Archive for March, 2014

Elephant in Tsavo National Park. Credit: ian 1602


Drones To Be Employed in Kenyan Anti-Poaching Effort

When it comes to protecting wildlife, those who work to protect animals against poaching are up against some serious obstacles. Lack of funds often leave rangers overworked and underpaid, often not even with adequate equipment to patrol such an expansive area. In some countries, rangers aren’t even allowed to carry firearms even though they are up against armed poachers. Some poachers have even gained employment as rangers in order to have better access to the animals. Even the rangers with the best of intentions are struggling to combat poaching and keep the animals alive. For the rangers in Kenya, however, help is on the way.


Government officials have stated that rangers will soon be getting assistance from drones to use for surveillance purposes. Patrick Omondi, who serves as Deputy Director for Wildlife Conservation at the Kenya Wildlife Service has stated that the first drones to be put into use will be in Tsavo National Park. At 40,000 square kilometers, this is one of the largest parks in the world, making it a challenge to stop poachers. In 1967, Tsavo National Park was home to over 35,000 elephants. That number has been cut down to about 12,500 today and represents a third of all elephants in Kenya.


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Return to Zero: Equipment Purchase


Photo Credit: Nanyang Technological University

Scientists have discovered that a new material originally investigated for use in solar cells is also capable of emitting light, raising the possibility for its use in display screens.


At a time where we are needing to decrease our dependency on fossil fuels, solar cells at first glance look like a great alternative. But a major hurdle exists in ensuring that the cost of the cell is balanced against its efficiency. Traditional solar cells use silicon, but alternatives are desirable since the cost of both sourcing this material and manufacturing it into solar cells can be high. This is where Perovskite comes in. Perovskite is composed of calcium titanate, and it’s around five times cheaper to use than silicon in solar cell manufacture. It’s also versatile and seems to be highly efficient. They used this as the base for the solar cell material. 

Read more at I Love Science

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Shiva Nathan’s new prosthetic can read patterns in the wearer’s brainwaves and transmit them to a robotic arm, allowing the user to flex the mechanical fingers with nothing more than their thoughts. And if this project needed any more cool points, its creator is 15 years old.

Read more at I Love Science

Photo Source: Shiva Nathan via Parallax

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