Tech

Pharmaceuticals and the water-fish-osprey food web

Pharmaceuticals and the water-fish-osprey food web

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Ospreys do not carry significant amounts of human pharmaceutical chemicals, despite widespread occurrence of these chemicals in water, a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Baylor University study finds. These research findings, published by Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management is the first published study that examines the bioaccumulation of pharmaceuticals in the water-fish-osprey food web.

New tracers can identify frac fluids in the environment

New tracers can identify frac fluids in the environment

Scientists have developed new geochemical tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing flowback fluids that have been spilled or released into the environment.

The tracers have been field-tested at a spill site in West Virginia and downstream from an oil and gas brine wastewater treatment plant in Pennsylvania.

Winning by losing

Winning by losing

What started out as a mathematical oddity, has now become a new kind of laser technology. Two years ago, physicists at TU Wien predicted a paradoxical laser effect: Under certain conditions, a laser can be switched on not by supplying it with more energy, but by taking energy away from the laser. First experimental signatures of this effect were recently reported at TU Wien. In collaboration with colleagues at Washington University in St.

Chinese power: Challenges and R&D opportunities of smart distribution grids

Chinese power: Challenges and R&D opportunities of smart distribution grids

After conducting an investigation about the current state of the operation of medium voltage distribution grids and the integration of distributed generation (DG) of renewable resources across China, scientists at the Key Laboratory of Smart Grid, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, at Tianjin University in the east coast city of Tianjin, set out an array of R&D opportunities to modernize these grids.

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam

Laser physicists have built a tractor beam that can repel and attract objects, using a hollow laser beam that is bright around the edges and dark in its centre.

It is the first long-distance optical tractor beam and moved particles one fifth of a millimetre in diameter a distance of up to 20 centimetres, around 100 times further than previous experiments.

Towards controlled dislocations

Towards controlled dislocations

Dispelling a misconception about Mg-ion batteries

Dispelling a misconception about Mg-ion batteries

Lithium (Li)-ion batteries serve us well, powering our laptops, tablets, cell phones and a host of other gadgets and devices. However, for future automotive applications, we will need rechargeable batteries with significant increases in energy density, reductions in cost and improvements in safety. Hence the big push in the battery industry to develop an alternative to the Li-ion technology.

Three-minute in-office test accurately diagnoses delirium

An abbreviated version of the Confusion Assessment Method, or CAM, test is highly sensitive and specific for diagnosing delirium, according to a study being published in Annals of Internal Medicine (http://www.annals.org/article.aspx?doi=10.7326/M14-0865). Delirium is common in hospitalized older patients but it often goes undiagnosed. Widely used since the 1990s, the CAM test is regarded as an accurate assessment tool for delirium.

Improved electricity access has little impact on climate change

Improving household electricity access in India over the last 30 years contributed only marginally to the nation's total carbon emissions growth during that time, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"Energy access is fundamental to development: it brings improvements to all aspects of life, including education, communication, and health," says IIASA researcher Shonali Pachauri, who conducted the study.

Superconducting circuits, simplified

Images/release: http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/cheaper-superconducting-computer-chips-1017

Computer chips with superconducting circuits — circuits with zero electrical resistance — would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today's chips, an attractive trait given the increasing power consumption of the massive data centers that power the Internet's most popular sites.