October 15, 2014

4:00 AM | A Global Natural Gas Boom Alone Won't Slow Climate Change
Comprehensive analysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows that natural gas could displace both coal and low-emitting energy sources over the long term
4:00 AM | Séamus Davis Selected to Receive New Grant for Exploring Exotic Quantum Phenomena
Davis will receive $1.8 Million over five years to explore new problems in quantum physics, to develop new techniques to probe the quantum matter in different kinds of materials, and possibly to delve into the quantum nature of space-time itself.

October 14, 2014

7:46 PM | An Odious Odyssey
By Brian Palmer You’ve probably heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—millions of pieces of plastic and other debris swirling around between Hawaii and California. The only thing more revolting than a massive swirl of marine garbage is the realization that there are actually five massive swirls of marine garbage. The South Pacific, the Indian, and the North and South Atlantic Oceans all have their own prodigious aggregations of plastic.You […]
2:53 PM | LEGO Doesn't Want to Play with Shell Oil Anymore
By Susan Cosier Think LEGO movies aren’t dark? Well, you haven’t seen this twisted animation of an Arctic drilling disaster smothering plastic brick people, polar bears, puppies, and Santa Claus in thick, black crude. Set to a cover of "Everything is Awesome," this video is a tearjerker … but it worked! After receiving more than 6 million views, the Greenpeace production forced LEGO to end a 40-year partnership with Shell. The oil […]
12:57 PM | This Little Piggy Bred a Superbug
By Ted Genoways Earlier this year OnEarth’s editor-at-large reported on the explosion of hog farming in Iowa and the resulting damage to the state’s waterways. His new book The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food is out today. This adapted excerpt explains how the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections in U.S. hospitals can be traced directly to modern farming practices. In 1937, at the height of the Great Depression, Jay C. Hormel […]
4:00 AM | ORNL Researchers Make First Observation of Atoms Moving Inside Bulk Material
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have obtained the first direct observations of atomic diffusion inside a bulk material.
4:00 AM | Cloud Catching Requires Persuasive Parameters
A new study led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory looked for which "tunable" variables were most influential in depicting various cloud types in a global atmospheric model.
4:00 AM | Slippery When Dry: Graphene Proves a Long-lasting Lubricant
Argonne National Laboratory has identified the properties of a newer, exceptionally wear-resistant substance that works in a broader range of environments.

October 13, 2014

7:05 AM | Beyond sharing Earth observations
In a new Correspondence published in the journal Nature, IIASA researchers Ian McCallum and Linda See argue for better sharing of satellite validation data, to improve our understanding of global land cover. Continue reading →

October 12, 2014

7:06 PM | BD agrees- EISA targets were realistic, but timelines were crazy
In the wake of one commercial-scale facility (POET-DSM Project Liberty) having come on line, and just days before the grand opening of the next one (Abengoa’s Hugoton facility) Biofuels Digest has posted the first part of a two-part review of … Continue reading →

October 10, 2014

6:54 PM | Caution: Do Not Touch, Eat, or Inhale
By Susan Cosier We already know that cigarette smoke can cause cancer. Flame retardants in our couches, too. But I bet you didn’t know that fence posts and telephone poles can be a cancer risk. That’s because they’re often treated with a wood preservative that just made the government’s watch list of substances that might cause cancer in humans.That list is now 243 items long, after the Department of Health and Human Services added […]
3:20 PM | Trouble in Paradise
By Brooke Borel This story is a part of OnEarth's Invasive Species Week.Aloft in a helicopter, I look down on the Alakai Wilderness Preserve, a dark, billowing blanket punctuated by smatterings of bright green. From where I’m sitting, it’s hard to see anything but a seemingly endless expanse of tree cover. This 9,000-acre forest on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is a sanctuary for native trees like olapa and ohia, which combine on nearly […]
12:29 PM | Purple Mountains Majesty—and a Heck of a Playground for L.A.
By Susan Cosier Hey Los Angeles, President Obama wants you to go play outside. And he's even creating the 550-square-mile San Gabriel National Monument today to help you do it—all while conserving habitat for endangered animals such as Nelson's Bighorn sheep, California condors, mountain lions, spotted owls, and mountain yellow-legged frogs. Located in the Angeles National Forest, the new monument is just a 90-minute drive for about 15 […]
12:11 PM | Great geophysicists #12: Gauss
Carl Friedrich Gauss was born on 30 April 1777 in Braunschweig (Brunswick), and died at the age of 77 on 23 February 1855 in Göttingen. He was a mathematician, you've probably heard of him; he even has his own Linnean handle: Princeps mathematicorum, or Prince of mathematicians (I assume it's the royal kind, not the Purple Rain kind — ba dum tss). Gauss's parents were poor, working class folk. I wonder what they made of their child prodigy, who allegedly once stunned his teachers by […]
4:00 AM | Structure of Hepatitis C Virus Envelope Protein an Early Step Toward Vaccine, Therapies
A new study performed in part at the National Synchrotron Light Source by scientists from Rutgers University and the Emory University School of Medicine provide unprecedented insights into HCV entry and will play a role in developing an HCV vaccine and new drugs to treat the disease.

