Researchers develop process to make cotton both water repellent and UV resistant

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Zinc Oxide Nanostructures: Growth, Properties and Applications Citation: Researchers develop process to make cotton both water repellent and UV resistant (2011, April 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 In a recent paper published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Lingling Wang and his associates describe a method of using zinc oxide nanorods and zinc oxide crystallites to create a coating that bonds to cotton fiber resulting in a material that its creators hope will help meet the needs of a world that wants multi-functional clothes; in this case, clothes that are “green” (don’t need cleaning) and help protect the wearer’s skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation.The process, using off the shelf materials, including the cotton material, was begun by soaking a piece of cotton cloth in ZnO nano-crystals for 12 hours, then putting it in a Teflon autoclave (high pressure steamer) that was saturated in a zinc acetate hydrate solution for 48 hours at 95° C. This first step resulted in the dissolution and then re-crystallization of the ZnO nano-crystals which gave it a ZnO seed layer. Afterwards, the material was allowed to dry for ten minutes.The next step was to place the seeded cotton back into the autoclave, this time in an aqueous solution of zinc nitrate hydrate and hexamethylenediamine (HMT) for 5 hours at 95° C. This step gives the material its water proofing abilities. Afterwards it’s rinsed and allowed to dry again.The final step was to dip the material alternately in polyethylenimine (PEI) and silicate solutions creating a PEI/silica layer (shell).The result is a material that is not only waterproof but is able to block out UV radiation from the sun to such an extent that it would rate a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 101.15 if the chart went that high. The rating is in effect, double the highest possible rating on the normal chart, and considerably higher than consumers are accustomed to seeing on suntan lotion bottles.Though testing has not been done to see how the new process will hold up under real world conditions, the knowledge gained from the success of this procedure will no doubt advance the science of developing new clothes that will provide far more benefits to us all than simply covering our bodies. ( — Researchers at Northeast Normal University in China, have come up with a three-step process that when applied to cotton material results in a fabric that is both waterproof and very highly UV resistant. Image credit: ACS More information: Lingling Wang et al., Superhydrophobic and Ultraviolet-Blocking Cotton Textiles, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/am200083zvia Discoverylast_img read more

Zurich AI team plans March delivery for humanoid Roboy w Video

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Can you trust a robot to work safely with you in the kitchen? The 1.20m tall Roby bears a distinguishing feature of having a tendon-driven locomotion system, in that Roboy is built based on tendon-controlled motor technology. In attempting to closely replicate the functions of human tendons, the team has been working on “radical artificial tendons” that can make Roboy move in a human fashion. A tendon is the flexible cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching muscle to bone. Muscles move joints; when a muscle contracts, it pulls on a bone. The tendon structure transmits the force from muscle to the bone for joint movements.The researchers in turn view Roboy in a bigger picture as a potential marker in robotics research. “A robotics platform is being created to investigate and further develop the principles of tendon-driven drive technology in robotics. Regardless of whether the service robots of the future resemble humans or not, the principles applied such as tendon-driven movement will be put to use,” according to a Roboy press release.Roboy will be unveiled at the Robots on Tour event in Zurich in March, along with documentation on its development. The Robots on Tour event carries an ambitious subtitle of “World Congress and Exhibition of Robots, Humanoids, Cyborgs and more.” The event is being held on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the University of Zurich’s AI Lab. The robot is still in construction phase. The timeline for development has involved torso completion, leg development, CAD model of Roboy in its entirety, assembly, and Roboy learning to move. As of mid-December, the team’s press release said that Roboy “is getting a new face and can already move his arms.” Later in the project Roboy will be covered with “soft skin” to make the robot more comfortable to the touch.Supporting the race to introduce robot in March is the group’s financing model. They are attempting to raise funds for producing the Roboy by selling logo space on its body, where names or company logos will be engraved onto the Roboy. In addition to partner support, the AI Lab is turning to crowd-funding. Citation: Zurich AI team plans March delivery for humanoid Roboy (w/ Video) (2012, December 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—The University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Lab is leading the way to the delivery of Roboy, an advanced humanoid, which has a due date for saying Hello World in March. Similar to the Japanese initiative of developing robots that can assist people in daily living, this robot is designed to emulate humans and help out in daily environments. Roboy is the work of engineers at the University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, according to design principles developed by Prof. Dr. Rolf Pfeifer, who is the lab director, and assisted by other development partners. The project has involved engineers and scientists. The team members and partners share a commitment toward continued research in “soft robotics.” They would like to see Roboy become a blueprint for service robots working with humans, supporting elderly people, for example, to remain in independent living situations, similar to the initiatives of robot research in Japan that are focused on the needs of the aging there. © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

