Category Archives: Science Club

Food waste? Food FUEL!

What is Bio-Fuel? 

Bio-fuels are liquid fuels that are derived from materials such as wastes of plants or animals.

Why is Bio-Fuel Essential?

Due to the drastic increase of population, food consumption increased, gradually forming bounty of food wastes.

Food waste is being produced excessively and is increasing rapidly due to the immense population growth. Despite all the efforts to reduce the rate of production, it is visually proven that this acceleration is inexorable. As researchers realized this fact, they studied ways to focus on the potential possible solutions that can be advantageous than to dissipate inessential effort.

This alteration of perspective engendered a huge technological advancement. Researchers formulated a method to convert organic waste into useful energy source. Briefly explaining the procedure, the discarded organic waste are reduced in size and fermented. In this process, the solid precipitation are grinded into nutritious fertilizer, and the gas produced are utilized to turn the gas motor, affecting the generator to produce electricity.

Categorizing the benefits of food wastes to Bio- Fuels

  1. Can reduce carbon emission: Environmental Benefit.

    carbon emission에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Fossil fuel, one of the commonly used fuels is the cause of massive production of carbon dioxide, engendering green house effect, increasing the temperature more than  0.6 Celsius since the year 2000.(When 1 C increases, half of the population of forests of alpine region disappears,  and the largest coral reef region, Great Barrier Reef will never regain its original shape caused by bleaching. )

Bio-Fuels can reduce carbon emission by 85% compared to mineral diesel including fossil fuels

With the help of bio-fuels, huge amount of Co2 can be reduced, preventing the potential environmental difficulties.

2. Can increase energy production: Economic Benefit

ENERGY에 대한 이미지 검색결과

The world lacks energy. According to US Energy Information Administration(EIA), total energy consumption per year came up to 493 quadrillion (493,000,000,000,000,000).

The world craves for energy. Oil, coal, gas, nuclear energy are the most used energy source in human history: but the global denizen begs for more. Realizing the urgency of the matter, researchers are trying to find an alternative energy source that can be efficient and environmentally harmless. The alternative energy sources brought up till now, has number of flaws that cannot be ignored.

Bio-fuels, on the other hand, are made up of “pure” rubbish. The only requirements are the facilities and professionals of the area.

The whole concept of food wastes being reproduced as crucial energy resource is revolutionary: trash to energy.

 

 

3. Can lower space requirements for landfills: Social Benefit

Land fills에 대한 이미지 검색결과

The most popular way to discard food wastes are to pludge them in landfills. This causes environmental, spatial, and social problems. Perilous leachate, land consumption in hectares, and NIMBY(Not In My Back Yard) phenomenon often lacerates relationship between neighbors. Landfills emits unbearable odors and contaminates the land surrounding that area, giving huge disadvantages to the residents inhabiting the region.

However, in the process of creating bio-fuels, the stenches are collected and purified, leaving no scent of reek behind. Also, the wastes are collected in a artificially created room to prevent the leachate from leaking.

 The benefits of recycling food waste are clear, increased energy production, lower carbon emissions, lower space requirements for landfills, and lot more.

People should not view food wastes as squalid rubbish,

But as Necessary Source of Energy.

 

Reference: 

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

http://pub.chosun.com/client/news/viw.asp?cate=C01&mcate=M1003&nNewsNumb=20150918235&nidx=18236

http://sustainabletechnologyforum.com/how-much-energy-does-the-world-use_21568.html

The Eighth continent: Zealandia

 

Under the waves of pacific ocean lies a giant land that  once was called a continent: Zealandia, geologists say.

Zealandia is 5 million square kilometers big, including  New Zealand and New Caledonia. Team of scientists from New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia argue in the March/April issue of GSA Today that this single crust is significantly separated from Australia.

“If you could pull the plug on the world’s oceans, then Zealandia would probably long ago have been recognized as a continent,” says team leader Nick Mortimer, a geologist at GNS Science in Dunedin, New Zealand.

“The results are pushing us to rethink how broadly we can or should apply the established definition of geological continental landmasses,” says Patricia Durance, a mineral geologist at the GNS Science office in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

The researchers concluded Zealandia ought to be one of the continents. Zealandia didn’t broke away from another continent, as it was thought to be in the past. The India-sized continent should be treated as the seventh continent of the world.

“If the elevation of Earth’s solid surface had first been mapped in the same way as those of Mars and Venus – which lack the arbitrary datum of opaque liquid oceans – we contend that Zealandia would, much earlier, have been investigated and identified as one of Earth’s continents,” the researchers noted.

“This is not a sudden discovery but a gradual realisation; as recently as 10 years ago we would not have had the accumulated data or confidence in interpretation to write this paper.”

The scientists said classifying the area as one continent wasn’t just a matter of putting “an extra name on a list”.

