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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 142

Mar 3, 2016

Shocking new way to get the salt out

Posted by in category: sustainability

MIT team invents efficient shockwave-based process for desalination of water.

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Mar 2, 2016

MIT creates solar cell from grass clippings

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A researcher at MIT has created solar panels from agricultural waste such as cut grass and dead leaves. In a few years, it’ll be possible to stir some grass clippings into a bag of cheap chemicals, paint the mixture on your roof, and immediately start producing electricity.

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Mar 1, 2016

Round Up linked to cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, sustainability

Bad news if you use RoundUp.


Local councils across Australia that use the weed killer glyphosate on nature-strips and playgrounds are being warned that the chemical probably causes cancer.

An updated World Health Organisation (WHO) warning for the herbicide, often trade marked as Roundup, is also routinely used in household gardens and farms.

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Feb 26, 2016

Artificial control of exciplexes opens possibilities for new electronics

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics, materials, solar power, sustainability

Demonstrating a strategy that could form the basis for a new class of electronic devices with uniquely tunable properties, researchers at Kyushu University were able to widely vary the emission color and efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes based on exciplexes simply by changing the distance between key molecules in the devices by a few nanometers.

This new way to control electrical properties by slightly changing the device thickness instead of the materials could lead to new kinds of organic electronic devices with switching behavior or that reacts to external factors.

Organic such as OLEDs and organic solar cells use thin films of for the electrically active materials, making flexible and low-cost devices possible.

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Feb 26, 2016

Here’s how we could build a colony on an alien world

Posted by in categories: alien life, habitats, solar power, space travel, sustainability

If the human race is to survive in the long-run, we will probably have to colonise other planets. Whether we make the Earth uninhabitable ourselves or it simply reaches the natural end of its ability to support life, one day we will have to look for a new home.

Hollywood films such as The Martian and Interstellar give us a glimpse of what may be in store for us. Mars is certainly the most habitable destination in our solar system, but there are thousands of exoplanets orbiting other stars that could be a replacement for our Earth. So what technology will we need to make this possible?

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Feb 25, 2016

“The limits to growth”, a prescient classic according to Nature | The Club of Rome

Posted by in categories: environmental, sustainability

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“While Nations gathered in Paris to negotiate an international agreement to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, Nature published a special issue “Paris Climate Talk” to cover the run-up to COP21. For this issue, Nature asked Adam Rome, environmental historian at the University of Delaware in Newark, to revisit the classics that first made sustainability a public issue in the 1960s and 1970s.”

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Feb 24, 2016

This smartphone’s display is also a solar charger

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

You phone does all kinds of things when it’s just lying there: checking your Facebook feed, pulling down Google Now updates, receiving emails and text messages. One thing it’s not doing: giving your battery a break.

Kyocera is working to change that. How? By sandwiching a solar panel to a smartphone display. It’s something they’ve been working on in conjunction with Sunpartner Technologies. They actually showed off their progress last year at Mobile World Congress, and they returned this year to give the crowd a glimpse at their updated prototype.

It’s an Android device with a five-inch screen, and like some of Kyocera’s other phones it’s waterproof and quite rugged. Curious how the solar layer affects the phone’s display? Reports from people that have spent time with the device say that you’d be hard pressed to notice the difference. That’s because the .55mm panel that Kyocera has integrated into their latest prototype’s display is 85% transmissive.

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Feb 24, 2016

What has changed since “Pale Blue Dot”?

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, environmental, ethics, habitats, lifeboat, science, space, space travel, sustainability

I am not an astronomer or astrophysicist. I have never worked for NASA or JPL. But, during my graduate year at Cornell University, I was short on cross-discipline credits, and so I signed up for Carl Sagan’s popular introductory course, Astronomy 101. I was also an amateur photographer, occasionally freelancing for local media—and so the photos shown here, are my own.

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Carl Sagan is aware of my camera as he talks to a student in the front row of Uris Hall

By the end of the 70’s, Sagan’s star was high and continuing to rise. He was a staple on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, producer and host of the PBS TV series, Cosmos, and he had just written Dragons of Eden, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote Contact, which became a blockbuster movie, starring Jodie Foster.

Sagan died in 1996, after three bone marrow transplants to compensate for an inability to produce blood cells. Two years earlier, Sagan wrote a book and narrated a film based on a photo taken from space.PaleBlueDot-1

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Feb 24, 2016

Quantum dot solids: This generation’s silicon wafer?

Posted by in categories: electronics, engineering, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Just as the single-crystal silicon wafer forever changed the nature of electronics 60 years ago, a group of Cornell researchers is hoping its work with quantum dot solids – crystals made out of crystals – can help usher in a new era in electronics.

The multidisciplinary team, led by Tobias Hanrath, associate professor in the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and graduate student Kevin Whitham, has fashioned two-dimensional superstructures out of single-crystal building blocks. Through directed assembly and attachment processes, the lead selenide quantum dots are synthesized into larger crystals, then fused together to form atomically coherent square superlattices.

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Feb 23, 2016

Wireless charging is finally coming to the Tesla Model S, thanks to an aftermarket manufacturer

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Aftermarket wireless EV charger maker Plugless is taking preorders for its inductive charger for the Tesla Model S.

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