Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center has developed a novel way to increase lipid production in bacteria

If you want to create sustainable biofuels from less and for less, you’ve got a range of options. And one of those options is to go microbial, enlisting the help of tiny but powerful bacteria in creating a range of renewable biofuels and chemicals. In a recent study published in mBio, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) assistant scientist Kim Lemmer and a team of collaborators focus on the microbes, reporting on a novel way to increase lipid production in bacteria. The finding ...
More

Michigan State University research suggest, more genes are turned on when plants compete

Some people travel to northern California for wine. However, Maren Friesen, Michigan State University plant biologist, treks to the Golden State for clover. The lessons of plant diversity and competition learned from a clover patch, which are featured in a special issue of the Journal of Ecology, can potentially unlock secrets on plant interactions around the globe. “There’s something quite special in how clover assemble such diverse communities. They compete, yet they have many traits in ...
More

Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is working to build Cool pavement to help keep cities cool

  Cool pavements can help keep cities cool, right? Yes, but according to new research from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), many reflective pavements have some unexpected drawbacks relative to conventional pavements when considering the entire life cycle of the materials. Scientists in Berkeley Lab’s Heat Island Group, in collaboration with the UC Pavement Research Center (UCPRC), the University of Southern California (USC), and thinkste...
More

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has solved the mistry as to why some rocks float on water for years

It’s true—some rocks can float on water for years at a time. And now scientists know how they do it, and what causes them to eventually sink. X-ray studies at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have helped scientists to solve this mystery by scanning inside samples of lightweight, glassy, and porous volcanic rocks known as pumice stones. The X-ray experiments were performed at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), an X-ray sourc...
More

Delft University of Technology is working to reinvent the Toilet by processes water on-site and upgrade urine and feces to energy at an omni-gasification plant.

Delft University of Technology is working to Reinvent the Toilet Upgrading human waste Since 2011 TU Delft has been a participant in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We propose a community-based sanitation system that processes water on-site and upgrades urine and feces to energy at an omni-gasification plant. Human waste is dried, converted to syngas and fed into a fuel cell. The gasification process instantly destroys pathogens and ...
More

Georgia Institute of Technology has developed new way to produce single-layer graphene from a simple precursor

An international team of scientists has developed a new way to produce single-layer graphene from a simple precursor: ethene – also known as ethylene – the smallest alkene molecule, which contains just two atoms of carbon. By heating the ethene in stages to a temperature of slightly more than 700 degrees Celsius -- hotter than had been attempted before – the researchers produced pure layers of graphene on a rhodium catalyst substrate. The stepwise heating and higher temperature overcame chall...
More

Lygos is a Berkeley Lab Technologies startup that engineers microbes to convert sugars into high-value, industrial chemicals, targeting compounds where biological production is cost-advantaged over petrochemical production.

Lygos is providing biotechnology solutions for today’s renewable chemical challenges. Lygos engineers microbes to convert sugars into high-value, industrial chemicals, targeting compounds where biological production is cost-advantaged over petrochemical production. Lygos' technology goes beyond engineering microbes and includes fermentation and purification development. Our goal is to manufacture and sell chemicals. This work has been supported, in part, by over $6.5MM in grants from the U.S....
More

University of Tokyo has developed new strain of rice that flowers within a certain period of time after being sprayed with commercial chemicals commonly used to protect rice from fungal, regardless of weather, temperature, and other conditions that currently affect cultivation.

A new strain of rice that flowers within a certain period of time after being sprayed with commercial chemicals commonly used to protect rice from fungal diseases is now available, say Japanese scientists. This new strain could one day allow rice farmers to dictate the timing of their harvest regardless of weather, temperature, and other conditions that currently affect cultivation. Temperature, day length, and other environmental cues determine when plants flower, making it difficult for far...
More

Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations. The Citizen Science Association unites expertise from educators, scientists, data managers, and others to power citizen science.

Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations. The Citizen Science Association unites expertise from educators, scientists, data managers, and others to power citizen science What is Citizen Science? The Oxford English Dictionary recently defined citizen science as: “scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and ...
More

Public Lab is a community and non-profit organization that is democratizing science to address environmental issues that affect people

Public Lab is a community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms. Communities lack access to the tools and techniques needed to participate in decisions being made about their communities, especially when facing environmental hazards. Public Lab is an open network of community organizers, educators, technologists and researchers working to creat...
More

NASA is keeping an eye on the largest ‘asteroid 2014 JO25’ that is going to come close (safe 1.1 million miles away) to Earth on April 19th and zip past us.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory describes 2014 JO25 as being approximately 2,000 feet wide, or about 650 meters across, which is a little more than two-fifths of a mile. That's a pretty large chunk of rock, and NASA says it's the largest asteroid to come that close to Earth since 2004, with the next similar flyby predicted to occur in 2027 when asteroid 1999 AN10, measured at about a half mile in width, makes an appearance at a distance of 236,000 miles. https://youtu.be/cItnmeZGxZM  ...
More

