Since untold quantities of oil started flowing into the Gulf, there's been a lot of talk about bacteria that eat oil. While those microbes might help remediate those millions of barrels of crude, one geoscientist thinks we might be able to use them to keep oil in the ground in the first place.
In the global race to reduce carbon emissions, these eco-minded communities, from Kansas to the Maldives, lead the pack. Here’s how they’re making their carbon footprints disappear
By Patrick Di JustoPosted 06.17.2010 at 10:18 am 45 Comments
"Carbon neutral" sounds pretty straightforward—simply remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as you put in. The trouble is, civilization began emitting CO2 when humans burned the first lump of coal about 4,000 years ago.
And you thought the macros on your camera was good because you got a sweet close up of a flower? Well, the scientists over at Oak Ridge National Laboratory zoom in so tight they can distinguish atoms of different elements. Using a special z-contrast scanning electron microscope, researchers at Oak Ridge took the first picture detailed enough to differentiate different atoms within a chemical compound. This super-high resolution scanning may play an important role in the future of materials chemistry, where tiny atomic differences can have profound effects on the properties of different chemical compounds.
Powerful X-ray lasers may allow scientists to image tiny drug molecules or even precisely target cancer cells, but the lasers require extremely high-quality mirrors to function well. Now researchers have created a nearly-flawless diamond that can do the job, according to Discovery News.
Carbon nanotubes may push future innovations ranging from self-repairing electronic devices to batteries based on nanotube ink and paper. Now NASA scientists may have uncovered a new recipe for making carbon nanotubes based on interstellar processes.
Diamond may remain the preferred material for wedding rings, Lil' Wayne's birthday gifts, and Damien Hirst sculptures, but it looks like girls' best friend will have to relinquish its title as the hardest natural substance known. The new title holder: mysterious carbon compounds found in a Finnish meteorite.
Future humans won't have to wait to travel to Pandora for the chance to mine unobtanium, because Neptune and Uranus may have diamond icebergs floating atop liquid diamond seas closer to home. The surprise finding comes from the first detailed measurements of the melting point of diamond, Discovery News reports.
Imagine flying an airplane, watching a television or using a laptop computer made, at least in part, from a paper 500 times stronger and 10 times lighter than steel. It's no ordinary paper; it's "buckypaper"—a nanotechnology material that looks like carbon paper and is made out of tube-shaped carbon molecules 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. The material's strength, however, comes when it's stacked and pressed together to form a composite, giving it the ability to conduct electricity like copper and disperse heat like steel.
And the $64,000 question is ... does graphite conduct electricity? It certainly does! The video demonstration displays this quite convincingly. Graphite is an interesting material, an allotrope of carbon (as is diamond). It displays properties of both metals, and nonmetals. However, like a metal, graphite is a very good conductor of electricity due to the mobility of the electrons in its outer valence shells.
Dear EarthTalk: How can I measure -- and then improve -- my overall "carbon footprint?" What are the major areas of one's daily life that one measures? -- Andy Fusco, Passaic, NJ
With global warming dominating so many headlines today, it's no surprise that many of us are looking to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases our activities produce.