15 Jan

The damage to the Great Barrier Reef has been well publicized in recent years, with bleaching events putting the entire system at risk. As much as half of the coral cover has been lost to these events, with experts predicting that the entire cover will be gone by the year 2050. This puts in danger the marine plants and animals that call the Great Barrier Reef home.

But scientists may have found a way to at least mitigate some of the damage. Utilizing an underwater robot called LarvalBot, researchers have discovered a way to plant small baby corals all along the Great Barrier Reef. The hope is that this will eventually populate the reef, essentially repairing the damage that’s been done.

13 Jan

When it comes to counting, bees may be more efficient than humans, according to a recent study. Scientists found that when bees count, they can use only four nerve cells, allowing them to at least count to five.

Humans, on the other hand, use a much less efficient method of counting. The study showed that unlike humans, who look at all items in a group before beginning to count, bees scrutinize one item at a time. The study also found that bees have the ability to choose the smaller or larger of two values or select something with a value of zero, provided they’re trained to do so.

11 Jan

Scientists from Rice University have come up with a rechargeable lithium metal battery that is said to contain three times the capacity of presently available lithium-ion cells -- all by conquering a problem that has vexed researchers for many years: the dendrite issue.

Dendrites are lithium deposits that take up more and more of a battery's electrolyte. They can accumulate to a point of short-circuiting, which makes a battery fail or possibly explode.

The Rice researchers, headed by James Tour, a chemist, discovered that when their batteries are charged, lithium metal uniformly coats the carbon hybrid area where nanotubes are fused to the surface of graphene. The hybrid in the Rice-made battery takes the place of a graphite anode in typical lithium-ion batteries, which are designed to sacrifice capacity for the sake of safety.

09 Jan

A pair of Melbourne-based architectural companies have combined efforts to construct what is believed to be the first 10-star carbon-positive home Down Under.

The stylish abode, which was built with the idea of wasting nothing as well as positively outgrowing its carbon footprint over its lifespan, could result in an annual savings of more than 500 pounds of carbon.

Nat Woods from the Sociable Weaver, one of the two architectural firms, recently told New Atlas, "We  like to call it the full sustainability package deal."

That would be a full-package deal that's anticipated by the Social Weaver to run the occupants about $2.35 USD ($3 AUD) per year to power.

07 Jan

Chronic fatigue syndrome can be a frustrating condition, disrupting the ability to pursue a career and enjoy personal activities. But one key to fighting the disease is to identify its cause. Noting that many begin suffering from the syndrome following a challenge to the body’s immune system, such as an infection, scientists believe they may have pinpointed what causes it.

After studying 55 patients who had Hepatitis-C, the scientists discovered that 18 of those patients went on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome. The key to the reaction, they believe, is a drug that those patients took that challenges the immune system similarly to the way an infection does. As a result, the team believes that chronic fatigue syndrome could happen as a result of an overactive immune system. This overactivity is in place both before, during, and after something challenges the immune system.

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