University Of Tokyo research on ‘How plants can tell friend from foe’

The plant’s immune system can recognize whether a piece of RNA is an invader or not based on whether the RNA has a threaded bead-like structure at the end, say University of Tokyo researchers. Their finding provides an answer to the quarter-century-old question of why RNAs belonging to the plant escape its self-defense mechanism, paving the way for future biotechnological techniques to modify crops. Our immune system protects us from diseases and infections by fighting off viruses and other f...
More

University of British Columbia has developed system that uses bacteria to turn non-potable water into drinking water

A University of British Columbia-developed system that uses bacteria to turn non-potable water into drinking water will be tested next week in West Vancouver prior to being installed in remote communities in Canada and beyond. The system consists of tanks of fibre membranes that catch and hold contaminants—dirt, organic particles, bacteria and viruses—while letting water filter through. A community of beneficial bacteria, or biofilm, functions as the second line of defence, working in concert...
More

Boston University professor found glassfrogs show surprising diversity of parental strategies

As far as housing goes, an egg is a pretty good place for a frog embryo. It offers physical protection and it keeps its inhabitant from drying out. But like many homes with great curb appeal, eggs aren’t always the ideal dwelling. For some frog eggs, being packed in a gelatinous mass, or “clutch,” can limit the supply of oxygen. Eggs can be swept away by floods or killed by fungal pathogens, and they make a nice lunch for predators like snakes and wasps. Faced with such peril, it might seem t...
More

Northeastern University research found that, for some species sex of fish is determined by access to food

Imagine if your sex was determined not at birth, but by the amount of food available in the early stages of your life. That if you had access to a wider range of choices you'd increase the chance of becoming one gender over the other. And that if you were well fed and ate when the slightest hunger struck, your likelihood of becoming female would increase. While not a possibility for humans, this does appear to be the case for a particular species of fish that is – and has been – imperiling...
More

University of Maryland study has found that fruit flies genetically coded to take frequent naps had the strongest resistance to both a fungal infection and bacteria

University of Maryland study has found that fruit flies genetically coded to take frequent naps had the strongest resistance to both a fungal infection and bacteria that the World Health Organization says is one of the world’s most dangerous superbugs for humans. Researchers study the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, because these tiny flies provide a great model system for studying issues important to human health. More than 70 percent of human disease-causing genes have a correspo...
More

Oxford and Harvard Research shows plants have evolved sophisticated perceptual abilities that allow them to monitor and respond to a wide range of changing biotic and abiotic conditions.

Plants, like other organisms, are facing multiple mechanical constraints generated both in their tissues and by the surrounding environments. They need to sense and adapt to these forces throughout their lifetimes. To do so, different mechanisms devoted to force transduction have emerged. Here we focus on fascinating proteins: the mechanosensitive (MS) channels. Mechanosensing in plants has been described for centuries but the molecular identification of MS channels occurred only recently All o...
More

Stanford University has developed novel method to Label-Free Detection of Chemical Toxins in Tap Water by leveraging Fluorescent Carrier Ampholytes Assay.

New novel method for fluorescence-based indirect detection of analytes and demonstrate its use for label-free detection of chemical toxins in a hand-held device. Environmental monitoring efforts, and water quality assessment in particular, would benefit from widely available and inexpensive chemical assays and sensor technologies.1 Gas and liquid chromatography methods, and their coupling to mass spectrometry, currently are standard methods suggested by the United States Environmental Protect...
More

University of Basel Sweden research has found that spiders eat 400-800 million tons of prey every year

It has long been suspected that spiders are one of the most important groups of predators of insects. Zoologists at the University of Basel and Lund University in Sweden have now shown just how true this is – spiders kill astronomical numbers of insects on a global scale. The scientific journal The Science of Nature has published the results. With more than 45,000 species and a population density of up to 1,000 individuals per square meter, spiders are one of the world’s most species-rich a...
More

MIT study examines role of acoustic-gravity waves as ocean transport, early warning of tsunamis.

