First of a kind material lets solar panels generate electricity from snow

First of a kind material lets solar panels generate electricity from snow

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our knowledge of materials and how they behave improves we can generate electricity from almost anything.   Scientists have announced that they’ve developed a first of its kind material that generates electricity from nothing other than, wait for it… snow. Based upon the principles...

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Scientists bring 28,000 year old woolly mammoth cells back to life

Scientists bring 28,000 year old woolly mammoth cells back to life

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many scientists see de-extinction, as well as immortality and re-incarnation, as a mystery we simply haven’t solved yet.   In a world rife with movie plotlines about bringing extinct animals back from the dead, and actual scientists thinking about actually doing it, scientists in Osaka,...

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Major 3D printing advance boosts LiON battery capacities by over 400 percent

Major 3D printing advance boosts LiON battery capacities by over 400 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our ability to 3D print objects at the nano scale improves it gives us the ability to create dramatically better batteries with huge surface areas.   Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Missouri University of Science and Technology have used 3D Printing to produce high capacity Lithium...

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Breakthrough process lets researchers turn Carbon Dioxide back into Coal

Breakthrough process lets researchers turn Carbon Dioxide back into Coal

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Climate change is getting harder to solve, and the effects are getting more severe so we need new ways to tackle it.   Scientists from the Melbourne based RMIT University have announced they’ve developed a new technique using “a liquid metal electrolysis method to convert...

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Scientists create a liquid fuel that can store the Sun’s energy for 18 years

Scientists create a liquid fuel that can store the Sun’s energy for 18 years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the number of solar energy installations increase storing the energy they produce, so it can be released to the grid when the Sun goes in, is still holding the industry back from world domination.   Recently renewable energy became the cheapest form of energy...

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All new UK homes will be off the gas grid by 2025 says UK government

All new UK homes will be off the gas grid by 2025 says UK government

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As countries try to hit their emissions targets fossil fuels are under fire, now the UK government is calling time on domestic gas supplies.   Connecting new homes to the UK’s gas grid could be banned after 2025 as the UK government, just like many...

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Paper based bio-battery uses bacteria to power the internet of things

Paper based bio-battery uses bacteria to power the internet of things

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The Internet of Things relies of billions of sensors to work, but only a handful of these sensors can be powered with traditional batteries, so new alternatives are needed.   In remote parts of the world, access to batteries for diagnostic devices, medical equipment and...

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Dutch firm unveils the world’s first autonomous self-balancing energy grid for EV’s

Dutch firm unveils the world’s first autonomous self-balancing energy grid for EV’s

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New powerful technologies are letting us revolutionise how we generate and deliver electricity, and autonomous, self-balancing energy grids are now a thing.   A little while ago I wrote about the US Department of Energy’s plans to create the world’s first autonomous energy grid, but...

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India wants to turn its beaches into fuel for Thorium Reactors

India wants to turn its beaches into fuel for Thorium Reactors

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Thorium reactors produce thousands times less radioactive waste than their nuclear counterparts, and are much safer, but the technology is taking a long time to take off.   The tropical beaches of India probably bring to mind sun-dappled palms, fiery fish curries and dreadlocked backpackers,...

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China reveals plans to build a space based solar power plant by 2025

China reveals plans to build a space based solar power plant by 2025

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to collect solar energy in space and beam it back down to base stations on Earth is a very efficient way to harvest it, and we have the technology.   Let’s face it humanity uses a lot of energy, and while solar power here on...

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Batteries are passé as researchers use ambient sound to charge smartphones

Batteries are passé as researchers use ambient sound to charge smartphones

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to use sound to charge our gadgets is a revolutionary idea, and it’s made possible thanks to advances in Nanomanufacturing.   This could be the greatest power discovery for mobiles, ever. Apparently. So say researchers at Queen Mary University London (QMUL) in the...

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Shooting lasers at drones helps DARPA keep them airborne forever

Shooting lasers at drones helps DARPA keep them airborne forever

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more companies field drones one of their biggest hurdles is keeping them airborne for long periods of time, DARPA’s latest program hopes to solve that.   DARPA, the bleeding edge research arm of the US Military that’s bought and bringing you everything from conscious robots and autonomous...

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Scientists find a way to turn the internet into the world’s largest earthquake detection system

Scientists find a way to turn the internet into the world’s largest earthquake detection system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are hundreds of thousands of earthquakes a year, and a new detection system could help save lives.   The internet isn’t your phone. It’s not Instagram, YouTube, or Netflix. Behind those screens the internet is actually a  sprawling network of hundreds of undersea fiber optic...

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Scientists fix a genetic flaw to boost crop yields by 40 percent

Scientists fix a genetic flaw to boost crop yields by 40 percent

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By 2050 we will need to feed 10 billion people, but increasingly we have the technology to ensure noone goes hungry.   Scientists keep playing about with the process of photosynthesis, such as removing it’s natural sunblock, to boost crop yields by up to 30...

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World first as scientists use tractor beams to make objects dance

World first as scientists use tractor beams to make objects dance

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Increasingly the things we think of as science fact are becoming reality, but tractor beams also have more practical applications, such as transforming healthcare and manufacturing.   In addition to creating tractor beams like the ones straight out of Star Trek researchers have also been making more...

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Room temperature superconductors in sight as scientists smash record

Room temperature superconductors in sight as scientists smash record

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create room temperature superconductors with zero electrical resistance will revolutionise everything from computing and energy to telecommunications.   Superconductivity. It’s not on everyone’s hit list of top technologies to follow, and most people probably don’t give a damn about it, but that...

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Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are many ways we can modify our atmosphere but microwave manipulation produces some of the most extreme results.   China and Russia have jointly announced that they modified an important layer of the atmosphere above Europe in order to test a controversial new military...

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Google X spins off its molten salt grid scale storage business

Google X spins off its molten salt grid scale storage business

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Renewable energy sources only generate electricity when the sun shines or the wind blows, so companies have to find a way to store it so it can be used in times of scarcity.   One of the biggest problems with renewable energy is that when...

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Scientists 3D print Lithium Ion batteries for the first time

Scientists 3D print Lithium Ion batteries for the first time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to 3D print batteries means we can create batteries in all shapes and sizes which will be useful for all our new gadgets.   Recently I’ve been reporting on a variety of new battery developments, from polymer batteries that can charge your electric...

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ORNL wireless charging breakthrough unplugs electric vehicles from the grid

ORNL wireless charging breakthrough unplugs electric vehicles from the grid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future we won’t have to plug our electric cars into superchargers, we’ll charge them wirelessly at home and when we’re travelling.   I’ve been saying for some time now during my keynotes, like the ones recently at GITEX in Dubai, and RWE in...

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