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New battery research could ‘triple range’ of electric vehicles

New battery research could ‘triple range’ of electric vehicles

Scientists create extremely thin protective layer to protect cell

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario have developed a new technique of designing batteries that could increase the distance electric vehicles are able to travel on a single charge by almost three times.

“This will mean cheap, safe, long-lasting batteries that give people much more range in their electric vehicles,” said Quanquan Pang, who led the research while he was a PhD candidate at Waterloo.

The development is due to the use of negative electrodes made of lithium metal, a material with the potential to radically increase battery storage capacity. This improvement could increase the travel distance of an electric vehicle battery from 200km to 600km, researchers estimate.

However, development of this technology had to overcome two challenges. First, the microscopic structural changes to the lithium metal due to repeated charge-discharge cycles, which could in turn lead to fire or explosion. Second, involved a reaction that creates corrosion which could lessen the efficiency of the battery and its longevity.

To solve the two problems, the research team added a chemical compound containing phosphorus and sulfur elements to the electrolyte liquid in the battery carrying electric charge in them. As the battery operates, this compound reacts with the lithium metal electrode by creating an extremely thin protective layer on the electrodes. The cover considerably reduces the reactions making the battery more effective and safe to run for a longer period of time, which was not achievable in the past.

“We wanted a simple, scalable way to protect the lithium metal. With this solution, we just add the compound and it works by itself,” said Pang.

The development has been described in the article “An In Vivo Formed Solid Electrolyte Surface Layer Enables Stable Plating of Li Metal (PDF)” in energy journal Joule.

Source: Science Daily

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Japanese researcher discovers a new optical illusion called ‘curvature blindness’

Japanese researcher discovers a new optical illusion called ‘curvature blindness’

This new optical illusion makes curvy lines appear zig-zagged

Kohske Takahashi, a cognition and illusion researcher at Chukyo University, Japan has shared a new optical illusion online that will blow your mind and make one think that we should not perceive based on what we see.

The illusion dubbed as “curvature blindness” is described and explained in the journal i-Perception, which provides scientific breakdown and analysis of the optical illusion. It describes how a wavy line can be perceived as a zigzag line on a white, grey and black background.

“Here, we report a novel illusion —— Curvature Blindness Illusion —— that will provide novel implications for contour perception, in particular, for the underlying mechanisms of curve and corner perception,” Takahashi wrote.

In the image below, which displays the illusion, one can see pairs of wavy lines and pairs of zigzag lines against a grey background. Despite how they appear, all the lines are exactly the same.

Japanese researcher discovers a new optical illusion called ‘curvature blindness’

The lines in the top left and bottom right corner when viewed against the grey background appear curvy like sine waves, while those with the grey background appear to have a sharper zig-zag-like pattern. However, a closer look at the grey background reveals that the curved, dark lines that are running from top to bottom appear to carry the zig-zag pattern, although they are curved in reality.

In simpler words, the image consists of light and dark grey dashes linked to make parallel lines in waves and zig-zags on a white, grey and black background. But in reality, the zig-zags don’t actually exist.

“Physically, however, all lines are wavy lines with an identical shape; there is no triangular wave and hence there is no corner,” Takahashi said.

“Despite the simplicity and effect magnitudes, to the best of our knowledge, no one has reported about this phenomenon.”

It’s unclear exactly why human brain perceive the zigzag contour as a sharp corner.

According to Takahashi, when our brains are confused and there is ambiguity over whether a line is a smooth curve or not, it is easy for the brains to see corners rather than curves our brains.

“We propose that the underlying mechanisms for the gentle curve perception and those of obtuse corner perception are competing with each other in an imbalanced way and the percepts of a corner might be dominant in the visual system,” Takahashi explained.

“As the effect magnitudes are quite strong, unless one carefully stares at the region that looks like a corner, it is hard to find that all lines are physically wavy,” added Takahashi.

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10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

The 10 Equations That Changed The Course Of History

Do you know that mathematical equations affect our day-to-day lives? In fact, mathematics has been called the language of the universe that has shaped our understanding of the world in numerous ways.

Once well-known UC Berkeley mathematician Edward Frenkel had said, “mathematics directs the flow of the universe, lurks behind its shapes and curves, holds the reins of everything from tiny atoms to the biggest stars.”

