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Ultraviolet

Xenex's robots us UV radiation to kill Ebola viruses

Dealing with highly infectious diseases like Ebola is often like a logic problem. Disinfecting rooms is hard enough, but what about protective suits? True, they greatly reduce the chances of infection, but getting them off can bring the risk straight back again if the suit isn't decontaminated first. Xenex has created protocols that conform to those of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its a line of robots that use UV lamps that to decontaminate hospital rooms and protective clothing exposed to the Ebola virus.  Read More

If California’s drought continues, residents may be drinking the recycled water from the S...

Drinking recycled urine may be the stuff of Dune novels, and a drastic response to California’s ongoing drought. But officials in Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley are hoping its new high-tech purification plant will help residents get past the ick factor and eventually allow treated wastewater to flow through their faucets in a "toilet to tap" scenario. Opened in July, the $72 million Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center is the most advanced such plant in the US, and uses a multi-step system of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet rays to produce water of higher quality than typical drinking water.  Read More

Researchers at Michigan State University claim to have a solar collector so clear that it ...

Researchers working at Michigan State University have created a completely transparent solar collector which is so clear that it could replace conventional glass in windows. The new devices – dubbed transparent luminescent solar concentrators – have the potential to not only turn windows into solar electric generators, but the screens of smartphones, vehicle glazing, and almost anything else that has a see-through surface.  Read More

NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio prepares to test the ultraviolet light decontamination har...

The International Space Station (ISS) is perhaps the most artificial environment that human beings have ever taken up residence in. It’s not the sort of place where you’d want a lab accident, because you can’t run out the door and wait in the carpark for the air to clear, so NASA uses gloveboxes to keep the crew and equipment separate from dangerous contaminants. To increase this level of safety and expand the number experiments the station can carry out, the space agency is fitting one of the larger gloveboxes with an Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) system to to prevent potentially dangerous microorganisms from escaping.  Read More

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken a long-exposure picture of space in the ultraviolet, ...

A newly-released picture taken by the Hubble Telescope is adding more color to the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) image by detecting thousands of galaxies in the ultraviolet spectrum. The study, called the Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UVUDF), directly imaged stars and other celestial bodies that would have been impossible to observe on the ground, and gives astronomers critical information that will prove useful as the launch of the more powerful James Webb Space Telescope approaches.  Read More

The CHESS Sounding rocket (Photo:  NASA/WSMR)

In an experiment designed to look for the fundamental building blocks of matter in the dust clouds of interstellar space, NASA recently launched a high-altitude sounding rocket containing the Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS) payload. Enabling scientists to carry out the most comprehensive single instrument study of its type ever conducted, the research promises to give new insights into the formation of stars.  Read More

Ultraviolet light causes a chemical reaction in the Smartsun wristband, alerting the weare...

Balancing a healthy amount of time in the sun while avoiding overexposure to its harmful UV rays can be a a difficult task. Indeed, the challenge of finding this happy medium has produced a bevy of of UV-detecting wristbands, such as the UVeBand and the UVA+Sunfriend. Smartsun is the latest to join the ranks of such devices, alerting users to dangerous levels of UV exposure by changing color from yellow to pink when it's time to head indoors.  Read More

The Confession Machine uses UV LEDs to print disapearing messages onto photosensitive pape...

Israeli artist Liat Segal has created a device that uses light to print fading messages onto photosensitive paper. The Confession Machine uses ultraviolet (UV) LEDs that are programmed to switch on and off at certain intervals in order to print people's confessions onto paper coated with a UV sensitive pigment. Then they disappear.  Read More

The UVA+B Sunfriend features LED lights that indicate when users have had a healthy dose o...

Most of us are aware of the dangers surrounding the amount of time we spend in the sun. Although we rely on exposure to sunlight to provide us with vitamin D, a lack of protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to skin cancer. It can be a fine line between a healthy dose of sun and retreating indoors to coat ourselves in Aloe vera. The UVA+B Sunfriend aims to promote a healthy amount of sun exposure by alerting users when it is time to make for the shade.  Read More

Workers harvest sunscreen-producing bacteria from Norway's Trondheim fjord (Photo: Credit ...

The next generation of powerful sunscreens may have their roots in some unlikely sources – corals from the Great Barrier Reef and bacteria found in the Trondheim Fjord in Norway. When developed, these new sunscreens could offer protection across a wider band of ultraviolet (UV) radiation suspected to cause deadly forms of skin cancer, which current sunscreens don't protect against. The discoveries represent huge breakthroughs, made possible by harnessing the natural sunscreen abilities that these life forms have developed over millions of years to survive the harsh UV radiation in their respective environments.  Read More

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