Groundbreaking new material for longer-lasting batteries inspired by leaf veins

April 11, 2017 by  
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Biology may hold the clues to better batteries . An international team of scientists designed a porous material inspired by the vascular structure of leaves that could make energy transfers more efficient. Similar to the way leaf veins efficiently transport nutrients, this material could help rechargeable batteries perform better and last longer. A team of researchers led by Xianfeng Zheng of China’s Wuhan University of Technology and Australia’s University of Queensland scrutinized the way leaf veins optimize the flow of nutrients, with minimum energy consumption, “by branching out to smaller scales” according to the University of Cambridge , and then applied that to their groundbreaking porous material. The nature-inspired material could help relieve stresses in battery electrodes that currently limit their lifespan. The material could also enhance the charge and discharge process. Related: American fern inspires groundbreaking new solar storage solution The team calls their product Murray material after Murray’s Law. Cambridge said according to the rule the whole network of pores in biological systems is connected in a manner “to facilitate the transfer of liquids and minimize resistance throughout the network.” Scientist Bao-Lian Su of Cambridge, Wuhan University of Technology, and University of Namur in Belgium said they applied that biological law to chemistry , saying, “The introduction of the concept of Murray’s Law to industrial processes could revolutionize the design of reactors with highly enhanced efficiency, minimum energy, time, and raw material consumption for a sustainable future.” The scientists applied Murray material to gas sensing and photocatalysis as well. Su is a co-author on a paper published online by Nature Communications late last week. There are seven other co-authors on the paper from institutions in China, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Another co-author, Tawfique Hasan of Cambridge University, said it could be possible to manufacture the porous material on a large scale. Via the University of Cambridge Images via Christoph Rupprecht on Flickr and Pixabay

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Groundbreaking new material for longer-lasting batteries inspired by leaf veins

A green heart unifies BREEAM Excellent University of Cambridge Primary School

December 1, 2016 by  
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Marks Barfield Architects has completed the innovative and flexible University of Cambridge Primary School, a BREEAM Excellent -rated campus powered by solar energy. Arranged around a unifying central green, the school is arranged in a circular plan with classrooms and spaces clustered together into three blocks. The school design was informed by the latest research from the University’s Faculty of Education with considerable input by leading educationalists and Head Teachers to create an educational environment where “learning can take place everywhere.” The University of Cambridge Primary School was completed in the first phase of the University’s 150-hectare North West Cambridge Development and is the first University Training School in the United Kingdom . The school’s three non-hierarchal clusters comprise six classes, plus an early years cluster, that open up to a shared “learning street” on one end and a covered outdoor learning space on the other. In addition to providing a learning environment for primary-aged children, the school will also facilitate teacher training and educational research for the University’s Faculty of Education. These diverse objectives were made possible by the collaborative nature of the design process. “University of Cambridge Primary School is the result of team effort,” said Julia Barfield, Director of Marks Barfield Architects. “Each decision was made incrementally, based on a process that assessed the site context and the educational needs of the school, while drawing on the guidance and research of leading academics from the UoC Faculty of Education . The result is a school where the education ethos and the architecture are totally aligned, such that learning can take place everywhere.” Related: Marks Barfield Proposes a Soaring Bamboo Science Center for the Amazon Rainforest The primary school achieved BREEAM Excellence by minimizing energy use and maximizing access to natural light and natural ventilation. The glazed cloister canopy that runs around the internal perimeter of the central courtyard provides shade and is covered with artist Ruth Proctor’s digital screen print “We are under the same sky,” which features 67 unique images of the sky taken from around the world. One-quarter of the building footprint is topped with solar panels. + Marks Barfield Architects Images (c) Morley von Sternberg

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A green heart unifies BREEAM Excellent University of Cambridge Primary School

