Sci/tech

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light
March 24, 2017 03:25 PM - Rice University

Rice University scientists have created an efficient, simple-to-manufacture oxygen-evolution catalyst that pairs well with semiconductors for solar water splitting, the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in the form of hydrogen and oxygen. 

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light
March 24, 2017 03:25 PM - Rice University

Rice University scientists have created an efficient, simple-to-manufacture oxygen-evolution catalyst that pairs well with semiconductors for solar water splitting, the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in the form of hydrogen and oxygen. 

UTA biologist quantifying coral species' disease susceptibility by examining immune traits
March 24, 2017 02:31 PM - University of Texas At Arlington

A biologist from The University of Texas at Arlington is leading a new study aimed at quantifying how susceptible coral species are to disease by examining their immunity through a series of novel experiments and approaches.

Laura Mydlarz, associate professor of biology, is principal investigator of the project, titled “Immunity to Community: Can Quantifying Immune Traits Inform Reef Community Structure?” and funded by a two-year, $220,331 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences. Co-principal investigators are Marilyn Brandt, research associate professor of marine and environmental science at the University of the Virgin Islands, and Erinn Muller, staff scientist at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Fla. 

UTA biologist quantifying coral species' disease susceptibility by examining immune traits
March 24, 2017 02:31 PM - University of Texas At Arlington

A biologist from The University of Texas at Arlington is leading a new study aimed at quantifying how susceptible coral species are to disease by examining their immunity through a series of novel experiments and approaches.

Laura Mydlarz, associate professor of biology, is principal investigator of the project, titled “Immunity to Community: Can Quantifying Immune Traits Inform Reef Community Structure?” and funded by a two-year, $220,331 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences. Co-principal investigators are Marilyn Brandt, research associate professor of marine and environmental science at the University of the Virgin Islands, and Erinn Muller, staff scientist at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Fla. 

WPI, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard Successfully Test a Novel Oil Spill Cleanup Technology
March 24, 2017 02:22 PM - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Tests conducted this week of a novel technology that can greatly accelerate the combustion of crude oil floating on water demonstrated its potential to become an effective tool for minimizing the environmental impact of future oil spills. Called the Flame Refluxer, the technology, developed by fire protection engineering researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with funding from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), could make it possible to burn off spilled oil quickly while producing relatively low levels of air pollutants.

The tests of the Flame Refluxer were conducted this week by WPI and BSEE at the United States Coast Guard’s Joint Maritime Test Facility on Little Sand Island, located in Mobile Bay. WPI is the first university to work on research at the facility since it reopened in 2015. The tests involved controlled burns of oil in a specially designed test tank on the island.

Extreme space weather: protecting our critical infrastructure
March 24, 2017 02:05 PM - European Commission Joint Research Centre

Extreme space weather has a global footprint and the potential to damage critical infrastructure on the ground and in space. A new JRC report calls for bridging knowledge gaps and for better coordination at EU level to reduce the potential impact of space weather events.

The sun shapes the space environment around the Earth. This so-called space weather can affect space assets but also critical infrastructure on the ground, potentially causing service disruptions or infrastructure failures. Numerous space weather events affecting the power grid, aviation, communication, and navigation systems have already been documented.

Extreme space weather: protecting our critical infrastructure
March 24, 2017 02:05 PM - European Commission Joint Research Centre

Extreme space weather has a global footprint and the potential to damage critical infrastructure on the ground and in space. A new JRC report calls for bridging knowledge gaps and for better coordination at EU level to reduce the potential impact of space weather events.

The sun shapes the space environment around the Earth. This so-called space weather can affect space assets but also critical infrastructure on the ground, potentially causing service disruptions or infrastructure failures. Numerous space weather events affecting the power grid, aviation, communication, and navigation systems have already been documented.

Spread of ages is key to impact of disease
March 24, 2017 10:09 AM - The University of Edinburgh

How a disease outbreak affects a group of animals depends on the breakdown of ages in the population, an animal study has shown.

Chance find has big implications for water treatment's costs and carbon footprint
March 24, 2017 09:57 AM - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

A type of bacteria accidentally discovered during research supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) could fundamentally re-shape efforts to cut the huge amount of electricity consumed during wastewater clean-up.

In a sample of blood, researchers probe for cancer clues
March 24, 2017 09:46 AM - University of California - Berkeley

One day, patients may be able to monitor their body’s response to cancer therapy just by having their blood drawn. A new study, led by bioengineers at UC Berkeley, has taken an important step in that direction by measuring a panel of cancer proteins in rare, individual tumor cells that float in the blood.

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