Cover Charge: New Spray-On Battery Could Convert Any Object into an Electricity Storage Device Perhaps someday you'll need to go to the store because you ran out of cathode paint. A team of researchers has just announced a new paint-on battery design. The technique could change the way batteries are produced and eliminate restrictions on the surfaces used for energy storage. The paint-on battery, like all lithium ion batteries, consists of five layers: a positive current collector, a cathode that attracts positively charged ions, an ion-conducting separator, an anode to attract negative ions, and a negative current collector. Neelam Singh, a member of the team of materials scientists and chemists from Rice University in Houston and Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and lead author of the paper, says, "It was really exciting to find out. Singh says her team's work is filling a need in the socially critical field of energy storage for new battery designs. But for now paint-on batteries are not quite ready to hit the shelves at your local hardware store.
World's first GM babies born Published: 05 May 2001 The world's first geneticallymodified humans have been created, it was revealed last night. The disclosure that 30 healthy babies were born after a series of experiments in the United States provoked another furious debate about ethics. So far, two of the babies have been tested and have been found to contain genes from three 'parents'. Fifteen of the children were born in the past three years as a result of one experimental programme at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas in New Jersey. The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. Genetic fingerprint tests on two one-year- old children confirm that they have inherited DNA from three adults --two women and one man. The fact that the children have inherited the extra genes and incorporated them into their 'germline' means that they will, in turn, be able to pass them on to their own offspring. Some experts severely criticised the experiments.
MIT creates glucose fuel cell to power implanted brain-computer interfaces Neuroengineers at MIT have created a implantable fuel cell that generates electricity from the glucose present in the cerebrospinal fluid that flows around your brain and spinal cord. In theory, this fuel cell could eventually drive low-power sensors and computers that decode your brain activity to interface with prosthetic limbs. The glucose-powered fuel cell is crafted out of silicon and platinum, using standard semiconductor fabrication processes. Size-wise, the MIT engineers have created glucose-powered fuel cells that are as large as 64x64mm (2.5in), or as small as just a few millimeters. This discovery is exciting for two main reasons: a) The fuel cell is completely synthetic, and b) they can be produced using low-tech, decades-old chip fabrication processes. Ultimately, this fuel cell will hopefully be used to power implanted, ultra-low-power devices that sit inside your skull or spinal cord. Read more at MIT or download the paper at PLoS ONE (non-paywalled!)
Aquaponics greenhouse for - DIY We’re here to tell you it is possible – but don’t take our word for it: ask Aquaponics Steve. Aquaponics is defined as “sustainable food production system that combines plant-growing with a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish). It was Steve’s years working in a pet shop that gave him the know-how. The secret is in breeding the bacteria from fish waste – sounds yucky but it works – with no need to use creepy chemicals. He shows you how to make a tiny greenhouse and stock it full of plants for just $50. The greenhouse is made from found lumber to create the structure which can be any shape and size depending on the dimensions of your balcony or yard. By running the water through black tubing (IV tubing from from a medical supplies store), he can tru the water temperature from cold to tepid – which is what crayfish need. He does not say where got the earth, but the compost presumably was from a Garcen center.
Why wood pulp is world's new wonder material - tech - 23 August 2012 THE hottest new material in town is light, strong and conducts electricity. What's more, it's been around a long, long time. Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), which is produced by processing wood pulp, is being hailed as the latest wonder material. To ramp up production, the US opened its first NCC factory in Madison, Wisconsin, on 26 July, marking the rise of what the US National Science Foundation predicts will become a $600 billion industry by 2020. So why all the fuss? "It is the natural, renewable version of a carbon nanotube at a fraction of the price," says Jeff Youngblood of Purdue University's NanoForestry Institute in West Lafayette, Indiana. The $1.7 million factory, which is owned by the US Forest Service, will produce two types of NCC: crystals and fibrils. Production of NCC starts with "purified" wood, which has had compounds such as lignin and hemicellulose removed. "The beauty of this material is that it is so abundant we don't have to make it," says Youngblood.
The Tesla Gun | dɸ/dt The year was 1889. The War of the Currents was well underway. At stake: the future of electrical power distribution on planet Earth. With the financial backing of George Westinghouse, Tesla’s AC polyphase system competed for market dominance with Edison’s established (but less efficient) DC system, in one of the ugliest and most epic tales of technological competition of the modern age. More than a hundred years after the dust settled, Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders published The Five Fists of Science: a rollicking graphical retelling of what really happened at the turn of the last century. See that dapper fellow in front? Yep. As I read this fantastic story, gentle reader, certain irrevocable processes were set in motion. The Tesla Gun is a hand-held, battery powered lightning machine. [flickr id="7004633580" thumbnail="medium_640" align="center"] Aim away from face. It is functionally inferior to that of Tesla’s design in the Five Fists in a few important respects. Real sparks!
