Sci/tech

How hard did it rain on Mars?
May 16, 2017 11:59 AM - Elsevier

Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet’s impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study published in Icarus. In the paper, researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet’s surface as we see on Earth.

Study solves mystery of how plants use sunlight to tell time via cell protein signaling
May 16, 2017 11:46 AM - Southern Methodist University

Findings of a new study solve a key mystery about the chemistry of how plants tell time so they can flower and metabolize nutrients.

NASA Aims to Create First-Ever Space-Based Sodium Lidar to Study Poorly Understood Mesosphere
May 16, 2017 11:14 AM - NASA

A team of NASA scientists and engineers now believes it can leverage recent advances in a greenhouse-detecting instrument to build the world’s first space-based sodium lidar to study Earth’s poorly understood mesosphere.

Scientist Diego Janches and laser experts Mike Krainak and Tony Yu, all of whom work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are leading a research-and-development effort to further advance the sodium lidar, which the group plans to deploy on the International Space Station if it succeeds in proving its flightworthiness.

NASA’s Center Innovation Fund and the Heliophysics Technology and Instrument Development for Science programs are now funding the instrument’s maturation. However, the concept traces its heritage in part to NASA’s past investments in promising lidar instruments, called Sounders, originally created to measure carbon dioxide and methane in Earth’s atmosphere.

NASA Aims to Create First-Ever Space-Based Sodium Lidar to Study Poorly Understood Mesosphere
May 16, 2017 11:14 AM - NASA

A team of NASA scientists and engineers now believes it can leverage recent advances in a greenhouse-detecting instrument to build the world’s first space-based sodium lidar to study Earth’s poorly understood mesosphere.

Scientist Diego Janches and laser experts Mike Krainak and Tony Yu, all of whom work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are leading a research-and-development effort to further advance the sodium lidar, which the group plans to deploy on the International Space Station if it succeeds in proving its flightworthiness.

NASA’s Center Innovation Fund and the Heliophysics Technology and Instrument Development for Science programs are now funding the instrument’s maturation. However, the concept traces its heritage in part to NASA’s past investments in promising lidar instruments, called Sounders, originally created to measure carbon dioxide and methane in Earth’s atmosphere.

Researchers make waves in the ultrasound world
May 16, 2017 08:05 AM - Ryerson University

A team of Ryerson researchers, led by Scott Tsai, have developed a new method to create the uniformly minuscule microbubbles most desirable for use in ultrasound imaging.

More genes turned on when plants compete
May 15, 2017 01:32 PM - Michigan State University

Some people travel to northern California for wine. However, Maren Friesen, Michigan State University plant biologist, treks to the Golden State for clover.

Migratory birds bumped off schedule as climate change shifts spring
May 15, 2017 01:24 PM - Florida Museum of Natural History

New research shows climate change is altering the delicate seasonal clock that North American migratory songbirds rely on to successfully mate and raise healthy offspring, setting in motion a domino effect that could threaten the survival of many familiar backyard bird species.

Gladiator Games: In Nature's Showdowns, Biodiversity Shields Weaker Competitors
May 15, 2017 01:18 PM - Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

If you pit a pair of gladiators, one strong and one weak, against each other 10 times the outcome will likely be the same every time: the stronger competitor will defeat the weak. But if you add into the field additional competitors of varying strength levels, even the weakest competitors might be able to survive — if only because they’re able to find a quiet corner to hide.

Producing fertilizer from air could be five times as efficient
May 15, 2017 01:15 PM - Eindhoven University of Technology

African farmers who are able to produce their own fertilizer from only air. Bhaskar S. Patil brings this prospect closer with a revolutionary reactor that coverts nitrogen from the atmosphere into NOx, the raw material for fertilizer. His method, in theory, is up to five times as efficient as existing processes, enabling farms to have a small-scale installation without the need for a big investment. He receives his doctorate on 10 May at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).
The production of one of the key raw materials for fertilizer, ammonia (NH3) or nitrogen oxide (NOx), is a very energy-intensive process that is responsible for about 2% of all global CO2 emissions. However, it is hardly possible any longer to cut the energy consumption via current production processes since the theoretically minimal feasible energy consumption has already been more or less reached.

Producing fertilizer from air could be five times as efficient
May 15, 2017 01:15 PM - Eindhoven University of Technology

African farmers who are able to produce their own fertilizer from only air. Bhaskar S. Patil brings this prospect closer with a revolutionary reactor that coverts nitrogen from the atmosphere into NOx, the raw material for fertilizer. His method, in theory, is up to five times as efficient as existing processes, enabling farms to have a small-scale installation without the need for a big investment. He receives his doctorate on 10 May at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).
The production of one of the key raw materials for fertilizer, ammonia (NH3) or nitrogen oxide (NOx), is a very energy-intensive process that is responsible for about 2% of all global CO2 emissions. However, it is hardly possible any longer to cut the energy consumption via current production processes since the theoretically minimal feasible energy consumption has already been more or less reached.

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