Ash from Bromo disrupts flights in Indonesia

I ran into this brief article that mentions that Monday night, flights between Australia and Indonesia were disrupted by an ash plume from an unknown volcano (well, unknown to the Virgin Blue spokesperson quoted in the article). Checking out the Darwin VAAC, it appears that the volcano in question is, in fact, Bromo in the Tengger Caldera. Bromo has been rumbling for most of the late fall, but had quieted as of late, but is still at alert status 3. However, the current ash advisory for Bromo has ash as high as FL200 (6 km / 20,000 feet). Sounds like the airlines don't really know if flights will be able to resume in the near future, but it does appear that Bromo isn't quite done for the season.


More details as they arrive ... and feel free to post any information you find.

Top left: A stunning image of the Bromo crater in Tengger Caldera. Click here to see a larger version. Image by Richard Seaman.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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