Comets and Woolly Mammoths
January 31, 2014 09:42 AM - Julie Cohen, UC Santa Barbara
New evidence suggests that a comet collision might have been the trigger for the Younger Dryas, contributing to North America's megafauna extinction. UC Santa Barbara's James Kennett, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth Science, posits that such an extraterrestrial event did occur killing off woolly mammoths, giant ground sloths and saber-tooth tigers 12,900 years ago.
Solar Energy is cash and sunshine in your pocket
January 30, 2014 09:48 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Is there money to be made on your roof? With the never-ending availability of sunshine and the evolution of solar technology many are recognizing the benefits of solar. The decision making process though is not for the faint of heart. Recognizing the difficulty in breaking through the process a company called Generaytor out of Tel Aviv has developed a free web-based app to show how much money can be saved and made with rooftop solar panels.
Panama’s sloths harbor potential drugs
January 30, 2014 09:29 AM - Fred Fertado, SciDevNet
Sloths may be slow, apparently boring animals, but their hair is fast becoming an intriguing avenue for scientists seeking new drugs, including antibiotics and cancer-fighting compounds. A paper published in PLOS One this month (15 January) shows that sloth hair harbors a rich diversity of fungi whose extracts may contain a treasure trove of compounds active against bacteria, breast cancer cells and the parasites that cause malaria and Chagas’ disease.
Record year for offshore wind energy hides slowdown in new projects
January 29, 2014 11:14 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
A record number of offshore wind turbines were connected to the grid in Europe last year — and nearly 50% of the projects were installed in UK waters, according to a new report released today. However, the pipeline of new wind energy projects is running worryingly low, according to the new industry briefing.
Slowing down the floodwaters
January 29, 2014 10:41 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Putting something called "Natural Engineering" to work in a five-year research project, Newcastle University in cooperation with the Environment Agency are discovering the benefits utilizing the land's natural defenses to slow river flow downstream and prevent flooding. Slowing down water in anticipation of flooding events is being tested all over the world. Strategies include the use of retention basins; wetlands development; levee systems and floodwalls but Newcastle University researchers directed by Dr. Mark Wilkinson are employing additional water retention strategies further up in the catchment system. The Belford Burn is a small catchment system located in Northumberland, a community just south of the Scottish border.
DOE Helps Sprint Put Fuel Cells on Cell Towers
January 29, 2014 08:27 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit
What do you get when you cross a fuel cell with a cell tower? Would that be a fuel tower? Or perhaps a fuel cell cell tower? Probably the best people to ask would be the folks at Sprint since they just received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to install hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology as backup power to a number of their network sites.
Linking Alzheimer's to environmental contributors
January 28, 2014 09:16 AM - Robin Lally, Rutgers University
Scientists have known for more than 40 years that the synthetic pesticide DDT is harmful to bird habitats and a threat to the environment. Now researchers at Rutgers University say exposure to DDT, banned in the United States since 1972 but still used as a pesticide in other countries, may also increase the risk and severity of Alzheimer's disease in some people, particularly those over the age of 60.
Scientists transform old plastic shopping bags into vehicle fuel
January 28, 2014 08:21 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Researchers have discovered a method to re-use discarded shopping bags by transforming them into a fuel that can power car engines. Scientists in India say they have developed a relatively low-temperature process to convert certain kinds of plastic waste into liquid fuel as a way to re-use discarded plastic bags and other products. Many pundits describe the present time as the "plastic age" for good reason and as such we generate a lot plastic waste. Among that waste is the common polymer, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is used to make many types of container, medical and laboratory equipment, computer components and carrier bags.
Space dust - was the movie Golden Compass on to something?
January 25, 2014 07:04 AM - University of Hawaii via EurekAlert
Researchers from the University of Hawaii — Manoa (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and University of California — Berkeley discovered that interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) could deliver water and organics to the Earth and other terrestrial planets. Interplanetary dust, dust that has come from comets, asteroids, and leftover debris from the birth of the solar system, continually rains down on the Earth and other Solar System bodies. These particles are bombarded by solar wind, predominately hydrogen ions. This ion bombardment knocks the atoms out of order in the silicate mineral crystal and leaves behind oxygen that is more available to react with hydrogen, for example, to create water molecules.
Control of the lion fish
January 24, 2014 09:32 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
A recent Oregon State University study shows that controlling the invasive lionfish in the western Atlantic Ocean is likely to allow for recovery of native fish. The lionfish is estimated to have wiped out 95% of native fish in some Atlantic locations. This Atlantic invasion is believed to have begun in the 1980s and now covers an area larger than the United States.