• Verizon Expands Investment in Alternative Energy

    Verizon has announced it will invest $100 million in a solar and fuel cell energy project that will help power 19 of its facilities in seven states across the country. The company estimates the completed project will generate more than 70 million kilowatt of clean energy, which would be enough to power more than 6,000 single-family homes a year. This amount of clean, solar power prevents the emission of more than 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is enough to offset the annual CO2 emissions from more than 1 million gallons of gas. >> Read the Full Article
  • Gulf Killifish Affected by 2010 Oil Spill

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened over three years ago, but according to scientists, crude oil toxicity still continues to sicken a sentinel Gulf Coast fish species. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, teamed up with researchers from Louisiana and South Carolina to find that Gulf killifish embryos exposed to sediments from oiled locations in 2010 and 2011 show developmental abnormalities, including heart defects, delayed hatching and reduced hatching success. >> Read the Full Article
  • Halley's Comet's Meteors Put on a Show Tonight

    A meteor shower made from the dusty leftovers of the famed Halley's Comet will be at its best on Sunday (May 5) and NASA doesn't want you to miss it. The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak Sunday night and NASA scientists will provide live views of the celestial fireworks display in a webcast from the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The webcast and chat will run from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. EDT (0100 to 0700 May 6 GMT), NASA officials said. You can watch the Eta Aquarid webcast live on SPACE.com, courtesy of NASA. >> Read the Full Article
  • Robot Flies

    Science often imitates life. Insects are common in the world. Tiny critters crawling and flying about. Now we are genuinely making them. In the very early hours of the morning, in a Harvard robotics laboratory last summer, an insect took flight. Half the size of a paperclip, weighing less than a tenth of a gram, it jumped up a few inches, hovered for a moment on fragile, flapping wings, and then sped along a preset route through the air. It was not science fiction, it was a man made fly. >> Read the Full Article
  • Concerns grow over effects of solar geoengineering

    The latest studies on solar geoengineering to tackle climate change are reinforcing the case for a global governance system and further study before deployment, as they show that the approach may have little effect on preventing rainfall changes in the tropics — and may even lead to widespread drought in Africa. Several geoengineering initiatives plan to tackle climate change by cutting incoming sunlight, through methods such as spreading reflective aerosols in the stratosphere. >> Read the Full Article
  • Embryology and the Sea Anemone

    Embryology is the science of the development of an embryo from the fertilization of the ovum to the fetus stage. How the newly borndevelops cell by cell is still a bit of mystery. The sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, is a new study creature in embryology. Its career is being launched in part by the Stowers Institute for Medical Research Associate Investigator Matt Gibson, Ph.D., who is giving it equal billing with what has been his laboratory's leading player, the more traditional fruit fly. Gibson's lab investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms used by cells to assemble into layers or clusters during embryogenesis. Those tissues, comprised of densely packed cells known as epithelial cells, shape the body not only of simple creatures but also of mammals, where they line every body cavity from lung to intestine and form hormone- and milk-secreting glands. Unfortunately these cells have a dark side too- over 80% of human cancers, carcinomas, are of epithelial origin. >> Read the Full Article
  • Insect Eye View Inspired Camera

    Insects can have a number of different types of eyes and are remembered more for their compound eyes. In contrast with our eyes, insect eyes are immovable and unable to focus but have other advantages. When praying mantises, dragonflies, ants and other insects peer out at the world, their bulging, compound eyes allow them to see an incredibly wide field of view with an almost infinite depth of field. Imitating the functionality of an insect eye — which is really a collection of many tinier eyes, known as ommatidia — in a camera has been a long sought-after goal for engineers. Present day camera lenses with wide fields of view, such as fisheye lenses, create distortion around the edges of the image but future "insect eye" cameras may not. >> Read the Full Article
  • Microbes in the Subway

    New York City has some strange smells, especially in the subway. Walking underground you can sense that the air just feels stuffier, smells smellier, and must be dirtier. Well according to new research, the microbial population in the air of the New York City subway system is nearly identical to that of ambient air on the city streets. >> Read the Full Article
  • The $40 Billion in US Buildings

    A pretty big wad of money – $40 billion – is hiding somewhere inside the lights, AC, thermostats, furnaces and fans of our offices, stores, hospitals and schools. That's the amount of money the federal government estimates we can save annually by reducing energy use in commercial buildings 20 percent by 2020. To achieve the goal, the Obama administration in 2011 initiated the Better Buildings Challenge, a way to encourage investment, share information and create demonstration projects that save energy. >> Read the Full Article
  • Meteors Crashing into the Rings of Saturn

    Rocks crashing into rocks. In space this is a fascinating far away explosion. A rock (meteor) crashing into the earth is a a disaster. NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided the first direct evidence of small meteoroids breaking into streams of rubble and crashing into Saturn's rings. These observations make Saturn's rings the only location besides Earth, the moon and Jupiter where scientists and amateur astronomers have been able to observe impacts as they occur. Studying the impact rate of meteoroids from outside the Saturnian system helps scientists understand how different planet systems in our solar system formed. >> Read the Full Article