissues and organs. This is accomplished by a coordinated sequen
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1.3.6 Hormonal control of egg production

As you can see from the preceeding section, hormones play a crucial role in the maturation of the oocyte. Figure 3 showed you how levels of oestogen and progestogen vary throughout the menstrual cycle, and suggested that hormone balance is important for a woman's fertility, but you can now see how subtle the control really is. Cells have to develop sensitivity to hormones at the times when the hormones are likely to be present, otherwise the entire operation will fail.

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Conclusion

  1. The rate at which water infiltrates into the ground depends on the permeability of the rocks and the state of the ground surface. Below the ground surface there is an unsaturated zone which has air in the pore spaces, and a saturated zone which has all the pores filled with water. The water table is the boundary between the unsaturated zone and the saturated zone, and is the level at which water stands in wells. Water below the water table is called groundwa
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6 Permeability

It is important to distinguish clearly between porosity and permeability. Porosity is a measure of how much water can be stored in a rock, whereas permeability is a measure of the properties of a rock which determine how easily water and other fluids can flow through it (see Section 4). Permeability depends on the exte
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Introduction

Many people have the impression that underground water occupies vast caverns, such as those in the Derbyshire Peak District, flowing from one cavern to another along underground rivers. This is a common misconception: underground caverns are fairly rare, but huge quantities of water exist underground, within rocks. This is because many rocks contain pores, spaces that come in all shapes and sizes. In sediments, and consequently sedimentary rocks, there are often pores between grains which can
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the principles that underlie the ability of various natural phenomena to deliver wind energy

  • outline the technologies that are used to harness the power of the wind

  • discuss the positive and negative aspects of wind energy in relation to natural and human aspects of the environment.


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2 Solar thermal energy

Solar heating of trapped air, water and solids has been used for centuries, but modern architectural design can enhance all three effects for space heating, hot water supply and heat storage. Such passive solar heating relies on short-wave radiation being absorbed by materials so that they heat up and then slowly re-emit long-wave radiation. The most obvious example is inside a greenhouse, where solar radiation that passes through the glass heats the inside air to temperatures well abo
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6 Direct heating using geothermal energy

In the same way that waste heat from conventional power stations can be used for direct heating of buildings, and in industrial production and horticulture, low-grade geothermal energy has considerable potential. Many existing developments, such as those in Iceland, use spent fluids from geothermal electricity generation. Areas of natural hot springs are an obvious target, but it is also relatively simple to exploit normal heat flow using either natural groundwater or a variety of heat-exchan
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1 Geothermal energy

Although energy from the Earth's interior that flows though the surface is on average very low — about a thousand times less than the solar energy that falls on the surface — it is sufficiently abundant worldwide to make it locally worth exploiting. The top 3 km of the Earth's crust stores an estimated 4.3 × 107 EJ of thermal energy by virtue of the temperature of rocks and their thermal capacity. Because global consumption of energy during 2002 was 451 EJ heat stored within t
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4.5 Geological criteria for safe radioactive waste disposal

Even in the best of circumstances, containers such as the one shown in Figure 19 will survive for only 100-1000 years, although the glass itself may inhibit the migration of radioactive isotopes for a further 1000 years. So, in view of the long decay times (Author(s): The Open University

3.1 Introduction

Just how readily available are uranium resources, and do their distribution and cost impose restrictions on nuclear power generation? Compared to a coal-fired power station a nuclear power station requires far less fuel in terms of mass. You have seen that a 1 GW burner reactor requires 5000 t of natural uranium over 30 years, whereas a comparable modern coal-fired power station needs 10 000 t of coal every day. However, uranium does not occur naturally in metallic form, nor in the concentrat
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