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Mar 31, 2017

Ses-10 Mission

Posted by in category: satellites

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver SES-10, a commercial communications satellite for SES, to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). SES is a world-leading satellite operator, providing reliable and secure satellite communications solutions across the globe.

The SES-10 mission will mark a historic milestone on the road to full and rapid reusability as the world’s first reflight of an orbital class rocket. Falcon 9’s first stage for the SES-10 mission previously supported the successful CRS-8 mission in April 2016.

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Mar 30, 2017

This fully transparent solar cell could make every window and screen a power source

Posted by in categories: engineering, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Back in August 2014, researchers at Michigan State University created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass (like your smartphone’s screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell. Unlike other “transparent” solar cells that we’ve reported on in the past, this one really is transparent, as you can see in the photos throughout this story. According to Richard Lunt, who led the research at the time, the team was confident the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings, from “tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader.”

Now Ubiquitous Energy, an MIT startup we first reported on in 2013, is getting closer to bringing its transparent solar panels to market. Lunt cofounded the company and remains assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University. Essentially, what they’re doing is instead of shrinking the components, they’re changing the way the cell absorbs light. The cell selectively harvests the part of the solar spectrum we can’t see with our eye, while letting regular visible light pass through.

Scientifically, a transparent solar panel is something of an oxymoron. Solar cells, specifically the photovoltaic kind, make energy by absorbing photons (sunlight) and converting them into electrons (electricity). If a material is transparent, however, by definition it means that all of the light passes through the medium to strike the back of your eye. This is why previous transparent solar cells have actually only been partially transparent — and, to add insult to injury, they usually they cast a colorful shadow too.

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Mar 30, 2017

This Gross Creature Could Create the Superfood of the Future

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers find an unlikely source for the next superfood.

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Mar 30, 2017

Asteroid skyscraper

Posted by in category: space

This concept skyscraper could hang from an asteroid 31,068 miles above Earth.

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Mar 30, 2017

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is prepared to launch from historic Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on March 30, 2017. This is the first time that a “flight-proven” booster is used to launch a payload into space. The vehicle is lifting an 11,000 pound satellite for the Luxembourg based company, SES, to provide video, TV and communications services to Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Photo by Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell/UPI

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

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Mar 30, 2017

Scientists create tiny female reproductive system in a dish

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

March 28 (UPI) — Researchers at Northwestern University created a synthetic version of the female reproductive system that can be used to test drug therapies.

The system is shaped like a cube and consists of a series of small tubes, each containing cells from a different part of the female reproductive system, including the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes and liver.

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Mar 30, 2017

First on the Martian menu: spuds

Posted by in categories: climatology, space, sustainability

LIMA, Peru (AP) — If human beings finally reach Mars, they may find themselves depending on the humble, if hardy potato.

Scientists in Peru have used a simulator that mimics the harsh conditions on the Red Planet to successfully grow a small potato plant.

It’s an experiment straight out of the 2015 Hollywood movie “The Martian” that scientists say may also benefit arid regions already feeling the impact of climate change.

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Mar 30, 2017

How The Power Of Synthetic Biology could reshape the world

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, environmental

Mushroom buildings, jurassic park and terraforming.

Did you ever hear about synthetic biology? No? Imagine that we could alter and produce DNA from scratch just like an engineer. Doesn’t it sound like one of the greatest interdisciplinary achievements in recent history?

Think about it, a bio-technologist is doing more or less the work of a programmer but instead of using a computer language he’s doing it by arranging molecules embedded in every living cell. The outcome, if ever mastered, could reshape the world around us dramatically.

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Mar 30, 2017

Rapamycin: An impressive geroprotector with a few fatal flaws

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

A look at Rapamycin the life extending drug with some serious drawbacks.

If any drug has performed consistently and unequivocally well in anti-aging trials, it’s rapamycin. Dr. Matt Kaeberlein’s Dog Aging Project is among the most recent trials investigating its longevity-promoting potential in mammals, but it’s also been the subject of numerous trials in mice, worms, flies and yeast. And although it acts through a mechanism which has been most closely associated cancer prevention, this drug appears to stave off all maladies related to aging.

Even more encouraging are the indications that it could be beneficial well into old age. Trials done in the National Aging Institute’s ITP, a testing protocol that collects its data from three independent labs, found that when mice started rapamycin treatment at 600 days old (roughly 60 in human years), they lived an average of 11% longer than control counterparts. Longevity interventions that hold up well even in late-life are few and far between, and even the traditionally successful method of caloric restriction has limited utility when begun late.

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Mar 30, 2017

Capacitively coupled arrays of multiplexed flexible silicon transistors for long-term cardiac electrophysiology

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

Advanced capabilities in electrical recording are essential for the treatment of heart-rhythm diseases. The most advanced technologies use flexible integrated electronics; however, the penetration of biological fluids into the underlying electronics and any ensuing electrochemical reactions pose significant safety risks. Here, we show that an ultrathin, leakage-free, biocompatible dielectric layer can completely seal an underlying array of flexible electronics while allowing for electrophysiological measurements through capacitive coupling between tissue and the electronics, without the need for direct metal contact. The resulting current-leakage levels and operational lifetimes are, respectively, four orders of magnitude smaller and between two and three orders of magnitude longer than those of other flexible-electronics technologies. Systematic electro­physiological studies with normal, paced and arrhythmic conditions in Langendorff hearts highlight the capabilities of the capacitive-coupling approach. These advances provide realistic pathways towards the broad applicability of biocompatible, flexible electronic implants.

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