Minesto’s Dragon 12 Unleashes Innovative Tidal Energy Harvesting with Underwater Kite-Like Technology

Minesto’s Dragon 12, a fully operational and dynamic tidal energy device, is making waves in the renewable energy sector with its innovative approach. Resembling a futuristic military drone, the Dragon 12 behaves like an underwater kite, utilizing tidal flows to fly patterns faster than the currents, effectively harvesting renewable energy. Unlike traditional tidal turbines that remain stationary in the water, Minesto’s Dragon series is anchored to the sea bed and maneuvers like kites, optimizing energy extraction from tidal currents.

Similar to land-based wind energy kites that follow figure-eight patterns to outpace the wind, the Dragon underwater device employs dynamic movements to extract more energy from a given tidal current. This unique approach expands the economic feasibility of harnessing energy from slower tidal flows. Despite its substantial size, with a 12-meter wingspan and a weight of 28 tons, the Dragon 12 offers easier installation using a single boat and a sea bed tether.

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Innovative Researchers Develop World’s First Edible Rechargeable Battery

Researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology have achieved a groundbreaking feat by creating the world’s first rechargeable battery entirely composed of food products, making it not only environmentally friendly but also completely edible. This remarkable development opens doors to potential applications in internal gastrointestinal diagnostic instruments, food quality monitoring, and even edible soft robotics.

The team, led by Mario Caironi, coordinator of the Printed and Molecular Electronics laboratory at the IIT Center in Milan, drew inspiration from biochemical reactions in living beings. The battery’s anode is crafted from riboflavin (vitamin B2), found in almonds, dairy products, and meats, while the cathode is made from the plant flavonoid quercetin, present in capers, citrus fruits, and leafy greens.

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Common Hypertension Drug Shows Potential as Anti-Aging Treatment

A recent study published in Aging Cell has revealed that rilmenidine, a drug commonly prescribed for hypertension, may hold the key to extending lifespan and slowing down the aging process. The research, led by Professor João Pedro Magalhães, formerly of the University of Liverpool and now at the University of Birmingham, demonstrated that rilmenidine mimics the effects of caloric restriction, a proven anti-aging intervention.

The study, conducted in collaboration with scientists from ETH Zürich and Harvard Medical School, showcased the drug’s ability to enhance lifespan and improve health markers in animals. Unlike previous anti-aging drug candidates, rilmenidine boasts rare and non-severe side effects, making it a promising option for future human treatments.

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OpenAI CEO Aims to Raise Trillions for Bold Chip Initiative

OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, is reportedly pursuing a groundbreaking initiative to raise trillions of dollars, including potential investment from the United Arab Emirates government, aimed at enhancing the global capacity for advanced chip production and fueling artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Described as a “wildly ambitious tech initiative,” Altman’s plan could involve raising up to $7 trillion, involving the construction of numerous chip foundries to be operated by established chip manufacturers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The initiative addresses challenges faced by OpenAI, particularly the scarcity of chips powering AI models such as ChatGPT, with the sums sought described as “outlandishly large” in the corporate fundraising realm.

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Beyond Coding: Future-Proofing Careers in the Age of AI

Over the past two decades, the ubiquitous advice to “learn how to code” has permeated high schools and universities worldwide as a preparation strategy for future careers. However, a crucial aspect often omitted is that more than 50% of jobs in major technology firms, such as Google and Meta, require zero coding skills.

This prevailing narrative overlooks the essential reality that, beyond coding, technology-forward businesses demand a diverse skill set to solve complex problems. These skills encompass the ability to evaluate, learn, and utilize new technologies, as well as proficiency in written and verbal communication, data research, project management, decision-making, and more.

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Revolutionizing Construction: Swiss Scientists Introduce Aerogel Glass Bricks with Unparalleled Insulation

Swiss scientists from Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratory for Science and Technology) and the Slovak University of Technology have unveiled a groundbreaking construction material that could transform the industry with its exceptional insulation capabilities. The team has ingeniously harnessed the power of silica aerogel granules to create aerogel glass bricks, introducing a translucent and thermally insulating material that could significantly reduce lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) energy demands without the need to increase insulation layer thickness.

Described as having the “highest insulating performance” among bricks in technical literature and the market, the aerogel glass brick offers not only insulation benefits but also improves visual comfort. The material is expected to enhance solar gains, leading to reduced heating costs, and decrease reliance on artificial lighting.

