DENVER — What's a crisis if not an opportunity? Scores of graduate students reporting new research at a bat conference this week shows the two are tightly bound.
Students are working on the front lines of one of conservation biology's biggest challenges: The widespread death of bats from white-nose syndrome. The fast-moving fungus, which is expected to infiltrate much of the midwest and west this winter, is causing equally brisk priority shifts in academic institutions across the continent.
Tagging trees with embedded RFID tags not only helps logging companies keep track of the origin and destination of timber on the truck, but it helps keep companies honest and aids in the prosecution of illegal logging operations. But those RFID chips, unless they're expensively removed from each tree individually before processing, can end up adding impurities to high-quality wood pulp products and lumber further down the production line.
For most people, conserving energy means turning off lights in empty rooms. But for the researchers at Bell Labs, the massive energy savings lurk in the 1's and 0's of the code that regulates the Internet. Based on a new study from the lab, communications networks could use 99 percent less energy with only a few simple code changes. Bell Labs also estimates that those savings would prevent the emission of 300 million tons of carbon.
In April, a team from Glasgow School of Art will shoot lasers at the heads of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson. And they will do it all in the name of preservation.
The Scottish artists have perfected a system of laser scanning giant monuments, ensuring the digital preservation of even their finest nooks and crannies. They have already completely digitized Scottish landmarks like Rosslyn Church and Stirling Castle. The team is also working in conjunction with CyArk, a non-profit dedicated to laser scanning 500 UNESCO world heritage sites.
A new "genomic zoo" has launched, with the goal of sequencing the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species. The project aims to help researchers understand recent and rapid adaptive changes among the species. It could also allow predictions of how certain species might respond to climate change, pollution, new diseases and competitors.
The Genome 10K Project will scour zoos, museums and universities worldwide for thousands of specimens. An international coalition of more than 68 scientists has outlined their plans in a paper that will appear tomorrow in the Journal of Heredity.
By Mark Jannot, Editor-in-ChiefPosted 08.04.2009 at 11:24 am 0 Comments
About halfway through our cover story on the next generation of manned submarines, you'll find a provocative dispute between two legendary figures over the respective merits of manned and unmanned exploration of the ocean.
Going green makes military sense to the U.S. Army. Self-sufficient vehicles and base camps require fewer supply convoy runs that stretch logistics lines thin across hostile territory. The Army's new "zero-footprint" concept for a camp includes a package of very cool technologies.
Soldiers could eventually obtain their drinking water from vehicle exhaust, based on water-purification technologies being developed by the U.S. Army's TARDEC and DARPA labs. Garbage and waste produced by camps could also become new sources of energy.
Pre-fab panels instead of a wood frame save cash and energy
By John B. CarnettPosted 07.17.2009 at 2:15 pm 35 Comments
John B. Carnett, PopSci's staff photographer, is using the latest green technology to build his dream home. Follow his progress in his monthly magazine column (the first of which you're reading now) and on the Green Dream blog.
In the past 20 years, I've lived in some pretty weird places — a leaky loft, a sailboat, an old carriage house that I rehabbed myself. Makeshift bachelor pads were fine until I found myself with a wife and two small boys.