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New solar cell may be most efficient in the world

Scientists have designed a new solar cell that converts direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5 per cent efficiency, and may potentially be the most efficient solar cell in the world. The prototype integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device c

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New solar cell may be most efficient in the world

Scientists have designed a new solar cell that converts direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5 per cent efficiency, and may potentially be the most efficient solar cell in the world. The prototype integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum, researchers said. The approach developed by researchers at George Washington University (GWU) in the US is different from the solar panels one might commonly see on rooftops or in fields.

The new device uses concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) panels that employ lenses to concentrate sunlight onto tiny, micro-scale solar cells. Due to their small size - less than one millimetre square - solar cells utilising more sophisticated materials can be developed cost effectively, researchers said. The stacked cell acts almost like a sieve for sunlight, with the specialised materials in each layer absorbing the energy of a specific set of wavelengths.

By the time the light is funnelled through the stack, just under half of the available energy has been converted into electricity. By comparison, the most common solar cell today converts only a quarter of the available energy into electricity. "Around 99 per cent of the power contained in direct sunlight reaching the surface of Earth falls between wavelengths of 250 nanometres (nm) and 2,500 nm, but conventional materials for high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells cannot capture this entire spectral range," said Matthew Lumb, lead author of the study published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.

"Our new device is able to unlock the energy stored in the long-wavelength photons, which are lost in conventional solar cells, and therefore provides a pathway to realising the ultimate multi-junction solar cell," said Lumb. While scientists have worked towards more efficient solar cells for years, this approach has two novel aspects. First, it uses a family of materials based on gallium antimonide (GaSb) substrates, which are usually found in applications for infra-red lasers and photodetectors.

The novel GaSb-based solar cells are assembled into a stacked structure along with high efficiency solar cells grown on conventional substrates that capture shorter wavelength solar photons. In addition, the stacking procedure uses a technique known as transfer-printing, which enables three dimensional assembly of these tiny devices with a high degree of precision.

This particular solar cell is very expensive, however researchers believe it was important to show the upper limit of what is possible in terms of efficiency. Despite the current costs of the materials involved, the technique used to create the cells shows much promise, researchers said.


DNA India

Most complete nestling preserved in amber reveals details of ancient birds

An international team of scientists have identified the most complete hatchling specimen found so far encased in a Burmese amber, which provides a detailed look at young birds that lived nearly 99 million years ago.

According to Xing Lida from C

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Most complete nestling preserved in amber reveals details of ancient birds

An international team of scientists have identified the most complete hatchling specimen found so far encased in a Burmese amber, which provides a detailed look at young birds that lived nearly 99 million years ago.

According to Xing Lida from China University of Geosciences, who is leading the research, the 9-centimeter-long specimen included most of the skull and neck, a partial wing and hindlimb, and soft tissue of the tail.

Xing said the proportions of body parts and form of the feathers indicated it was a very young and highly advanced hatchling, adding that the unusually detailed feathers revealed unexpected diversity in primitive birds.

"Many people thought it was a lizard. But the scales, thread-like feathers and sharp claws on the feet were so noticeable that I thought they must belong to a bird," said Chen Guang, owner of the specimen and curator of a museum in Yunnan, the province that borders Myanmar.

"There were no obvious signs of struggle. The overall posture of the bird resembled hunting, with its lifted body, open claws and beak and spread wings," said Tseng Kuowei with the University of Taipei. "It was possibly engulfed by falling resin at the exact moment it was hunting."

The paper titled "A mid-Cretaceous enantiornithine (Aves) hatchling preserved in Burmese amber with unusual plumage," co-authored by a group of Chinese, Canadian and American scientists, was published by Gondwana Research this month.


XinHuaNet

NewsWeek

NationalGeographic



World Earth Day and Nigeria for Science

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 with various worldwide events held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In commemoration of the day this year, over 600 countries across the world took to the streets for 'March for

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World Earth Day and Nigeria for Science

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 with various worldwide events held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In commemoration of the day this year, over 600 countries across the world took to the streets for 'March for Science'. Our dear country, Nigeria was one of the countries that participated in the march and took a stand for science.

The event was organised in Abuja, Nigeria, by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government; the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA); National Orientation Agency (NOA); the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa, Nigeria Chapter and a non-profit institution based at Cornell University, New York, the Cornell Alliance for Science.

