'Ocean battery' targets renewable energy dilemma | TechXplore (00:57)
A wind turbine sitting idle on a calm day or spinning swiftly when power demand is already met poses a problem for renewables, and is one researchers think can be tackled under the sea.
The company, Dutch startup Ocean Grazer, has come up with the concept of a “ocean battery”
relies on massive flexible bladders on the seabed, which are filled up with seawater by the wind farm.
When the power is needed, the pressure of the ocean squeezes the water through the system on the seafloor that includes turbines—and the result is electricity.
Systems that rely on pressure are already used in hydroelectric dams that pump water into the reservoir behind the dam when electricity demand falls, effectively storing it to come back through the facility's turbines.
Bliek, the Ocean Grazer CEO, said undersea systems take advantage of the pressure below the ocean that is free, while creating a system that he said is about 80 percent efficient in storing energy.
Bliek said his company aims to have an offshore system in place by 2025, though one will be deployed onshore in the northern Netherlands by 2023.
Though various aspects of energy storage via pressure are not new, the pairing of it with green energy sources carries significant potential.
Compelling Evidence That Multiple Sclerosis Is Caused by Epstein-Barr Virus | SciTechDaily (06:37)
Multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive disease that affects 2.8 million people worldwide and for which there is no definitive cure, is likely caused by infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), according to a study led by Harvard researchers.
Establishing a causal relationship between the virus and the disease has been difficult because EBV infects approximately 95% of adults, MS is a relatively rare disease, and the onset of MS symptoms begins about ten years after EBV infection.
A study was conducted on more than 10 million young adults on active duty in the U.S. military and identified 955 who were diagnosed with MS during their period of service.
The team analyzed serum samples taken biennially by the military and determined the soldiers’ EBV status at time of first sample and the relationship between EBV infection and MS onset
the risk of MS increased 32-fold after infection with EBV
Serum levels of neurofilament light chain, a biomarker of the nerve degeneration typical in MS, increased
The delay between EBV infection and the onset of MS may be partially due the disease’s symptoms being undetected during the earliest stages and partially due to the evolving relationship between EBV and the host’s immune system.
Alberto Ascherio, senior author of the study stated, “This is a big step because it suggests that most MS cases could be prevented by stopping EBV infection, and that targeting EBV could lead to the discovery of a cure for MS.”
Regrowing knee cartilage with an electric kick | MedicalXPress (12:57)
Arthritis is a common and painful disease caused by damage to our joints. Normally pads of cartilage cushion those spots. But injuries or age can wear it away.
As cartilage deteriorates, bone begins to hit bone
The best treatments available try to replace the damaged cartilage with a healthy piece taken from elsewhere in the body or a donor
healthy cartilage is in limited supply
The best possible treatment would be to regrow healthy cartilage in the damaged joint itself.
"The regrown cartilage doesn't behave like native cartilage. It breaks, under the normal stresses of the joint", says UConn bioengineer Thanh Nguyen.
Nguyen's lab has also been working on cartilage regeneration, and they've discovered that electrical signals are key to normal growth.
A steady electrical field encourages cells to colonize and grow into cartilage.
They designed a tissue scaffold made out of nanofibers of poly-L lactic acid (PLLA), a biodegradable polymer often used to stitch