44-year-old British man could be first to receive HIV cure

October 3, 2016 by  
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A 44-year-old British man may be the first person to receive a cure for HIV through a therapy developed by researchers from five universities. Scientists from the University of Cambridge , the University of Oxford , King’s College London , University College London , and Imperial College London designed the two-stage therapy. Now they say the virus can no longer be detected in the man’s blood. The first stage of the therapy is a vaccine that assists the body in identifying cells infected with HIV. The second stage involves a novel drug, Vorinostat, which works by activating dormant T-cells. This is a crucial step; many past therapies didn’t target dormant T-cells, so a person’s body would keep producing the virus and couldn’t be fully cured of HIV. Once the dormant cells are activated, the immune system can find them. 50 people are part of the trial. Related: Did these scientists just cure HIV/AIDS? The man is a ” social care worker ” who said , “I took part in the trial to help others as well as myself. It would be a massive achievement if, after all these years, something is found to cure people of this disease . The fact that I was a part of that would be incredible.” Imperial College London consultant physician Sarah Fidler warned there is a long way to go – they plan to continue medical tests for five more years – but depending on trial results, aim to keep exploring the treatment that could be revolutionary. It is not yet known how the other 49 people responded to the therapy, or if the virus will return in the British man, but researchers appear hopeful. National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure managing director Mark Samuels said , “This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV. We are exploring the real possibility of curing HIV. This is a huge challenge and it’s still early days but the progress has been remarkable.” Via The Telegraph Images via CDC/Amanda Mills and Wikimedia Commons

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44-year-old British man could be first to receive HIV cure

Extraordinary ‘British Pompeii’ settlement was preserved in water for 3,000 years

July 20, 2016 by  
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The Cambridge Archaeological Unit is excavating Must Farm , a well-preserved British site that has provided a glimpse into daily life during the Bronze Age. Described as ‘ British Pompeii ,’ Must Farm was destroyed quickly and its buildings sank into water, where the settlement was preserved for the next 3,000 years or so. Now archaeologists are finding everything from textiles to food to a wheel, and describe the site as home to ” an extraordinarily rich range of good and objects .” The excavation at Must Farm is funded by Forterra and Historic England and supported by the University of Cambridge . Like Pompeii, the story of the Must Farm inhabitants ends in tragedy. Because the site is so well-preserved, archaeologists have many clues to piece together what likely happened. Related: UK resident accidentally discovers ancient Anglo-Saxon settlement The Must Farm locals built round homes on stilts above a river. There were about 10 of these wooden homes, and about 30 people lived there. Archaeologists can tell that the oak trees utilized in the homes were cut down in the winter, and the next summer, the entire settlement burned down rapidly in an inferno. Forensic research appears to indicate the fire may have been set on purpose before the residents were able to truly establish their settlement. The remains of the houses and the possessions that fell into the river and river silt were preserved in the fens. It appears any survivors may have had to flee given how many possessions were left behind. Archaeologists have found axes, spears, 60 beads (that could have come from Turkey or Syria), linen fragments, and even footprints. There were no skeletons other than a skull that had likely been hung as a trophy on one of the homes. Site manager Mark Knight told CNN, “I think I’ve found a landscape that has a story; a landscape that hasn’t been described before, hasn’t been visited before. We are the first people to explore it.” Via CNN Images via Must Farm Archaeology Facebook

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Extraordinary ‘British Pompeii’ settlement was preserved in water for 3,000 years

Miguel Chevalier projects a universe of light inside a Cambridge chapel

November 17, 2015 by  
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Acid Rain is Turning Canada’s Lakes Into Jelly

November 20, 2014 by  
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You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that acid rain is a monumental problem, but these days, the consequences of industrialization are beyond anything we could have imagined. Witness Canada’s jelly lakes: thanks to acid rain, several of Canada’s water bodies are now turning into a gelatinous mess. Read the rest of Acid Rain is Turning Canada’s Lakes Into Jelly Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: acid rain , Acid Rain Canada , Acid Rain US , calcium plankton , Cambridge University , Canada gelatinous lakes , Canada jelly lakes , Canada Jelly water , Canada lakes , Climate Change , climate change acid rain , environmental study , gelatinous lakes , gelatinous plankton , jelly plankton