The 'March for Science' drew participants from the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF); National Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS); FCT Department of Science and Technology; Academic Union of Research Institutes (ASURI); ECOWAS; a private agricultural solution firm, CONTEC Global and other scientific officers, who marched from the Eagle Square to the Unity Fountain and back. There was also a media parley and a tour of NABDA facilities at the agency's headquarters on Airport Road, Abuja.

Addressing participants at the Unity Fountain, the permanent secretary of the science and technology ministry, Mrs Belema Wakama, said the march provided an opportunity for scientists and science supporters to take a stand and highlight the immense benefits available for Nigerians in science.

"We are here to remind you that we live in the age of science. The life of everyone of us is highly dependent on the scientific inventions, innovations and modern day technologies. Science has changed the lives of people largely which as we all know have been deployed to every aspect of modernization and in sectors like agriculture, medicine, environment, education, industry, electricity, aviation, information, etc. for both the developed and developing nations," she said.

Wakama noted that science is revolutionary as it holds the key to constant development and improvement for addressing climate change, food shortage and challenges in medicine, stressing that the march provided yet another opportunity for supporters of science to come together, join voices to amplify available evidence-based solutions for the nation to adopt to ensure food security especially with its growing population.

According to her, "at the current population of over 180 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050, Nigeria is faced with the risk of decreased farming population due to age; decreased arable land; poverty; malnutrition and hunger because the conventional method of agriculture can no longer meet up with our demand. Science holds the solution to our food security."

Saying a country that cannot feed herself cannot have self-pride, she pointed out that the issue of food security required all hands to be on deck for the reconstruction, revival and rejuvenation of our agricultural sector.

The permanent secretary represented by the director of bioresearches and technology at the ministry, Abayomi Oguntunde, stated that agricultural biotechnology and genetic improvement is recognised all over the world as a solution to food security, adding scientific and regulatory agencies around the world had repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be safe.

Earlier in her remarks, the director-general of NABDA, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, said the ultimate goal of the march was to ensure that scientific integrity played an important role in government decisions that affect everyone, from funding research for evidence-based policy making to regulation recommendations.

She said the march also aimed to highlight the vital role science plays in our lives and take a stand on it; to build capacity, gain publicity and demonstrate strength and solidarity in science to decision makers; to re-emphasis the role of science in national development; to help scientists and communities they serve work together in improving science education, communication and access.

Other objectives of the march, according to her, include to create awareness and sensitise the public on the many ways that science serves our communities and our world and also encourage the public to value and invest in science, appreciate and engage with science; to speak up because research is not gaining enough support it needs to drive the plan to revitalise Nigeria's agricultural sector; to create an open, honest science communication inclusive public outreach and to affirm science as a democratic value.

Speaking to journalists, the OFAB in Africa, Nigeria chapter coordinator, Dr Rose Gidado, said the aim of the 'March for Science' in Nigeria was to persuade the nation to adopt pervasive technologies especially biotechnology.

"We are narrowing the aim of this march down to biotechnology so we can use this technology, the genetic modification tool, in combating the challenges of global warming, desert encroachment, insect and pest infestation of farmers' farmland. This technology is the only tool that the breeders have been able to find useful; they have used it and they find it useful to be able to overcome these global warming challenges," Gidado said.


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Wakama noted that science is revolutionary as it holds the key to constant development and improvement for addressing climate change, food shortage and challenges in medicine, stressing that the march provided yet another opportunity for supporters of science to come together, join voices to amplify available evidence-based solutions for the nation to adopt to ensure food security especially with its growing population.

According to her, "at the current population of over 180 million people and projected population of 400 million people by 2050, Nigeria is faced with the risk of decreased farming population due to age; decreased arable land; poverty; malnutrition and hunger because the conventional method of agriculture can no longer meet up with our demand. Science holds the solution to our food security."

Saying a country that cannot feed herself cannot have self-pride, she pointed out that the issue of food security required all hands to be on deck for the reconstruction, revival and rejuvenation of our agricultural sector.

The permanent secretary represented by the director of bioresearches and technology at the ministry, Abayomi Oguntunde, stated that agricultural biotechnology and genetic improvement is recognised all over the world as a solution to food security, adding scientific and regulatory agencies around the world had repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be safe.

