It’s electric, US to cover 25,000 miles of roads with charging stations

It’s electric, US to cover 25,000 miles of roads with charging stations

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Vehicles are the world’s second largest producers of toxic gases and carbon dioxide, the new EV corridors will help people make the switch to electric vehicles sooner.   Civilisation finally looks like it’s getting serious about moving away from powering homes and cars with energy millions...

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Alaskan airlines use wood chips to fly to Washington

Alaskan airlines use wood chips to fly to Washington

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Airlines spend $3.1Bn in Europe alone paying carbon taxes. Biofuels, while often contentious, can help airlines reduce their carbon footprint and help them reduce costs   On Monday morning, Washington state based Alaska Airlines started the week off right. It sent a Boeing 737 jet...

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Modern farmers grow bacteria to grow better crops

Modern farmers grow bacteria to grow better crops

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Traditional chemical intensive farming methods change the ecology of our planet on a massive scale, by moving from chemicals to mocrobials farmers might be able to grow better crops, more productively and more sustainably.   In the back of Indigo’s Boston headquarters, a start up whose...

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The machine making the machines, Tesla’s giant Gigafactory to go live in 2017

The machine making the machines, Tesla’s giant Gigafactory to go live in 2017

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By building a vertically integrated company that has control of it’s supply chain and product R&D Musk can realise efficiencies of scale, disrupt industries and use it to catalyse the growth of his companies, namely OpenAI, SolarCity, SpaceX and Tesla.   Twenty miles east of Sparks,...

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SolarCity’s solar Gigafactory to produce 10GW, or three large power stations, a year

SolarCity’s solar Gigafactory to produce 10GW, or three large power stations, a year

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The new SolarCity Gigafactory will boost supply of solar products, helping to reduce their cost, which in turn should accelerate the adoption of solar power technologies.   While discussing potential improvements in manufacturing efficiency with Tesla investor Ron Baron at his conference in New York...

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Scientists use facial recognition to create a Facebook for whales

Scientists use facial recognition to create a Facebook for whales

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Smile. You won’t find these faces in the shops looking for deals…   Creating new algorithms that identify our friends in nature seems to be a growing trend – and it’s about time too. Now researchers have developed a facial-recognition algorithm for whales that could...

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Cornell’s new AI is cataloguing nature – starting with trees

Cornell’s new AI is cataloguing nature – starting with trees

What type of tree is that anyway? Cornell is creating a catalogue for Nature Engineers from Caltech have developed a method that uses data from satellite and street-level images, such as the ones that you can see in Google Maps, to automatically create an inventory of street trees that cities...

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Brazil releases billions of genetically modified Mosquitos to combat Zika

Brazil releases billions of genetically modified Mosquitos to combat Zika

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There will always be questions about the viability and impact of releasing genetically modified organisms into our environment but with billions of mosquitos being released it might already be a moot point   Every Saturday morning, Maria do Carmo Tunussi goes door to door asking...

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Iceland drills worlds deepest well to tap energy from rivers of magma

Iceland drills worlds deepest well to tap energy from rivers of magma

Icelands geothermal project could lead to similar projects in the US that could power the whole continent Iceland, already a juggernaut in the world of sustainability, is about to turn up the heat on its geothermal efforts. Since September, engineers in southwestern Iceland have been slowly drilling into the earth...

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New electronics breakthrough lets devices run for years without batteries

New electronics breakthrough lets devices run for years without batteries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New transistor design scavenges energy and paves the way for ultra low power electronics.   Transistors are found in almost every electronic device and now a new ultra low power transistor design from the engineers at the University of Cambridge that lets them operate by ‘scavenging’ energy...

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Researchers build a wirelessly powered drone that can fly forever

Researchers build a wirelessly powered drone that can fly forever

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Now drones never need to “sleep” again.   Quadcopter drones are great for all kind of things from filming to delivering small, sometimes dubious, packages but every drone, irrespective of whether it’s a hobbyists DJI drone or a US military MQ-9 Reaper, is limited by...

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World first as researchers observe atoms interacting

World first as researchers observe atoms interacting

Being able to observe the interactions of individual atoms will one day lead to the creation of better superconductors In a world first, researchers at MIT have managed to capture images of individual potassium atoms distributed on an optical lattice, providing them with a unique opportunity to see how they interact...

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The end of fossil fuels, Asia and Europe draw up a Global Energy Grid

The end of fossil fuels, Asia and Europe draw up a Global Energy Grid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As renewable energy becomes more reliable countries around the world are seriously exploring connecting their energy grids together to form a Global Super Grid.   Northeast Asia, the region encompassing China, South Korea, and Japan, has not yet gotten around to connecting its electricity grids...

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Australia unleashes starfish hunter-killer robots onto the Great Barrier Reef

Australia unleashes starfish hunter-killer robots onto the Great Barrier Reef

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Bleaching and new invasive species like the Crown of Thorns wreak havoc on the Barrier Reef, but technology is helping conservationists fight back.   Climate change, pollution, invasive species and unsustainable fishing practices have blighted the world’s largest coral structure for decades but there’s now an...

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Saving the worlds coral reefs, one 3D printed coral at a time

Saving the worlds coral reefs, one 3D printed coral at a time

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Coral reefs take millennia to mature and only years to destroy, now technology is coming to their rescue.   Even if you’re not particularly interested in marine biology, you’ve likely at least heard of Jacques Cousteau. The French oceanographer, explorer and conservationist not only made...

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Renewable energy sources power up Scotland and Costa Rica

Renewable energy sources power up Scotland and Costa Rica

Countries are increasingly managing to meet all of their energy requirements using renewable energy Hot on the heels of Costa Rica announcing that their state run energy company had managed to provide 100% of the territory’s energy requirements for 113 consecutive days using renewable energy sources last weekend Scotland announced...

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Weather bombs could help scientists better predict earthquakes

Weather bombs could help scientists better predict earthquakes

Little heard S-waves are the key to seeing inside our planet Small, intense storms known as “weather bombs” may trigger rare tremors deep within the Earth, offering scientists a new way to study the mysterious structure and inner workings of the planet, according to a new study. A “weather bomb”...

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Californian sculpture desalinates 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water

Californian sculpture desalinates 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The Pipe is a finalist in the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative, a competition to combine clean energy production with public art.   Is it public art, or is it a power station? This shimmering design for “The Pipe”, a finalist in the 2016 Land Art Generator...

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Florida to unleash Lionfish hunter-killer robots onto its reefs

Florida to unleash Lionfish hunter-killer robots onto its reefs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When are killer robots a good thing? When they’re saving the Earth.   Where there are robots there’s always inevitably talk about the emergence of killer robots that will destroy humanity, and while killer robots are often seen as a bad thing sometimes – apparently,...

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We are entering the First Age of De-Extinction

We are entering the First Age of De-Extinction

This might complicate our which came first question… There have been five mass extinction events since the Earth formed, the last being the death of the dinosaurs and many people believe that we are now  in the Sixth Age of Extinction but the difference this time is that this event...

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