Solar farms could make fertile habitats for bees and butterflies

Read the full story at GreenBiz. The buzz about the puzzling mass demise of honey bees, monarch butterflies and other crucial pollinators has prompted plenty of personal protection pledges. Now, a movement is afoot to plant these “gardens” at a much larger scale. The campaign, advocated by Minnesota-based non-profit Fresh Energy, encourages developers of utility-scale …

McConnell: Chemical reform could get a vote in the fall

Read the full story in The Hill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that an overhaul of federal chemical safety laws could come up for a vote when lawmakers return from their summer recess. A Senate panel passed a bipartisan update of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in April, and McConnell said …

Bio-inspired robots: A force for good or evil?

Read the full post at GreenBiz. Whether for good or ill, robotics has been a prime application venue for bio-inspired design. More organic devices are being developed at an increasing rate because of progress in our ability to process information, make things smaller and use new materials with novel properties. This pattern undoubtedly will continue, …

Snakeskin: A design breakthrough for robots and race cars?

Read the full post at GreenBiz. Even though a snake’s skin is dry as a bone, we often think of it as wet and slick. There’s a good reason for that — the animals have evolved a coating of scales that helps them slide seemingly without effort across any surface. Nature’s design is actually more …

Lost jobs and the collateral damage of climate change

Read the full post at GreenBiz. The following is an excerpt from the book "Decent Work, Green Jobs and the Sustainable Economy." Environmental challenges and social challenges are inextricably linked. Economic growth, job creation and incomes depend on — and can degrade — natural resources and systems. However, they can also restore and enhance environmental …

Green Surfactants Close to Surface

Read the full story in R&D Magazine. From cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to agricultural products and paint, surfactants are ubiquitous in consumer and industrial areas. The compounds make up a multi-billion-dollar market, according to the NSF. Taking cues from surfactants made by common bacteria, the Univ. of Arizona research team is exploring new biosurfactants based on …

Detroit wildlife refuge could be model for urban conservation

Read the full story at WKAR. When you think of wildlife refuges, Detroit probably isn’t the first place that pops to mind. But conservation scientists are paying increasing attention to the potential of urban spaces. Current State’s April Van Buren talks with John H. Hartig, who manages the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, about his …