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May 18, 2018

Only 1 pct of Japan’s biggest coral reef healthy: survey

Posted by in categories: food, government

Coral reefs are the fish nurseries and so without them there will be no fish!

Japan’s biggest coral reef has not recovered from bleaching due to rising sea temperatures, with only one percent of the reef in a healthy condition, according to a government study.

The overall volume of in Sekisei Lagoon in southwestern Japan near Okinawa had already plunged by 80 percent since the late 1980s due to rising and damage caused by coral-eating starfish.

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May 18, 2018

World-class battery storage system helps to power country town

Posted by in categories: energy, government

A new energy storage system developed by University of Adelaide researchers and industry partners is now successfully supporting the electricity network for the country town of Cape Jervis, South Australia.

The new, world-class system is part of a $3.65 million trial led by the University of Adelaide in collaboration with SA Power Networks and system supplier PowerTec. The project is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on behalf of the Australian Government with $1.44 million in grant funding.

The mobile battery energy storage system and its specialised control system reduces peak load of the local substation, stabilises the in the area, and supports a number of nearby customers in the event of a power interruption – all without manual intervention.

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May 18, 2018

Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources?

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? Won’t renewables destabilise the grid and cause blackouts?

In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, researcher Benjamin Heard and colleagues presented their case against 100 percent renewable electrical systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation.

Now, scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues. The researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and collaborators have analysed hundreds of studies to answer each of the apparent issues. They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks to a 100 percent renewable future.

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May 18, 2018

Large study to study impact on early brain development of financial assistance to low-income mothers

Posted by in categories: finance, neuroscience

Important new study to track — “The team will start recruiting the first of 1,000 low-income mothers next week…Of that 1,000, roughly half will be randomly selected to receive an unconditional $333 a month, while the others will form a control group that will receive $20. The money, which is completely unconditional, will be loaded onto a pre-paid debit card every month for 40 months, on the date of the child’s birthday. The hypothesis is that this steady stream of payments will make a positive difference in the cognitive and emotional development of the children whose mothers receive it”

___ Does growing up poor harm brain development? (The Economist): “Plenty of evidence suggests that growing up poor, living through these kinds of scrapes, has a detrimental impact on child development. Children from rich families tend to have better language and memory skills than those from poor families. More.

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May 18, 2018

The Rich Are Betting On Living to 100

Posted by in category: life extension

Money might not buy love, but it can buy better health. And, to live as long as possible, the world’s wealthy are willing to pay up.

The wealthy are willing to pay for a longer life. The successor to income inequality is longevity inequality.

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May 18, 2018

Some hard numbers on science’s leadership problems

Posted by in category: science

Scientists pride themselves on being keen observers, but many seem to have trouble spotting the problems right under their noses. Those who run labs have a much rosier picture of the dynamics in their research groups than do many staff members working in the trenches, according to a Nature survey of more than 3,200 scientists. The results suggest that a lack of training in lab and personnel management is one of the strongest contributors to an unhealthy lab culture.

A Nature survey of 3,200 scientists reveals the tensions bubbling in research groups around the world.

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May 18, 2018

Space tourism for the people: become a virtual reality astronaut

Posted by in categories: space, virtual reality

VR companies around the world are planning to offer live views of the Earth from space within the next few years.

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May 18, 2018

Spacewatch: China readies for part one of mission to far side of the moon

Posted by in category: space

Magpie Bridge relay satellite will communicate with lunar lander to be deployed later in the year.

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May 18, 2018

2nd World Intelligence Congress envisions liberation from labor through AI

Posted by in categories: business, government, robotics/AI

Government officials, business leaders and academics attending China’s second World Intelligence Congress, abbreviated WIC 2018, envisioned people’s liberation from labor with the help of artificial intelligence.

With the theme “The Age of Intelligence: New Progress, New Trends, New Efforts,” the three-day event began in north China’s Tianjin municipality on Wednesday.

Lin Nianxiu, deputy director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the opening of the congress that the aspirations to make machines more intelligent and liberate human beings from as much labor as possible have been major impetuses driving worldwide technological advances and industrial innovation.

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May 18, 2018

Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology

The world is a big place, but it’s gotten smaller with the advent of technologies that put people from across the globe in the palm of one’s hand. And as the world has shrunk, it has also demanded that things happen ever faster—including the time it takes to charge an electronic device.

A cross-campus collaboration led by Ulrich Wiesner, professor of engineering in the at Cornell University, addresses this demand with a novel architecture that has the potential for lightning-quick charges.

The group’s idea: Instead of having the batteries’ anode and cathode on either side of a nonconducting separator, intertwine the components in a self-assembling, 3D gyroidal structure, with thousands of nanoscale pores filled with the elements necessary for energy storage and delivery.

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