Scientists of IIT Kharagpur creates electricity out of onion skins !
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Scientists of IIT Kharagpur creates electricity out of onion skins !

According to research conducted at the institute, since onion skin was found to have piezoelectric properties, it is perfect to use in the nano-generator developed by the scientists. Additionally, onions are used in many Indian households and therefore, are a readily available source of bio-waste. If a material is piezoelectric, it means that it can generate a current when a slight pressure is applied. Nano-generators are made out of this piezoelectric material and can generate electricity to power small devices. As they are barely the width of a hair, the lightest pressure can create a current, and they convert kinetic energy into electrical energy. Usually, nanogenerators are challenging to make and may use toxic materials. This reality is what spurred scientists at IIT to create their own biodegradable, and biocompatible nanogenerator. According to a report by the Indiatimes, the implications of this breakthrough include a reduce in biowaste, and the potential to power pacemakers, smart pills, and portable devices such as watches.
0 0 46 22 December, 2017 Alternative, Science more
Stephen Hawking says, Earth will turn into fireball by 2600
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Stephen Hawking says, Earth will turn into fireball by 2600

British physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that the human race will perish on earth as growing population and massive power consumption would turn the planet into a sizzling fireball in less than 600 years. To ensure the survival of our species for another million years, humans must “boldly go where no one has gone before,” Hawking said. Our planet will turn into a ball of fire because of our soaring energy consumption as the population soars, the world renowned scientist said in a video appearance at the Tencent WE Summit in Beijing. Hawking appealed to investors to back his plans to travel to the closest star outside the solar system, with the hope that a habitable planet might be orbiting it. Alpha Centauri is one of the closest stars to our solar system, located four billion light-years away. Scientists believe that it may host planets that could foster life, just like earth. Hawking is backing Breakthrough Starshot, a venture to reach this system within two decades using a tiny aircraft that could travel at the speed of light. “Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years,” said Hawking.
0 0 108 08 November, 2017 Alternative, Science more
Avoiding unwanted thoughts could be easier now; Chemicals in brain that helps remove such thoughts identified
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Avoiding unwanted thoughts could be easier now; Chemicals in brain that helps remove such thoughts identified

Scientists have identified a key chemical in the brain that allows us to suppress unpleasant memories, a finding that may pave the way for treating patients of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or schizophrenia who experience persistent intrusive thoughts.
"Our ability to control our thoughts is fundamental to our wellbeing," said Michael Anderson from the University of Cambridge in the UK. "When this capacity breaks down, it causes some of the most debilitating symptoms of psychiatric diseases: intrusive memories, images, hallucinations, ruminations, and pathological and persistent worries," said Anderson. "These are all key symptoms of mental illnesses such as PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety," he said. Anderson likens our ability to intervene and stop ourselves retrieving particular memories and thoughts to stopping a physical action. A region at the front of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex is known to play a key role in controlling our actions and has more recently been shown to play a similarly important role in stopping our thoughts. The prefrontal cortex acts as a master regulator, controlling other brain regions - the motor cortex for actions and the hippocampus for memories. In the study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists used a task known as the 'Think/No-Think' procedure to identify a significant new brain process that enables the prefrontal cortex to successfully inhibit our thoughts. In the task, participants learn to associate a series of words with a paired, but otherwise unconnected, word, for example ordeal/roach and moss/north. In the next stage, they were asked to recall the associated word if the cue is green or to suppress it if the cue is red; in other words, when shown 'ordeal' in red, they were asked to stare at the word but to stop themselves thinking about the associated thought 'roach'. Using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the researchers were able to observe what was happening within key regions of the brain as the participants tried to inhibit their thoughts. Researchers showed that the ability to inhibit unwanted thoughts relies on a neurotransmitter - a chemical within the brain that allows messages to pass between nerve cells – known as GABA. GABA is the main 'inhibitory' neurotransmitter in the brain, and its release by one nerve cell can suppress activity in other cells to which it is connected. Researchers discovered that GABA concentrations within the hippocampus - a key area of the brain involved in memory - predict people's ability to block the retrieval process and prevent thoughts and memories from returning. Anderson believes the finding could offer a new approach to tackling intrusive thoughts in these disorders.
0 0 77 06 November, 2017 Alternative, Science more