Researchers develop self-healing concrete powered by fungus

January 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Scientists at Binghamton University have developed the first application of fungi in self-healing concrete. In a paper recently published in the journal Construction and Building Materials , Binghamton University assistant professor Congrui Jin and her team outline the ways in which a special species of fungi,  Trichoderma reesei , may act as a sealing agent when mixed with concrete . “This idea was originally inspired by the miraculous ability of the human body to heal itself of cuts, bruises and broken bones,” said Jin in an interview at Binghampton . “For the damaged skins and tissues, the host will take in nutrients that can produce new substitutes to heal the damaged parts.” Jin and her team’s focus on concrete could not be more topical. In the United States , a crisis fueled by historic underinvestment in infrastructure has resulted in increasingly dangerous roads, bridges, and highways. While Washington struggles to fund the federal government and state governments lack the resources to tackle this multi-trillion dollar problem, citizens still want something to be done before a major collapse occurs. “Without proper treatment, cracks tend to progress further and eventually require costly repair,” said Jin . “If micro-cracks expand and reach the steel reinforcement, not only the concrete will be attacked, but also the reinforcement will be corroded, as it is exposed to water, oxygen, possibly CO2 and chlorides, leading to structural failure.” Related: How fungi made Earth’s atmosphere livable – new study If concrete were easier to repair, the cost of infrastructure maintenance would likely decrease. This is where T. reesei steps in. The fungus is mixed with concrete and lies dormant until the first crack in newly laid concrete appears. As water and oxygen permeate the crack, fungal spores will germinate, expand, and create calcium carbonate to fill the crack. While the technology is still in its early phase, its successful small-scale application demonstrates that fungal self-healing concrete may fit right in someday soon. Jin said , “In my opinion, further investigation in alternative microorganisms such as fungi and yeasts for the application of self-healing concrete becomes of great potential importance”. Via Binghamton University Images via Jonathan Cohen/Binghamton University and Congrui Jin/Binghamton University

Read the original: 
Researchers develop self-healing concrete powered by fungus

China wants to destroy space junk with giant lasers

January 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Not only do we need to worry about pollution on Earth, but also in space . A team of six scientists in China are working on a very science-fiction-sounding solution: zapping that space trash with lasers . Could a space-based laser really help clean up the tens of thousands of pieces of junk orbiting our planet? From magnetic tugs to long tethers , the ideas of how to deal with our space mess have been imaginative but haven’t given us a firm solution yet. Could lasers offer an answer? Researchers from the Air Force Engineering University and Institute of China Electronic Equipment System Engineering Company published their work in the journal Optik last year on space-based lasers to tackle space debris. Related: ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corral broken satellites drifting in space According to the paper’s abstract, the scientists utilized numerical simulation to explore the “impacts of orbital elements of space-based laser station” on Earth-orbiting trash. Per Wired , a space laser could be mounted on a satellite , and in orbit “emit short bursts of near-infrared light:” 20 bursts a second over the course of a few minutes, which could be sufficient to break down the trash into smaller, less dangerous pieces. The scientists said in the abstract their work offers a “theoretical basis for the deployment of space-based laser station and the further application of space debris removal by using space-based laser.” The idea of space lasers isn’t wholly new – a 2015 paper cited by Gizmodo said there’s recently been a renaissance for the notion. That article says a laser would work by imparting energy into hunks of garbage so they could plummet out of orbit and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere . But would the rest of the world accept one country deploying lasers in space? Physicist Victor Apollonov of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ General Physics Institute told Gizmodo such technology could be put to military uses and “due to that, it is questionable.” He said people have been discussing the concept since the early 2000s, and there should be world-scale talks as a first step towards space lasers. Via ScienceDirect , Wired , and Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons and ESA

Here is the original post: 
China wants to destroy space junk with giant lasers

This reversible glue puts a screw in manufacturing

January 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

It works like a screw and “unclicks” when exposed to a signal after use.