Hundreds of talented mathematicians and physicists have through mathematics put the abstractions and interpretations of our world into a concrete and readable form. It allows humans to both interpret and predict their surroundings.

While there are many mathematical equations that have molded mathematics and human history, let’s have a look at 10 of them:

  1. The Pythagorean Theorem:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

One of the fundamental principle in Euclidean Geometry, the Pythagorean theorem, also known as Pythagoras’s theorem deals with the lengths of the sides of a right triangle. The theorem states that: The sum of the squares of the lengths of the legs of a right triangle is equal to the square of the length of the hypotenuse. Currently, there are over 130 different proofs for the Pythagorean Theorem, ranging from geometric arrangements to differential calculus.

  1. Isaac Newton’s Law Of Universal Gravitation:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

Issac Newton’s publication of the Principia in July 1687 changed the way how we look at the universe, as no one before that knew how the earth and the other planets fit together with the sun. He explained why the planets move the way they do, and how gravity works on earth and the universe. Newton not only concluded that planets revolve around each other because of gravity, but he also gave the exact formula that calculates how much force is between two large objects given their masses. Newton’s Law Of Gravity was the defacto reference equation for more than 200 years until Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity replaced it. However, Newton’s laws are still good to calculate the orbits of satellites and the paths of spaceships.

  1. Albert Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

Einstein’s theory of relativity usually covers two interrelated theories: special relativity and general relativity. This theory was proposed in 1905 and depicts the relationship between space and time. Special relativity brought in ideas like the speed of light being a universal speed limit and the passage of time being different for people moving at different speeds. General relativity explains the law of gravitation and its relation to other forces of nature. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity changed the course of physics and helped the world understand the past, present and future of earth.

  1. The Second Law Of Thermodynamics:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

Rudolf Clausius’second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy can never decrease over time for an isolated system, that is, a system in which neither energy nor matter can enter nor leave. The total entropy can remain constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state (equilibrium), or is undergoing a reversible process. In all other real cases, the total entropy always increases and the process is irreversible. It also states that whenever energy changes or moves, it becomes less useful as it keeps losing energy on the way. It has led to the discovery of inventions like electricity, internal combustion engines, and cryogenics.

  1. Logarithm functions:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

Introduced by John Napier in the early 17th century, logarithms turn multiplication into addition (and division into subtraction, and exponentiation into multiplication, and roots into division). That means the logarithm of a number is the exponent to which another fixed number, the base, must be raised to produce that number. This was the most common way to quickly multiply together large numbers, greatly speeding up calculations in physics, astronomy, and engineering until the development of the digital computer.

  1. Maxwell’s Equations:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

James Clerk Maxwell’s equations are a set of four fundamental forces in the world that describe the behavior of and relationship between electric and magnetic fields. First published between 1861 and 1862, by combining the electric and magnetic fields into a set of four equations they define the key mathematics behind radio waves of all types also called as electro-magnetic radiation by scientists and engineers. The mathematics applies to all electro-magnetic radiation, including low frequency radio waves, to microwave and radar, to infrared (night vision goggles), to lasers, to visible light, to x-rays and much more.

  1. Chaos Theory:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focused on the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. In other words, it shows how small changes can lead to consequences of much greater scale. It is used to gain greater mathematical insight into weather predictions, and into unstable systems such as turbulence in fluid flows, instability in finance and economic systems, and so on.

8. Wave Equation:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

The wave equation is a linear second-order partial differential equation which describes the propagation of oscillations at a fixed speed in some quantity. It describes how a property is changing through time in terms of that property’s derivative and describes the behavior of waves. The wave equation has a great many practical applications in engineering (electrical, mechanical, civil), and physics.

  1. Schrödinger Equation:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

Developed by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1926, his equation was a significant landmark in developing the theory of quantum mechanics. The equation is a type of differential equation known as a wave-equation, which serves as a mathematical model of the movement of waves. It governs the behavior of atoms and subatomic particles in quantum mechanics. Today, all of our semiconductors (transistors, integrated circuits, Intel CPU chips, etc.) depend on the science of quantum mechanics that wouldn’t have been possible to understand without Schrödinger’s equation. It also paved the way for nuclear power, microchips, and electron microscopes.

