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Feb 19, 2024

New tech turns CO2 into chemicals with 93% efficiency, runs record 5000 hrs

Posted by in categories: chemistry, sustainability

Using spent lead acid batteries, Chinese researchers have achieved two goals in one move, finding a way to recycle them and fix CO2 at the same time.

Feb 19, 2024

Chemists produce all eight possible variants of polypropionate building blocks from one starting material

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

To synthesize potential drugs or natural products, you need natural substances in specific mirror-image variants and with a high degree of purity. For the first time, chemists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in producing all eight possible variants of polypropionate building blocks from a single starting material in a relatively straightforward process. Their work has now been published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Polypropionates are that can help save lives. They are needed to make reserve antibiotics, compounds that are only ever used to treat infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria. In nature, chiral compounds exist in two different variants that share the same molecular formula but are of each other, like a right and a left hand. Chemists call this “chirality,” which literally means “handedness.”

“What’s interesting is that the mirror-image forms can have very different properties,” explains Professor Andreas Gansäuer from the Kekulé Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Bonn. “One well known example is undoubtedly carvone. The dextro-, or ‘right-handed,’ form of this molecule smells of caraway, while its levo-, or ‘left-handed,’ form is what gives peppermint its distinctive odor.”

Feb 19, 2024

A new rotary electric contact method could radically change the way wind turbines generate electricity

Posted by in category: sustainability

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed a fundamentally new type of rotary electrical contact. The technology is called Twistact, and it will eliminate the need for expensive rare-earth magnets in large wind turbines.

Sandia is now ready to partner with the energy industry to develop the next generation of direct-drive wind turbines.

Sandia’s Twistact is a novel approach to transmitting electrical current between a stationary and rotating frame, or between two rotating assemblies having different speeds or rotational directions. This method is ideal for use in wind turbines.

Feb 19, 2024

Sam Altman’s $7 trillion AI chip project might not be very realistic

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The scale of the OpenAI CEO’s chip ambitions requires a vast amount of resources.

Feb 19, 2024

Life Spreads Through Universe in Cosmic Dust, Paper Suggests

Posted by in categories: alien life, particle physics

New research posits that life originated somewhere in the cosmos — and that it traveled through space on tiny particles of cosmic dust.

Feb 19, 2024

Largest Reservoir of Water in Space Holds 140 Trillion Times More Water Than Earth’s Oceans?

Posted by in category: cosmology

This is very cool. I didn’t know that something could hold so much more water than than our Earth. I can see something having more water but trillions of times?

The water is in the form of vapor distributed around a black hole said to be 20 billion times more massive than the sun.

Feb 19, 2024

Universe expands by merging with ‘baby’ universes, theory suggests

Posted by in category: cosmology

Scientists have proposed an intriguing theory on our universe’s rapid expansion.

For years, scientists have grappled with the enigma of the universe expanding rapidly.

Observations like the redshift of galaxies and the cosmic microwave background hint at this cosmic phenomenon, but a complete explanation remains elusive.

Continue reading “Universe expands by merging with ‘baby’ universes, theory suggests” »

Feb 19, 2024

Lizard-like robots could help ‘prevent catastrophes’ in US Navy, says expert

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

Doug Philippone, a venture capitalist, has explained to a media house the importance of lizard-like robots for the future of US Armed Forces like the United States Navy.

Wall climbing robots are used for non-destructive testing inspections of tanks, boilers, pressure vessels, piping, and more, explains Gecko Robotics. These robots utilize specially designed sensor payloads to inspect wall thickness, pitting, and numerous forms of degradation.

Continue reading “Lizard-like robots could help ‘prevent catastrophes’ in US Navy, says expert” »

Feb 19, 2024

Rocket Lab, Astroscale launch historic mission to monitor space junk

Posted by in category: satellites

The ADRAS-J satellite, which weighs 150 kilograms (330 pounds), lifted off on top of an Electron rocket from Rocket Lab’s launch site in New Zealand at 9:52 am EST (1452 GMT; 3:52 am local New Zealand time on February 19).

Lift-off for #OnCloserInspection! ADRAS-J is on its way to orbit. — Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) February 18, 2024

Continue reading “Rocket Lab, Astroscale launch historic mission to monitor space junk” »

Feb 19, 2024

MIT develops tamper-proof ID tag for cheaper and secure authentication

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, security

RFID tags are commonly used to verify the authenticity of products, but they have some drawbacks. They are relatively large, expensive, and vulnerable to counterfeiting. A team of MIT engineers has developed a new type of ID tag that overcomes these limitations by using terahertz waves, which are smaller and faster than radio waves.

The new tag is a cryptographic chip several times smaller and cheaper than RFID tags. It also offers improved security, using the unique pattern of metal particles in the glue that attaches the tag to the item as a fingerprint. This way, the authentication system will detect tampering if someone tries to peel off the tag and stick it to a fake item.

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