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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 7

Jun 6, 2019

Michelin and GM Reinvent The Wheel With Airless Tire That’s Totally ‘Puncture Proof’

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Michelin and General Motors have teamed up to literally reinvent the wheel with a new generation of high-tech airless tires.

The automotive companies’ Uptis (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System) prototype grabbed headlines after it was presented at the Movin’On Summit on sustainable mobility in Montreal this week.

It doesn’t have a traditional sidewall and carries a load by the top via a resin-embedded fiberglass material that Michelin already has 50 patents for, according to Car and Driver.

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Jun 5, 2019

Drugs make headway against lung, breast, prostate cancers

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

CHICAGO (AP) — Newer drugs are substantially improving the chances of survival for some people with hard-to-treat forms of lung, breast and prostate cancer, doctors reported at the world’s largest cancer conference.

Among those who have benefited is Roszell Mack Jr., who at age 87 is still able to work at a Lexington, Kentucky, horse farm, nine years after being diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his bones and lymph nodes.

“I go in every day, I’m the first one there,” said Mack, who helped test Merck’s Keytruda, a therapy that helps the immune system identify and fight cancer. “I’m feeling well and I have a good quality of life.”

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Jun 5, 2019

Curbing air pollution

Posted by in category: sustainability

Today, on World Environment Day, we are encouraged to consider the theme for 2019—air pollution—and its effects on the global human population. We are told of the impacts of breathing in polluted, urban air and we hear governments around the world promising to tackle it.

🤔👀😂


Yes, seriously.

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Jun 5, 2019

Deep learning techniques teach neural model to ‘play’ retrosynthesis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, robotics/AI, sustainability

Researchers, from biochemists to material scientists, have long relied on the rich variety of organic molecules to solve pressing challenges. Some molecules may be useful in treating diseases, others for lighting our digital displays, still others for pigments, paints, and plastics. The unique properties of each molecule are determined by its structure—that is, by the connectivity of its constituent atoms. Once a promising structure is identified, there remains the difficult task of making the targeted molecule through a sequence of chemical reactions. But which ones?

Organic chemists generally work backwards from the target molecule to the starting materials using a process called retrosynthetic analysis. During this process, the chemist faces a series of complex and inter-related decisions. For instance, of the tens of thousands of different chemical reactions, which one should you choose to create the target molecule? Once that decision is made, you may find yourself with multiple reactant molecules needed for the reaction. If these molecules are not available to purchase, then how do you select the appropriate reactions to produce them? Intelligently choosing what to do at each step of this process is critical in navigating the huge number of possible paths.

Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a based on reinforcement learning that trains a to correctly select the “best” reaction at each step of the retrosynthetic process. This form of AI provides a framework for researchers to design chemical syntheses that optimize user specified objectives such synthesis cost, safety, and sustainability. The new approach, published May 31 by ACS Central Science, is more successful (by ~60%) than existing strategies for solving this challenging search problem.

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Jun 4, 2019

LEDs created from wonder material could revolutionize lighting and displays

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing, solar power, sustainability

In solar cells, the cheap, easy to make materials called perovskites are adept at turning photons into electricity. Now, perovskites are turning the tables, converting electrons into light with an efficiency on par with that of the commercial organic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) found in cellphones and flat screen TVs. And in a glimpse of how they might one day be harnessed, researchers reported last week in Science Advances that they’ve used a 3D printer to pattern perovskites for use in full-color displays.

“It’s a fantastic result, and quite inspirational,” says Richard Friend, a physicist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom whose team created the first perovskite LED in 2014. The result raises hopes that the computer screens and giant displays of the future will consist of these cheap crystalline substances, made from common ingredients. Friend cautions, however, that the new perovskite displays aren’t yet commercially viable.

The materials in current semiconductor LEDs, including the organic versions, require processing at high temperatures in vacuum chambers to ensure the resulting semiconductors are pristine. By contrast, perovskites can be prepared simply by mixing their chemical components in solution at room temperature. Only a brief heat treatment is needed to crystallize them. And even though the perovskite crystals end up with imperfections, these defects typically don’t destroy the materials’ ability to emit light.

