Researchers discover cell in spinach that uses sunlight to produce electricity and hydrogen

September 22, 2016   ~   article copied from, or Click Link Here to view original source
Researchers discover a cell in spinach that uses sunlight to produce electricity and hydrogen
Graduate students Dan Kallman (left) and Gadiel Saper. Credit: Yossi Shrem, Technion Spokesperson’s Office

Using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight. The raw material of the device is water, and its products are electric current, hydrogen and oxygen. The findings were published in the August 23 online issue of Nature Communications.

The unique combination of a man-made BPEC cell and plant membranes, which absorb sunlight and convert it into a flow of electrons highly efficiently, paves the way for the development of new technologies for the creation of clean fuels from renewable sources: water and .

The BPEC cell developed by the researchers is based on the naturally occurring process of photosynthesis in plants, in which light drives electrons that produce storable chemical energetic molecules, that are the fuels of all cells in the animal and plant worlds.

In order to utilize photosynthesis for producing electric current, the researchers added an iron-based compound to the solution. This compound mediates the transfer of electrons from the biological membranes to the electrical circuit, enabling the creation of an in the cell.

The electrical current can also be channeled to form through the addition of electric power from a small photovoltaic cell that absorbs the excess light. This makes possible the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy that is stored as hydrogen gas formed inside the BPEC cell. This energy can be converted when necessary into heat and electricity by burning the hydrogen, in the same way are used.

Researchers discover a cell in spinach that uses sunlight to produce electricity and hydrogen
Credit: American Technion Society

However, unlike the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels – which emit greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere and pollute the environment – the product of hydrogen combustion is clean water. Therefore, this is a closed cycle that begins with water and ends with water, allowing the conversion and storage of solar energy in hydrogen gas, which could be a clean and sustainable substitute for hydrocarbon fuel.

The study was conducted by doctoral students Roy I. Pinhassi, Dan Kallmann and Gadiel Saper, under the guidance of Prof. Noam Adir of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, Prof. Gadi Schuster of the Faculty of Biology and Prof. Avner Rothschild of the Faculty of Material Science and Engineering.

“The study is unique in that it combines leading experts from three different faculties, namely three disciplines: biology, chemistry and materials engineering,” said Prof. Rothschild. “The combination of natural (leaves) and artificial (photovoltaic cell and electronic components), and the need to make these components communicate with each other, are complex engineering challenges that required us to join forces.”

The New World Order

Essentially… this would seem a well considered, although abbreviated explanation of the New World Order. Presented in typical news broadcast format, serving up a full portion of rather familiar historical conspiracies to choose from.

What I don’t understand is how everything has to be done as a ‘Rap Song’ these days. Guess it’s the only way these overstimulated high-tech kids can grasp key concepts anymore….

Church of the SubGenius

Remember how one day, working in a used bookstore, I encountered The Book of the SubGenius. Pure weird doesn’t begin to describe the experience of flipping through those pages, and I wasn’t sure at all what to make of it at first.

This strange mashup of drawings and ideas incorporates a whole host of better and lesser know belief systems, organized into a fairly well developed religious parody. The revered icon of their faith is pipe smoking J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, purportedly one time 1950s salesman, now serving as a figurehead and prophet for the Church. The Sacred Smoking Head of Bob is accompanied in his pantheon by seemingly familiar sub-deities, mostly sourced from ancient religion and mythology, plus a few extraterrestrials and mutants, along with a peculiar mix of characters heavily drawn from popular fiction.

Reading through Church of SubGenius scripture reveals their belief in a grand, alien inspired conspiracy, seeking to brainwash all human kind into slavery, and thus unjustly oppress Bob’s faithful followers. To prevent this unfortunate takeover of humanity, brave Church leaders have instructed their followers in strict avoidance of mainstream commercialism, consumerism and culture, and instead offer belief in absolute, if entirely unverifiable truths. Most significantly, the group holds the quality of “Slack” is of utmost importance – and yet essence of this quality is never clearly defined. (If you have to ask, you just don’t get it…)

Think I’ll limit my involvement with this Church to infrequent Prayers Before the Head of ‘Bob’, and on rare occasion, consulting this ancient oracle of the internet, at least when I don’t have my trusted eight-ball handy.

