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The transition to fossil freedom can’t happen overnight, but it can go much faster than it is. The technology is available, and in many cases is commercially available or nearly so. The labs at Linköping University hold hope for the future.

“Everyone agrees that we don’t want to use fossil fuels, but unfortunately we’re not investing in the alternatives. Current global annual consumption is 160,000 TWh, and most of this, more than 80%, is not at all eco-friendly. Cutting our dependence on fossil fuels now would lead to catastrophe: we have to keep carbon going for a while longer, to avoid unmanageable human consequences”, says Xavier Crispin, professor of organic electronics in the Laboratory of Organic Electronics.

Fossil freedom comes from LiU labs

Image credit: Pixabay (Free Pixabay license)

Forecasts in the World Energy Outlook for 2020 also show that it is uncertain whether the ongoing pandemic will lead to the current trend of a rapid increase in renewable fuels and electricity production continuing or not. Even in a positive forecast, based on the political landscape as it is now, the fraction of carbon-based energy will not fall below 20% before 2040.

Xavier Crispin has calculated that an area of solar cells corresponding to 240,000 km2 would be necessary to satisfy global requirements, slightly more than half of the area of Sweden, using currently available technology. Is that possible?

“Oh yes,” he claims, “but it would need huge amounts of material to deal with the solar energy produced. This would require a realignment in society.”

Organic batteries

Vast numbers of solar cells are required, preferably eco-friendly organic solar cells, and organic batteries that store sun and wind energy and can compensate for load variations in the electrical supply grid through the day. The technology is available: batteries are currently manufactured as rolls in a printing press by Ligna Energy in Norrköping, a spin-off company from the Laboratory of Organic Electronics. The batteries consist of forest-based raw materials: cellulose and lignin. Their efficiency is about the same as conventional car batteries, but they can be recharged at least 5,000 times and can be incinerated when no longer in use since they consist of natural raw materials.

Researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics have recently developed and patented a completely organic “redox flow battery”. While it is true that the current battery is rather large, it is based on water, safe, and can be recharged without limit. The battery is ideal for charging with sun or wind energy, and for use as a power bank for electric cars.

Printed solar cells

Solar cells can also be manufactured on rolls in a printing press, and here another spin-off company from Linköping University, Epishine in Linköping, is leading the field. The first product is a solar cell that harvests energy from indoor ambient light, used to power sensors and other gadgets in the home. The company, however, has much higher ambitions. The solar cells can be printed onto large surfaces, in different colours, and they can be installed in windows and on building façades.

Olle Inganäs, professor emeritus in organic electronics and one of the true pioneers in the field, lies behind the technology.

“If we could get the same budget for research into organic solar cells as the motor industry has for marketing cars in southern Italy, we would be able to make major progress into solving the world’s energy problems”, Olle Inganäs claims.

Environmentally friendly fuels

Another example of research at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics is a quest for new and environmentally friendly fuels for fuel cells. The hydrogen gas used in fuel cells is currently derived mainly (96%) from non-renewable sources. Research groups at Campus Valla have similar projects under way, in which, for example, a research group led by senior lecturer Jianwu Sun is using solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water to fuel. Maybe in the future we can use plants to store energy. This research has also made major progress, under the leadership of research fellow Eleni Stavrinidou, in the Laboratory of Organic Electronics.

In the near future, research carried out within traditional silicon-based electronics will also bring major changes to our everyday life. Professor Atila Alvandpour and his group in the Department of Electrical Engineering have, for example, developed small electronic circuits powered by energy that they harvest from the surroundings. These circuits are used in, for example, pacemakers charged by the energy from heart beats, and in other medical implants where changing batteries is not possible, or causes serious problems.

To sum up: bring research results into use, so that we can better use the renewable energy we have around us. Large and small energy contributions – we need them all in a world of increasing sustainability.

