We know how to convert biomass to biodiesel, but the economics of doing so makes many prevailing methods of doing so expensive and unfeasible, keeping an alternative-fueled future just out of reach. But a collaboration between the DOE and private firm LS9 has found a way to coax a strain of E. coli bacteria to produce biodiesel from biomass without further chemical processes, a breakthrough that could pave the way for cheaper, more abundant biofuels.
All the latest footwear engineering in your running sneakers might not mean a thing when it comes to preventing injuries. The latest barefoot running study in the journal Nature deployed 3-D infrared tracking to gauge the difference in foot strike between shod and shoeless runners, Scientific American reports. Here's a modern-day meme summation of the findings: "Shoes? You're doing it wrong."
People who suffer massive blood loss automatically go into shock as a stopgap measure, but can eventually die if their bodies stay in shock for too long. Now a drug used to treat epilepsy could reverse all that and boost survival rates for horrifically injured people, especially wounded soldiers far from any extra blood supplies. New Scientist reports on a new study of the drug that involved porkers.
Bill Gates has already proven his interest in geoengineering schemes with his earlier co-patent filing for reducing the intensity of killer hurricanes. So perhaps we're not too surprised that Science Insider has dug up the Microsoft chairman's past projects on altering the Earth's climate, ranging from filtering carbon dioxide to reflecting sunlight via brighter clouds.
Proving there's no science like accidental science, Northwestern researchers looking for materials to facilitate ion exchange have discovered a "Venus flytrap" for radioactive cesium that has the potential filter out 100 percent of the nasty stuff in nuclear waste. Made of gallium, sulfur and antimony compound, the synthetic material is highly selective in what it will seize, but in lab tests it snatched every single cesium ion from a sodium-rich solution designed to mimic the makeup of nuclear leftovers.
In 2001, two significant things happened in the realm of public education. Both houses of Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act to set standards for classroom learning, and a group of foundations recommended that the government set up a multibillion dollar fund to research advanced learning technologies. No Child Left Behind became policy, but the fund stalled, leaving behind an opportunity to place the best advanced learning tools in classrooms. Nine years later, the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies has finally received funding and could be investing in a new, tech-savvy brand of education by fall.
There's a lot of misinformation blowing around out there concerning the medical benefits, and detriments, of smoking marijuana, but two UK researchers are making an argument for why you should perhaps pass on the puff-puff -- as well as why recreational use should not be outlawed in the future.
This week, scientists from around the globe converge on Cambridge University in England to discuss mankind's relationship with intelligent life from beyond the stars. So far, the news is not promising.