Coming up this week is a public
appearance here in DC of President Bill Clinton at the www.energycongress.com
on October 1-3, 2014 at
the Washington Convention Center. With the US emissions of CO2 going
up even in spite of conservation efforts, as noted by the EPA and
Obama, even the UN is now warning of a trend toward
exponential CO2 growth rather than the linear CO2 increase
we have seen worldwide since the 1950s. IRI is the only nonprofit
research organization leading the way toward disruptive and
discontinuous clean energy innovations, which we call
"future energy", that can supplant our environmentally
risky and expensive fossil fuel dependence. One way you can easily
and effortlessly support the IRI multifaceted approach is by using the new
"Amazon Smile" any time you shop at Amazon.com. A
portion of your purchase will be donated to IRI if you designate
Integrity Research Institute as your favorite. We are also
issuing our Call for Papers for the upcomingSeventh Conference on
Future Energy (COFE7) to be held at the Embassy Suites July
29-Aug. 2, 2015 in Albuquerque, NM. Visit www.futurenergy.org for more
info, invited speakers, and directions for submitting your abstract
Our lead story #1 this month is a
jaw-dropper: bacteria that eat electricity!
While we are led to believe that
biology is a rigorous as physics, here is proof of what the
authors conclude, that in its purest form, "life is a flow of
electrons" with certain bacteria that survive on and suck
electrons out of rocks and even iron electrodes. The discovery
implies the possible application for "self-powered useful
devices" or SPUDs.
Now what ever happened to the space elevator that was supposed
to make our weekend space hotel visit a reality? Well, our Story #2
shows the progress that theInternational Space Elevator Consortium,
the Japan Space Elevator Association, and others are making toward
Talking about progress toward a
cleaner environment, our Story #3 reveals that the Tesla "gigafactory" hopes
to produce and sell 10 times the number of electric cars each year
than they are doing so now. Once completed, Tesla's factories will
produce more lithium-ion batteries than all the world's existing
lithium-ion factories combined!
Often when discussing
electrokinetics, the concept of laminar flow is presented which
explains how stealth jet planes might benefit from a different type
of air cushion surrounding the outer surface of the moving vehicle.
Now with the Story #4 we see another possible application of changing
boundary conditions under water so that an air cushion can surround a submarine with
supercavitation enabling it to "fly" underwater. Have the
Chinese perfected this advanced and very energy efficient
"disruptive" technology? The Washington Post believes they
Lastly, our Story #5 has great
value to most older men today who still have their prostates intact.
A new study shows that ELF magnetic
pulses for only 5 minutes a day reduced BPH by over 50% in three
weeks. The new EM Pulser (www.bioenergydevice.org ) is a
comparable PEMF device to the German unit used in the study, in my
opinion. The 2014 article just published is also open access. Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field
therapy on prostate volume and vascularity in the...This is an
open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons...onlinelibrary.wiley.com
Thomas Valone, PhD, PE.
best selling device
1) Electric Life Forms that Live On Pure Energy
By Catherine Brahic,
New Scientist September 2014
Unlike any other life on Earth,
these extraordinary bacteria use energy in its purest form - they eat
and breathe electrons - and they are everywhere.
electrode in the ground, pump electrons down it, and they will come:
living cells that eat electricity. We have known bacteria to survive
on a variety of energy sources, but none as weird as this. Think of
Frankenstein's monster, brought to life by galvanic energy, except
these "electric bacteria" are very real and are popping up
all over the place.
Unlike any other living thing on
Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form - naked
electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and
metals. We already knew about two types,Shewanella and Geobacter.
Now, biologists are showing that they can entice many more out of
rocks and marine mud by tempting them with a bit of electrical juice.
