Artificial leaf 🍂, alcohol memory cues 🍷 and Ferrari tops General Motors and Ford 🏎️!

Technology


“Artificial leaf” device turns water and sunlight into hydrogen fuel

Researchers from Rice University have built a simple new solar-powered device that can create hydrogen for fuel by splitting water. The system is very similar to other “artificial leaf” designs, but the team says it’s self-sufficient and relatively cheap to produce. When sunlight hits the solar cell, it produces electricity that powers the catalyst, which then splits the water into oxygen and hydrogen. These bubble up to the surface where they can be collected for use. The sunlight-to-hydrogen efficiency sits at around 6.7 percent, which is relatively high for these types of systems.

New Ultrafast Camera Takes 70 Trillion Pictures Per Second

The new camera developed is capable of taking as many as 70 trillion frames per second. That is fast enough to see waves of light travelling and the fluorescent decay of molecules. Compressed Ultrafast Spectral Photography (CUSP) combines a laser that emits extremely short pulses of laser light that last only one quadrillionth of a second (one femtosecond) with optics and a specialized type of camera. The optics break up individual femtosecond pulses of laser light into a train of even shorter pulses, with each of those pulses capable of producing an image in the camera.

Science


An “alcohol memory trace” in the brain triggers relapses after years of sobriety

For many people with alcohol use disorder, certain cues — like seeing a glass of wine in a movie — can trigger powerful drinking-related memories. These cues can set off intense cravings and cause relapse even after years of abstinence. Researchers discovered that repeatedly drinking alcohol alongside particular cues can activate certain clusters of neurons to form a long-lasting physical memory trace in the brain. In turn, encountering those cues later in life can reactivate this memory trace and trigger relapse. When the research team selectively silenced the alcohol memory trace, they were able to substantially reduced the rate of relapse in mice.

Sniff test can predict if brain-injured patient will wake up

According to the findings, 100 percent of the unconscious brain-injured patients who responded to a “sniff test” developed by the researchers regained consciousness during the four-year study period. This simple, inexpensive test can aid doctors in accurately diagnosing and determining treatment plans according to the patients’ degree of brain injury. The olfactory system’s integrity provides an accurate measure of overall brain integrity. Following severe brain injury, it is often difficult to determine whether the person is conscious or unconscious. Current diagnostic tests can lead to incorrect diagnosis in up to 40% of cases.

Business


Ferrari is now worth more than General Motors and Ford

Ferrari is now worth more than General Motors or Ford, after its market value surged to $30 billion. Ferrari’s shares jumped as much as 7%, after the Maranello, Italy-based sports car maker reported better-than-expected earnings. Despite shutting its factory in March, the company’s total shipments of cars increased 5% to 2,738. Even though Ferrari makes only 10,000 cars a year, compared with General Motors’ 7.7 million vehicles last year, investors are betting that Ferrari’s storied brand name and hefty prices and profit margins are likely to power the stock through the coronavirus crisis.

GSK selling $3.45 billion stake in Hindustan Unilever

GlaxoSmithKline is selling $3.45 billion worth of shares in Unilever’s Indian business on the open market cashing in late from the sale of the Horlicks brand. The 5.7% stake in Hindustan Unilever that is now on the market, was accepted by GSK as payment for the sale of the malted drink brand and other nutrition brands to Unilever, agreed in late 2018. The cash injection will help GSK in its goal of reinvigorating its drug development pipeline, having made costly bets on experimental cancer treatments and future cell and gene therapies.

Miscellaneous


Police are looking for an ‘aggressive chicken’ terrorizing bank customers in Louisiana

Police in Louisiana urged residents to be on the lookout for a suspect that has been terrorizing bank customers in Walker. They warned that the suspect is ignoring social distancing rules and the orders of Gov. John Bel Edwards by harassing customers at the ATM and drive-through, chasing people and trying to get into vehicles. The suspect – an “aggressive chicken” – is described as reddish-tan, 18 inches tall and between 6 to 8 pounds. The chicken is “wanted on charges of assault, attempted battery, attempted burglary, terrorizing and ignoring an order of the Governor.”

NASA is working with Tom Cruise to shoot a film in outer space. Yes, really

The head of NASA confirmed that the space agency is working with actor Tom Cruise to make a movie on the International Space Station. A NASA spokesperson also confirmed that Cruise will launch into space and stay aboard the station, a multibillion-dollar laboratory that orbits about 250 miles above Earth. The film will mark “the first narrative feature film — an action adventure — to be shot in outer space.” Unlike the human spaceflight programs of earlier decades, NASA will not own and operate SpaceX’s or Boeing’s vehicles.

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