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Darren Quick

Ultramafic rocks (in red) that potentially could absorb CO2 (Image: U.S. Geological Survey...

The debate about the benefits of using Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) to fight against climate change is ongoing. One one hand there are reservations regarding suitable sequestration sites that provide sufficient security to store CO2 for centuries as well as the cost of implementing such a system, which could draw important funds away from the development of renewable energy technologies. On the other, we are still heavily reliant on burning fossil fuels to produce energy and this infrastructure can't be replaced overnight. CCS is obviously attractive to existing power generation companies as it allows them to keep hold of their existing infrastructure and for this reason, it is more than likely that CSS schemes will continue to gather momentum. So where to we can CO2 be stored? Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey have produced a new report that maps large rock formations in the United States that can also absorb CO2 and are exploring ways to speed up the CCS process.  Read More

Cloud seeding in action

Rainmaking has advanced since the days when a ritual dance was believed to invoke the wet stuff, but while modern day cloud seeding has been shown to change the structure and size of clouds, it’s still debatable whether the practice actually has any effect on rainfall. After all, even if precipitation does occur after cloud seeding there’s no way of knowing whether it would have rained anyway. This uncertainty hasn’t stopped widespread use of cloud seeding in countries around the world including the US, Russia, Australia and China, which boasts the largest cloud seeding system in the world. Now a breakthrough by an international team of scientists could help in the development of new materials which could be used to enhance the process.  Read More

Jaime Oliver and his Silent Drum

New technology means new ways to create and express music and new types of interfaces that broaden the definition of a "musical instrument" way beyond traditional parameters. Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology seeks to recognize the creators of new musical instruments with the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. The first winners of the competition include a robotic guitar, SLABS touch pad and a Silent Drum that generates sound by manipulating the elastic spandex head of a drum shell.  Read More

The proposed 'space diaper'

While the thought of rocketing into space might make some people want to soil themselves, going to the toilet in zero gravity is a very real problem for space faring astronauts. Until now the solution has been to strap themselves onto a toilet that is similar to traditional western style but employs a vacuum cleaner-like machine to suck the wastes away – doesn’t sound too pleasant does it. Now it seems the Japanese are approaching the problem from a different tack with Pink Tentacle reporting that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has teamed up with engineers from the private sector to develop a next-generation space toilet that is designed to be worn like a diaper.  Read More

The 'Virtual Cocoon' virtual reality headset

To date most virtual reality devices have been focused on providing input for just two senses – sight and hearing - and while haptic technologies are on the march, we've yet to see a complete VR system that convincingly mimics all aspects of our perception. In a taste of what could be, last week at the Pioneer 09 science show in London researchers unveiled a mock-up of a virtual reality headset designed to stimulate all five senses.  Read More

The itsaKey blending in with its key brothers

As portable USB drives have gone forth and multiplied across the planet they have evolved into all sorts of different shapes and sizes. We’ve seen credit card shaped drives and even coin shaped drives and all varieties in between. Now LaCie has announced a range of USB drives designed to appear right at home on your key-ring.  Read More

All models sport a 3-inch LCD screen

The convergence of video and still cameras has been happening practically since the first digital cameras rolled off the production line. It’s now pretty standard for still cameras to be able to capture short bursts of video and it’s easy to capture a still pic using most video cameras. Sanyo’s Xacti dual camera range seeks to blur the lines between still and video cameras even further by allowing the capture of still and 60 fps video images simultaneously.  Read More

New Holland's prototype NH2 hydrogen powered tractor

Tractors may not be the sexiest of vehicles, and they probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind when thinking about environmental friendliness, but agricultural equipment manufacturer New Holland is looking to change that with the production of a prototype tractor that is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell.  Read More

The slim lines of ASUS' new range on notebooks

ASUS has unveiled its new U and UX Series range of notebooks which feature AI Light sensor technology to automatically adjust the brightness of the LED backlit screen, plus a newly adopted illuminated ‘chiclet’ keyboard that lets cave dwelling users type in the dark.  Read More

Artist's rendering showing a NIF target pellet inside a hohlraum capsule with laser beams ...

Lasers, is there anything they can’t do? If they’re not shooting down UAVs, they’re fighting AIDS or bringing us the next generation of HDTVs. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to lasers there’s none bigger than the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California - an instrument capable of delivering 500 trillion watts of power in a 20-nanosecond burst which is now nearing completion. Its myriad uses will include providing fusion data for nuclear weapons simulations, probing the secrets of extrasolar planets and could even lead to the holy grail of energy production - practical fusion energy.  Read More

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