Scientists at Michigan State University announced this week the creation of a “transparent luminescent solar concentrator” that could turn windows and even cellphone screens into solar-power generators.
This technology could mean that one day entire skyscrapers might be able to generate solar power without blocking out light or ruining tenants’ views.
The material works by absorbing light in the invisible spectrum (ultraviolet and near infrared) and then re-emitting it in the infrared. The infrared light is then channeled to the edge of the clear surface, where thin strips of photovoltaic cells generate the power.
Solar power with a view: MSU doctoral student Yimu Zhao holds up a transparent luminescent solar concentrator module. | Yimu Zhao
Surveillance video from an Ohio Walmart shows that a man fatally shot by police earlier this month had his back to officers and was talking on a cell phone, an attorney for the man’s family says.
John Crawford III died Aug. 5 after Beavercreek police responded to reports of an armed man at a Dayton-area Walmart. Crawford was not armed — he had a pellet gun with him, which he had picked up in the store’s toy department.
Attorney Michael Wright said that the video, which he was allowed to view with the man’s family, contradicts statements by police and witnesses that Crawford ignored commands to drop the gun and “looked like he was going to go violently.”
Wheelchair users may soon have greater freedom of movement than ever before with the development of a new chair equipped not just with wheels but legs as well. Invented by scientists at Japan’s Chiba Institute of Technology, the chair is being prepared for commercial sale by the end of next year. Rob Muir reports.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court was “once a leader in the world” in the battle for racial equality, recent decisions by the high court undermine its role in solving a “real racial problem” in America, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in an interview with The National Law Journal on Wednesday.
Citing recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and racially biased stop-and-frisk policies, Ginsburg reflected on the perpetuation of racial segregation in America, comparing the challenges with those of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The Ebola virus has now killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa. Although the mortality rate of the most recent outbreak isn’t as high as in previous events, it’s still the case that most people who become infected with Ebola will not survive. (The mortality rate is about 60 percent for the current outbreak, compared with 90 percent in the past, according to the National Institutes of Health.)
But despite this somber prognosis, health experts in the United States aren’t particularly worried about the threat of Ebola in this country or in other developed countries.
Scientists have created a swarm of over a thousand coin-sized robots that can assemble themselves into two-dimensional shapes by communicating with their neighbours.
At 1,024 members, this man-made flock — described in the 15 August issue of Science — is the largest yet to demonstrate collective behaviour. The self-organization techniques used by the tiny machines could aid the development of ‘transformer’ robots that reconfigure themselves, researchers say, and they might shed light on how complex swarms form in nature.
With a blistering attack on the government that extradited him, Marc Emery, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot,” returned home to Canada on Tuesday after having served four years in a federal prison in Louisiana for selling marijuana seeds to Americans. Emery, who has started two political parties dedicated to legalizing marijuana in Canada, promised to get right back to work speaking about marijuana policy around the world.
“It’s not about getting high,” Emery told reporters at the airport in Windsor, Ontario, where he suggested that his wife, Jodie, should be elected to Parliament. “It’s about solving a major injustice. Once we get past the legalization part, we’re owed an apology.”
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