Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The revolutionary redox system that produces and stores energy in the home


Imagine having a fridge-sized box in your home that not only generates and stores electricity on-site, but heats and cools the house, provides hot water and even churns out oxygen and hydrogen to use or sell. That's the vision a team from the University of Newcastle and Australian company Infratech Industries is working towards, and New Atlas spoke to two of the minds behind this potentially game-changing "Swiss army knife" of energy production.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

China claims major energy breakthrough with ‘flammable ice’


China has claimed a major energy breakthrough, but its eco credentials are dubious at best. Researchers say they managed to extract gas from flammable ice in the South China Sea. A frozen mix of natural gas and water known as methane hydrates, the ‘breakthrough’ is expected to revolutionize the future of energy. We’re not sure that’s a good idea.

Second-Generation Biofuels Show Environmental Sustainability Benefits


This is a schematic showing the stages modeled in the biomass-to-fuel life cycle assessment. This image first appeared
 in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Energy & Environmental Science, Issue 5, 2017. Source: Vikas Khanna
 Numerous studies have raised critical concerns about the promise of corn ethanol's ability to mitigate climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Some of the studies have suggested that after a full life cycle assessment--meaning an analysis of environmental impact throughout all stages of a product's life--biofuels like corn ethanol may not offer any greenhouse gas emissions reductions relative to petroleum fuels.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rise of the mind-reading machines


So you made your way to this article, but how did you do it? Did your motor cortex fire up the muscle fibers in your fingers to click on a particular area of the screen, prompting the CPU inside your device to load up this page? One day that could all seem decidedly archaic. That's because some smart people are investing big time and money into computers that can read your thoughts as they are conceived. The goal is to have machines that know what you want and will give you the information you need before you could literally lift a finger. But how far off might such a future be? Let's take a look at the current state of these brain-computer interfaces, and the challenges that remain in getting them inside our heads.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish in 8 years as ‘big oil’ collapses


new study published by Stanford University suggests that fossil-fueled cars will vanish within eight years – and citizens will have no choice but to invest in electric vehicles or similar technologies. This is because the cost of electric vehicles – including cars, buses, and trucks – will ultimately decrease, resulting in the collapse of the petroleum industry.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Plasma jet engines that could take you from the ground to space


FORGET fuel-powered jet engines. We’re on the verge of having aircraft that can fly from the ground up to the edge of space using air and electricity alone.
Traditional jet engines create thrust by mixing compressed air with fuel and igniting it. The burning mixture expands rapidly and is blasted out of the back of the engine, pushing it forwards.

Graphene sensor could speed hepatitis diagnosis


Researchers in the UK and China are joining forces to develop a graphene-based sensor for on-the-spot diagnosis of hepatitis A, B and C. Particularly useful in areas with a high incidence of the highly infectious liver disease, such as China, the sensor could help stop the spread of hepatitis by speeding up diagnosis and allowing treatment to start more quickly.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Scientists create a paper-thin, flexible speaker that generates energy from motion


A talking newspaper may sound like a concept from Harry Potter, but researchers say they've made a major breakthrough that could soon make it a reality.

Scientists have created a paper-thin, flexible device that can not only generate energy from human motion, but can act as a loudspeaker and microphone.

The audio device could eventually lead to a range of consumer products, including a folding loudspeaker, voice-activated security patch, or roll up radio.

The device, known as the ferroelectret nanogenerator (FENG), was created by researchers from Michigan State University.

Experts reveal the five ultrasound technologies that could change the world forever


Ultrasound can do a whole lot more than create images of unborn babies. 

Since it first became a near-indispensable medical tool in the 1930s, technology that produces sound waves so high-pitched that humans can't hear them has found use in almost every branch of industry. 

The vibrations it creates can kill bacteria, weld plastics and even help to mature brandies in a matter of days rather than years.

Today, ultrasound is finding its way into even more applications, powering inventions that have the potential to make huge changes in their fields. Here are just a few of them:

Monday, May 15, 2017

‘Inverse Designing’ Spontaneously Self-Assembling Materials


Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are exploring how molecular simulations with the latest optimization strategies can create a more systematic way of discovering new materials that exhibit specific, desired properties. 
More specifically, they did so by recasting the design goal to the microscopic, asking which interactions between constituent particles can cause them to spontaneously “self-assemble” into a bulk material with a particular property. To find the answer, reported this week in The Journal of Chemical Physics, from AIP Publishing, they decided to zero in on how composite particles spatially organize themselves. 

