Frosted Smart Windows: Window tinting can turn milky for privacy while still allowing 90 percent or more of sunlight to enter (Courtesy of Tim Zarki, University of Cincinnati) Engineering Technology 

Stay Tuned for Low-cost, Smart Windows

By Kate S. Today, the University of Cincinnati announced that, together with industry partners, they’ve invented new ‘smart window’ shade technology that could improve upon existing windows and blinds. The researchers say that this patent-pending research will lead to low-cost window tinting that dynamically adapts for brightness, color, and opacity. The new tech is designed to provide privacy while allowing light in. A collaboration between the University of Cincinnati, Hewlett Packard, and EMD/Merck Research Labs has resulted in a patent-pending product that the team is calling ‘tunable’ window tinting. The…

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Solar material is sprayed on (David Baillot, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering) Engineering Environment Technology 

Solar Power Material 90 Percent Efficient

By Kate Stone Solar power is on the verge of becoming a lot cheaper, more efficient, and longer lasting. A team of scientists at the University of California, San Diego has developed a new material for concentrating solar power (CSP). The new material is sprayed on and can absorb and convert more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures into heat. The new spray-on solar material is incredibly efficient because it has a multi-scale surface, which is made up of particles of many sizes ranging from 10 nanometers to…

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Iridescent giant clam (Alison Sweeney) Animals Biology Environment Technology 

Giant Clams May Inspire Alternative Energy

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Santa Barbara have found out how giant clams are operating as super-efficient, living greenhouses that grow symbiotic algae as food. This discovery could have implications for alternative energy research, paving the way for new types of solar panels or improved reactors for growing biofuel. “Many mollusks, like squid, octopuses, snails and cuttlefish have iridescent structures, but almost all use them for camouflage or for signaling to mates. We knew giant clams weren’t doing either of those things, so we…

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