Friday, July 8, 2022

California to make its own insulin

 https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/7/7/2109111/-Gavin-Newsom-announces-California-will-make-its-own-insulin

 

Newsom has had plans to start California on the path toward making its own prescription drugs since he took office. The Los Angeles Times reported in June that the state's generic drug label, CalRx, could begin producing insulin within the next few years. Additionally, the state may target other drugs that are either expensive or in short supply, according to the report.

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I hope this starts a trend.

 

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

dirt storage battery for solar power

 https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-61996520

 

Low-cost electricity warms the sand up to 500C by resistive heating (the same process that makes electric fires work).

This generates hot air which is circulated in the sand by means of a heat exchanger.

Sand is a very effective medium for storing heat and loses little over time. The developers say that their device could keep sand at 500C for several months.

So when energy prices are higher, the battery discharges the hot air which warms water for the district heating system which is then pumped around homes, offices and even the local swimming pool.

 

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I don't see anything about the efficiency of this.  Needs more research.

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A new way to break down PET plastics

 https://www.dw.com/en/plastic-packaging-might-be-biodegradable-after-all/a-61948136

 

Since the discovery of LCC, researchers like Sonnendecker have been looking for new PET-eating enzymes in nature. LCC is good, they say, but it has limitations. It is fast for what it is, but it still takes days to break down PET and the reactions have to occur at very high temperatures.

Other scientists and researchers have been trying to figure out how to engineer LCC to make it more efficient.

A French company called Carbios is doing that. They are engineering LCC to create a faster, more efficient enzyme.

Elsewhere, researchers at the University of Texas in Austin have created a PET-eating protein using a machine learning algorithm. They say their protein can degrade PET plastic in 24 hours.

 

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The search continues, but they're finding better and better tools to degrade PET plastic!

 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

a new way to recycle plastic

 https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientists-new-enzyme-break-down-plastic-week

 

The fact that PET plastic can be turned back into virgin plastic is a big deal.

“This has advantages over traditional belt recycling,” Hal Alper, professor in chemical engineering and author on the paper, told Vice. “If you were to melt the plastic and then remold it, you’d start to lose the integrity of the plastic each round that you go through with recycling.”

This new method, however, can be used to make “virgin PET plastic each and every time,” Alper added.

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This is only for PET plastic, and they don't know yet how to ramp it up commercially, but it's a good hope.

 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

drones are coming into their useful lives now

 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(22)00048-1/fulltext#cestitle180

 

 "We found that drone delivery led to faster delivery times and less blood component wastage in health facilities. Future studies should investigate if these improvements are cost-effective, and whether drone delivery might be effective for other pharmaceutical and health supplies that cannot be easily stored at remote facilities."

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All it takes is figuring out the best uses of a new invention.  This is a great use.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

jets to run on used cooking oil

 https://www.businessinsider.com/airbus-operated-a380-jet-with-100-sustainable-aviation-fuel-saf-2022-3?utm_source=reddit.com

 

Now, Airbus is ramping up its SAF testing with the first flight of an A380 superjumbo using 100% biofuel made of cooking oil and other waste fats. The company hopes to introduce the world's first zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

 "The flight test met all of our requirements, which will enable us to carry out the next phase of the project consisting of specific engine manoeuvers," Airbus test pilot, Wolfgang Absmeier, said.

 

This is wonderful, killing 2 birds with one stone.  No more cooking oil waste, and keeping oil in the ground.

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Oligarchs having a hard time hiding

 It's amazing to see how the tide has suddenly turned for Russian oligarchs.  But it's not just the Ukraine war that is causing problems for them.  Our entire world is changing in how money and things can no longer be hidden:


* https://www.flightradar24.com lets anybody follow where oligarch's private jets run around to

* https://www.marinetraffic.com does the same for their multi-million dollar yachts

* The Pandora Papers, the Panama Papers, and other leaks from private trusts around the world that once secretly held their money are suddenly leaking information like a sieve

* people are beginning to understand that ill-gotten money soaked up by the oligarchs means less for everybody else

* and of course the Ukraine war puts the spotlight on those few who helped Putin siphon billions from the Russian economy for himself and his cronies


It won't be an easy time for the super-rich in the near future.  They may weather these changes somehow but I hope not.