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Dec 19, 2018

High levels of carcinogenic chemical found in everyday consumer products

Posted by in categories: health, sustainability

If you asked most people about cadmium they’d probably know very little about it. But it is listed among the World Health Organisation’s ten chemicals of major public health concern, alongside substances such as lead and asbestos. As such, it is concerning to see it in such high quantities in so many household products. The health risk depends on how easily the cadmium can flake off or leach out and additional tests performed indicate that this is greatest for enamelled glassware.


High levels of the carcinogenic chemical cadmium can still be found in everyday household products like second-hand plastic toys, drinking glasses, alcoholic beverage bottles, ceramics and artists’ paints, according to new research by the University of Plymouth.

Cadmium was commonly used to give products a bright red, orange or yellow pigment, but over time the decoration on glass can start to flake and the glaze on ceramics fail.

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Dec 19, 2018

How a weird fire vortex sparked a meteorological mystery

Posted by in category: climatology

A spinning inferno with 143-mile-an-hour winds sent scientists scrambling to understand the cause of this deadly phenomenon.

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Dec 19, 2018

Two Stalagmites Found in Chinese Cave Are a ‘Holy Grail’ for Accurate Radiocarbon Dating

Posted by in category: climatology

Since its inception in the 1950s, radiocarbon dating has proven indispensable to archaeologists and climate scientists, who rely on the technique to accurately date organic compounds. But a good thing just got better, owing to the discovery of two stalagmites in a Chinese cave containing a seamless chronological atmospheric record dating back to the last Ice Age.

An unbroken, high-resolution record of atmospheric carbon-12 and carbon-14 was found in a pair of stalagmites located within Hulu Cave near Nanjing, China, according to new research published today in Science. Because this record extends back to the last glacial period, to around 54,000 years ago, scientists are now equipped with a more accurate standard for use in radiocarbon calibration.

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Dec 19, 2018

Inside Shenzhen’s race to outdo Silicon Valley

Posted by in category: drones

Every day at around 4 p.m., the creeeek criikkk of stretched packing tape echoes through Huaqiangbei, Shenzhen’s sprawling neighborhood of hardware stores. Shopkeepers package up the day’s sales—selfie sticks, fidget spinners, electric scooters, drones—and by 5, crowds of people are on the move at the rapid pace locals call Shenzhen sudu, or “Shenzhen speed,” carting boxes out on motorcycles, trucks, and—if it’s a light order—zippy balance boards. From Huaqiangbei the boxes are brought to the depots of global logistics companies and loaded onto airplanes and cargo ships. In the latter case they join 24 million metric tons of container cargo going out every month from Shekou harbor—literally “snake’s mouth,” the world’s third-busiest shipping port after Shanghai and Singapore.

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Dec 18, 2018

Breakthrough ultrasound treatment to reverse dementia moves to human trials

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

An extraordinarily promising new technique using ultrasound to clear the toxic protein clumps thought to cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is moving to the first phase of human trials next year. The innovative treatment has proven successful across several animal tests and presents an exciting, drug-free way to potentially battle dementia.

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Dec 18, 2018

Ford applied noise-cancelling technology to a doghouse, and it’s awesome

Posted by in categories: materials, transportation

Keeping passengers in a vehicle from hearing the noise of a busy road is a problem that many auto manufacturers have attempted to solve over the years. Noise dampening materials can only do so much, but Ford is now working with noise cancelling technologies that aim to actively combat road sounds by cancelling them out.

The company recently applied its new noise-cancelling know-how to a project that has nothing to do with vehicles, but instead focuses on man’s best friend. Ford Europe built a new kind of doghouse that allows canines to rest without worry of loud noises, like fireworks, disturbing them.

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Dec 18, 2018

Solar Voyager forced to abandon mission

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

A car made from waste plastic has been forced to abort its mission to the South Pole because of bad weather.

Solar Voyager was set to be the first solar-powered expedition to reach Antarctica.

But despite it being Antarctica’s summer, unexpected heavy snow has meant progress has been slow, and now the team have had to turn around.

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Dec 18, 2018

IonQ Quantum Computer Delivers More Processing Power Than Google’s

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

IonQ, one of many companies developing a quantum computer, has announced a new trapped ion quantum computer with 79 processing qubits. The company claims this quantum computer should beat Google’s 72-qubit quantum computer, not just in terms of number of qubits, but also in total processing performance.

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Dec 18, 2018

Incredible battery-free implant battles obesity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A remarkable new implantable device developed by engineers at University of Wisconsin–Madison promises a new way to battle obesity. By gently stimulating a nerve that links the stomach to the brain, the device tricks your brain into thinking you’re full.

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Dec 18, 2018

Man set for world’s first head transplant cancels surgery after falling in love

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics

Earlier posts in Lifeboat followed this research… From what I understand, Italy decided to no longer host the surgery because of opposition by ethics committees, not his research or methods.


Disabled Valery Spiridonov, 33, was ready to have his neck severed by Professor Sergio Canavero — dubbed ‘Dr Frankenstein’ — and his head reattached to a new, healthy body.

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