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Chinese Scientists create ‘Intellectual Suit’ for Wireless Detection and Monitoring of Health Indicators

The suit, via wireless transmission, can send signals to a cellphone, a computer, or even to a doctor's computer a thousand miles away, so a person's health can be monitored anytime and anywhere

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intellectual suit
A new wireless body suit designed by Chinese scientists may be able to monitor temperature, ph level and other health indicators and send the details to mobile devices. Will that mean an end to physical visits to the doctor? Pixabay

Beijing, October 24, 2017 : A group of Chinese scientists have developed an intellectual suit which are fitted with large-area textile sensors that can detect temperature, ph levels, pressure and other indicators showing the health status of a person.

At the third International Conference on Nanoenergy and Nanosystems in Beijing, Wang Zhonglin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the invention, reports Xinhua news agency.

The intellectual suit, via wireless transmission, can send signals to a cellphone, a computer, or even to a doctor’s computer a thousand miles away, so a person’s health can be monitored anytime and anywhere, said Wang.

The conference, organised by the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, is one of the most influential in the field of nanoscience and energy.

This year it focused on topics such as nanogenerators, self-powered sensors and systems, piezotronics, piezophototronics, energy storage and self-charging power systems. Over 700 scientists from more than 30 countries attended the conference that ended on Monday.

Wang also mentioned “nano tattoos”. These stickers on the arm, which can be shaped as a pattern much like a tattoo, will be able to administer drugs into a patient’s veins, providing a private and painless way of injection for diabetics.

“Scientists have made prototypes of all these gadgets at the institute’s technopark. They are expected to hit the market in two to three years,” said Wang. (IANS)

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How Strength-based Exercise can keep you fit in a Long Run?

Some health benefits of doing strength-based exercise.

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Push ups is srength-based exercise.Pixabay
  • Do you want to stay fit and longer? Daily push-ups and sit-ups may add a few extra years to your lifespan, reveals new research.

Benefits of doing Strength-based Exercise

The research found that the people who did strength-based exercise had a 23 percent reduction in risk of premature death and a 31 percent reduction in cancer-related death.

“The study shows that strength-based exercise may be just as important for health as aerobic activities like jogging or cycling,” said Emmanuel Stamatakis, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney in Australia.

“And assuming our findings reflect cause and effect relationships, it may be even more vital when it comes to reducing the risk of death from cancer,” Stamatakis added.

The researchers observed 80,306 adults for two years and made some adjustments in order to reduce the influence of certain factors such as age, sex, health status, lifestyle behavior and educational level.

All participants with established cardiovascular disease or cancer at the baseline and those who passed away in the meanwhile were excluded from the study.

The research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that exercises performed using one’s own body weight without specific equipment were just as effective as gym-based training.

“When people think of strength-based exercise, they instantly think of doing weights in a gym, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” noted Stamatakis.

“Many people are intimidated by gyms, the costs or the culture they promote, so it’s great to know that anyone can do classic exercises like triceps dips, sit-ups, push-ups or lunges in their own home or local park and potentially reap the same health benefits,” the researcher said. (IANS)

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With increasing Demand of Cleaner Energy and Tighter Restrictions on Carbon Emissions, Coal is Giving Way to Greener Energy in US

U.S. energy firms are responding to growing demand for cleaner energy and tighter restrictions on carbon emissions

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In 2011, Duke Energy shuttered its coal-fired power plant, at rear, and opened a new plant that runs on natural gas. Its water-treatment facility appears, in foreground, in Rowan County, North Carolina. (N. Yaqub/VOA)

Ravens fly over a sprawling, abandoned brick building with tall chimneys that once billowed plumes of smoke day and night.

In its heyday, the coal-fired plant continuously produced 370 megawatts of electricity, with each megawatt able to power a thousand households. But its last coal-fired units were shut down a few years ago. Piles of coal are long gone.

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Duke Energy plans to phase out most of its U.S. coal plants in next few decades. Click To Tweet

Across the compound here in the center of this mid-Atlantic state, three noisy turbines churn at a new natural gas-fired plant that produces 620 megawatts. The Buck Combined Cycle power station stands at the edge of the Yadkin River—and amid a wave of change in the energy industry.

