Tech

In the air, it is a serious pollutant. In the body, it plays a role in heart rate, blood flow, nerve signals and immune function.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18—Tomorrow's lasers may come with a bit of bling, thanks to a new technology that uses man-made diamonds to enhance the power and capabilities of lasers. Researchers in Australia have now demonstrated the first laser built with diamonds that has comparable efficiency to lasers built with other materials.

A combination of small satellites can, with innovative methods, use the signals of the navigation satellite systems GPS and Galileo to significantly improve remote sensing of the System Earth. On 18.09.2009 the results of a scientific feasibility study on the first MicroGEM satellites, jointly carried out by the Technical University Berlin and the GFZ – German Research Centre for Geosciences, were presented in Berlin. The study was supported by the TSB Technology Foundation Berlin and the Helmholtz Centre GFZ.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are working to demonstrate that trees can be used to degrade or capture fuels that leak into soil and ground water. Through a process called phytoremediation – literally a "green" technology – plants and trees remove pollutants from the environment or render them harmless.

Many medical conditions, such as chronic pain, cancer and diabetes, require medications that cannot be taken orally, but must be dosed intermittently, on an as-needed basis, over a long period of time. A few delivery techniques have been developed, using an implanted heat source, an implanted electronic chip or other stimuli as an "on-off" switch to release the drugs into the body. But thus far, none of these methods can reliably do all that's needed: repeatedly turn dosing on and off, deliver consistent doses and adjust doses according to the patient's need.

(Washington) The largest U.S subsidies to fossil fuels are attributed to tax breaks that aid foreign oil production, according to research to be released on Friday by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The study, which reviewed fossil fuel and energy subsidies for Fiscal Years 2002-2008, reveals that the lion's share of energy subsidies supported energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases.

CSIRO researchers have discovered that micro-organisms that help break down contaminants under the soil can actually get too hot for their own good.

While investigating ways of cleaning up groundwater contamination, scientists examined how microbes break down contaminants under the soil's surface and found that subsurface temperatures associated with microbial degradation can become too hot for the microbes to grow and consume the groundwater contaminants.

This can slow down the clean up of the groundwater and even continue the spread of contamination.

A team of researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) has developed an intelligent surveillance system able to detect aberrant behaviour by drivers and people on foot crossing pedestrian crossings and in other urban settings. The study, published this month in the journal Expert Systems with Applications, could be used to penalise incorrect behaviour.

TECNALIA Technological Corporation has introduced innovative robots at Euskotren's station in Atxuri (Bilbao) and which are mobile, multifunctional, collaborative, autonomous and polyvalent, suitable for a wide range of work from street cleaning and rubbish collection to accompanying elderly people. This new generation of robots is part of the European DUSTBOT research project under the remit of the VI European Framework Programme and in which TECNALIA is participating.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are working to demonstrate that trees can be used to degrade or capture fuels that leak into soil and ground water. Through a process called phytoremediation – literally a "green" technology – plants and trees remove pollutants from the environment or render them harmless.

A study published online today [Thursday] estimates nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance. That figure is about two and a half times higher than an estimate from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2002.

The new study, "Health Insurance and Mortality in U.S. Adults," appears in today's [Thursday's] online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

MADISON — Imagine a car that runs on hydrogen from solar power and produces water instead of carbon emissions. While vehicles like this won't be on the market anytime soon, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers are making incremental but important strides in the fuel cell technology that could make clean cars a reality.

LEWISTON, Idaho – Temperature differences and slow-moving water at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers in Idaho might delay the migration of threatened juvenile salmon and allow them to grow larger before reaching the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers are one step closer to creating a micro-aircraft that flies with the maneuverability and energy efficiency of an insect after decoding the aerodynamic secrets of insect flight.

Scientists in Pennsylvania report that boosting production of crops used to make biofuels could make a difficult task to shrink a vast, oxygen-depleted "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico more difficult. The zone, which reached the size of Massachusetts in 2008, forms in summer and threatens marine life and jobs in the region. Their study is scheduled for the Oct. 1 issue of ACS' semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology.