Tech

As part of the development process for ESA's Sentinel-3 Earth observation mission, remote-sensing experts carried out an extensive experiment campaign across southern Europe this summer. The results provide valuable insight into the imagery the mission will deliver after it is launched in 2013.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 9, 2009 –- The two most recent Surgeons General of the United States, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., FAAFP, FACPM, FACP and Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, today led the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance in urging policymakers to take direct action in health reform to address obesity and the chronic diseases associated with it.

Amsterdam, September 8, 2009 – Researchers at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I of the Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, investigated the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake, plasma antioxidant micronutrient status and cognitive performance in healthy subjects aged 45 to 102 years. Their results, published in the August issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, indicated higher cognitive performance in individuals with high daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

There's enough power in trees for University of Washington researchers to run an electronic circuit, according to results to be published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Transactions on Nanotechnology.

"As far as we know, this is the first peer-reviewed paper of someone powering something entirely by sticking electrodes into a tree," said co-author Babak Parviz, a UW associate professor of electrical engineering.

Leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, Asian greens, and spinach can accumulate high concentrations of nitrate–nitrogen (NO3-N), which are potentially harmful if consumed by humans. To measure NO3-N concentration in plant tissue, many laboratories use ion selective electrodes (ISEs). Relatively inexpensive and portable ISE nutrient monitoring devices, including the Cardy NO3-N meter, are widely used to measure fresh plant sap NO3-N levels.

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed thin films that exhibit carrier multiplication (CM). This development is of great interest for future solar cells.

The films were synthesized at BGU by Prof. Yuval Golan and PhD student Anna Osherov of the Department of Materials Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. The letter was published in Nature Physics.

A research group from the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Tarragona has developed a biosensor that can immediately detect very low levels of Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever. The technique uses carbon nanotubes and synthetic DNA fragments that activate an electric signal when they link up with the pathogen.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA—Ozone, the main component of air pollution, or smog, is a highly reactive, colorless gas formed when oxygen reacts with other chemicals. Although ozone pollution is most often associated with outdoor air, the gas also infiltrates indoor environments like homes and offices. Ozone can be released by ordinary copy machines, laser printers, ultraviolet lights, and some electrostatic air purification systems, all of which contribute to increased indoor ozone levels.

A cool, freshly drawn beer – for many a person this is the greatest of pleasures. But, in fact, a bad conscience should haunt us when we drink beer as it is among the most energy-intensive foodstuffs during production. Brewing engineers from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) are working hard to improve the energy balance of the amber beverage. They are looking into a new process combination that would allow energy savings of up to 20% during brewing.

Microbiologists from the University of Essex, UK have used microbes to break down and remove toxic compounds from crude oil and tar sands. These acidic compounds persist in the environment, taking up to 10 years to break down. Mr Richard Johnson, presenting his research to the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, described how, by using mixed consortia of bacteria, they have achieved complete degradation of specific compounds in only a few days.