Experiments growing bacteria on battery electrodes demonstrate that
these novel, mind-boggling forms of life are essentially eating and
That should not come as a complete
surprise, saysKenneth Nealson at the University
of Southern California, Los Angeles. We know that life, when you boil
it right down, is a flow of electrons: "You eat sugars that have
excess electrons, and you breathe in oxygen that willingly takes
them." Our cells break down the sugars, and the electrons flow
through them in a complex set of chemical reactions until they are
passed on to electron-hungry oxygen.
In the process, cells make ATP, a
molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living
things. Moving electrons around is a key part of making ATP.
"Life's very clever," says Nealson. "It figures out
how to suck electrons out of everything we eat and keep them under
control." In most living things, the body packages the electrons
up into molecules that can safely carry them through the cells until
they are dumped on to oxygen.
bacteria connect to form wires
"That's the way we make all
our energy and it's the same for every organism on this planet,"
says Nealson. "Electrons must flow in order for energy to be
gained. This is why when someone suffocates another person they are
dead within minutes. You have stopped the supply of oxygen, so the
electrons can no longer flow."
The discovery of electric bacteria
shows that some very basic forms of life can do away with sugary
middlemen and handle the energy in its purest form - electrons,
harvested from the surface of minerals. "It is truly foreign,
you know," says Nealson. "In a sense, alien."
Nealson's team is one of a handful
that is now growing these bacteria directly on electrodes, keeping
them alive with electricity and nothing else - neither sugars nor any
other kind of nutrient. The highly dangerous equivalent in humans, he
says, would be for us to power up by shoving our fingers in a DC
To grow these bacteria, the team
collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and
inserts electrodes into it.
First they measure the natural
voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different
one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a
slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept
electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments
can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or
"breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode,
generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as
a signal of the type of life they have captured.
At the Goldschmidt geoscience
conference in Sacramento, California, last month, Shiue-lin Li of Nealson's lab presented
results of experiments growing electricity breathers in sediment
collected from Santa Catalina harbour in California. Yamini Jangir,
also from the University of Southern California, presented separate
experiments which grew electricity breathers collected from a well in
Death Valley in the Mojave Desert in California.
Over at the University of Minnesota
in St Paul, Daniel Bond and his colleagues have published experiments
showing that they could grow a type of bacteria that harvested
electrons from an iron electrode (mBio, doi.org/tqg). That research,
says Jangir's supervisor Moh El-Naggar, may be the most
convincing example we have so far of electricity eaters grown on a
supply of electrons with no added food.
But Nealson says there is much more
to come. His PhD student Annette Rowe has identified up to eight
different kinds of bacteria that consume electricity. Those results
are being submitted for publication.
Nealson is particularly excited
that Rowe has found so many types of electric bacteria, all very
different to one another, and none of them anything
likeShewanella or Geobacter. "This is huge. What it
means is that there's a whole part of the microbial world that we
don't know about."
Discovering this hidden biosphere
is precisely why Jangir and El-Naggar want to cultivate electric
bacteria. "We're using electrodes to mimic their
interactions," says El-Naggar. "Culturing the
'unculturables', if you will." The researchers plan to install a
battery inside a gold mine in South Dakota to see what they can find
living down there.
NASA is also interested in things that live deep underground because
such organisms often survive on very little energy and they may
suggest modes of life in other parts of the solar system.
Electric bacteria could have
practical uses here on Earth, however, such as creating biomachines
that do useful things like clean up sewage or contaminated
groundwater while drawing their own power from their surroundings.
Nealson calls them self-powered useful devices, or SPUDs.
Practicality aside, another
exciting prospect is to use electric bacteria to probe fundamental
questions about life, such as what is the bare minimum of energy
needed to maintain life.
For that we need the next stage of
experiments, says Yuri Gorby, a microbiologist at the
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York: bacteria should
be grown not on a single electrode but between two. These bacteria
would effectively eat electrons from one electrode, use them as a
source of energy, and discard them on to the other electrode.
