Though 70% of the Earth is covered in water, only about 2.5% is fresh. Even worse, only 1% of the fresh water is readily accessible, the rest being trapped in glaciers or deep underground. It is therefore not surprising to hear that over 780 million people worldwide currently do not have easy access to clean water. The problems are only expected to get worse with climate change and the burgeoning world population. Though desalinating sea water is the most logical solution, current techniques are too expensive and cumbersome to deploy on a large scale.
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Flying cars have been in the works since 1946, when aeronautical engineer Ted Hall created two prototypes of the ConvAirCar. Unfortunately, a crash landing due to low fuel caused the hybrid vehicle’s manufacturer, Convair, to lose interest and shut down the venture within a year. While there have been numerous attempts since, none have gone beyond the experimental stage. That is about to change thanks to a slew of new and established companies that are determined to make this 70-year-old quest a reality.
In your biology class, you may have learned that lungs help us breathe while bone marrow, found in flat bones such as the hip bone, produces red and white blood cells through a process called hematopoiesis Now, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers have discovered that in addition to being a crucial part of our respiratory system, lungs also play a major role in the production and storage of blood cells.
Single-celled amoebae, which resemble small blobs of jelly, are usually of interest only to the researchers that discover them. However, a new South American species is garnering significant attention from fans of the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R.Tolkien. That’s because its unique shell, or carapace, bears a close similarity to the hat donned by Gandalf, the powerful wizard leader of the Fellowship of the Ring and the army of the West.
It is a well-known fact that plastic bottles, which take hundreds of years to decompose, are harmful to our environment. However, efforts by environmentalists to encourage consumers to switch to alternatives, like water fountains or reusable bottles, have not been very effective. The U.S. alone utilizes over 50 million plastic bottles annually, 80% of which end up in landfills.
Space travel is expensive, especially since every launch requires a new rocket. The biggest and most costly part is the booster that powers the spacecraft beyond the Earth’s orbit. Once the job, which takes a few minutes, is completed, it separates from the rest of the rocket and drops back into the ocean while the second stage engine takes over and delivers the payload to its destination.
Given that more than 65% of infectious diseases that affect humans originate from other animals, the most logical way to stop them would be to locate the source. However, studying wildlife for clues about the origin of the next epidemic is like looking for a needle in a haystack. As a result, scientists and health officials are forced to combat illnesses like the recent Zika Virus, after they spread.
With our smart gadgets continuing to get increasingly powerful, battery power, of all things, is becoming of utmost importance. But amid the messy tangle of smartphone cords, unwieldy portable chargers, and the improbability of finding an electrical outlet, charging remains a challenge. Now, some brilliant scientists at Disney Research have created a room that can wirelessly charge all your electronic devices simultaneously.