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Medicine

Submission + - Wifi Allergy story a PR stunt for new album

TinBromide writes: Ars Technica is reporting that the media outlets, Slashdot among them, reported on an English DJ that claimed wifi allergies were ruining his life "forcing him to live in an iron-clad home far from any neighbors," because he was "Electrosensitive." It turns out that he was only using the media to promote his new album called "Electrosensitive". The media took it and ran, not bothering to research much deeper than to find other anecdotes of people reporting the condition.
Power

Submission + - Researchers use virii to build batteries (mit.edu)

esocid writes: MIT scientists have harnessed the construction talents of tiny viruses to build ultra-small "nanowire" structures for use in very thin lithium-ion batteries. By manipulating a few genes inside these viruses, the team was able to coax the organisms to grow and self-assemble into a functional electronic device. This technology could create batteries that cram as much electrical energy into as small or lightweight a package as possible. By using negatively charged microbes to collect exotic materials (cobalt oxide and gold) they can be layered between oppositely charged polymers to form thin, flexible sheets to serve as an anode. The ultra-thin wires are only 6 nanometers in diameter, and 880nm in length. A significant aspect of the reactions needed to create the nanowires is that they occur at normal room temperatures and pressures, so there is no need for expensive pressure-cooking technology to get the job done.
The nanowires supply two to three times the electrical energy for their mass or volume, compared to previous materials. This is important because energy density is a vital quality in batteries. A lack of energy density is what has hampered development of electric cars, since existing batteries are generally too heavy and too weak to compete with gasoline.

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