Earlier in her remarks, the director-general of NABDA, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, said the ultimate goal of the march was to ensure that scientific integrity played an important role in government decisions that affect everyone, from funding research for evidence-based policy making to regulation recommendations.

She said the march also aimed to highlight the vital role science plays in our lives and take a stand on it; to build capacity, gain publicity and demonstrate strength and solidarity in science to decision makers; to re-emphasis the role of science in national development; to help scientists and communities they serve work together in improving science education, communication and access.

Other objectives of the march, according to her, include to create awareness and sensitise the public on the many ways that science serves our communities and our world and also encourage the public to value and invest in science, appreciate and engage with science; to speak up because research is not gaining enough support it needs to drive the plan to revitalise Nigeria's agricultural sector; to create an open, honest science communication inclusive public outreach and to affirm science as a democratic value.

Speaking to journalists, the OFAB in Africa, Nigeria chapter coordinator, Dr Rose Gidado, said the aim of the 'March for Science' in Nigeria was to persuade the nation to adopt pervasive technologies especially biotechnology.

"We are narrowing the aim of this march down to biotechnology so we can use this technology, the genetic modification tool, in combating the challenges of global warming, desert encroachment, insect and pest infestation of farmers' farmland. This technology is the only tool that the breeders have been able to find useful; they have used it and they find it useful to be able to overcome these global warming challenges," Gidado said.


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Pint of Science set to take latest local science breakthroughs to pubs across Bath (UK)

Tickets have been launched for the world’s largest festival of public science talks, which will see over 24 university scientists take to the stage in pubs across Bath.

The international, three-day Pint of Science festival will see thousands o

Новости - mainAssistant.com

Pint of Science set to take latest local science breakthroughs to pubs across Bath (UK)

Tickets have been launched for the world’s largest festival of public science talks, which will see over 24 university scientists take to the stage in pubs across Bath.

The international, three-day Pint of Science festival will see thousands of scientists simultaneously standing up and telling the public about their research in over 100 cities across 12 countries.

Founded five years ago by two UK researchers, the festival brings a unique line up of talks, demonstrations and live experiments to the nation’s favourite locals.

University of Bath researchers can be caught speaking at various pubs across the city, including Bath Brew House, Bath Function Rooms, The Huntsman, and The Edge University of Bath. Tickets are available from the Pint of Science website (pintofscience.co.uk), with each evening costing only £4.

Attendees in Bath will enjoy a variety of exciting talks including:

Erasing unwanted memories

Living & learning in a connected world

Dancing Robots

Water-fuelled cars? Really?

Alongside the main talks, each evening will also include a range of fun, science-related activities including live experiments, fun quizzes, geeky puzzles, engaging stories and other interactive activities.

The festival kicked off with a National Launch in London on 3rd April, featuring Bath’s own Pint alumni, Dr Saiful Islam (Professor in Chemistry).

A local launch will happen at the University of Bath on 6th May during the Bath 50th anniversary festival.

Debra DeLoach, a postgraduate researcher in the University’s Department of Biology and Biochemistry and this year’s Festival coordinator, said: “Pint of Science is back in Bath for its fourth year – and it’s bigger than ever!

“We’re proud to showcase the fascinating research taking place at the University and are looking forward to engaging others with the love and joy that we for our craft. We hope you join us and fall in love with science too!”

Pint of Science was established five years ago by a group of UK-based postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. Festival founders Dr Praveen Paul and Dr Michael Motskin wanted to bring back the personal touch to science, giving everyone the chance to meet the real people behind the incredible research taking place in universities across the country.

The duo are amazed by the growth of their idea into a global festival, which has spread to 12 countries around the world.

“Science can often get lost in translation, leading to the spread of pseudo-science and myths. The best way to overcome this is for people to be able to talk to scientists directly in a familiar environment, such as in a pub over a pint”, said Festival co-founder Dr Motskin.

“We are in awe of how big the festival has become over the years, demonstrating the thirst there is to hear science from the source – the scientists.

“The festival gives everyone the chance to pick the brains of some of the UK’s most brilliant academics, breaking down barriers and giving unrivalled access to the people behind the science.”


Bath Echo

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