Thursday April 25, 2019
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This new technology will help you brew tea three times faster

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Scientists at Drexel University in Pennsylvania have developed a technology that can heat water faster up to three times. This can be really helpful in conserving energy in industrial power plants or large-scale electronic cooling systems. It can also be used to make tea quickly, technically speaking.

The air bubbles created while heating water temporarily insulate heating elements from the surrounding water, slowing down the transfer of heat. The scientists have found that the size of these bubbles can be reduced by coating a heating element with a virus found on tobacco plants.

The reduction in bubble size will also prevent ‘critical heat flux’ caused when bubbles merge into a blanket surrounding the element hampering the transfer heat to the water.

‘What happens then is the dry surface gets hotter and hotter, like a pan on the stove without water in it. This failure can lead to the simple destruction of electronic components, or in power plant cooling applications, the catastrophic meltdown of a nuclear reactor.’  Matthew McCarthy, an engineer at Drexel University was quoted in the PSFK magazine.

Scientists had been looking for ways to develop a surface that repels bubbles and keep the boiling surface wet. McCarthy’s team found that tobacco mosaic virus was perfect for the purpose.

They have genetically modified the virus so that it can attach itself to any surface. Once the virus is attached to the surface, it is coated with a microscopically thin layer of nickel to make the virus inert.  This forms a sort of metallic grass which can wick moisture to the surface and repel bubbles.

Next Story

Researchers Probing if Tobacco’s Native Forms Less Harmful

“By working with the people who are disproportionately harmed by smoking, we can move on to co-design and testing of indigenous-centric solutions to reduce smoking harm.”

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Hookah smoking is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products such as cigarettes. Pixabay

Can indigenous ways of smoking counteract the harm being done by mass-produced cigarettes? Researching the roots of native Fijian tobacco plant ‘suki’ said to originated in Tamil Nadu and smoked in a “roll-up”, a renowned scientist from New Zealand is finding about the similar Indian cheroot.

On her visit to India, scientist Marewa Glover is accompanied by Fijian elder Setariki, who recalls learning that indentured labourers from India took tobacco plants with them to the South Pacific island country.

Looked at now, the Fijian suki appears to be processed similarly to cheroots found in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district.

Their visit was to see how similar the production process is for cheroot and ‘suki’ and to explore how people are using the cheroot today.

government information
FILE – Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency room physician at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, poses at the hospital in Sacramento, Calif., March 9, 2017. Wintemute, who has researched gun violence and firearms industry, worked with colleagues to download public records from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other federal agencies after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. He and others feared the information might disappear from federal websites. VOA

“In India, mass-produced cigarettes made by tobacco companies have largely displaced cheroot use which is now viewed as an old and fading practice, as is the experience in Fiji,” Glover said in a statement.

“But as taxes on tobacco have been raised, native and Indian Fijians are turning back to growing, chewing and smoking suki,” the researcher, who is seeking to understand indigenous people’s use of tobacco in order to inform the reduction of disease associated with tobacco use, added.

Also Read- Microsoft Quietly Releases ‘Surface Book 2’ Model: Report

“The epidemic of tobacco-related diseases that cause about 7 million deaths around the world each year are mainly due to smoking the mass-produced cigarettes. Whilst smoking anything is damaging, prior to mass marketed cigarettes of tobacco companies, tobacco was harder to get and smoke and its use was often restricted using cultural rules,” she notes.

“By working with the people who are disproportionately harmed by smoking, we can move on to co-design and testing of indigenous-centric solutions to reduce smoking harm.” (IANS)