October 09, 2014

5:47 PM | Eating Our Troubles Away
By Alexis Sobel Fitts So I’m at Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut, seated across from food historian Paul Freedman, chair of the history of science program at Yale. In front of us sit two bowls of miso soup, thick with puréed pumpkin, acorn squash, and, uh, “dead man’s fingers.”“Wonderful…complicated,” says Freedman, slurping the broth. He looks up at Bun Lai, chef and proprietor, hoping for an […]
2:05 PM | Bright Idea
By Brian Palmer The day the Nobel committee began announcing its 2014 winners earlier this week, National Geographic published a list of Nobel should-have-beens. Dan Vergano’s contribution—Thomas Edison for the light bulb—proved prescient. One day later, a Nobel for physics was finally awarded for the light bulb. Unfortunately for the Wizard of Menlo Park, it didn’t go to Edison. The winners were Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and […]
12:23 PM | Moon Over Miami? King Tide Underfoot
By Susan Cosier When the moon, sun, and earth align just right, and the full moon is at its closest proximity to our planet, its gravitational pull creates the king of all tides. Seriously, the bi-annual event is called a “King Tide,” and there’s one happening right now, which is sort of bad news if you live in a low-lying city like, say, Miami. The video above shows what the moon did to Miami last October. The city is expecting peak tide […]

October 08, 2014

7:30 PM | From the 'It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time' Dept.
By Jesse Greenspan This story is a part of OnEarth's Invasive Species Week.Patrick L. Rakes recalls scouring the waterways of south-central Tennessee, looking for Barrens topminnows, a species found nowhere else on Earth. This was back in the 1980s, when he was a graduate student in zoology at the University of Tennessee. He did find the species, whose breeding males turn a striking, iridescent blue-green color, in 14 locations, alleviating fears that […]
12:21 PM | The Skinny on Who Eats Meat
By Susan Cosier Say you took all the countries in the world and skewed their borders to represent how much meat each consumes. Well, what you would get is this map. Lands of big meat eaters would bulge, while more omnivorous nations would trim down. Across the globe we are taking increasingly bigger bites of burgers, pork chops, and chicken breasts, but carnivores in the European Union and the United States eat the most meat per person per day. (New […]
4:00 AM | Isolated Atoms Quickly Tackle Carbon Monoxide, Potentially Reducing Lean-burn Engine Emissions
A team of scientists, including two at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, discovered that isolated palladium atoms could reduce emissions in the first 30 seconds after you start the car.
4:00 AM | Designing Future Cities
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago are developing tools that merge urban design with scientific analysis to improve the decision-making process associated with large-scale urban developments.
4:00 AM | Researchers Pump Up Oil Accumulation in Plant Leaves
A series of detailed genetic studies points scientists to a new way to dramatically increase the accumulation of oil in plant leaves, an abundant source of biomass for fuel production.

October 07, 2014

8:29 PM | Invasives Week: Clawing Their Way to the Top
By Elizabeth Royte This story is a part of OnEarth's Invasive Species Week.In the chill of a New England April, Chad Coffin, a 12th-generation Mainer, raced against the dying of the light, the rising of the tide, and the prospect of his livelihood falling to pieces. Wearing chest waders, earmuffs, and multiple layers of hoodies, he muscled heavy wooden fence rails—strung with netting and aluminum flashing—into the soft muck at the mouth of […]
8:04 PM | Invasives Week: Attack of the Schwartzencrab
By Rocky Kistner When you think of Maine, you probably think of a brisk coastline teeming with lobster and shellfish. But there is one crustacean that just doesn’t belong on those rocky shores. Meet the green crab, a voracious European invader and the subject of “Clawing Their Way to the Top,” Elizabeth Royte’s contribution to OnEarth’s Invasive Species Week. The pinchy poacher is also the star of “Attack of the Green […]
4:22 PM | Gloomy Days Ahead
By Jason Bittel What thrives in urban areas, sports an armored shell, and can cut through tree bark like a samurai’s sword? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? No way, dude. Allow me to introduce to you the gloomy scale insect. This mutant-like sap sipper is native to the American Southeast, but it could become more common and deadly as the climate warms. And city trees could suffer mightily for it.Recent research published in the journal Ecological […]
12:21 PM | Mother Nature Brought Us Into This World—Now She’s Threatening to Take Us Out
By Susan Cosier Mom is pissed. Mother Nature—who sounds strangely similar to Julia Roberts—is taking humans down a notch (or seven) in a video released this week at SXSW Eco. Through pollution, mining, drilling, deforestation, poaching, and overfishing, we’ve been biting the hand that feeds us. And she … is … fed … up. Sure, we’ve heard Julia give us the business before, but this is different. Way […]
4:00 AM | A Quick Look at Electron-Boson Coupling
Berkeley Lab researchers use ultrafast spectroscopy on many body effects.
4:00 AM | Study Reveals 'Bellhops' in Cell Walls Can Double as Hormones
Using SLAC's Synchrotron, researchers have discovered that some common messenger molecules in human cells double as hormones when bound to a protein that interacts with DNA.
4:00 AM | Fermilab’s 500-mile Neutrino Experiment Up and Running
With construction completed, the NOvA experiment has begun its probe into the mysteries of ghostly particles that may hold the key to understanding the universe.
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