Thursday, September 25, 2014

The New Solar Cell

Now this is about a story stating about the success of a new invention - a cheap energy efficient solar cell. 
Olga Malinkiewicz, a PhD student studying photovoltaics at the University of Valencia in Spain, first heard about perovskites, the latest hope for low-cost solar power, in April last year. Unlike the slabs of purified silicon at the heart of the solar cells that currently dominate the market, perov­skites form thin films that are easily made in the lab by mixing together cheap salts.

Large, commercial silicon modules convert 17–25% of solar radiation into electricity, and much smaller perovskite cells have already reached a widely reproduced rate of 16–18% in the lab occasionally spiking higher. They are expected to top 20% in a few months.The combination of low cost and efficiency means that perovskite cells could, in theory, make solar power  which currently provides less than 1% of the world’s electricity  cheaper to generate than fossil-fuel energy.

The cells, composed of perovskite film sandwiched between conducting layers, are still about the size of postage stamps. To be practical, they must be scaled up, which causes efficiency to drop. It achieved 12% efficiency with 10 small cells wired together.

Doubts remain over whether the materials can survive for years when exposed to conditions outside the lab, such as humidity, temperature fluctuations and ultraviolet light. Researchers have also reported that ions inside some perovskite structures might shift positions in response to cycles of light and dark, potentially degrading performance.

What is perovskite ?

Perovskite is a calcium titanium oxide mineral composed of calcium titanate, with the chemical formulaCaTiO3. The mineral was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia by Gustav Rose in 1839 and is named after Russian mineralogist Lev Perovski

New Efficient Easy to make Solar Cell

The Bending iPhone 6 Plus

Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which boast aluminum shells for lightness, apparently live up to that other characteristic of aluminum: malleability.

Reports of bent iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets are popping up on social media, and one product reviewer posted a video showing how far the larger frame can bend if one really, really tries.

On Twitter, it's being called #BendGate and #Bendghazi.

So far there has been no official response from Apple.

Smartphones bending in their pockets- iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus

Russell Holly, 29, decided to examine his new, silver iPhone 6 after seeing online reports of bent iPhones.

He noticed it wobbled on a flat surface. Then he compared it to the other iPhone 6 he bought. The bend was unmistakable. His confidence in the iPhone shaken, the mobile editor for returned the phone.

Experts are divided over whether Apple should respond to claims that its new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to becoming bent when carried in trouser pockets.

Several members of the public have posted photos to the MacRumors site that appear to show the problem. A reporter for the news site also reported his phone had warped.

The bigger screens but thinner bodies of Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models have come at the cost of rigidity, according to owners who say they bent while being carried in trouser pockets.

A number of users across various forums, sites and Twitter have reported – and pictured – that their phones have become warped after they sat or bent down with them in front and rear trouser pockets.

The reports come just after an insurance company claimed that the new iPhones are the most robust ever – though its tests didn’t include bending.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus chassis is milled from a solid piece of aluminium alloy whose composition is secret. The weak area of the phone appears to be around the volume buttons, where the frame is at its thinnest and creates a fulcrum point around which the phone bends. Surprisingly, the screen does not break when the phone bends – though it does if the phone is then bent back to a flat profile.

LG G Flex and the Samsung Galaxy Round

Handsets like the LG G Flex and the Samsung Galaxy Round have proved that manufacturers can make curved smartphones if they really want to, but with the iPhone 6 Plus it seems Apple is offering customers a do-it-yourself option.

Is iPhone 6 Plus Bending ?

Syngenta Photography Awards 2014

Last Date of registration : 29 September 2014

The Syngenta Photography Award is an invitation to create images that make people stop and think. The Open Competition invites all photographers aged 18 or over – whether 
amateur, professional, or student – to visually explore this year’s theme Scarcity–  Waste through compelling images. 

Celebrating excellence 

All entries will be judged by a distinguished international judging panel chaired by the author and curator William A. Ewing. The jury members award three prizes in the Open Competition:

Open Competition  

• 1st  prize: US$5,000
• 2nd prize: US$3,000
• 3rd prize: US$2,000

Professional Competition

1st  prize: US$15,000
• 2nd prize: US$10,000
• 3rd prize: US$5,000

The winners will have their work featured in The International New York Times as well as showcased at an exhibition at Somerset House, London, in March 2015.  

The Theme - Scarcity Waste

In the past 50 years, the world’s demand for natural resources has doubled. If we continue to use resources and generate waste at the current rate, by 2030 we will need the equivalent of two planets. But we only have one. Clearly, something needs to change.

