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Revealed: Why smartphone batteries explode

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The entire internal working of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that leads to their overheating and exploding, has finally been revealed by scientists, according to a report published by Nature communications.

According to scientists, understanding how Li-ion batteries fail and potentially cause a chain reaction is important for improving their design and make them safer to use and transport.

Speaking on the experiment to study the Lithium batteries, Donal Finegan from University College London (UCL) said, “We combined high energy synchrotron X-rays and thermal imaging to map changes to the internal structure and external temperature of two types of Li-ion batteries as we exposed them to extreme levels of heat.”

The scientists exposed the battery shells to temperatures in excess of 250 degrees Celsius, and then looked at the effects of gas pockets formation, venting and increasing temperatures on the layers inside two distinct commercial Li-ion batteries

The battery with an internal support remained largely intact up until the initiation of thermal runaway, at which point the copper material inside the cell melted indicating temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius.

This heat spread from the inside to the outside of the battery causing thermal runaway.

In contrast, the battery without an internal support exploded causing the entire cap of the battery to detach and its contents to eject.

Prior to thermal runaway, the tightly packed core collapsed, increasing the risk of severe internal short circuits and damage to neighbouring objects.

“Hopefully from using our method, the design of safety features of batteries can be evaluated and improved,” said corresponding author Paul Shearing, also from UCL.

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New Research Suggests Modern Apples Evolved from Kazakhstan 10,000 years ago

The birth of the modern apples ultimately led to 7,500 varieties of the fruit

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Modern Day Apples evolved from Kazakhstan. Wikimedia
  • The latest research suggests that the modern apples originated from Kazakhstan
  • The study was carried out by researchers from Boyce Thompson Institute in the United States
  • It was the genetic exchange from traders who used the Silk Road that the modern apples emerged in Kazakhstan

US, August 17, 2017: A new study suggests that the modern apples that are so crisp, yet so juicy, actually originated from Kazakhstan 10,000 years ago.

The study by researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) in the US reveal that during the back and forth traveling by traders on the Silk Road, the genetic exchange occurred that led to the emergence of modern day apples in Kazakhstan’s mountainous regions. Malus Domestica is the scientific name for our modern domesticated apples.

The Silk Road connected the East to the West. Hence, it led to an exposure of knowledge and ideas. Researchers hypothesize that this exchange of ideas resulted in the birth of the tasty Malus Domestica.

Lead Author of the study and Professor at Boyce Thompson Institute, Zhangjun Fei, explains his team’s study which is published in the journal Nature Communications.

ALSO READ: Fruits responsible for larger Brain size in Primates: Researchers

To carry out the study, the team of researchers sequenced 117 different apples and compared their genomes. These included the wild species extracted from Europe, North America, Central and East Asia.

The birth of the modern apples ultimately led to 7,500 varieties of the fruit. Interestingly, the quality of the fruit changed as from region to region as it first traveled from the East to the West. When the apples returned to go back to the west, the dropped seeds on the way helped the growth of trees in wild places.

M Sylvestris was dominant in the Apple’s growth. It’s ancestor, M Sieversii is found predominantly in Kazakhstan.

Our modern day apples have well-balanced sugar and higher organic acid contents. Hence, it is no wonder now that Apple is one of the favorite fruits for many people.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Samsung phones on fire : Company recalls 1 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after battery explosions

President of Samsung mobiles recalls faulty handsets after reports of some Galaxy Note 7 pieces exploding

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Galaxy S7 smartphone by Samsung. Image: Samsung website

  • Samsung says it is suspending sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone
  • Buyers reported that their phones caught fire or exploded while charging
  • Samsung said it has confirmed 35 such cases

SEOUL,Sept 05, 2016: Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile business said that customers who already bought Note 7s will be able to swap them for new smartphones, regardless of the purchasing date.

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Samsung said it has sold more than 1 million Note 7 smartphones since the product’s launch and it is suspending sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after finding batteries of some of the gadgets exploded while they were charging.

The announcement comes just two weeks after Samsung launched its latest flagship smartphone.

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Some buyers reported their phones caught fire or exploded while charging, and Samsung said it had confirmed 35 such cases, caused by faulty batteries. (VOA)

 

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Secret of painless life discovered by scientists

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London: Scientists at University College London (UCL) have found the recipe for painlessness in a study that used genetically modified mice to show a channel responsible for allowing pain signals to pass along nerve cell membranes is vital to feeling agony.

In 2006, it was shown that sodium channel Nav1.7 is important for signalling in pain pathways and people born with non-functioning Nav1.7 do not feel pain.

UCL researchers found that mice and people who lack Nav1.7 also produce higher than normal levels of natural opioid peptides. To examine if opioids were important for painlessness, the researchers gave naloxone, an opioid blocker, to genetically modified mice lacking Nav1.7 and found that they became able to feel pain.

They then gave naloxone to a 39-year-old woman with the rare mutation and she felt pain for the first time in her life.

“After a decade of rather disappointing drug trials, we now have confirmation that Nav1.7 really is a key element in human pain,” said senior author professor John Wood (UCL Medicine).

“The secret ingredient turned out to be good old-fashioned opioid peptides, and we have now filed a patent for combining low dose opioids with Nav1.7 blockers. This should replicate the painlessness experienced by people with rare mutations, and we have already successfully tested this approach in unmodified mice.”

Broad-spectrum sodium channel blockers are used as local anaesthetics, but they are not suitable for long-term pain management as they cause complete numbness and can have serious side-effects over time.

By contrast, people born without working Nav1.7 still feel non-painful touch normally and the only known side-effect is the inability to smell.

Opioid painkillers such as morphine are highly effective at reducing pain, but long-term use can lead to dependence and tolerance. As the body becomes used to the drug it becomes less effective so higher doses are needed for the same effect, side effects become more severe, and eventually it stops working altogether.

“Used in combination with Nav1.7 blockers, the dose of opioid needed to prevent pain is very low,” Wood said.

“People with non-functioning Nav1.7 produce low levels of opioids throughout their lives without developing tolerance or experiencing unpleasant side-effects.”

Scientists hope to see this new approach tested in human trials by 2017.

The study findings were published in a recent issue of journal Nature Communications.

(IANS)