  1. Fourier Transform:

10 Mathematical Equations That Changed The World

The Fourier Transform defines the mathematics that allows us to put many different signals onto one wire, or one radio signal, and to then extract each individual signal at the other end. It is essential to understanding more complex wave structures, like human speech. Basically, it helps in breaking down the complicated signals into simple waves. According to explanation by Boston University alum, Fourier theory “states that any signal, in our case visual images, can be expressed as a sum of a series of sinusoids.”

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Researchers develop world’s smallest tape recorder inside a living bacterium

Researchers develop world's smallest tape recorder inside a living bacterium

Genetically modified gut bacteria can store information like tiny tape recorders

Researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in the US have successfully modified a natural immune system of the human gut bacterium ‘Escherichia coli’ into the world’s smallest ‘tape recorder’, laying the groundwork for a new class of technologies that use bacterial cells for purposes ranging from disease diagnosis to environmental monitoring.

The modification enabled the bacteria not only record their interactions with the environment but also time-stamp the events they observed. These cells could monitor otherwise invisible changes without troubling their surroundings. The results are published in the journal Science.

“Such bacteria, swallowed by a patient, might be able to record the changes they experience through the whole digestive tract, yielding an unprecedented view of previously inaccessible phenomena,” explained Columbia University Medical Center’s Harris Wang, a senior author of the Science paper.

In order to teach bacteria the data-recording ability, the researchers created the microscopic data recorder to by using CRISPR-Cas, an in-built immune system in many species of bacteria. CRISPR-Cas copies snippets of DNA from attacking viruses so that subsequent generations of bacteria can resist these pathogens and destroy them in a more effective manner. CRISPR-Cas normally uses its recorded sequences to detect and cut the DNA of incoming phages.

“The CRISPR-Cas system is a natural biological memory device,” says Wang. “From an engineering perspective that’s actually quite nice, because it’s already a system that has been honed through evolution to be really great at storing information.”

The ability of CRISPR to cut the DNA of incoming viruses has been previously harnessed by gene therapy researchers to edit the genomes of lab animals, cell cultures, and even humans to find new treatments for diseases.

But Ravi Sheth, a graduate student in Wang’s lab and a co-author of the paper, says that CRISPR’s recording function could be put to other uses. “When you think about recording temporally changing signals with electronics, or an audio recording… that’s a very powerful technology, but we were thinking how can you scale this to living cells themselves?” Sheth said.

The team was able to modify the little circles of DNA found in bacteria, called plasmids, to record the time and events. They provided it the ability to create more copies of itself in the bacterial cell in response to an external signal. A separate recording plasmid marked the time by continually adding spacers into its genome. This means that when the bacterium has been exposed to the correct stimuli, the signal will interrupt the time-keeping spacer signal, and denote when this took place.

At present, the recording system can handle three simultaneous signals at once while keeping track of the time for days on end.

“Now we’re planning to look at various markers that might be altered under changes in natural or disease states, in the gastrointestinal system or elsewhere,” Wang said.

In order to get idea of the process, check out the video below:

Source: Sciencealert

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World’s first human head transplant carried out on corpses, claims controversial scientist

World's first human head transplant has been 'successfully carried out'

World’s first human head transplant successfully performed, scientists say

Dr. Sergio Canavero, the controversial Italian doctor and Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, made headlines last year when he announced his plans to perform the first human head transplant.

At a press conference in Vienna, Austria on Friday, Canavero has claimed a surgical team led by his collaborator Dr Xiaoping Ren of Harbin Medical University, China have successfully performed a groundbreaking 18-hour operation on a corpse reconnecting the spine, nerves and blood vessels of a severed head. For those unaware, Dr Ren had grafted a head onto the body of a monkey last year.

“The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done,” the maverick surgeon said in a video of the conference that he posted to Facebook.

While no evidence was provided to back the transplant, Dr Canavero said that details of the surgery, led by a team from Harbin Medical University in China, would be released within days by a surgical journal.

Speaking at the press conference, Dr Canavero said: “For too long nature has dictated her rules to us. We’re born, we grow, we age and we die. For millions of years humans has evolved and 110 billion humans have died in the process. That’s genocide on a mass scale. We have entered an age where we will take our destiny back in our hands. It will change everything. It will change you at every level.”

He added, “The first human head transplant, in the human mode, has been realised. The surgery lasted 18 hours. The paper will be released in a few days. Everyone said it was impossible, but the surgery was successful.”

