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Scientists work on new revolutionary refrigeration technology

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To date, already a quarter of total electricity consumption in the United States is directed to cooling devices, in any form. With global warming underway, the use of cooling and refrigeration systems is expected to increase even more (it could double by 2050 according to the United Nations Environment Programme). It is therefore urgent to find new systems that consume less and this without even mentioning that several of these devices use materials or gases that are not really beneficial to the environment.

In this regard, a team of scientists and engineers from the Ames Laboratory of the Department of Energy of the United States is working on new refrigeration technologies that are cheaper, cleaner and more efficient. The point is to abandon steam compression technology for a new technology that should be completely new. That’s why the same scientists are working on solid-state caloric systems, devices that rely on reversible thermal phenomena to provide the necessary cooling (but also heating) to the variation of magnetic fields.

“It’s like replacing the incandescent bulb with an LED bulb. This new technology could have a similar impact, but with the potential to achieve it in a completely different way and even more efficiently and sustainably,” says Vitalij Pecharsky, the Iowa State University and Ames Lab scientist in charge of the project. “We are late for the same kind of change in the refrigeration and heat pump industries.”

The search for more efficient refrigeration systems is intensifying especially in recent years, when several promising materials have been discovered. Costs, however, still remain the main obstacle.

Scientists are either focusing primarily on magnetocaloric and elastocaloric systems. In the former, the magnetic field must be reduced to control costs in order to achieve cooling. In the latter, the stress range must be reduced to small values in order to reduce the size of the field itself and therefore the costs.

Moreover, according to the same researchers, it will be essential to use “intelligent” systems, probably also linked to the use of artificial intelligence, to be able to save even more energy.

The scientists themselves are optimistic: “We know it’s feasible. It has been proven many times. But we know that the real obstacle preventing the leap into marketable technology is affordability, and that’s what we’re facing in our current effort,” says Pecharsky.

Bob Melanian

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.melaniannews.net in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
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Climate change is damaging the health of children around the world

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Extensive damage to health caused by climate change is mentioned in a new study conducted by an international team from 35 institutions and published in The Lancet. The study particularly refers to children, who, according to the researchers, will be much more vulnerable to climate change in the area of malnutrition due to rising food prices, particularly from agriculture.

There is talk of price increases, for example, in maize, wheat, soybean and erysium, which will be produced in smaller quantities and will therefore see a price rise. Children will be particularly affected by the increase in infectious diseases caused by the increased spread of bacteria, particularly in relation to diseases such as diarrhoea and wound infections.

Premature deaths of children from air pollution will also increase because the global energy supply from coal increased by 1.7% from 2016 to 2018, reversing what appeared to be a downward trend. Extreme weather events will intensify and increase fires and heat waves.

“This year the accelerated impacts of climate change have become clearer than ever,” reports Hugh Montgomery, co-president of The Lancet Countdown and director of the Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London. “The higher temperatures recorded in Western Europe and the fires in Siberia, Queensland and California have caused asthma, respiratory infections and heat stroke. Sea levels are now rising at an increasingly worrying rate. Our children recognise this climate emergency and call for action to protect them. We must listen and respond.”

According to Nick Watts, executive director of The Lancet Countdown, the damage caused by climate change to children will be more severe because they have a naturally weaker immune system.
In addition, the damage the body receives during early childhood is often persistent and pervasive, and the health consequences can last a lifetime.

Bob Melanian

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.melaniannews.net in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
[email protected]
Bob Melanian
Continue Reading

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Legumes are an important weapon to combat cardiovascular disease according to a new study

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That legumes are good for your health is certainly not new and a new study, published in Advances in Nutrition, confirms it. According to researchers, eating beans, peas, lentils and other legumes can be an important weapon in the fight against cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and hypertension.

To assess the impact of legumes on cardiometabolic diseases, researchers have analyzed various cohort studies and found that those who consume legumes more frequently see reduced rates of incidence of cardiovascular disease by 10% compared to people who do not consume this food regularly. As explained by Hana Kahleova, a recipient of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a U.S. non-profit organization, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world and this underlines even more the importance of this research because legumes can be considered a cheap and affordable food.

Beans and members, in fact, are foods rich in fiber, vegetable proteins and other important micronutrients, all with a low intake of fat, which promotes the regulation of cholesterol and glycemic index. Moreover, according to the authors of the study, Americans do not consume enough legumes: “The simple fact of adding more beans to our dishes could be a powerful tool to combat heart disease and reduce blood pressure,” says Kahleova.

Bob Melanian

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.melaniannews.net in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
[email protected]
Bob Melanian
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Musk: completely autonomous cars for Tesla could arrive soon

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A surprising statement was made by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, during a quarterly conference on Tesla’s profits in October. Musk, who spoke by phone, said that the company could release in advance the long-awaited software package called Full Self-Driving that offers the “complete autonomous drive” that would allow the much-coveted “level 5,” the last level with regard to the degrees of autonomy of a car. A software package could be available in just a few weeks.

Experts believe that already by the end of this year, at least some of the owners of Tesla-compatible models could therefore let their car travel in complete autonomy, something that in fact, as for the availability for normal customers, was seen only in science fiction movies. Of course, the purpose of such an announcement is also quite clear: in terms of public relations, an announcement like this puts Tesla itself at the top of what can be considered as a ten-year race towards the first fully independently driven car available to the public.

According to some of the company’s projections, the company could make gains of up to nearly $500 million just by pre-ordering the Full Self-Driving (FSD) package of compatible car owners, forecasts that have the potential to dramatically change the company’s short-term financial outlook. At the moment it’s not even clear what the installation of such a package means for the customer.

The details are however quite slim, and Tesla itself seems to be quite cautious: the car can be autonomous as far as driving is concerned but in some moments it still requires the supervision and potential intervention of a person, basically the driver. In any case, even the top management of Tesla itself knows that the drivers of these cars already habitually use the existing features related to autopilot without following the guidelines of the company regarding the supervision of the driver.

Videos or photos of Tesla’s drivers literally asleep at the wheel, for example, have not been very rare. In this sense, therefore, the long-awaited “complete autonomous driving” would not be a novelty. In any case, according to the company itself, “Tesla owners have driven billions of miles using autopilot and our quarterly vehicle safety report data indicate that drivers using autopilot suffer fewer accidents than drivers operating without assistance.”

Bob Melanian

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.melaniannews.net in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

2930 Scheuvront Drive, Denver Colorado, 80211
303-458-7258
[email protected]
Bob Melanian
Continue Reading

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