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Membrane

— Good Thinking

Final space shuttle mission testing system to turn urine into a sports drink

By - July 11, 2011 3 Pictures
Atlantis may have taken off on the last ever space shuttle mission last week but that doesn’t mean it has finished racking up firsts. Along with ferrying its last batch of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), Atlantis is also carrying a urine recycling system that is designed to convert astronaut’s urine into a sports drink. The Forward Osmosis Bag (FOB) system will reportedly be tested by one of the four-man crew towards the end of the shuttle’s 12-day mission. Read More
— Science

Faster, more efficient desalination process using carbon nanotubes developed

By - April 18, 2011 1 Picture
When it comes to desalinating salt water, two of the main options are thermal distillation and reverse osmosis. Thermal distillation involves boiling the water and collecting the resulting freshwater condensation, while reverse osmosis involves pressurizing the salt water and forcing it through a semipermeable membrane, which will allow water molecules to pass through, but not salt. Both of these methods, however, require a considerable amount of energy – not as environmentally sound as they could be, nor entirely practical for use in developing nations, where electricity isn’t readily available. Now, however, a newly-developed membrane that incorporates carbon nanotubes could make desalination much quicker, easier and energy-efficient. Read More
— Environment

Eggshells could be used to fight global warming

By - October 29, 2010 1 Picture
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a hot area of research in the effort to fight global warming through the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and ferreting it away within carbon soaking materials, a team from the University of Calcutta has found an unexpected (or should that be uneggspected) material that could trap carbon from the atmosphere in the form of eggshells. The team has demonstrated that the membrane that lines an eggshell can absorb almost seven times its own weight of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, allowing the gas to be stored until environmentally friendly methods of disposing, or even using it, can be found. Read More
— Science

Graphene could speed up DNA sequencing

By - September 13, 2010 1 Picture
Graphene is pretty amazing stuff. Just a couple of months ago, we heard about how the one-atom thick sheets of bonded carbon atoms had been used to create the strongest pseudo-electric magnetic fields ever sustained in a lab – and that was just the latest use that had been discovered for it. Now, word comes from Harvard University and MIT that graphene could be used to rapidly sequence DNA. Read More
— Around The Home

ANYWAY Spray allows spray bottles to work at any angle

By - August 5, 2010 5 Pictures
Perhaps you haven’t given this problem a lot of thought, but it is a problem nonetheless... most spray bottles can’t be used upside down, or even at much of angle once they’re half-empty. Not only that, but there’s always that last little bit of liquid in the bottom that gets wasted. That's because most of them have rigid-tubed sprayers that just have a single hole at the bottom, so they only suck up liquid from the bottom middle of the bottle. Well, British inventor Michael Pritchard has come up with something he calls the ANYWAY Spray, a tube that allows you to hold your spray bottles any way you darn well please, and keep spraying until they’re as dry as Keith Richards’ bourbon glass. Read More
— Science

Light-activated membrane acts like a traffic signal for gas

By - August 3, 2010 1 Picture
Colored lights have been controlling the flow of motorists since the first traffic light was installed in 1868 in London. Now scientists have developed a membrane that uses colored light to control the flow of gas. The membrane blocks gas from flowing through it when one color of light is shined on its surface, and permits gas to flow through when another color of light is used. The technology could be useful in research applications and controlled drug delivery as well as industrial processing tanks that require the ability to turn the flow of gas on and off safely. Read More
— Science

New nanoparticle delivery device designed for gene therapy

By - July 20, 2010 1 Picture
Scientists from Ohio State University (OSU) have created a nanoparticle that can deliver DNA deeply enough into a cell to allow genetic material to be activated. This is a key step in gene therapy, the “reprogramming” of defective genes. Previously, scientists have used deactivated viruses for this task, but have been limited by the body’s immune system attacking those viruses. Nanoparticle delivery is reportedly two-and-a-half to ten times more effective, because it generates much less of an immune response. Read More
— Environment

IBM's solar-powered desalination plant to hydrate the Saudi desert

By - April 8, 2010 1 Picture
In spite of the technological age we live in it is reported that one-in-five people on this planet still don’t have access to clean drinking water. To help correct this imbalance, a new, energy-efficient desalination plant with an expected production capacity of 30,000 cubic meters per day will be built in the city of Al Khafji, Saudi Arabia, to serve its 100,000 people. Known more for its computers, IBM has joined forces with KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology) to build the plant that will be powered by ultra-high concentrator photovoltaic (UHCPV) technology - a system with a concentration greater than 1,500 suns. Read More
— Science

Has the human gekko's time finally come?

By - February 2, 2010 1 Picture
Researchers at Cornell University have created a palm-sized device that uses water tension as a switchable adhesive bond and can support many times its own weight. The device could usher in a whole new generation of superheroes by allowing shoes or gloves that stick and unstick to walls on command, or see the creation of Post-It notes that can bear loads. Read More
— Environment

Process to clean wastewater also produces electricity and desalinates water

By - August 17, 2009 2 Pictures
Desalination plants generally employ one of two methods to produce clean water – reverse osmosis or electrodialysis. Unfortunately, both processes require large amounts of energy, but an international team of researchers has proven a process that cleans wastewater can also remove 90 percent of salt from brackish water or seawater while generating electricity. Read More

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