• Earth's crust is slowly being destroyed

    New research shows that the Earth’s crust is now undergoing high rates of destruction; the research shows the sharp decrease in the growth of the continental crust indicates a dramatic change in the way the Earth has generated and preserved this crust in the last 4.5 billion years

  • Planetary exploration vehicle for earthly search-and-rescue missions

    A researcher develops a NASA-sponsored autonomous lake lander for the purpose of exploring lakes on distant planets; this mission is many years in the future; in the meantime, the vehicle is ready to deploy on missions related to defense and security, such as harbor surveillance and cleanup operations of littoral munitions dumps and mines; it is also ideal for search-and-rescue operations in oceans, lakes, and hazardous environments, as well as for environmental research projects

  • The Transboundary Agreement is not just about the cost of gas and the environment

    The Transboundary Agreement, which the United States and Mexico reached on 20 February, regulates oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico; before the agreement is ratified, there is a need to address serious security issues related to building more oil rigs in the Gulf – for example, the fact that the Mexican government cannot control its powerful criminal organizations, and that it will be easy for terrorists in a small boat to overrun one of these deepwater rigs

  • Firefly technology sheds new light

    A new device, employing the same chemical which lights up fireflies, can easily detect food contamination; the researchers who developed the system hope it will soon be used to test for other diseases, including HIV-AIDS

  • Robot jellyfish for underwater search and rescue

    Researchers have built a robotic swimmer that mimics the motion of a jellyfish; the device will because for underwater search and rescue missions

  • Army scientists work to improve biothreat detection

    A married couple, both scientists working at the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, one of forty-five Biosafety Level 3 labs in the United States; they collaborate on improving the ability of soldiers and first responders to detect, identify, and protect against potentially lethal biological threat agents

  • Electricity from trees

    Plants have long been known as the lungs of the earth, but a new finding has found they may also play a role in electrifying the atmosphere; scientists found the positive and negative ion concentrations in the air were twice as high in heavily wooded areas than in open grassy areas, such as parks

  • Confirmed: oil from Deepwater Horizon disaster entered food chain

    For months, crude oil gushed into the water at a rate of approximately 53,000 barrels per day; new study confirms that not only did oil affect the ecosystem in the Gulf during the blowout, but it was still entering the food web after the well was capped

  • New method for cleaning up nuclear waste

    There are more than 436 nuclear power plants operating in thirty countries, and they create a lot of nuclear waste; one of the more toxic elements in that waste is radionuclide technetium (99Tc); approximately 305 metric tons of 99Tc were generated from nuclear reactors and weapons testing from 1943 through 2010

  • Simulation of nuclear fusion shows high-gain energy output

    High-gain nuclear fusion could be achieved in a preheated cylindrical container immersed in strong magnetic fields, according to a series of computer simulations performed at Sandia National Laboratories; the method appears to be fifty times more efficient than using X-rays — a previous favorite at Sandia — to drive implosions of targeted materials to create fusion conditions

  • Asteroid to miss Earth next year, but not by much

    When it whizzes past Earth in 2013, a newly discovered asteroid is going to miss our planet — but not by much; the 50-meter space rock is expected to come closer than many satellites, highlighting the growing need to keep watch on hazards from above

  • Good news: metal-reducing bacteria interacts with plutonium oxide

    Studies show that under oxygen-free conditions, plutonium(IV) hydrous oxide, the most common subsurface form of plutonium, does not become very soluble; this information will help in developing effective approaches for isolating and removing the contaminants before they can impact humans and the environment

  • Breakthrough in next gen nuclear detectors

    Researchers have long struggled to develop radiation detectors that can spot a nuclear device hidden away in a shielded case, but a recent breakthrough could change all that

  • Pentagon explores mind-controlled battle robots

    Taking a page from the popular movie Avatar, the military’s advanced research arm DARPA is seeking to develop technology that would allow troops to remotely inhabit the bodies of mechanical androids on the battlefield

  • Smart grid: from deployment to applications

    Some 200 million smart meters have been deployed worldwide, forty million of them in North America; a new white paper from Pike Research says that the year 2012 represents a turning point for the sector