Sci/tech

ALMA Eyes Icy Ring around Young Planetary System
May 18, 2017 01:02 PM - National Radio Astronomy Observatory

An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut. This remarkably well-defined band of rubble and gas is likely the result of exocomets smashing together near the outer edges of a planetary system 25 light-years from Earth.

ALMA Eyes Icy Ring around Young Planetary System
May 18, 2017 01:02 PM - National Radio Astronomy Observatory

An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut. This remarkably well-defined band of rubble and gas is likely the result of exocomets smashing together near the outer edges of a planetary system 25 light-years from Earth.

A Recipe For Concrete That Can Withstand Road Salt Deterioration
May 18, 2017 12:35 PM - Drexel University

Road salt, used in copious helpings each winter to protect them from ice and preserve safe driving conditions, is slowly degrading the concrete they’re made of. Engineers have known for some time that calcium chloride salt, commonly used as deicer, reacts with the calcium hydroxide in concrete to form a chemical byproduct that causes roadways to crumble.

Earth's atmosphere more chemically reactive in cold climates
May 18, 2017 12:13 PM - Hannah Hickey via University of Washington

Unseen in the air around us are tiny molecules that drive the chemical cocktail of our atmosphere. As plants, animals, volcanoes, wildfires and human activities spew particles into the atmosphere, some of these molecules act as cleanup crews that remove that pollution.

The main molecules responsible for breaking down all these emissions are called oxidants. The oxygen-containing molecules, mainly ozone and hydrogen-based detergents, react with pollutants and reactive greenhouse gases, such as methane.

Earth's atmosphere more chemically reactive in cold climates
May 18, 2017 12:13 PM - Hannah Hickey via University of Washington

Unseen in the air around us are tiny molecules that drive the chemical cocktail of our atmosphere. As plants, animals, volcanoes, wildfires and human activities spew particles into the atmosphere, some of these molecules act as cleanup crews that remove that pollution.

The main molecules responsible for breaking down all these emissions are called oxidants. The oxygen-containing molecules, mainly ozone and hydrogen-based detergents, react with pollutants and reactive greenhouse gases, such as methane.

Ohio Sea Grant researchers move one step closer to sediment pollution cleanup in Lake Erie
May 18, 2017 08:31 AM - NOAA

Removal of polluted sediment from lake and river bottoms can be costly and time consuming. Ohio Sea Grant researchers are developing a new method using ultrasound and chemical agents that bind to contaminants and render them inactive on the river bottom. The new approach means larger quantities of sediment can be scrubbed more thoroughly with each round of treatment, potentially making pollutant clean up faster and less costly. The overall goal is to treat contaminated sediments right where they are instead of having to dredge them up for treatment or disposal.

Scientists explore emerging issues in invasive species research
May 18, 2017 08:31 AM - University of Windsor

A University of Windsor professor is among an international team of scientists examining what challenges and opportunities the future may hold for invasive species research.

Professor Hugh MacIsaac travelled to the University of Cambridge last fall along with 16 other ecologists to reach a consensus on what they believed to be the emerging trends, issues, opportunities and threats for invasive science.

Scientists Begin to Unlock Secrets of Deep Ocean Color from Organic Matter
May 17, 2017 04:53 PM - University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

About half of atmospheric carbon dioxide is fixed by ocean's phytoplankton, mainly picocyanobacteria, through a process called photosynthesis. Picocyanobacteria are tiny, unicellular microorganisms that are abundant and widely distributed in freshwater and marine environments. A large portion of biologically fixed carbon is formed by picocyanobacteria at the sea surface and then transported to the deep ocean. But what remains a mystery is how colored dissolved organic matter which originates from plant detritus (either on land or at sea) makes it into the deep ocean. A team of scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and around the world potentially found a viable marine source of this colored material.

Scientists Begin to Unlock Secrets of Deep Ocean Color from Organic Matter
May 17, 2017 04:53 PM - University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

About half of atmospheric carbon dioxide is fixed by ocean's phytoplankton, mainly picocyanobacteria, through a process called photosynthesis. Picocyanobacteria are tiny, unicellular microorganisms that are abundant and widely distributed in freshwater and marine environments. A large portion of biologically fixed carbon is formed by picocyanobacteria at the sea surface and then transported to the deep ocean. But what remains a mystery is how colored dissolved organic matter which originates from plant detritus (either on land or at sea) makes it into the deep ocean. A team of scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and around the world potentially found a viable marine source of this colored material.

Study illuminates fate of marine carbon in last steps toward sequestration
May 17, 2017 04:34 PM - Oregon State University

The ocean sequesters massive amounts of carbon in the form of “dissolved organic matter,” and new research explains how an ancient group of cells in the dark ocean wrings the last bit of energy from carbon molecules resistant to breakdown.

A look at genomes from SAR202 bacterioplankton found oxidative enzymes and other important families of enzymes that indicate SAR202 may facilitate the last stages of breakdown before the dissolved oxygen matter, or DOM, reaches a “refractory” state that fends off further decomposition.

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