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Jul 25, 2021

A Startup Plans to Mine the Ocean Floor. It Could Be a Disaster

Posted by in category: futurism

The Pacific basin is thought to contain more than 30 billion tons of so-called polymetallic nodules, rocks that are rich with cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, rare-earth elements and titanium. Scientists and entrepreneurs have been researching methods of extracting them since the 1960s. In 1994, the International Seabed Authority was established to regulate mining efforts and protect the seabed environment. Any of the group’s 167 member-states can stake claims to mining concessions on the ocean floor and sponsor private companies to explore them. But the ISA has not yet completed, much less approved, any regulations. So far, it’s only handed out permits for exploration.

Despite the potential riches, more time is needed to study the potential impact on the least resilient ecosystem on the planet.

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Jul 25, 2021

Drones could help save soldiers’ lives by delivering blood on demand

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, military, robotics/AI

Getting blood to a wounded soldier could be the difference between life and death. A drone swarm is one way to make that happen in battle.

Blood is usually a finite quality on a battlefield. Battles can cause a number of injuries, from the minor to the critical. If a soldier can get the wound closed in time, they can staunch the loss, but keeping the patient alive may require an influx of new blood. As medics work to aid their comrades, they could receive help from an unusual source: delivery drones, bringing literal fresh blood to the battlefield.

A drone swarm capable of delivering blood was part of Autonomous Advance Force 4.0, an exercise by the United Kingdom’s armed forces in which Royal Marines Commandos trained with modern technology for future war. The July exercise took place in Cumbria and Dorset, with a release announced July 17.

Continue reading “Drones could help save soldiers’ lives by delivering blood on demand” »

Jul 25, 2021

AI Detects Sunken Ships With 92 Percent Accuracy From The Sky

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

An AI tech was taught to detect sunken ships using images taken from the air and ships on the surface. The project was focused on the coasts of mainland US and Puerto Rico.

The AI is now ready for more extensive tests in unknown regions to look for shipwrecks still missing.

Jul 25, 2021

Solar cells: Layer of three crystals produces a thousand times more power

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

The photovoltaic effect of ferroelectric crystals can be increased by a factor of 1000 if three different materials are arranged periodically in a lattice. This has been revealed in a study by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). They achieved this by creating crystalline layers of barium titanate, strontium titanate and calcium titanate which they alternately placed on top of one another. Their findings, which could significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells, were published in the journal Science Advances.

Most solar cells are currently silicon based; however, their efficiency is limited. This has prompted researchers to examine new materials, such as ferroelectrics like barium , a mixed oxide made of barium and titanium. “Ferroelectric means that the material has spatially separated positive and negative charges,” explains physicist Dr Akash Bhatnagar from MLU’s Centre for Innovation Competence SiLi-nano. “The charge separation leads to an asymmetric structure that enables electricity to be generated from light.” Unlike silicon, ferroelectric crystals do not require a so-called pn junction to create the photovoltaic effect, in other words, no positively and negatively doped layers. This makes it much easier to produce the solar panels.

However, pure barium titanate does not absorb much sunlight and consequently generates a comparatively low photocurrent. The latest research has shown that combining extremely thin layers of different materials significantly increases the solar energy yield. “The important thing here is that a ferroelectric material is alternated with a paraelectric material. Although the latter does not have separated charges, it can become ferroelectric under certain conditions, for example at low temperatures or when its is slightly modified,” explains Bhatnagar.

Jul 25, 2021

Look: China’s new Mars rover returns latest batch of stunning images

Posted by in category: space

Shortly thereafter, China National Space Agency (CNSA) shared the first images taken by the Tianwen-1 lander.

By May 22, the Zhurong rover descended from its lander and drove on the Martian surface for the first time. Since then, the rover has spent 63 Earth days conducting science operations on the surface of Mars and has traveled over 450 meters (1475 feet).

On Friday, July 9, and again on July 15, the CNSA released new images of the Red Planet that were taken by the rover as it made its way across the surface.

Jul 25, 2021

NASA’s Mars helicopter nailed its 10th flight — double what engineers had hoped Ingenuity would do

Posted by in category: space


Before Saturday, Ingenuity had already flown nearly one mile in total, so its 10th flight helped it hit that threshold.

The flight should have lasted about 2 minutes, 45 seconds. During that time, Ingenuity is expected to have visited 10 distinct waypoints, snapping photos along the way.

Continue reading “NASA’s Mars helicopter nailed its 10th flight — double what engineers had hoped Ingenuity would do” »

Jul 25, 2021

Deadly ‘untreatable fungus’ resistant to all medication spreading rapidly in USA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

A ‘deadly fungal infection’ that can be resistant to all existing treatments has been worrying health officials following recent outbreaks in hospitals and care homes around the USA


Jul 25, 2021

NASA Awards SpaceX With Launch Services Contract for Europa Clipper Mission

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for Earth’s first mission to conduct detailed investigations of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

The Europa Clipper mission will launch in October 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The total contract award amount for launch services is approximately $178 million.

Europa Clipper will conduct a detailed survey of Europa and use a sophisticated suite of science instruments to investigate whether the icy moon has conditions suitable for life. Key mission objectives are to produce high-resolution images of Europa’s surface, determine its composition, look for signs of recent or ongoing geological activity, measure the thickness of the moon’s icy shell, search for subsurface lakes, and determine the depth and salinity of Europa’s ocean.

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Jul 25, 2021

Intel warns of CPU stock shortages in near future

Posted by in categories: computing, futurism

When Alder Lake arrives, if 12th-gen CPUs are as good as rumors suggest, could supply issues be a concern?

Jul 25, 2021

Vanadium dioxide is a strange metal that doesn’t heat up while conducting electricity

Posted by in category: physics


A study led by scientists have discovered that vanadium dioxide breaks the laws of physics, transferring electricity but not heat.

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