Tala Ko

Archive for August 2009

clipped from www.sciencedaily.com
Researchers have shown that the juice of reject watermelons can be efficiently fermented into ethanol.

Wayne Fish worked with a team of researchers at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Lane, Oklahoma, US, to evaluate the biofuel potential of juice from ‘cull’ watermelons – those not sold due to cosmetic imperfections, and currently ploughed back into the field. He said, “About 20% of each annual watermelon crop is left in the field because of surface blemishes or because they are misshapen. We’ve shown that the juice of these melons is a source of readily fermentable sugars, representing a heretofore untapped feedstock for ethanol biofuel production”.

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clipped from www.sciencedaily.com

ScienceDaily (Aug. 25, 2009) — Solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle “inks” that allow them to be printed like newspaper or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing sunlight.

Brian Korgel, a University of Texas at Austin chemical engineer, is hoping to cut costs to one-tenth of their current price by replacing the standard manufacturing process for solar cells – gas-phase deposition in a vacuum chamber, which requires high temperatures and is relatively expensive.

light-absorbing nanomaterials, which are 10,000 times thinner than a strand of hair

His team has developed solar-cell prototypes with efficiencies at one percent; however, they need to be about 10 percent.

He also said that the inks, which are semi-transparent, could help realize the prospect of having windows that double as solar cells.
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clipped from wellness.blogs.time.com

A new study from researchers at Beth Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School suggests that tone-deafness may be the result of a missing neural connection. By using a brain imaging technique that allows them to examine the links between the right temporal and frontal lobes, the scientists compared the neural connectivity of 10 tone-deaf subjects against 10 control participants. They found that, in the tone-deaf subjects, there was less connectivity of the arcuate fasciculus (AF), a white matter tract of fiber that serves as a “highway” between the temporal and front brain regions, and is known to be involved in linking language, music and vocal production.

this stretch of fiber was both smaller and less dense in people who are tone-deaf, and that one branch of the neural pathway was in fact undetectable on the scans.
may have similarities to other speech disorders in which there is also an interrupted link between what people hear and what they are able to produce.
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