His team’s next imminent step would be to perform the procedure on a living human paralysed from below the neck.

“A full head swap between brain-dead organ donors is the next stage. And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent. It will be for a medical, neurological condition, not for life-extension,” Dr Canavero said.

When asked if after initial tests in China, whether live procedures would go worldwide, Dr Canavero said, “Given the amount of mean criticism we received I don’t think we should go international. For instance, if you still stick to the Frankenstein schtick, which doesn’t make sense, then no. This is a medical condition for people who are suffering awfully so it isn’t a joke.”

But not everyone in the medical community is convinced that Dr Canavero could actually ever achieve a successful head transplant. They claimed that while the surgery is both unethical and dangerous,, it could also cause ghastly problems for the people who undergo it and it could cause danger to society in general.

Dr James Fildes, NHS principal research scientist at the University Hospital of South Manchester’s Transplant Centre said, “Unless Canavero or Ren provide real evidence that they can perform a head, or more appropriately, a whole body transplant on a large animal that recovers sufficient function to improve quality of life, this entire project is morally wrong.

“Perhaps far more worryingly, this endeavor appears to revolve around immortality, but in each case a body is needed for the transplant, and therefore a human needs to die as part of the process. Where does Canavero propose to get the donor body from if the goal is to tackle the laws of nature? Has Canavero considered how he will tackle acute rejection of the constituent parts of the head? What will rejection of the skin, muscles, eyes, and brain manifest as? I hope this is not just egotistical pseudoscience.”

Dr Jan Schnupp, professor of neuroscience at the University of Oxford added, “I find it inconceivable that ethics committees in any reputable research or clinical institutions would give a green light to living human head transplants in the foreseeable future.

“Indeed, attempting such a thing given the current state of the art would be nothing short of criminal. As a neuroscientist, I would really quite like the general public to be reassured that neither I nor any of my colleagues think that beheading people for extremely long shot experiments is acceptable. It is not.”

Raising multiple red flags on the project, experts said that it is almost certain doomed for failure. And if it does, then it will be a perturbing experiment that could cause indescribable trauma to everyone involved, and success might be far worse than failure.

Source: Dailymail

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World’s first head transplant to happen early next year

World's first head transplant to happen early next year

The world’s first head transplant will be carried out on a Chinese patient

The world’s first head transplant surgery, is set to happen early next year in China. While this headline will sound straight out of a Hollywood film, this is set to happen in reality. In fact, the surgery was set to happen in December this year, but the Russian volunteer for the surgery -Valery Spiridonov has decided not to take part in the procedure and therefore, the surgery will now happen with a Chinese volunteer. There is no definitive date set, but it is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2018.

Junk Science ?

Dr. Sergio Canavero made headlines last year when he announced his plans to perform the first human head transplant. Since the announcement, the Italian neuroscientist has recruited a Chinese surgeon Dr. Xiaoping Ren, to perform the surgery with him. The first patient to undergo this procedure is a Russian man named Valery Spiridonov  suffers from  Werdnig-Hoffmann Disease, a genetic disease that breaks down muscles and kills nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord thus making him unable to move. Currently, he is confined to his wheelchair with the only possible movements being the ability to feed himself, type and control his wheelchair with a joystick.

Spiridonov had been working with Dr. Canavero for about 2 years to get the surgery however, he has now said that he will not undergo the surgery because the doctor could not promise him what he wished for from the surgery – the ability to walk again and live a normal life. The surgery does not even guarantee that he would live. He will now seek an alternative spinal surgery to improve his life instead as he said in his statement.

“Given that I cannot rely on my Italian colleague, I have to take my health into my own hands. Luckily, there is quite a well-tested surgery for cases like mine when a steel implant is used to support a spine in straight position.”

Chinese Volunteer

Dr. Sergio Canavero has since made a statement of his own wherein he confirmed that the surgery will instead proceed with a Chinese volunteer . Despite being criticized by the scientific community on his experiment, he is hopeful of success.

“At present, nothing in detail. When the time comes, the official news will be announced by Xiaoping’s team in China. At the moment, I can only disclose that there has been massive progress in medical experiments that would have seemed impossible even as recently as a few months ago. The milestones that have been reached will undoubtedly revolutionize medicine. That much I can already say.” ~ Sergio Canavero.