Both plants are owned by Duke Energy, a company with holdings in the United States and Latin America.

Growing demand

Like other U.S. energy firms, it is responding to growing demand for cleaner energy and tighter restrictions on carbon emissions. American firms are being compelled to reduce their dependence on coal in favor of much cleaner fuel sources.

Bill Wilson, senior engineer at the Buck Combined Station, said Duke has retired about half of its coal-fired facilities in recent years and replaced them with natural gas facilities like this.

“Due to the current price of natural gas, it is much cheaper,” he explained. “So on a megawatt basis, it is cheaper to run natural gas than coal.”

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It costs between $15.30 and $17.30 per megawatt hour (MWh) for natural gas, while coal costs about $28 per MWh, Duke Energy spokeswoman Tammie McGee said. “So, in today’s markets, our natural gas generation does provide lower costs and savings to our customers,” she added.

Duke Energy plans to phase out most of its U.S. coal plants in next few decades.

American Electric Power converted its Clinch River Plant in Virginia from coal to natural gas, idling the conveyor belt that once carried coal up into the plant. (N. Yaqub/VOA)
American Electric Power converted its Clinch River Plant in Virginia from coal to natural gas, idling the conveyor belt that once carried coal up into the plant. (N. Yaqub/VOA)

Switching over

The shift also is evident in other energy companies across the country.

For decades, coal was the main fuel source for generating power in the United States. Last year, natural gas matched it, with each producing a third of the nation’s electricity, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures. The other third came from hydropower, nuclear and renewable energy sources.

The administration had predicted that natural gas would overtake coal as the country’s biggest source of electricity this year, though this week it posted a storyheadlined, “Coal may surpass natural gas as most common electricity generation fuel this winter.”

Generating changes

About 200 miles northwest of Salisbury, in mountainous Russell County, Virginia, a couple of trucks and a bulldozer in July removed the last few tons of black coal from a field outside the Clinch River Coal Plant.

The plant’s three coal-fired units once produced up to 705 megawatts of electricity. But early this year, plant owner American Electric Power converted two of the units to gas and retired the third.

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The new units are not only cleaner, they are more efficient, plant manager Ricky Chaffin said. Now, the plant can produce 484 megawatts of electricity—averaging 242 megawatts per unit, up from the previous 235 each. And running it requires less labor.

“You don’t have to handle the coal,” Chaffin said. “You don’t have to move the coal from the pile to the plant.”

Also, natural gas is delivered via pipeline. “We have got a lot less equipment,” Chaffin added. “So it’s a whole lot less manpower required to run a gas plant.”

Workers are installing solar panels at a Duke Energy solar farm in Union County, North Carolina. The mid-Atlantic state ranks second, nationally, in solar capacity. (N. Yaqub/VOA)
Workers are installing solar panels at a Duke Energy solar farm in Union County, North Carolina. The mid-Atlantic state ranks second, nationally, in solar capacity. (N. Yaqub/VOA)

Workforce impact

The shift in energy production has also brought change to the workforce. For instance, when American Electric Power switched from coal to gas, the number of people needed to run the plant dropped from 182 to 46.

But there’s been employment growth in renewable energy. The National Solar Jobs Census reported the solar energy workforce grew by more than 20 percent in 2015.

In North Carolina’s Union County, Duke Energy has hired roughly 500 people to construct a solar field spreading over 156 hectares of farmland that used to grow corn and soybeans. Workers are installing 663,800 solar panels on the solar farm, expected to produce 60 megawatts of electricity when it becomes operational next year.

North Carolina, with more than 1.9 gigawatts worth of installed solar capacity, ranks second among U.S. states, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“We have customers who are demanding renewable energy, and we do have energy policies that we are working toward complying with,” said McGee. She said the company has more than 50 solar projects in operation nationwide, and 19 wind-powered projects generating electricity. One more wind site is expected to come online in December.

Renewable energy

Renewable energy sources supplied roughly 13 percent of U.S. energy produced last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. Of that, 6 percent was from hydropower, 5 percent wind, 2 percent biomass and 1 percent solar.