LG produces the first flexible cable-type lithium-ion battery LG Chem, a member of the LG conglomerate/chaebol and one of the largest chemical companies in the world, has devised a cable-type lithium-ion battery that’s just a few millimeters in diameter, and is flexible enough to be tied in knots, worn as a bracelet, or woven into textiles. The underlying chemistry of the cable-type battery is the same as the lithium-ion battery in your smartphone or laptop — there’s an anode, a lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathode, an electrolyte — but instead of being laminated together in layers, they’re twisted into a hollow, flexible, spring-like helix. LG Chem’s battery starts with thin strands of copper wire, which are coated with a nickel-tin (Ni-Sn) alloy to create the anode. These strands are twisted into a yarn, and then wrapped tightly around a 1.5mm-diameter rod. The rod is removed, leaving a strong spring. If you removed batteries from the equation, new form factors would explode onto the market.
Solar-Powered Supertrees Sprout at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay – New Photos! Gardens by the Bay-Grant Associates We just caught sight of this incredible crop of solar-powered Supertrees rising at Singapore's Gardens By The Bay, a 101-acre conservatory that will soon blossom with 226,000 plants and flowers from all over the world. Designed by Grant Associates, the 18 Supertrees will serve as towering vertical gardens that collect rainwater, generate solar power, and act as venting ducts for the conservatories. Although the gardens aren't expected to be complete for another full year, construction is moving right along and the Supertrees are truly a magical sight to behold. Gardens by the Bay will be Singapore’s largest garden project and is central to the country’s continued development of Marina Bay. Managed by the Singapore‘s National Park Board, the gardens will feature two cooled conservatories – the Flower Dome (cool dry biome) and Cloud Forest (cool moist biome), as well as themed horticulture gardens, heritage gardens, and hundreds of thousands of plants from around the world.
Researchers Create First Working Qubit Based on Single Atom in Silicon By Will Soutter This is an artist’s impression of a phosphorus atom (red sphere surrounded by electron cloud, with arrow showing the spin direction) coupled to a silicon single-electron transistor. A burst of microwaves (blue) is used to ‘write’ information on the electron spin. (credit: Tony Melov) Qubit is the fundamental data unit of future quantum computers. The study results have appeared in the Nature journal. Lead author, Jarryd Pla stated that the researchers were able to separate, measure and manipulate an electron of the single atom with the help of a device that was fabricated in the same way as a typical silicon computer chip. The team's next step is to couple qubit pairs to form two-qubit logic gates, the fundamental processing units of future quantum computers. Source:
A Former Chicago Meatpacking Plant Becomes a Self-Sustaining Vertical Farm - Design Launch Slideshow The Plant occupies a former meatpacking plant and slaughterhouse in the Union Stock Yards, transforming a huge brick building that once specialized in bringing red meat to the masses into a green space all about urban farming without waste. The interior looks like something straight out of a scientific-environmental fantasy. Tenants include aquaponic farms (think vegetables on water beds flourishing under colored UV lights), a tilapia fish farm, beer and Kombucha tea breweries, a mushroom garden, and a host of independent bakers and caterers that will work together in a communal kitchen space. Future plans include living walls and rooftop gardens. But the most ambitious part of the building is its focus on producing "net-zero waste" in its 93,500-square-foot space. “Industrial ecology—the concept of using other people’s waste as input—is fascinating. The building, which was purchased in July 2010, is currently undergoing renovations by a team of volunteers.
Scientists Invent Vanishing Electronics That Dissolve in the Body Scientists have created ultra-thin electronic devices that can "melt away" in the body once their job is done. A new study, published in the journal Science, details how scientists have created a tiny, fully functional electronic device capable of vanishing within their environment, like in the body or in water, once they are no longer needed or useful. There are already implants that dispense drugs or provide electrical stimulation but they do not dissolve. The latest creation is an early step in a technology that may benefit not only medicine, like enabling the development of medical implants that don't need to be surgically removed or the risk of long-term side effects, but also electronic waste disposal. While most electronic devices are built to last, the latest device is made up of silicon and a tiny magnesium oxide circuit encapsulated in a protective layer of silk that can easily and harmlessly be absorbed by body fluids.
Robot Prostitutes, the Future of Sex Tourism Let's cut to the chase. Would you pay to have sex with a robot prostitute? Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars think someone will. Yeoman is a futurist with an interest in tourism, and Mars is a sexologist at the University of Wellington's Victoria Management School in New Zealand. The duo just co-authored a paper entitled "Robots, Men and Sex Tourism" for the current issue of Futures. BLOG: Bar-coded Condoms Track Where You Have Sex In their paper, they envision a future where robotic prostitutes are the solution to the sex industry's most glaring problems, such as human trafficking, human degradation and the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Playing off the "Yab-Yum," once one of Amsterdam's most exclusive brothels before its closure in 2008, Yeoman and Mars imagine what the red-light district will look like in the year 2050: The Yub-Yum is Amsterdam's top sex club for business travelers located beside a 17th century canal house on the Singel. What's your opinion? via io9