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Growing Architecture: The Innovative Rise of Biomimetic Tree Structures

In a wooded area along the Hudson River, a unique structure is slowly taking shape. This building, however, is not conventional; it’s designed to house not just humans but also animals and plants. What sets it apart is that it’s constructed from, or rather, by growing trees. This groundbreaking project is the brainchild of Terreform One, a non-profit organization focusing on art, architecture, and urban design, led by architect Mitchell Joachim.

The concept of this tree-integrated building had its roots around 2002 when Habitat for Humanity initiated a design competition seeking fresh approaches to suburban housing. Joachim, pursuing a Ph.D. in architecture at MIT, collaborated with researchers Lara Greden and Javier Arbona to explore ecological processes for large-scale housing construction. Their goal was to leverage computing, fabrication systems, and ecological principles to guide nature in creating usable structures.

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Surge in AI PC Shipments: The Evolution Towards Next-Gen Neural Processing Units

The anticipated shipments of AI-equipped PCs, capable of running generative AI tasks locally, are poised to reach nearly 50 million units this year, with projections suggesting a significant threefold increase in just a few years.

Traditionally, AI tasks on local machines were managed by the CPU, GPU, or a combination of both, presenting challenges due to their suboptimal performance for AI workloads, impacting overall system efficiency and draining batteries quickly.

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Nature’s Prescription: The Science Behind Forest Bathing for Mental Well-being

Engaging with nature offers a compelling pathway to enhance mental health and overall psychological well-being, supported by scientific insights. Dr. Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo and the president of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, shared with NPR’s Life Kit the profound benefits of a practice known as “forest bathing” or shinrin-yoku, particularly in a forest environment.

Originating in the 1980s, forest bathing is a Japanese term emphasizing the therapeutic effects of spending time in the woods. Practitioners attest to reduced stress, strengthened immune systems, and elevated levels of anti-cancer proteins. Dr. Li emphasized the biological need for humans to connect with nature, underscoring that the duration of exposure amplifies the positive effects.

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Green Steel Breakthrough: Hydrogen Process Transforms Aluminum Waste into Environmentally Friendly Steel

In a groundbreaking development, researchers have unveiled an economically viable method to reduce the environmental impact of both the steel and aluminum industries. By utilizing hydrogen to melt down the toxic red mud, a byproduct of aluminum production, scientists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Germany have devised a process that yields green steel in just 10 minutes.

The aluminum industry annually generates approximately 198 million tons (180 million tonnes) of bauxite residue, known as red mud, which poses environmental challenges due to its high alkalinity and rich content of toxic heavy metals. Traditionally, red mud is disposed of in large landfills, incurring high processing costs. Simultaneously, the steel industry contributes significantly to global carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for 8%. Despite these environmental concerns, the demand for steel and aluminum is expected to surge by up to 60% by 2050.

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Breakthrough Thermal Refractory Material Unveiled for Extreme Environment Applications

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have achieved a significant milestone by developing a thermally refractory material capable of maintaining its optical properties under extreme conditions, including temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius and intense ultraviolet illumination. This breakthrough material holds promising applications in various fields, from aerospace and space technology to thermal photovoltaic (TPV) systems.

Thermal radiation, the electromagnetic radiation emitted by matter with temperatures above absolute zero, has long been explored as a potential energy source. Harnessing this radiation can be particularly useful in repurposing heat generated by facilities such as thermal power plants and industrial sites for heating, cooling, and energy production. The focus of this research has been to identify materials that can withstand extreme environments, expanding the scope of thermal radiation applications.

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Breakthrough Lithium Batteries with Built-In Fire Extinguishing Capabilities

Researchers have tackled the safety concerns surrounding lithium batteries by developing a groundbreaking solution that integrates fire extinguishing capabilities directly into the battery cells. While lithium batteries have revolutionized technology, powering devices like smartphones, electric cars, and laptops, their potential for catastrophic fires has raised alarm. The surge in incidents, including over 200 recorded in New York City alone in 2022, highlights the need for enhanced safety measures.

Traditional lithium batteries, when mishandled or damaged, can lead to fiery explosions with devastating consequences. Recognizing this issue, a team from Clemson University and Hunan University has introduced a new rechargeable lithium battery design. The innovation involves replacing the standard, highly combustible electrolyte fluid with a modified version of 3M’s Novec 7300 non-flammable heat transfer fluid, commonly found in fire extinguishers.

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