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British Scientists Use Sunlight And Converted It To Fuel

Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen.

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Scientists pioneer novel model to turn sunlight into fuel.Flickr
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In a breakthrough move, British scientists have used natural sunlight to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen by mixing biological components and man-made technologies.

The team led by academics at the University of Cambridge, used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy, a finding that could now be used to revolutionise the systems used for renewable energy production.

Their method also managed to absorb more solar light than natural photosynthesis.

Hydrogen Fuel
Representational Image Of Fossil Fuel plant.
Wikimedia Commons.

“Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed — around 1-2 per cent of what it could potentially convert and store,” said lead author Katarzyna Soko, doctoral student at the University’s St. John’s College.

Artificial photosynthesis has been around for decades but it has not yet been successfully used to create renewable energy because it relies on the use of catalysts, which are often expensive and toxic. This means it cannot yet be used to scale up findings to an industrial level.

The new model, detailed in the journal Nature Energy, is the first to successfully use hydrogenase and photosystem II to create semi-artificial photosynthesis driven purely by solar power.

Hydrogen, Fuel
Hydrogen. Flickr

The team not only improved on the amount of energy produced and stored, they managed to reactivate a process in the algae that has been dormant for millennia.

Also Read: SpiceJet To Test A Flight Powered By BioFuel

“Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen. During evolution this process has been deactivated because it wasn’t necessary for survival but we successfully managed to bypass the inactivity to achieve the reaction we wanted — splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen,” Soko explained.

Soko hopes the findings will enable new innovative model systems for solar energy conversion to be developed. (IANS)

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U.S. Hacking From China On The Rise: U.S. Intelligence Official

The U.S. Congress is looking into the allegations of increased Chinese hacking activity.

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A man types on a computer keyboard in front of displayed cyber code in this illustration picture. VOA

A senior U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday that Chinese cyber activity in the United States had risen in recent months, targeting critical infrastructure in what may be attempts to lay the groundwork for future disruptive attacks.

“You worry they are prepositioning against critical infrastructure and trying to be able to do the types of disruptive operations that would be the most concern,” National Security Agency official Rob Joyce said at a Wall Street Journal cybersecurity conference.

Joyce, a former White House cyber adviser for President Donald Trump, did not elaborate. A spokeswoman for the NSA said Joyce was referring to digital attacks against the U.S. energy, financial, transportation and healthcare sectors.

Bitcoin Price, Cryptocurrency surge, Computer, U.S.
Experts: Cyber attacks Growing Increasingly Sophisticated. Pixabay

The comments are notable because U.S. complaints about Chinese hacking have to date focused on espionage and intellectual property theft, not efforts to disrupt critical infrastructure.

China has repeatedly denied U.S. allegations it conducts cyber attacks.

Joyce’s remarks coincide with U.S. prosecutors preparing to unveil as early as this week a new round of criminal hacking charges against Chinese nationals. They are expected to charge that Chinese hackers were involved in a cyber espionage operation known as “Cloudhopper” targeting technology service providers and their customers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Also Read: The Secrets Of The North Korean Hacker Army

The U.S. Congress is looking into the allegations of increased Chinese hacking activity.

Senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department are scheduled to testify Wednesday morning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “China’s Non-Traditional Espionage Against the United States: The Threat and Potential Policy Responses.” (VOA)