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Submission + - South Africans revolutionize concentrated solar power with mini heliostats->

Taffykay writes: Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) offers significant benefits, but it's often prohibitively expensive. Paul Gauché from Stellenbosch University in South Africa hopes to change that with Helio 100, a series of "plonkable" miniature heliostats that require no installation or concrete, and offer solar energy that's cheaper than diesel.
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Submission + - Presence of life building blocks on Comet 67P may prove Panspermia->

Taffykay writes: Researchers evaluating data streaming in from Comet 67P are convinced the presence of certain organic compounds — the building blocks of life — affirms the theory of panspermia. This theory suggests life may have originated from organic compounds hitching a ride on wayward comets.
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Submission + - Dubai to print the world's first 3D-printed office building->

Taffykay writes: The United Arab Emirates likes to be first when it comes to amazing feats of construction and technology, and it often is. Recently, it was announced that Dubai will be home to the world’s first floating luxury homes and the world’s tallest building already towers over the skyline. Now, plans have been released for the world’s first fully 3D-printed office building, and it’s a cool, space-age structure that will save a bundle on construction costs and material waste.
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Submission + - Can 3D-printed rhino horn save the species from extinction?->

Taffykay writes: A biotech firm in San Francisco aims to save the rhinos by 3D-printing a synthetic horn that is eerily similar to the real thing. With just one predator--humans--rhinos could be wiped off the face of the Earth in part because their horns are highly prized as both status symbols and as an alternative “remedy.” Pembient's founders believe they can curb poaching with their new 3D-printed horn, but conservationists aren't so sure.
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Submission + - How a tampon almost killed a 24-year-old model in California->

Taffykay writes: A woman and her parents are suing the makers of Kotex Natural Balance tampons after 24-year-old Lauren Wasser almost died from Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a rare and sometimes fatal disease caused by a cocktail of bacteria that collect on synthetic tampons. Once a model who had it all, Lauren lost half of a leg and her other foot is badly deformed as a result of gangrene.
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Submission + - Paper-thin solar cells could provide power for 1.3 billion people->

Taffykay writes: The cost of solar power has declined dramatically over the past few decades, from $40 per watt in 1977 to $0.74 per watt in 2013. This trend is expected to accelerate as improvements in efficiency and new technologies come online. The shift to solar may be most dramatic for those living in developing countries. Thanks to inexpensive printed solar cells, 1.3 billion people currently without electricity may be able to plug in for the first time.
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Submission + - Teen boys create $13 door handle that kills 99.8% germs on contact->

Taffykay writes: Two teens from Hong Kong have created a new door handle that wipes out 99.8 percent of all germs on contact, potentially revolutionizing the hygiene industry. Realizing the extent to which bacteria spreads on public door handles, shopping carts and other objects touched by hundreds if not thousands of people each day, 17-year-old Sun Ming (Simon) Wong and 18-year-old King Pong (Michael) Li sought a material that could eliminate bacteria. Turns out titanium oxide does the trick, but they had to come up with an innovative way to activate it.
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Submission + - Amsterdam's new 3D-printed steel bridge is revolutionizing the building industry->

Taffykay writes: The innovative Dutch company behind the smart highway and glowing Van Gogh-inspired bicycle paths has unveiled their latest project: a 3D-printed steel bridge in the heart of Amsterdam. Heijmans created the pedestrian bridge in collaboration with Dutch startup MX3D and Joris Laarman as part of their goal to build the “spatial contours of tomorrow.” Multi-axis industrial robots will construct the pedestrian bridge using cost-effective and scalable technologies.
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Submission + - Recipe for the perfect fire, according to a Duke University engineer->

Taffykay writes: Have you always wondered how to build the perfect fire? Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, knows how, and has shared his secrets in a new study. Bejan says with all variables equal, the best fire is the one that is as tall as it is wide.
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Submission + - Tiny village kills thousands of dolphins for their teeth in the Solomon Islands->

Taffykay writes: Between 1976 and 2013, a small village in the Solomon Islands killed 15,400 dolphins—for their teeth. Prized for use as jewelry, currency and even as bride price, the teeth fetched about $0.70 apiece in 2013, according to a report published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
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Submission + - Masdar first to research halophytes for sustainable biofuels in the desert->

Taffykay writes: Biofuels have a bad reputation for eating up precious land and water resources, as well as pilfering food from the world’s hungry. But a groundbreaking new bioenergy pilot plant at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s growing clean energy hub and research institute, is pioneering a new paradigm. This desert plant that will be irrigated with seawater will make bioenergy and food production harmonious — perhaps for the first time in history.
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Submission + - I Drove Toyota's Mirai Future Car to a Sewage Plant and Filled it With Poo Power->

Taffykay writes: Fuel cell technology is set for prime time as major automakers unveil street-ready hydrogen cars – but the question remains how best to fuel them. Well, here’s an idea – run them on poo power! Yesterday I test drove a futuristic Toyota Mirai (one of five pre-release vehicles in the US) to the Fountain Valley Renewable Hydrogen Station, where I refueled it with clean hydrogen gas made from raw sewage.
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Submission + - Researchers Develop $60 Sonar 'Watch' to Aid the Visually Impaired->

Taffykay writes: Biology and computer science students and professors at Wake Forest University have teamed up to develop a device to assist the visually impaired. Following the principles of echolocation used by bats and moths, the interdisciplinary team has developed a watch-like unit that allows the wearer to navigate their environment using sonar. To make the project even more remarkable, all the parts and materials for the prototype cost less than $60.
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Submission + - Wind Power Generated 126% of Scotland's Household Energy Needs Last Month->

Taffykay writes: According to new statistics released by the World Wildlife Fund Scotland, Scottish renewable energy had a “bumper month” in October, 2014, with wind power alone generating an estimated 982,842 MWh of electricity. This is enough clean energy to power around 3,045,000 homes, and equates to 126 percent of the electricity needs of Scottish households. Solar power and hot water generation also performed well, despite the country’s reputation for grey and misty weather.
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Submission + - How the Giza Pyramids Looked When They Were First Built->

Taffykay writes: The crumbling stones of the Giza pyramids may be a sight familiar to most people, but the original look of these ancient structures was considerably different. In a recent short documentary made by the Smithsonian Channel Harvard University, Egyptologist Jacquelyn Williamson explains the way each of the stones was manually polished to create glistening outer shells of the famous pyramids.
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