Posted by: Idioma Extra | April 4, 2011

Tuesday´s News

New product may eliminate airport liquid prohibitions


There may be hope for those who do not like walking barefoot in the airport or having that soft drink confiscated at the boarding ramp.

Scientists have described development and successful initial tests of a spray-on material that both detects and renders harmless the genre of terrorist explosives responsible for government restrictions on liquids that can be carried onboard airliners.  The ink-like explosive detector/neutralizer was described at the American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, California.

The material is a type of ink made of tiny metallic oxide nanoparticles so small that 50,000 could fit inside the diameter of a single human hair, said the chemical society. The ink changes color, from dark blue to pale yellow or clear, in the presence of very small concentrations of explosives. It also changes from a metallic conductor to a non-conducting material, making electronic sensing also possible, the Society added.

The same color-changing material can also serve as an explosives neutralizer. Firefighters and bomb squad technicians could spray the ink onto bombs or suspicious packages until the color change indicates that the devices are no longer a threat, said Allen Apblett, who led the development team, according to a Society press release. Technicians could also dump the explosives into vats containing the ink to neutralize them, it added.

Apblett is a chemist at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. He noted that authorities are concerned about peroxide-based explosives, made from hydrogen peroxide, which are easy to make and set off, the chemical society said. These explosives first drew public attention in 2001, when thwarted shoe bomber Richard Reid tried to use one such substance as the detonator onboard a commercial airliner.

Word of the Day

Render: \ˈren-dər\
Origin: Middle English rendren, from Anglo-French rendre to give back, surrender, from Vulgar Latin *rendere, alteration of Latin reddere, partly from re- + dare to give & partly from re- + -dere to put — more at date, do
First Known Use: 14th century
1. a: to melt down <render suet>; also : to extract by melting <render lard> b : to treat so as to convert into industrial fats and oils or fertilizer
2 a: to transmit to another : deliver; b : give up, yield; c : to furnish for consideration, approval, or information: as (1): to hand down (a legal judgment) (2) : to agree on and report (a verdict)
3 a: to give in return or retribution; b (1): give back, restore (2): reflect, echo; c: to give in acknowledgment of dependence or obligation : pay; d: to do (a service) for another
4 a (1): to cause to be or become : make <enough rainfall … to render irrigation unnecessary — P. E. James> <rendered him helpless> (2): impart; b (1): to reproduce or represent by artistic or verbal means : depict; (2) : to give a performance of; (3) : to produce a copy or version of <the documents are rendered in the original French> (4) : to execute the motions of <render a salute>c: translate
5: to direct the execution of : administer <render justice>
6: to apply a coat of plaster or cement directly to

More Vocabulary

Conductor: n. a material or object that permits an electric current to flow easily
Confiscate: v.
to seize by or as if by authority; appropriate summarily
Dump: v.
to let fall in or as if in a heap or mass
Genre: n.
kind or sort
Thwart: v.
to oppose successfully: defeat the hopes or aspirations of
Vat: n.
a large vessel (as a cistern, tub, or barrel) especially for holding liquors in an immature state or preparations for dyeing or tanning

Love those Phrasal Verbs

Set off: to cause to become ignited or to explode

  • Don´t hold the match close to the gas tank, it could set it off and cause a fire!



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