Monday January 22, 2018
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Can Batteries Last forever? A new breakthrough may not far away

The breakthrough work could lead to commercial batteries with greatly lengthened lifespans for computers, smartphones, appliances, cars and spacecraft.

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Mya Le Thai, a scientist from the University of California, Irvine has introduced a new technology to mankind. An invention which is a nanowire-based battery material that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times, moving us closer to a battery that would never require replacement.

She said Lithium ion batteries use nanowire technology which loses its ability to fully charge with time, they expand and grow brittle, which leads to cracking. So, there was a need to change this concept. These nanowires are extremely thin (1000 times thinner than the human hair). As a result, they are effective conductors of electricity and feature a large surface area for the storage and transfer of electrons. However, these wires are extremely fragile and don’t hold up well to repeated discharging and recharging.

Alkaline battery. Image source: Wikipedia
Alkaline battery. Image source: Wikipedia

According to Thai’s theory, nanowires could last longer if covered. After experimenting with many coverings they found a hard, clear plastic material called PMMA. These wires when covered with PMMA cycled through charges 28 times more than the covered ones. “The coated electrode holds its shape much better, making it a more reliable option,” Thai said. “This research proves that a nanowire-based battery electrode can have a long lifetime and that we can make these kinds of batteries a reality.” Also, they showed no signs of damage even after 200,000 cycles. It is unknown how much further testing of the batteries is needed before it could make a commercial debut; however, this was published in The American Chemical Society’s Energy Letters this week.

The breakthrough work could lead to commercial batteries with greatly lengthened lifespans for computers, smartphones, appliances, cars and spacecraft. And therefore, the results suggest that these batteries with covered nanowires might last forever.

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-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. You can reach the author at twitter- Vrushali Mahajan 

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Non-invasive brainwave technology can potentially cut post-traumatic stress

The technology works through resonance between brain frequencies and the acoustic stimulation, where the brain is supported to make self-adjustments towards improved balance and reduced hyperarousal. It requires no conscious or cognitive activity.

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Brainwaves can now potentially cure PTSD.
Brainwaves can now potentially cure PTSD.
  • The new technology aims to reduce the effect of post traumatic stress in an individual.
  • It can reduce many post-traumatic symptoms, including insomnia, depressive mood and anxiety.

Researchers have developed a non-invasive brainwave mirroring technology that can significantly reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress, especially in military personnel.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.

PTSD can cause Insomnia, Anxiety and many other mental problems.
PTSD can cause Insomnia, Anxiety and many other mental problems. Wikipediacommon

The symptoms include insomnia, poor concentration, sadness, re-experiencing traumatic events, irritability or hyper-alertness, as well as diminished autonomic cardiovascular regulation.

“Ongoing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, whether clinically diagnosed or not, are a pervasive problem in the military,” said lead investigator Charles H. Tegeler, professor, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina.

“Medications are often used to help control specific symptoms, but can produce side effects. Other treatments may not be well tolerated, and few show a benefit for the associated sleep disturbance. Additional non-invasive, non-drug therapies are needed,” Tegeler added.

In the study, published in the journal Military Medical Research, the team used a high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM) — a non-invasive method, in which computer software algorithms translate specific brain frequencies into audible tones in real time.

This provides a chance for the brain to listen to itself through an acoustic mirror, Tegeler said.

The results showed reductions in post-traumatic symptoms, including insomnia, depressive mood and anxiety after six months of using the brainwave technology.

The technology works through resonance between brain frequencies and the acoustic stimulation, where the brain is supported to make self-adjustments towards improved balance and reduced hyperarousal. It requires no conscious or cognitive activity.

The net effect is to support the brain to reset stress response patterns that have been rewired by repetitive traumatic events, physical or non-physical, the researchers said. IANS