• Extreme Space Weather-Induced Electricity Blackouts Could Cost U.S. More Than $40 Billion Daily

    New study finds more than half the loss occurs outside the blackout zone.

    The daily U.S. economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could be in the tens of billions of dollars, with more than half the loss from indirect costs outside the blackout zone, according to a new study.

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  • Biosimilars Create Opportunities for Sustainable Cancer Care

    Lugano, Switzerland – Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open. The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

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  • How Far Can Technology Go To Stave Off Climate Change?

    The U.S. now has two coal-burning power plants that avoid dumping carbon dioxide into the air. Petra Nova in Texas and Kemper in Mississippi use technology to stop CO2 in the smokestack and before combustion, respectively. Unfortunately, that makes two out of more than 400 coal-fired power plants in the U.S., the rest of which collectively pour 1.4 billion metric tons of the colorless, odorless greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year. Even Kemper and Petra Nova do not capture all of the CO2 from the coal they burn, and the captured CO2 is used to scour more oil out of the ground, which is then burned, adding yet more CO2 to the atmosphere. The carbon conundrum grows more complex — and dangerous — with each passing year. 

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  • Race for a Better Fuel Begins with NREL Researchers

    Watching cars zoom around and around an oval track isn't Jesse Hensley's idea of a good time. Making them run on biofuel would be.

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  • Study tracks memory of soil moisture

    The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth’s landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet’s water — less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and the atmosphere, that tiny amount plays a crucial role in everything from agriculture to weather and climate, and even the spread of disease.

    The behavior and dynamics of this reservoir of moisture have been very hard to quantify and analyze, however, because measurements have been slow and laborious to make.

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  • Halley Research Station Antarctica to close for winter

    British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has decided not to winter at Halley VI Research Station for safety reasons. The station, which is located on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, will shut down between March and November 2017.  Changes to the ice, particularly the growth of a new crack, presents a complex glaciological picture that means that BAS scientists are unable to predict with certainty what will happen to the ice shelf during the forthcoming Antarctic winter. As a precautionary measure BAS will remove its people before the Antarctic winter begins.

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  • Study refutes how fruit flies developed alcohol tolerance

    The common fruit fly, the tiny insect drawn to your beer or wine, has evolved to have an impressive tolerance for alcohol.

    More than two decades ago, in one of the first papers using gene sequences to find signatures of natural selection, scientists hypothesized that a molecular change in an enzyme gave the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly species its superior ability to metabolize alcohol. Scientists concluded that the change they found in the Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) protein could be the adaptation that allowed D. melanogaster to colonize ethanol-rich habitats in rotting fruit better than its nearly identical relative, Drosophila simulans.

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  • Researchers develop environmentally friendly, soy air filter

    PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have developed a soy-based air filter that can capture toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, that current air filters can’t.

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  • What makes erionite carcinogenic?

    The mineral erionite is considered to be highly carcinogenic and is on the World Health Organisation's list of substances that cause cancer. A few years ago, an entire village in Turkey actually had to be moved, because the substance was very common in the surrounding area and every second inhabitant died of a particular type of cancer caused by breathing in erionite particles. Up to now it has been thought that iron as a constituent element of the mineral erionite is the reason for the carcinogenic effect. However, mineralogists of Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), together with colleagues from the University of Modena (Italy), have discovered that this metal does not even appear in the crystal structure of erionite.

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  • Iowa State engineer helps journal highlight how pyrolysis can advance the bioeconomy

    A special issue of the journal Energy Technology details the latest advances in pyrolysis technologies for converting biomass into fuels, chemicals and fertilizers.

    Two pyrolysis experts are guest editors of the issue: Robert C. Brown, the director of Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Institute, an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and the Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering; and George Huber, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Harvey D. Spangler Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

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