Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 14

Aug 29, 2023

$1 Graphene Sensor Identifies Safe Water

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability

If you live in a place where you can buy Arduinos and Raspberry Pis locally, you probably don’t spend much time worrying about your water supply. But in some parts of the world, it is nothing to take for granted, bad water accounts for as many as 500,000 deaths worldwide every year. Scientists have reported a graphene sensor they say costs a buck and can detect dangerous bacteria and heavy metals in drinking water.

The sensor uses a GFET — a graphene-based field effect transistor to detect lead, mercury, and E. coli bacteria. Interestingly, the FETs transfer characteristic changes based on what is is exposed to. We were, frankly, a bit surprised that this is repeatable enough to give you useful data. But apparently, it is especially when you use a neural network to interpret the results.

What’s more, there is the possibility the device could find other contaminants like pesticides. While the materials in the sensor might have cost a dollar, it sounds like you’d need a big equipment budget to reproduce these. There are silicon wafers, spin coating, oxygen plasma, and lithography. Not something you’ll whip up in the garage this weekend.

Aug 29, 2023

Air pollution from different emission sources is associated with incident dementia

Posted by in categories: food, life extension, neuroscience, policy, sustainability

NIH-funded study suggests reducing exposure to airborne particulates may decrease dementia risk.

Higher rates of new cases of dementia in a population over time — known as incident dementia — are linked to long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution, especially from agriculture and open fires, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Scientists found that 15% of older adults developed incident dementia during the average follow-up of 10 years.

“As we experience the effects of air pollution from wildfires and other emissions locally and internationally, these findings contribute to the strong evidence needed to best inform health and policy decisions,” said Richard J. Hodes, M.D., director, National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of NIH. “These results are an example of effectively using federally funded research data to help address critical health risks.”

Aug 28, 2023

First-ever independently developed supersonic jet on its way

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Aviation company Boom Supersonic has undertaken a gargantuan task: it is building XB-1, the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet. The new airline will support next-generation aviation technology such as “carbon fiber composites, advanced avionics, and digitally-optimized aerodynamics to enable sustainable supersonic travel.”

This is according to a press release by the firm published on Thursday.

Aug 28, 2023

How a bacterial enzyme could revolutionize aviation biofuels

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Credits: Scharfsinn86/iStock.


Aug 28, 2023

Researcher finds inspiration from spider webs and beetles to harvest fresh water from thin air

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics, sustainability

Nature is the ultimate quantum computer.

A team of researchers is designing novel systems to capture water vapor in the air and turn it into liquid.

Continue reading “Researcher finds inspiration from spider webs and beetles to harvest fresh water from thin air” »

Aug 27, 2023

Solar Orbiter observes rapid, tiny jets on sun that may be the solar wind’s power source

Posted by in category: sustainability

Though these picojets may be small and last no more than 60 seconds, as Chitta pointed out, they are still powerful in their own right.

“The ‘pico’ prefix refers to the energy scale of the jet. The picoflare jets that we discovered are a trillion times energetically weaker compared to large X-class flares,” he said, X-class flares being the sun’s most powerful explosive outflows.

“Still,” he continued, “the energy content of a single picoflare jet that lives for about 1 minute is equal to the average power consumed by about 10,000 households in the UK over an entire year.”

Aug 27, 2023

Musk wants Cybertruck to be made with Lego-like precision

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

The Tesla CEO keeps pushing his employees to achieve more, sometimes even the impossible.

Elon Musk allegedly asked Tesla employees to ensure that Cybertruck production achieves single-digit micron tolerance, much like Lego or even soda cans are made with. This instruction was sent to employees in an email, which was later leaked, Electrek.

The Cybertruck is Tesla’s most awaited electric vehicle, running several years behind schedule and expected to begin deliveries by the end of this quarter. The vehicle’s iconic shape piqued many potential buyers’ interest when unveiled in 2019.

Aug 26, 2023

Transparent solar panels will soon become a window of energy and light in your home

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Transparent solar windows are not only generating news as demonstration projects—many have already been set up. On the list of installations for UE Power are its own offices in Redwood City, California, at the R&D facility of its partner in Northwood, Ohio, a commercial office building in Boulder, Colorado, and in Tokyo, Japan. In addition, it has an installation at Michigan State University. UbiQD also claims to have installations in multiple U.S. states, which include a Holiday Inn hotel, its own headquarters in Los Alamos, and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

What’s the premium for transparency?

UbiQD’s product isn’t commercially available yet, but McDaniel expects the premium for transparent solar power to be not more than 30 percent over ordinary windows. He said that “Traditional solar cells are not sold at a cost per watt, not based on area, like windows. The additional window cost, per watt, is similar to utility-scale solar. We have a similar payback time to traditional solar [before incentives].”

Aug 26, 2023

World-first software predicts geo-disasters to save lives

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

It’s the first of its kind model and it can suggest countermeasures for dealing with natural disasters.

Global warming is causing more and more natural disasters which often lead to devastating consequences including loss of life. These take the shape of extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, droughts, tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, avalanches, earthquakes and forest fires.

Now, civil engineers at Monash University have conceived of a first-of-its kind software called GeoXPM that can not only predict where a geo-disaster might occur but also assess the event’s impact on its surrounding environment in order to mitigate its consequences. This is because the model can make suggestions of next steps to take to avoid dire loss of life and save as much property as possible.

Aug 25, 2023

US research interests closely tied to microelectronics industrial base

Posted by in categories: climatology, policy, robotics/AI, sustainability

SEATTLE — Undergirding recent budget guidance from the Biden administration to federal research and development organizations is a recognition of a steady and growing demand for microelectronics as a key enabler for advancement in nearly every technology sector, according to a senior White House technology advisor.

The White House on Aug. 17 issued its research and development priorities for the fiscal 2025 budget, offering direction to federal offices as they plan to submit their spending requests to the Office of Management and Budget in early September. The high-level focus areas include strengthening the nation’s critical infrastructure amid climate change, advancing trustworthy AI, improving healthcare and fostering industrial innovation alongside basic and applied research.

According to Steven Welby, deputy director for national security within the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, most of those priorities have some sort of connection to the nation’s goals for boosting the microelectronics industrial base.

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