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Exoplanet Count to 700
November 21, 2011 11:45 AM - Andy Soosm ENN

One can look up and count the stars that can be seen. Finding exoplanets orbiting these stars is a different matter because they cannot be seen by the naked eye. There are two main counters of the exoplanents: NASA and the European count. NASA is more conservative while Europe will include the new exoplanet when it is announced. So Europe will also be slightly more. The count topped 500 in November 2010, and it passed 600 just two months ago when scientists with the European Southern Observatory announced 50 newfound planets, including one super-Earth that might be a good candidate for hosting life. Now it is 700.

The Contribution of Peatland CO2 to Climate Change
November 21, 2011 10:06 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Peat, the accumulated turf made up of decayed vegetation, forms in many parts of the world in places like bogs, moors, and swamp forests. Due to its high carbon content, it can be harvested and burned as fuel. There are estimates that the global inventory of peat, covering 2 percent of all land area, contains 8 billion terajoules of energy. A new study has revealed that peat also has a high potential to contribute to climate change. The study, published by researchers from Bangor University in Maine, found that drought causes the release of far more carbon dioxide from peat than previously assumed.

The World Carbon Cycle in the Last Ice Age
November 21, 2011 09:32 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. It is one of the most important cycles of the earth and allows for carbon to be recycled and reused throughout the biosphere and all of its organisms. Has it always been the same? A reconstruction of plant productivity and the amount of carbon stored in the ocean and terrestrial biosphere at the last ice age has just been published in Nature Geoscience. The research by an international team of scientists greatly increases our understanding of natural carbon cycle dynamics.

Climate Extremes to Come
November 18, 2011 02:34 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The weather has always been an interesting variable in the lives of every person. What impact will global warming have? Will there more extreme weather behavior? A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that an increase in heat waves as well as hurricanes, floods, and droughts will likely become more intense in the next century. The United Nations IPCC's new special report on extreme weather, which includes a range of possible scenarios based on future greenhouse gas emissions, urges governments worldwide to draft plans to minimize the likely human and economic costs of these weather phenomena.

Galactic Process
November 18, 2011 08:14 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

New observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are expanding astronomers' understanding of the ways in which galaxies continuously recycle immense volumes of hydrogen gas and heavy elements. This process allows galaxies to build successive generations of stars stretching over billions of years. This ongoing recycling keeps some galaxies from emptying their fuel tanks of interstellar gas and stretches their star-forming epoch to over 10 billion years.

Starving Bacteria
November 17, 2011 04:52 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Though it was known in the nineteenth century that bacteria are the cause of many diseases, no effective antibacterial treatments were available back then. In 1910, Paul Ehrlich developed the first antibiotic. Bacteria are also notorious for existing antibiotic treatments. A new study is showing that bacteria that are starving tend to resist antibiotics better. During an infection there is a tendency to starve bacteria under certain conditions. How can this be reversed? "Bacteria become starved when they exhaust nutrient supplies in the body, or if they live clustered together in groups know as biofilms," said the lead author of the paper, Dr. Dao Nguyen, an assistant professor of medicine at McGill University.

New "Super" Mouthwash Under Development May Eliminate Cavities
November 17, 2011 08:42 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Generic mouthwash does a fantastic job cleaning out your mouth and leaving you with a minty fresh feeling. Now there is a new kind of mouthwash which is under development, that has the potential to eliminate tooth decay and cavities. Developed at the UCLA School of Dentistry, the mouthwash utilizes a new type of anti-microbial technology. A recent clinical study, involving 12 subjects showed remarkable results. Those who rinsed just once with the new mouthwash almost completely eliminated the S. mutans bacteria, known to cause tooth decay.

Gamburtsev Mountain Birth
November 17, 2011 07:30 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Gamburtsev Mountain Range (also known as the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains) is a subglacial mountain range located in Eastern Antarctica. The current speculated age of the range is over 34 million years[6] and possibly 500 million years. The birth of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains buried beneath the vast East Antarctic Ice Sheet — a puzzle mystifying scientists since their first discovery in 1958 — is finally solved. The remarkably long geological history explains the formation of the mountain range in the least explored frontier on Earth and where the Antarctic Ice Sheet first formed. The findings are published this week in the journal Nature

Chevrolet's Carbon Initiative Program, Part Two
November 16, 2011 04:05 PM - R Greenway, ENN

In the U.S., the best wind resources are in the Northern Plains — but it’s virtually impossible for a single individual to build a multi-million dollar turbine. But if a group of individuals come together, they can work with an enterprising electric company to create a community- supported wind farm. As part of its Carbon Initiative Program, Chevrolet is supporting the Crow Lake Wind Project, a 108 turbine, 162 MW wind project owned by the Basin Electric Cooperative, a public power entity serving rural cooperative power customers principally in the north central plains states. The project was built utilizing a first-of-its-kind community wind investment partnership. In addition, this is the largest project currently operational in South Dakota. The first 100 turbines, owned by Basin Electric Cooperative, enabled the two smaller projects to be developed. Seven turbines are owned by a group of around one hundred local community investors (farmers, ranchers, local businesses). The last turbine is owned by the Mitchell Technical Institute, a school providing vocational education to local students — including training in construction, operations and maintenance of wind farms. Fully operational since February 2011, the Crow Lake Wind Project introduces wind energy into a system heavily dependent on conventional coal combustion, diversifying the resource base. It also supplies and supports rural consumer-owned electric cooperatives and creates community jobs in construction and operations.

Tarantula Nebula
November 16, 2011 12:48 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Tarantula Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8. Considering its distance of about 160,000 light years, this is an extremely luminous non-stellar object. Its luminosity is so great that if it were as close to Earth as the Orion Nebula, the Tarantula Nebula would cast shadows. In fact, it is the most active starburst region known in the Local Group of galaxies. It is also the largest such region in the Local Group with an estimated diameter of 200 parsecs. This spiderweb-like tangle of gas and dust is a star-forming region called 30 Doradus. It is one of the largest such regions located close to the Milky Way galaxy, and is found in the neighboring galaxy Large Magellanic Cloud. About 2,400 massive stars in the center of 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula nebula, are producing intense radiation and powerful winds as they blow off material. Multimillion-degree gas detected in X-rays (blue) by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory comes from shock fronts -- similar to sonic booms -- formed by these stellar winds and by supernova explosions. This hot gas carves out gigantic bubbles in the surrounding cooler gas and dust shown here in infrared light from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (orange).

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