110. Perovskite Solar Cells Improved, Cancer Fighting Cells, Most Efficient Passenger Plane
110. Perovskite Solar Cells Improved, Cancer Fighting Cells, Most Efficient Passenger Plane
01:50 The first perovskite solar cell with a commercially viable lifetime is here | Interesting Engineering
- A team of researchers from Princeton University has built the first perovskite solar cells that last long enough to be commercially viable.
- Silicon-based cells, which many regard as an expensive and suboptimal component, have dominated the renewable energy market since their introduction in 1954.
- This new technology, which is not only incredibly durable but also meets common efficiency standards, has the potential to change that.
- Expected to outperform industry norms for roughly 30 years, well beyond the 20-year criterion for solar cell viability
- Perovskite solar cells are regarded as high-efficiency, low-cost modular technology for implementation in the renewable power industry.
- Less Energy = Less $$$
- Would become more fragile in that case
- The name “perovskite” comes from the nickname for their crystal structure.
- Can be manufactured at room temperature, which means they need less energy than manufacturing silicon.
- Can be modified to be flexible and transparent
- The new device created by these researchers estimated lifetime is a five-fold increase over the previous record, which was established by a lower efficiency perovskite solar cell in 2017.
- Additionally they created a new testing method allowing them to test the longevity of these particular types of solar cells.
- Ranging from a regular summer day’s baseline temperature to an extreme of 230 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius).
- “accelerated aging technique”
- Chose four aging temperatures and measured outcomes over four independent data streams.
- Overall, they found that the device will run at or above 80 percent of its peak efficiency under continuous illumination for at least five years.
- According to the researchers, that is the equivalent of 30 years of outdoor operation in a city like Princeton, New Jersey.
- Joseph Berry, a senior fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory who was not involved in the study, said:
- “This paper is likely going to be a prototype for anyone looking to analyze performance at the intersection of efficiency and stability … By producing a prototype to study stability, and showing what can be extrapolated [through accelerated testing], it’s doing the work everyone wants to see before we start field testing at scale. It allows you to project in a way that’s really impressive.”
07:36 Immunotherapy booster produces 10,000 times more cancer-fighting cells | New Atlas
- Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that adding a booster protein can significantly improve the outcome of cancer immunotherapy.
- The research showed the protein produced 10,000 times more immune cells in mice, and all mice survived the entire experiment.
- We are talking about CAR T cell immunotherapy, which is a promising new treatment where doctors extract T cells from a patient, genetically engineer them to target specific cancer cells, and return them to the body to hunt those cells down.
- The effectiveness can start to drop over time.
- In the new study, the scientists investigated ways to combat this problem by boosting the number of T cells.
- Doesn’t naturally stick around very long, so the researchers modified it to circulate in the body for weeks.
- They turned to a protein called interleukin-7 (IL-7), which the body naturally expresses to ramp up T cell production in the event of illness.
- The team tested this longer-lasting IL-7 in mouse models of lymphoma, administering the protein on various days after the initial CAR T cell injection.
- 3 groups: 1.) Control (no immunotherapy), 2.) Received CAR T cell therapy without IL-7, and 3.) with IL-7
- John DiPersio, senior author of the study, talks on the findings:
- “When we give a long-acting type of IL-7 to tumor-bearing immunodeficient mice soon after CAR T cell treatment, we see a dramatic expansion of these CAR-T cells greater than ten-thousandfold compared to mice not receiving IL-7 … These CAR T cells also persist longer and show dramatically increased anti-tumor activity.”
- Every mouse that received CAR T cell therapy and IL-7 survived the entire 175 days of the experiment, with their tumors shrinking to the point of being undetectable by day 35.
- In contrast, mice that received immunotherapy alone survived just 30 days on average.
- Human clinical trials of IL-7-boosted CAR T cell therapy are set to begin soon in patients with a type of lymphoma.
12:29 Study identifies receptor that could alleviate need for chemo, radiation pre-T cell therapy | ScienceDaily
- Before a patient can undergo T cell therapy designed to target cancerous tumors, the patient’s entire immune system must be destroyed with chemotherapy or radiation.
- Reducing your immune cells helps the transferred T cells to be more effective.
- Toxic Side Effects: nausea, extreme fatigue and hair loss.
- Now a research team ,a collaboration between scientists from UCLA, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, has shown that a synthetic IL-9 receptor allows those cancer-fighting T cells to do their work without the need for chemo or radiation.
- Christopher Garcia, PhD, at Stanford, talks on these T cells:
- “When T cells are signaling through the synthetic IL-9 receptor, they gain new functions that help them not only outcompete the existing immune system but also kill cancer cells more efficiently … I have a patient right now struggling through toxic chemotherapy just to wipe out his existing immune system so T cell therapy can have a fighting chance. But with this technology you might give T cell therapy without having to wipe out the immune system beforehand.”
- Imagine being able to receive this treatment without destroying your whole body. The body would be in a much better position to fight off any other outside problem.
- Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, a senior investigator on the study, believes this finding, “opens a door for us to be able to give T cells a lot like we give a blood transfusion.”
- Back in 2018 a set of researchers found that a synthetic cell growth cytokine could be used to stimulate T cells engineered with a matching synthetic receptor.
