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Students, researchers turn algae into renewable flip-flops

Students, researchers turn algae into renewable flip-flops

Science
Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A team of researchers and students at the University of California, San Diego are trying to curb the number of petroleum-based flip flops -- currently, 3 billion every year -- that end up in landfills.Their solution is the world's first algae-based, eco-friendly pair of flip flops."Even though a flip flop seems like a minor product, a throwaway that everyone wears, it turns out that this is the number one shoe in the world," Stephen Mayfield, a professor of biology at UCSD, said in a news release.In India, China and Africa, the flip flop is the most popular shoe."These are the shoes of a fisherman and a farmer," Mayfield said.Flip flops are responsible for a large amount of the polyurethane that ends up in the ocean. But researchers originally set their sights on the pollut...
50 facts about Radio 1 & 2 as they turn 50

50 facts about Radio 1 & 2 as they turn 50

Entertainment
On 30 September, 1967, the BBC's Light Programme split in two. Younger listeners were given Radio 1, while the Light Programme itself morphed into Radio 2, continuing with its mix of big bands, record requests, sport and comedy.But do you know which DJ inspired the lyrics to I Am The Walrus? Or why Radio 1's first weather forecast prompted 12 complaints?Here are 50 facts to celebrate the stations' first 50 years. 1. The first voice on Radio 1 was Tony Blackburn, right? Wrong. Shortly after 5:30am on 30 September, broadcaster Paul Hollingdale was at the helm, with his Breakfast Special show broadcast simultaneously on both stations. 2. The opening announcement was not what you'd call dynamic...Media playback is unsupported on your device3. The two stations split at 7:00am. After a five-seco...
Japanese scientists aim to turn ocean wave energy into electricity

Japanese scientists aim to turn ocean wave energy into electricity

Science
Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A team of researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan want to make the ocean an affordable source of renewable energy.Engineers at OIST have already harnessed the energy of ocean currents using underwater turbines. Now, the group is targeting the kinetic power of waves. The team is preparing to install turbines where the energy of the ocean is most apparent."Particularly in Japan, if you go around the beach you'll find many tetrapods," Tsumoru Shintake, a professor at OIST, said in a news release.Tetrapods are pyramid-like concrete structures designed to dampen the force of incoming waves and protect beaches from erosion.Shintake wants to replace tetrapods with turbines designed to convert wave energy into electricity."Surpr...
'Dangerous' Hurricane Jose about to turn north in Caribbean

'Dangerous' Hurricane Jose about to turn north in Caribbean

World
Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Like Irma in front of it, Hurricane Jose will begin its turn to the north Saturday evening, forecasters said.In its 5 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the center of the storm was located about 85 miles northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands -- the easternmost in the chain of Caribbean Sea islands -- with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph. It's moving northwest at a speed of 14 mph.Forecasters said Jose had slightly weakened overnight, but said it remains a "dangerous" Category 4 hurricane. It is the 10th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, and its third major hurricane -- which are classified Category 3 or higher."On the forecast track, the core of Jose will continue to pass north of the northern Leeward Islands through this evening.," the ad...
Fish sauced? Goldfish turn to alcohol to survive icy winters

Fish sauced? Goldfish turn to alcohol to survive icy winters

Science
Scientists have decoded the secrets behind a goldfish's ability to survive in ice-covered lakes. They've worked out how and why the fish turn lactic acid in their bodies into alcohol, as a means of staying alive.Some goldfish were found to have levels well above legal drink-driving limits in many countries.The researchers say the work may help with the study of some alcohol impacts in humans.Scientists have known about the peculiar survival abilities of goldfish and their wild relatives, crucian carp, since the 1980s. While humans and most vertebrates die in a few minutes without oxygen, these fish are able to survive for months in icy conditions in ponds and lakes in northern Europe. Researchers have now uncovered the molecular mechanism behind this ability. In most animals there is a sin...