Scientists unveil energy-generating window.


Scientists in China said Thursday they had designed a “smart” window that can both save and generate energy, and may ultimately reduce heating and cooling costs for buildings.

Scientists unveil energy-generating window

While allowing us to feel close to the outside world, windows cause heat to escape from buildings in winter and let the Sun‘s unwanted rays enter in summer.

This has sparked a quest for “smart” windows that can adapt to weather conditions outside.

Today’s  are limited to regulating light and heat from the sun, allowing a lot of potential  to escape, study co-author Yanfeng Gao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences told AFP.

“The main innovation of this work is that it developed a concept smart window device for simultaneous generation and saving of energy.”

Engineers have long battled to incorporate energy-generating solar cells into window panes without affecting their transparency.

Gao’s team discovered that a material called  (VO2) can be used as a transparent coating to regulate infrared radiation from the Sun.

VO2 changes its properties based on temperature. Below a certain level it is insulating and lets through infrared light, while at another temperature it becomes reflective.

A window in which VO2 was used could regulate the amount of Sun energy entering a building, but also scatter light to  the team had placed around their glass panels, where it was used to generate energy with which to light a lamp, for example.

“This smart window combines energy-saving and generation in one device, and offers potential to intelligently regulate and utilise solar radiation in an efficient manner,” the study authors wrote in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.



Death row inmates now executed with drug cocktail used to euthanize animals.


San Quentin Prison execution chamber, US (AFP Photo)

Compounding pharmacies, which create specialized pharmaceutical product meant to fit the needs of a patient, have begun producing the drugs for state authorities.

But because of the lack of transparency around the production process – one compounding pharmacy was responsible for a fatal meningitis outbreak in 2012 because of poor hygiene – prisoners argue that risky drug cocktails put them at risk of being subjected to “cruel and unusual punishment,” which is prohibited under the US Constitution.

Earlier this month three Texas-based death row prisoners filed a lawsuit arguing this type of pharmacy is “not subject to stringent FDA regulations” and is “one of the leading sources for counterfeit drugs entering the US,” the lawsuit reads, as quoted by AFP.

“There is a significant chance that [the pentobarbital] could be contaminated, creating a grave likelihood that the lethal injection process could be extremely painful, or harm or handicap plaintiffs without actually killing them,” it adds.

“Nobody really knows the quality of the drugs, because of the lack of oversight,” Denno told AFP.

Michael Yowell, who was convicted of murdering his parents 15 years ago, was executed in Texas Wednesday. He became the first inmate to be executed in Texas with pentobarbital since European nations halted production for this purpose. His lawyers unsuccessfully tried to stop him from being killed, saying the compounded factors in pentobarbital make the drug unpredictable and there have not been enough trials to guarantee the death is painless.

The states in question may find an applicable replacement for the short-term but, Denno argued, this development could be an indication that capital punishment is on the wane.

“How many times in this country can they change the way they execute?” she said. “There were more changes in lethal injections in the last 5 years than in the 25 preceding years.”

‘Forest boy’ found after 16 years in wilderness.


Man dubbed the ‘Siberian Mowgli‘ left society with his parents in 1997

Officials in Siberia say they have discovered a 20-year-old man who appears to have lived in the forest for the past 16 years.

Forest-boy-in-Siberia-jpg

Dubbed the “Siberian Mowgli” in a nod to the boy in “The Jungle Book,” the man was found by a woman living near the town of Belokurikha, a famous resort area in Russia’s Altai region, according to UPI.

In delayed but clear speech, the boy told authorities he was born in 1993 and had been living in the forest since 1997, when his parents decided to “abandon society.”

His parents then appear to have abandoned him in May this year, AFP reported.

“I’m living well thank you,” he told The Siberian Times. “We are living well. This is the reality we have that we live here, and it’s quite a good reality.”

971070_465288730236495_1033203454_n (1)

After speaking with authorities, the man fled back to forest hut, where RIA Novosti reports he is collecting firewood ahead of winter.

“He has no education, no social skills and no ideas about the world beyond the forest,” local prosecutor Roman Fomin told Russia Today.

Officials are expected to issue the man an ID, which would allow him to receive state support.

 

Spanish doctors prepare for first double leg transplant.


The world’s first double leg transplant will happen once a donor is found, Spain’s health ministry has announced.

A man who lost his legs in an accident, and who cannot use prosthetic limbs, will be the recipient.

leg

A double-arm transplant was carried out in Munich in 2008, but no-one has yet received a leg transplant.

