The healthcare industry should take design cues from Lyft and Airbnb


In 1966, when life expectancy in the United States was 70 years, nearly three-quarters of Americans said they had great confidence in medical providers, but by 2012 this number had fallen to just one-third of Americans—even though we had gained another eight years of life on average over that time.

No doubt this mistrust has little to with medicine itself and everything to do with economic anxiety.

Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy for American households. We get far less for our money in the United States for medical treatment compared to other countries, while at the same time being required to navigate a confusing bureaucracy that demands we unravel Kafkaesque intricacies of insurance enrollment, FSAs, HSAs, co-payments, and pre-existing conditions to get the services we need.

It’s hard to have confidence in an inefficient system that threatens to leave you destitute if you take advantage of its benefits.

Source: The healthcare industry should take design cues from Lyft and Airbnb

Insight into Sustainable Engineering Trends | EEWeb Community


Despite global warming denial from prominent politicians, an abundance of scientific proof has made it evident that sustainability must be taken seriously. Over the past couple of decades, there has been a sustainable ideology boom as scientists, entrepreneurs, and activists work to find solutions to decrease pollution and start to reverse its negative effects.

This is especially apparent in education, as programs in sustainability and engineering are rapidly increasing in colleges and universities across the U.S., such as ASU’s Master in Engineering Sustainability.

Source: Insight into Sustainable Engineering Trends | EEWeb Community

Building a Better Battery Layer by Layer


“Lithium-ion batteries are very promising energy storage systems for electric vehicles that require relatively high energy densities,” said the study’s author Nobuyuki Zettsu, a professor in the CEES and in the Department of Materials Chemistry at Shinshu University.

“However, their high operating voltages commonly result in the oxidative decomposition of the electrode surface, which subsequently promotes various side reactions.”

Lithium-ion batteries store a lot of energy, but the force it takes to make the battery disperse the energy is too much – so much, in fact, that the resulting damage makes the battery lose storage capacity.

To combat this issue, Zettsu and colleagues examined the electric and electrochemical properties of the high-voltage (>4.8 V, vs Li+/Li) cathode, where the electrons enter the battery cell.

Source: Building a Better Battery Layer by Layer

Molecule Discovery Could Advance Drug Design


The researchers were able to form reactive intermediates called ketyl radicals that could allow scientists to use catalysts to convert simple molecules into complex structures in one chemical reaction in a more sustainable and waste-free manner.

“The previous strategy for creating ketyl radicals is about a century old. We have a found a complementary way to access ketyl radicals using LED lights for the synthesis of complex, drug-like molecules,” David Nagib, co-author of the new study and assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State, said in a statement.

Source: Molecule Discovery Could Advance Drug Design

UN climate report: How to deal with despair over climate change | Vox


Things are already bad. They are already getting worse.

This report reveals  —  and, for many of us, confirms  —  that we’re not doing nearly enough to stop things from getting damn apocalyptic.

Source: UN climate report: How to deal with despair over climate change – Vox

Photos: Hurricane Michael rips through the Florida Panhandle | Vox


After landing near Mexico Beach and Panama City in Florida, Michael continued to move. The storm entered Georgia Wednesday, still a Category 2 hurricane.

And though Michael has now degraded to a tropical storm, there’s still a big inland flooding threat. As Michael continues inland, it will dump rain over Georgia and the Carolinas (which are still recovering from the inundation of Hurricane Florence).

Source: Photos: Hurricane Michael rips through the Florida Panhandle – Vox

Fishing for Plastic Is the Latest Way to Clean Up Amsterdam’s Canals | Smithsonian


Fifteen years ago, Marius Smit had an idea that was so outlandish he called it his personal “man on the moon” mission: What if he collected plastic waste polluting the canals running through Amsterdam, Netherlands, recycled it and used the materials to build a boat?

After years of plotting and planning, Smit eventually made his idea a reality and now has a fleet of nine boats navigating the waterways of Amsterdam, along with two boats in Rotterdam, a city located 50 miles to the south. And he’s only getting started.

Source: Fishing for Plastic Is the Latest Way to Clean Up Amsterdam’s Canals | Travel | Smithsonian

Measuring the Ecological Impact of Losing Forest Elephants | Pacific Standard


John R. Poulsen, assistant professor of tropical ecology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and his colleagues recently published a study in Conservation Biology examining how the loss of forest elephants would affect the rest of their natural habitat.

After diligently reviewing dozens of papers on Afrotropical flora and fauna, they predict that the loss of forest elephants will reshape the ecological processes at work in their environment. Species composition will change, in addition to the size and abundance of large tree species—and, by extension, the ability of these ecosystems to store carbon dioxide.

“[The] killing of elephants for their ivory is not only depriving the world of one of its most charismatic species, but might also be making the Earth less inhabitable for humans,” Poulsen says.

Source: Measuring the Ecological Impact of Losing Forest Elephants – Pacific Standard

UN and EU urge world to limit global warming to 1.5°C


EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas welcomed the report by the UN body, which provides policy-makers across the globe with a strong scientific basis for their efforts to modernise the economy, tackle climate change, promote sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

Source: UN and EU urge world to limit global warming to 1.5°C

Proof of life: how would we recognise an alien if we saw one? | Aeon Ideas


Astrobiology – the study of life on other planets – has grown from a fringe sub-discipline of biology, chemistry and astronomy to a leading interdisciplinary field, attracting researchers from top institutions across the globe, and large sums of money from both NASA and private funders.

But what exactly is it that astrobiologists are looking for? How will we know when it’s time to pop the Champagne?

One thing that sets life apart from nonlife is its apparent design. Living things, from the simplest bacteria to the great redwoods, have vast numbers of intricate parts working together to make the organism function.

Source: Proof of life: how would we recognise an alien if we saw one? | Aeon Ideas