• Clean water filtration: basic necessity

    Clean water is a vital concern as many parts of the world struggle with its availability. Kenya is a prime example of a country on the edge. Kenya's people have long struggled with lack of availability of fresh water creating hazardous health conditions. According to the World Bank, the country's population is well over 43 million people. The country is one of the poorest on the earth with one of the most arid climates. Only a small portion of the land is suitable for agriculture. Further, Natural resources available to Kenya do not support adequate or equitable delivery of water forcing people to spend many hours of each day, procuring water for basic sustenance. >> Read the Full Article
  • Iroko trees, the new warrior for climate change

    Iroko trees are native to the west coast of Africa. Sometimes called Nigerian teak, their wood is tough, dense, and very durable. Their hardwood is so sought after that the trees are often poached and are now endangered in many regions of Africa. But a new scientific discovery may aid in reforestation efforts. >> Read the Full Article
  • Google Earth Improves Estimates of Fish Catches

    The basic idea of a fish trap is that when a fish swims inside through it's opening, it cannot get out, therefore trapping the fish and making it easier for populations to collect a decent catch. People around the world use different kinds of fish traps depending on the local conditions and behavior of the fish they are trying to catch. One type of fishing trap known as weirs that jut out from coastlines is now facing scrutiny as Google Earth images reveal the traps be snaring six times as many fish than what is officially reported. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ammonia threatens national parks

    Ammonia emissions have become a serious concern for scientists at Harvard University. Of particular note, thirty eight U.S. national parks are experiencing “accidental” fertilization” at or above a critical threshold for ecological damage according the study recently published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. >> Read the Full Article
  • Fire-ant rafts inspiring materials science research

    In our highly digital world, people often forget about the natural wonders around us and the importance they serve in our everyday lives. When taking a closer look, nature is oftentimes the best model for advancing our technology. Plants have taught us the importance of light energy, and now insects are sparking ideas in materials science. The fire-ant, an insect feared for its stinging, venom-injecting bite, is being studied for its "viscoelastic" properties. Viscoelastic materials not only resist shear flow and strain when a stress is applied, like honey, but also bounce back to their original shape when stretched out or compressed, like rubber bands. Therefore, these materials are neither solid nor liquid, but a combination of both, like Jell-O and toothpaste. Fire-ants form rafts in the presence of any forceful liquid, but not just any typical ant raft. These rafts actively reorganize their structure. >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate change signals a whale of a shift in feeding patterns

    Every summer and fall, endangered North Atlantic right whales congregate in the Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to gorge on zooplankton. Researchers have documented the annual feast since 1980, and well over 100 whales typically attend, a significant portion of the entire species. Only this year, they didn't. Just a dozen right whales trickled in—a record low in the New England Aquarium's 34-year-old monitoring program. And that comes on the heels of two other low-turnout years, 2010 and 2012. >> Read the Full Article
  • World's first ever 'Brussels Sprout Battery' lights up Christmas tree

    A team of scientists and engineers from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair has created the world's first battery made entirely of Brussels sprouts, which is being used to light an 8 foot Christmas tree. The "Sprout Battery" was launched today on the Southbank, London, with the help of Year 7 pupils from City of London Academy, Islington, who were on hand to switch on the Christmas tree lights. >> Read the Full Article
  • 80,000 acres swallowed up

    The United States has lost approximately 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands between 2004 and 2009 according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Much of this loss is blamed on development and has occurred in freshwater regions. Additionally, more than 70% of the loss is from the Gulf of Mexico. According to the EPA wetland loss in the eastern U.S. is happening at a rate double that of what is being restored. >> Read the Full Article
  • Stealth Hunter

    Soaring silently above the landscape, owls search out their prey utilizing acoustic stealth. University of Cambridge, England researchers led by Dr. Justin Jaworski are studying the owl’s wing structure and mechanics to better understand how it mitigates noise to apply that information conventional aircraft design. >> Read the Full Article
  • Pre-industrial Methane Emissions Triggered by Natural and Anthropogenic Causes

    The climate change debate has been going back and forth between skeptics and believers for the last couple of years. While carbon dioxide is usually the greenhouse gas that gets the most attention, methane is considered another powerful greenhouse gas that can be emitted both naturally as well as human-induced. A new study suggests the increase in methane emissions since the industrial revolution cannot be blamed on anthropogenic sources alone. >> Read the Full Article