Originally posted here:
This reversible glue puts a screw in manufacturing

Someone stole a chunk of China’s new solar roadway

January 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

When detractors were howling about solar roadways’ flaws , concerns about theft wasn’t among them. Apparently it should have been, because a few days ago, thieves cut out and ran away with a chunk of China’s recently unveiled solar highway — a move nobody predicted. Thieves cut out a nearly 6″ by 73″ portion of the solar roadway on January 2, just days after it was debuted on December 28. Officials aren’t sure why someone would steal a small section of road, because while the roadway itself was a costly endeavor, the solar panels aren’t worth that much money. Related: Rugged solar roads to hit four continents in 2017 One idea is that the thieves wanted to understand how the technology worked, so rather than ask an engineer, they took a slice of road. Since the theft took place, the roadway has been repaired. Via Engadget Images via QTDG

View post: 
Someone stole a chunk of China’s new solar roadway

New infrared communications channel is 300X more energy efficient than WiFi

January 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

ARON – or Augmented-Reality Optical Narrowcasting – is a new communications channel that operates without relying on cellular networks or the Internet , instead depending on infrared light. SureFire , a tactical equipment company, is debuting the technology that could be groundbreaking at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show . The company says ARON is “300 times more energy efficient than Wi-Fi , and can operate on solar power .” ARON could change the way humans interact with the world, according to SureFire. The new communications system sends data via infrared light waves, using “a patented combination of optical beacons and signals.” Users can send any kind of digital information such as high-definition videos on the optical communications channel – as far away as 400 meters, or around 1,312 feet, in the daytime and 1,200 meters, or around 3,937 feet, at night, according to Engadget . Related: Ericsson’s new mixed-reality platform envisions urban design in “real life” ARON acts as an alternative to radio frequency waves, already used by smartphones , and is said to be secure and fast. The communications platform is as of now unregulated, potentially opening up a lot of opportunities for companies. SureFire’s video shows people utilizing the communications channel for augmented reality on smartphones, glasses, and car windshields. The company is also marketing ARON as useful during a natural disaster – it allows public information to flow even if the power is down, so first responders could reach trapped people, for example. Engadget pointed out it will take a while to deploy ARON on a large scale – someone would have to install sensors on buildings, freeways, or any other object or person needing to send data. They said the technology currently exists in demo form. SureFire’s video says the system can be installed in any car or mobile device, and “is inexpensive to deploy and use.” + ARON Via SureFire/PRNewswire and Engadget Images via Depositphotos and ARON video

Read the rest here:
New infrared communications channel is 300X more energy efficient than WiFi

Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

January 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Nanoleaf is known for its brilliant lighting products – and now they’re launching an innovative dodecahedron-shaped remote that makes it easy to control any smart device in your house. The new Bluetooth -enabled Nanoleaf Remote just debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and it promises to let you “fully customize your entire home with a quick turn of the wrist.” Nanoleaf ‘s new Remote allows users to easily control the company’s Light Panels and other HomeKit products. The device aims to take the frustration out of controlling multiple smart home products with numerous apps by simplifying tasks into the single controller. Users can program each one of the device’s 12 sides with commands to accomplish tasks like turning off lights, raising window blinds or your home’s temperature, or activating different pre-set scenes for events like parties or quiet nights in. Related: Nanoleaf’s new Rhythm module turns any Aurora array into a dazzling music visualizer Users rotate to the top the side they want to trigger, with the Remote glowing as it moves to offer feedback. On Nanoleaf’s website, prototype tester Pin-Yu from Singapore described the device as a “glowing ball of awesome from outer space.” Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu said in a statement, “ Smart technology should cater to how people are using their products, making life easier and more enjoyable without being intrusive. The Nanoleaf Remote is designed to make the smart home smart again. We want to give people the option of controlling their smart home without always relying on their devices. Everyone is so glued to their phones these days, the Nanoleaf Remote offers the possibility to just sit back and enjoy living smarter.” The controller is incredibly light, weighing 0.13 kilograms, or around 0.28 pounds. The Remote is slated for release in February. + Nanoleaf Images courtesy of Nanoleaf

Here is the original post: 
Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

Giant curtain built in Peru to study climate change in the cloud forests

January 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Giant curtain built in Peru to study climate change in the cloud forests

