The latest game being changed by 3-D printing: chemistry. A researcher at the University of Glasgow, frustrated with the inability to modify standardized labware to fit the requirements of his experiments, has created a new breed of easily customizable laboratory containers that can be printed in silicone-based bathroom sealant.
A rhesus macaque awaits a vasectomy at a wildlife rescue facility in Himachal Pradesh, India. The state’s estimated 319,000 monkeys frequently ransack garbage cans and harass citizens. Last year, the state government announced a bounty of 500 rupees ($9.50) to anyone who captured and transported a monkey to a sterilization center, and program administrators estimate that they will neuter 200,000 monkeys, at 25 sterilization centers statewide, by June.
If you thought space was the only frontier Virgin has an interest in tackling, you’ve been missing out on Virgin Oceanic’s drive to pilot the first manned submersible all the way to the very bottom of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench--and thus dive deeper than any solo human has ever dived before. It’s a cool story that is still ongoing, and PopSci favorite IEEE Spectrum has an amazing semi-long read from its March issue up online today.
By Clay Dillow and Paul AdamsPosted 02.13.2012 at 5:29 pm 3 Comments
It’s been nearly a full month since the Costa Concordia ran aground just off the Tuscan island of Giglio, and after two weeks of delays salvage workers yesterday began pumping operations aimed at recovering most of the half million gallons of fuel aboard the badly listing Italian cruise liner. Roughly 84 percent of that fuel is stuck in 15 large tanks, and pumping that volume out of the ship will likely take another month--and that’s with the pumps running around the clock.
We can fit everything we knew before today about Criegee biradicals inside the period at the end of this sentence, but from what we understand they are pretty amazing. At least, that's the word from a team of researchers form the U. of Manchester, the U. of Bristol, and Sandia National Labs, who have just detected these invisible chemical intermediates for the first time. Apparently they can not only oxidize pollutants from combustion, cleaning up the atmosphere as they go, but they also contribute to cloud formation, helping to cool the planet.
German researchers have turned an optical tweezer device into the world’s first “nano-ear” capable of detecting sounds six orders of magnitude below the threshold of human hearing. Using an optically trapped gold nanoparticle as their listening device, the team says they can now detect sounds made at the bacterial level or use their device to tune (or perhaps to test?) the minuscule MEMS machines of the future.
If cleaning carbon dioxide from the atmosphere was easy, we'd already be doing it. But carbon capture has proven to be a tough technology to feasibly roll out on a grand scale, and that means all the things we do that produce carbon dioxide emissions--which seems to be just about everything these days--are still roughly as bad for the planet as they were several years ago.
The largest battery in the world has arrived, and you likely won't be surprised where it landed: Hebei Province, China. The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and electric car maker BYD--the company that most recently made big headlines a few years back when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway took a 10 percent stake--have teamed to create a massive battery array capable of storing 36 megawatt-hours of electricity.
First they were thought to be impossible on Earth, then when they were grown in the lab they were thought to be so novel that they earned their discoverer a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Now, it turns out the quasicrystals--unusually structured crystals that break several rules of crystalline symmetry and exhibit strange physical properties--unearthed in Russia’s Koryak mountains a couple of years ago are probably from outer space.
I'll start you guys off with a quote here: In talking about Sony's new battery technology, which uses old cellulose product like newspapers and cardboard to generate electricity, the BBC says: "Their work builds on a previous project in which they used fruit juice to power a Walkman music player." Thank you, crazy Sony recycling-engineers.