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“Artificial leaf” to create methanol from carbon dioxide produced by scientists

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When we talk about technologies that can convert elements such as carbon into fuel, we often quote the term ‘artificial leaf’, because converting carbon dioxide into useful fuel is more or less what a plant does when it converts the same carbon dioxide into oxygen. And we talk about an “artificial leaf” in a press release issued by the Waterloo University website, according to which a team of researchers who published their research on Nature Energy developed a new technology that “imitates the real leaf and photosynthesis process,” as explained Yimin Wu, Professor of Engineering at the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology and Principal Author of the research.

Scientists have developed a method for producing methanol from carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is considered to be the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions and therefore, according to death, global warming and the possibility of using it for something useful from the fuel point of view, which is methanol, would mean “killing two birds with one stone.” Researchers used copper oxide, a relatively cheap red powder resulting from a chemical reaction with four substances: glucose, copper acetate, sodium hydroxide, and dodecyl sodium sulfate.

This powder acts as a catalyst for a second chemical reaction, which is performed by blowing carbon dioxide into the water and using a white light beam that simulates solar radiation. Finally, a chemical reaction is obtained which produces oxygen, as well as photosynthesis of plants and methanol. Methanol can be collected when it evaporates when the solution is heated.

Nowadays, researchers are working to increase the efficiency of the amount of methanol that can be obtained from the reaction and to understand whether this process can be marketed and thus made available to everyone.

“Climate change is an urgent problem and we can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions while developing an alternative fuel,” explains Wu.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/scientists-create-artificial-leaf-turns-carbon-dioxide-fuel

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-019-0490-3

Image Credit:

https://themindunleashed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Artifical-Leaf.jpg

Janice Carter

A talented writer, activist, liberal and environmentalist, Janice is working towards an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and signed up as a volunteer writer for ABC 14 News very shortly after the website went online. She is able to report on all kinds of research relating to the Earth and environment, and is always extremely up-to-date on the latest initiatives and issues relating to global warming and climate change.

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Drones that can see from 150 meters high used in Scotland to find missing persons.

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The Scottish police are starting to use a new drone system integrated with artificial intelligence, called the Remote Control Aircraft System (RPAS), to detect a person by facial recognition from a distance of up to 150 meters. The system, equipped with advanced cameras and neural computer networks, can actually identify a person, including movement, by recognizing facial features and comparing them with images in a database.

At present, this system is mainly used to search for missing persons or, in any case, for persons who need help or have been lost, as explained by Nicholas Whyte, one of the heads of the Scottish Air Support Unit, who makes some statements about this advanced system on the BBC website. The data collected by the drones are processed in real-time, and the recognition software, which is remotely activated, can distinguish between everything from a person, through an animal, to a vehicle with its license plate, even when these objects are in motion.

To train the software, managers have used hundreds of hours of footage from the same police officers in different contexts, locations and situations. Moreover, the software itself “does not require advanced supercomputers” because Professor Carl Schaschke, a researcher from the University of West Scotland, one of the institutions that worked with the Scottish police to develop this technology, indicates that even a trivial smartphone is sufficient to manage the software. The same system also requires only two police officers to manage one drone, one to pilot it and the other to use recognition software.

At the moment, Scottish political leaders have distributed three drones to be used across Scotland, and the formal launch of the system should take place on Thursday. Of course, such technology, with these particular features, raises concerns about all privacy and civil liberties issues, but the Scottish leaders themselves suggest that it is not a spy drone, but only a ‘police tool’ to help and find people.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-50262650

Image Credit:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Ao-WrjMDL._SL1500_.jpg

Janice Carter

A talented writer, activist, liberal and environmentalist, Janice is working towards an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and signed up as a volunteer writer for ABC 14 News very shortly after the website went online. She is able to report on all kinds of research relating to the Earth and environment, and is always extremely up-to-date on the latest initiatives and issues relating to global warming and climate change.

