clean energy tech, design, recycling, adhesives

Clean Energy Tech Needs Design Makeover: Experts (Maria)

The author writes, “Companies like Apple and Samsung aren’t the only ones making high-tech devices that are hard to take apart and recycle. So are the manufacturers of critical clean energy technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicle (EV) batteries — and unlike the consumer tech industry, which is slowly starting to reverse some of its unsustainable design practices, there isn’t much being done about it. … ‘Design for recycling hasn’t really come to that market yet,’ says Andy Abbott, a professor of chemistry at the University of Leicester who recently co-authored a review paper on de-bondable adhesives and their potential use in clean energy.”

Texas County Rejects Half of Mail-In Ballot Applications Amid New Voter Restrictions (Dan)

The author writes, “Election officials in the Texas county that includes the state capital, Austin, have rejected about half of applications for mail-in ballots, following new voting restrictions brought in by Republicans. The voter identification rules have led to the rejection of about half of the 700 mail-in ballots requested in Travis county for primary elections in March, according to the county’s clerk. The denied ballots in Travis county follow a similar trend across Texas, with officials in Harris county, which includes the city of Houston, and Bexar county, which includes San Antonio, also turning down a substantial number of mail-in ballot applications.”

Trump Officials Interfered With the 2020 Census Beyond Cutting It Short, Email Shows (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes: “Former President Donald Trump’s administration alarmed career civil servants at the Census Bureau by not only ending the 2020 national head count early, but also pressuring them to alter plans for protecting people’s privacy and producing accurate data, a newly released email shows. Trump’s political appointees at the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau, demonstrated an ‘unusually’ high level of ‘engagement in technical matters, which is unprecedented relative to the previous censuses,’ according to a September 2020 email that Ron Jarmin — the bureau’s deputy director — sent to two other top civil servants.”

Legal Risks in Sedition Conspiracy Case Against Oath Keepers (Reader Steve)

From The Seattle Times: “The seditious conspiracy case against members and associates of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group marks the boldest attempt so far by the government to prosecute those who attacked the US Capitol, but invoking the rarely used charge carries considerable risks. Still, legal experts who have reviewed the indictment unsealed this past week against Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and 10 others said prosecutors stand a good chance of winning convictions on allegations that the defendants were working together to use force to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power. The Civil War-era charge is hard to prove, and scholars say overzealousness in applying it, going back centuries, also discredited its use.”

Possible Achilles’ Heel Discovered for Respiratory Viruses — Like COVID-19 — That Hijack Immune Mechanisms (Sean)

From SciTechDaily: “The researchers first determined viral proteins’ functions by using viruses lacking genes that code for different viral proteins and comparing them to a wild strain of the virus. ‘The virus has a series of tools, some tools with multiple functions, we wanted to learn about these tools by essentially taking them away,’ Chiok said. Each tool is a different viral protein. Chiok identified the viral NS2 protein as a key regulator of autophagy, a cellular process that modulates immune defense during virus infection. Autophagy is mediated by a cellular protein known as Beclin1.”

Hydrogen Is a False Climate Solution (Reader Jim)

From New Mexico In Depth: “Indigenous communities in New Mexico have long dealt with the negative impacts of experimental energy projects promoted by state and federal governments. This legislative session, as the state faces a climate crisis that is already disproportionately impacting Indigenous, low-income, and communities of color, the stakes of energy policies are higher than ever. Why, then, is New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham touting the hydrogen fuel industry, which is nothing short of a scheme to subsidize oil and gas companies and keep the state dangerously reliant on fossil fuels?”

Exercise Alters Brain Chemistry to Protect Aging Synapses (Mili)

From ScienceDaily: “When elderly people stay active, their brains have more of a class of proteins that enhances the connections between neurons to maintain healthy cognition, a UC San Francisco study has found. This protective impact was found even in people whose brains at autopsy were riddled with toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Therapy Dog Brings Joy to Local Hospital Patients (Carina)

The author writes, “Penny is a busy chocolate lab. Two to three times a week, you’ll find this therapy dog at a hospital visiting staff and patients or even helping kids at a vaccine event. ‘Penny came to us because the owner had a sudden heart attack and none of the people in his family could take care of her,’ Greg Schoen said. ‘His daughter brought her over — we took her for a test drive and she fell in love with us and we fell in love with her.’”

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