Scientists are at the forefront of improving life and making the world a better and safer place.
From ways to reduce food waste and curb global warming to technologies that make us safer, here’s a look at some of the innovations that will change our lives …
While we are concerned about global warming caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide, scientists have found ways to lower temperatures by removing CO2 from the air.
One method is to pull the gas out of the air and bury it in saline aquifers. This process is called carbon deposition and sequestration.
Last year, researchers from UCLA and Oxford University found that CO2 can be used instead of carbon from the soil in many industries, including fuels, beverages, and the manufacture of polymers and plastics.
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It could be worth £ 75 a ton and it could become a huge market by 2030.
“Removing greenhouse gases is important to achieving net zero carbon emissions and stabilizing the climate,” said Cameron Hepburn, director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford.
It has been estimated that the UK could eliminate most of its carbon emissions from trucks through the creation of electric highways.
Road freight transport currently causes around 5% of our CO2 emissions. Diesel engine pollutants can also be harmful to health.
However, government-funded scientists from the Center for Sustainable Road Freight Transport have determined that installing overhead cables for electric trucks could be a solution by the late 2030s.
The electrical road network would cost £ 19.3 billion. However, it would have paid for itself within 15 years.
Catenary cables, fed by the national grid, could be connected to trucks traveling in lanes through a retractable rig called a pantograph – much like electric trains.
Electric trucks and vans are already available. However, their battery life cannot withstand long journeys with heavy loads, which make up two-thirds of cargo shipments.
Brain controlled computers
A bracelet that can transmit electrical signals from the brain to computers is already in place. The company that developed it was bought by Facebook.
The New York start-up CTRL-labs was founded in 2015 by Thomas Reardon to develop the BMI, or the interface between the brain and machine, via which the human brain can connect directly to computers.
Over the past year, the company has delivered exceptional results that could revolutionize the way we interact with machines and could even replace computer keyboards, touchscreens and controllers.
It could also put an end to voice control assistants like Alexa when people use minds to control homes and devices.
Internet from space
As of May 2019, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched hundreds of Starlink satellites to ensure worldwide internet coverage.
The aim is to put up to 40,000 of the small, broadband radiating satellites into orbit – five times more satellites than humans have ever sent into space.
As soon as they are available, the Internet can be accessed anywhere at a speed of up to 1 Gbit / s – this corresponds to fiber optic broadband.
Intel scientists have developed a computer chip that can smell. Neuromorphic chips mimick the neuron cluster in the brain that receives signals from the nose and tells us what we smell.
The silicon chip has an electrical circuit based on the neural circuits in our brain and an algorithm that mirrors the behavior of electrical signals in humans.
When they trained the algorithm on the chip using an existing data set of 10
Smells, it was able to accurately identify them. The chip could perform a number of practical functions, such as sniffing bombs or drugs, or detecting toxic fumes in chemical plants.
The researchers plan to develop other neuromorphic chips that mimic senses such as sight and touch.
Camel hump cooler
Scientists in the United States have developed a material that mimics how camels control their body temperature in the desert. The transparent, two-layer design, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stays cool five times longer than other materials. The lower 5mm hydrogel layer acts like the sweat glands of a camel and lowers the temperature by evaporating water.
Meanwhile, the top layer of airgel – an ultra-light, porous solid – acts like hair, insulates against external heat and lets water vapor through.
The material, which is about to be launched on the market, could keep products cool in hot climates without electricity and allow retailers to ship, transport and temporarily store without air conditioning.
This week, scientists from Cambridge University, Utrecht University and the Milan Research Institute received the Lush Prize 2020 for looking for an alternative to animal testing – using computer databases to successfully predict the toxicity of chemicals to humans. Dr. Timothy Allen, who worked on the project, said, “While scientific excellence drives alternatives to animal testing, the moral argument that animal testing is wrong helps turn that drive into a passion.”
A quantum physics-based internet could soon mean that communication hacking will be impossible.
Scientists recently learned how to transmit pairs of photons over fiber optic cables in such a way that the information encoded therein is completely protected. Now a team from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands is building a secure, espionage-proof network that connects four cities entirely using quantum technology.
It is based on a quantum behavior of atomic particles called entanglement and ensures that photons cannot be read covertly without disturbing their content. Not only does a quantum internet revolutionize cybersecurity, it can also connect many incredibly powerful quantum computers
Immediately, potentially impossible calculations can be solved, leading to countless breakthroughs.
Every year around eight million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans, contaminating the ecosystems and food chains on which we rely.
That’s why scientists have worked hard to stop plastic pollution on our planet.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have developed a plastic-eating enzyme that can digest some of our most common polluting plastics.
For their work, they received a £ 5.8 million grant from Research England to create a Center for Enzyme Innovation and the award for the STEM Research Project of the Year 2019.
As a result, the team announced two months ago that it had developed an improved enzyme “cocktail” that can digest plastics six times faster than the original offering.
Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Bath have developed biodegradable cellulose microspheres to replace the harmful plastic globules found in items like toothpaste and face washes.
The award-winning team has now founded Naturbeads to educate consumers about their research.
Additionally, there could be a sugar-based plastic on the horizon that could be a sustainable alternative to plastic bottles.
Around 8.9% of the world’s population, 690 million people, go to bed with an empty stomach every night. But scientists use new advances to find innovations
Solutions to Fight Hunger.
Sorawut Kittbanthorn, 30, a master student at Central St. Martins Material Futures in London, has developed a delicious protein bar with chicken feathers. The bird feathers contain large amounts of keretin protein, which is rich in amino acids.
Sorawut used hydrolysis to extract the keratin proteins and create a tasteless amber-colored liquid, which he then turned into a meat-like product flavored with spices and paprika for months. It’s also light in calories.
He said, “I believe that if we are to continue raising and slaughtering millions of birds every day, we at least have a responsibility to ensure that we use every part of them safely and sustainably.”
Shrimps build planes
Scientists announced last month that they had discovered a near-indestructible material in a seabed shrimp that could be used to build aircraft and solve other technical problems.
With a length of just over 10 cm, the mantis shrimp is armed with two snapping pincers and can whip its club-like forearms at a speed of 23 meters per second, smashing prey with the force of a bullet but never injuring itself.
A team from the University of California discovered that their clubs are covered in a nanoparticle coating that absorbs and dissipates energy.
Professor David Kisailus, the study’s lead researcher, said, “Make sure you hit a wall a few thousand times at this rate and don’t break your fist. We thought about how that could be. “
His team found that the material that coats the shrimp deforms “like a marshmallow” when stretched at low rates, but stiffens and releases a lot of energy when stretched high.
The material could be mimicked and used to make similar particles for use in automobiles, airplanes, bicycle helmets, and body armor.