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There Could Be a $100 Million Dollar Fortune in NYC’s Sewers

A University of Arizona study shows why we may soon be mining sewage sludge for precious metals

A trip into New York City’s sewers involves a number of well-known hazards: ninja turtles, giant albino alligators, mole people, and of course, rivers of putrid, slimy grease. But now we have to add gold-rush-style grizzled prospectors, industrious methheads and other precious-metal fanatics to the list of unsavory characters one might encounter in the city’s miles of tunnels.

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This Silver Nanowire Clothing Retains 90 Percent of Your Body Heat

Could “personal thermal management” replace the need to heat buildings?

No more bundling up with lightweight silver nanowire clothing. Photo by Andrew Vargas via Flickr

A whopping 47 percent of the world’s energy is used to heat indoor spaces, and although until now, most efforts to reduce that number have focused on improving buildings and other structures, a new school of thought is making the issue personal with a concept for super-insulated, silver nanowire clothing. A team of Stanford University researchers recently published a paper in the journal Nano Letters outlining their findings for what they call “personal thermal management,” citing the silver nanowire’s ability to reflect back nearly 90 percent of a wearer’s body heat. By focusing on individuals, rather than buildings, the Stanford team hopes to reduce the inescapable inefficiency of heating empty spaces and non-human objects, a generally overlooked problem when it comes to “greening” spaces.

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