“That continent can be so submerged yet unfragmented makes it a useful and thought-provoking geodynamic end member in exploring the cohesion and break-up of continental crust.”

reference: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/02/zealandia-nz-could-be-sitting-on-the-world-s-newest-continent.html

3 Things YOU Don’t Know about YOURSELF

 

brain에 대한 이미지 검색결과

“People live without knowing”, a famous quote mentioned by an ancient philosopher, may seem to be a little absurd. However, through the years of development of psychology, researchers realized that this quote is far from false, but is correct. People exclaim that the study of psychology started ever since ancient Greek’s philosophers thought about humans. Chronologically speaking, psychology was studied by scholars for over thousands of years. However, ironically, people understood less than 17% of themselves: the brain.

Yes, we know what it’s made of (77% water, for a start) and how much it weighs (about 3 pounds). We also know that it has somewhere in excess of 80 billion neurons, each one connected chemically and electrically with 10,000 others, creating the world’s most complex network, with more interconnections than there are stars and planets in the Milky Way. But we don’t know how brain works. Astoundingly, what we don’t understand the most is actually what we are always doing; we just don’t know.

 

  1. What is consciousness?

Without question, conscious awareness is the most astounding — and most perplexing — aspect of the human brain. Consciousness allows us to experience and react to our environment in an apparently self-directed way.

We have our own private thoughts, feelings, opinions, and preferences, and these traits allow us to figure out the world and operate within it.

 

 

But we are still quite a ways off from understanding how the brain produces phenomenal experience. Neuroscientists cannot explain how incoming sensations get routed around such that they can be translated into subjective impressions like taste, color, or pain. Or how we can form a mental image in our minds on demand. Scientists think it has something to do with the way the sensory parts of the brain are linked to midbrain structures. Consciousness may also arise from, in the words of Marvin Minsky calls the “Society of Mind.” As Minsky notes, “Consciousness is a word that you use to not discuss the 40 or 50 different processes that are going on at various times…” In extent, there are lots of theories that attempts to understand humans’ consciousness. Some scientists have even proposed quantum effects. But ultimately, people haven’t really got a clue.

 

  1. How do we store and access memories?

Like a computer’s hard drive, memories are physically recorded in our brains. But we have no idea how our brains do this, nor do we know how this information gets oriented in the brain.

Also there isn’t just one kind of memory. We have both short-term and long-term memory. There’s also declarative memories (names and facts), and non-declarative (muscle memory). And within our long-term memories, we have”flashbulb memories” memories where we’re able to remember the precise details of what we were doing during momentary events. To perplex things further, different parts of our brain perform different memory tasks.

Neuroscientists think that memory storage depends on the connection between synapses and the strength of associations; memories aren’t so much encoded as discrete bits of information, but rather as relations between two or more things. In other terms, memories of an event may be stored in a matrix of interconnected neurons in our brains. However, these are also just theories, so theories.

 

 

  1. How much of our personality is determined by our brain?

An old “nature versus nurture” debate, this topic is a conundrum that’s difficult to quantify. Some scientists, like Steven Pinker, argue that we’re all born with genetic predispositions that influence our psychologies. Mind has no innate traits, and that most, of not all, of our individual preferences are socially constructed. It’s difficult to tell where the effects of genes start and where they end, particularly as they’re either reinforced or suppressed by social experiences. Epigenetics, in which genetic expression is either paused or activated according to environmental circumstances, complicate the issue even further. But in a way, the nature versus nurture debate is moot; the brain is a constant work in progress, a sponge that’s perpetually feeding off the environment.

 

TECHS FOUND IN CELL PHONE COULD SAVE LIVES

On rough seas, the stability of ships can be a matter of life and death. If a ship loses balance, then it could shrink, which would effect the life of all the people who are on the ship. To prevent these ships from upsetting, a new ship-stabilizing mechanism called ‘Gyroscope’ is now applied to many ships.

It’s actually hard to call this technology a “brand new tech.” because it was already invented in 1850s by a Frenchman Leon Foucault. A gyroscope is a spinning wheel, called the rotor, that rotates around an axis. The rotor is mounted between two gimbals that turns around their own axes. This means that when pressure is exerted on the gimbals, the rotor is unaffected, making it a useful tool to measure compass headings and pitch, roll, or yaw angles—useful for sailors trying to find the horizon on a foggy morning, or in a spacecraft which headed to the ISS.

Other than ship-stabilizing and guiding, gyroscope is used in many important tools like the Hubble Space Telescope, race cars, airplanes, and cell phones. Pokemon Go’s augmented reality also uses gyroscope.

