Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia

January 27, 2017 by  
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If money were no object, what would the ideal city of the future look like? Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) answered that question with a spectacular design for the Forest City, a proposed masterplan for a new city in Malaysia. This 20-square-kilometer green smart city would be built around a central rainforest and mimic the forest’s ecosystem by adopting a closed loop system that reuses all its resources and controls out-flow. Winner of the second place prize in an international design competition , the Forest City was created for a 24-hectare site and judged on its efficiency of land use, sensitivity to the environment, and inclusion of a landmark building that embodied the notion of a forest city. “Skylines across the world look the same—usually a couple of iconic towers in the center surrounded by lots of lesser quality buildings, which all resemble each other,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA. “Here we have designed an inverse city skyline where the icon of the city is a public space, not an object/building. Our central space is a Rainforest Valley and demonstrates the equation: PEOPLE = CITY. From an object to a place.” The proposed city for 700,000 people would be located on reclaimed land between Malaysia and Singapore and include office towers, residential areas, parks, hotels, shopping malls, and an international school. The city is organized around a central public space, the Rainforest Valley, which is surrounded by a waterfall and serves as a visual reminder of the city as a three-dimensional ecosystem. The valley extends like fingers in five directions to represent the five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—as well as the five pillars of sustainability. Related: LAVA’s Addis Ababa Football Stadium Celebrates Ethiopia’s Ancient Heritage A group of buildings step down towards the green park and are heavily landscaped with roof gardens . A Landmark Tower will house the serviced apartments, hotels, retail and commercial space. As a pedestrian-friendly development, the design separates the circulation types by directing vehicular traffic underground and placing trains on a level above pedestrian walkways. Like a rainforest, the city will be designed as a mostly closed loop system with recycling processes hidden underground and outflow minimized. Local materials would be used in construction and energy generated from renewable sources. + Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

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Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia

Scientists are preparing to march on Washington

January 25, 2017 by  
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With the Women’s March on Washington an unmitigated success, scientists are preparing their own demonstration at the nation’s capital. It began, as many of these things do, with a stray comment. “There needs to be a Scientists’ March on Washington,” someone wrote on Reddit , where several scientists discussed their concerns over what they perceived to be the Trump administration’s antipathy, if not outright hostility, to climate science and other environmental issues. Dozens chimed in with their approval. ”Please arrange this. it won’t change trump-mans [sic] [mind, but by all that is sacred, it needs to be done,” one participant said. “100%!” another declared enthusiastically.

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Scientists are preparing to march on Washington

Scientists turn eggshells into eco-friendly data-storage devices

January 23, 2017 by  
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Walk on eggshells? Not these scientists. A team from Guizhou Institute of Technology is working on a way to turn ground-up bits of the breakfast byproduct into a data-storage device that could pave the way for eco-friendlier computers. The device itself uses something called resistive random-access memory , ReRAM for short, a type of non-volatile, high-density yet energy-sipping memory system that could soon supplant your flash drive as a data silo. Instead of storing a charge, like conventional memory does, ReRAM works by creating electrical resistance across a dielectric solid-state material that transmits voltage without conducting it, essentially serving as an insulator. As it turns out, eggshells have a “large resistive-switching memory,” as the scientists noted in the February 2017 issue of Current Applied Physics , where they published their findings. But don’t start sticking eggs in your USB port just yet. To create the device, they first pulverized the shells for hours into an ultra-fine, nanoscale powder, which they then dissolved in solution. Related: Scientists invent the world’s first microchip powered by biological systems The resulting paste, coated onto a substrate, became the electrolyte portion of a memory chip, that is, the part that carries the electrical charge. Whatever they did worked. The eggshell-based device was able to write 100 bits of binary code into its memory before it broke down. It’ll take some tinkering before the device can stack up against materials that can manage billions of cycles, but the promise is there. “This discovery provides for the possibility of an environmentally friendly, low-cost and sustainable material application in the next-generation nonvolatile date storage device,” the scientists said. Egg -citing. Via New Scientist Photos by Kullez and Bruce Guenter

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Scientists turn eggshells into eco-friendly data-storage devices

Al Gore fights climate change with "An Inconvenient Sequel"