Written by Monica Westman Svenselius, Translated by George Farrants

Source: Linköping University




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PwC expects 5G to hit a tipping point in 2023

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Mobile gaming and wearables are the most promising early use cases, the firm says, while smart factories and self-driving cars are farther in the future.

PwC looks at 5G products and services that are most likely to be implemented during this growth period for the high-speed service.

Image: 5G

A new 5G report from PwC has advice about how businesses should use this phase of the 5G transformation to plan new services and retrain employees.

In “Making 5G Real,” PwC analysts expect 5G to hit a tipping point in 2023 due to consumer upgrade cycles and deployment challenges, both influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report suggests that coverage will grow faster than device penetration. PwC estimates that 5G is currently at 75% availability of coverage but only 8% in terms of device penetration. By the middle of this year, coverage will be up to 85% but device penetration will be at only 12%. This means that a significant percentage of Americans will have access to 5G at home or work but the performance of the networks will remain uneven, according to the report. More mid-band spectrum is expected to make coverage better in urban and suburban areas.

To understand what this means for businesses, consumers, and telecom providers, PwC analysts looked at promising strategies and the 5G use cases that are most likely to become a reality in the  next five years. Dan Hays, a leader in US technology, media and telecommunications corporate strategy at PwC, said now is the time for all companies to start assessing the possibilities that 5G brings.

“Enterprises should be thinking through how 5G could be used to improve their products and services, enhance the customer experience, and streamline operations,” he said.

SEE: Future of 5G: Projections, rollouts, use cases, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Here are the recommendations from the report.

Key components of a 5G strategy

PwC analysts say that the tipping point for 5G is not here yet. Businesses should use this time to define what 5G means for their operations and their customers. PwC recommends that companies take these factors into consideration when developing a 5G strategy:

  1. Strategy and timing: Determine when, where, and how to launch a product or service built on 5G.
  2. Operational costs: Plan for higher operational costs initially for solutions that require 5G’s low latency or edge computing features.
  3. Workforce planning: Consider reorganizing and retraining marketing, sales, and operations teams to maximize 5G investments.
  4. Trust: Design and deploy data privacy and protection measures to comply with GDPR and CCPA.

Most likely use cases in the next five years

Given the limitation of device penetration at this point, PwC reports that these are the 5G products and services that consumers will see soon:

  • Augmented reality
  • Cloud gaming
  • IoT/wearables/healthcare monitoring
  • Smart cities/public safety

Hays said that he expects that early uses of enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access will boost cloud-based gaming and augmented reality.

“These will continue to expand as 5G coverage and device availability grows,” he said.

Hays said that the case for 5G use in enterprises is even more compelling.

“The most high-value use cases are likely to win early adoption, in particular, remote healthcare,  virtual work, and private networks are garnering significant attention,” he said. 

PwC predicts that these use cases will require more time and infrastructure before becoming widespread:

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Drones
  • Remote surgery
  • Smart factory projects
  • Virtual reality

Strategies for telecom providers

The PwC report touches on the challenges that telecom providers face with the 5G rollout ranging from the cost of building the network to operational redesign and workforce transformation. To maximize coverage across the country, PwC recommends that carriers launch 5G services that work with 4G core mobile networks. This will ease the transition from one type of service to another. The report also suggests that telecom companies use fixed wireless to expand high-speed broadband availability in areas where installing fiber optic lines is complex or expensive, such as rural areas and highly populated urban areas.

Telecom providers also need to look into revenue streams from a new source: B2B2X, which PwC describes as business to business to consumer or business to business to business. This new category of services could include offering video and IoT products to both large enterprises and small to midsized companies.

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Proteomic analysis reveals when and how which proteins are degraded in cancer cells by Autophagy pathways

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Beyond maintenance of organelle and protein homeostasis, Autophagy also called “self-eating”, plays a major role in cellular survival as fundamental stress and adaptation response, in particular during diverse starvation conditions. There are, however, multiple different autophagic pathways in mammalian cells that is known to contribute for degrading different cellular components. Which of these autophagy pathways are responsible for degrading which proteins and when this occurs has remained undefined.

