New ‘Transient Electronics’ Disappear When No Longer Needed

Read the full story from the American Chemical Society.

Scientists today described key advances toward practical uses of a new genre of tiny, biocompatible electronic devices that could be implanted into the body to relieve pain or battle infection for a specific period of time, and then dissolve harmlessly.

These “transient electronics,” described here at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, could have other uses, including consumer electronics products with a pre-engineered service life. The meeting, which features almost 12,000 reports on new scientific advances and other presentations, continues through Thursday.

Dr. John Rogers, the lead researcher on this study, is an upcoming speaker in the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s Sustainability Seminar Series. The seminar, which will be simulcast as a webinar, is scheduled for Thursday, April 25 at noon CDT. Register for the webinar at

Polluting Plastic Particles Invade the Great Lakes

Read the full story from the American Chemical Society.

Floating plastic debris — which helps populate the infamous “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean — has become a problem in the Great Lakes, the largest body of fresh water in the world. Scientists reported on the latest findings from the Great Lakes here today at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

Understanding Climate Science: A Scientist’s Responsibility to Communicate with the Public

Read the full story from the American Chemical Society.

With global climate change and the prospect of another record-hot summer on the minds of millions of people, experts have gathered here today to encourage scientists to take a more active role in communicating the topic to the public, policy makers and others. The symposium, “Understanding Climate Science: A Scientist’s Responsibility,” is part of the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

Speakers are highlighting a new resource that scientists can use in communicating the science of climate change. Launched late last year, the ACS Climate Science Toolkit, available at, is a web-based tool to enhance understanding and communication of the science underpinning global climate change. The toolkit was developed for ACS’ more than 163,000 members and others. Abstracts related to the symposium are at the end of this release.

Better Monitoring and Diagnostics Tackle Algae Biofuel Pond Crash Problem

Read the full story from Sandia National Laboratories.

Sandia National Laboratories is developing a suite of complementary technologies to help the emerging algae industry detect and quickly recover from algal pond crashes, an obstacle to large-scale algae cultivation for future biofuels.

The research, which focuses on monitoring and diagnosing algal pond health, draws upon Sandia’s longstanding expertise in microfluidics technology, its strong bioscience research program and significant internal investments.

Green Infrastructure Aims to Reshape Philadelphia

Read the full story from Sustainable Communities E-News.

In 2012, the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania adopted a landmark program that could change the direction of infrastructure investments made in CSO-affected communities across the country. Informed by years of watershed-based planning, the Philadelphia Water Department’s (PWD’s) Green City, Clean Waters program deploys green infrastructure strategies as the primary tool for addressing CSOs and spurring sustainable urban redevelopment.

Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Available

ENERGY STAR products meet strict guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Saving energy helps prevent climate change, but it will also help you save money, especially around tax time. Upgrade your equipment to ENERGY STAR models anytime this year and get credit on next year’s tax return.

The ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different product categories, including appliances, electronics, lighting and heating and cooling equipment. Although some may cost more to purchase than standard models, they pay you back in lower energy bills, even without a tax credit. Federal tax credits available for some products make these savings even more significant.

What is Eligible?

ENERGY STAR products in the following categories are eligible for 10% of the product’s cost up to $500, or a specific amount from $50–$300. Products must be purchased for an existing home that is your primary residence. These tax credits expire December 31, 2013.

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Central air conditioners
  • Boilers
  • Furnaces
  • Insulation
  • Roofs
  • Non-solar water heaters
  • Windows and doors

ENERGY STAR certified geothermal heat pumps are eligible for 30% of the product’s cost with no upper limit. Products can be purchased for new or existing homes, and both primary residences and second homes may apply. This tax credit expires December 31, 2016.

For more detailed information, see the tax credits section of the ENERGY STAR website.

Digging into Sustainability: A campus series brings fresh perspective to a pressing issue

Read the full story in UIUC’s LAS News.

Sustainability has become a catch phrase in discussions over how to preserve the environment. But what does the concept really mean? Answering that question is one of the purposes of an ongoing series at Illinois that organizers hope will inspire fresh ideas on the issue.

This is the third year of the series, called the Scholarship of Sustainability, held once a week for roughly nine weeks each spring. It has grown and developed, with speakers selected to bring a unique perspective to a debate that’s raged for years.