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Posts

April 09, 2014

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4:51 PM | Gamesa Launches Anti-Icing Paint for Wind Turbines
Gamesa, a Spanish wind turbine manufacturer, has developed an anti-icing paint that prevents ice formation on wind turbine blades. Read more »
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3:39 PM | Silver Nanoparticles Help Solar Cells Absorb More Light
Nanostructures could enable more light to be directed into the active layer of solar cells, increasing their efficiency. Read more »

Schmid, M., Grandidier, J. & Atwater, H. (2013). Scanning near-field optical microscopy on dense random assemblies of metal nanoparticles, Journal of Optics, 15 (12) 125001. DOI:

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2:48 PM | Join an Open-source Apps Challenge This Weekend
By Darshan Karwat When I attended a Google Solve For <X> event at the US Capitol building on a chilly afternoon last fall, I did not expect to come away with a seed of an idea that would sprout into one of my major projects here at EPA. Innovative collaborations are sparked in unexpected places. […]
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2:46 PM | Dashboard Helps Reduce Energy Use in Office Buildings
A team at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture has developed a dashboard that helps people to see how much energy they use at work and how to reduce this use to help the environment. Read more »
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2:15 PM | Infrastructure Spotting
When I began writing On the Grid, my book about the infrastructure systems that make our lives possible, I envisioned it as a sort of Peterson’s Guide to the Infrastructure of the Modern World.... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:34 PM | The Atmosphere’s New Hole, Sailors Sue Tepco, 402 PPM and Rising
By Jason Bittel Oops, we did it again: Nine miles up in the sky, scientists just discovered an invisible, several thousand square mile long hole in the Earth’s innermost atmospheric layer, the troposphere. We don’t know what’s causing the hole yet, but scientists say it’s a big deal because the troposphere typically acts as a “washing machine” layer, which breaks down harmful substances and sending them back down into the […]
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1:27 PM | fighting off the desert with fake water
We come to a desert but it is not to our liking. One wonders why, then, we came to a desert, but no matter. We can engineer our way out of this: Meadow Lake was never much of a meadow. It was too wild, too wide, its sage-studded plains golden with buffalo grass and endless ...Continue reading ‘fighting off the desert with fake water’ » Related posts:Water in the Desert Legislative Failings and New Mexico Water Wars Water in the Desert: Tempe Town Lake
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1:11 PM | Stunted butterfly wings linked to food shortages during caterpillar phase
A lack of food during a critical stage of larval development may impair the growth of adult monarch butterfly wings, with potentially disastrous consequences for the migration success of this species.  Butterflies have a complex lifecycle, undergoing an astonishing transformation from caterpillar to adult butterfly. During the larval stage, the caterpillar must consume vast quantities […]

Johnson H, Solensky MJ, Satterfield DA & Davis AK (2014). Does Skipping a Meal Matter to a Butterfly's Appearance? Effects of Larval Food Stress on Wing Morphology and Color in Monarch Butterflies., PLoS ONE, 9 (4) PMID:

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12:34 PM | The Uphill Climate Challenge in ‘Years of Living Dangerously’
Some thoughts on the challenges facing a nine-part Showtime series on global warming.
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12:00 PM | Should we close the high seas to fishing?
The ocean is a big place, but not all seas are created equal. While 58% of the seas are classified as “high seas,” and open to access from all nations, there are over 150 exclusive economic zones (EEZs), which are the sole domain of the countries that operate them. EEZs comprise the remaining 42% of
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7:58 AM | After a baby and a book Under the Banyan is back
I’ve been away from this blog for nearly a year, but I have returned today to bring it back to life. It has been a busy time. My main reason for putting the blog on hold is pictured below, hiding … Continue reading →
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3:22 AM | New tools review
Today a post about new developments from the world of DNA barcoding informatics. I selected three publications of the last few months that actually provide some new package worth to be tested by the community. Without further ado my little collection of new bioinformatic releases.Multispecies coalescentThis idea starts with the notion that a modern DNA barcoding approach should incorporate the multispecies coalescent. The multispecies coalescent model was developed as a framework to infer […]
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2:14 AM | Welcome, pulse flow readers. Buy my (old) book!
It occurs to me that the brief and delightful pulse flow of clicks to this blog reading my recent coverage of what’s going on in the Colorado River delta might be potential book buyers. (Duh. Marketing is not my strength.) It’s called The Tree Rings’ Tale, a science book for kids (middle school aged, 13 ...Continue reading ‘Welcome, pulse flow readers. Buy my (old) book!’ » Related posts:Tree Rings’ Tale – Teacher Feedback John Wesley […]

April 08, 2014

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8:26 PM | How to Talk to Vaccine-Hesitant Parents
This tweet from today caught my eye: One picture that will convince everyone to vaccinate their kids http://t.co/cPH5cnbd9C — ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) April 8, 2014 The smart folks at ThinkProgress seem to have missed all the media coverage of this recent study, which found that, for those already suspicious or concerned about vaccines, images of sick children […]The post How to Talk to Vaccine-Hesitant Parents appeared first on Collide-a-Scape.
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8:21 PM | Study Reveals Causes of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Degradation
Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) have made a surprising discovery about the degradation of dye-sensitized solar cells that could help pave the way to prolonging the lifetime of these cells. Read more »

