July 24, 2017

There's one question the BBC's science editor keeps being asked about life on the ice.

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July 24, 2017

Glacial microbiologist Dr Joe Cook on life on the ice.

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July 24, 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01240C, PaperPhilipp Lettenmeier, Svenja Kolb, Lukas Zielke, Simon Thiele, Arne Fallisch, Noriko Sata, Aldo Saul Gago, Kaspar Andreas Friedrich
Hydrogen produced by water electrolysis is a promising storage medium for renewables. Reducing capital cost of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers without losing efficiency is one of its most pressing...
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July 24, 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01526G, CommunicationHammad Cheema, Roberta Rodrigues, Jared Delcamp
Sequential series multijunction dye-sensitized solar cells (SSM-DSCs), which are mechanically stacked single illuminated area DSC devices wired in series, are reported to have exceptionally high photovoltages(Voc) ranging from 1.9-4.7 V...
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July 24, 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01403A, PaperMichael Salvador, Nicola Gasparini, Jose Dario Perea, Sri Harish Paleti, Andreas Distler, Liana N Inasaridze, Pavel Troshin, Larry Luer, Hans-Joachim Egelhaaf, Christoph J Brabec
Conjugated polymer semiconductors offer unique advantages over conventional semiconductors but tend to suffer from electro-optic performance roll-off, mainly due to reduced photofastness. Here, we demonstrate that the commodity nickel chelate...
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July 24, 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01628J, CommunicationXunhui Xiong, Chenghao Yang, Guanhua Wang, Yuwei Lin, Xing Ou, Jeng-Han Wang, Bote Zhao, Meilin Liu, Zhang Lin, Kevin Huang
We here report that SnS nanoparticles (SnS NPs) prepared through electrostatically anchoring them on 3D N-doped graphene (3DNG) network exhibit the best cycling performance reported so far for SnS-based anodes....
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July 24, 2017

A new analysis suggests there's a greater chance of the heavy rain that led to extensive flooding in 2014.

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July 24, 2017

The nine-year-old has no active HIV in the body after catching the infection at birth.

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July 23, 2017

New rules will encourage UK consumers to generate and store their own power, ministers say.

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July 23, 2017

We analysed how the body responds to stress - by making presenter Jordan Dunbar do a comedy performance.

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July 23, 2017

The revolutionary technology allows wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for current turbines.

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July 23, 2017

An underwater robot spotted the lava-like rocks inside a reactor of Japan's destroyed nuclear plant.

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July 22, 2017

Male elephant seals recognise the rhythm of one another's voices, researchers say.

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July 22, 2017

A 12ft-long python found on the Norfolk Broads has still not been found.

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July 21, 2017
University of Science and Technology of China

The organic matter in coal contains polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) of varying quantities in diverse soluble and insoluble forms. PACs in coal are of special interest for organic geochemical studies as they have been successfully used as biological marker compounds (biomarkers) and indicators of thermal maturity.However, challenges exist when applying PACs in understanding the organic geochemistry of coal. For example, what are the sources of PACs in coals? How do they transform during the long-term coal-formation history? Is there any regular relationship between the PAC and macro-molecular structural changes? 

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July 21, 2017
University of Toronto

From indoor lighting to outdoor street lamps, our world is made brighter by artificial light. But the light that we perceive to be constant, actually fluctuates.A University of Toronto computer scientist and researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are studying electrical grids for cities, creating a camera that records the city's lights at a slower speed to get more accurate readings of changing voltages at particular locations.

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July 20, 2017

Environment Secretary Michael Gove plans to pay farmers for protecting the environment and creating rural jobs.

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July 20, 2017

The bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first ever samples of the Moon in 1969.

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July 20, 2017
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time. They imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton – a much-studied chemical reaction that is important in geology, chemistry and technology. A 100-micron long capillary displayed a remarkable spread in surface OH bond dissociation constant of a factor of a billion. The research has been published in Science.

