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xcience

Splitting water to generate Hydrogen gets easier and cheaper

Ok, the title might be a bit misleading … the cheapness is relative to industrial scale methods. But … Colorado University researchers have developed a novel way to use sunlight to facilitate a metal catalyst based water splitting with hydrogen being the resulting product. Not only does the process use freely available sunlight for power it also makes it possible to conduct the two required chemical reactions at the same temperature thus reducing the complexity, expense and problems of the system.

But it begs the questions: If this process sees the Oxygen bind to the metallic compound, what will they do with all the oxides created? Are these recyclable in some way?

Read more about it here:
University of Colorado at Boulder (2013, August 1). New water splitting technique efficiently produces hydrogen fuel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/08/130801142331.htm

Categories
xcience

You’re In For A Surpisingly Healthy Future

Stem cell research leads many to believe that the future of medicine will see many damaged or malfunctioning organs repaired or replaced with fresh ones grown from stem cells.

Unfortunately the road to stem cell based therapies has been littered with potholes and roadblocks. Moralistic inspired moratoriums on harvesting from fetal tissue have hampered researchers. Tumor generation results from IPS (Induced Pluripotent Stem) cells have scared institutions and volunteer recipients. But research goes on … and where to find beneficial stem cells from the bodies of potential recipients that do not cause moral shock or need invasive procedures? These cells would completely circumvent the potential for rejection since their genetic code would be the same as the patient. But answering the where question has led some to look at the natural secretions we all generate. Results from exploration along this line found potentially beneficial Stem Cells in Urine back in 2006. These cells are believed to actually come from the Kidney.

Over the past 7 years researchers have been trying to find out if and how these cells could be induced to have perform the beneficial task of becoming other cells. How much differentiation could be found? Would they be potentially dangerous like other IPS cells?

After much study it appears they do not share those negative traits. This is good news.

I just turned 60 … at this rate it’s a race between the creeping decrepitude in my body and the creeping advance of medical research. I suspect that the impediments to deployment of research into therapy will be the thing that prevents me, and many in my generation, from enjoying the life extending benefits that will come from these efforts.  But don’t take that for a real prediction – I’m just jaded when it comes to Insurance companies, Lawyers and Big Medicine … life’s experiences teach you to be that way. But I hold out hope …

Research papers:
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (2013, July 31). Stem cells in urine easy to isolate and have potential for numerous therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2013/07/130731093250.htm