Scientists at Stanford Revitalize Batteries By Bringing ‘Dead’ Lithium Back to Life:
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University may have found a way to revitalize rechargeable lithium batteries, potentially boosting the range of electric vehicles and battery life in next-gen electronic devices. As lithium batteries cycle, they accumulate little islands of inactive lithium that are cut off from the electrodes, decreasing the battery’s capacity to store charge. But the research team discovered that they could make this “dead” lithium creep like a worm toward one of the electrodes until it reconnects, partially reversing the unwanted process. Through charging the positively charged end of the battery (the cathode) the inactive lithium slowly reached the negatively charged end of the battery(the anode), which the team believed would increase the life of the battery. They found this extra step slowed the degradation of their test battery and increased its lifetime by nearly 30%. The researchers also found that the process could be sped up by using higher currents of electricity.
Has omicron peaked? An unexpected source offers clues:
More than 20,000 new coronavirus cases have emerged each day on average in Massachusetts for the past week. But in the bowels of Boston, there is a hint that the omicron-fueled surge may be on the verge of decline. This hint is in the unlikely place of wastewater where surveys of coronavirus levels in the Deer Island water treatment plant, which service Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, show a steep drop in the virus’s concentration in the water. Even though case counts seem cut and dry there is always the issue of being asymptomatic and withholding information of having symptoms. However, everyone poops, and this allows an unbiased view of exactly how high the concentration of the virus is in certain areas. The more recent data from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority coming out of the Deer Island Treatment Plant show that the concentration of the virus's RNA has been falling heavily over the past week. Though this new information can be useful for providing a bird’s eye view of an area’s Covid situation, there is still not too much understood about how people shed the virus from their bodies and how much it varies from person to person. Even with this in mind, it still shows evidence of a decline of Covid-19 in Massachusetts and hope of falling cases around the United States in the future.
Homo sapiens bones in East Africa are at least 36,000 years older than once thought:
(Dark areas in this reconstruction of a Homo sapiens skull represent fossils found more than 50 years ago at Ethiopia’s Omo site. A new analysis pushes back the age of these finds to around 233,000 years ago)-THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Fossils from the oldest known Homo sapiens individual in East Africa are more ancient than previously thought. A partial H. sapiens skull and associated skeletal parts found in 1967 in the Kibish rock formation along Ethiopia’s Omo River date to at least around 233,000 years ago, pushing back the age of the fossils by 36,000 years or more. An age well exceeding 200,000 years for the Ethiopian fossils, known as Omo 1, fits with recent fossil discoveries suggesting that H. sapiens evolved across Africa starting roughly 300,000 years ago. A volcanic eruption about 233,000 years ago left a layer of ash atop the sediment that yielded the Omo H. sapiens fossils, say volcanologist Céline Vidal of the University of Cambridge and colleagues. That ash layer displayed a chemical fingerprint matching that of a volcanic crater located 350 kilometers northeast of the fossil site which researchers believe spewed ash onto the Omo fossils. Dating of hardened ash at the volcanic crater led to the new age estimate for the human fossils