MikeChino writes: After decades of anticipation, VW is finally releasing a new Microbus — and it drives itself. Unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show, the I.D. Buzz is an electric van with enough room for 8 passengers. The vehicle has a driving range of 270 miles, and with a 0-60 mph time of about five seconds, the I.D. Buzz will out-accelerate every other van on the market (and even some sports cars). Link to Original Source
MikeChino writes: After 558 hours of total flight time, a solar-powered airplane just finished a record-shattering trip around the world. The Solar Impulse landed in Abu Dhabi at 4:05 am this morning, completing the final leg of an adventure spanning 43,041 kilometers. Upon landing and exiting the cockpit, Piccard said: “This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it’s before all a first in the history of energy. I’m sure that within 10 years we’ll see electric airplanes transporting 50 passengers on short to medium haul flights."
MikeChino writes: Three-bladed wind turbines may soon become a thing of the past — Danish wind turbine company Vestas recently unveiled a wind turbine with four rotors and 12 blades. The gigantic turbine will cut installation and transport costs while generating more power per structure.
MikeChino writes: A new study backed by the U.S. government suggests a link between cell phone use and cancer. The $25 million study, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, found “low incidences” of gliomas in brain glial cells and schwannomas in the hearts of some of the male rats used in the study; female rats did not yield a similar association.
MikeChino writes: From May 7 to May 11, Portugal was powered entirely by renewable energy. During the 107 hours, the country drew on hydropower, wind power, biofuels, and solar. Progressive policies played a large role in the feat — feed-in tariffs, guaranteed prices for renewable producers, and paying host municipalities combined to help make renewable energy cost effective. Further, the government has taken steps like altering grid infrastructure to connect easier to home solar panels.
MikeChino writes: New research confirms what many scientists have theorized: a bacteria could help control the spread of the Zika virus. Researchers infected mosquitoes with a bacteria called Wolbachia and released them to mate with non-Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in the wild. Over a few generations, the virus levels dropped and became inactive, which means those mosquitoes cannot transmit the Zika virus to humans.
MikeChino writes: Scientists just discovered a new state of water molecules that displays some pretty unexpected characteristics. This discovery, made by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, reveals that water molecules “tunnel” in ultra-small hexagonal channels of the mineral beryl. Basically, this means the molecules spread out when they are trapped in confined spaces, taking a new shape entirely.
MikeChino writes: Zaha Hadid, one of the world's most visionary architects, died this morning at age 65. Hadid was known for her futuristic designs with sweeping curvatures, and earlier this year she became the first woman to receive the 2016 Royal Gold Medal in architecture. She was highly regarded as the greatest female architect of our time.
MikeChino writes: After receiving backing by Palo Alto startup incubator Y Combinator, Acre Designs is gearing up to start building Net Zero Energy kit homes throughout the country. They are on a mission to build better, more high-tech homes on a large scale that are both affordable and super energy efficient. And considering that the state of California is mandating all new homes to be Net Zero Energy by 2020, it seems that Acre Designs couldn’t have launched at a better time.
MikeChino writes: There are around one billion Apple devices in use, and with that comes “significant responsibility,” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. That’s why Apple just unveiled Liam, a robot that quickly and efficiently disassembles old iPhones so that their components can be reused for other products (like solar panels).
MikeChino writes: The Elide Fire Ball puts out fires in a flash by unleashing a cloud of extinguishing chemicals that are safe to humans and the environment. Simply throw the ball at a blaze and it emits a loud alarm when it is about to activate. The ball can also be passively mounted near at-risk appliances for protection when no one is home.
MikeChino writes: Roll-Array has developed a high power photovoltaic array that rolls out like a carpet. The flexible system can generate up to 100kWp – 10 times more energy than other transportable solar panels on the market. Whereas a standard rigid solar field takes 22 hours of man-power to install, Roll-Array's thin, flexible sheets can be unfurled in just 2 minutes.
MikeChino writes: In the same way you zip up your jacket, the zipper truck quickly assembles tunnels and archways by locking together pre-made concrete blocks that fit tightly together. A quarter mile of tunnel can be constructed in less than 24 hours and can be used immediately, cutting costs and lengthy periods of curing time.
MikeChino writes: New samples taken from groundwater near New York's Indian Point nuclear plant show that contamination levels are 80% higher than previous samples, and experts say the leak is “a disaster waiting to happen.” The Indian Point nuclear power plant is located just 25 miles north of New York City, and it’s a crucial source of of power for the greater metropolitan region.