Amazing Science, Nature, Technology

edited July 2013 in Biohacker Banter

I'm sure there are a lot of science fans on the site and figured if anyone comes across a particularly interesting article it could be posted here.

 

 EDIT: Or just post anything remotely interesting

 




 

Plug it on the Window

The Window Socket offers a neat way to harness solar energy and use it as a plug socket. So far we have seen solutions that act as a solar battery backup, but none as a direct plug-in. Simple in design, the plug just attaches to any window and does its job intuitively.

Designers: Kyuho Song & Boa Oh


 


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Comments

  • MIT's artificial leaf is ten times more efficient than the real thing

    By Mark Brown

    28 March 11


     


    artifical_leaf_zpsf1cf1e0d.jpg


     


    Related features


     


    • Artificial photosynthesis project to create hydrogen fuel
    • Artificial photosynthesis gets competitive with nature
    • Sunlight reactor rips hydrogen out of water molecules
    • Oxfordshire has first UK homes heated by human waste


     

     Speaking at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in California, MIT professor Daniel Nocera claims to have created an artificial leaf, made from stable and inexpensive materials, which mimics nature's photosynthesis process.

    The device is an advanced solar cell, no bigger than a typical playing card, which is left floating in a pool of water. Then, much like a natural leaf, it uses sunlight to split the water into its two core components, oxygen and hydrogen, which are stored in a fuel cell to be used when producing electricity.


    Nocera's leaf is stable -- operating continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity in preliminary tests -- and made of widely available, inexpensive materials -- like silicon, electronics and chemical catalysts. It's also powerful, as much as ten times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf.


    With a single gallon of water, Nocera says, the chip could produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing country for an entire day. Provide every house on the planet with an artificial leaf and we could satisfy our 14 terrawatt need with just one gallon of water a day.


    Those are impressive claims, but they're also not just pie-in-the-sky, conceptual thoughts. Nocera has already signed a contract with a global megafirm to commercialise his groundbreaking idea. The mammoth Indian conglomerate, Tata Group has forged a deal with the MIT professor to build a small power plant, the size of a refrigerator, in about a year and a half.


    This isn't the first ever artificial leaf, of course. The concept of emulating nature's energy-generating process has been around for decades and many scientists have tried to create leaves in that time. The first, built more than ten years ago by John Turner of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was efficient at faking photosynthesis but was made of rare and hugely expensive materials. It was also highly unstable, and had a lifespan of barely one day.


    For now, Nocera is setting his sights on developing countries. "Our goal is to make each home its own power station," he said. "One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology."


  • edited June 2013

    This microalgae lamp absorbs 150 times more CO2 than a tree!

    Submitted by Jur on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 14:08
    Shamengo pioneer Pierre Calleja has invented something truly remarkable--a light powered by algae that absorbs CO2 in the air--at the rate of 1 ton PER YEAR, or what a tree absorbs over its entire lifetime! The microalgae streetlamp has the potential to provide significantly cleaner air in urban areas and revolutionize the cityscape.


     


     


    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wuWDex5mh5Y[/media]



     



     C02_storage_zps8af5a8ec.pngThis microalgae lamp is powered by algae that absorbs CO2 in the air--at the rate of 1 ton PER YEAR, or what a tree absorbs over its entire lifetime.


  • Plitvice Lake (Croatia)


     


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    Pamukkale (Turkey)


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    Goblin Valley (Utah)


     


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    Osoyoos Spotted Lake (BritishColumbia)


    OsoyoosSpottedLakeBritishColumbia_zps06c


     

  • edited June 2013

    Deadly video that shows size comparisons of known planets and stars.


     


    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRU43nbVaz8[/media]


  • Something that is close to my heart since I did a thesis on it is Biophotonic sensing - using micro and nanometer scale structures that utilise small scale properties of light to build up sensors for point of care medical testing. This Nature paper gives a good overview of how the technology works - http://rowland.org/rjf/vollmer/images/nmethods.pdf - if you use really sensitive resonators like this it gives you the possibility of detecting a single molecule rather than needing a concentration above a critical point. I think its pretty cool to have something in your body that can have super low concentration detection capabilities for a range of parameters. The actual sensing structures are only tens of microns wide so you can fit arrays of sensors into a tiny chip. 


