Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


New USGS Database Provides Models on Excessive Nutrients in Rivers

The USGS has released an online, interactive decision support system that provides easy access to six newly-developed regional models describing how rivers receive and transport nutrients from natural and human sources to sensitive waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

World's Smallest Electric Motor Made From a Single Molecule

Chemists at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences have developed the world's first single molecule electric motor, a development that may potentially create a new class of devices that could be used in applications ranging from medicine to engineering.

Texas A&M Study Shows Clouds Don't Cause Climate Change

Clouds only amplify climate change, says a Texas A&M University professor in a study that rebuts recent claims that clouds are actually the root cause of climate change.

Breakthrough in Protecting Global Crops from Disease

A new form of resistance to fungal disease has been discovered in oilseed rape, one of the world’s most important crops, which could hold the key to developing disease resistant crops.

Recycling Fat Might Help Worms Live Longer

At Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), a team led by Malene Hansen, Ph.D., uses a type of worm called Caenorhabditis elegans to work out the molecular underpinnings of the aging process. In a study appearing online Sept. 8 in Current Biology, they found that two cellular processes—lipid metabolism and autophagy -- work together to influence worms' lifespan.

New Synthetic Crystals First Step Toward Making High-Performance, Eco-Friendly Materials

Scientists have successfully created synthetic crystals whose structures and properties mimic those of naturally occurring biominerals such as seashells. The findings, published in the journal Nature Materials, could be an important step in the development of high-performance materials, which could be manufactured under environmentally-friendly conditions

Climate Change Seems Unfavorable for Toxic Blue Algae

The earth is warming up due to rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. NWO-funded researchers have discovered that the increase in carbon dioxide can reduce the nuisance caused by toxic blue algae, a bacterium commonly found in swimming water throughout the Netherlands in the summer

NASA's Aquarius Makes First Ocean Salt Measurements

NASA's Aquarius instrument has successfully completed its commissioning phase and is now "tasting" the saltiness of Earth's ocean surface, making measurements from its perch in near-polar orbit.

Air-Quality Researchers Find Troubling Health Implications for Ultrafine Particles

Three studies by a University of California, Davis, air-quality research group are adding to the growing body of data suggesting that very fine and ultra-fine airborne metal particles are closely linked to serious human-health problems, including heart disease.

Researchers Deploy a Shocking Method of Fish Collection

A group of fisheries scientists from Tennessee Tech University are busy monitoring the health of the Caney Fork River by pumping electricity into the water.

Manipulating Plants' Circadian Clocks May Make All-Season Crops Possible

Yale University researchers have identified a key genetic gear that keeps the circadian clock of plants ticking, a finding that could have broad implications for global agriculture.

Tree-Killing Pathogen Traced Back to California

Genetic detective work by an international group of researchers may have solved a decades-long mystery of the source of a devastating tree-killing fungus that has hit six of the world's seven continents.

Artificial Light Harvesting Method Achieves 100 Percent Energy Transfer Efficiency

In an attempt to mimic the photosynthetic systems found in plants and some bacteria, scientists have taken a step toward developing an artificial light-harvesting system (LHS) that meets one of the crucial requirements for such systems: an approximately 100 percent energy transfer efficiency.

Federal Study of East Coast Earthquake Had to Move Fast

The investigation team had to move fast to take samples, create maps and photograph regional damage to subsurface and infrastructure locations before Hurricane Irene made landfall August 27.

Free Disaster Recovery App Available for Those Recovering from Hurricane Irene

The Disaster Recovery Log app helps you record information about damages to your home and property using text, images and audio.

Mysteries of Ozone Depletion Continue 25 Years After the Discovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole

Even after many decades of studying ozone and its loss from our atmosphere miles above the Earth, plenty of mysteries and surprises remain, including an unexpected loss of ozone over the Arctic this past winter,

Novel Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel From Sunlight

Scientists from the University of Kentucky (UK) and the University of Louisville (UofL) have determined that an inexpensive semiconductor material can be "tweaked" to generate hydrogen from water using sunlight.

Panda Poop May Be a Treasure Trove of Microbes for Making Biofuels

Panda poop contains bacteria with potent effects in breaking down plant material in the way needed to tap biomass as a major new source of “biofuels” produced not from corn and other food sources, but from grass, wood chips and crop wastes, scientists reported.

Cars Could Run on Recycled Newspaper

Here’s one way that old-fashioned newsprint beats the Internet: Tulane University scientists have discovered a novel bacterial strain, dubbed “TU-103,” that can use paper to produce butanol, a biofuel that can serve as a substitute for gasoline.

Wastewater Recycling Can Multiply Greenhouse Gas Emissions

New research shows that wastewater recycling processes may generate more greenhouse gases than traditional water-treatment processes. Despite this finding, there are good reasons to continue keep wastewater recycling among the water-resource tools for urban areas

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