Researchers project icefree Arctic by 2058

first_img Explore further Study explores atmospheric impact of declining Arctic sea ice Ice-free in this context refers to a time period during any given year—generally arriving in September after withstanding the heat of summer. Not long after scientists began to recognize that the planet has been heating up, many began to realize that a warmer planet would mean warmer temperatures in the Arctic—enough warming and the Arctic would eventually become ice-free during part of the year. Many researchers using many models and simulations have sought to project when that might happen, as global warming projections have now made it a near certainty. In this new effort, the research team used a climate modal called Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Phase 5 is the latest version of the model, which is why the team chose to use it.One of the factors that the newest version of CMIP5 takes into consideration is ice thickness—the thinner the ice the faster it will melt—recent research suggests ice in the Arctic is growing thinner. It also uses various factors in attempting to simulate ice extent— ice covering less area to start with means less will be left at the end of summer. CIMP5 also allowed the researchers to make comparisons between historical projections and what actually transpired in the real world. As one example, the team gave the simulation data for the time period 1979 through 2011. By running simulations from various models and comparing them, the team was able to come up with a scenario that best represented what actually occurred. Once that was accomplished, they were able to use the same constraints to project most accurately what might occur in the future.To help improve accuracy, the team also input data into the model that took into account the fact that more sea ice tends to mean ice will be around longer and vice-versa and applied it using data from the years 2007 to 2012.The overall result of their simulations gave rise to the same general prediction—that the Arctic will be ice-free for several months of every year, starting sometime during the years 2054 to 2058. Mosaic of images of the Arctic by MODIS. Credit: NASA Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: Reducing spread in climate model projections of a September ice-free Arctic, PNAS, Published online before print July 15, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1219716110 AbstractThis paper addresses the specter of a September ice-free Arctic in the 21st century using newly available simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that large spread in the projected timing of the September ice-free Arctic in 30 CMIP5 models is associated at least as much with different atmospheric model components as with initial conditions. Here we reduce the spread in the timing of an ice-free state using two different approaches for the 30 CMIP5 models: (i) model selection based on the ability to reproduce the observed sea ice climatology and variability since 1979 and (ii) constrained estimation based on the strong and persistent relationship between present and future sea ice conditions. Results from the two approaches show good agreement. Under a high-emission scenario both approaches project that September ice extent will drop to ?1.7 million km2 in the mid 2040s and reach the ice-free state (defined as 1 million km2) in 2054–2058. Under a medium-mitigation scenario, both approaches project a decrease to ?1.7 million km2 in the early 2060s, followed by a leveling off in the ice extent.center_img © 2013 Citation: Researchers project ice-free Arctic by 2058 (2013, July 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( —A combined team of researchers from the U.S. and China has projected, using a climate simulation tool, that the Arctic will become September ice-free sometime during the years 2054 to 2058. The group has published a paper describing their methods and findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.last_img read more

SD Association adds faster UHS Speed Class

first_img Toshiba to launch the world-fastest class SDHC memory cards © 2013 Explore further More information: —— … 1-6-2013_FINAL_2.pdf Citation: SD Association adds faster UHS Speed Class (2013, November 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —The SD Association this week announced a new high-performance option and symbol in support of 4K2K television and video products. A new Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3) symbol will indicate products capable of recording 4K2K video and will operate exclusively on SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices and SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices. According to the association, “The UHS Speed Class 3 defines a sizzling fast 30 Megabytes per second constant minimum write speed to ensure high-quality video recordings. This means 4K2K video, live broadcasts and content can be recorded on high-performance cameras such as Digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR), Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM), camcorders and video cameras and then played back smoothly.” The announcement noted that consumers will benefit from a single card capable of meeting all their video, photo, music, document and data storage needs. “The world’s favorite SD memory card continues to evolve and meet shifting industry needs,” said Brian Kumagai, president of the SD Association. “Our new UHS Speed Class 3 standard will give consumers and businesses more flexibility and capability as the market shifts to 4K2K video formats. Both SDXC and SDHC memory card standards already offer the massive storage needed to support 4K2K video with enough room to store photos, music, documents and other data on a single portable card.” New devices offering the UHS Speed Class 3 will be backwards compatible and will work with existing SD memory cards.UHS Speed Class symbols are found on SDXC and SDHC products with either UHS- I or UHS-II symbols. The U1 denotes a 10 Megabytes per second minimum write speed, and U3 denotes 30 Megabytes per second minimum write speed. Users will achieve optimum video recording performance by pairing their devices with the appropriate SDXC or SDHC memory cards with the same marks.The SD Association is a global ecosystem of over 1,000 technology companies charged with setting interoperable SD standards. The SD standard is used across multiple market segments of the portable storage industry, including mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, personal computers, tablets, printers, car navigation systems, electronic books, and other devices under the consumer electronics umbrella. The Association does not manufacture or sell any product; it exists to create standards. Panasonic, SanDisk Corporation and Toshiba Corporation established the SD Association in January 2000. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Amazon frogs found to build mental maps of their local area

