Artificial photosynthesis! Yes, please.

Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne have successfully developed the world’s most energy-efficient ‘artificial photosynthesis’ technique, which effectively mimics plant-based photosynthesis by using solar energy to convert water into hydrogen. The process, which creates hydrogen and oxygen by running an electric current through water, could be used to inexpensively power our homes and cars in just a few years, say the researchers.

via Artificial photosynthesis could power homes in a few years, say researchers – ScienceAlert.

Superconductor at record breaking -70

Researchers in Germany have confirmed that hydrogen sulphide – the compound that gives rotten eggs and farts their distinctive odour – can conduct electricity without resistance at a record-breaking –70 °C. Smashing the previous record of around –110 °C, the research draws us ever-closer to the dream of a room-temperature superconductor that could one day change everything about how we generate and transmit energy.

via Hydrogen sulphide smashes superconductor temperature record – ScienceAlert.

Flexible glass paint protects surfaces

Sunlight can be brutal. It wears down even the strongest structures, including rooftops and naval ships, and it heats up metal slides and bleachers until they’re too hot to use. To fend off damage and heat from the sun’s harsh rays, scientists have developed a new, environmentally friendly paint out of glass that bounces sunlight off metal surfaces—keeping them cool and durable.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-08-glass-metal-roofs-cool-sunny.html#jCp

 

Butterflies turning ants into bodyguards

New research shows butterflies use nectar to drug unsuspecting ants with mind-altering chemicals. The Japanese oakblue butterfly (Narathura japonica) enlists the help of ants (Pristomyrmex punctatus) to stand guard and protect its growing caterpillars (pictured) from predators such as wasps and spiders.

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/08/butterflies-drug-ants-turn-them-bodyguards