Tag: Sept2018

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Nuclear power on the rise

You can’t say that nuclear power is back, because it never really went away. It’s just been quiet, refining new designs and technologies. Now it’s ready to re-introduce itself. Right now, China is building 30 new nuclear power plants. Russia’s building 10 and Qatar four. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has plans to put up 16. Most...


Replacing missing brain cells

Scientists at UCLA have been able to regrow working brain cells in empty spaces left in the brain after a stroke. By itself, the brain doesn’t regenerate tissue after a stroke. The damaged cells are absorbed, leaving behind an empty space that never fills. The UCLA researchers solved that problem by injecting a hydrogel material...


Is plastic dead?

Demand for plastics that decompose into environmentally benign components will grow by as much as $100 million a year through 2023, according to a study by IHS Markit, a market analysis firm headquartered in London. Most plastics are petroleum-based and are virtually indestructible, languishing in dumps, roadside ditches, in oceans, and elsewhere for thousands of...


Mobile phones zap teens’ memories

More evidence that cell phones aren’t good for your head. A July 2018 study from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute looked at 700 adolescents and found that making a lot of calls with cell phones correlated with poor “figural memory” – the part of memory that remembers shapes and images. A majority of...


Testing a Parkinson’s cure

In Japan, a human clinical trial is underway to test a possible cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers will inject human stem cells directly into the brains of Parkinson’s sufferers, specifically into an area of the brain known to be a core location for developing the illness. The researchers reprogrammed stem cells to develop neurons that...


New ways to make solar panels

Engineers at the University of Exeter in England have shown that a solar panel the size of a classroom textbook could power an entire home. Today’s solar panels typically have an efficiency of 20 percent at best, wasting 80 percent of their potential, based on size. The Exeter team used an electric field to “funnel”...


Ammonia-powered fuel cells?

Fuel cells are often touted as the power source for tomorrow’s vehicles. They typically burn the element hydrogen for their energy. But chemist Douglas MacFarlane of Australia’s Monash University champions a common alternative substance: ammonia. An ammonia molecule is one nitrogen atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms. It stores about twice the energy of hydrogen....


Insert joke of choice here

Amazon created its “Rekognition” face-recognition software to be used by law enforcement agencies to flawlessly identify people. So the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) decided to test it. The ACLU assembled a database of 25,000 publicly available photos of people. Then it showed Rekognition random photos of people and asked the software to find photos...


New energy

Another sign of fossil fuels’ demise: The Republic of Ireland is taking steps to become the world’s first country to forsake them. The nation’s lower legislative body, the Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) passed a measure mandating that the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which invests government funds in economic development, rid itself of investments...

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