Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


EPA Grants $3 Million for Chemical Toxicity Research

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded nearly $3 million to better understand how the liver responds to environmental toxicants. Four academic institutions, including Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, will develop ways to enhance what society knows about environmental contaminants and the liver, the body’s waste treatment organ.

Native Bees, Essential to Plant Pollination, Are Picky About Where They Live: Study

The study found that, overall, composition of a plant community is a weak predictor of the composition of a bee community, which may seem counterintuitive at first, said USGS scientist and study lead Ralph Grundel

How to Predict Fluctuations in the Solar Grid Caused by Changes in Cloud Cover

How does the power output from solar panels fluctuate when the clouds roll in? And can researchers predict these fluctuations? UC San Diego researchers have found the answer to these questions.

Recycling Water in Space

During the last space shuttle flight, scheduled for July 8, 2011, astronauts will test a new method for recycling "used" water. Water is essential for life, and having access to water beyond Earth will be a major obstacle for future space explorers.

Researcher Argues that Climate Change Disasters Are Predictable

Climate change disasters, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, dieback of the Amazon rainforest, or collapse of the Atlantic overturning circulation, could be predicted argues a University of Exeter researcher.

Genomatica Wins EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

The award honors Genomatica's affect on the production of major industrial chemicals – those made and sold in billions of pounds per year – with better economics and a smaller environmental footprint, using biological organisms and renewable feedstocks.

Turning Hot Air into Energy Savings

A team of students from the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, have been selected for a $15,000 EPA grant to develop a system that could cut electricity bills up to 16 percent by using heat from the sun and attic to operate a clothes dryer.

Human Activities Release More Carbon Dioxide than Volcanic Eruptions Do

On average, human activities put out in just three to five days the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that volcanoes produce globally each year according to a new article in Eos, from the American Geophysical Union.

Scientific Societies Release Official Position on Climate Change

The significance of climate change to the practice of agriculture, soils, and land management has led the 10,000-plus members of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) to develop a position statement on climate change, based on a review of current scientific knowledge and understanding.

Water Environment Research Examines Wastewater Technology Introduction

New wastewater technologies can appear faster than E. coli after a thunderstorm, yet their adoption and resulting benefits can be slowed or derailed by common issues that can be solved or avoided.

Engineered Liver May Shed Light on Effects of Chemicals in the Environment

Using the liver as an “alarm system,” researchers are starting to better understand the different levels of toxicity from pesticide compounds and their effects on the human body.

EPA Proposes Policy on Nanoscale Materials in Pesticides

Under the requirements of the law, EPA will gather information on what nanoscale materials are present in pesticide products to determine whether the registration of a pesticide may cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment and human health. The proposed policy will be open for public comment.

Study: Stream Biodiversity Declines at Even Low Levels of Urban Development

A new study from biology researchers at Baylor University and the University of Maryland-Baltimore has found that there are consistent and widespread declines in stream biodiversity at lower levels of urban development more damaging than what was previously believed.

Paved Surfaces Can Foster Build-up of Polluted Air

New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters wind patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to build up during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea.

MIT: Development in Fog Harvesting Provides Water for the Poor

An engineer and aspiring entrepreneur at MIT is working on fog harvesting to attract water droplets and corral the runoff for poor villagers to collect clean water near their homes.

Methane Gas From Cows: The Proof is in the Poo

Scientists could have a revolutionary new way of measuring how much of the potent greenhouse gas methane is produced by cows and other ruminants, thanks to a surprising discovery in their poo.

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