• UTA biologist quantifying coral species' disease susceptibility by examining immune traits

    A biologist from The University of Texas at Arlington is leading a new study aimed at quantifying how susceptible coral species are to disease by examining their immunity through a series of novel experiments and approaches.

    Laura Mydlarz, associate professor of biology, is principal investigator of the project, titled “Immunity to Community: Can Quantifying Immune Traits Inform Reef Community Structure?” and funded by a two-year, $220,331 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences. Co-principal investigators are Marilyn Brandt, research associate professor of marine and environmental science at the University of the Virgin Islands, and Erinn Muller, staff scientist at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Fla. 

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  • WPI, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard Successfully Test a Novel Oil Spill Cleanup Technology

    Tests conducted this week of a novel technology that can greatly accelerate the combustion of crude oil floating on water demonstrated its potential to become an effective tool for minimizing the environmental impact of future oil spills. Called the Flame Refluxer, the technology, developed by fire protection engineering researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with funding from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), could make it possible to burn off spilled oil quickly while producing relatively low levels of air pollutants.

    The tests of the Flame Refluxer were conducted this week by WPI and BSEE at the United States Coast Guard’s Joint Maritime Test Facility on Little Sand Island, located in Mobile Bay. WPI is the first university to work on research at the facility since it reopened in 2015. The tests involved controlled burns of oil in a specially designed test tank on the island.

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  • Extreme space weather: protecting our critical infrastructure

    Extreme space weather has a global footprint and the potential to damage critical infrastructure on the ground and in space. A new JRC report calls for bridging knowledge gaps and for better coordination at EU level to reduce the potential impact of space weather events.

    The sun shapes the space environment around the Earth. This so-called space weather can affect space assets but also critical infrastructure on the ground, potentially causing service disruptions or infrastructure failures. Numerous space weather events affecting the power grid, aviation, communication, and navigation systems have already been documented.

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  • Spread of ages is key to impact of disease

    How a disease outbreak affects a group of animals depends on the breakdown of ages in the population, an animal study has shown.

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  • Chance find has big implications for water treatment's costs and carbon footprint

    A type of bacteria accidentally discovered during research supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) could fundamentally re-shape efforts to cut the huge amount of electricity consumed during wastewater clean-up.

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  • In a sample of blood, researchers probe for cancer clues

    One day, patients may be able to monitor their body’s response to cancer therapy just by having their blood drawn. A new study, led by bioengineers at UC Berkeley, has taken an important step in that direction by measuring a panel of cancer proteins in rare, individual tumor cells that float in the blood.

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  • Rice U. refines filters for greener natural gas

    Natural gas producers want to draw all the methane they can from a well while sequestering as much carbon dioxide as possible, and could use filters that optimize either carbon capture or methane flow. No single filter will do both, but thanks to Rice University scientists, they now know how to fine-tune sorbents for their needs.

    Subtle adjustments in the manufacture of a polymer-based carbon sorbent make it the best-known material either for capturing the greenhouse gas or balancing carbon capture with methane selectivity, according to Rice chemist Andrew Barron. 

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  • Google Street View Cars Are Now Helping to Track Methane Leaks

    Google Street View cars have driven millions of miles across the globe, capturing 360-degree images of roadways and communities on all seven continents. Now, scientists and environmentalists are teaming up to add pollution trackers to the vehicles so they can monitor natural gas leaks as they drive.

    The new project, detailed this week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, is being led by researchers at Colorado State University, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Google Earth Outreach.

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  • Wastewater cleaned thanks to a new adsorbent material made from fruit peels

    Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR), and from the Center for Electrochemical Research and Technological Development (Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico en Electroquímica, CIDETEQ) and the Center of Engineering and Industrial Development (Centro de Ingeniería y Desarrollo Industrial, CIDESI), both in Mexico, have developed a process that allows to clean waters containing heavy metals and organic compounds considered pollutants, using a new adsorbent material made from the peels of fruits such as oranges and grapefruits.

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  • Chicken immune system 'too slow' to beat Campylobacter

    New University of Liverpool research reveals that the immune response of farmed chickens does not develop fast enough to fight off Campylobacter during their short lifespan. The findings have important implications in the challenge towards developing a poultry vaccine for the bug, which is the UK’s leading cause of food poisoning.

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