June 19, 2017

Private Sector Breakthroughs in Health, Energy and More

By Chelsea Follett
The Free Market is Moving toward Renewable Energy  

President Trump’s rolling back of the Clean Power Plan and pulling out of the Paris Accords seems to have little bearing on the private sector’s march toward clean energy. A UtilityDrive and PA Consulting survey asked 600 utility professionals how they plan to prepare for the future – only four percent plan on increasing coal usage moderately or severely. In fact, 52 percent of respondents expect to decrease coal usage significantly in the next 10 years and 70 percent expect to see at least a moderate increase in solar power. The free market is embracing renewable energy without the government forcing the issue.

New Blood Test Could Detect Cancer up to 10 Years before it Becomes Dangerous  

A simple blood test that can detect cancer symptoms long before they become harmful was unveiled recently at an oncology conference in Chicago. This technology could become available as early as 2019 and can increase survival rates by a whopping 90 percent. The project, which is partially funded by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, proved successful for 120 patients in an initial trial. The blood test also reports a false positive rate of just 0.5 percent, indicating its high reliability. Researchers hope to be able to use this new detection method to help patients manage cancer as early as possible.

SpaceX Successfully Launches Reused Missile  

SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft Saturday to resupply the International Space Station. The missile carries 6,000 pounds of supplies and was last used in September 2014 for a similar mission. Currently the largest inhibitor to space travel is its staggering cost and SpaceX hopes that using recycled spacecraft will lead to more affordable transportation. The company is also developing a Dragon 2 missile with the aim of transporting people, not just supplies, to space.

Researchers Developing “Instantly Rechargeable” Car Battery  

Scientists at Purdue University want to bring a new battery to market that could be recharged almost instantaneously. John Cushman, Purdue professor and co-founder of Ifbattery LLC, envisions a future where consumers can charge their car battery much like they refill a gas-powered car at a gas station today. Cushman is optimistic about the growth of battery-powered vehicles, but believes that both battery technology and recharging infrastructure will have to improve before rechargeable cars become the norm. If successful, this development could mean that battery fluids will be processed and recycled rather than being thrown away after they’re spent.