Daily Archives: September 17, 2014

World’s first water-based nuclear battery developed


New York: Researchers at the University of Missouri have created a long-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery that could be used as a source of reliable energy in automobiles and space flight.

The battery uses a radioactive isotope called strontium-90 that boosts electro-chemical energy in a water-based solution.

A nano-structured titanium dioxide electrode (the common element found in sunscreens and UV blockers) with a platinum coating collects and effectively converts energy into electrons.

“Betavoltaics, a battery technology that generates power from radiation, has been studied as an energy source since the 1950s,” said Jae W. Kwon, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and nuclear engineering.

Water acts as a buffer and surface plasmons (collective oscillation of the electrons) created in the device turned out to be very useful in increasing its efficiency.

“The ionic solution is not easily frozen at very low temperatures and could work in a wide variety of applications including car batteries and, if packaged properly, perhaps spacecraft,” Kwon noted.

The research was published in the journal Nature.


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Sandisk unveils world’s biggest SD card


SanDisk has once again led the way in the storage world, this time surprising analysts and consumers alike with a new rugged 512 gigabyte SD card.

The American multinational announced the highest-ever capacity SD card at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam last Thursday, 11 September.

The announcement marks the first ever availablility of a 512GB SD card; the previous maximum size was 256GB.

The card is dubbed the ‘SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I’ and will be available at retail for US$799.99 at release.

Sandisk introduced its first 512MB SD Card a little over a decade ago. The card isn’t exactly aimed at the average Joe consumer; Sandisk said in a statement the new card is “deigned to meet the demands of advancing technology both in photo and video – with the advent of 4K video in many cameras and the increasing resolution and file sizes of images.


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The number of websites explodes past a billion


San Francisco: The number of websites has burst above one billion and is growing apace, according to figures updated in real time Tuesday by online tracker Internet Live Stats.

Tim Berners-Lee, considered the father of the World Wide Web, touted the milestone on Twitter — one of the most prominent websites in the mushrooming but sometimes murky Internet world.

It comes as the agency responsible for managing addresses on the Internet expands choices far beyond “.com” and “.net” to provide more online real estate for the booming ranks of websites.

The World Wide Web turned 25 in April this year.

It was born from an idea in a technical paper from Berners-Lee, then an obscure, young computer scientist at a European physics lab.

Berners-Lee was working at CERN lab in Switzerland when he outlined a way to easily access files on linked computers, paving the way for a global phenomenon that has touched the lives of billions of people.


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Mobile phones impact human cells: Scientist

NEW DELHI: A Finland based scientist said he has observed that human cells change their structure when exposed to radiation from mobile phones, but could not conclude whether it is harmful or not because funding for the study stopped.

The scientist Dariusz Leszczynski said that he was working on a research for which funding was promised by a Finnish organization Tekes, where about 70% fund for research is public money and rest comes from industry.

“When we found that cell phone effects human body the funding stopped because cell phone manufacturers Nokia and Teliasonnera said they don’t like it. The scientific advisory board has industry partners as members. If industry partners doesn’t likes a research, it is often not funded by Tekes,” he told PTI.

“There is effect of cell phone radiation emitted at present levels of safety standards. Protein structure in human skin changes. We could not conclude whether it is harmful or not because our funding stopped,” Leszczynski said.

Nokia refuted allegations levelled by the scientist. “We refute the claims made by Dr Leszczynski, as we have done when he has raised them before with media in Finland. Nokia believes that an independent research effort is the best way to provide the information which consumers want about the safety of their products,” Nokia spokesperson Maija Taimi said.

Taimi said that Microsoft has acquired mobile device business of Nokia and therefore handsets related queries should be send to them.

“That said, for Nokia, product safety has always been a key consideration and Nokia branded devices comply with relevant international exposure guidelines and limits that are set by public health authorities such as those in India,” Taimi said.

Microsoft Devices and Teliasonera did not reply to email queries sent to them.

Leszczynski said that the research conducted by him was on small group of people and there was need to scale it up for which funding was required.

He said his research observed changes in human skin cell structure even from cell phone emitting radiation at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.3. Cell phones with SAR value 1.6 and below are permitted for sale in India.

An Indian firm Environics too shared that a joint study conducted by them with Max Healthcare Institute found change in pulse rate after using anti-radiation products.

“As per analysis done by Statistician of Max Healthcare, Change in pulse rate after using Enviro Chip and the difference between actual and dummy chip is statistically significant,” Environics managing director Ajay Poddar said.


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