Green Living, News, Renewable Energy

Dutch Company Harvests Electricity From Living Plants, Powering Street Lights, Cell Phones and Wi-fi

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Forget potato clocks – this is the real deal. Plant-e, a start-up company in the Netherlands created promising new technology which harvest electricity from plants. So far this month, more than 300 LED lights were illuminated by the Dutch company, in a promising proof-of-concept. They also demonstrated that they could power up cell phones and Wi-Fis. Generating electricity from thin air

Green Living, News, Technology

Insulating nanowire cloth that traps heat perfectly could help tackle climate change

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Researchers at Stanford University coated flexible textile fibers with metallic nanowires to form a cohesive network that acts as a fantastic thermal insulator. The flexible material, made of silver nanowires and carbon nanotubes, is knitted together so closely that the space between individual strands is smaller than the wavelength of infrared radiation. As such, the radiation emitted by our bodies bounces between the skin and cloth.

Animals, Biology, News

This reptile chews food like a “steak knife”

tuatara chewing reptile

The New Zealand tuatara (Sphenodon) is one of those unique animals that warrants revision for biology textbooks. The lizard-like reptile that is the only survivor of a group that was globally widespread at the time of the dinosaurs uses its highly specialised jaws to slice its food like a “steak knife”. Typically, chewing is associated with high metabolism in animals, but in this instance this is far from being the case.

Climate, Did you know?

Why does it rain so much in London? Well, it’s not that much really

Credit: Flickr

Before I first set foot in London, I – like most people – was under the impression that hellish gusts of wind and rain would be the most memorable parts of my trip. In reality, even though I visited in January, there were only a couple of days of rain, and even these quite mild. So I decided to investigate,

Environment, News, Pollution

City of Hamburg to build public green spaces atop of noisy highway and become car free in 20 years

Image via Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment

Three public parks will cover an Autobahn (highway) that passes through the city of Hamburg, in Germany. The 8,000-mile road network runs through Hamburg’s city center, dividing the city into an eastern and western half and creating a lot of disturbing noise. The problem will be solve through the addition of the green spaces. The highway causes two main problems –

Climate, News, Science

US lawmakers in charge of NASA and environmental funding don’t understand science

Springer

The people in charge of funding for NASA and environmental research, Republican senators Ted Cruz and James Inhofe, have a record of not understanding science and making pseudoscientific affirmations. While I won’t discuss the politics here (we never do), the fact that such important matters fall onto the shoulders of people known to be pretty much adversaries of science cannot be left unchecked.

Environment, Environmental Issues, Pollution

Drugs and Environmental Damage: An Often Undiscussed Truth

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When drugs are imported into the United States, the people responsible aren’t just damaging human lives; they may also be wreaking havoc on the environment. The illegal drug industry is harmful to nature in ways the average person may have never realized; let’s take a look at how this happens.

Animals, Biology, News

Drexel University to Exhibit Half-Male, Half-Female Butterfly

Image via Drexler University.

Buttereflies are pretty awesome insects – the pupal transformation into a butterfly through metamorphosis is one of the most spectacular processes in the biological world. For one month, until February 16, Drexler University will exhibit a spectacular sample: a butterfly suffering from bilateral gynandromorphism – in other words, a butterfly that is half male, half female.

Environment, News

Blue visible light can be used as insect killer, research shows

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Keeping insects at bay is more than eliminating a simple nuisance – in many some parts of the world, it’s vital. Malaria, an infectious mosquito-borne disease kilss over 500,000 people every year, and the disease could be kept under control if the mosquito population was kept under control; this is where this study steps in.

Green Living, News, Renewable Energy

First man-made biological leaf might actually be useless

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If the leaf really works as the hype would have us believe, than it’s really a fantastic display of ingenuity. However there’s no paper, no data on tests that might tell us how efficient the leaf is at photosynthesis (if such tests even exist) and no solid scientific grounds that would suggest the leaf would actually work as intended. For the moment, it seems like this artificial leaf in question is more conceptual than it is practical.