Materials, News

This electric generator is only a few atoms thick

Positive and negative polarized charges are squeezed from a single layer of atoms, as it is being stretched. —Image courtesy of Lei Wang/Columbia Engineering

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology report the first experimental proof of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), making the experimental setup, in effect, the thinnest electrical generator in the world. The resulting generator is optically transparent, extremely light, and very bendable and stretchable. In the future, such generators could be…

Environment, Pollution

Sweden recycles 99 percent of its garbage. Here’s how they do it

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Recycling is still a field where we have much work to do; while you hear talks about it everywhere, it’s still not done at a satisfying scale in most parts of the world. But Sweden is not part of that group. Virtually all of Swedish garbage is recycled; as a matter of fact, they are so good at making garbage…

Biology, Health & Medicine, News

Paralyzed man Walks again after Nose Cells Transplant into the Spinal Chord

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Regeneration of the spinal chord following a paralyzing injury was thought to be impossible, but groundbreaking efforts stirred by surgeons in Poland and Britain have turned this paradigm upside down. A team of dedicated surgeons and scientists transplanted  cells from the nasal cavity of a patient who had been paralyzed from the waist down for more than two years into…

Environment, Environmental Issues, News

The shortlist for the EEA’s photography competition

The long trip by Mariusz Warsinski

What does the environment mean to you? The European Environment Agency asked this question and invited photographers to have their take through a visual essay. Ducks floating along garbage; a lone, yet dominant windmill set on a twilight background; a small frog resting by the petals of a beautifully colored flower. Each artist shared an unique view of what the environment…

Psychology

Majority doesn’t always decide when it comes to teen drinking

The presence of a small minority of alcohol abstainers in groups of teen friends can help to decrease the likelihood that everyone else will get drunk and binge drink. Image via Science News.

Peer pressure doesn’t always drive teenagers to drink – in fact, it often goes the other way around, a new study shows. Having just one like-minded friend who doesn’t drink reduces instances of drunkenness among teen drinkers by 38 percent, a new study has shown. Criminologist Carter Rees, now at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and sociologist Danielle Wallace of…

Diseases, News

The 1918 Spanish flu killed between 50 and 100 million people. This man is recreating it in a lab

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Yoshihiro Kawaoka has caused massive uproar in the scientific community when he announced he is attempting to recreate the world’s most lethal virus. Biologists are polarized on the issue, with some claiming that it is reckless, while others approving that it will help us better understand pandemics and how we can protect ourselves against them. Kawaoka is a veterinary researcher….

News, Renewable Energy

Lockheed Martin announces 10 year plan to reach cold fusion, scientists react with skepticism

Lockheed Martin fusion project leader Tom McGuire looks into the chamber of an experimental reactor.
Image credits: Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin has officially entered the race to achieve nuclear fusion at room temperature on 15 October, laying out a 10-year roadmap to commercialize a reactor that would fit on the back of a lorry. The company has been working on the project for several years, but they’ve been extremely secretive about it until now, when they’ve released a grandiose plan…

Design, News

World’s First Vertical Forest is Finally Complete in Milan

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In 2011, we were telling you about the planned vertical forests in Milan – you can read the entire article here. Recently, the project has finally reached fruition, and we finally get to see the world’s first vertical forest. Stefano Boeri Architects’ amazing Bosco Verticale towers rise up, adding some 2.5 acres of lush vegetation (over 100 species) to the skyline of…

Biology, Genetics, Health & Medicine, News

A Rogue gone Good: Mitochondria was initially an Energy Parasite

Image: knowingneurons.com

A new milestone study found that mitochondria – the energy factories in animal and plant cells – were initially very similar to parasitic bacteria some two billion years ago, and only later did they become energy sources. Very little is known about the origins of mitochondria, but by probing the genomes of bacteria closely related to the energy cell scientists at University…

Biology, News, Science, Technology

Building houses with bacteria

Image via Eco-Cement.

Houses of the future might be built with bacteria – at least partially. It may sound like science fiction, but a Spanish company located in Madrid is working to make that a concrete reality. It all starts with a common type of soil bacterium being. Put it in some soil, provide it with nutrients, and keep the temperature steady at about 30…