Sci/tech

Mosses used to evaluate atmospheric conditions in urban areas
August 17, 2017 04:51 PM - Hokkaido University

Researchers have developed a method to evaluate atmospheric conditions using mosses (bryophytes) in urban areas, a development that could facilitate broader evaluations of atmospheric environments.

Many urban areas face atmospheric problems such as pollution and the heat island effect. With the need to evaluate atmospheric conditions, bioindicators—organisms whose response to environmental changes indicates the health of an ecosystem—have attracted considerable attention. Their merits include being able to evaluate an environment over a wide area at a low cost; detect environmental changes over an extended period; and assess these changes’ effects on the ecosystem. Bryophytes are one such group of plants known to be sensitive to environmental changes, in particular to atmospheric conditions.

How we recall the past
August 17, 2017 04:46 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

When we have a new experience, the memory of that event is stored in a neural circuit that connects several parts of the hippocampus and other brain structures. Each cluster of neurons may store different aspects of the memory, such as the location where the event occurred or the emotions associated with it.

Neuroscientists who study memory have long believed that when we recall these memories, our brains turn on the same hippocampal circuit that was activated when the memory was originally formed. However, MIT neuroscientists have now shown, for the first time, that recalling a memory requires a “detour” circuit that branches off from the original memory circuit.

New study validates East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if western ice sheet melts
August 17, 2017 04:37 PM - Indiana University

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

The study's findings are significant, given that some predict the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt quickly due to global warming.

New study validates East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if western ice sheet melts
August 17, 2017 04:37 PM - Indiana University

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

The study's findings are significant, given that some predict the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt quickly due to global warming.

NASA Sees Potential Tropical Depression 9 Form East of Lesser Antilles
August 17, 2017 04:31 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

NOAA's GOES-East Satellite spotted potential Tropical Depression 9 organizing east of the Lesser Antilles.

At 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 UTC) on Aug. 13 NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured a visible image of potential Tropical Depression 9. The satellite imagery showed the circulation of the low pressure area was becoming better defined and that a cluster of strong convection has formed west of the center.

NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites, and NASA uses the satellite data to create images and animations. The image was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Discovery could lead to new catalyst design to reduce nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust
August 17, 2017 04:09 PM - Purdue University

Researchers have discovered a new reaction mechanism that could be used to improve catalyst designs for pollution-control systems to further reduce emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust.

Potato waste processing may be the road to enhanced food waste conversion
August 17, 2017 04:06 PM - Penn State

With more than two dozen companies in Pennsylvania manufacturing potato chips, it is no wonder that researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a novel approach to more efficiently convert potato waste into ethanol. This process may lead to reduced production costs for biofuel in the future and add extra value for chip makers.

Satellites Show Hurricane Gert Being Affected by Wind Shear
August 17, 2017 04:01 PM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared and visible look at Atlantic Hurricane Gert. Both images showed the storm was being affected by wind shear and had become elongated.  

Poisonings went hand in hand with the drinking water in Pompeii
August 17, 2017 11:34 AM - University of Southern Denmark

The ancient Romans were famous for their advanced water supply. But the drinking water in the pipelines was probably poisoned on a scale that may have led to daily problems with vomiting, diarrhoea, and liver and kidney damage. This is the finding of analyses of water pipe from Pompeii.

- The concentrations were high and were definitely problematic for the ancient Romans. Their drinking water must have been decidedly hazardous to health.

NASA's Rocket to Nowhere Finally Has a Destination
August 17, 2017 08:33 AM - Sarah Scoles, Wired

On a Thursday afternoon in June, a 17-foot-tall rocket motor—looking like something a dedicated amateur might fire off—stood fire-side-up on the salty desert of Promontory, Utah. Over the loudspeakers, an announcer counted down. And with the command to fire, quad cones of flame flew from the four inverted nozzles and grew toward the sky. As the smoke rose, it cast a four-leaf clover of shadow across the ground.

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