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  • First zero-emission hydrogen train completes test run with passenger trials to begin soon

    A zero-emission train, which runs silently on a hydrogen fuel cell and emits only steam and condensed water, has successfully completed its first test run.

    The Coradia iLint ran at 80km/h on the test track in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony in Germany on 14 March. The four-week test will confirm the stability of the energy supply system, fuel cell, battery, and braking power is also being tested in the four-week long test.

    Extensive tests will be conducted in Germany and Czech Republic in the coming months, to put the train through its paces at a top speed of 140km/h. The first passenger test runs will be conducted in the beginning of 2018.

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  • The incredible U-shaped New York skyscraper dubbed the 'longest building in the world' is unveiled

    Oiio studio has unveiled designs for curved skyscraper 'The Big Bend' as solution to expensive zoning laws
    Manhattan tower was imagined as a structure to straddle Billionaire's Row on 57th Street in New York City
    The concept tower would need a two-track elevator system that could go round curves and move horizontally


    The race to build the world’s most spectacular skyscraper has reached new heights - and taken a turn in direction.
    Designs for ‘The Big Bend’, a slender tower that would transform Manhattan’s skyline, have been unveiled.

    Described as the ‘longest building in the world’, the project's concept drawings reveal a skyscraper reaching an apex then curving back down. And featuring an elevator system that can travel in curves, horizontally and in loops.

    Stretching 4,000ft-long, the glass-lined tower would need to feature an elevator that goes far beyond all current designs.

    The team explained: 'What was once considered to be the greatest challenge in elevator history, is finally becoming reality: the elevator that can travel in curves, horizontally and in continuous loops.

    'The innovative track changing system allows for the horizontal connection of two shafts on the top and bottom to create a continuous loop.

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  • More Africans have access to cell phone service than piped water

    In Africa, less than one in three people have a proper drainage system, half of the population live in areas without paved roads, and only 63% have access to piped water. Yet, 93% of Africans have cell phone service.

    These are among the findings in a recently published report by Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network which explored access to basic services and infrastructure in 35 African countries through about 50,000 face to face interviews.

    "In a lot of communities all over Africa, people can talk on their cell phones, but they can't turn on a light or a water faucet. Never mind flush a toilet. And they may be going hungry," says Winnie Mitullah, lead author of the report.

    "As far as the most basic services that many of us take for granted -- water, sewage, electricity, roads -- an awful lot of people might as well be living in the 19th century," she continues.

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  • NASA AI auto-captured the changes in famous Ethiopian volcano

    Artificial intelligence can help satellites and other spacecraft observe interesting phenomena before humans even spot them. Case in point: NASA's Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) spacecraft started capturing images of Ethiopia's Erta Ale volcano as soon as it developed a new fissure in late January. Volcanologists are keeping a close eye on Erta Ale, since it's one of the handful of volcanoes with lava lakes at the summit. They sent in requests asking NASA to use its Earth Observing-1 satellite to snap photos of the eruption, but by that time, the images were already available.

    EO-1's AI called Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE) was alerted by one of the other satellites in its network about the event. It then sent EO-1 to work, photographing Erta Ale's evolving lava lakes way before anybody even asked. ASE has been guiding its host satellite's actions for the past 12 years. It notifies researchers within 90 minutes of detecting an event and giving EO-1 a new task within a few hours. A ground team typically takes weeks to accomplish the same thing.

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  • London to Paris by electric plane? It's coming by 2027, startup claims

    A new Silicon Valley startup is aiming to produce an all-electric commercial airliner capable of flying 150 passengers from London to Paris within the next 10 years.

    Called Wright Electric, the company believes removing jet fuel from the equation will dramatically lower the cost of aviation, and that the current rate of improvement of batteries and electric motors means all short-haul flights could be electric by 2037.

    Before the end of the next decade Wright Electric says it will have produced a 150-seater electric plane with a range of around 300 miles. Short-haul flights like this make up 30% of all commercial airline flights and represent a $26bn (£20bn) market. The startup, which is yet to have started development of its plane, will go up against aviation giants like Airbus, which is currently working on an electric aircraft of its own.

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  • Smartphone app could allow men to test their fertility at home

    Gadget designed to clip onto a smartphone able to detect abnormal sperm samples with 98% accuracy in trials
    Men may soon be able to measure their own sperm count and quality at home, using a smartphone app developed by scientists.

    In early tests the gadget, designed to clip onto a smartphone, detected abnormal sperm samples with an accuracy of 98 percent.
    In more than 40% of cases where couples struggle to conceive, the underlying fertility issue is linked to sperm abnormalities, but the researchers said that social stigma and lack of access to testing meant than many men never seek evaluation.

    Hadi Shafiee, who led the work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US, said: “We wanted to come up with a solution to make male infertility testing as simple and affordable as home pregnancy tests.

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