• Strengthening Domestic Supply Chains for Critical Minerals

    The USGS is investing millions of dollars in strengthening domestic supply chains for mineral resources critical to every economic sector and every member of society. Central to this effort is a nationwide mapping effort for critical minerals.

  • A Self-Service Screening Option Coming to the Airport Near You

    Self-service screening is coming to airport checkpoints, thanks to the Science and Technology Directorate’s Screening at Speed Program. A pilot of a new self-service screening system is scheduled to begin in January at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • Modeling Geothermal Systems’ Viability

    Geothermal power has a lot of promise as a renewable energy source that is not dependent on the sun shining or the wind blowing, but it has some obstacles to wide adoption. One challenge is that a limited number of locations in the U.S. naturally have the right conditions: hot rock relatively close to the surface and with plentiful groundwater to heat up. Web tool looks belowground for an economically viable renewable energy source.

  • Huawei’s New Mate 60 Phones Are a Lesson in Unintended Consequences

    In October 2022, the Commerce Department introduced a set of export-control measures designed to prevent the use of American chip technology for Chinese military purposes. Rules were also imposed that aimed to restrict China’s semiconductor production to older 14-nm technology. These controls have had varying degrees of success, but the 14-nm restriction is one of the more overt failures, as the 7-nm chips in the new Huawei’s Mate 60 phones shows.

  • A New Blueprint for Designing High-Performance Batteries

    Cooperative behavior among components in batteries points to an exciting new approach to designing next-generation technologies, pointing the way to better electric vehicle batteries and storage of renewable energy on the grid.

  • How a Small Caribbean Island Is Trying to Become Hurricane-Proof

    Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in the Caribbean and for small islands such as Dominica (not to be confused with the much larger Dominican Republic) it is an existential threat. Unlike larger islands like Cuba or Jamaica, a single storm hitting Dominica can damage the entire country – and the topography and small size of the island imposes hard limits on its ability to adapt.

  • Using Machine Learning to Help Refugees Succeed

    A new set of machine learning tools is helping countries place refugees where they’re most likely to find employment.

  • Bioengineered Potato Plant Detects Gamma Radiation

    A researcher in the University of Tennessee Herbert College of Agriculture has developed a potato plant that can detect gamma radiation, providing reliable indications of harmful radiation levels without complex monitoring technologies. The natural radiation sensor is affordable, too.

  • Non-powered Dams Offer Opportunity for Clean Energy

    The era of building big dams may be over in the United States, but hydroelectricity still has a significant and untapped role to play in the nation’s energy future. Trouble is, 97 percent of U.S. dams don’t make electricity. A new tool could help tap that resource.

  • Preparing U.S., Partners for Radiological Response

    After the September 11th attacks, security professionals worried that terrorists might detonate a “dirty bomb” – an explosive device enhanced with radiological source materials. Responders for this type of event had to be trained.

  • A First: For Six Days in a Row, Portugal Ran on 100% Renewables

    For nearly a week, the country of 10 million met customer needs with wind, hydro and solar — a test run for operating the grid without fossil fuels.

  • New Battery Tech from Sweden Offers Alternative to Critical Materials from China

    New sodium-ion battery is safer and more cost-effective and sustainable than conventional nickel, manganese, and cobalt (NMC) or iron phosphate (LFP) chemistries, and is produced with minerals such as iron and sodium that are abundant on global markets.

  • Move Over Lithium-Ion: Zinc-Air Batteries a Cheaper and Safer Alternative

    New research shows batteries built from zinc and air could be the future of powering electric vehicles. The project tested zinc-air batteries using a combination of cheaper, safer and sustainably sourced materials, which allowed for improved lifespan and performance.

  • The Historic Claims That Put a Few California Farming Families First in Line for Colorado River Water

    Twenty families in the Imperial Valley received a whopping 386.5 billion gallons of the river’s water last year — more than three Western states. Century-old water rights guarantee that supply.

  • Reforms Needed to Expand Prescribed Burns

    Prescribed fire, which mimics natural fire regimes, can help improve forest health and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic wildfire. But this management tool is underused in the fire-prone U.S. West and Baja California, Mexico, due to several barriers. Study highlights four strategies to overcome barriers to prescribed fire in the West.