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August 16, 2011 11:02 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Leaks happen whether anyone wants them to or not. All that can be done is to try to anticipate them and prevent them by useful maintenance and repairs before the leak happens. A computer model that tests automobile components for crashworthiness could also be of use to the oil and gas industry, according to researchers at MIT’s Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory, who are now using their simulations of material deformation in car crashes to predict how pipes may fracture in offshore drilling accidents. President Barack Obama in May 2010 stated that the federal government needs to look at getting the technology that would allow it to work at the bottom of the sea to plug oil leaks like the Gulf of Mexico spill. That is after that fact. Better would be to stop the leak before it happens.
Healing the Heart after a Stroke/Heart Attack
August 15, 2011 09:58 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Suffering through a stroke or heart attack, while definitely survivable, can take a tremendous toll on the overall well-being of the heart. It can cause heart scarring which can lead to the thinning of the heart walls and a lessened ability to pump blood throughout the body. Post-heart attack hearts will never fully return to their previous condition. However, a new treatment developed at Tel Aviv University (TAU) by Professor Uri Oron using stem cells has the ability to restore heart function and health.
North Sea Release
August 15, 2011 08:15 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Royal Dutch Shell Plc said a ruptured North Sea pipeline continued to leak oil on Saturday and that it had been seeping crude into the sea for two days before the company declared it. Shell said it cannot specify how much oil may have escaped, but it knows which line leaked and said the flow has been stemmed as the underwater well has been shut in and the line at the Gannet Alpha platform is being de-pressurized. Gannet is 110 miles (180 kilometers) east of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Deep Sea Hydrogen Cells
August 15, 2011 08:07 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Deep-sea mussels use integrated biological based bacterial fuel cells to harness energy from hydrogen spewing out of hydrothermal vents, according to new research indicating that the use of this alternative fuel may be widespread in the communities at these vents. This is the first identified deep-sea organism to use hydrogen as a fuel.
Air Emissions and Disaster
August 12, 2011 06:53 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
As a result of the fire that shut down Valero’s Memphis, Tennessee refinery, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive certain federal clean gasoline requirements for parts of Tennessee. This waiver will allow greater flexibility for the fuel distribution system to support an adequate supply. This waiver was granted by EPA in coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE), at the request of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson determined that extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist, which are likely to result in a shortage of gasoline compliant with federal regulations. The federal waiver will help ensure an adequate supply of gasoline in the affected area until normal supply to the region can be restored. In other words air emissions will be slightly increased in order to have gasoline available during the duration of this emergency resulting from the fire.
Riverside 550 Megawatt Solar Project
August 11, 2011 05:51 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has just approved the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, a 550-megawatt (MW) solar power project to be built in the California desert east of Palm Springs. The solar-photovoltaic facility will create more than 630 jobs at peak construction and infuse an estimated $336 million into the local economy. When built, Desert Sunlight will generate enough energy to power over 165,000 homes. "The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is the largest photovoltaic facility Interior has approved thus far and, when built, will help power our nation and economy," Secretary Salazar said. "With 12 large-scale solar projects approved in the last 18 months, we continue to make significant strides in spurring innovation, job-creation, and investment in the private sector while strengthening America’s energy security." The facility will use thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology, which generates electricity with low visual impact, no air emissions, waste production or water use, and has the smallest carbon footprint of any PV technology. An on-site substation and a 230-kiloVolt (kV) generation tie line will connect the project to the Red Bluff substation which will convert the power from 230 kV to 500kV for transmission on Southern California Edison’s regional grid.
MIT Researchers Claim UN Arctic Predictions are Inaccurate
August 11, 2011 01:04 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had released its most recent report in 2007. It forecasts that the Arctic Ocean will have an ice-free summer by the year 2100. However, that finding has been contradicted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They say the Arctic summer will be ice-free several decades earlier, within the lifetimes of many of us.
August 11, 2011 07:21 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
SETI is the search for extraterrestrial life by studying and watching the stars. Perhaps frivolous in the current economy but extremely important if contact is ever made. After hitting its $200,000 fundraising goal on 3 August, SETI announced that it will be putting its iconic Allen Telescope Array (ATA) back online after a 4-month hiatus. The nonprofit SETI Institute announced on April 22 grants from the University of California, Berkeley, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and others had run out and that SETI could no longer afford to operate the 42 radio telescopes that make up ATA. While some UC Berkeley scientists were laid off, others were not idle. They were kept at work analyzing the data they had. In the meantime, on a donation site, SETIstars.org, alien lovers pleaded with donors across the world to bring ATA out of hibernation and keep the search going. The gifts poured in from "around the globe, literally from everywhere that had an Internet connection.
New Nuclear Reactors
August 10, 2011 01:11 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
An attempt to build the first brand-new nuclear power plant in a generation has taken a step forward now that staff at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says plans to build new reactors in Georgia meet safety requirements. The federal regulators issued two related safety reports Friday that cleared the design of Westinghouse Electric Co.'s AP1000 nuclear reactor and plans by the Atlanta-based Southern Co. to build two of those reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. The NRC's commissioners must still decide whether to give final approval to the reactor design and its construction in Georgia. It's been more than 20 years since the last commercial energy reactor was constructed in the U.S.
August 10, 2011 09:10 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
People like tuna. (Tuna may not like people of course.) However, natural wild populations are in sharp decline. One answer may be a tuna farm. The experiment took place at Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc.'s commercial fish farming facility Kali Tuna, based on the Croatian island of Uglian in the Adriatic sea. Umami also claimed to breed the five-year-old tuna without adding artificial hormones. Because the fish naturally spawn in deep, open waters, many have tried with limited success to breed tuna in captivity. Others have questioned whether a tuna breeding program could even work without large amounts of hormones regulating the life cycle of the fish.