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    X-Rays Unlock a Protein's SWEET Side

    X-Rays Unlock a Protein's SWEET Side

    Understanding just how sugar makes its way into the cell could lead to the design of better drugs for diabetes patients and an increase in the amount of fruits and vegetables farmers are able to grow. Stanford University researchers have recently uncovered one of these "pathways" into the cell by piecing together proteins slightly wider than the diameter of a strand of spider silk.

    Gas Leaks From Faulty Wells Linked to Contamination in Some Groundwater

    Gas Leaks From Faulty Wells Linked to Contamination in Some Groundwater

    A study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing, and it's not the source many people may have feared.

    Angling Chromium to Let Oxygen Through

    Angling Chromium to Let Oxygen Through

    More efficient fuel cells might gain wider use in vehicles or as quiet, pollution-free, neighborhood electricity generating stations. A serendipitous finding has resulted in a semiconducting material that could enable fuel cells to operate at temperatures two-thirds lower than current technology, scientists reported August 18 in Nature Communications.

    Gulf Anglers Could Be Entitled to $585 Million After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Study Says

    Gulf Anglers Could Be Entitled to $585 Million After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Study Says

    Trustees could use the data to try to get the $585 million for ecosystem improvements and more fish in the Gulf.

    New 'Green Growth' Report Shows How the U.S. Can Cut Carbon Pollution by 40 Percent While Creating 2.7 Million New Jobs

    New 'Green Growth' Report Shows How the U.S. Can Cut Carbon Pollution by 40 Percent While Creating 2.7 Million New Jobs

    A new report from the UMass Amherst Political Economy Research Institute and the Center for American Progress shows that the United States can cut its carbon pollution by 40 percent from 2005 levels and create a net increase of 2.7 million clean energy jobs in the process, reducing the unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points.

    Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

    Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

    The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the solar system and possibly the origin of life itself.

    First-Ever Look Inside a Working Lithium-Ion Battery

    First-Ever Look Inside a Working Lithium-Ion Battery

    In an unprecedented view inside a working lithium-ion battery, researchers used a neutron beam to "see" the flow of lithium in real time, as the battery charged and discharged. What they saw could one day help explain why rechargeable batteries lose capacity over time, and why they even sometimes catch fire.

    What is the Economic Impact of Oil, Gas in West Texas?

    What is the Economic Impact of Oil, Gas in West Texas?

    The economic impact is felt in all industries that provide support, from drilling to housing and retail. This study provides estimates of the 2013 economic impact of the Permian Basin's oil and gas industry, and examines these impacts at the county level as well as in the context of the overall Permian region, the Texas portion of the region and the New Mexico portion of the region. In addition to traditional economic impacts, this report includes a petroleum engineering-based analysis that provides the backbone for economic activity generated by the oil and gas industry.

    Changing Temperature Powers Sensors in Hard-to-Reach Places

    Changing Temperature Powers Sensors in Hard-to-Reach Places

    University of Washington researchers have taken inspiration from a centuries-old clock design and created a power harvester that uses natural fluctuations in temperature and pressure as its power source.

    Simpler Process to Grow Germanium Nanowires Could Improve Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Simpler Process to Grow Germanium Nanowires Could Improve Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed what they call "a simple, one-step method" to grow nanowires of germanium from an aqueous solution. Their process could make it more feasible to use germanium in lithium-ion batteries.

    Novel 'Butterfly' Molecule Could Build New Sensors, Photoenergy Conversion Devices

    Novel 'Butterfly' Molecule Could Build New Sensors, Photoenergy Conversion Devices

    Exciting new work by a Florida State University research team has led to a novel molecular system that can take your temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly to mechanical motions. And, the molecule looks like a butterfly.

    Rubber Meets the Road with New ORNL Carbon, Battery Technologies

    Rubber Meets the Road with New ORNL Carbon, Battery Technologies

    Recycled tires could see new life in lithium-ion batteries.

    Water Leads to Chemical That Gunks Up Biofuels Production

    Water Leads to Chemical That Gunks Up Biofuels Production

    Trying to understand the chemistry that turns plant material into the same energy-rich gasoline and diesel we put in our vehicles, researchers have discovered that water in the conversion process helps form an impurity which, in turn, slows down key chemical reactions.

