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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category

Feb 7, 2023

Switzerland installs 5,000 solar panels on Europe’s highest dam

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, solar power, sustainability

It will produce three times more energy in winter months.

AlpinSolar, a joint venture between three Swiss companies, has successfully completed installing 5,000 solar panels on the Lake Muttsee Dam in Switzerland, Reuters.

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Feb 7, 2023

Monica Medina, Assistant U.S. Secretary, Oceans & International Environmental & Scientific Affairs

Posted by in categories: law, policy, security, sustainability

Monica P. Medina (https://www.state.gov/biographies/monica-p-medina/) is Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She was also recently appointed as United States Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources.

Previously, Secretary Medina was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She was also a Senior Associate on the Stephenson Ocean Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Co-Founder and Publisher of Our Daily Planet, an e-newsletter on conservation and the environment.

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Feb 6, 2023

Magical Marvel: Tiny Fairy-Like Robot Flies by the Power of Wind and Light

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, food, robotics/AI, sustainability

The loss of pollinators, such as bees, is a huge challenge for global biodiversity and affects humanity by causing problems in food production. At Tampere University, researchers have now developed the first passively flying robot equipped with artificial muscle. Could this artificial fairy be utilized in pollination?

The development of stimuli-responsive polymers has brought about a wealth of material-related opportunities for next-generation small-scale, wirelessly controlled soft-bodied robots. For some time now, engineers have known how to use these materials to make small robots that can walk, swim and jump. So far, no one has been able to make them fly.

Researchers of the Light Robots group at Tampere University are now researching how to make smart material fly. Hao Zeng, Academy Research Fellow and the group leader, and Jianfeng Yang, a doctoral researcher, have come up with a new design for their project called FAIRY – Flying Aero-robots based on Light Responsive Materials Assembly. They have developed a polymer-assembly robot that flies by wind and is controlled by light.

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Feb 4, 2023

Solar Foods

Posted by in categories: food, sustainability

Food from thin air?

Food production, as we know it, is entirely dependent on land and weather conditions. Protein production is a massively disproportionate squanderer of the Earth’s resources. It’s time to enter the era of sustainable food production to liberate our planet from the burdens of agriculture.

Feb 4, 2023

Seaglider takes off: Another major airline joins the push for battery-powered water flights

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Kurt “The CyberGuy” Knutsson details the design and features of the REGENT Seaglider and also explains the benefits of the electric aircraft.

Feb 3, 2023

Jury finds Elon Musk did not defraud Tesla investors with infamous ‘funding secured’ claim

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, finance, law, sustainability, transportation

A jury found Elon Musk not liable for costing investors when he issued a series of tweets saying he had “secured” funding to take the electric car maker private.

The Friday verdict, issued by a nine-person Northern California jury, represents a legal victory for the 51-year-old billionaire, who has seen the value of his Tesla holdings decline some 44% over the past year.

During the trial, Musk personally took the witness stand to defend the tweets, testifying he believed he had a handshake agreement in 2018 with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to convert Tesla, which is a publicly traded company, into a private one. It was the Saudis, he said, who subsequently reneged on the deal.

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Feb 2, 2023

Genetic engineering sheds light on ancient evolutionary questions

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, climatology, genetics, sustainability

Cyanobacteria are single-celled organisms that derive energy from light, using photosynthesis to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and liquid water (H2O) into breathable oxygen and the carbon-based molecules like proteins that make up their cells. Cyanobacteria were the first organisms to perform photosynthesis in the history of Earth, and were responsible for flooding the early Earth with oxygen, thus significantly influencing how life evolved.

Geological measurements suggest that the atmosphere of the early Earth—over three billion years ago—was likely rich in CO2, far higher than current levels caused by , meaning that ancient had plenty to “eat.”

But over Earth’s multi-billion-year history, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have decreased, and so to survive, these bacteria needed to evolve new strategies to extract CO2. Modern cyanobacteria thus look quite different from their ancient ancestors, and possess a complex, fragile set of structures called a CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) to compensate for lower concentrations of CO2.

Feb 2, 2023

How ‘modern-day slavery’ in the Congo powers the rechargeable battery economy

Posted by in categories: economics, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

Phone and electric car batteries are made with cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt Red author Siddharth Kara describes the conditions for workers as a “horror show.”

Feb 2, 2023

World’s first semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm blows past expectations

Posted by in category: sustainability

WindFloat Atlantic – the world’s first semi-submersible floating offshore wind farm – has been online for two years, and it’s far exceeding power output expectations.

The 25 megawatt (MW) WindFloat Atlantic project ended 2022 with an electricity production of 78 gigawatt hours (GWh) – 5% more output than its first year. It supplies power to more than 25,000 households and avoids 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Its annual availability was between 93–94%.

The offshore wind farm sits 20 km off the coast of Portugal in the municipality of Viana do Castelo, north of Porto. It’s made up of three 8.4 MW Vestas wind turbines that sit on semi-submersible, three-column floating platforms anchored by chains to the seabed. A 20 km long (12.4 mile long) cable connects it to an onshore substation.

Feb 1, 2023

Ultrafast water permeation through nanochannels with a densely fluorous interior surface

Posted by in categories: innovation, sustainability

The key innovation in this new desalination technology is fluorine, a hydrophobic element that that’s long been prized for its desire to be left alone. It’s no accident that fluorine is a key ingredient in Teflon, which is used on non-stick pans to keep fried eggs from sticking and inside pipes to make fluids flow more efficiently. At the nanoscopic level, fluorine repels negatively charged ions, including the chlorine in salt (NaCl). Its electric properties also break down clumps of water molecules that can keep the liquid from flowing as freely as possible. -(IE)

-Desalination is something people need to consider with rising sea levels and changing weather patterns, like drought.


Oligoamide nanoring-based fluorous nanochannels in bilayer membranes enable ultrafast water permeation and desalination.

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