In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some of the stories that made headlines in the world of cleanrooms and nanotechnology in the past week.
The “world’s largest solar-powered computer” aims to improve development across rural Africa. The Watly system captures solar energy through photovoltaic panels on the surface of the module, which is converted into electricity through an internal 140 kwh battery. This powers a water treatment system which utilizes a graphene-based filtering process — the water is boiled and then distilled. The machine can produce 5,000 liters of safe drinking water per day. The battery also powers a connectivity hub that provides wireless Internet service within an 800-meter radius, and a charging station for electronic and mobile devices. In 15 years, one Watly system can reduce 2,500 tons of greenhouse gases. This July, the inventor will present a final design — a scaled up 40-meter, 15-ton machine — to potential customers and investors.
A microbiology professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine is head of a team that is developing a nanotech poultry vaccine. Nanovaccines will be developed as a platform technology for more efficient poultry vaccination. Polyanhydride nanoparticles, proven safe for use in many food animals and humans, will provide a better immunization strategy than commercial live attenuated vaccines. The team will first test the new technology in a model system with infectious bronchitis virus, which causes infectious bronchitis disease — a sickness that can wipe out anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of a flock.
Finally, NASA has released a time-lapse video of the James Webb Space Telescope team lifting and turning the giant telescope for the first time. Shot inside the world’s largest cleanroom — a Class 10,000 facility at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. — the video shows the glimmering gold surfaces of large primary and rounded secondary mirror of this telescope. The gold surfaces are specially designed to reflect infrared light from some of the first stars ever born. The team will now begin to prepare to install the telescope’s science instruments to the back of the mirrors.