Gorby believes bacterial cells that
both eat and breathe electrons will soon be discovered. "An
electric bacterium grown between two electrodes could maintain itself
virtually forever," says Gorby. "If nothing is going to eat
it or destroy it then, theoretically, we should be able to maintain
that organism indefinitely."
It may also be possible to vary the
voltage applied to the electrodes, putting the energetic squeeze on
cells to the point at which they are just doing the absolute minimum
to stay alive. In this state, the cells may not be able to reproduce
or grow, but they would still be able to run repairs on cell
machinery. "For them, the work that energy does would be
maintaining life - maintaining viability," says Gorby.
How much juice do you need to keep
a living electric bacterium going? Answer that question, and you've
answered one of the most fundamental existential questions there is.
Electric bacteria come in all
shapes and sizes. A few years ago, biologists discovered that some
produce hair-like filaments that act as wires, ferrying electrons back and forth between
the cells and their wider environment. They dubbed them microbial
Lars Peter Nielsen and his
colleagues at Aarhus University in Denmark have found that tens of
thousands of electric bacteria can join together to form daisy chains
that carry electrons over several centimetres - a huge distance for a
bacterium only 3 or 4 micrometres long. It means that bacteria living
in, say, seabed mud where no oxygen penetrates, can access oxygen
dissolved in the seawater simply by holding hands with their friends.
Such bacteria are showing up
everywhere we look, says Nielsen. One way to find out if you're in
the presence of these electron munchers is to put clumps of dirt in a
shallow dish full of water, and gently swirl it. The dirt should fall
apart. If it doesn't, it's likely that cables made of bacteria are
holding it together.
Nielsen can spot the glimmer of the
cables when he pulls soil apart and holds it up to sunlight
It's more than just a bit of fun.
Early work shows that such cables conduct electricity about as well
as the wires that connect your toaster to the mains. That could open
up interesting research avenues involving flexible, lab-grown
Spark of life revisited thanks to electric
bacteria The discovery and culturing of bacteria that eat
and excrete electrons means we may soon find out just how little
electricity fundamental life requires
Power plants: Grow your own electricity Imagine
charging your cellphone from a meadow or harvesting electricity from
rice paddies. The technology works, but can we make plant power a
Modified bacteria could get electricity
from sewage Using genetically engineered bacteria to capture
energy stored in waste water could make treatment cheap and
by Leonard David, SPACE.com's Space
Insider Columnist | September 22, 2014
SEATTLE - Sure, it's a stretch.
Envision a thin, vertical tether extending from the Earth's surface
to a mass far out in space. Scooting up the tether are electric
vehicles, climbers that are energized by a combination of sunlight
and laser light projected from the ground.
kicker: Carrying payloads and people, the climbers travel at speeds
comparable to those of a fast train - taking several days of transit
time - but are launched once per day. These space elevators have
the potential to be a revolutionary way to access space less
expensively than possible with chemical rocket technology.
And innovators today are working to make that happen.
Last month, the
International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) held its annual
meeting here at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, with a theme focused
on space elevator
architectures and road maps. The meeting featured
mini-workshops on global cooperation and marine node
designs to anchor the elevator on Earth. [Is a Space Elevator to the
Moon Possible? (Video)]
The space elevator discussions,
which ran from Aug. 22 to 24, could be described as a kind of
"heightened awareness," as scientists,engineers,
entrepreneurs, infrastructure experts and others brainstormed climber
designs, new materials, technology trends,business strategies,
operations and legal issues.
space-elevator devotees taking part were officials from the Japan Space Elevator
Association, which spotlighted a number of climber approaches,
promoting the idea of a climber competition as a worldwide event.
measure, toss in a sort of space "elevator pitch"
competition. That is, selling the idea to an influential person -
say, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates - in 90 seconds. How best to ask
for their buy-in of the concept - without being tossed into the
conference was a rewarding experience ... good ideas, new concepts
and great participation," said Peter Swan, president of the
International Space Elevator Consortium.
was developed to specifically broaden the knowledge about space
elevators and incrementally reduce the risk for its
development," Swan said. "We're trying to address the
unknown unknowns that are out there."