January 23, 2017 by  
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When Al Gore ‘s landmark climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, the administration in Washington was averse to climate change action. Eleven years later Gore has debuted his follow up film, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” at Sundance — just as Donald Trump takes office as the nation’s 45th president. Despite the dire prospects for the climate under Trump after eight years of modest gains under former President Barack Obama, Gore was upbeat in comments to the crowd after two standing ovations followed the Sundance screening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2unzHvFPtY0 “Now we are undergoing a time of challenge, but we are going to prevail,” the former vice president said at the post-screening Q&A, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m not going to give all the evidence of why I’m so confident. Always remember that the will to act is a renewable resource. We will win. No one person can stop this movement. We want this movie to recruit others.” Related: Al Gore reaches out to work with Donald Trump on climate change Gore met with the president at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 5 to talk about climate change solutions. In an interview with THR , Gore said that Trump was “receptive” to some of what he had to say. Gore revealed that he has maintained private communications with Trump since the public meeting in December, joking that he couldn’t go into details about how they communicated because the Russians could hack it. “An Inconvenient Truth” was a great success, winning two Academy Awards, including Best Documentary Feature. The film grossed $49.8 million in worldwide box office proceeds, becoming the tenth highest grossing documentary film to date in the United States. The challenges of global warming have only increased in the past decade, with 2016 setting a heat record for the third straight year. Fortunately, renewables are rapidly ramping up as countries aim to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets set forth in the Paris climate agreement . “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” opens in Germany on June 15 before hitting US theaters on July 28. Via Slate Image and video via IMDB

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Al Gore fights climate change with "An Inconvenient Sequel"

22 Nobel Prize winners tell Trump that science must play a "critical role" in US policy

December 2, 2016 by  
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In an open letter addressed to President-elect Trump and the incoming 155th Congress , 87 scientists urge the new government to respect the critical importance of science in setting national policy. The group of prominent scientists, which includes 22 Nobel Prize winners, seeks to convince the soon-to-be Republican-controlled federal government that climate change is a real, existential threat to the nation and the world. “From disease outbreaks to climate change to national security to technology innovation, people benefit when our nation’s policies are informed by science unfettered by inappropriate political or corporate influence,” read the letter. “To build on this legacy and extend the benefits of science to all people, including Americans who have been left behind, the federal government must support and rely on science as a key input for crafting public policy.” So far Trump has largely disregarded the consensus of the scientific community during his campaign and transition. The President-elect once referred to climate change as a hoax and has appointed climate skeptic Myron Ebell to lead his Environmental Protection Agency transition team. “Creating a strong and open culture of science begins at the top,” read the letter. “Federal agencies should be led by officials with demonstrated track records of respecting science as a critical component of decision making.” Related: A catastrophic climate feedback loop long feared by scientists is happening The letter also addresses the President-elect’s consistently disrespectful comments and policies directed towards historically marginalized groups. “Recognizing that diversity makes science stronger, administration officials should welcome and encourage all scientists regardless of religious background, race, gender, or sexual orientation.” Finally, the letter addresses the concern that the Trump Administration will suppress ideas and views that are contrary to its own. “Federally funded scientists must be able to develop and share their findings free from censorship or manipulation based on politics or ideology,” reads the letter. Time will tell whether this letter wins hearts and minds in Washington. Via Christian Science Monitor Photo by Gage Skidmore

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22 Nobel Prize winners tell Trump that science must play a "critical role" in US policy

375 members of National Academy of Sciences pen open letter on the "serious risks of climate change"

