The term carbon capture is talked about as a way to battle against climate change, but what exactly is it? This recent NY Times video does a great job explaining it.
Basically, when a power plant burns fossil fuel such as coal, it releases gas into the air. Carbon capture technology can single out the CO2 molecules in this gas before it leaves the smokestack. The current process is to spray a chemical on the gas to separate the carbon dioxide so that it can be pumped underground.
This process is both expensive and can take up a third of the plant’s generated power known as parasitic energy. Scientists are trying to find ways to use safer and energy efficient materials to reduce this issue. The problem is that a wide array (millions!) of chemicals can bond with CO2, making the testing process quite complex.
UC Berkeley’s Berend Smit and his team have created a computer model to test out these materials in the virtual world. So researchers can upload the molecular structure they want to test to a website and see how efficient it might be.
A few weeks ago, we took a look at nonverbal greetings around the world. In Japan, they bow. Ethiopian men touch shoulders. And some in the Democratic Republic of the Congo do a type of head knock.
But the American fist bump stood apart from the rest.
Knocking knuckles was the only greeting we could find that signaled both victory and equality; neither bumper has the upper hand, so to speak.
But of many of our readers pointed out that bumping fists may have another superior quality: it’s cleaner than a traditional handshake.
Now scientists in Wales have confirmed what these astute reader’s already knew. You’re much less likely to pass along bacteria when you bump fists than shake hands or high-five, biologists reported Monday in the American Journal of Infection Control.
The study was small. Only five pairs of people bumped, shook and slapped palms. But the findings were clear-cut. A moderately strong handshake transferred more than five times as much Escherichia coli bacteria onto a recipients hand than a fist bump, biologist David Whitworth and his colleague at Aberystwyth University found.
And that strong, sturdy handshake your grandpa taught you was even dirtier. It transferred nearly 10 times more bacteria than a fist bump.
The high-five fell between the two other greetings. Slapping palms, on average, passed along twice as much bacteria as the fist bump.
Engineering World Health is currently seeking a Coordinator for our Summer Institute program. The Summer Institute hosts 70 to 75 students annually in Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Rwanda. These students spend two months in-country: for the first month, they learn languages and technical skills, and during the second month they work in small groups in local hospitals to repair medical equipment.
The job of Coordinator is a full time position which would require living in Durham, NC, nine months of the year, and Africa or Latin America three months of the year. Preference will be given to Summer Institute alumni. Applications are due by August 25!
Each fall, millions of monarch butterflies migrate to California and Mexico for winter. North American monarchs are the only butterflies that make such a massive journey (up to 4,830 kilometers/3,000 miles). They use the sun to ensure that they stay on course and on cloudy days Earth’s magnetic field as a kind of backup navigational system. (read more here)
As physical therapist and inventor, she created tools and devices that helped the physically disabled, particularly WWII veterans. And she partnered up with Thomas Edison’s son to do some of it. She also was a forensic scientist that trained at Scotland Yard.
Last January Salma Jaffar was shot while she was going door-to-door in Karachi, giving children drops of the polio vaccine.
"Even when they took out the pistol, I couldn’t understand why he was taking out the gun," Jaffar says of the two men who pulled up on a motorcycle and started shooting at the vaccination team.
"But when he opened fire, that is when I thought it was the end of the life," she says. "My first thought was that I won’t be able to see my children again."
Jaffar was shot four times: twice in her arm and twice in her chest. She spent the next three weeks in an intensive care unit.
Three of her colleagues weren’t as fortunate and died in the attack. They are among the more than 60 polio workers who have been killed since the Pakistani Taliban banned polio immunization in 2012.
Today the militant group continues to threaten to kill not only vaccinators, but also parents who get their children immunized. That threat has had a chilling effect on anti-polio efforts nationwide. And it completely halted vaccination drives in some Taliban-controlled areas. It’s in these places that the crippling virus has come roaring back — and threatened to stymie global efforts to wipe out polio.
The worldwide campaign to eradicate polio has been going on for more than two decades. It has cost more than $10 billion. Now the success of the campaign hinges on whether Pakistan can control the virus.
At its peak in the 1950s, polio paralyzed about 350,000 people a year around the world. This year, so far, there have been only 128 cases recorded. Ninety-nine of them have been in Pakistan. And the South Asian nation is the only country in the world where the number of polio cases is rising significantly.
Photo: A health worker gives a child the polio vaccine in Bannu, Pakistan, June 25. More than a quarter million children in Taliban-controlled areas are likely to miss their immunizations. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)
Engineering World Health’s STEM program, funded by the Biogen Idec Foundation, is designed to foster elementary, middle and high school students’ enthusiasm for STEM fields, raise awareness of global challenges in health care delivery, and demonstrate through hands-on learning how science, technology, engineering and math can solve global challenges.