Archaeologists uncover 3,400-year-old Egyptian necropolis

April 1, 2016 by  
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Swedish archaeologists have uncovered a previously unknown Egyptian necropolis containing dozens of tombs and ancient artifacts near Gebel el Silsila on the Nile’s west bank. The team, from Lund University , has dated the tombs back to the New Kingdom , 3,400 years ago. Unfortunately, the researchers found that the site has been looted multiple times and damaged from erosion, however, there is still much valuable information to be gathered from the find. Read the rest of Archaeologists uncover 3,400-year-old Egyptian necropolis

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New Bubble Greenhouses could produce fresh water and food in drought-stricken regions

July 28, 2015 by  
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As water shortages threaten to destabilize many of the world’s driest regions, including California , researchers have developed an innovative new type of greenhouse that can provide fresh water and grow food. Engineers from Murdoch University believe that a 1,615 square foot Bubble Greenhouse “could produce around eight cubic metres of freshwater and up to 30 kilograms of crops each day.” The sealed design of the greenhouse will also protect crops from insects and disease, and the researchers say the technology should be easy to implement. Read the rest of New Bubble Greenhouses could produce fresh water and food in drought-stricken regions

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New Bubble Greenhouses could produce fresh water and food in drought-stricken regions

Better Cement for Construction with Less CO2

November 25, 2014 by  
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Greener cement for construction may be already well within reach, based on a new study carried out by researchers from MIT in the United States and CNRS in France.  While modern-day cement has its roots extending back to the mid-1700s, the ratios of the two main ingredients, calcium (from limestone) and silica (from clay), which are used to manufacture it can vary widely, and had not been studied to this extent before. The potential reduction in carbon emissions from the production of cement could be as much as 60 percent, according to Dr. Roland Pellenq, the senior research scientist for the study.  The production of cement is presently one of the largest contributing industrial sources of CO2 in the atmosphere.  Consequently, changes in its manufacture could have significant and widespread benefits if a better production method is developed. “In conventional cements, Pellenq explains, the calcium-to-silica ratio ranges anywhere from about 1.2 to 2.2, with 1.7 accepted as the standard. But the resulting molecular structures have never been compared in detail. Pellenq and his colleagues built a database of all these chemical formulations, finding that the optimum mixture was not the one typically used today, but rather a ratio of about 1.5.”  Production of cement at this ratio would, according to the researchers, allow significant reductions in CO2 emissions.  In addition to the emissions benefit, the researchers also found that cement produced at this ratio would be stronger and more fracture resistant. Adaptation of this research will still take time to implement, as the new formulations will need to be studied by engineering standards organizations before this becomes the new standard for manufacture. There could even be a synergistic benefit in this, by significantly reducing the carbon emissions in the production of the cement, and then further reducing emissions due to less cement being needed due to the improved strength of the material. via: MIT Press Release image credit: Phlat Phield Photos

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Why is This Praying Mantis Wearing the World’s Tiniest Pair of 3D Glasses?

April 29, 2014 by  
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Animals can teach us a lot about the world, which is why we’re always dragging them into our scientific experiments. While some of this research is downright cruel and unnecessary, some is more bizarre than anything else. In a recent project at Newcastle University neuroscientists strapped the world’s tiniest pair of 3D glasses onto a praying mantis, and then expose the bug to a series of weird 3D videos. Strange as it may sound, the researchers say the project could reveal important clues about how 3D vision evolved, and lead to novel approaches in implementing 3D recognition and depth perception in computers and robots. Read the rest of Why is This Praying Mantis Wearing the World’s Tiniest Pair of 3D Glasses? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D glasses , 3D vision , newcastle university , Praying Mantis , praying mantis vision , praying mantis wears 3D glasses , world’s smallest 3D glasses

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Why is This Praying Mantis Wearing the World’s Tiniest Pair of 3D Glasses?