- With this system, T cells can be manipulated even after they have been given to a patient.
- But they were looking at IL-2 back then, but now they started investigating IL-9.
- The synthetic IL-9 signal made T cells take on a unique mix of both stem-cell and killer-like qualities that made them more robust in fighting tumors.
- According to the researchers, “In one of our cancer models, we cured over half the mice that were treated with the synthetic IL-9 receptor T cells.”
- Proved to be effective in multiple systems
- The process worked whether they gave the cytokine to the whole mouse or directly to the tumor
17:34 Astronomers Unveil The Most Detailed Map of The Metal Asteroid Psyche Yet | ScienceAlert
- The asteroid Psyche is especially interesting, and NASA is sending a mission to investigate the unusual chunk of rock.
- In advance of that mission, a team of researchers combined observations of Psyche from an array of telescopes and constructed a map of the asteroid’s surface.
- Psyche (16 Psyche) is an M-type asteroid, which is the rarest type of asteroid and makes up about 8 percent of known asteroids.
- Contain more metal than the other asteroid types, and scientists think they’re the source of iron meteorites that fall to Earth.
- Called a dwarf planet because it’s about 220 kilometers (140 mi) in diameter.
- Psyche is sometimes called the ‘Gold-mine asteroid’ because of the wealth of iron and nickel it contains
- NASA wants to take a closer look at the asteroid.
- The mission is called Psyche and is scheduled for launch sometime in fall 2022.
- The spacecraft will rely on solar-electric propulsion and a gravity-assist maneuver with Mars to arrive at Psyche in 2026.
- It’ll spend 21 months studying the asteroid and will follow four separate orbital paths, each successive one closer than the previous.
- A team of researchers constructed a new map of Psyche’s surface to help prepare for the mission.
- Saverio Cambioni from MIT’s Department of Earth said in a press release:
- “Psyche’s surface is very heterogeneous … It’s an evolved surface, and these maps confirm that metal-rich asteroids are interesting enigmatic worlds. It’s another reason to look forward to the Psyche mission going to the asteroid.”
- The new map is based on two types of measurements.
- Pure iron has an infinite dielectric constant.
- One is thermal inertia, which is how long a material takes to reach the temperature of its environment. Higher thermal inertia means it takes longer.
- The second is the dielectric constant. The dielectric constant describes how well a material conducts heat, electricity, or sound. A material with a low dielectric constant conducts poorly and is a good insulator and vice versa.
- Combining thermal inertia and dielectric constant measurements gives a good idea of which surface regions on Psyche are rich in iron and other metals.
- Overall, the study shows that 16 Psyche’s surface is covered in a large variety of materials. It also adds to other evidence showing that the asteroid is metal-rich, though the abundance of metals and silicates varies significantly in different regions.
22:39 World’s most efficient passenger plane gets hydrogen powertrain | New Atlas
- The Celera 500L is a remarkable design, and according to the company behind it, Otto Aviation, its odd shape delivers an astonishing 59 percent reduction in drag, and a massive leap in efficiency and range compared to traditional plane geometries.
- Otto claims the Celera 500L in standard fossil fuel-propelled form is “the most fuel-efficient, commercially viable business aircraft in the world.”
- The whole thing is designed to maximize laminar flow – smooth layers of airflow with little to no mixing of adjacent layers moving at different speeds.
- Trying to avoid the swirls and eddies that lead to air turbulence at speed, causing aerodynamic drag and wasted energy.
- The company states that it uses 80 percent less fuel than a traditional design.
- Running on an efficient 550-horsepower combustion engine, Otto claims this thing will fly six passengers up to 4,500 nautical miles (8,334 km) at cruise speeds over 460 mph (740 km/h), challenging small business jets for top speed while more than doubling their range.
- A glide ratio of 22:1 allows pilots to switch off the engine altogether and glide for up to 120 miles (200 km) completely unpowered.
- Now the rich people who fly around in their CO2 producing private jets can make a change…will they?
- Otto has built a full-scale prototype, and by November last year the company announced it had completed some 55 successful test flights, reaching speeds over 250 mph (400 km/h) and altitudes up to 15,000 ft, and that “all test flights have validated the aircraft’s operating performance goals.”
- Otto has now announced a collaboration with hydrogen aviation pioneers ZeroAvia to develop a fuel cell-electric powertrain specific to the Celera’s requirements.
- The shape works well with a hydrogen concept – hydrogen powertrains can weigh much less than battery-electric ones, but they tend to take up a bit of space.
- ZeroAvia is being relatively humble with its ambitions to begin with, aiming for a range of just 1,000 nautical miles (1,852 km) of zero-emissions range for a hydrogen-fueled Celera.
- Founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, Val Miftakhov, said in a press release:
- “The majority of our commercial deals to date have focused on retrofit and line-fit for existing airframes, which is essential to deliver zero-emission flight to market as quickly as possible. However, efficiency gains from new airframe design can expand the impact of zero-emission aviation. We are pleased to collaborate with innovators, like Otto Aviation, bringing cutting-edge clean sheet designs to market as we can optimize the hydrogen-electric propulsion system for those designs.”
- Otto has already shown it can complete successful flights of their fossil fuel plane, but we will wait and see how this partnership pans out.