Spinning Biomass into Gold

There’s a century-old adage coined by the paper industry that claims “you can make anything from lignin except a profit.”Art Ragauskas has heard this maxim countless times during his career, and it gets him a little riled up every time he hears it. As the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Biorefining, Ragauskas is channeling that ire into proving that the old saying’s time has come and gone.

Earth-Air Heat Exchanger Best Way to Protect Farm Animals in Livestock Buildings Against the Effects of Climate Change

Without countermeasures, climate change will negatively impact animals in pig and poultry production. Beside the health and wellbeing of the animals, heat stress also affects performance and, as a result, profitability. As the animals are predominantly kept in confined livestock buildings equipped with mechanical ventilation systems, researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna examined the inlet air temperature of several air cooling systems. The best solution, they found, is the use of the earth for heat storage via an earth-air heat exchanger (EAHE). An EAHE cools in the summer, and warms up the inlet air during wintertime.

Teaching KITT to drive in the rain

In 1982, when David Hasselhoff jumped into KITT, a super-advanced Pontiac Trans Am that could drive itself, it was obvious Knight Rider was pure TV science fiction. But nowadays, with companies investing millions in autonomous vehicle research, could KITT be just around the corner?The technology behind self-driving cars is advancing at an incredible pace, with companies like General Motors, Google, Tesla and Uber testing cars in San Francisco, Phoenix and Boston. And the idea of robo-cars is very appealing to younger consumers, with nearly two-thirds of Millenials willing to own a self-driving vehicle within the next decade.

Correctly Used Neonics Do Not Adversely Affect Honeybee Colonies, New Research Finds

The three most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides for flowering crops pose no risk to honeybee colonies when used correctly as seed treatments, according to new studies by University of Guelph researchers.Amid mounting controversy over use of neonicotinoids (neonics) and declining bee populations, a new analysis by U of G scientists of previously unpublished studies and reports commissioned by agri-chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta – as well as published papers from the scientific literature – shows no significant ill effects on honeybee colonies from three common insecticides made by the companies.

Why The World Needs to Rethink The Value of Water

Research led by Oxford University highlights the accelerating pressure on measuring, monitoring and managing water locally and globally. A new four-part framework is proposed to value water for sustainable development to guide better policy and practice.

Radiographs of Dolly's Skeleton Show No Signs of Abnormal Osteoarthritis

Original concerns that cloning caused early-onset osteoarthritis (OA) in Dolly the sheep are unfounded, say experts at the University of Nottingham and the University of Glasgow.

Engineers Model the California Reservoir Network

For the first time, engineers at Caltech have developed an empirical statewide model of the California reservoir network. The model was built from data gathered over a 13-year period that includes the latest drought, allowing researchers to make observations about how 55 of the state's major reservoirs respond to a variety of external conditions as a unified system.

Ludwig Researchers Unravel Novel Mechanism by Which Tumors Grow Resistant to Radiotherapy

A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered a key mechanism by which tumors develop resistance to radiation therapy and shown how such resistance might be overcome with drugs that are currently under development. The discovery addresses a longstanding challenge: as many as 40% of large tumors develop resistance to radiotherapy, significantly complicating treatment. Overcoming such resistance could go a long way toward treating tumors, especially those that cause significant discomfort to patients and resist other modes of therapy or cannot be surgically removed.

Meadows Beat Out Shrubs When it Comes to Carbon Storage

Excess carbon dioxide, emitted by burning fossil fuels like coal and petroleum, is one of the most important factors in driving global warming. While the world is focused on controlling these emissions to limit climate change, less attention has been paid to the capacity of vegetation and soils to take up and store carbon.

Energy From Electric Cars Could Power Our Lives – But Only If We Improve The System

Power stored in electric cars could be sent back to the grid – thereby supporting the grid and acting as a potential storage for clean energy – but it will only be economically viable if we upgrade the system first. In a new paper in Energy Policy, two scientists show how their seemingly contradictory findings actually point to the same outcome and recommendations: that pumping energy back into the grid using today’s technology can damage car batteries, but with improvements in the system it has the potential to provide valuable clean energy – and improve battery life in the process.