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Apr 17,2009
An unmapped reservoir of briny liquid chemically similar to sea water, but hidden under an inland Antarctic glacier, appears to support microbial life in a cold, dark, oxygen-poor environment – a most unexpected setting to be teeming with life.   This blood-red stain at the snout of Taylor Glacier in Antarctica is the by-product of unique microbes thriving in a salty ocean-like reservoir beneath the glacier. Photo credit: Peter West, NSF  The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica ... [full story]
39183 times read - No comment posted

Apr 17,2009
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Apollo Moon Program struggled with a minuscule, yet formidable enemy: sticky lunar dust. Four decades later, a new study reveals that forces compelling lunar dust to cling to surfaces — ruining scientific experiments and endangering astronauts' health —change during the lunar day with the elevation of the sun.   Note the lunar dust clinging to the astronaut’s lower extremities.  The study analyzes the interactions on the Moon among electrostatic adhesive forces, ... [full story]
39926 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2009
Twenty years to the day after electrochemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann breathlessly announced their discovery of "cold fusion," only to have the whole thing metaphorically blow up in their faces, another team of scientists says it has documented evidence of "low energy nuclear reactions," or LENR, that could, in time, mean a virtually free, endless supply of energy — the power of stars from a tabletop device.   Corn or maize was developed by indigenous ... [full story]
42283 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2009
Sea level is a misnomer. The surface of the ocean varies greatly from place to place. Along the northeastern seaboard of the United States, for example, it's lower than it is farther out to sea.   If climate change greatly affects sea levels within the next 100 years, New Yorkers may be in trouble. Coastal waters are predicted to climb 112 feet around New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., by 2100; sections of Manhattan are only ... [full story]
49965 times read - No comment posted

Mar 27,2009
Almost 200 million years ago, a theropod tromping across a muddy lake- shore in what is now part of Utah stopped and briefly sat down to rest, leaving behind tracks that indicate at least some dinosaur species became birdlike far earlier in their history than previously supposed.   Fossilized prints of a theropod depicted inward-facing palms. This means the theropod didn't use its forelimbs when walking. Being able to bend its palms back against its arms ... [full story]
13374 times read - No comment posted

Mar 25,2009
New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have made a major advance in explaining how a special class of black holes may shut off the high-speed jets they produce. These results suggest that these black holes have a mechanism for regulating the rate at which they grow. Black holes come in many sizes: the supermassive ones, including those in quasars, which weigh in at millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun, and ... [full story]
6641 times read - No comment posted

Mar 25,2009
New Calibration Expands Hubble's Capability A scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology has expanded the Hubble Space Telescope's capability without the need for new instruments or billions of dollars. Dan Batcheldor and his team improved the calibration of Hubble's Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer to enable high-precision polarimetry. Scientists like Batcheldor use this observational technique to read scattered light when investigating active galactic nuclei and for identifying proto-planets around very young stars. The findings of ... [full story]
13677 times read - No comment posted

Mar 24,2009
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon State University have found one gene in the human body that appears to be a master regulator for skin development, in research that could help address everything from skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis to the wrinkling of skin as people age. Inadequate or loss of expression of this gene, called CTIP2, may play a role in some skin disorders, scientists believe, and understanding the mechanisms of gene ... [full story]
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Mar 24,2009
STANFORD, Cal. -- Photosynthesis produces the food that we eat and the oxygen that we breathe ― could it also help satisfy our future energy needs by producing clean-burning hydrogen? Researchers studying a hydrogen-producing, single-celled green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, have unmasked a previously unknown fermentation pathway that may open up possibilities for increasing hydrogen production. C. reinhartii, a common inhabitant of soils, naturally produces small quantities of hydrogen when deprived of oxygen. Like yeast and ... [full story]
10637 times read - No comment posted

Mar 23,2009
English researchers have discovered that ground water contaminated by chromium — a byproduct of textile factories, smelters and tanneries — can effectively cleanse itself with a splash of vinegar.   Chicken manure aids in biodegrading crude oil that is present in polluted soils. By increasing bacterial growth, the petroleum toxins are broken down at a faster rate.    The photo doesn't show a suicide or accidental fall. It is a scanning electron micrograph that features a contamination in ... [full story]
9622 times read - No comment posted

Mar 20,2009
NEWPORT, Ore. – An international team of scientists will return this April 3-17 to an undersea volcano near the Mariana Islands northwest of Guam where in 2004 they observed a deep-ocean eruption live for the first time from a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV – a feat they duplicated in 2006.   Northwest Rota-1, brimstone pit eruption – photo courtesy of www.pmel.noaa.gov Called Northwest Rota-1, the volcano is still showing signs of activity according to data retrieved from ... [full story]
22138 times read - No comment posted

Mar 20,2009
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Simply split H2O into H2 and O. And just like that, the energy crisis is solved. That may sound too easy to be true. Actually, it’s not all that easy, but it could be true. According to engineers at Oregon State University, it should be possible to meet much of the world’s energy needs with nothing more than the combination of water, sunlight and cyanobacteria. And an important advance has just been ... [full story]
8196 times read - No comment posted

Mar 11,2009
The concept of delaying global warming by adding particles into the upper atmosphere to cool the climate could unintentionally reduce peak electricity generated by large solar power plants by as much as one-fifth, according to a new NOAA study. The findings appear in this week’s issue of Environmental Science and Technology.   The world's largest solar power facility, located near Kramer Junction, Calif., consists of five Solar Electric Generating Stations and covers more than 1,000 acres.  ... [full story]
7305 times read - No comment posted

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