The doctor leading the leg transplant team, Pedro Cavadas, performed Spain’s first double-hand transplant in 2006.

That operation took place at the Hospital de la Fe in Valencia, where the leg transplant will also be carried out.

The announcement was made at an international conference in Madrid, called the “Last frontiers of transplant operations”.

The leg operation was approved in May by the ministry’s transplant commission.

Spain’s health minister, Leire Pajin, also announced the approval of Spain’s fourth face transplant at the conference.

This operation will also be carried out by Dr Cavadas, who is hailed in the Spanish media as a “miracle doctor”.

The world’s first full facial transplant was carried out in Spain earlier this year by a different surgeon, Joan Pere Barret.

Transplants of hands, arms or faces from dead people were science fiction just a decade ago and today they are a splendid reality at our hospitals,” said the director of Spain’s National Organisation of Transplants, Rafael Matesanz, at the opening of the conference.

A spokeswoman quoted by the Agence France Press news agency said the leg transplant operation could take place in two or six months, depending on when a suitable donor was found.

First transplants

  • 1998 – the world’s first forearm transplant
  • 2000 – first double-hand transplant
  • 2002 – first womb transplant
  • 2005 – first partial face transplant
  • 2008 – first double-arm transplant
  • 2010 – first full facial transplant

 

Source: BBC

 

cs an{�id � �� aid there was a need for urgent action, but there was no “silver bullet” solution.

 

Officer for health promotion, Prof Mitch Blair, said: “We need to look seriously at how fast food is marketed at children and consider banning junk food prior to the 21:00 watershed, limiting the number of fast food outlets near schools, and making sure children are taught the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and how to cook nutritious meals from an early age at school.”

Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “These are very worrying findings that shed more light on a growing threat to the heart health of this nation.

“We know obese children are more likely to become obese adults who are then at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. We must encourage the next generation to make healthier lifestyle choices and help them eat a balanced diet and stay active.

“Ensuring children and teenagers are a healthy weight today means healthier hearts tomorrow.”

Source: BBC

 

 

Source: BBC

 

Australia dolphins ‘saved’ by juvenile’s distress call.


dolphin

The distress call of a young dolphin has been used to lure a large pod of the animals to safety, after it appeared they would strand themselves in shallow water.

Environment officials in Western Australia caught the juvenile and took it to deeper water, where its distress calls enticed the rest to follow.

One dolphin died in the incident.

A spotter plane reported that the rest – thought to number about 150 – had swum to the safety of the open sea.

The dolphins had been milling in shallow water at Whalers Cove near the town of Albany, on the south coast of the state.

“The juvenile was sending out distress signals, which was calling the dolphins in,” conservationist Deon Utber told AFP news agency.

“As soon as it was translocated to deeper waters the pod followed it out and last we saw they were swimming out to sea.”

Source:BBC

 

 

Meet the Fearsome New Tool in Airport Security.


If an Israeli company has its way, mice will be the new frontier in airport security. BioExplorers has trained its little critters to sniff out telltale signs of explosives and narcotics, reports AFP. Under its system, travelers would pass through a small booth, and mice in a nearby chamber would be able to sniff the air to detect possible trouble. Preliminary experiments have had good results, and the program will be tested in a larger pilot program next year. “They have a very developed sense of smell, more than that of dogs,” says the company founder.

Source: http://www.newser.com

 

 

‘Penis-head’ fish discovered in Vietnam.


A preserved specimen of Phallostethus cuulong, a new species of fish with a penis on its head that has been identified in the Mekong delta in Vietnam. Researchers said Wednesday that Phallostethus cuulong is the newest member of the Phallostethidae family—small fish found in Southeast Asian waters that are distinguished primarily by the positioning of the male sexual organ. A new species of fish with a penis on its head has been identified in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, researchers said on Wednesday. Ads by Google Pregnancy – Everything you wanted to know what to do during pregnancy. – http://www.StartHealthyStayHealthy.in Phallostethus cuulong is the newest member of the Phallostethidae family—small fish found in Southeast Asian waters that are distinguished primarily by the positioning of the male sexual organ. Male phallostethids have a copulatory organ, termed the priapium, under the throat for holding or clasping onto females and fertilising their eggs internally, according to conservationists. “We have scientifically identified a new penis-head fish in Vietnam,” researcher Tran Dac Dinh from Can Tho University told AFP. The fish was known to Vietnamese people in the Mekong Delta but had not been described scientifically before a team identified the species last year, he said. 

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-penis-head-fish-vietnam.html#jCp

Source: Physics.org