This fruit reeks, but it may one day power your phone

Ever smell a durian fruit? Don't. Think of it as nature's stinky battery.

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  • New research finds that jackfruit and durian, often called the world's smelliest fruit, make outstanding supercapacitors.
  • Supercapacitors are useful because they can be used as infinitely rechargeable batteries.
  • The study, published in the Journal of Energy Storage, also demonstrates the development of carbon aerogels for the bodies of the fruit batteries.
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Resurrected tech: How discarded devices are recycled across the globe

Technology best serves the user when organic development combines necessity with collective values.

  • How are global innovators overcoming the inequality that is forged in the technologies of Silicon Valley?
  • Ramesh Srinivasan, a professor at UCLA, points to examples of indigenous communities in Mexico that have created their own cell phone networks, as well as groups in Ghana and Nairobi that recycle discarded devices from the West to make entirely new technologies.
  • These groups have successfully decentralized technology governance by using their resources and upping the ante on creativity and innovation.
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A very different, very clean energy source: thin air

A microbial organism pulls electricity from water in the air.

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  • Hidden in the mud along the banks of Washington D.C.'s Potomac River may be a profound new source of electricity.
  • The microbe makes nanowires that produce a charge from water vapor in ordinary air.
  • Already capable of powering small electronics, it appears that larger-scale power generation is within reach.
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7 powerful books that bring the UN's sustainable development goals to life

Can reading increase empathy and charitable thinking?

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Reading, studies show, increases empathy and charitable thinking. Fiction has even been credited with helping readers improve their understanding of others and make changes in their own lives.

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Permafrost is thawing so fast it’s gouging holes in the Arctic

Global warming has shown that permafrost is not so permanent after all.

Orjan F. Ellingvag/Dagens Naringsliv/Corbis via Getty Images

Residents of the small Alaskan town Kongiganak can no longer bury their dead. Their cemetery has become a marshy swamp, sucking graves into the once frozen ground.

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