Coffee Flour Coming Soon to the Baking Aisle

By Carl Engelking | April 11, 2014 2:56 pm


Growing, harvesting and roasting the coffee beans for your morning cup of java generates a lot of waste. But a Vancouver-based startup company now turns coffee castoffs into bread, cakes and pasta dough.

Coffee beans are actually seeds, extracted from fruits called coffee cherries. Once coffee producers remove the beans, the leftover fruit is usually cast aside and left to decompose. That is, until a company called CF Global Holdings came up with a method to convert the discarded fruit into nutritious flour. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts

Papyrus Alluding to Jesus’ Wife Proven Authentic

By Carl Engelking | April 11, 2014 1:01 pm

jesus wife

A controversial piece of papyrus that references the wife of Jesus is indeed ancient, according to recent dating results.

Since Harvard professor of divinity Karen L. King publicized the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” in 2012, scientists and theologians have fiercely debated the authenticity of the fragment — the only known papyrus containing the words “Jesus said to them, my wife.” Biblical scholars have argued that the 1- by 3-inch chunk of papyrus is modern, “oddly written” and a “clumsy forgery.” But results from recent chemical and handwriting analyses say otherwise.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: archaeology

Stars Form Much More Readily Than Astronomers Thought

By Bill Andrews | April 10, 2014 1:06 pm
Figure 1: Two of the molecular clouds studied by Kainulainen and colleagues: The Pipe Nebula (left) and the Rho Ophiuchi cloud (right) in the Milky Way. In the background, an ordinary image of the Milky Way; each inset map shows to what extent the light of background stars is dimmed as it passes through the cloud in question. These maps form the basis of the three-dimensional reconstruction of cloud structure from which the astronomers derived their "recipe for star formation". Credit: Background: ESO/S. Guisard

The Pipe Nebula (left) and the Rho Ophiuchi cloud (right) in the Milky Way. Each inset map shows how much the light of background stars is dimmed as it passes through the cloud in question. Credit: Background: ESO/S. Guisard // Column-density maps: J. Kainulainen, MPIA

Understanding stars is fundamental to the science of astronomy: the “astro” in “astronomy” means star, after all. And courtesy of a new study researchers have a better understanding of how these things form — providing insights not just into the stars themselves, but also into galactic and planetary evolution.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

New Drug Inspired by Ibuprofen Protects Against Flu

By Breanna Draxler | April 10, 2014 12:05 pm

A cutaway illustration of the flu virus. CDC

The flu is our modern scourge—new strains of the H1N1 virus are constantly emerging and threatening to reach pandemic proportions. But a new study has found that a novel kind of drug, given to mice before exposure to the flu, reduces their level of infection and makes them much more likely to survive.

Flu vaccines are fairly effective, but they are strain-specific and so must be revised every year. At the moment only two broad antiviral flu medicines are effective to prevent and treat most kinds of flu—Tamiflu and Relenza. But there’s evidence that the H1N1 virus might be developing resistance to them.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts

Eco-Friendly Diapers Made From Jellyfish

By Carl Engelking | April 10, 2014 11:29 am


Move over Brawny, there’s a new product in the works with the strength to get the job done, and it comes from the sea. Cine’al Ltd., an Israeli nanotechnology start-up, is developing a line of super-absorbing products made from jellyfish.

Jellyfish populations worldwide have been exploding in recent years, and the creatures are expected to be one of the few winners of the warming oceans brought about by climate change. They present a real problem: In 2013, a cluster of jellyfish temporarily shut down a nuclear reactor in Sweden after they were sucked into a cooling pipe. However, until now, very few useful purposes have been found for jellyfish.

Enter a second conundrum: Absorbent products such as diapers, medical sponges and feminine pads contain synthetic super-absorbing polymers that take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. These same products made with jellyfish biodegrade in less than 30 days, and they soak up twice the mess, the Times of Israel reports.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Technology, top posts

New Smartphone Battery Recharges in 30 Seconds Flat

By Carl Engelking | April 9, 2014 4:18 pm


Today’s smartphones are well-equipped to satiate our appetites for instant gratification. We stream live video, look up facts on a whim, receive breaking news alerts and stay connected to our friends via social media. But one thing has lagged behind this culture of immediacy: smart phones’ batteries.

Now, it looks like recharging our phones could finally keep pace with the demands of our fast-moving culture. Yesterday an Israeli company called StoreDot unveiled a new smartphone battery that fully recharges in just 30 seconds. In contrast the couple hours it takes for a typical smartphone to fully charge, seems hopelessly outdated.

The battery manages such a speedy charge by utilizing quantum dot technology. Quantum dots are tiny bio-organic nanocrystals made of semiconducting materials. The battery is just a prototype at this point, and it’s still big and clunky — about the size of a laptop charger. However, the company plans to scale down its size and begin mass production of the device in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Check out this video of the battery recharging in real time:



Photo credit: YURALAITS ALBERT/Shutterstock

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts, Uncategorized
MORE ABOUT: gadgets, nanotechnology

Solar-Powered Plane Aims for Round-the-World Flight

By Helen Fields | April 9, 2014 2:36 pm
Solar Impulse 2, the single-seater solar airplane unveiled today. Courtesy Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse 2, the single-seater solar airplane unveiled today. Courtesy Solar Impulse

The world’s most advanced solar plane, the Solar Impulse 2, was unveiled in Payerne, Switzerland, today. The plane, which has been in development for 10 years, is the successor to a solar plane that flew across the U.S. last summer. The plan is for Solar Impulse 2 to fly around the world next year using nothing but sunlight for power — the first solar-powered plane to accomplish that feat.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: energy, transportation

First Succesful Organ Regeneration in a Living Animal

By Carl Engelking | April 9, 2014 2:24 pm

lab mouse

Scientists discovered a way to reverse the process of aging — and no, they didn’t invent another skin cream. Instead, a team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh has, for the first time, succeeded in regenerating a living organ in an animal.

The team manipulated a single protein in very old mice that caused their bodies to rebuild their thymuses — an organ that produces white blood cells. After receiving the treatment, the senior citizen mice not only had thymuses that were similar in structure to a young whippersnapper’s, but they were also twice as large. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: genes & health

Need to Commit Something to Memory? Sleep On It

By April Reese | April 8, 2014 2:57 pm

sleep memory

Remember staying up all night cramming for that statistics test in college? Turns out you probably would have scored higher if you had closed the books and hit the hay.

A series of recent studies, some of which were presented at this week’s annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, suggest that a good night’s sleep doesn’t just make you feel more rested – it’s also crucial for remembering everything from test answers to when to mail your mother’s birthday card.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts

U.S. Navy Wants to Fuel Ships Using Seawater

By Carl Engelking | April 8, 2014 2:31 pm
A Navy fuel ship replenishes the the U.S.S. Mount Whitney on the Mediterranean Sea in October 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Collin Turner/Released)

A Navy fuel ship replenishes the the U.S.S. Mount Whitney (right) on the Mediterranean Sea in October 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Collin Turner/Released)

The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer typically burns 1,000 gallons of petroleum fuel an hour. Most of the Navy’s fleet shares the same ravenous appetite for fuel, and refueling these massive warships can interrupt missions and present challenges in rough weather. However, researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have now proven that it’s possible to power engines instead with a cheap, convenient supply of fuel: seawater.

Scientists have spent nearly a decade laboring to turn the ocean into fuel. The breakthrough, demonstrated in a proof-of-concept test, was made possible by a specialized catalytic converter that transforms carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater into a liquid hydrocarbon fuel.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts

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