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July 20, 2017
NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

It was midafternoon, but it was dark in an area in Boulder, Colorado on Aug. 3, 1998. A thick cloud appeared overhead and dimmed the land below for more than 30 minutes. Well-calibrated radiometers showed that there were very low levels of light reaching the ground, sufficiently low that researchers decided to simulate this interesting event with computer models. Now in 2017, inspired by the event in Boulder, NASA scientists will explore the moon’s eclipse of the sun to learn more about Earth’s energy system.On Aug. 21, 2017, scientists are looking to this year’s total solar eclipse passing across America to improve our modelling capabilities of Earth’s energy. Guoyong Wen, a NASA scientist working for Morgan State University in Baltimore, is leading a team to gather data from the ground and satellites before, during and after the eclipse so they can simulate this year’s eclipse using an advanced computer model, called a 3-D radiative transfer model. If successful, Wen and his team will help develop new calculations that improve our estimates of the amount of solar energy reaching the ground, and our understanding of one of the key players in regulating Earth’s energy system, clouds.

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July 20, 2017
DOE / Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

By using advanced lighting and automated shades, scientists from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that occupants on one floor of a high-rise office building in New York City were able to reduce lighting energy usage by nearly 80 percent in some areas.The dramatic results emerged at a “living laboratory” set up to test four sets of technologies on one 40,000 square-foot floor of a building.

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July 20, 2017
DOE / Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will lead a new $9 million project aimed at removing technical barriers to commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), a clean energy technology with the potential to power 100 million American homes.Berkeley Lab will partner with seven other DOE national labs and six universities to develop field experiments focused on understanding and modeling rock fractures, an essential element of geothermal systems. Scientists will use the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in South Dakota to create small-scale fracture networks in crystalline rock 1,500 meters below ground.

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July 20, 2017

A 10-year-old boy's stumble unearthed a prehistoric skull, which he then got the chance to help excavate.

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July 20, 2017
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

With growing risks to the nation’s electrical grid from natural disasters and as a potential target for malicious attacks, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should work closely with utility operators and other stakeholders to improve cyber and physical security and resilience, says a new congressionally mandated report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  The grid remains vulnerable to diverse threats that can potentially cause extensive damage and result in large-area, prolonged outages that could cost billions of dollars and cause loss of life, the report found. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report recommended ways to make the grid more resilient through the development and demonstration of technologies and organizational strategies that minimize the likelihood that outages will happen, reduce the impacts and speed recovery if they do, all the while developing mechanisms for continual improvements based on changing threats.

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July 20, 2017

The number fledging from the UK in 2017 is more than the total number for the previous 30 years.

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July 20, 2017

Male elephant seals recognise the rhythm of one another's voices, researchers say.

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July 20, 2017

A US congressman asked scientists if the Red Planet could have been occupied "thousands of years ago".

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July 20, 2017
GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre

The thawing permafrost soils in the Arctic regions might contribute to the greenhouse effect in two ways: On the one hand rising temperatures lead to higher microbial methane production close to the surface. On the other hand deeper thawing opens new pathways for old, geologic methane. This is shown in a study in the Mackenzie Delta (Canada), conducted by scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and partners in the US. The study is published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

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July 20, 2017
Rice University

Although it has not been widely successful to date in the former Soviet zone, Russia’s use of the “energy weapon” against Western European countries in various forms still constitutes a strategic threat that warrants close attention from policymakers in Washington and throughout Europe, according to an issue brief by an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

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July 20, 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01535F, CommunicationKolja Beltrop, Stephan Beuker, Andreas Heckmann, Martin Winter, Tobias Placke
In this contribution, we report for the first time a novel potassium ion-based dual-graphite battery concept (K-DGB), applying graphite as electrode material for both, the anode and cathode. The presented...
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July 20, 2017

Pangolins in the forests of Africa are at risk of being pushed to extinction like their Asian relatives.

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July 19, 2017

Scientists unearth evidence that Aboriginal people may have entered Australia over 65,000 years ago.

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July 19, 2017

Being friendly is in dogs' nature and could be key to how they were domesticated from wolves.

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July 19, 2017
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

In recent years, the best-performing artificial-intelligence systems — in areas such as autonomous driving, speech recognition, computer vision, and automatic translation — have come courtesy of software systems known as neural networks.But neural networks take up a lot of memory and consume a lot of power, so they usually run on servers in the cloud, which receive data from desktop or mobile devices and then send back their analyses.

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July 19, 2017

A UK zoo is taking part in a radical plan to save the world's last northern white rhinos from extinction.

