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Ultraviolet

A new UV dosimeter wristband is designed to help prevent things like this happening (Photo...

With around 200,000 new cases worldwide of malignant melanoma, the most virulent form of skin cancer, reported in 2008 according to Cancer Research UK statistics, limiting exposure to the sun is vitally important. But keeping track of our exposure, particularly on cloudy days, can be a difficult exercise. New technology developed at the University of Strathclyde makes things easier by providing a visual warning of when to seek some shade or slap on some more sunscreen.  Read More

Partial interior assembly of Degradation Free Spectrometers sounding rocket (Photo: Univer...

On July 24, 2012, NASA successfully launched a pair of newly developed spectrometers aboard a sounding rocket from the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico to an altitude of 323.8 km (201.2 mi). This may not seem to have much to do with extending the life of a satellite floating between the Sun and Earth about 1.5 million kilometers (932,000 mi) away, but it does. That’s because the tests purpose was both to test new instruments for a potential future replacement of the SOHO solar observatory satellite and to recalibrate SOHO’s existing instruments.  Read More

A plastic garden furniture armrest without (left) and with (right) a self-cleaning photoca...

For many people, the onset of warmer weather can mean pulling out the ol' scrubbing brush and getting to work on the slimy film of moss, algae, fungi and bacteria that has built up on the garden furniture over the colder months. But we may soon be able to say goodbye to this tiresome chore thanks to researchers at Fraunhofer who are developing coatings that would be activated by the sun’s rays to destroy organic substances attaching themselves to various surfaces.  Read More

The new super-black coating made from hollow carbon nanotubes prevents reflection because ...

When it comes to gathering measurements of objects so distant in the universe that they can no longer be seen in visible light, the smallest amount of stray light can play havoc with the sensitive detectors and other instrument components used by astronomers. Currently, instrument developers use black paint on baffles and other components to help prevent stray light ricocheting off surfaces, but the paint absorbs only 90 percent of the light that strikes it. NASA engineers have now developed a nanotech-based coating that absorbs on average more than 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that hits it, making it promising for a variety of space- and Earth-bound applications.  Read More

InstantTrust is a new product that uses UV light to instantly kill bacteria in drinking wa...

There are presently a number of products available that use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms in drinking water. Many of these are used on the water after it has been dispensed, requiring users to wait before drinking it. Others are fairly large, or require the water to be within a certain temperature range. Philips Lighting, however, has just released a compact UV water disinfection device known as InstantTrust. It is said to kill bacteria instantly, at the point of use, and at any temperature.  Read More

A new understanding of the workings of a DNA-repairing enzyme could lead to medications th...

While there may be medications that help soothe sunburnt skin, when it comes to healing that skin ... well, we pretty much have to just wait for our bodies to do that on their own. Recent research conducted at Ohio State University, however, suggests that an actual healing treatment for sunburn may be on the way. It all comes down to some new understandings about an enzyme named photolyase.  Read More

Graduate students Guoping Wang (L), Sheng Chu (R) and professor of electrical engineering ...

Although ultraviolet semiconductor diode lasers are widely used in data processing, information storage and biology, their applications have been limited by the lasers’ size, cost and power. Now researchers at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have overcome these problems by developing a new semiconductor nanowire laser technology that could be used to provide denser optical disc storage, superfast data processing and transmission and even to change the function of a living cell.  Read More

Students Chin Jung Cheng, Charlie Matlack, Penny Huang and Jacqueline Linnes designed a wa...

The worldwide shortage of clean drinking water is a serious problem, although in many cases there’s a relatively simple solution – just leave the tainted water outside in clear plastic bottles, and let the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays purify it. This approach is known as SODIS (SOlar DISinfection of water in plastic bottles), and it removes 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses – results similar to those obtained by chlorine. Unfortunately, however, there’s been no reliable way of knowing when the water has reached a safe level of purity. Now, four engineering students from the University of Washington have created a simple, inexpensive device that does just that... and they won US$40,000 in the process.  Read More

The Germ Genie, mounted above a standard keyboard

According to a 2008 study conducted for England’s Which? magazine, computer keyboards can contain up to five times the amount of bacteria as toilet seats. This is particularly yucky news for users of public or shared keyboards, who are being exposed to other peoples’ bacteria. In settings such as hospitals, where doctors and nurses share keyboards, it’s a situation that definitely should be addressed. Fortunately, a study recently conducted at the University of Hertfordshire determined that an ultraviolet light device very effectively sanitizes keyboards.  Read More

The University of Copenhagen's Prof. Matthew Johnson, inventor of the Cleanair system

According to the University of Copenhagen’s Prof. Matthew Johnson, approximately one-sixth of the energy consumed in the world is used for heating, cooling and dehumidifying air in buildings. Because that air accumulates toxins and pathogens, he explains, it must constantly be expelled and replaced with new air that’s drawn in from outside. That new air must then be heated, cooled and/or dehumidified all over again. If only the air already in buildings could be cleaned up and reused, far less energy would be used on continuously conditioning fresh air. That’s why Johnson has invented the Cleanair system.  Read More

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