first_img Explore further Journal information: Biology Letters © 2014 ( —A quartet of researchers with the University of Vienna has found that the brilliant-thighed poison frog is able to build a mental map of its immediate surroundings and use it to navigate. The finding, the team reports in their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, suggests that such frogs have the mental ability to understand the environment in which they live. More information: Poison frogs rely on experience to find the way home in the rainforest , Biology Letters, Published 19 November 2014. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0642ABSTRACTAmong vertebrates, comparable spatial learning abilities have been found in birds, mammals, turtles and fishes, but virtually nothing is known about such abilities in amphibians. Overall, amphibians are the most sedentary vertebrates, but poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) routinely shuttle tadpoles from terrestrial territories to dispersed aquatic deposition sites. We hypothesize that dendrobatid frogs rely on learning for flexible navigation. We tested the role of experience with the local cues for poison frog way-finding by (i) experimentally displacing territorial males of Allobates femoralis over several hundred metres, (ii) using a harmonic direction finder with miniature transponders to track these small frogs, and (iii) using a natural river barrier to separate the translocated frogs from any familiar landmarks. We found that homeward orientation was disrupted by the translocation to the unfamiliar area but frogs translocated over similar distances in their local area showed significant homeward orientation and returned to their territories via a direct path. We suggest that poison frogs rely on spatial learning for way-finding in their local area. Credit: Andrius Pasukoniscenter_img Frogs, as we all know, lay eggs which eventually grow to become tadpoles. And tadpoles, because they have no legs, need water to survive. But the brilliant-thighed poison frog doesn’t live in water, instead, it lives among leaf litter on the floor of the Amazonian rainforest. To keep their tadpoles alive, the adults carry them from puddle to puddle on their backs. Thus, the frogs need to know the location of all the puddles in their little part of world. Somehow, it seems, they build mental maps that allow them to move from one water nursery to the next without deviating.To better understand the frogs, the researchers fitted several of them with tiny transmitters that allowed for tracking every move the volunteer frogs made. Then, they placed the frogs in different parts of the forest to see how well they did in finding their way back to where they lived. Remarkably, the researchers found that if the frogs were placed within a certain familiar range they were able to march straight back to their home without having to even pause or look around. Frogs that were placed in unfamiliar terrain on the other hand, became lost for awhile and had to work to get home. The researchers found that the range for familiar territory ranged at least up to 100 meters from where the frogs called home, though prior research has shown that such frogs typically roam in a circular area roughly 600 meters in diameter.Interestingly, frogs are generally considered to be sedentary, which is why until now, none have been found that are able to display spatial abilities. The researchers note that the frogs, despite being poisonous, are still at risk from a variety of predators, thus, having an internal map can help reduce needless exposure. Researchers discover unexpected patterns in evolution of frog life cycles Citation: Amazon frogs found to build mental maps of their local area (2014, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Cheap sustainable battery made from tree bark tannins

