Low energy prices and China’s drive for a smaller and more efficient coal industry is killing solar power and coal companies

US based Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, is on the verge of bankruptcy as the commodity crash claims its biggest victim, crippled by fierce competition from cheap gas and a radical policy shift by China. The US-based group Peabody Energy missed interest payments on two sets of bonds worth $1.6bn, stunning markets …

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Optoelectronic microprocessors built using existing chip manufacturing

Using only processes found in existing microchip fabrication facilities, researchers at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Colorado have produced a working optoelectronic microprocessor, which computes electronically but uses light to move information. Optical communication could dramatically reduce chips’ power consumption, which is not only desirable in its own right …

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Russia Su-25 Frogfoot is their equivalent to the US A-10 Warthog

The Frogfoot (SU-25) is an armored beast of an aircraft with an armored cockpit and multiple redundant systems. The Russian air force has upgraded dozens of Su-25s to the latest SM standard, which includes a glass cockpit, a GLONASS satellite navigation system and modern avionics that would allow for the use of precision-guided munitions. Eventually, …

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Discovery of cause and potential treatment for muscle weakness and loss due to aging

Scientists at the University of Iowa have discovered the first example of a protein that causes muscle weakness and loss during aging. The protein, ATF4, is a transcription factor that alters gene expression in skeletal muscle, causing reduction of muscle protein synthesis, strength, and mass. The UI study also identifies two natural compounds, one found …

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China, India, Japan, US and Europe have weakening or underperformaning GDP growth

Goldman Sachs slashed its forecasts for China’s growth over the next three years amid broadening pessimism over the health of the world’s second largest economy. The bank on Monday marked down its 2016, 2017 and 2018 projections to 6.4 percent, 6.1 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively from 6.7 percent, 6.5 percent and 6.2 percent, previously. …

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Russia and the USA are the closest to useful operational hypersonic air launched weapons

The United States, China and Russia are all aggressively developing hypersonic weapons. In terms of operationalizing a usable weapon, experts believe that the United States and Russia are very close. China has hypersonic technology, but is mostly working on boost-glide weapons that are essentially ballistic missiles with a hypersonic missile as the warhead. These will …

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Future of nuclear arms control looks bleak

The future of nuclear arms control looks bleak. * All negotiation tracks have stalled * Existing treaties are being eroded by political and technological developments * plans for next steps are in doubt Last July, Washington disclosed that Russia had violated its obligation under the treaty “not to possess, produce, or flight-test” an intermediate-range ground-launched …

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Lightweight and quiet power to enable armored military exoskeletons

General Atomics is looking at a hybrid-electric power unit with a liquid piston engine that fits in the palm of the hand that will run at 10,000 RPMs. A lightweight and quiet power source is the key to the new powered military exoskeletons. LiquidPiston’s X Engine is a non-Wankel rotary embodiment of the company’s innovative …

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Update on General Fusion

General Fusion is nearing significant milestones. General Fusion’s Approach is Magnetized target fusion (MTF). Magnetized target fusion is a hybrid between magnetic fusion and inertial confinement fusion. In MTF, a compact toroid, or donut-shaped magnetized plasma, is compressed mechanically by an imploding conductive shell, heating the plasma to fusion conditions. General Fusion has a full-scale …

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Ohio Replacement SSBN[X] Ballistic Missile Submarine

The U.S. Navy operates three kinds of submarines—nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines (SSGNs), and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). The SSNs and SSGNs are multi-mission ships that perform a variety ofpeacetime and wartime missions. They do not carry nuclear weapons. The Ohio replacement program (ORP) is a program to design and build …

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China approving new domestic nuclear reactor projects and gearing up for nuclear exports

1. China approved construction of its first nuclear power project since the Fukushima disaster in Japan almost four years ago brought the program to a standstill. China’s State Council gave the go-ahead on Feb. 17 to begin building two new reactors at China General Nuclear Power Group’s Hongyanhe plant in the country’s northeast. Nuclear power …

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