Science

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In the scenic mountain ranges of Rjukan in Norway, tourists can go and see the evidence of work on using hydrogen as a fuel source. This location contains waterfalls that were harnessed for hydroelectric power in the 1920s. The energy generated from this plant would be used to split water into hydrogen and water using electricity through a process known as electrolysis, in an adjoining factory. Many researchers in Norway still think this is the way of the future, and that hydrogen can power any modern concern, from housing to industry.

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Antarctica could well be on course to lay claim to a new title – the region of the world with the densest concentration of volcanoes. It might seem unlikely, but in addition to the volcanoes already discovered on the continent, a new survey has identified nearly 100 more volcanoes hidden under the immense ice sheets covering the majority of this icy land.

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End stage liver diseases, such as Stage 4 cirrhosis takes the lives of about 10,000 people every year in the United States, and unfortunately this number only seems to be increasing.

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There has much discussion on the potential risks of genetically modified crops. However, Yukio Tosa’s research group at Kobe University has recently shown that more conventional modification of crops can also lead to problems.

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Hot on the heels of an announcement from the car manufacture Volvo, stating that they will be transferring all their models to hybrid or fully electric from 2019, France pledged to stop the sales of diesel and petrol cars by 2040.

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Whilst there are many offshore wind farms currently in place, their construction is limited by the depth of the water in which they stand. But now, advances in the technology have meant that for the first time, a full-scale floating wind farm is being built off the coast of Scotland.

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Robots are increasingly accepted as the first line in automation, human-computer interfaces and even entertainment. However, they are often thought of in a limited way, as machines that could be designed to resemble humans, or body parts such as arms, designed to perform in a manner that is a variation on how a human would. Therefore, robots are often in a fixed shape with relatively limited dimensions of movement, articulation and manipulation.

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Scientists are constantly looking for inspiration when it comes to revolutionary ideas. For decades, Hollywood movies provided original and innovative material for technology industries. A San Francisco-based company named Anki, tried to steal a little bit of that Hollywood magic and bring it into our everyday lives. As a result, a tiny robot with a big brain and an even bigger personality was created. His name is Cozmo and he is a palm-sized robot, based on Pixar’s character WALL-E.

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Some regions of the United States, such as California, face severe water shortage in the summer months, owing to reasons such as climate change and poor infrastructure. Statistics show that the drought-stricken west coast of America relies on snow water from the mountains, which itself could diminish in the next decade or so. This justifies the need to create sustainable systems and environments to address the crisis.

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There is always room for improvement! Using this motto, roboticists have taken on the challenge of producing advanced robots with unique characteristics and functionalities. In order to achieve this aim, researchers are employing specialized tools, and building models specially to benefit areas of healthcare, medicine and the rescue operation domain.

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There seems no end of applications for 3D printing – ranging from house building to medicine, it’s certainly shaping into a seriously flexible technology. Now, scientists have developed a 3D printed heart which they hope will eventually help some of the 26 million people worldwide suffering from a variety of cardiac conditions. There is a shortage of donor hearts and as such, there is a real demand for a functional artificial heart.

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In a bold move which signals their commitment to both reducing the impact of climate change on our environment and meeting customer demand, Volvo announced that all cars manufactured from 2019 will have an electric motor – with the range to choose from including hybrid cars, mild hybrid cars and fully electric cars.

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Worldwide, the number of people suffering from depression is startling. Every year, it affects over 300 million people, with around 800,000 of those committing suicide. Whilst our environment and experiences certainly play a role, our genes also have a central part to play. As a result, a team from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, led by Dr. Mary Kay Lobo, has been working to determine exactly which genes could be responsible for depression.

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How would it feel to be able to participate in research against Alzheimer’s? A new online game allows the general public to contribute to the scientific community and help them search for a cure. Anyone, with zero knowledge on the subject, can now help scientists spot clogged capillaries, or stalls, where blood is no longer flowing.

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Worldwide, animal poaching is a serious problem for our endangered species, with many species facing extinction. Unfortunately, poachers are now armed with a new and dangerous tool from an unexpected source: scientific journals.

In our digital age, the majority of scientific research is now published online. This often includes location details of either newly discovered or endangered species. This has led to the very real problem of poachers and dealers trawling the internet for the latest published research about rare species before targeting them for poaching.

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Currently, there’s two main ways to access the energy needs that your household requires. Either connect to the national grid, or go off-grid and meet them through a combination of renewable energies. If you live off-grid, solar panels and wind turbines, or often a combination of the two, are currently the most popular choices. There’s many people who would love the chance to either generate their own electricity or use a more environmentally friendly choice but for various reasons, do not have the option of installing their own off-grid system.

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When the blazing summer sun is out and you’re stuck in a city, there’s nothing quite like diving under the cooling canopy of a tree. These urban trees provide a vital function by increasing evaporative cooling as well as offering a shady refuge from the sun, particularly important in tropical cities.

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The internet, one of man’s greatest discoveries, is now literally at our fingertips. Though it is highly developed and talks of a progressive society, there are some downsides too: cyber-crimes that affect the lives of many. It has recently come to light that such issues can also extend into areas of medicine.

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Early efforts to build artificial silicon cochlea have largely been driven by their potential applications in hearing aids, cochlear implants and other portable devices that demand real-time, low-power signal processing for audio events recognition, including speech. With the recent advances in robotics, the topic has gained even more interest, as equipping robots with human-like sensory capabilities provides the ground for the future evolvement of robotics.

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Scientists have been researching Parkinson’s for many decades and have this week come one step closer to a better understanding of the condition. Their research confirms the inkling that scientists have had for nearly 100 years, namely that a ‘faulty’ immune system is partly to blame. This finding is significant because it raises hope that the nerve death associated with Parkinson’s could be prevented by therapies that focus on the immune system.

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