In a boat, the natural rocking of the water moves the spinning gyroscope, producing pressure known as ‘torc.’ As the boat rolls, the gyro tilts fore and aft. This motion comes from the stabilizers which use the energy produced by pushing the spinning gyroscope off its vertical axis to correct the boat’s heel. It’s basically the same principle with a surfer adjusting his body’s position on his board to match a wave’s surface

The problem, though, is that until recently, gyroscopic stabilizers were too heavy and big that it weighted about 100 tons because their power depended on their size and mass. Huge space was needed to take stabilizer, so only huge ships could apply it. However, In 1970s new kind of stabilizer called ‘fin stabilizer’ was invented for the small ships. It looked like fins, and they moved up and down like wing airplane so that it can push the water and stabilize the ship. But fins, though effective, required a lot of power, and changed the direction of the ship a bit.

Researchers are still working on scaling the stabilizer down so that every boats in every sizes can use it. Researchers revealed their next goal that is to make a stabilizer for 20-foot boats. While the early adapters might be luxury ships, the company is seeing an uptick in commercial adoption too.

Widespread usage of stabilizers, Semprevivo hopes, will help improve safety conditions on the sea. “We have an opportunity,” Semprevivo says, “to see what our product can do.”

Reference : http://www.popsci.com/stabilizing-gyroscopes-cure-motion-sickness-save-lives

How Genes are Related to “Baldness”

According to the new study published in United Kingdom, 200 new genetic markers linked with male pattern baldness, which is a great number comparing to the previous study that revealed only eight of the genes. The researchers also found a new mechanism that is efficient in predicting chance of a portion of a population to get a severe hair loss.

In the experiment, the researchers collected baldness linked characteristics from more than 52,000 men ages 40 to 69 years in United Kingdom. Of these men, about 32 percent said they had no hair loss, 23 percent said they had slight hair loss, 27 percent said they had moderate hair loss and 18 percent said they had severe hair loss.

Then, the researchers analyzed the genetic variation known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of participant’s genome and revealed 287genetic variations, which are located on 100 different genes, that are linked to severe hair loss of men. Most of the variations were located on the genes that are related to formation and growth of hair, and some genes were on the X chromosome that was inherited from their mother.

Based on the result of the experiment, the researchers created a formula that calculates the “genetic risk score” of individuals to have moderate or severe hair loss. However, the researchers note that in the study, information on the age of participants started to loss hair, and if more information were available, it would have been possible to make more accurate prediction of a men’s chance to have severe baldness.

This research has revealed many new information about baldness-linked genes, but it is still hard to make accurate prediction and further researches would be needed to prevent and predict individuals’ hair loss pattern, the researchers noted.

 

reference: http://www.livescience.com/57887-baldness-genetic-markers.html

Why do we SLEEP?

We feel the urge to sleep when waves of tiredness fall upon us that has been accumulated along the day. After a good rest, we can feel the burden of physical and mental fatigue removed from our  body.

Through this, we can emit a question, “Do people sleep to relieve stress?”.

Although this is the significant answer to the question, there are other reasons why sleeping is crucial to our body.

1 Necessary Energy source; Sleep

One way to think about the function of sleep is to compare it to another of our life-sustaining activities: eating. Hunger is a protective mechanism that has evolved to ensure that we consume the nutrients our bodies require to grow, repair tissues, and function properly.

2 Sleep is crucial for LEARNING

Studying mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins have fortified evidence that a key purpose of sleep is to recalibrate the brain cells responsible for learning and memory so the animals can “solidify” lessons learned and use them when they awaken. Without at least 4~6 hours of sleep, more than 40% of the content one studied are not solid in the recollective systems in one’s brain. For young infants 11~13 hours of sleep is required for this ability to function correctly.

But still, the answer to the question cannot be satisfied with the pre-suggestions, for the question is asking for the fundamental reason why animals started the action, “sleeping”.There are several theories to clarify the reason to this action that existed to all living organisms from birth .

Inactivity Theory

Charac-IOT

     The world has began the 4th industrial revolution with internet of things, or the method for connecting the objects around us using internet and thus making them easy for us to control. However, the problem of it is that objects related to  ioT (internet things) seem so mechanical, angled, and unfriendly. Thus, the character industry, which is much friendly with people but has limitation with growth itself was collaborated with ioT by a company named KT(Korea Telecom).
     The two characters used in this company are named IO (for the black one) and IT (for the white one). For advertisement, new webtoon and short videos have been made for these two characters. These two machines contain speaker, home camera, lamp, and gas valve. Moreover, since they are characterized machines, they are not only useful for their mechanical function, but also as pretty interior decorations.

관련 이미지

     In my opinion, character-ioT is such an innovating technology that has loads of possibilities. For example, if robot engineering is added on this technology, the bound of functions of the characterized machines are going to get wider. Also, if 3D printing skills are added on it, mass production of machines will be supported by making hardware of the machines faster and easier.
     If you want more specific information, you can watch a video below explaining about charac-ioT.