MIT researchers have developed a technology to overcome the major barrier of energy storage in solar power energy systems. The new method of energy storage was inspired by photosynthesis. It works by using solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen which can be recombined inside a fuel cell to re-extract the energy for use.
Archive for July, 2009
Scientists in Hamburg, Germany Flash free-electron laser facility have succeeded in transforming aluminum into an exotic material transparent to ultraviolet radiation. It was accomplished by knocking down a core electron for each aluminum atom. The discovery may provide an insight into miniature star creation with high power laser implosions that may lead to the harnessing of nuclear fusion on earth.
A Yale University research team has created the first basic solid-state quantum processor. While the capabilities are limited to simple algorithms at present its a first step towards the next generation of processor.
While investigating the affects of certain industrial chemicals impact on ovarian follicles it was discovered that a chemical compound 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD), in low doses, sped up the menopausal process causing infertility in mice. Teamed with the fact that rodents damage or eat 50% of pre-harvest rice crops an implementation of the nontoxic VCD to control rodents could drastically increase the rice harvest yield. Even if the affect only reduces the crop loss by 10% it would be enough rice to feed 380 million more people per year.
Karolinska Institute researchers discovered that newborns delivered via C section experience changes in their white blood cells DNA pool. They theorize that this may explain why C section born babies have an increased risk of developing asthma, diabetes, leukaemia, and other immunological diseases later in life. Blood tests showed that of the 37 babies delivered the 16 C section babies exhibited higher rates of DNA-methylation. After three to five days the C section babies blood returned to the levels of those delivered naturally. The question now becomes what is the long term affect of such differences and are they related to the increased risks observed?
Amit Kagian, a graduate of TAU School of Computer Sciences, has developed a program that enabled the computer to analyze factors such as hair color, skin smoothness, and symmetry to make aesthetic judgments on an individuals attractiveness.
Boeing has developed a laser system for use by U.S. troops. The laser system is intended to destroy explosive targets from a safe distance. While this may seem limiting it is said to be upgradable to the point that it can take down low-flying aerial vehicles.
A new discovery of Princeton scientists investigating a particular group of proteins that help cells burn energy found evidence that evolution may not be as random as previously thought. The group of proteins called the electron transport chain which regulates cell energy were discovered to be actively correcting imbalances caused by artificial mutations in order to ensure proper operation(Mutations that break down the functional systems are being kept in check). Mathematical analysis has revealed these corrections are taking place all the time suggesting that evolution is being directed. In other words organisms are evolving ways to better evolve.
A new parasite has been discovered in the tropical forests of South America that transforms the appearance of its ant host into a juicy red berry to make it more appealing to birds. The birds, which normally don’t eat the ants, are tricked into eating it by its appearance and spread the roundworm to the rest of the forest through its droppings.
A group of computer scientists with a growing concern that further advances could disrupt or endanger society are debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone.