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Sep 29, 2023

How Austin Energy is expanding electric vehicle access

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the City of Austin works toward reducing its carbon footprint, city officials are working to expand programs and infrastructure to help make electric vehicle technology more accessible citywide.

Amy Atchley, senior lead with Austin Energy’s EV equity program, spoke Tuesday at MOVE America 2023, a mobility conference held in downtown Austin. Atchley’s presentation centered around providing EV access to underserved community members, particularly as the city moves toward a 2040 goal of net zero carbon emissions.

With that goal in mind, she noted transportation is the leading emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In order to achieve that benchmark, she said the city must have at least 40% of its vehicle miles traveled done via electric vehicle technology by 2030.

Sep 29, 2023

Tesla highlights remote cabin and battery preconditioning

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Tesla’s vehicles come with various unique features, including the ability to use the mobile app to perform several different functions remotely. In a repost of another account pointing to the ability to set cabin temperature remotely, Tesla highlighted that preconditioning will also warm up the vehicle’s battery, helping to optimize range and overall performance.

On Wednesday morning, Tesla reposted a @WholeMarsBlog post on X describing the ability to pre-set cabin temperature remotely using the mobile app when it’s hot outside, meaning owners will “never get into a car that’s too hot or too cold again.”

Tesla piggybacked on the concept, pointing out that when users remotely precondition their cars during the winter, their batteries will also be warmed to the ideal temperature to improve vehicle performance.

Sep 29, 2023

Desalination system could produce freshwater that is cheaper than tap water

Posted by in category: sustainability

Engineers at MIT and in China are aiming to turn seawater into drinking water with a completely passive device that is inspired by the ocean, and powered by the sun.

In a paper appearing in the journal Joule, the team outlines the design for a new solar desalination system that takes in saltwater and heats it with natural sunlight.

The configuration of the device allows water to circulate in swirling eddies, in a manner similar to the much larger “thermohaline” circulation of the ocean. This circulation, combined with the sun’s heat, drives water to evaporate, leaving salt behind. The resulting water vapor can then be condensed and collected as pure, . In the meantime, the leftover salt continues to circulate through and out of the device, rather than accumulating and clogging the system.

Sep 29, 2023

New solar device makes desalinated seawater cheaper than tap water

Posted by in category: sustainability

Water is still an issue around the world.

Engineers at MIT and China have jointly developed a solar-powered system that extracts fresh water from seawater so efficiently it is “cheaper than tap water,” says one of the researchers who invented the system. The inventors say the system could provide clean drinking water sustainably to off-grid coastal communities and families living near a sea water source.

From MIT News:

Continue reading “New solar device makes desalinated seawater cheaper than tap water” »

Sep 29, 2023

Brain implants, software guide speech-disabled person’s intended words to computer screen

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, neuroscience

Pat Bennett’s prescription is a bit more complicated than “Take a couple of aspirins and call me in the morning.” But a quartet of baby-aspirin-sized sensors implanted in her brain are aimed at addressing a condition that’s frustrated her and others: the loss of the ability to speak intelligibly. The devices transmit signals from a couple of speech-related regions in Bennett’s brain to state-of-the-art software that decodes her brain activity and converts it to text displayed on a computer screen.

Bennett, now 68, is a former human resources director and onetime equestrian who jogged daily. In 2012, she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks neurons controlling movement, causing physical weakness and eventual paralysis.

Continue reading “Brain implants, software guide speech-disabled person’s intended words to computer screen” »

Sep 29, 2023

Scientists Unveil Unprecedented “Live” View Into the Brain’s Complexity

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

The human brain, with its intricate network of approximately 86 billion neurons, is arguably among the most complex specimens scientists have ever encountered. It holds an immense, yet currently immeasurable, wealth of information, positioning it as the pinnacle of computational devices.

Grasping this level of intricacy is challenging, making it essential for us to employ advanced technologies that can decode the minute, intricate interactions happening within the brain at microscopic levels. Thus, imaging emerges as a pivotal instrument in the realm of neuroscience.

The new imaging and virtual reconstruction technology developed by Johann Danzl’s group at ISTA is a big leap in imaging brain activity and is aptly named LIONESS – Live Information Optimized Nanoscopy Enabling Saturated Segmentation. LIONESS is a pipeline to image, reconstruct, and analyze live brain tissue with a comprehensiveness and spatial resolution not possible until now.

Sep 29, 2023

Scientists get closer to solving mystery of antimatter

Posted by in category: particle physics

BBC News

The elusive substance holds the key to discovering how the Universe was formed.

Sep 29, 2023

A solar sail spacecraft could reach Mars in only 26 days

Posted by in category: satellites

David Imbaratto / Stellar Exploration / The Planetary Society.

Solar sails were first demonstrated in space by the Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 mission, which raised a small CubeSat’s orbit by 1.9 miles (3.2 km) using only the propulsive force of photons, or light beams, from the Sun.

Sep 29, 2023

A magnet-free reactor that fits in a garage could provide limitless energy

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

😗😁Year 2022

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They are cheaper and don’t require the large, incredibly powerful magnets used in traditional fusion experiments. Ultimately, they may also provide a quicker route to achieving commercially viable nuclear fusion, a press statement reveals.

Continue reading “A magnet-free reactor that fits in a garage could provide limitless energy” »

Sep 29, 2023

Startups try to turn laser fusion success into clean power plants

Posted by in category: futurism

Following in footsteps of National Ignition Facility, companies aim to trigger rapid-fire fusion blasts.

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