By 2018, All Dutch Train will Exclusively Powered by Wind
Forging a striking example, the Netherlands has moved forward with an exciting plan to power their trains solely with clean wind energy. The system, which carries some 1.2 million people every day, will source its power from domestic wind farms, as well as those in Belgium and neighboring Scandinavian countries. The move is being made in attempts to restore CO2 emissions to pre-1990 levels by 2020, an initiative pushed by Dutch citizens who sued their government into action.
Artificial Intelligence May Be a Breath of Fresh Air for Beijing
When your city is surrounded by factories – many of which are powered by coal – air pollution is going to be a big problem. China’s capital of Beijing faces just such a challenge, with more than double the amount of airborne particulates than recommended by the World Health Organization. Now tech giant IBM is attempting to help with an advanced artificial intelligence project called Green Horizon. Capable of extracting insights from large amounts of data, the Green Horizon project is aiming to provide reliable 72 hour forecasts and recommendations to alleviate the pollution. Success would be a boon for the health of Beijing’s citizens, but also an important step in the development of more sophisticated A.I. that can not just collect data, but understand it as well.
Using Newly Available Materials, Researchers are Optimistic about the Future of the Elusive Energy Source
BREAKTHROUGH ep: ENERGY ON THE EDGE
Fusion energy has long been researched and thought of as the pinnacle of easy, clean energy. It’s also proved impossible create on a practical scale. Recently, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has proposed a new design that might finally put us on the path to the elusive tech. With the use of new commercially available semiconductors to increase the strength of necessary magnetic fields, a compact fusion reactor that creates enough electricity for 100,000 could be due within a decade. As ever, the trick with fusion energy is getting out more energy than is put in. Let’s hope the new advances can do just that.
New Research Suggests Chemical May be Able to Erase the Memories of a High
BREAKTHROUGH eps: DECODING THE BRAIN
Drug addiction has impacted and destroyed countless lives. While there are a host of pharmaceutical and psychological treatments, a new chemical may actually be able to “erase” the memories of drug-induced euphoria from the brain. And with no memory of the high, researchers at the University of Florida suggest, subjects won’t return to drug abuse. Such a chemical could be vastly influential in the therapy of many recovering addicts.
Without Human Intervention, a Robot is Building Better Versions of its Offspring
BREAKTHROUGH eps: MORE THAN HUMAN
What if a mother could observe her children and make revisions to the genetics of any future kids to be born? A robot at the University of Cambridge has been created to do just that. Without using any human intervention or computer simulation, a robot “mother” is able to build small, simple robots designed to perform a variety of tasks. As these robots fail or succeed, the robot is able to adapt future builds for optimal success. It’s a condensed evolution for these robot “kids” – and a remarkable development for an independently operating robot “mother.”