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Science

Energy

Power dense zinc-manganese power unit as cheap as a car battery

A team of scientists working on analyzing energy flows in prototype zinc-manganese batteries have stumbled upon a new way to make these power cells much more reliable, with many more recharge cycles than the humble lead-acid car battery, but costing around the same to produce. The creators claim that the new battery could become an inexpensive, ecologically-sound alternative for storing energy from renewable sources and a high-density solution for storing excess energy from the power grid.Read More

Google Fiber lights up another big city

Google Fiber officially launched in its fifth American city on Wednesday, when the gigabit broadband service became available in one Nashville, Tennessee neighborhood. Right now, Fiber is only available in four apartment buildings near the city's famed Music Row neighborhood, but expansion is planned across the city. Read More

Electronics

Circuit Classics revive a golden age of electronics design

Aside from being a treasure trove of information for budding electronics engineers from the 1980s on, the down-to-earth style of Forrest M. Mims' Engineers' Notebook and Getting Started in Electronics series of books was a large part of their appeal. Now a crowdfunding project is looking to bring back some of that original charm by producing a limited set of working circuit boards in the Mims' style, replete with accompanying explanations and a wooden stand to display these electronic works of art.Read More

Science

Bizarre fourth state of water discovered

You already know that water can have three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. But scientists at the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) have discovered that when it's put under extreme pressure in small spaces, the life-giving liquid can exhibit a strange fourth state known as tunneling.Read More

Electronics Review

​Review: Flicks portable boombox packs a projector

When the boombox hit popular culture over 30 years ago, it brought the party outside. For the first time it was convenient to have loud, high-quality sound anywhere you wanted it without needing AC power or having to hook up complicated sound systems. With the proliferation of wireless Bluetooth speakers and the MP3 format, boomboxes have gone the way of the mullet haircut, but a new version called Flicks from Dashbon is bringing it back with a very 21st-century addition: a projector. We got to try one out.Read More

Space

Study of Titan sea reveals unexpected composition

We've known for more than a decade that the largest of Saturn's moons plays hosts to lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons, but the exact make-up of these reservoirs has remained a mystery. Until now that is, with scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) using data from eight years worth Cassini flybys to confirm that Ligeia Mare – one of the largest seas on the moon – is made up largely of liquid methane.Read More

Space

Cassini image captures phantom rings

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured a stunning, and seemingly impossible view of Saturn's iconic ring system intersecting with a second set of phantom rings. The image was snapped using the probe's narrow-angle camera on Feb. 11, 2016.Read More

Medical

Compound reverses symptoms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in fruit flies

Neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's are extremely widespread, affecting millions of people across the planet, but treatments are limited, and there's currently no cure available. New work is showing promise in the development of a new treatment, with scientists identifying a compound that can reverse symptoms of the diseases. The method hasn't been tested on human patients just yet, but it's been found to be effective in genetically modified fruit flies.Read More

Energy

Giant wave-riding platform design puts solar power out to sea

Sea-based wind farms are becoming a common sight in many parts of the world, but why not floating solar power stations? Engineers at the Vienna University of Technology foresee a future where platforms 100 m long and covered with solar panels float on even heavy seas thanks to a new floatation system called Heliofloat. Still under development, Heliofloat uses flexible, open-bottom floats that are capable of standing up to rough seas that would destroy such a platform sitting on conventional tanks.Read More

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