A Stinky Fruit Transformed Into Energy Storage

Scientists at the University of Sydney’s School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering have figured out a way to turn fruit into energy storage. The durian fruit which primarily grows in Southeast Asian countries can have its biowaste transformed into supercapacitors. The process that the scientists have created not only creates value-added products but also reduces environmental pollution.  Read the full article here.

100 Gigabits Per Second Using Terahertz Quantum Cascade Lasers

Researchers from the University of Leeds and University of Nottingham have figured out a way to get a data transmission rate of a 100 gigabits per second by control of terahertz quantum cascade lasers. This breakthrough which is 1000 times faster than current fast ethernet operating at 100 megabits per second can be used in a variety of applications. These include large datasets transferred across hospitals, research facilities, or in satellite communications.  Read the full article for more information here.

Scientist Create A Device That Generates Electricity 24/7 From Water Vapor

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a device that creates electricity from the moisture in the air. Electrical engineer Jun Yao and microbiologist Derek Lovley’s device which they call “Air-gen” uses electrically conductive protein nanowires produced by the microbe Geobacter. When water vapor naturally present in the atmosphere comes in contact with these nanowires, current is generated.

This new technology is renewable, low-cost, and can  generate electricity 24/7. It’s even able to generate power in extremely low humidity areas such as the Sahara Desert.

According to the scientists, the current version of Air-gen devices can power small devices such as cellphones. The commercial version is coming soon.

A Deep Learning Algorithm Can Identify The Source Of Errors Caused By Software Updates

Computer scientists at Intel Labs in collaboration with Texas A&M University have developed an automated way of identifying the source of errors caused by software updates. Their deep learning algorithm is capable of finding performance bugs in hours instead of days.

The traditional way to find the source of errors within the software is to check the status of performance counters within the CPU. These counters are lines of code that gauge how the program is being run in the memory of the computer. By analyzing the counters the programmer can determine if the software is running correctly or if the software’s behavior goes awry.

Toady’s desktops and servers could have hundreds or thousands of performance counters, which makes it impossible to keep track of them manually. This is where the teams deep learning algorithm comes into play, the researchers were able to monitor data coming from a large number of the counters simultaneously by compressing the data. In the compressed format, the algorithm can look for patterns that deviate from the norm.

According to Dr Abdullah Muzahid, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the deep learning algorithm can also be used in developing the technology needed for autonomous driving. “The basic idea is once again the same, that is being able to detect an anomalous pattern,” said Muzahid.

Ransomware That Attacks Manufacturers And Utilities

Dragos, a Hanover Maryland based cybersecurity firm has detected a new form of ransomware that targets industrial control systems. The treat is known as both Snake and Ekans, basically encrypts files and demands payment in the form of cryptocurrency to return control of computers. This particular ransomware is concerning since it can target any utility, these include power grids, manufacturing plants, oil refineries, and sewage treatment plants.

Unlike other ransomware that has been state-sponsored, Ekans seems to be the work of independent cyber criminals seeking financial gain. For more information about this threat click here.

Research Shows That Ethanol Is Currently The Cleanest Burning Biofuel

The University of Central Florida researchers have been conducting a study into the many types of biofuels to see which one produces the least amount of emissions. And the winner is ethanol, according to the results ethanol produces the least amount of soot. Soot exposure is directly linked to respiratory disease, cancer and heart problems.

Ethanol is already in most gas sold in the US, which gives it an advantage over other biofuels since the infrastructure is in place. It’s also compatible in current engines, as well as, cheap to produce.

This study is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and will continue through 2021 to collect data and improve combustion models.

A Solar Cell That Works At Night

Scientist at the University of California – Davis is developing a solar cell that can work at night. The special design solar cell is said to be able to generate up to 50 watts of power per square meter in ideal conditions.

In regular solar cells, power is generated by absorbing sunlight, which creates voltage and current flow. The new solar cell works in reverse, light is emitted and the current and voltage flow in the opposite direction, however, it’s still generating power. According to the scientist, the new cells can work during the day but you would have to block direct sunlight or point it away from the sun.

This breakthrough could be the stepping stone for grid systems to be able to run day and night on solar power.

Turning Trash Into Graphene

Researchers at Rice University have figured out a way to turn trash into graphene. All it takes is a jolt of electricity. Graphene is an important material that’s found in electronics, solar panels, and asphalt. The process which is known as “flash graphene” production, can yield massive quantities of graphene flakes.

This new process is far cheaper and greener than traditional methods. It allows upcycling of food waste, plastics, and even rubber tires.

The world throws out about 40 percent of all food due to it going bad, and with concerns about plastic pollution. “Flash Graphene” production is an effective way to deal with these issues.

Origin: The Driverless Vehicle Designed For Ridesharing

Cruise unveiled its production-ready driverless car called Origin, the product is a collaboration with parent company GM and investor Honda. The Origin has no steering wheel, no pedals, and is capable of travelling at highway speeds. The vehicle is designed for ridesharing services.

Inside you’ll find seats that face each other and accommodates the riders needs with conveniences such as personal USB ports to charge your devices. Overhead displays show travellers information about there ride. Riders will also notice that the doors slide open instead of hinge outward, which makes it convenient for bikers.


Although the Origin is production-ready, you won’t be seeing it on the public road anytime soon. The vehicle currently doesn’t meet US federal regulations. Until the regulations are met, you’ll find the Origin on private environments such as the GM facilities or Honda’s campus.

Microsoft’s Next Surface Pro May Include Solar Panels

Microsoft’s next surface pro might include integrated solar panels. A patent filed with the USPTO shows a surface pro like device cover with at least four integrated solar panels.

Normally solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, however, according to Microsoft, the device can be charged from any artificial light sources. It should also be noted that because of its design, the device can be charged when it’s being used.

At this point, it’s unclear if or when we will see a launching of this device.