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New tests revive debate over Arafat death

July 4, 2012 12:41 pm | by JOSEF FEDERMAN - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The discovery of traces of a radioactive agent on clothing reportedly worn by Yasser Arafat in his final days reignited a cauldron of conspiracy theories Wednesday about the mysterious death of the longtime Palestinian leader.Arafat's widow, who ordered the tests by a Swiss lab, called for her...

Arctic drilling creeps forward now, and in 5 years

July 1, 2012 6:40 pm | by DAN JOLING - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

In choppy water under blue sky off Bellingham, Wash., a Shell Oil crew on Monday lowered a "capping stack" 200 feet in the water and put it through maneuvers with underwater robots connected by cable to operators on the surface, a test that fulfilled one of the final steps required for...

Sex grooming cases spark racial tensions

June 30, 2012 8:40 pm | by GREGORY KATZ - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

She was lonely in the way only an adolescent girl can be: No friends, no boyfriend, not much of a relationship with her parents. So she felt special when a man decades older paid attention to her, bought her trinkets, gave her free booze.Then he took her to a dingy room above a kebab shop and...


Study: Computing advances vital to sustainability efforts

June 29, 2012 8:17 am | News | Comments

Innovation in computing will be essential to finding real-world solutions to sustainability challenges. The immense scale, numerous interconnected effects of actions over time, and diverse scope of these challenges require the ability to collect, structure, and analyze vast amounts of data.

Engineers develop sustainable technique to remove arsenic from water

June 28, 2012 9:04 am | News | Comments

Several approaches have been used to remove arsenic from water in the laboratory, but most have proved to be inadequate for wide-scale use, and especially for sustainable implementations. Now, researchers at Yale University have developed a novel approach that can remove arsenic from water with high efficacy, and has the potential to be implemented sustainably.

Researchers image individual airborne particulates at the nanoscale

June 27, 2012 11:23 am | News | Comments

With the help of intense coherent X-ray pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source free-electron laser, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers and international collaborators have, for the first time, peered into the makeup of complex airborne particulate matter so small that it can be transported into human lungs—usually without a trace.

New planet-weighing technique found

June 27, 2012 10:53 am | News | Comments

About 800 extra-solar planets have been discovered so far in our galaxy, but the precise masses of the majority of them are still unknown. The only previous way to determine mass was to observe a transit, during which the planet’s host is eclipsed. Now, scientist Mercedes López-Morales has, for the first time, determined the mass of a non-transiting planet.

X-ray vision exposes aerosol structures

June 27, 2012 9:23 am | News | Comments

Researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the most detailed images to date of airborne soot particles, a key contributor to global warming and a health hazard. The discovery reveals the particles' surprisingly complex nanostructures and could ultimately aid the understanding of atmospheric processes important to climate change, as well as the design of cleaner combustion sources, from car engines to power plants.


Palladium beats iron for carcinogen cleanup

June 27, 2012 7:54 am | News | Comments

In the first side-by-side tests of a half-dozen palladium- and iron-based catalysts for cleaning up the carcinogen TCE, Rice University scientists have found that palladium destroys TCE far faster than iron—up to a billion times faster in some cases.

Lab-on-a-chip detects traces of toxic vapors in homes near air base

June 26, 2012 12:28 pm | by Laura Bailey | News | Comments

In a first-of-its-kind departure for lab-on-a-chip technology, a new device was successfully field-tested by University of Michigan researchers to detect trace amounts of air contaminants near the Utah Air Force Base. Even in the presence of 50 other indoor air contaminants, microsystem found very low levels of targeted contaminants.

Eating garbage: Bacteria for bioremediation

June 26, 2012 6:36 am | News | Comments

City officials in Medellín, Colombia, recently faced the difficult task of relocating an entire neighborhood off of a contaminated landfill they were using to grow food and collect water. Unable to pay for removal, officials may have found another way: Researchers at the University of Illinois have put together an experiment to see if biological agents could be used to neutralize the hydrocarbon contaminants at the site.

The evolution of mercury

June 25, 2012 1:41 pm | News | Comments

Previous research the Carnegie Institution’s Bob Hazen demonstrated that up to two thirds of the known types of minerals on Earth can be directly or indirectly linked to biological activity. Now, he has traced the history of one mineral of interest—mercury—and has shown the changes in Earth’s geochemistry that contributed to the formation of the 90 or more mercury-containing chemical now found on Earth.