3060 Scheuvront Drive, Northglenn Colorado, 80221
303-450-0541
Janice@abc14news.com
Janice Carter
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A fossil of a huge sea monster from 150 million years ago, a pliosaurus, was found in Poland

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A fossil of what phys.org calls the “150 millionth sea monster” was found by two researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences. Daniel Tyborowski and Błażej Błażejowski found a fossil in a wheat field near the village of Krzyżanowice. It is a pliosaurus fossil (Pliosauroidea), a marine reptile that lived in Jurassic and Cretaceous areas and had a large head and a generally large body and very massive toothed jaws.

The fossil is about 10 meters long and according to researchers belongs to the pliosaurus, which lived from 145 to 163 million years ago. Apart from being the first pliosaurus fossil in Poland, this fossil opened the way to other fossil remains of various other nearby creatures, including ancient crocodiles and turtles. According to researchers, this area used to be a tropical environment with many animals, perhaps created by an archipelago with lagoons and various small pools, almost ideal for all kinds of reptiles.

Hungry reptiles were hungry reptiles: there were several species and almost all of them were at the top of their food chains. In the millions of years in which they have existed, they have reached enormous proportions with some specimens that could be similar in size to those of modern plowing. They were very long and relatively narrow with a crocodile-like muzzle, with massive teeth and large fins. According to the researchers, they fed on almost every living animal they could find in this environment, from the reptiles themselves to the mammals that might have emerged in search of water food near them.

Researchers believe that there are still other interesting fossils to be found in the area, which is why they continue to work in the area.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-million-year-old-sea-monster-fossil-poland.html

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016787819301063?via%3Dihub

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7629681/Bones-30-foot-long-Jurassic-sea-monster-massive-jaws-cornfield-Poland.html

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliosauroidea

Image Credit:

http://cdn.sci-news.com/images/enlarge3/image_4892e-Luskhan-itilensis.jpg

Janice Carter

A talented writer, activist, liberal and environmentalist, Janice is working towards an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and signed up as a volunteer writer for ABC 14 News very shortly after the website went online. She is able to report on all kinds of research relating to the Earth and environment, and is always extremely up-to-date on the latest initiatives and issues relating to global warming and climate change.

3060 Scheuvront Drive, Northglenn Colorado, 80221
303-450-0541
Janice@abc14news.com
Janice Carter
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Microbial skin protects sharks from infection as a result of wounds

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Microbials, i.e. groups of bacteria and microorganisms living in the body (or above it in the case of skin microorganisms), are not only very important for humans but also for animals, as confirmed by further research. This time, scientists from the Red Sea Research Centre of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) investigated the microbiological communities living on saithe shark skin (Carcharhinus melanopterus).

It has happened several times that those who study these sharks have observed them with noticeable wounds on their bodies, but almost never with signs of infection around the wounds themselves. To understand this phenomenon, an international team of researchers collected various samples of skin mucus from the backs and gills of sloe sharks living around Seychelles, namely around the Amirante Islands. In addition, they sequenced RNA genes to identify bacteria.

As Claudia Pogoreutz explains, one of the researchers who conducted the study, the researchers found no signs of infection around the wounds. This suggests that the skin of these sharks is not readily infective and that it is the bacterial communities, precisely those on the skin, that are the main reason: “We really need to investigate the bacterial functions and innate immunity of sharks to understand what really happens and how wound healing in sharks is mediated,” says the researcher in a press release presenting the research that has emerged in the Animal Microbiome.

Scientists have also found differences in the bacterial communities of shark skin depending on where he lived, even when he was only a few miles away, but relatively isolated. According to scientists, these differences are dictated by the environmental conditions in which these sharks live, by conditions that may vary, such as temperature, population density, nutrient availability and water pollution levels.

Pogoreutz herself suggests that there are still many things to understand with regard to shark skin micro-organisms.


Related Articles and Sources:

https://animalmicrobiome.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42523-019-0011-5

Image Credit:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/EP8MjFiUSbM/maxresdefault.jpg

Janice Carter

A talented writer, activist, liberal and environmentalist, Janice is working towards an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and signed up as a volunteer writer for ABC 14 News very shortly after the website went online. She is able to report on all kinds of research relating to the Earth and environment, and is always extremely up-to-date on the latest initiatives and issues relating to global warming and climate change.

3060 Scheuvront Drive, Northglenn Colorado, 80221
303-450-0541
Janice@abc14news.com
Janice Carter
Continue Reading

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