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Jun 4, 2019

Ready, jet… print

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Inkjet printing is expected to fast track the commercialization of organic solar cells. Researchers from the KAUST Solar Center have exploited this technique to generate high-efficiency solar cells at large scales.

Organic photovoltaic materials could soon replace inorganic semiconductors in solar-powered devices because of their lightness, flexibility and low cost. These materials are easy to modify and process in solution, which makes them highly attractive for customization and large-scale production. In particular, customized solar cell designs can be used in conjunction with other printed electronics to power a plethora of applications, such as disposable electronics, intelligent packaging, interactive printed media and lab-on-a-chip devices.

Nonfullerene acceptors are emerging materials that have helped boost the efficiency of organic solar cells close to commercialization. These components are typically blended with electron donors in a light-responsive electrochemical layer. They have proven effective for drawing the light-generated pairs of electrons and negatively charged holes apart and maintaining electric current when exposed to sunlight. However, scale-up and manufacturing challenges have hindered efforts to transfer these materials from the laboratory to industrial and consumer-ready scales.

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Jun 3, 2019

Caltech reactor could convert CO2 into breathable oxygen for space trips

Posted by in categories: climatology, space, sustainability

Although oxygen is common throughout the cosmos, most of it isn’t in the form that we as humans need to breathe – molecular oxygen, or O2. Now, researchers at Caltech claim to have created a reactor that can turn carbon dioxide into molecular oxygen, which could help us fight climate change here on Earth or generate oxygen for life in space.

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Jun 2, 2019

Biologist targeted for exposing the gender bending pesticide

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

Biologist, Tyrone Hayes is a soft-spoken professor at the University of California with a big message. One of the most commonly used pesticides in agriculture, atrazine, is responsible for feminizing amphibians, according to his research. More importantly, the chemical is effectively eliminating male chromosomes at an alarming rate, at levels which are three times lower than what are currently appearing in our drinking water. It isn’t just lead and fluoride we need to be concerned about, but a known endocrine disruptor, created by Syngenta, that is utterly changing our gene pool.

Hayes has been fighting Syngenta, to report the harmful effects of Atrazine for decades now. His scientific papers describe how Atrazine demasculinizes male gonads producing testicular lesions associated with reduced germ cell numbers in teleost fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, and induces partial and/or complete feminization in fish, amphibians, and reptiles. These effects are strong (statistically significant), consistent across vertebrate classes, and specific. Reductions in androgen levels and the induction of estrogen synthesis — demonstrated in fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals — represent plausible and coherent mechanisms that explain these effects.

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Jun 2, 2019

Elon Musk talks next-gen Tesla Roadster details: SpaceX package, annual output, and why it matters

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel, sustainability

Elon Musk’s appearance at Tesla owner-enthusiast Ryan McCaffrey’s Ride the Lightning podcast revealed a number of new details about the electric car maker’s upcoming halo vehicle, the next-generation Roadster. While addressing the all-electric supercar, Musk discussed the vehicle’s estimated yearly production numbers, its purpose, and some details about its “SpaceX package.”

Ever the candid interviewee, Musk admitted that the next-generation Roadster is really more like a dessert to the Model S, 3, X, and Y’s main course, in the way that its existence will probably not provide much of an impact to Tesla’s overall mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Nevertheless, the Roadster still has a lot of merits, in the way that it could establish the superiority of pure electric propulsion compared to the internal combustion engine, bar none.

Musk noted that the Roadster is intended to outperform the best “Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and McLarens” on every dimension, on every level, including the track, thereby erasing the halo effect of gas cars. “We’re going to do things with the new Roadster that are kind of unfair to other cars. (It’s) crushingly good relative to the next best gasoline sports car,” Musk said.

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Jun 1, 2019

Chinese Tesla Model 3 Price Crushes BMW 3 Series & Mercedes C-Class Prices

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Tesla has just launched pricing and ordering for the Tesla Model 3 that will be made in the Shanghai Gigafactory. The 328,000 RMB ($47,475) price for the Standard Range Plus is before local incentives, and crushes fossil rivals in the same class and without somewhat similar specs, the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class (also both locally made in China).

Tesla Model 3 order page in China (text is auto-translated and may include errors) — Click to Zoom.

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