Researchers of the Bochvara All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Inorganic Materials, supported by the International Scientific and Technical Center have developed new tilth technology, which allows to get rid of radioactive or poisonous dust, to transform dust-forming slag-heaps into green lawn and even to grow forest in the desert.
The technology is based on the polyelectrolytes developed by chemists of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The polyelectrolytes are polymers, the chains of which carry different charges. “When the polymers contact, they combine strongly with each other, explains Academician Kabanov, one of the authors of the development. This is their first advantage, and the second one is that they are capable of joining to any specks of dust, as the specks’ surface always carries electric charge. If the soil is tilled by polyelectrolytes, they will form a solid crust”. The crust will contain nubbins of soil, grains of sand, and various small and fine specks of dust get combined together by adhesive polymeric filaments resembling the spiders web. Such crust lets the air through excellently and it is even capable of accumulating moisture, that is why the seeds contained in the crust get into microhotbed conditions and germinate well.
The major challenge in developing the technology is that polyelectrolytes, when located in the same solution, react immediately and precipitate. That is why the soil is to be initially tilled by the solution of the first polymer and then by the solution of the second one. “This technology cannot be applied when large areas are tilled from helicopters, says Sergei Mikheikin, leader of the effort. The task was set up as follows: create one-pass tillage technology. We have succeeded in finding the way out – some salt was added to the solution”.
Sergey Komarov | Informnauka Agency
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Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
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