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Apr 24, 2018

Organic solar cells reach record efficiency, benchmark for commercialization

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

In an advance that makes a more flexible, inexpensive type of solar cell commercially viable, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated organic solar cells that can achieve 15 percent efficiency.

This level of is in the range of many solar panels, or photovoltaics, currently on the market.

“Organic photovoltaics can potentially cut way down on the total solar energy system cost, making solar a truly ubiquitous clean energy source,” said Stephen Forrest, the Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor of Engineering and Paul Goebel Professor of Engineering, who led the work.

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Apr 24, 2018

Organic agriculture is going mainstream, but not the way you think it is

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

One of the biggest knocks against the organics movement is that it has begun to ape conventional agriculture, adopting the latter’s monocultures, reliance on purchased inputs and industrial processes.

“Big Organics” is often derided by advocates of sustainable agriculture. The American food authors Michael Pollan and Julie Guthman, for example, argue that as organic agriculture has scaled up and gone mainstream it has lost its commitment to building an alternative system for providing food, instead “replicating what it set out to oppose.”

New research, however, suggests that the relationship between organic and conventional farming is more complex. The flow of influence is starting to reverse course.

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Apr 24, 2018

Joining metals without welding

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, transportation

Welding is still the standard technique for joining metals. However, this laborious process carried out at high temperatures is not suitable for all applications. Now, a research team from the “Functional Nanomaterials” working group at Kiel University, together with the company Phi-Stone AG from Kiel, has developed a versatile alternative to conventional welding and gluing processes. Based on a special etching process, it enables aluminium and aluminium alloys to be joined with each other as well as with polymers, forming a durable and strong joint. They will present the prototype of a mobile joining unit at the Hannover Messe (23—27 April). They plan to commence mass production in future, after feedback from customers.

When welding, components are joined by locally melting them at the connection point. However, the required for this influence the material in the so-called heat-affected zone, causing structural as well as optical changes. It also requires special safety precautions and appropriately qualified staff. In contrast, the process developed by the Kiel University research group led by Professor Rainer Adelung not only spares the materials to be joined, but it is also easier and more flexible to use, even in hard-to-reach places such as corners or upside down on the ceiling. In just a few minutes, metals can be permanently connected with each other, but also with polymers.

The team envisages areas of application such as ship, aircraft or vehicle production. The process is particularly well-suited for subsequently attaching components in existing constructions, for example, in the interiors of ships or cars, explained Adelung regarding possible applications. “The high temperatures of welding will destroy surfaces that have already been treated and painted, for example. Our process, on the other hand, works at room temperature without special protective measures,” said Adelung.

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Apr 24, 2018

Making Laser Guide Stars Even Brighter

Posted by in category: space

Scheduled for first light in the 2020s, a powerful new class of giant telescopes will study the Universe in more detail than ever before — as long as their adaptive optics systems can sharpen their view. ESO’s Laser Systems group is currently undertaking field tests with a specialised laser at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, at La Palma on the Canary Islands. One of their goals is to make laser guide stars even brighter for large and extremely large telescopes, such as ESO’s ELT and the Giant Magellan Telescope. To find out more, we spoke to Domenico Bonaccini Calia, a physicist from ESO’s Laser Systems Department with over 20 years of experience.

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Apr 24, 2018

SpaceX is launching NASA’s “planet hunter” a $337 million satellite

Posted by in category: satellites

SpaceX is about to launch a $337 million NASA satellite.

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Apr 24, 2018

Pure Watercraft built an electric outboard motor

Posted by in category: futurism

This former rowing coach is using electric tech to make motorboats nearly silent.

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Apr 24, 2018

This Bike Is Powered By A Walking Treadmill

Posted by in category: transportation

This bike is basically a treadmill on wheels.

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Apr 24, 2018

Older people still grow new brain cells as young people, study shows

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Older people can still grow new brain cells like young people, new study shows. Reference:

Researchers show for the first time that healthy older men and women can generate just as many new brain cells as younger people.

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Apr 24, 2018

Move Over, Double Helix: A New Form of DNA Has Just Been Discovered

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

We all know about the double helix structure of DNA, but researchers have described a type of DNA that’s never been observed in a living cell: i-motif DNA. This knot-shaped DNA uses nucleotides differently than helical DNA, and scientists suspect it plays a regulatory role in the cell.

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Apr 24, 2018

Something really horrible happenedWe lost a friend with such a beautiful heart and the world lost an incredibly talented musicianThank you for your beautiful melodies, the time we shared in the studio, playing together as djs or just enjoying life as friends. RIP Avicii

Posted by in category: media & arts

Avicii, your music lives forever!

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