The second Syngenta Photography Award explores the theme of scarcity and waste. In a world of limited resources, these have become fundamental social, political and environmental issues of our time.

As population and economic growth drives increases in global consumption, many countries face growing resource shortages. Competition for, and even conflict over, resources such as fresh water, farm land, and forests is an increasing risk.

Resource scarcity is evident everywhere. From over-fished oceans to the rapidly disappearing rainforests, and from dust bowls to shrinking rivers and lakes. In China alone, over 27,000 rivers have disappeared in the last 60 years.

Already, 40% of the world’s farmland is seriously degraded and every second we lose an area of fertile land the size of a football field. This is in a world where nearly one billion people go to bed hungry and one in three people are affected by water scarcity.

Yet, it is a paradox that this scarcity exists side-by-side with enormous waste.

A third of the world’s food production is lost or wasted along the supply chain. In the UK, as much as 30% of vegetable crops are not harvested because they fail to meet the physical appearance standards expected by retailers. In India, around 40% of all fruit and vegetables are lost due to poor storage and transport systems. And across Europe and the US, over half of food purchased is simply thrown away. This isn’t just a waste of food, but of the land, water, inputs and labour that go into their cultivation.

With water use growing at twice the rate of population increases, many cities are struggling with inadequate infrastructure. In Jakarta, for example, 39% of the water is lost through pipe leaks. In Dhaka this rises to 50%, and in London water mains leak at least 25% of the city’s water. And waste as a by-product of an urban lifestyle is growing even faster than the rate of urbanization. In the US alone, over 100 million tons of household waste goes to landfill. Another 100 million tons is burnt or exported to poorer countries, with electronic waste putting up to 200 million people at risk of health and environmental hazards.

In a world that is so desperately short of resources, how can we ensure that there is land, food and water for everyone? How can we protect farmland against soil erosion and urbanization? How can we conserve vital ecosystems and biodiversity?

And what can we learn from the efforts of innovative communities to conserve, re-use and recycle?

The Syngenta Photography Award is a celebration of artistic skill and outstanding photography. It is a call for photographs that tell stories about scarcity, waste and the tensions and relationships between them. Photographers, whatever their approach, are invited to submit images that explore these important issues, and to spark a dialogue about our changing planet

Photography Awards 2014 Win US$ 15,000

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Biospleen to Filter the Blood

The recent issue of Nature reported the development of a high-tech methodology to clean up the body from infection even if the causative pathogen is unknown. This device inspired by the Spleen to clean up the blood quickly and easily. This can be mentioned as an ‘artificial Biospleen’ to clean up the blood.

Knowing about Spleen

The spleen is the organ that is responsible for purifying the blood as well as storing blood cells. It is positioned in the superior abdomen, and is the largest lymphatic organ in the body. The spleen serves a valuable role in immune function because it purifies the blood and helps the immune system with recognize and attack foreign antibodies and disease. The spleen is composed of the red and white pulp. The white pulp produces and grows immune cell as well as blood cells. On the other hand, the red pulp is responsible for purifying the blood and removing dead or old blood cells.

Application of Artificial Biospleen

Infection in blood is difficult to identify and cure. Usually more than 50% of time physicians treat this by antibiotic which attack on broad range of pathogens. This approach is not always effective, and can lead to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

In search of a way to clear any infection, a team led by Donald Ingber, a bioengineer at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in Boston, Massachusetts, developed an artificial 'biospleen' to filter blood.

The filtering technology

Scientist used modified version of Mannose binding Lectin (MBL). a protein found in humans that binds to sugar molecules on the surfaces of more than 90 different bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as to the toxins released by dead bacteria that trigger the immune overreaction in sepsis.

The researchers coated magnetic nanobeads with MBL. As blood enters the Biospleen device, passes by the MBL-equipped nanobeads, which bind to most pathogens. A magnet on the Biospleen device then pulls the beads and their quarry out of the blood, which can then be routed back into the patient.

Testing of the Biospleen in infected rats showed that 90% of pathogens cleaned by the device in 5 hours. The researchers then tested whether the Biospleen could handle the volume of blood in an average adult human — about 5 litres. They ran human blood containing a mixture of bacteria and fungi through the Biospleen at a rate of 1 litre per hour, and found that the device removed most of the pathogens within five hours.

The Biospleen could also help to treat viral diseases such as HIV and Ebola, in which survival depends on lowering the amount of virus in the blood to a negligible level. This may be a future breakthrough device to save human life. 

Artificial Biospleen to Filter the Blood

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