Skip Penny, ISEC
director, said the space-elevator gathering was an opportunity to
"have a spark create another spark." The space elevator is
a huge systems-engineering job, he added.
far away from bending metal," Penny told Space.com. "We're
advancing, but there's need for money. It is two steps. One is seed
money so we can refine our ideas and understandings, then build
So what's next
on the ISEC agenda?
steps for the development of space-elevator infrastructures are
focused around the creation and funding of a Space Elevator
Institute," Swan said. The institute would fund research
projects addressing critical issues.
of prototype experiments, including tether material design for
tensile strength, would be funded by the Space Elevator Institute, he
"magic" material that's boosted the promise of a space
elevator is the carbon nanotube. But moving from vials of the stuff
to miles and miles of space-worthy tether is no easy task.
Similarly, graphene is also
being eyed as a potential material for the space elevator. Graphene
is pure carbon, remarkably strong for its very low weight and far stronger
high-strength materials for a better world is the quest of Bryan
Laubscher, president of Olympia, Washington-based Odysseus
to work on materials," Laubscher told Space.com "Making
carbon nanotubes through chemical vapor deposition is so inferior to
what we could get."
working to grow carbon nanotubes in
a new way, with experiments on his near-term to-do list.
nanotubes and graphene could be the way forward ... pervading society
and gaining accelerated acceptance by society ... like the industrial
revolution did in creating cheap steel," he said.
carbon nanotube or alternative material develops to the point where
we can actually build a space-elevator tether, we want to be at a
mature design phase," Swan said. "Then, we can go right
into the development, planning and execution of a space-elevator
tether material is a major hurdle, Swan said.
that material and grow[ing] it 1 meter (3 feet) wide and over 62,000
miles (100,000 kilometers) long - neither of those is a trivial
Swan said the
material challenge is not being driven by the space industry. Rather,
automobile makers, airlines and even the ski-lift industry are
looking for stronger materials.
of the situation," he said, "is that the global need for
the material is driving it - and we just need to tag along."
information on the International Space Elevator Consortium, visithttp://www.isec.org.
Tesla Car Plant in Nevada
by Kevin Bullis,
MIT Technology Review, September 2014
Tesla's much publicized
"gigafactory"-to be built in Nevada, the company announced
on Thursday-is a gamble that demand for electric vehicles will
increase rapidly in coming years. In fact, for the factory to truly
pay off and make batteries substantially cheaper, as Tesla hopes, the
company will have to sell 10 times more cars each year than it
Once completed, Tesla's factory
will be able to produce more lithium-ion batteries than all the
world's existing lithium-ion factories combined-enough to power
500,000 vehicles each year. It will also produce many subcomponents
on site, instead of importing them from elsewhere.
Tesla is betting that such
economies of scale and savings on transportation costs will bring
down the cost of batteries by a third, a crucial step toward its goal
of selling an electric car with a range of 200 miles that costs
$30,000 to $35,000. The company's Model S, which costs between about
$70,000 and $115,000, can travel 265 miles on a charge. Most existing
electric cars have a range of only about 100 miles on a charge.
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is therefore
gambling that his cars will be far more popular than any electric
cars to date. It's a risky bet, with one industry analyst firm, Lux
Research, predicting that Tesla will sell 240,000 cars a year by
2020, when the factory is to be finished-or less than half as many as
the factory is designed to build batteries for.
Tesla had been considering several
other states for its gigafactory, including California and Texas, as
it sought government incentives to help it build the big factory. To
land the factory, Nevada agreed to provide Tesla significant
financial incentives over the next few decades. Tesla says the
factory will be a "net zero energy" building, although it's
not clear exactly how the company is doing this accounting; such buildings
typically generate as much energy as they consume.