Biologist Dan Metcalfe is leading a study that seeks to understand how climate change may impact the cloud forests of Peru and elsewhere by using a giant curtain to affect the local environment. A professor at Lund University in Sweden, Metcalfe describes his unprecedented plan as “an experimental approach where we actually physically try to remove clouds from a portion of the forest.” Cloud forests are unique ecosystems, which, although small in land area, provide enormous regional ecological benefits. Despite their importance, there has been little research on how climate change may impact cloud forests. Metcalfe’s study will test how the forest reacts to reduced cloud and moisture cover in hopes of understanding what is in store for these precious habitats. At only 1 percent of the world’s total forested area, cloud forests are well adapted to mountainside locations near the equator between 500-4,000 meters (1640-13,000 feet) in elevation. Cloud forests function as moisture banks for rivers and lowland habitats, storing water in its spongy soil and releasing it when needed down below during a dry spell. Many species of plants and animals are endemic to cloud forests and may face threats to their habitat due to climate change. Scientists suspect that clouds will form further uphill, leaving the forest to deal with decreased levels of moisture. Metcalfe’s experiment intends to observe what effects this change might have on the forests and those who call it home. Related: Fly through Ecuador’s cloud forest on a human-powered sky bike! After earlier curtain designs proved impractical, Metcalfe salvaged a damaged tower not longer suitable for climbing to rig up a ten-story tall curtain. Even after reaching a final plan, Metcalfe’s project continued to endure delays and obstacles. A key team member became sick, essential gear was destroyed by fire , and Metcalfe’s wife gave birth to two children, limiting travel to Peru. After four years of work, the curtain is almost finished and extensive data on the cloud forest and climate change will soon be arriving. Via the Guardian Images via William Ferguson/Wake Forest University ,  Dan Metcalfe/Lund University , and  Caroline Granycome/Flickr

More here: 
Giant curtain built in Peru to study climate change in the cloud forests

It’s so cold that frozen iguanas are falling off trees in Florida

January 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on It’s so cold that frozen iguanas are falling off trees in Florida

When frigid temperatures hit Florida , most humans can go inside, snuggle up, and wait it out. Not so for iguanas. According to reports from local residents, the reptiles were falling from trees onto roads, gardens, and even windshields. This doesn’t mean all the iguanas were dead – they were stunned, and there’s a chance they could come back to live when they warmed up. Zoo Miami communications director Ron Magill told The New York Times the reptiles “literally shut down, and they can no longer hold on to the trees.” Related: Fire ants swarm into floating rafts to survive Harvey Sad part- he prolly wasn’t dead but I didn’t know how to help! My neighbours used to put out heated cinder blocks and mago during cold nights to keep them alive. Sorry buddy. #floridawinter #38degrees #frozeniguana #notgeicogecko A post shared by Kristen (@seasthaday) on Jan 4, 2018 at 4:59pm PST But the stunned iguanas may return to life. The bigger the reptile, the better the chance it will survive. Magill said, “Even if they look dead as a doornail – they’re gray and stiff – as soon as it starts to heat up and they get hit by the sun rays, it’s this rejuvenation. The ones that survive that cold streak are basically passing on that gene.” He thinks in a couple decades, iguanas might be able to endure colder climates and may start working their way north. According to BuzzFeed , Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) experts said people should leave the iguanas alone – they can bite once they thaw out. Iguanas can be six feet long; one woman shared a video of a man carrying one of the reptiles nearly as long as he is tall on Facebook: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.11’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); I love all the Bomb Cyclone photos!!! Here’s a video for you – frozen iguana! Posted by Jenna Isola on Thursday, January 4, 2018 It’s not just the iguanas who were impacted by the cold . The FWC said a similar phenomenon can occur with sea turtles . Their news release said, “When the water temperatures drop, stunned sea turtles may float listlessly in the water or near shore. Although these turtles may appear to be dead, they are often still alive.” Check out our Facebook Live to see our staff rescue cold-stunned sea #turtles ! https://t.co/YNmLDsHT45 #Florida pic.twitter.com/hRlXrPYp0A — MyFWC (@MyFWC) January 4, 2018 Via The New York Times , the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission , and BuzzFeed Images via Maxine Bentzel on Twitter and Frank Cerabino on Twitter

