News, Renewable Energy, Technology

Near Perfect Solar absorbing Material developed at MIT

Cross section of the metallic dielectric photonic crystal. Image: MIT

Researchers at MIT report they’ve developed a novel material that can absorb almost all incoming wavelengths of light and convert the energy into heat. The radiated heat emitted by the material can then be collected by photovoltaics for later conversion into electricity. The material is cheap to make using currently available manufacturing processes, can absorb light indifferent of the incident…

Art, Feature Post, Renewable Energy

Solar Hourglass might power 1,000 Danish Homes while inspiring Climate Change Action

LANI

Every year, the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) in Copenhagen welcomes renowned designers and engineers to submit designs that integrates renewable energy in harmony with citizens, nature, and the urban environment. This year’s winning entry is a fantastic solar power array that takes the form of a hourglass, unveiled by Argentina-based designer Santiago Muros Cortés. The project, if constructed, would power 1,000 Danish…

News, Renewable Energy

The UK’s First Floating Solar Farm Unveiled in Berkshire

Image via the Guardian.

The UK’s first floating solar farm has been unveiled in Berkshire; the array features 800 photovoltaic panels and has a capacity of 200W. The project cost £250,000 ($405,400) and has been installed on a reservoir at Sheeplands Farm near Wargrave. Solar energy provides many advantages, but also raises many problems. Among those problems is land area – whenever you use an…

Animals, Biology, News

Dolphins can sense the Earth’s Magnetic Field

Bottle nose dolphins navigate using the magnetic field. Image via Deviantart, Animal Photos.

As if dolphins weren’t special enough, scientists have added another quality to the list: they can sense our planet’s magnetic field. A surprising variety of animals can sense the Earth’s magnetic field – bees, birds, salmon, frogs, sea turtles, salamanders, lobsters, and rodents; now, you can also add dolphins to that list. French researchers have shown that, just like some of…

Climate, News

Australia’s 2013 Heat Waves linked to Man-made Climate Change, 5 Studies Conclude

GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRALIA

Australia went through two almost unbearable consecutive summers. Of course, Australia is a naturally hot country, but the temperatures were extremely high even for them. Record temperatures were recorded and heat waves swept throughout the entire country. Now, five separate studies published today conclude that the blazing summers can be blamed on man-made climate change. Sizzling Hot The January 2014 southeastern…

Animals, Feature Post

Antivenom: how it’s made and why it’s so precious

snake_antivenom

Every year some 100,000 people die all over the world after being bitten by a venomous snake. Depending on the toxicity of the venom and how much venom is injected inside the body, a snakebite will cause  tingling, muscle weakness, nausea swallowing difficulties, excess saliva and potentially fatal breathing problems. To avoid getting killed, a snakebite victim must immediately go…

Environment, News, World Problems

Global Wildlife Populations Down by 50% in just 40 Years

lpr2014_cover_front_1

Global wildlife populations have decreased by more than half, concludes a new report released by the WWF. The extent of this major destruction came as a shock and showed just how far we are from reaching a sustainable future and living in harmony with the Earth’s biodiversity. Losing Biodiversity The report shows that the worst loss happened in freshwater species…

Animals, News, Oceanography

Obama proclaims world’s largest Marine Park

MAGGIE SMITH, NG STAFF. SOURCES: U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE; USGS; MARINE CONSERVATION INSTITUTE

President Obama has signed a proclamation which will make the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument the largest marine reserve in the world. Up until now, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument was a group of unorganized, mostly unincorporated United States Pacific Island territories managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. They host many important species, including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds,…

Environment, News

For the First Time in Moderen History, the Aral Sea’s Eastern Basin has Gone Dry

The Aral sea, as it was in 1989 (left), and how it is now (2014). Image credits: NASA.

The Aral Sea is was one of the largest lakes in the world, with an area of 68,000 km2 (26,300 sq mi). Lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, its water level has constantly decreased since  the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four lakes…

Animals, Inventions, News

Mantis Shrimp Can See Cancer. Researchers have Invented a Camera that Does the Same

A mantis shrimp's compound eyes are 'superbly tuned' to detect polarised light. Image: Roy Caldwell

The Mantis Shrimp has some of the most amazing eyes in the animal kingdom. Researchers have shown that among others, it is able to detect a variety of cancers and visualize brain activity. Now, scientists from Queensland University have studied how the mantis shrimp’s eyes are superbly tuned to detect polarized light, and literally see cancers. Professor Justin Marshall, from the Queensland Brain…