In a recent publication, the doctor has claimed that he managed to cut and reconnect the spinal cords of 9 mice as a proof-of-concept for the experiment. The spinal cords were attached using a special solution named polyethylene glycol (PEG).  He believes that this same solution can be used to reattach a severed human head onto another body.

“There are so-called experts who have no experience because they have never done this before. They say ‘no this will never happen. I work on it. We have the scientists, the experts, the teams in the U.S., South Korea and China working it and when we are ready to inform the public, we will do it.”

Sources: CBS NEWS, SCIENCR

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Air conditioner that can fit in your pocket

This Air Conditioner Can Fit in Your Pocket

This Air Conditioner Can Fit in Your Pocket

UCLA researchers have developed a new type of air conditioner that is not only energy efficient and eco-friendly , but can also fit inside your pocket. When we think about air conditioners, the image that comes into our minds is a big bulky machine that is fitted onto a wall that cools down the entire room. These machines usually pump refrigerant fluids, that can harm the environment when they break down or aren’t disposed of properly. This new research, can possibly change all of this.

How does it work ?

These devices are named –  thermoelectric coolers – do not work in the same manner as traditional ACs. They need expensive ceramic materials and are not the most efficient in cooling down entire rooms as the traditional ACs. The reason for this is the way they work.

The researchers have said these devices use electrocaloric effects , in simpler terms, an electric field is used to move the unwanted heat through specially designed materials. Polymers with special properties are used and is placed between two points – a heat source where the heat is generated and the heat sink that takes away the heat.

When this polymer comes in contact with the heat source, it will absorb the heat. At this point, the electric field is inactive. When the polymer comes in contact with the heat sink, the electric field is turned on. This field will cause the molecules of the polymer to arrange themselves in a particular order which will push the heat into the sink.

Cheaper than traditional ACs ?

Besides being energy efficient, there is another reason why this technology could end up being cheaper than the AC we use today. Traditional ACs are used to cool an entire room. With this technology, companies could instead cool down individual seats thus saving on their AC bills. The researchers have even used this method to cool a Galaxy S4 by making a cooling device with flexible materials. Their results showed that this caused the phone to cool down by around 8 degrees.

Source: Sciencr

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Man tries to burn EU flag but it won’t burn because it meets EU regulations on flammable materials

Man tries to burn EU flag but it won’t burn because it meets EU regulations on flammable materials

Protester tries to burn the European Union flag but it does not burn because it meets EN 1021-2 Resistance Standards for flammable materials

Imagine the plight of a protestor who turned up to burn the European Union flag with a lighter only to find it did not burn.

While it is illegal in most countries to burn flags as a mark of protest some countries including the United States of America and the European Union allow protesters to burn flags. The words in the US Flag Code state that the United States Flag Code states that “the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display (for example, the flag being faded or torn), should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

This law is used by protestors in the United States to burn the US flag even at small street side protests which have increased manifold after President Trump’s victory in November 2016. The operative word “in a dignified way” from the flag code is often given a pass by the authorities as the protestors use the burning flag as a mark of protest.

Ditto for the European Union which allows protestors to burn the respective country’s or the Commission’s flag as a mark of protest. A Redditor,  i124nk8 has posted a video in which a protestor tries to burn the  European Union flag. But to his dismay, the flag won’t burn!!!

Man tries to burn EU flag but it won’t burn because it meets EU regulations on flammable materials

Apparently, all flags used in EU must comply with EN 1021-2 Resistance Standards for flammable materials. This rule means that all EU flags are made up of non-flammable material. This fact was probably not brought to the notice of the protester whose face is masked so we can’t gauge the look on his face to see the flag not burning.

This video could not be independently verified as it is undated. However, next time you want to protest against your government by burning the flag, you might take little trouble to check with the specifications or carry a gallon of gasoline with you or you will be left red faced like the above protestor.

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Scientists have developed a new camera that will help doctors see inside the body

Scientists have developed a new camera that will help doctors see inside the body

A new camera that can see through the human body

Scientists in the UK have developed a camera through which doctors will be able to see through the human body.

According to a study published in the journal ‘Biomedical Optics Express’, the device has been designed to help doctors track medical tools known as endoscopes, during internal examinations without having to use expensive X-rays. Endoscope is an instrument put into the body to examine things like the digestive system or respiratory tract.