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July 19, 2017
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The advanced batteries that will power tomorrow's electric vehicles are closer to being a reality thanks to more than $5.7 million in funding awarded to 15 different projects through the Department of Energy's Battery500 consortium.The new projects are the first to be funded through the consortium, which is led by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and involves multiple partners at universities and other national labs. The new seedling projects were announced July 12 as part of a larger unveiling of a total of $19.4 million in new DOE funding for vehicle technologies research.

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July 19, 2017
University of Saskatchewan

PhD chemistry student Leila Dehabadi has developed a new way to separate water from ethanol, the key component in alcoholic beverages and biofuel, using starch-based materials such as corn. The method could reduce costs because it doesn’t involve using additional energy to isolate the ethanol.“Compared to distillation, this new approach based on green chemistry and engineering will be a significant saving to biofuel and alcohol production in Saskatchewan and globally by changing the way water is separated from ethanol mixtures,” said Lee Wilson, U of S chemistry professor and Dehabadi’s supervisor. 

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July 19, 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01387F, PaperWenchao Huang, Eliot Gann, Naresh Chandrasekaran, Lars Thomsen, Shyamal K. K. Prasad, Justin Hodgkiss, Dinesh Kabra, Yi-Bing Cheng, Christopher R. McNeill
In solution-processed organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells, the purity of the phase-separated domains is known to play an important role in determining device function. While the effects of domain...
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July 18, 2017

Dogs were tamed from a single wolf population between 20,000 to 40,000 years ago, a study suggests.

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July 18, 2017
University of Cambridge

Researchers have demonstrated how a non-toxic alternative to lead could form the basis of next-generation solar cells.

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July 18, 2017
Stanford University

Even oilfields aren’t immune to the ravages of time: A new study finds that as some of the world’s largest oilfields age, the energy required to keep them operating can rise dramatically even as the amount of petroleum they produce drops.

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July 18, 2017

The European Space Agency turns off one of its most successful ever missions - LISA Pathfinder.

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July 18, 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01475A, PaperPengyi Tang, HaiBing Xie, Carles Ros, LiJuan Han, Marti Biset-Peiro, Yongmin He, Wesley Kramer, Alejandro Perez-Rodriguez, Edgardo Saucedo, Jose Galan-Mascaros, Teresa Andreu, Joan R. Morante, Jordi Arbiol
The optimization of multiple interfaces in hematite ([small alpha]-Fe2O3) based composites for photoelectrochemical water splitting to facilitate charge transport in the bulk, is of paramount importance to obtain enhanced solar-to-fuel efficiency....
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July 18, 2017

The birds were collected under licence for translocation to a part of Spain where they have not bred for years.

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July 18, 2017

New research suggests the dinosaur could go no faster than a very brisk walking pace.

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July 18, 2017

Legislators vote to extend a programme that charges firms for releasing pollutants to the year 2030.

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July 17, 2017

We're all used to ants sprouting wings and taking to the air during summer, but is there really such a thing as a "flying ant day"?

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July 17, 2017

New radio telescopes far more powerful than any used before aim to shed light on extra terrestrial activity.

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July 17, 2017
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Photosynthesis, which allows energy from the sun to be converted into life-sustaining sugars, can also be hazardous to green plants. If they absorb too much sunlight, the extra energy destroys their tissue.To combat this, green plants have developed a defense mechanism known as photoprotection, which allows them to dissipate the extra energy. Researchers from MIT and the University of Verona have now discovered how the key protein in this process allows moss and green algae to protect themselves from too much sun.

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July 17, 2017
ETH Zurich

The expansion of renewable energy has been widely criticised for increasing weather-dependent fluctuations in European electricity generation. A new study shows that this is due less to the variability of weather than from a failure to consider the large-scale weather conditions across the whole continent: many European countries are unilaterally following national strategies to expand wind energy capacities without looking beyond their own backyard.It would be better, however, for individual countries to work together and to promote the expansion of wind capacity in other European regions that are currently making very little use of wind power.  Balancing capacity across the continent would effectively minimise the extreme fluctuations caused by the varied weather conditions that currently affect wind speeds. This is the conclusion reached by a group of weather and energy researchers from ETH Zürich and Imperial College London in a new study, which has just been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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