Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have created a revolutionary new solar paint that can be used to produce endless amounts of clean energy. The innovative paint draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. As a result, hydrogen can be captured as a clean fuel source.
Medgadget reports on the development by MIT researchers of an implanted cancer fighting patch that uses three elements to tackle tumours.
MIT researchers have created an implantable patch for the administration of three completely different therapies to tumor sites in order to kill and prevent the recurrence of cancer. The hydrogel patch is embedded with gold nanorods that are able to heat up and ablate nearby tissue when illuminated by infrared light. The same rods are also infused with a chemotherapy agent, which is also released when infrared light causes the temperature of the nanorods to rise. In addition to thermal and chemotherapy, the patch also releases RNA gene therapy that targets oncogenes active in the cancer being targeted.
medGadget highlights research at Iowa State University into batteries for short-term medical implants that dissolve / wash away after completing their task / function. From the article:
Though the power produced by this battery is only sufficient to run a calculator for about fifteen minutes, the proof-of-concept is enough to point to great potential for diagnostic and therapeutic devices that don’t require a visit back to the doctor for explantation. In particular, brain implants would probably benefit the most since their removal can be particularly challenging and dangerous.
Engadget highlights a potentially huge leap in the efficiency of solar cells (i.e. the amount of sunlight converted to electricity.)
A team of researchers in Australia has achieved a conversion rate of 34.5% – the previous record was 24%. Some had predicted that a 35% efficiency rate would be decades away: hopefully the approach can be quickly applied in the real-world.
FastCoExist reports that Levi’s, in collaboration with Evrnu, has trialled a new technique for recycling old cotton clothing for use in new Jeans. The approach could reduce the impact of jeans production, by using less water, whilst also creating a stronger & more durable end product.
PSFK highlights a Kickstarter project for sportswear made from sustainable and recycled materials. From the article:
The material “is a blend of fibers from the eucalyptus plant, used water bottles and Tencel, a sustainable fiber from wood. The water bottles are rerouted from landfills into factories which clean them and remold them into polyester yarns. About 10 water bottles goes into the production of one Pistol Lake long-sleeved shirt.”
Engadget reports on the development of new solar cell technology that could allow solar panels to generate power from both sunlight and rain, by incorporating a thin layer of graphene. The approach has some way to go before becoming viable but it could encourage wider instalation of solar panels in climates with more variable weather.
Phys.org reports on a process proposed by a multi-disciplinary team at UCLA to capture and utilise CO2 from power plant smokestacks and then use the gas to create a new building material like cement – CO2NCRETE.
Inhabitat features eco-friendly bricks made by BioMason from a mixture of sand and bacteria, that could have a huge, positive impact on the environment. Not only are they produced more quickly and with less energy and CO2 emissions than regular bricks, they can also soak up pollution from the atmosphere.
Inhabitat states: “Traditional bricks, which are also made from sand and binding agents, have to be “fired” for three to five days, a process which generates approximately 800 million tons of carbon emissions each year. BioMason’s biobricks take only two or three days to ‘grow’ and eliminate the emissions altogether. What’s more, Dosier says her company’s bricks can even absorb pollution, making them an active agent in the war against climate change.”
CleanTechnica reports on research at Brookhaven National Laboratory that has stumbled upon a way to integrate graphene efficiently into soda-lime glass, which could lead to cheaper and more efficient solar panels:
“…graphene’s high conductivity and transparency make it a very promising candidate as a transparent, conductive electrode to replace the relatively brittle and expensive indium tin oxide (ITO) in applications such as solar cells, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), flat panel displays, and touch screens.”
Futurity reports on research at the University of Melbourne into brain implants that don’t require major surgery and could help paralyzed people walk in an exoskeleton that responds to their thoughts. The implant could also help with a range of other conditions such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy and depression.
Per Futurity: “A device the size of a matchstick implanted in the brain may help a group of paralyzed people walk using only their thoughts and a robotic exoskeleton.”
“The stentrode, crafted from a space-age alloy called nitinol, could also benefit people with Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression. It could even predict and manage seizures in epileptic patients.”
FastCoDesign features work at Vanderbilt University on artificial organs. A researcher modified a $40 cotton candy machine to create one of the key components for building working organs – artificial capillaries – which deliver oxygen and nutrients as well as removing waste.
Engadget reports that researchers in China have developed carbon nanotube film that offers greater strength, flexibility and electrical conductivity than other carbon nanotube materials produced to date, as well as kevlar and carbon fibre, “making the new material ideal for use as a structural coating on vehicles and aerospace components or as next-generation electrodes.”