Science is Cool

I spend way too much time looking at Science Daily. It is a mainstay of my daily routine, and while I often see articles there that rank kinda low on my interest-o-meter, today there are two releases that struck my wow gong (I don’t know if that is legal in some states). First up: The University of Minnesota (isn’t there some well known blogger/ bearded atheist dude that harks from there?) announced they had discovered (or encouraged through experimentation) a new step in an algal form, moving from single celled algae, to multi celled algae that reproduces through a single cell system. Kinda like us, and many other organisms on the planet. Which indicates that this means of evolution can occur in a simultanious step, and not through many incremental steps throughout time, as previously thought. I would love to be on that research team.

http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2013/UR_CONTENT_461547.html

Second is a story of light, or a new way of using the suns light to illuminate interior rooms. It is called SmartLight. Best I can tell it is in an experimental stage at this point, and not developed/available technology (I did not see anything to indicate this tech is in any existing form except as experimental, but am as always open to evidence). The story claims it works like this: “A narrow grid of electrofluidic cells which is self-powered by embedded photovoltaics is applied near the top of a window. Each tiny cell ¬- only a few millimeters wide — contains fluid with optical properties as good or better than glass. The surface tension of the fluid can be rapidly manipulated into shapes such as lenses or prisms through minimal electrical stimulation — about 10,000 to 100,000 times less power than what’s needed to light a traditional incandescent bulb. In this way, sunlight passing through the cell can be controlled.”

In other words, it is taking the suns light, focusing it in directional beams, which basically transforms the light into an effective track lighting system, with extremely low power demands for it operate, equating to a ton of effeciency. The story goes on to mention that a great deal of human energy consumption is for lighting, and how a system like this could be a huge savings on our power demands. Anything that can achieve that goal, is in my opinion, a very noble cause. I hope this tech evolves quickly and becomes a mainstay for every building in every town, and affordable for the average Joe. Please, let this not be one of those great ideas that never comes to fruition. (Flying cars anyone?)

http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=18752

Note: Both of these stories I found here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/  but any time I decide to post on a story I see there, I usually go to the source of the material and provide that link. Sometimes there is better,  more detailed info at the source.

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