Chemical pesticides are generally a bad thing for the environment and pollinators like bees that our agriculture relies on. Now a company out of Vancouver, Canada, called Bee Vectoring Technology (BVT) has brought the two together in a system that uses bees to deliver tiny amounts of natural pesticides and beneficial fungi while pollinating crops.
Scientists have discovered that a bacterium called Thiomicrospira crunogena can produce carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that can convert carbon dioxide into bicarbonate. In a new study, scientists from the University of Florida highlight how the bacterium, found in deep-sea regions, could play a role in the race to find solutions to sequester industrial CO2 from the atmosphere.
An Israeli-Palestinian NGO is using solar and wind energy to transform the lives of a marginalized community of Palestinian famers and shepherds. Founded in 2009, Comet-ME has helped develop small off-grid systems that now provide an average of 2.5 kW h per family per day across 20 communities.
Five wearying days after setting off from Darwin, the Nuon Solar Team has beaten Dutch compatriot Solar Team Twente to claim its sixth World Solar Challenge. The two teams have been neck-and-neck over the mammoth solar-powered journey, and remarkably finished only minutes apart after covering some 3,000 km (1,864 mi) through the Australian outback.
Since the beginning of the industrial age, mercury pollution has
increased steadily in our environment, particularly in rivers and
oceans. As a result, high-level predators in our waterways often contain
very high levels of mercury, and eating fish containing this neurotoxin
can lead to serious health issues. Now Australian scientists working at
Flinders University have discovered a simple and efficient way to remove
mercury from the environment by using a material made from recycled
waste citrus peel.
Researchers from the University of Alexandria have developed a cheaper, simpler and potentially cleaner way to turn seawater into drinking water than conventional methods. The breakthrough, which could have a huge impact on rural areas of the Middle East and North Africa, improves on an existing method of separating liquids and solids known as pervaporation by using a new salt-attracting membrane embedded with cellulose acetate powder.
Like every other team currently taking part in the World Solar Challenge, an arduous 3,000 km solar-powered race across the Australian outback, the University of Michigan Solar Car Team will look to keep its car chugging along by exposing it to as much sunlight as possible. But the UM team has brought along a little piece of added technology it hopes will offer an edge. Developed by IBM, the solar forecasting system tracks the clouds moving overhead so the team knows where they need to be and when to draw maximum energy from the sun.
Offshore wind farms have been creating electricity off the coast of Denmark since 1991 and England, Germany and other countries on mainland Europe have followed suit, as have China, South Korea and Japan. It's a different story in the US, where until recently there were no offshore wind farms in operation or even under construction. That changed recently with the start of construction of a small wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.
If you're looking to bring together the world's brightest budding engineers to push solar technology to its very limits, then there may be no better backdrop than the dusty, sun-drenched expanses of central Australia. The biennial World Solar Challenge will kick off this Sunday, with competitors set to cover a monster 3,000 km (1,864 mi) journey from Darwin, Northern Territory to Adelaide, South Australia in cars powered purely by the sun. As hopefuls from all over the globe ready their rides for the ultimate in solar-powered endurance racing, here's a quick look at some of the interesting vehicle designs, who's new to the party and a few that have been around the block before.
We've previously heard about air-purifying clothing, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise to find out that scientists have now developed the aquatic equivalent – a bikini top that filters pollutants out of the water around the wearer. And yes, the technology could have other uses.