    Carbon Dioxide 'Sponge' Could Ease Transition to Cleaner Energy


    Carbon Dioxide 'Sponge' Could Ease Transition to Cleaner Energy


    A plastic sponge that sops up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) might ease our tranisition away from polluting fossil fuels to new energy sources like hydrogen. At the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, a researcher will describe a relative of food container plastics that could play a role in President Obama's plan to cut CO2 emissions. The material might also someday be integrated into power plant smokestacks.

    Mining Bacterial Blueprints Yields Novel Process for Creation of Fuel and Chemical Compounds

    Mining Bacterial Blueprints Yields Novel Process for Creation of Fuel and Chemical Compounds

    A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified the genes and enzymes that create a promising compound -- the 19 carbon furan-containing fatty acid (19Fu-FA). The compound has a variety of potential uses as a biological alternative for compounds currently derived from fossil fuels.

    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2014

    Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2014

    1) Glass used for military vehicle windshields is being put to the test. 2) Tomorrow's commercial refrigeration systems could be cooled by carbon dioxide. 3) Graphite put to the test . 4) Reformulated plant matter could be at the roots of a revolution in 3-D printing. 5) Batteries for cars, phones, and laptop computers could retain their charge and last longer.

    Drilling in the Dark: Biological Impacts of Fracking Still Largely Unknown

    Drilling in the Dark: Biological Impacts of Fracking Still Largely Unknown

    As production of shale gas soars, the industry's effects on nature and wildlife remain largely unexplored, according to a study by a group of conservation biologists published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on Aug. 1.

    New Method Provides Nanoscale Details of Electrochemical Reactions in Electric Vehicle Battery Materials

    New Method Provides Nanoscale Details of Electrochemical Reactions in Electric Vehicle Battery Materials

    Using a new method to track the electrochemical reactions in a common electric vehicle battery material under operating conditions, scientists have revealed new insight into why fast charging inhibits this material's performance. The results could inform battery makers' efforts to optimize materials for faster-charging batteries with higher capacity.

    "Wetting" a Battery's Appetite for Renewable Energy Storage

    "Wetting" a Battery's Appetite for Renewable Energy Storage

    A new liquid metal alloy enables sodium-beta batteries to operate at lower temperatures, which could help the batteries store more renewable energy and strengthen the power grid.

    Nanostructured Metal-Oxide Catalyst Efficiently Converts CO2 to Methanol

    Nanostructured Metal-Oxide Catalyst Efficiently Converts CO2 to Methanol

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered a new catalytic system for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to methanol-a key commodity used to create a wide range of industrial chemicals and fuels. With significantly higher activity than other catalysts now in use, the new system could make it easier to get normally unreactive CO2 to participate in these reactions.

    New Catalyst Converts Carbon Dioxide to Fuel

    New Catalyst Converts Carbon Dioxide to Fuel

    Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing the process closer to commercial viability.

    Innovations with Far-Reaching Potential for the Environment and Health   


    Innovations with Far-Reaching Potential for the Environment and Health 


    The Kavli Foundation Lecture series features two prominent scientists: one in the booming area of ionic liquids, the other in medical materials. The former has made a novel compound with the potential to lower the energy it takes to capture carbon dioxide. The latter has engineered tissues and medical materials such as a stretchy glue that could transform surgery. They are presenting at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

    A New Look at What's in 'Fracking' Fluids Raises Red Flags 


    A New Look at What's in 'Fracking' Fluids Raises Red Flags 


    As the oil and gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing proliferates, a new study on the contents of the fluids used raises concerns over several ingredients. The scientists presenting the work today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society say out of nearly 200 commonly used compounds in "fracking," there's very little known about the potential health risks of about one-third, and eight are toxic to mammals.

    Tattoo Biobatteries Produce Power From Sweat
 (Video)

    Tattoo Biobatteries Produce Power From Sweat
 (Video)

    In the future, working up a sweat by exercising may not only be good for your health, but it could also power your small electronic devices. Researchers will report today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that they have designed a sensor in the form of a temporary tattoo that can both monitor a person's progress during exercise and produce power from their perspiration.

    Stinky Gases Emanating From Landfills Could Transform Into Clean Energy

    Stinky Gases Emanating From Landfills Could Transform Into Clean Energy

    A new technique transforming stinky, air-polluting landfill gas could produce the sweet smell of success as it leads to development of a fuel cell generating clean electricity for homes, offices and hospitals, researchers say. The advance would convert methane gas into hydrogen, an efficient, clean form of energy. Their report was part of the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.