     


    Metamaterials are pretty cool - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamaterial - you manufacture a material with important properties that do not occur in nature that can "cloak" other materials and make them invisible at a certain wavelength/wavelength range. 


     


    Quantum entanglement is also pretty cool - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement


  • Kingdom Tower to set a world record as the tallest new mega-skyscraper

     


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    Saudi Arabia's soaring structure will boast 59 elevators and a dramatic 'sky terrace'

     



    A new building soon to be under construction in Saudi Arabia will bump the world's current tallest structure from its sky-high first place status. The futuristic mega-skyscraper known as the Kingdom Tower will be built in Jeddah, a cosmopolitan, commercially-minded port city on the Red Sea. The challenger for the world's tallest building title intends to surpass its closest competition — Dubai's Burj Khalifa — by at least 568 feet.


    The Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010, measures a soaring 2,717 feet, but the Kingdom Tower will stand at least 3,281 feet tall, according to Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill — the Chicago-based team that dreamed up the design. Earlier plans for the record-breaking structure put the tower at mile high, but were abandoned due to concerns that arose in soil testing for the site. The triangular structure will be the focal point of Kingdom City, a sprawling urban development that will cost a reported $20 billion.


    Kingdom Tower will house a Four Seasons hotel, upscale office space, ultra-luxurious condos (of course), and the world's soon-to-be tallest observatory. Residents will be able to take a trip up on one of the building's 59 elevators, which travel at over 33 feet per second (22 miles per hour), and enjoy the private sky terrace on the 157th floor.


    According to its creators, the monolithic skyscraper will serve as a dual symbol for the city of Jeddah— both cultural and religious. Jeddah is often considered the "gateway to Mecca" due to its proximity to the Islamic holy city, and the Kingdom Tower monument will represent both Jeddah's historic symbolism in Islam as well as Saudi Arabia's prominence in international business.


    While only very preliminary construction is underway at the future site of the Kingdom Tower, there are plenty of stunning skyward concept images to marvel at in the interim.

    th21-630-kingdom-tower-4-credit-smithgilth21-630-kingdom-tower-2-credit-smithgil

    th21-630-kingdom-tower-6-credit-smithgil

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  • edited July 2013

    Naica Mine: Worlds largest crystal cave

    Cave of the Crystals

    Main article: Cave of the Crystals


    The Cave of Crystals (Cueva de los Cristales) is a cave approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) below the surface in the limestone host rock of the mine. The chamber contains giant selenite crystals, some of the largest natural crystals ever found.[3][4] The selenite crystals were formed by hydrothermal fluids emanating from the magma chambers below. The cavern was discovered while the miners were drilling through the Naica fault, which they were worried would flood the mine.


     


     


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  • 8e8d0eb1-cf41-4a60-9eea-486c7f6f0f67_zps


     


    1. Bamboo Palm: It removes formaldahyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.


    2. Snake Plant: It absorb nitrogen oxides and formaldahyde.


    3. Areca Palm: One of the best air purifying plants for general air cleanliness.


    4. Spider Plant: Great indoor plant for removing carbon monoxide and other toxins or impurities. Spider plants are one of three plants NASA deems best at removing formaldahyde from the air.


    5. Peace Lily: Peace lilies could be called the “clean-all.” They’re often placed in bathrooms or laundry rooms because they’re known for removing mold spores. Also know to remove formaldahyde and trichloroethylene.


    6. Gerbera Daisy: Not only do these gorgeous flowers remove benzene from the air, they’re known to improve sleep by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off more oxygen over night.


     


     


    Interesting compilation of "average" (composite) faces, per country:


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    Levitation with Acoustics


    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz6UzqegA6Q[/media]


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