Sci/tech

Switching Light Bulbs? Consider Going Mercury Free!
January 23, 2009 08:36 AM - Global Warming is Real

Seattle startup Vu1 Corporation plans to launch a new type of light bulb that functions like a TV tube. Contrary to what you'd think, the technology is amazingly environmentally friendly. Vu1(View One) has raised $13 million to develop a brand new technology by fusing three existing technologies. "It is not induction lighting. It is not plasma. It is not fluorescent. It is not halogen. It is not LED," said Ron Davis, the chief marketing officer in an interview with Greentech Media.

Green tech a money saver in global downturn - UN
January 23, 2009 07:59 AM - WBCSD

Business should use the global downturn to forge ahead with green technologies that will save hard pressed firms money as well as the planet, a U.N. environment agency said on Thursday. Proven and commercially available technologies can cut buildings' energy use by 30 percent without a significant increase in investment cost, said Angela Cropper, deputy executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).

Algae Farming In The Face Of The Oil Price Situation - Still a Viable Alternative Fuel Source?
January 22, 2009 09:33 AM - Global Warming is Real

Algae farming is a relatively safe bet in the current financial climate. Algae, a sludge colored illuminatingly lime to moss green, has going for it that it can be made anywhere –even in desert climates- and that it can be relatively swiftly adopted. A big negative is that the price of producing one gallon worth of algae based petroleum is still relatively cost inefficient compared to oil. But even at the negative end of this spectrum, there’s masses of potential.

Microbes fuel energy debate
January 22, 2009 09:26 AM - Springer

According to Professor Demain, the petroleum-based economy in the US is getting close to the end of its lifecycle. Global oil reserves and new petroleum discoveries will not be enough to meet the annual demand worldwide. It is therefore essential to anticipate and avoid any shortfall in future supply and to provide access to new bioenergy alternatives for the marketplace.

Baby beetles inspire Pitt researchers to build 'mini boat' powered by surface tension
January 22, 2009 08:51 AM - University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH—Inspired by the aquatic wriggling of beetle larvae, a University of Pittsburgh research team has designed a propulsion system that strips away paddles, sails, and motors and harnesses the energy within the water's surface. The technique destabilizes the surface tension surrounding the object with an electric pulse and causes the craft to move via the surface's natural pull. The researchers will present their findings Jan. 26 at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' 2009 Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) conference in Sorrento, Italy.

Antarctica scientists hail President Obama
January 21, 2009 08:50 AM - Reuters

ROTHERA BASE, Antarctica (Reuters) - U.S. geologists working at an Antarctic base hailed President Barack Obama's inauguration Tuesday and expressed hopes for a stronger focus on science. "It's a very exciting time," David Barbeau, assistant professor of geology at the University of South Carolina, told Reuters after watching the inauguration at the British Rothera research station on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Novel crop-cooling technique could mitigate climate change
January 19, 2009 09:12 AM - Sci / Dev

Planting crop varieties that better reflect sunlight back out to space could reduce summertime temperatures by more than one degree Celsius in some parts of the world, researchers announced yesterday (15 January). The reduction, they say, would at certain latitudes be equivalent to a seasonal offset of about 20 per cent of the regional warming expected by the end of this century due to the build-up of carbon dioxide.

Weird finds in ultra-deep Australian seas
January 19, 2009 09:01 AM - Sydney Morning Herald

Bizarre carnivorous sea squirts, large spider-like creatures and an ancient fossilised coral reef have all been found in a voyage into ultra-deep Australian waters. The scientific examination Chronology of the Tasman Fracture, a four kilometre-deep crack in the earth's crust off the coast of Tasmania's south-west, has led to the discovery of creatures never seen before.

Fish 'an ally' against climate change
January 16, 2009 09:51 AM - New Scientist

An unlikely ally may have been found in the fight against the effects of climate change. Fish excretions seem to play a key role in maintaining the ocean's delicate pH balance, says a study that also reveals that there are 2 billion tonnes of fish in the world's oceans. Bony fish excrete lumps of calcium carbonate, known as "gut rocks" which are thought to dissolve in the upper layers of the ocean. A team led by Rod Wilsonof the University of Exeter in the UK has now shown that the sheer amount of gut rocks produced plays a key role in buffering the carbon dioxide that acidifies seawater.

Car Makers Electrify North American Auto Show
January 15, 2009 09:17 AM - GreenBiz

A range of hybrid vehicles are on tap to enter the U.S. market, with companies planning new releases throughout the next few years. Within the first days of the 2009 North American International Auto Show's press preview, car makers from around the world have put their green plans front and center, setting bold initiatives and unveiling efficient transports.

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