Category Archives: News

Current Sci-Tech news

Flow batteries: For when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine

The Harvard prototype organic flow battery….Credit: SEAS A team of scientists and engineers at Harvard tackled the problem of storing electricity from short term or irregular energy sources, such as wind mills or solar panels by looking to improve on a type of battery technology known as a flow battery. As published in the journal […]
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What do we lose as large carnivores disappear?

A world without top predators? Wolves, for example….Credit: Doug McLaughlin, Oregon State University Globally, we are losing our large carnivores. That is the central conclusion of a large international study (participants from the U.S., Sweden, Australia, and Italy). These are the animals at the top of the food chain, the ones people most readily recognize. […]
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Life on Mars: Curiosity finds a promising lake bed

After about two decades of poking around Mars, it’s clear that scientists don’t expect to find life, certainly not on the surface [SciTechStory: Life on Mars: If it exists, is below the surface]. There are no Martian yetis, or if any life at all, nothing bigger than a bacteria – probably living deep below the […]
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Confirmation: Element 115

The thing about new elements these days is they don’t exist in nature. They’re a product of human research. A ‘new’ element, dubbed ununpentium with the symbol Uup, was first “discovered” (read: created) in 2003 by bombarding a nucleus of americium-243 with ions driven from calcium-48. This created an element with the atomic weight of […]
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Two big steps forward for quantum teleportation

Few things will tie your cerebral lobes in a knot like quantum mechanics, and even then, fewer things are as astonishing as quantum teleportation – the “transmission” of quantum values (qubits) over a distance – not feet but hundreds of kilometers (or miles). The research into this potential form of communication has been going on […]
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Ambient backscatter: Energy for electronic devices – no wires, no batteries, no solar

Ambient Backscatter devices (prototype)…..Credit: University of Washington It’s true. There is now a way to power electronic devices without plugging them into the electrical grid (no wires), without solar panels, and without installing a battery. Engineers at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA) created a new wireless communication system that can interact with each other, […]
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A new twist for graphene: Trying to solve the bandgap problem

Although it’s like a sheet of paper (if paper could be only one atom thick), but “Do not bend, fold, mutilate or spindle” does not apply to sheets of graphene. Scientists all over the world are doing all of the above and a lot more to graphene in search of its many surprising properties. From […]
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A tiny Big Deal: Inserting DNA into a single cell

Once in a while it’s important to remind ourselves that not all important advances in science and technology are big (think of the Large Hadron Collider), wide ranging (like stem cell medicine), or controversial (global warming). Sometimes the advances are tiny (physically), quiet (taking place in research centers not in the media mainstream), and incremental […]
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Organic Solar Cells: Spinning efficiency

Researchers at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, U.K.) and the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington USA) have tackled the problem of relative inefficiency of organic solar cells by orchestrating their electronic ‘spin.’ It could be a breakthrough…. Organic solar cells have so much promise. Instead of silicon, these solar cells are constructed with polymers – […]
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Fusion energy: Update on the Big Tokamak

ITER fusion generator site, Cadarache, France…Credit ITER For those who thought the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland was a BIG engineering project, it is literally dwarfed by the construction of the world’s first fusion reactor – ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor or, alternatively, The Big Tokamak). This is one of those projects so big that […]
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