first_img Adhesives and composite materials made from Swiss tree bark This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2017 Besides their widespread availability, another reason why tannins appear to be such a promising battery material is their high levels of phenol—they have the highest phenol content among any polymer produced by living organisms. High levels of phenol are important because the primary charge storage mechanism of the tannin-based battery is a reversible chemical reaction in which phenol is converted into quinone. The researchers, led by Hongli Zhu at Northeastern University in Boston, along with PhD student Alolika Mukhopadhyay as the lead author and coauthors from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, have published a paper on the tannin battery cathode in a recent issue of Nano Letters.”The greatest benefit of using a renewable polymer tannin is that Nature produces a huge amount of tannin, which can be extracted from underused bark with minimal cost and efforts,” Zhu told “The redox-active phenolic hydroxyl groups of tannins are more than 5000 times higher than lignin, which was previously considered to be the most promising biopolymer for electrochemical energy storage. Due to tannin’s significant low molecular weight and extremely high phenolic hydroxyl content, the interpenetrating network of tannins and polypyrrole shows an outstanding electrochemical performance. We think tannin is the new champion of naturally occurring redox-active biopolymers.”In experiments, the researchers demonstrated that a type of tannin called “ellagitannin” extracted from the bark of a chestnut tree can be used to fabricate battery cathodes for batteries that exhibit an excellent overall performance, including large capacitance and high energy density. The design consists of ellagitannin combined with the polymer polypyrrole for high conductivity, which is placed on top of a carbonized wood substrate. The wood substrate also contributes to the good battery performance due to the highly aligned channels in its cellular structure. These channels, which the plant once used to transport water and nutrients, are now used to transport electrons and ions in the new battery. Although making batteries from tannins represents a big shift from using conventional metal materials such as lithium, the naturally occurring compound may offer solutions to two of the biggest challenges facing future energy storage systems: the shortage of metal materials and the high cost of material synthesis. As the researchers demonstrate in the new study, naturally occurring tannins can be purified at low cost for their use in batteries. Previous research has indicated that other plant-based materials also appear promising as alternative battery materials. One biopolymer that has been extensively studied is lignin, which is found in the cell walls of plants and gives wood and bark their rigid structure. Although widely abundant, lignin has a high molecular weight compared to its relatively low phenol content. As phenol content largely determines the electrochemical performance, such as the energy density and storage capacity, the low phenol content of lignin limits the potential performance of lignin-based batteries. One of the biggest advantages of tannins is that they have a lower molecular weight than lignin, while their phenol content is 5,000 times higher. These differences offer the potential for fabricating batteries with much higher energy densities and capacities. As the researchers have just begun to investigate the potential of tannins in batteries, they expect that it will be possible to further improve the performance of these batteries in the future.”The charge storage capacity of tannin is high,” Zhu said. “However, the intrinsically high aqueous solubility of tannin led to the loss of effective material, causing capacity fade over time. Therefore, we are trying to chemically modify tannin to secure a stable and safe performance in a harsh environment.” More information: Alolika Mukhopadhyay, Yucong Jiao, Rui Katahira, Peter N. Ciesielski, Michael Himmel, and Hongli Zhu. “Heavy Metal-Free Tannin from Bark for Sustainable Energy Storage.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b04242 (Left) Tannin powder, (center) photo of the researchers, (right) some of the features of tannins when used as a sustainable battery cathode material. Credit: Mukhopadhyay et al. Figures ©2017 American Chemical Societycenter_img Journal information: Nano Letters (—Tannins may be best known for their presence in red wine and tea, but in a new study researchers have demonstrated for the first time that tannins from tree bark can also serve as battery cathode materials. As tree bark is approximately 15% tannins by weight, tannins are naturally abundant, which is one factor that makes them a promising material for designing sustainable, low-cost, metal-free, high-performance batteries. Explore further Citation: Cheap, sustainable battery made from tree bark tannins (2017, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Saluting a doyen

first_imgThe Theatre of Bhanu Bharti, a new book was launched recently in capital which traces  the well known theatre director and writer, Bhanu Bharti’s decades of ups and downs in theatre, written by Diwan Singh Bajeli. The book portrays Bharti’s unending quest to find an Indian theater idiom and a new theatre language to express contemporary cultural crisis. How he traces the roots of Indian tribal theatre and the realms of folklore and myth.‘I feel as if I am on a never ending search for new metaphors and expressions and this quest is something that keeps me going. It is an honor to be written about by senior writer and critic Diwan Singh,’ said Bharti on the ocassion. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bharti spent four decades in the pursuit of better than before stagecraft and a fresh language to express and depict stories on stage. His life epitomises Indian theatre’s own search for an identity of its own through indigenous expressions and stories. He spent a lot of time studying life and ritualistic Bheel art of Mewar. Book also traces his interactions with various art forms like Japanese theater as well as his close coordination with the tribal performers of India.Through this book, I have tried to present a detailed, well aligned review of Bharti’s stage productions, acting prowess, comprehension of stagecraft, application of the techniques and nuances drawn from world theatre at large in his illustrious career spanning four decades,’ said Bajeli.last_img read more