While big energy companies are phasing out coal, their environmental challenges are far from over.

Last month, Duke Energy reached an agreement to clean up coal ash from its Buck Steam Station. (VOA)

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India, Tanzania to boost food, energy security Cooperation

The Prime Minister also met members of the Indian community, which numbers around 50,000 in Tanzania

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Narendra Modi. Image source: Wikipedia
  • The partnership in the area of natural gas development and use is significant as Tanzania has been emerging as a gas giant with a series of finds since 2011
  • In March this year, 2016, a Dubai-based company said it has discovered 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas in Ruvu Basin in the country’s coastal region
  • Modi flagged public health as another important priority in India’s engagement with the east African country

India and Tanzania on Sunday, July 10, agreed to deepen their partnership in agriculture and food security and work together in the development and use of natural gas asNew Delhi committed more aid for this east African country’s water supply projects.

“We agreed that our common desire for economic prosperity for our societies is creating new opportunities for expanding our cooperation,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a joint press statement with Tanzanian President John Magufuli following delegation-level talks here.

“For this, both of us felt that we need to: One, deepen our partnership in agriculture and food security, including through enhanced export of pulses from Tanzania to India; two, work together in development and use of natural gas; three, partner in building of industrial economy, capacities and institutions in Tanzania; and four, deepen our trade and investment partnership by encouraging greater industry-to-industry ties,” Modi said.

The partnership in the area of natural gas development and use is significant as Tanzania has been emerging as a gas giant with a series of finds since 2011.

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In March this year, 2016, a Dubai-based company said it has discovered 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas in Ruvu Basin in the country’s coastal region.

People of Tanzania. Image source: www.tanzaniatouristboard.com
People of Tanzania. Image source: www.tanzaniatouristboard.com

Modi said that India was already a substantial economic partner of Tanzania and the whole range of economic ties was healthy and on the upswing.

“Our two-way annual trade stands at around $3 billion, Indian investments in Tanzania already total around $3 billion and Indian businesses in Tanzania continue to grow and expand,” he said.

Modi described as a “good achievement” completion of a water supply augmentation project in Dar-es-Salaam with the Indian aid of $I00 million.

“We have just now also signed an agreement on water supply project in Zanzibar for a line of credit of $92 million,” the Prime Minister said.

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“We are also working on a number of other water projects for 17 cities. And for this, India is willing to consider an additional $500 million line of concessional credit.”

India and Tanzania signed five agreements after the delegation-level talks, including two on water supply and water resource management.

Modi flagged public health as another important priority in India’s engagement with the east African country.

“We are ready to meet the healthcare priorities of the Tanzanian government, including the supply of medicines and equipment,” he said, adding an Indian radiotherapy machine was being installed at Bugando Medical Centre in the country’s Mwanza city to treat cancer patients.

The Prime Minister said education, vocational training and skill development were other areas of priority in which India was willing to offer all assistance.

“Being neighbours across the Indian Ocean, President and I agreed to deepen our overall defence and security partnership, especially in the maritime domain,” Modi said.

“Our in-depth discussions on regional and global issues reflected our considerable convergence on issues of common interest and concern.”

Modi said both sides agreed to work closely, bilaterally, regionally and globally, to combat the twin threats of terrorism and climate change and described Tanzania as a “crucial partner” in the India-initiated International Solar Alliance.

Prior to Sunday’s talks, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the State House here.

Modi also played a traditional drum along with Magufuli, adding a local and informal touch to the ceremony.

Later, he interacted with a group of 30 African ‘Solar Mamas’, rural women who have been trained in harnessing solar energy under Indian government programmes.

The Prime Minister also met members of the Indian community, which numbers around 50,000 in Tanzania.

At a banquet hosted in his honour by President Magufuli, he described the Indian community as an important link between the two countries.

After completing his engagements in Tanzania, Modi left for Kenya on the fourth and last leg of his four-nation African tour.

The Prime Minister arrived in Tanzania on Saturday night from South Africa on the third leg of his Africa visit.

This was the first prime ministerial visit from India to Tanzania in five years since the visit of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2011.

He started his five-day trip with a visit to Mozambique. (IANS)

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