Cassini shows why jet streams cross-cut Saturn

June 25, 2012 1:38 pm | News | Comments

Turbulent jet streams, regions where winds blow faster than in other places, churn east and west across Saturn. Scientists have been trying to understand for years the mechanism that drives these wavy structures in Saturn's atmosphere. Recent images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has revealed the source from which the jets derive their energy.


Remote Siberian lake holds clues to high latitude climate change

June 25, 2012 9:31 am | News | Comments

After analyzing the longest sediment cores ever retrieved on land, obtained from beneath remote, ice-covered Lake El'gygytgyn ("Lake E") in the northeastern Russian Arctic, researchers say the polar regions are much more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought. The cores reveal intense warm climate intervals in the Arctic’s recent past.

And The Winners Are…

June 22, 2012 12:12 pm | by Lindsay Hock | Blogs | Comments

Just this week the 100 winners of R&D 100 Awards were notified. Congratulations to our winners. Each of our winners has made technological advances in their given categories ranging from analytical instrumentation to thin-film and vacuum technologies.

Mercury rising

June 22, 2012 10:58 am | News | Comments

A groundbreaking new study led by University of California, Los Angeles climate expert Alex Hall shows that climate change will cause temperatures in the Los Angeles region to rise by an average of 4 to 5 F by the middle of this century, tripling the number of extremely hot days in the downtown area and quadrupling the number in the valleys and at high elevations.

Scientists track individual raindrops inside clouds

June 22, 2012 5:09 am | News | Comments

Naval Research Laboratory scientists are leading a multiagency study which reveals that a very high-resolution Doppler radar has the unique capacity to detect individual cloud hydrometeors in the free atmosphere. This study will improve scientists' understanding of the dynamics and structure of cloud systems.

Research shows response of carbon cycle to climate change

June 21, 2012 6:19 am | News | Comments

Marine and freshwater environments have the potential to release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in a warmer climate than their land counterparts, scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have found. In the largest ever analysis of rates of respiration, scientists compared the temperature dependence of respiration between aquatic and land ecosystems.

Top technology innovations named for 50th R & D 100 Awards

June 20, 2012 7:56 am | News | Comments

The editors of R&D Magazine have announced the winners of the 50th Annual R&D 100 Awards, which salute the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year.

2012 R & D 100 Award Winners

June 20, 2012 7:49 am | Articles | Comments

R&D Magazine presents the recipients of the 2012 R&D 100 Awards.

Nanopesticides: Solution or threat for a cleaner and greener agriculture?

June 20, 2012 7:22 am | News | Comments

Research is needed to evaluate the risks and benefits of nanopesticides to human and environmental health. Researchers from the University of Vienna recently performed an extensive analysis of this emerging field of research. The study presents the current state-of-art in nanopesticides and identifies direction priorities for future research.

Researchers calculate size of particles in Martian clouds of CO2 snow

June 19, 2012 3:44 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

In the dead of a Martian winter, clouds of snow blanket the Red Planet's poles—but unlike our water-based snow, the particles on Mars are frozen crystals of carbon dioxide. Most of the Martian atmosphere is composed of carbon dioxide, and in the winter, the poles get so cold—cold enough to freeze alcohol—that the gas condenses, forming tiny particles of snow. Now researchers have calculated the size of snow particles in clouds at both Martian poles from data gathered by orbiting spacecraft.

Carbon is key for getting algae to pump out more oil

June 18, 2012 4:06 am | News | Comments

Overturning two long-held misconceptions about oil production in algae, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory show that ramping up the microbes' overall metabolism by feeding them more carbon increases oil production as the organisms continue to grow. The findings may point to new ways to turn photosynthetic green algae into tiny "green factories" for producing raw materials for alternative fuels.

Carbon emissions: U.S. fares better when considering climate

June 14, 2012 11:02 am | News | Comments

The U.S. has long been among the world's worst emitters of carbon dioxide, but when accounting for climate in addition to GDP, it is nowhere near the bottom of that list, according to University of Michigan researchers.

Potential carbon capture role for new carbon dioxide-absorbing material

June 12, 2012 4:03 am | News | Comments

A novel porous material that has unique carbon dioxide retention properties has been developed through research led by The University of Nottingham. The findings form part of ongoing efforts to develop new materials for gas storage applications could have an impact in the advancement of new carbon capture products for reducing emissions from fossil fuel processes.

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