Bhel commissions 660mw thermal power unit in Bihar

first_imgState-run BHEL has commissioned another 660 MW super-critical or energy efficient unit of NTPC’s Barh thermal power project in Bihar.Meanwhile, the company said it is presently executing orders for 36 sets of super-critical boilers and 31 sets of super-critical turbine generators, which are in various stages of execution.”These orders include orders from central and state sectors as well as private sectors,” BHEL said in a statement. Super-critical units are more efficient, consume lesser coal and are eco-friendly.The key equipment for the project has been manufactured by BHEL at its Haridwar, Trichy, Hyderabad and Bengaluru works, while the construction of the plant was undertaken by the company’s Power Sector – Eastern Region.BHEL shares were trading 1.80 per cent down at Rs 264.65 apiece during afternoon session on the BSE.last_img read more

Mamata to hold highlevel meeting over rationalisation of expenditure

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be holding a high-level meeting at Nabanna on July 5 to discuss various issues related to rationalisation of expenditure.The top brass of all the departments will be present there in which the Chief Minister will discuss issues pertaining to expenditures under various projects.The state government is developing a mechanism to monitor all projects. Chief Secretary Malay De is supervising the entire process that will ensure timely completion and proper implementation. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAt the same time, a Project Clearance Committee has been set up to go through the Detailed Project Report (DPR) taken up by all departments. There are senior officials of the state Finance department and the state Public Works Department (PWD) in the committee. The project will get implemented only if the committee gives its approval after going through all its aspects. The committee is headed by Srikumar Bhattacharya, Engineer-in-Chief of the state PWD. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt may be mentioned that the financial aspects of all the projects will also be looked into before giving the clearance. Steps will be taken accordingly if it becomes possible to bring down the cost of the proposed projects. The measures have been taken to ensure timely implementation of work and at the same time rationalise expenses of the state government. This comes at a time when the state government has already cleared a loan of Rs 2.30 lakh crore and this year it has to pay off a loan amount of Rs 46,000 crore. It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister herself monitors all projects by holding district and state-level review meetings. Now, with the introduction of the mechanism for integrated monitoring of projects of all departments and setting up of the Project Clearance Committee, the state government will also be rationalising its expenses.The Chief Minister’s Facebook post on Tuesday says: “Bengal has bagged 31 Skoch Awards in 2018 for performance across different sectors as well as for implementing unique projects”. It may be mentioned that the state government has won as many as nine Platinum awards, 12 Gold awards and 10 Silver awards. In the post, she maintained: “Heartiest congratulations and best wishes to all.”last_img read more

It is not digital India but divisive India Derek OBrien

first_imgKolkata: Protesting against the cases of online abuse, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien has once again taken a dig at the Centre, saying that “it is not digital India but divisive India.”This comes after the online abuse of Union minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. The MP had gone live on Facebook on Tuesday night.He said: “What is going on online? This kind of threats, trolls and abusive tweets…and if this is happening to the Union minister of External Affairs of India and spokesperson of a national political party, you can imagine what common citizens are going through.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee was the first among all big political names who tweeted in support of Sushma Swaraj,” he said.Mamata Banerjee had tweeted: “Strongly condemn the language used on social media against @sushmaswaraj Ji. She is a senior politician. We must respect each other and must never indulge in any form of verbal abuse.”The MP maintained: “The first rule that I follow is that I immediately block anyone using abusive language and secondly, ignore such people. But what do you do when a Congress spokesperson’s 10-year-old daughter gets a rape threat…this is serious…the best way is to go and lodge an FIR…It is not acceptable…” Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPHe said: “We had raised the issue in Parliament on January 17 last year. Trinamool Congress had given two or three notices for discussion on the issue of social abuse.”He said: “We talk about digital India but a lot of this is divisive India,” he maintained, adding that on October 2 in 2013, the would be PM, who was then Gujarat’s Chief Minister, had tweeted that India is considered the fourth most dangerous nation for women.”When will she feel safe and be a symbol of positivity? He had quoted a survey of Thomson Reuters…but recently, the same party’s spokesperson said that Thomson Reuters survey is fake and justified the rape cases in India…” the MP said. Referring to the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary address in which he talked about women empowerment, Derek O’Brien has stated that Rs 100 to Rs 125 crore is the allocation for the entire country for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao project. While in Bengal, the Kanyashree Prakalpa has been allotted Rs 5,500 crore, under which 50 lakh girls have been benefitted.He also put forward the figures of the National Crime Records Bureau, that show a steep increase in crimes against women and a drop in the rate of convictions in the country.last_img read more