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Acid Rain is Turning Canada’s Lakes Into Jelly

Herzog & de Meuron Unveil Designs for AstraZeneca Headquarters and Courtyard in Cambridge

July 21, 2014 by  
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Architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron just unveiled their designs for AstraZeneca’s new Global R&D Center and Corporate Headquarters based in Cambridge, England. The new £330 million project will be centered on a triangular building punctuated in the center by an open courtyard. A glazed facade with a saw-tooth pattern wraps around the two-story building to create a visual and translucent connection between the corporate campus and the public. Read the rest of Herzog & de Meuron Unveil Designs for AstraZeneca Headquarters and Courtyard in Cambridge Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: astrazeneca , astrazeneca flagship building , astrazeneca headquarters , cambridge , cambridge biomedical campus , central courtyard , global r&d centre and corporate headquarters , Herzog & De Meuron , natural light , saw tooth geometry , sawtooth roof , triangular building , zigzag roof

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Herzog & de Meuron Unveil Designs for AstraZeneca Headquarters and Courtyard in Cambridge

World’s First 3D-Printed Retinal Cells Could Help Cure Blindness

December 18, 2013 by  
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In a breakthrough for the effort to cure blindness, researchers at the University of Cambridge  have used an inkjet printer to print living retinal cells for the first time. The cells could be built up and used to replace defective eye tissue. Professor Keith Martin from  Cambridge’s neuroscience department  is hopeful the development will bring them one step closer to treating retinal diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Read the rest of World’s First 3D-Printed Retinal Cells Could Help Cure Blindness Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d-printed adult nerve cells , 3d-printed cells used for neural repair , Cambridge neuroscience department , cure for blindness , professor Keith Martin , research journal Biofabrication , synthetic ocular membrane , world’s first 3d-printed retinal cells        

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World’s First 3D-Printed Retinal Cells Could Help Cure Blindness

Singapore’s Prefab Recycled Plastic Nevhouses Offer Cheap Housing and Divert Waste from Landfills

December 18, 2013 by  
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Singapore’s Nevhouse designs prefab home built out of recycled plastic waste . This low cost housing solution requiring minimal maintenance is water proof, fire and earthquake resistant and can be afforded by low income families that live in areas stricken by natural disasters, social and economic issues. Read the rest of Singapore’s Prefab Recycled Plastic Nevhouses Offer Cheap Housing and Divert Waste from Landfills Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: earthquake resistant homes , fire resistant homes , low maintenance homes , natural disasters , Nevhouse , plastic waste , Prefab Homes , Prefab Housing , Recycled Plastic , Singapore low-cost homes , Sustainable buildings , transportable homes        

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Singapore’s Prefab Recycled Plastic Nevhouses Offer Cheap Housing and Divert Waste from Landfills

Brand New Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992

December 18, 2013 by  
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This week, the biggest animal discovery of the 21st century was announced. Meet kabomani, the “little black tapir.” He’s a shy and elusive fellow, living below the radar in the grasslands and forests of Brazil and Colombia. He’s also the largest terrestrial mammal found since 1992, when the saola of Southeast Asia raised his bovine head. How does a quarter-ton animal slip past the prying eyes of science for so long? Easy- just ignore what local people have been trying to tell you! Read the rest of Brand New Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: biggest animal discovery of the 21st century , kabomani , karitiana , largest terrestrial animal discovery since 1992 , new pygmy tapir discovered , new tapir in brazil and colombia , perissodactyl , saola , tapir , Tapirus kabomani , Tapirus terrestrius , Theodore Roosevelt        

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Brand New Pygmy Tapir is the Largest Terrestrial Mammal Found Since 1992

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