Here is the original:
It’s so cold that frozen iguanas are falling off trees in Florida

Trump to open the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic to oil drilling

January 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Trump to open the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic to oil drilling

The Trump Administration announced on Thursday that it will open nearly all United States coastal waters to oil and gas drilling. This order marks a significant break from bipartisan precedent, which placed at least some restrictions on where the fossil fuel industry could drill offshore. As part of this move, California ‘s waters will be open to drilling for the first time in decades – along with more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the East Coast. The move by the Trump Administration reverses an order implemented by the Obama Administration which blocked oil and gas drilling in 94 percent of the outer continental shelf, the American offshore territory between state coastal waters and the deep ocean . Such a reversal would mark a serious blow to former President Obama’s environmental legacy and could put coastal states at risk of an incident similar to that of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The expansion of oil and gas drilling has already met with bipartisan opposition. Republican Governor of Florida Rick Scott pushed back against the move, concerned on the effects that drilling might have on tourism. “I have asked to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss the concerns I have with this plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration,” said Scott in a statement. “My top priority is to ensure that Florida ’s natural resources are protected.” Related: Scientists protest senator’s plan to open vital Arctic wildlife refuge to oil exploration Industry leaders have predictably applauded the move. “I think the default should be that all of our offshore areas should be available,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, according to the New York Times . “These are our lands. They’re taxpayer-owned and they should be made available.” If all profits from such drilling were directly distributed to taxpayers, perhaps Pyle’s position would resonate. Instead, offshore oil drilling under the current system involves socialized risk, with citizens paying the price when something goes wrong, and privatized gain, with industry profiting off of the public’s natural resources . Finalizing Trump’s plan could take up to a year and a half, during which time the order will be challenged in the courts and Congress . Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether the fossil fuel industry takes advantage of these new opportunities in light of oil’s recent slump which has only recently ended and the major infrastructure investment required. All the while, the prospect of a future Democratic president reversing Trump’s order looms. Via the New York Times Images via Depositphotos and The White House/Flickr

Read the original: 
Trump to open the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic to oil drilling

Climate change is squishing the Earth and making oceans heavier

January 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Climate change is squishing the Earth and making oceans heavier

The ocean floor may be sinking under the weight of heavier oceans as a result of climate-change -induced glacier melting and sea level rise, according to a new study. Scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands discovered that the deforming impact of a heavier ocean on the seafloor is too large to be accurately measured using traditional satellite altimeters. This means that measurements of sea level rise based on the assumption of a static seafloor may be inaccurate. Researchers suspected that traditional sea level measurement methods might be off. “We have had tide gauge sea level rise measurements for more than a century,” Delft University of Technology geoscientist and study Thomas Frederikse told Earther . “You put an instrument at the sea bottom and see how far sea level changes relative to the bottom. Satellites orbiting the Earth measure sea level from space . We wanted to see how large is the difference.” After modeling and analysis of new data, the team determined that, as a result of sea level rise and climate change, the ocean floor had been sinking on average by about 0.1 mm/year between 1993-2014, or 2.1 mm in total. This relatively small change can have a big impact on the accuracy, or inaccuracy, of sea level measurements if not taken into account. Related: Scientists find the Earth’s constant hum is coming from the ocean floor In their study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters , researchers determined that traditional satellite measurements are underestimating sea level rise by about four percent. Now that this disparity is known, corrections can be made. “The effect is systematic and relatively easy to account for,” wrote Frederikse and his co-authors. Over the course of the study, the researchers uncovered some unexpected impacts of heavier oceans, including a slight ocean floor rise in areas most impacted by sea ice and glaciers, such as Greenland and the Arctic. The small but significant change in our measurements of sea level is a reminder of all that we still do know about climate change and its impacts on every part of this planet. “ The Earth itself is not a rigid sphere, it’s a deforming ball,” said Frederikse, according to Earther . “With climate change, we do not only change temperature.” Via Earther Images via NASA and Frederikse, et. al.

See original here: 
Climate change is squishing the Earth and making oceans heavier

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 972 access attempts in the last 7 days.