Accidents happen all the time. Sometimes you accidentally put too much sugar in your coffee. Other times you accidentally forget to call your girlfriend. And then other times you accidentally make a scientific breakthrough.
That’s exactly what happened to Mya Le Thai, a doctoral student from the University of California, Irvine. She was just playing around in the university’s lab when she suddenly came across the perfect structure to create a battery that can be charged repeatedly over a span of 400 years.
The researchers were originally experimenting with nanowires to be used in batteries, but they learned that these thin, fragile wires would break down and crack after multiple charging cycles. Thai then decided to do an experiment wherein she coated a set of gold nanowires in manganese dioxide and a Plexiglas-like electrolyte gel.
Mya Le Thai accidentally created a battery that can be charged up to 200,000 times!
According to Reginald Penner, chair of the university’s chemistry department, “She started to cycle these gel capacitors, and that’s when we got the surprise. She said, ‘this thing has been cycling 10,000 cycles and it’s still going.’ She came back a few days later and said ‘it’s been cycling for 30,000 cycles.’ That kept going on for a month.”
This is a huge breakthrough as the average laptop battery lasts for only 300 to 500 charging cycles. Thai’s innovation survived 200,000 charging cycles in three months while losing only 5% of its capacity, which means it could extend the life of the average laptop battery for up to 400 years!
Laptop batteries can only be charged anywhere between 300 to 500 times.
Naturally, the gold nanowire, the manganese dioxide, and the electolyte gel would drive up the prices of the battery, so the researchers suggested a nickel substitute for mass production. This alternative is still being tested. With that in mind, think of how this new long-lasting battery would reduce the amount of waste created by old batteries!
Any way to reduce the waste created by electronics is a huge plus!
Fossil Found Shows that Cancer in Humans Dates Back 1.7 Million Years
Most people think that cancer is a relatively recent disease, but these fossils say otherwise!
A lot of people tend to believe that cancer is caused by toxins and poisons produced by the developed world. However, these fossils show that 1.7 million years ago, cancer was already a bane to humanity!
In fact, 120,000 years ago, there was a Neanderthal from Krapina in Croatia who suffered from neoplasia. And now, there's a new discovery http://sajs.co.za/earliest-hominin-cancer-1-7-million-year-old-osteosarcoma-swartkrans-cave-south-africa/edward-j-odes-patrick-s-randolph-quinney-maryna-steyn-zach-throckmorton-jacqueline-s-smilg-bernhard in two South African cave sites that show evidence of cancer in our human ancestors dating back to 1.7 million years ago.
The world's oldest discovered tumor was found on a Neanderthal from Krapina, Croatia.
China’s Space Station is Falling Back to Earth!
There seems to be a problem with China’s Tiangong-1 space station, and it’s now falling back down to earth.
Don't panic! It's not like the space station will come crashing down into earth Michael Bay-style. In fact, it's quite common to let decomissioned space stations ignite in the atmosphere. But of course, this type of burn is controlled and scheduled to happen atop the ocean to avoid endangering people.
It's been long suspected that China's Tiangong-1 space station, which has been orbiting the earth for 5 years, is no longer being controlled by Chinese officials. Thus, the decomissioned station is scheduled to return to the surface at some point in late 2017.
Tiangong translates to "Heavenly Palace," which is appropriate.
Check Out What Scientists Found in a Cave That’s Been Isolated for 5 Million Years
Deep within the caverns of the Movile Cave in Romania lies otherworldly species that haven’t been exposed to sunlight in 5.5 million years!
The Movile Cave in Romania is just a few miles west of the Black Sea, and it's been sealed up for about 5.5 million years. And as you can imagine, the inside of the cave and its inhabitants haven't seen the light of day since human predecessors started walking upright!
The cave was discovered by humans back in 1986 when workers of the Socialist Republic of Romania were looking for a new place to build a nuclear power plant.