New study examines role of acoustic-gravity waves as ocean transport, early warning of tsunamis. Acoustic–gravity waves In fluid dynamics, gravity waves are waves generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media when the force of gravity or buoyancy tries to restore equilibrium. An example of such an interface is that between the atmosphere and the ocean, which gives rise to wind waves. A theory of guided propagation of sound in layered, movinMITg fluids is extended to ...
More

Indoor large scale food farming is a growing global trend

Mirai, Inc. has completed an indoor farm at Miyagi Fukko (Reconstruction) Park located in Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture, as part of a program subsidized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). One of the world’s largest plant factories using LED lighting throughout, the facility can produce a daily harvest of approximately 10,000 heads of lettuce. The indoor farm was created through the renovation of an existing building that was previously an electronic device factory at Sony Send...
More

‘Airo’ is a self water harvesting bottle from air and a solar charger for your smart phone

Austrian startup Fontus has developed a novel water bottle that harvest water from air. It's a vaporware that literally pull water vapor out of the air to fill itself. Harvesting water from the air via processes like condensation has been practiced in various ways for eons, of course. In recent years, we've seen a James Dyson award go to an Australian irrigation system that works on the same principle, as well as a lightweight bamboo tower that grabs its own water. But the ability to do so ba...
More

Stanford and Oxford University researchers have created novel flexible solar cells from crystalline perovskite that could outperform existing silicon cells and allow it to be printed

A perovskite solar cell is a type of solar cell which includes a perovskite structured compound, most commonly a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material, as the light-harvesting active layer. Perovskite materials such as methylammonium lead halides are cheap to produce and simple to manufacture. Perovskite solar cells have shown potential both in the rapid efficiency improvement (from 2.2% in 2006 to the latest record 20.1% in 2014) and in cheap material and manufacturing c...
More

Medicinal plants

Healing with medicinal plants is as old as mankind itself. The connection between man and his search for drugs in nature dates from the far past, of which there is ample evidence from various sources: written documents, preserved monuments, and even original plant medicines. Awareness of medicinal plants usage is a result of the many years of struggles against illnesses due to which man learned to pursue drugs in barks, seeds, fruit bodies, and other parts of the plants. Contemporary science ...
More

MIT researchers discover astonishing behavior of water confined in carbon nanotubes making water freeze solid at boiling temperatures

It’s a well-known fact that water, at sea level, starts to boil at a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, or 100 degrees Celsius. And scientists have long observed that when water is confined in very small spaces, its boiling and freezing points can change a bit, usually dropping by around 10 C or so. But now, a team at MIT has found a completely unexpected set of changes: Inside the tiniest of spaces — in carbon nanotubes whose inner dimensions are not much bigger than a few water molecule...
More

KTH Royal Institute of Technology explains how Earth’s inner core remains solid despite extreme heat

Even though it is hotter than the surface of the Sun, the crystallized iron core of the Earth remains solid. A new study from KTH Royal Institute of Technology may finally settle a longstanding debate over how that’s possible, as well as why seismic waves travel at higher speeds between the planet’s poles than through the equator. Spinning within Earth’s molten core is a crystal ball – actually a mass formation of almost pure crystallized iron – nearly the size of the moon. Unde...
More

Queen Mary University of London research suggest bees are smart and can learn the task by observing and also pass down skills through several generations of learners, ensuring its longevity in the population.

Pulling strings to obtain food is an experiment often used to test the intelligence of apes and birds, but it is the first time this technique has been discovered in an insect. Moreover the cultural spread of such a technique from a single informed individual has also been described for the first time in an invertebrate animal. The results, published in PLOS Biology,  show that rare innovator bees were able to solve the problem of pulling the string to reach a sugar water reward by themsel...
More

Stanford engineers create a low-cost battery made with urea

Stanford University researchers created an aluminum-ion battery that uses an electrolyte material made of urea, the main component of urine (after water). A battery made with urea, commonly found in fertilizers and mammal urine, could provide a low-cost way of storing energy produced through solar power or other forms of renewable energy for consumption during off hours. A battery developed in Stanford Professor Hongjie Dai’s lab could provide low-cost storage for solar energy. (Image credit...
More

Autonomous Tent Cocoon made of steel frames and a fabric shell

legendary architect Harry Gesner has designed a 700-1,000 square foot Autonomous Tent Cocoon made of steel frames and a fabric shell that can handle winds up to 90 miles per hour. Designed to be a permanent structure, the property only takes a few days to raise, requires no foundation or utilities and can be taken down and transported easily. The portable house comes in two sizes — the 700-square-feet cocoon and the 1,000-square-feet tipi. Autonomous Tent Cocoon is designed to be installe...
More

‘Torch’ is a battery operated heater designed to fit inside any coat and can easily be transferred from one coat to another.

Torch is a battery operated heater designed to fit inside any style coat and can easily be transferred from one coat to another. Torch is touted as the World’s First and only Universal Coat Heater and truly is the most versatile and sophisticated body heating technology on the market. Torch is a battery operated heater that provides up to 5 hours of heat and has 4 heat settings to perfectly control your body temperature. Torch is specifically designed to fit seamlessly inside virtually any st...
More