Electroplating Delivers High-Energy, High-Power Batteries


The process that makes gold-plated jewelry or chrome car accents is now making powerful lithium-ion batteries.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Xerion Advanced Battery Corporation and Nanjing University in China developed a method for electroplating lithium-ion battery cathodes, yielding high-quality, high-performance battery materials that could also open the door to flexible and solid-state batteries.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

SolarGaps’ new solar blinds shade windows and generate clean energy


What if your window blinds could power your home in addition to shading its rooms? That’s the idea behind SolarGaps’ new solar blinds. These smart blinds designed to track the sun can be controlled via an app, and the company says their product will slash energy bills by as much as 70 percent.

Stanford team brings quantum computing closer to reality with new materials


For 60 years computers have become smaller, faster and cheaper. But engineers are approaching the limits of how small they can make silicon transistors and how quickly they can push electricity through devices to create digital ones and zeros.

Friday, May 12, 2017

AI is redesigning health tech faster than you think


One of the biggest problems with connected health wearables is that they produce too much data. And most people agree that the solution to that problem is to get artificial intelligence on the job to analyse, digest and make sense of all that data so that it becomes useful and possibly even life-saving.
The role of AI in the future of healthcare was the talk of this week's two day AI Summit in London. In the talks and on the show floor, tech companies were outlining some very bold visions for what's to come.

New MIT water purification method eliminates even trace chemical waste and pesticides


Ridding water of tiny concentrations of pollutants isn’t easy. Typically, a lot of energy or chemicals are required to remove these dangerous contaminants – but that could change. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany have come up with an electrochemical process able to pull out toxins like chemical wastes, pharmaceuticals, or pesticides. Their process could help people in developing countries obtain water without those unhealthy compounds.

"Artificial blowhole"generates electricity from ocean waves


Wind and solar power are becoming increasingly attractive alternatives to fossil fuels, but renewables are a rich tapestry, and the more threads we can weave together, the better. Ocean waves could be one such thread, and Australian company Wave Swell Energy is developing a new device to harvest that energy. New Atlas spoke to Dr. Tom Denniss, the CEO of the company, to find out about the technology.

The 3D printed bionic skin that could give humans supersenses and robots a sense of touch


A new 3D printed ‘bionic skin’ could soon allow robots to feel the world around them.

And, researchers say it’s a step toward electronic devices that can be printed directly onto the human body.

The layers of ‘ink’ used in the technique can set at room temperature, making for ‘endless’ possible applications, from surgical robots to wearables that can detect explosives.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nanoparcel to Destroy Hypoxic Cancer Cells


A majority of cancer tumors contain regions of low oxygen concentration where cancer treatments based on the action of reactive oxygen species are unproductive. Recently, American researchers have created a hybrid nanomaterial that discharges a free-radical-generating prodrug within tumor cells upon thermal activation.

Turning pollution into power


Scientists in Belgium have come up with a way of capturing polluted air and converting it into power in the form of hydrogen gas, a technology that could prove a two-pronged environmental panacea. The device is only at the proof-of-concept stage right now, but the researchers hope to scale it up for industrial applications and have it produce clean energy in a similar way to a solar panel, cleaning the surrounding air while it's at it.

Chinese students are sealed in a 'Lunar Palace' on Earth for 200 days ahead of the country's plans to create a VILLAGE on the moon by 2036


China plans to establish a village on the moon with Europe's help by 2036.
Now, in a step towards that goal, the nation has created a 'Lunar Palace' on Earth to simulate living in isolated conditions on the moon. 
Four students from the astronautics research university Beihang yesterday entered the 160-square-metre (1,720-square-foot) cabin, dubbed the 'Yuegong-1'.
Two men and two women will test how a life-support system works in a moon-like environment.
They will stay for an initial 60 days, when they will then be relieved by another group of four who will stay 200 days, before returning for an additional 105.