Secret Prototypes of Valve’s VR Lab

Personally… I haven’t played computer games for a long time, there’s simply too much creative stuff to do around here already. Still, I remember there being a few cool games I did enjoy years ago, and of course these days, playing online games with friends as about all Andy does on his own computer.

So naturally, as a good parent, I’ve taken keen interest in what games my boy plays, and as a techie, interest in what makes them work. When playing with his friends online, Andy is usually connected through a big gaming portal called Steam, which has a huge range of different multi player games available for easy purchase.

Apparently, inside Steam is also a department named Valve (or is that the other way around?) who develop games, as well as hardware, for that lucrative consumer gaming market. The video presented here gives intriguing insight into the prototyping process behind their new VR headgear. This behind the scenes access is highly informative, and not because I secretly desire to play the latest VR games. What is fascinating is the narrative of their development process, from conception of an idea, to experimenting with various ready made technology options, to ultimately producing working prototypes. The best part is how much of their design method relies upon scavenging discarded bits and pieces from broken computer parts bins.

Now that’s my kind of techmongering!


“I don’t need to believe… I know” C.G. Jung

A young female student accused Jung of being an atheist. Jung was confused and asked the student where she had gotten that idea. The student paraphrased a quote she had read in which Jung said he didn’t believe God existed. Jung smiled and said “Dear girl, rest easy, When we have a relationship to a particular thing or experience with it – belief/faith ceases to be a factor. The truth is this, I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God. So, I will never say that I believe that God exists. I must say I know God exists!”

Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion – a presentation by Paul LaViolette

In this video, Paul LaViolette discusses various aerospace propulsion technologies which have for over 60 years secretly been under development by the US military industrial complex. Although previously interested in UFO’s and advanced science, in more recent years his scientific work has been on gravity control theory, which began when he first encountered the work of American researcher, T. Townsend Brown.

Dimming the Sun – NOVA Documentary

The NOVA program Dimming the Sun investigates the discovery that sunlight reaching Earth has been growing dimmer in recent years, a surprising result given all the media concern over global warming.

Somewhat less sunlight might seem a good thing on a world stewing in greenhouse gases. Yet the discovery of global dimming has caused several scientists to revise their models of the climate and how fast it’s changing. According to one recent and highly controversial model, the worst-case warming scenario could be worse than anyone has predicted. This fascinating NOVA episode Dimming the Sun considers yet another aspect of the whole baffling climate change conundrum, along with real world implications for our fragile Earth’s potential future.


Terence McKenna – History has a Purpose

Ethnobotanist, mystic, psychonaut and lecturer, Terence McKenna (1946 – 2000) was a vocal advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants. Informed on numerous subjects, McKenna was versed in psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, philosophy, culture, technology, environmentalism, as well as theoretical origins of human consciousness.

In this short, colorfully animated clip, with voice over by McKenna, he offers us a heartfelt, and encouraging message. Envisioning our redemption through the confusing course of history, McKenna suggests all life flows purposely, and according to Natural Law. Ultimate trusting that this subtle guidance will direct humanity along the true course of our intended destiny.

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison, and yet not free – to be under no physical constraint and yet to be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within the nation, wants him to think, feel and act.

“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people. His servitude is strictly objective.”

from Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley

Pink Floyd: Another Brick In The Wall * Alt-Version

Have long been a huge fan of Pink Floyd, and appreciate how their music has in some ways become part of our lager cultural zeitgeist. Case in point: Here is an unusual version of “Another Brick In The Wall” that certainly rocks out, while also using a rather interesting selection of ethnic musical instruments. Take a moment to watch for yourself, and see of you agree… Enjoy!