Thousands of proteins can be degraded in cancer cells through autophagy pathways

The research team at Karolinska Institutet, under the direction of Associate Professor Helin Norberg, has previously provided new insights into this by characterizing proteins degraded by different autophagic pathways in cancer cells (Autophagy, 2019). In the new study (Autophagy, 2021), they now reveal how and which proteins are degraded, and that it occurs in an orderly sequential manner, which was found to be dependent on the function the protein has in cancer cells.

“An important aspect of these findings is that the majority of the identified proteins display dominant oncogenic pro-survival activities, who’s pathogenic stabilization effectively sustains tumour progression and dissemination. Since our finding outline how these proteins can be degraded, our discoveries lay the basis for understanding the mechanisms of how oncoproteins can be “eaten up” by the cells. Most importantly, when we know how, when and which cancer-promoting proteins can be degraded, we can also start to design new strategies that could selectively promote their degradation-specific mechanisms for the development of novel anti-cancer approaches, says Helin Norberg, Docent at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.”

Source: Karolinska Institutet



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Flipkart SmartPack Offers 100% Moneyback on Top Smartphones in India

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Buying a new smartphone is a special feeling. But when you consider the amount of money you have to spend on a new phone, and on top of it all those Online Subscription Services, you have to think again. What if there was a way you could get 100% moneyback on the smartphone of your choice? What if you had to pay only for the online services you use?

Flipkart has come up with an industry-first innovative solution that brings 100% moneyback when you buy a new smartphone from popular brands such as Realme, Poco, Samsung, Redmi, Motorola, Infinix, Oppo, and others. You get the entire amount directly in your bank account after 12/18 months. Sounds too good to be true? Well, you better believe it.

What is Flipkart SmartPack?

Flipkart SmartPack is the Smartest way to buy a Smartphone of your choice. You get 100% moneyback along with access to some of the best online services which you’d normally have to pay for, besides spending money on a new smartphone. Flipkart SmartPack, will make it easier and more affordable for Indian smartphone users to buy a new smartphone every year.

What Does Flipkart SmartPack Offer?

The Flipkart SmartPack plans offer benefits of multiple online services including Disney+ Hotstar VIP, SonyLiv, Zee5, Zomato Pro, Cult.fit Live, Practo, Gaana, etc. Now you don’t have to buy individual subscription packs for each of these services. The feature gives you moneyback directly into your bank account, and not vouchers or points so that you can simply use the money to buy a new smartphone next year.

How to get 100% moneyback using Flipkart SmartPack?

Here are the simple steps you can follow to avail Flipkart SmartPack:

1. Choose your favourite smartphone on Flipkart
2. Pick a Flipkart SmartPack of your choice. You can choose from 12 months or 18 months duration.
3. Pay for your smartphone upfront, and you can pay for your Flipkart SmartPack every month. 4. Return your smartphone after 12 or 18 months in any working condition*, and Get upto 100% Moneyback in your bank account.

That’s it! Flipkart SmartPack is perfect for those who wish to buy the perfect smartphone for themselves, from a top mobile brand, and don’t want to pay the full amount. This way you only end up paying for a host of online services that you normally pay extra. Customers can also choose to pay the entire amount for the smartphone upfront or use the available no-cost EMI payment options.

The innovative offering lets you buy a smartphone, and get 100 percent moneyback directly in your bank account after a year. This way you only end up paying for the online services that you use. Customers can return the smartphone in any working condition, provided it turns on and the IMEI number is visible on the screen after 12/18 months.

Besides 100% moneyback, consumers will also get access to complete mobile protection plans that offer protection against screen damage, liquid damage, and other accidental covers. There is no better way to buy a new smartphone in India than the Flipkart SmartPack way. With Flipkart’s trusted network of sellers and an innovative offering like Flipkart SmartPack, you’re assured a Great Smartphone buying experience no matter which phone you buy.

Flipkart SmartPack is now available in India. For more details, visit this page.

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