Wireless Brakes for Bikes Developed by Computer Scientists

October 13, 2011 by  
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Would you trust wireless breaks when heading down this hill?? Photo by thenoizz via Flickr CC Scientists at Saarland University have come up with a brake system for bikes that may take awhile to trust. The brakes work wirelessly. It sounds a little risky to potentially trust your life with a wireless brake system but according to the researchers, their new system works perfectly 99.999999999997% of the time. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Wireless Brakes for Bikes Developed by Computer Scientists

OUD NOW! Reclaimed Cabinets Splice The Old & New

October 13, 2011 by  
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Photos: Theo Herfkens Repurposing old furniture can be as simple as applying a new coat of paint. But why stop there? Dutch designer Theo Herfkens goes the extra mile by playing doctor in his OUD NOW! (meaning “old now”) collection of furniture that splices reclaimed vintage pieces with modern cabinetry, giving birth to new hybrids with a foot in the past. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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OUD NOW! Reclaimed Cabinets Splice The Old & New

Panda Poo Could be Key to Cheaper, Cleaner Biofuels

August 29, 2011 by  
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Scientists from Mississippi State University have discovered that panda poo could hold the answers to faster, cleaner and cheaper biofuels. It has long been suspected that animals like pandas that each giant amounts of tough plant matter every day have bacteria in their digestive systems that are especially efficient at breaking down the cellulose in plants into nutrients. The hope is that those bacteria could make a big difference in the production of biofuels from tougher, non-food plants, like switchgrass, corn stalks and wood chips.  After collecting panda feces from the Memphis Zoo for over a year, researchers found that was definitely the case. So far the scientists have identified several types of digestive bacteria from the feces. Some are similar to those found in termite feces, but the study has shown the bacteria in the panda feces could be even better at breaking down cellulose than those in termites. Based on this study and others, the researchers believe that the panda gut bacteria could convert 95 percent of plant biomass into simple sugars.  The enzymes in this bacteria are so potent that they can eliminate the need for heat, acids or high pressure processes in the manufacture of biofuels. Eliminating those processes would make biofuel production less energy intensive, faster and, of course, cheaper. Researchers are working on identifying every bacteria present in panda intestines in order to single out the most potent of the enzymes.  Those enzymes could be put into yeasts through genetic engineering, which would allow for the mass production of those enzymes for the biofuel industry. via Physorg

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Panda Poo Could be Key to Cheaper, Cleaner Biofuels

Triple Threat: New Generator Harnesses Energy from Sun, Wind and Rain

June 13, 2011 by  
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One thing that’s known for sure about the future of renewable energy is that it will take all types to fulfill our energy needs.  The wind isn’t always blowing and the sun isn’t always shining, but if wind , solar, geothermal, wave/tidal and any other type of renewable energy generation are all utilized and all feeding the grid, then we’ll be more than covered.  But what about devices that can harness more than one of these renewable energy sources at once? A new renewable energy generator developed by researchers at the University of Bolton in the UK is able to harness energy from not one, but three sources:  sunlight, wind and rain.  I’m sure you’re imagining one crazy-looking contraption, but this new technology actually uses ribbons of piezoelectric polymer that are coated with a thin, flexible solar PV film

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Triple Threat: New Generator Harnesses Energy from Sun, Wind and Rain

Biodegradable Plastics Are Adding to Landfill Methane Emissions

June 10, 2011 by  
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The merits of biodegradable plastics have been uncertain, but a new study that appears in the journal Environmental Science & Technology says that though these types of plastics aren’t littering the ocean or clogging landfills, they are contributing to climate change in the last phase of their life cycle. When the biodegradable utensils and other plastics get to the landfill, microbes break them down and produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas.  While many other items in landfills create methane as well, these plastics are adding to the load.  Some landfills have systems that capture the methane and use it for energy, but most landfills don’t

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Biodegradable Plastics Are Adding to Landfill Methane Emissions

Indonesian Islands of Sumatra & Borneo Lost 9% of Their Forests in First 8 Years of 21st Century

February 25, 2011 by  
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We just learned that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon saw an amazing 1000% spike in December , and now some sobering news about deforestation in Southeast Asia : Mongabay reports than Sumatra and the Indonesian part of Borneo (Kalimantan) lost 9.2% of their forest cover, some 5.4 million hectares, between 2000 and 2008. One of the researchers describes it:..

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Indonesian Islands of Sumatra & Borneo Lost 9% of Their Forests in First 8 Years of 21st Century

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