September 22, 2016 by  
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In the face of those who continue to deny climate change , 375 leading scientists who are members of the National Academy of Sciences penned an open letter addressing the consequences of such dangerous denial. The signers include 30 Nobel laureates. They work at top universities around the world. Stephen Hawking is a signer, as is former NASA scientist Jim Hansen . The scientists wrote their letter as a warning of what could happen should a US president withdraw from the Paris climate agreement . “Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases . This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth’s climate,” the scientists write in their letter published on the Responsible Scientists website. Related: Would a Trump presidency undo the UN climate change agreement? According to the scientists, we can see climate change in phenomenon such as sea level rise , the melting of Arctic sea ice, and ocean acidification . The scientists spoke out to those who maintain we need “absolute certainty” to know if we are truly causing climate change before taking action. “Absolute certainty is unattainable,” they said, and that they are “certain beyond a reasonable doubt” that climate change is real, caused by humans, and dangerous. The scientists also spoke out against the “Republican nominee for President” who has said he might withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement in a “Parexit.” The scientists were clear when they wrote, “Walking away from Paris makes it less likely that the U.S. will have a global leadership role, politically, economically, or morally.” They said climate change is a global problem, requiring global strategies, and withdrawing from the Paris agreement would signal a departure from the global community. You can read the full letter at ResponsibleScientists.org. + Responsible Scientists Images via Pixabay and © Julian Osley under a Creative Commons License

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375 members of National Academy of Sciences pen open letter on the "serious risks of climate change"

Scientists discover microorganism that hasn’t evolved for over 2 billion years

February 4, 2015 by  
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Scientists have discovered a type of deep-sea microorganism that seems to be the exception to the rule of evolution. An international team of researchers say the organism does not appear to have evolved over more than 2 billion years. Even so, the scientists who discovered this anomalous being argue that the organism’s lack of evolution actually still supports the theory of evolution. Read the rest of Scientists discover microorganism that hasn’t evolved for over 2 billion years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2 billion year old bacteria , ancient fossils , charles darwin , darwinism , evolution , lack of evolution , microorganisms , sulfur bacteria , theory of evolution

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Scientists discover microorganism that hasn’t evolved for over 2 billion years

Scientists Discover Oldest Human DNA Ever Found

October 24, 2014 by  
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Scientists have uncovered what they believe is the oldest human DNA sample ever found, a discovery that could help unravel the mystery of how humans spread out over the planet. Phys.org reports that DNA came from a Homo Sapiens femur bone that was found accidentally on the bank of a west Siberian River in 2008; it is believed to have belonged to a man who died about 45,000 years ago. The DNA found in that bone holds traces of Neanderthals , a cousin of early humans who lived nearby in Eurasia before suddenly disappearing. Read the rest of Scientists Discover Oldest Human DNA Ever Found Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anthropology , discover , DNA , evolutionary , homo sapiens , human , max planck , neanderthal , oldest , oldest human DNA found , paabo , scientists

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Scientists Discover Oldest Human DNA Ever Found

MIT Scientists Create Greener, Stronger Concrete With Half the CO2 Emissions

September 26, 2014 by  
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MIT researchers may have found a way to produce “greener” cement , the emissions of which, compared to the commonly used mixture, would be reduced by more than half! Through detailed molecular analysis of the structure of concrete, the team has reached a conclusion that by reducing the amount of calcium silicate used in the mixture, not only would we get a material with lower CO2 emissions, but would also be able to produce better, stronger concrete. Read the rest of MIT Scientists Create Greener, Stronger Concrete With Half the CO2 Emissions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: CO2 emissions , concrete , concrete emissions , fracture-resistant material , green building material , green cement , is it green , lower emissions , MIT , MIT cement , MIT study

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MIT Scientists Create Greener, Stronger Concrete With Half the CO2 Emissions

Citizen Scientists May Have Found 4.6 Billion-Year-Old Interstellar Space Dust!

August 15, 2014 by  
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After eight years of analyzing samples from NASA’s Stardust, a team of scientists may have identified seven microscopic specks of interstellar stardust dating back to the beginnings of the solar system. If confirmed, these rare dust motes would mark the first found samples of stardust from outside our solar system and could offer up valuable answers to the origin and evolution of extrasolar dust. The interstellar dust could have been created in a supernova explosion millions of years ago and transformed by eons of exposure to extreme space conditions. Read the rest of Citizen Scientists May Have Found 4.6 Billion-Year-Old Interstellar Space Dust! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Andrew westphal , Berkeley dusters , dusters , extrasolar , interstellar spacedust , Johnson space center , Michael zolensky , nasa , nasa stardust spacecraft , solar system , space , Stardust , stardust sample return canister , supernova explosion

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Citizen Scientists May Have Found 4.6 Billion-Year-Old Interstellar Space Dust!

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