Ono, L., Schulz, P., Endres, J., Nikiforov, G., Kato, Y., Kahn, A. & Qi, Y. (2014). Air-Exposure-Induced Gas-Molecule Incorporation into Spiro-MeOTAD Films, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 1374-1379. DOI:

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7:06 PM | First-Ever Video of Critically Endangered Myanmar Snub-Nosed Monkeys
Here’s something you don’t see every day: video footage of the critically endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri), a species that was only discovered in 2010. You... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:09 PM | Gold Coating to Reduce Glare From Solar Panels
A new work by UC Irvine scientists could reduce glare from solar panels and electronic displays and dull dangerous glints on military weapons. Read more »

Toma, M., Loget, G. & Corn, R. (2013). Fabrication of Broadband Antireflective Plasmonic Gold Nanocone Arrays on Flexible Polymer Films, Nano Letters, 13 (12) 6164-6169. DOI:

Toma, M., Loget, G. & Corn, R. (2014). Flexible Teflon Nanocone Array Surfaces with Tunable Superhydrophobicity for Self-Cleaning and Aqueous Droplet Patterning, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2147483647. DOI:

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4:22 PM | Report Shows Ways for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles to Save Fuel
Expanding the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and greater use of aerodynamic devices on trailers are among the strategies recommended by a new National Research Council report for reducing fuel consumption by tractor-trailers, transit buses, commercial vehicles, trucks, and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Read more »
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3:10 PM | Statoil: “There Is a Pressing Need to Change Europe’s Energy Policy”
According to a press-release by Statoil, there is a pressing need to change Europe’s energy policy framework to make it more predictable and market oriented. Read more »
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3:00 PM | Does hunting invasive species make them harder to hunt?
Hunting invasive species could change their behaviors, making it more difficult to keep populations down in the future.
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2:46 PM | Pebble Mine Hits Rock Bottom
By Susan Cosier Plans to dig a massive open-pit gold and copper mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay continue to falter. Yesterday, the latest axe fell when mining goliath Rio Tinto joined other major investors in deciding to withdrawal its 19 percent share from the project.If built (which looks increasing less likely—yay!), Pebble Mine would span 186 square miles, the size of 90,000 football fields, and threaten the most productive salmon fishery on […]
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2:39 PM | land and water: Colorado River pulse flow arrives at Laguna
Folks on the Colorado River delta “pulse flow” science monitoring team sent around a few pictures yesterday taken by the Sonoran Institute’s  Tomás Rivas of the water arriving at the Laguna CILA environmental restoration site. The beauty of this picture for me, beyond the obvious sight of water in a formerly dry delta river channel, is ...Continue reading ‘land and water: Colorado River pulse flow arrives at Laguna’ » Related posts:Colorado […]
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2:24 PM | El Niño Es Mucho Big-o, Pebble Mine Pull-Out, Water Ain't Never Looked So Good
By Jason Bittel Another one bites the dust: Yet another major investor in Alaska’s controversial Pebble Mine project has pulled out this week. Rio Tinto says it will divest its 19 percent stake and donate its shares to the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation. Could this mean Pebble Mine has finally hit rock bottom? Let's hope so. OnEarthBetter safe than sorrier?: In the aftermath of Japan’s […]
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2:00 PM | World’s Largest “Tentacles” Exhibit at Monterey Bay Aquarium Will Cultivate Its Own Cephalopods
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's new exhibit will be the world’s largest, most diverse display of octopuses, squid and cuttlefish. To pull it off, aquarists are coaxing reproduction from the most reluctant critters.
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1:30 PM | How to grow your own thong
A few weeks ago I received a press release from Waitrose about their new Alan Titchmarsh gardening range. It’s a fairly routine set of offerings, all nicely packaged up. The one that caught my eye was their ‘Broadfen’ horseradish, which they said was a “heritage variety first grown by the Egyptians (1500 BC).” I did a quick Google, and the internet appears to agree that horseradish was probably first grown by the Ancient Egyptians. But there’s no […]
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12:27 PM | #AESRC2014 Highlights
Well, AESRC is done for another year and with it my role as co-chair of the organizing committee! Thank goodness for that! Hopefully, I can finally get some actual thesis related work done in the coming months…and maybe get back to blogging a bit as well. However, as grateful as I am that AESRC is […]
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12:00 PM | Cold, Then Dry: Dealing California Citrus Farmers a Double Punch
First the freeze, now a crippling water shortage confront citrus growers in the Central Valley.
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10:06 AM | Indian damsel flies - Sapphire eyed Spreadwing (Lestes praemorsus) mating video
Sapphire eyed Spreadwing (Lestes praemorsus) is a beautiful damsel fly found in India and other Asian countries. Watch the damsel flies mating on the tip of an ornamental plant. Recorded from Kannur, Kerala

April 07, 2014

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8:56 PM | Showtime Series Aims to Engage Sleepy Public on Global Warming With Celebrity Guides
A new Showtime series aims to reengage a somnolent public on the risks of human-caused global warming.
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8:54 PM | Album covers in street view
Halley Docherty puts classic album covers like “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zepplin and the Beatles “Abbey Road” in context.  ∞∞
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