The battery typically accounts for
less than a quarter of the cost of a Model S, which means that even
if Tesla can reduce the cost of battery manufacturing by 30 percent,
it will need to come up with cheaper ways to make other components in
order to make an affordable 200-mile-range electric car.
Submarine in Air Cavity
McCoy, Washington Post. August 26, 2014
In the annals of
vehicular locomotion, the submarine is the equivalent of the Walkman.
It dazzled the masses when it hit, flexing nuclear-tipped missiles
that completed the "nuclear triad"
But other technologies
soon surpassed it in terms of speed and agility. Now, years
later, the submarine may be making a comeback - at least
theoretically. Researchers at the Harbin Institute of Technology
in northeast China tell the South China
Morning Post that they're hard
at work on a submarine that the newspaper claims could travel the
6,100 miles from "Shanghai to San Francisco in 100
That's not in the
cards. But there's plenty of reason to believe a submarine could be
built that would significantly exceed the speed of today's fastest
models, which lumber along at a speed of 40 knots (about 46 mph.) It
all has to do with friction and how to conquer it.
The reported plans for
the super-fast Chinese submarine draw on research that reaches
back to the Cold War on "supercavitation," a technology
that creates a friction-less air "bubble" around a vessel
that allows it to "fly"
underwater, facilitating incredible speeds. The Russians have developed torpedoes that
travel faster than 230 mph using that approach.
Now researchers at
Harbin's Complex Flow and Heat Transfer Lab are reportedly figuring
out how to use that science to build submarines.
"We are very excited by its potential," lead researcher Li
Fengchen, a professor of fluid machinery and engineering, told the
South China Morning Post. "... Our method is different from any
other approach, such as vector propulsion," which involves
engine thrust. Rather, he would lubricate the vessel in a special
liquid that would reduce water friction until the vessel would reach
speeds high enough to enable "supercavitation."
How could a vessel
reach such high speeds in the first place? And how would it be
steered? Li says the liquid membrane would navigate the vessel.
"By combining liquid-membrane technology with supercavitation,
we can significantly reduce the launch challenges and make cruising
easier," he told the Chinese
decreasing the liquid membrane would manipulate friction to steer the
ship. The specifics of the research are being kept under wraps for
now, South China Morning Post reporter Stephen Chen told the
"These studies in
China do not go to academic papers, but the technology is being
tested in the laboratory," he wrote in an e-mail. "The
scientists have received pressure from authorities due to the
sensitivity of the research and they hope the matter can cool down a
The potential of
supercavitation has not gone unnoticed by the U.S. Navy. "Some
technologies innovations have so significant an impact on our way of
doing business that they are often described as 'disruptive
technologies,' with the potential to change the future," said a
2002 paper published in Undersea Warfare, the official publication of
the submarine force. One of them, it said, was "
The Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency was once reported to
be doing much the same, and Popular Science says the project would
have allowed the "delivery of men and material faster than
ever." That's exactly the end game for the Chinese research
team: civilian transportation - or even swimming.
"If a swimsuit can create and hold many tiny
bubbles in water, it can significantly reduce the water drag,"
Li explained. "Swimming in
water could be as effortless as flying in the sky."
remain. Wang Guoyu, who leads the Fluid Mechanics Laboratory at
Beijing Institute of Technology, expressed doubt at its
success. "The size of the bubble is difficult to control,
and the vessel is almost impossible to steer," he told the
South China Morning Post, adding that if any part of the ship
breaches the bubble, it would snap off due to the density difference.
Plus, he said,
"the primary drive [behind the research] still comes from the
military, so most research projects are shrouded in secrecy."
back to table of contents
5) Effects of
Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Prostate Volume
published online: 9 JUN 2014
Leoci, Giulio Aiudi, Fabio Silvestre, Elaine Lissner,
Giovanni Michele Lacalandra
Ed note: This
independent study supports the use of IRI's EM Pulser.
Effect of pulsed
electromagnetic field therapy on prostate volume and vascularity in
the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: A pilot study in a
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