This new device can also detect the sources of light inside the body, such as the well-lit tip of the endoscope’s long flexible tube, making it possible for medical professionals to see where the device is located in the body.

Until now, it has not been possible to track where an endoscope is located in the body in order to guide it to the right place without using X-rays or other expensive methods,” researchers from the University of Edinburgh stated.

The ability to see a device’s location is crucial for many applications in healthcare, as we move forwards with minimally invasive approaches to treating disease,” stated Kev Dhaliwal, Professor of Molecular Imaging and Healthcare Technology at the University of Edinburgh.

Researchers say early tests have shown that the prototype device can track the location of a point light source through 20 cm of tissue under normal conditions. The new camera is compact and portable enough that it can be used at the patient’s bedside.

With current methods, light from the endoscope can pass through the body, but it usually scatters or bounces off tissues and organs rather than travelling straight through making it almost difficult to find out exactly where the endoscope is.

The device takes advantage of advanced technology that can detect individual particles of light, called photons. Experts have combined thousands of single photon detectors onto a silicon chip, similar to that found in a digital camera. The sensitive nature of the silicon chip in the camera can catch tiny traces of light that pass through the body’s tissue from the light of the endoscope. It can even record the time taken for light to pass through the body, which allows the device to also detect the scattered light.

The project – led by the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University – is part of the Proteus Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, which is developing a range of new technologies for diagnosing and treating lung diseases.

Proteus is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Dr Michael Tanner, of Heriot-Watt University, said: “My favourite element of this work was the ability to work with clinicians to understand a practical healthcare challenge, then tailor advanced technologies and principles that would not normally make it out of a physics lab to solve real problems.

I hope we can continue this interdisciplinary approach to make a real difference in healthcare technology.”

Source: BBC

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Graphene-infused Rubber Bands Are 200 Times Stronger Than Steel

Graphene-infused Rubber Bands Are 200 Times Stronger Than Steel

Immortal rubber bands ?

A near century old company – Alliance Rubber Co. – based in Alliance, Ohio has just announced a partnership with British researchers that will research ways of adding graphene into their most popular product – rubber bands. These graphene induced rubber bands could transform how supply chains transport food, make the transport of electronic equipment easier and most significantly, make them last forever.

Graphene

The graphite that you see at the end of a pencil tip is made up of multiple layers of carbon atoms. When that layer is reduced to be just one atom thick – we get graphene. Though scientists knew about graphene, extracting it from graphite and using it has always been challenging, which is what makes this announcement exciting. Graphene’s signature property is its durability which is said to be 200 times stronger than steel. Back in 2008, a Columbia University engineer James Hone had this to say about the strength of graphene – it would take an elephant standing on a pencil to pierce through a sheet of graphene as thick as Saran Wrap (plastic food wrap).

The Research

Jason Risner, director of business strategy at Alliance said that the company will be working with researchers of the University of Sussex next year to determine the perfect graphene to rubber ratio that they would need. If the amount of graphene is too less, the rubber bands will not reach its max durability. If the amount of graphene is too high, the bands may loose its elastic property. Once they manage to get the exact ratio needed, the company has plans to sell these new bands to a number of industries, retailers and wholesalers.

Graphene bands might be able to fulfill many needs that the current rubber bands fail to satisfy. One example would be the ability of a graphene band to not generate static electricity – a feature that can be very valuable to electronic companies. They could also be fitted with RFID tags that can change color depending on temperature or time.

“Nobody who’s in the electronics industry wants anything coming near their motherboards and their circuit boards that has the ability to build up static charge. An anti-static band could be used in all of those settings around electronics and not be a danger to ruining the equipment,” Risner  said.

“Imagine a rubber band that changes colors if it reaches above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius),” he added. For stores that maintain a certain quality of products, he says “the grocery store would know that that produce went above the temperature that was promised to be deliver in, and that it’s going to spoil faster. They could reject it at the store because it’s changed color based on temperature.”

The extra strength and durability of these graphene bands would also benefit customers since they might never break. Eventually, Alliance plans to put graphene into every rubber band that it produces. Turning an ordinaary piece of rubber into a traceable device that will not break could be the next great leap forward according to director of business strategy, Jason Risner.

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