Day: August 18, 2015

New research may enhance display and LED lighting technology

Read the full story from the University of Illinois College of Engineering.

Recently, quantum dots (QDs)—nano-sized semiconductor particles that produce bright, sharp, color light—have moved from the research lab into commercial products like high-end TVs, e-readers, laptops, and even some LED lighting. However, QDs are expensive to make so there’s a push to improve their performance and efficiency, while lowering their fabrication costs.

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recently produced some promising results toward that goal, developing a new method to extract more efficient and polarized light from quantum dots (QDs) over a large-scale area. Their method, which combines QD and photonic crystal technology, could lead to brighter and more efficient mobile phone, tablet, and computer displays, as well as enhanced LED lighting.

Global Extinction Rates: Why Do Estimates Vary So Wildly?

Read the full post at Yale Environment360.

Is it 150 species a day or 24 a day or far less than that? Prominent scientists cite dramatically different numbers when estimating the rate at which species are going extinct. Why is that?

Getting Governors on Board with Landscape Restoration

Read the full post from the World Resources Institute.

While restoration tends to be discussed at the international or national levels, examples show that it is implemented at the state and local levels—with many benefits for communities.

Sediment dwelling creatures at risk from nanoparticles in common household products

Read the full story from the University of Exeter.

Researchers from the University of Exeter highlight the risk that engineered nanoparticles released from masonry paint on exterior facades, and consumer products such as zinc oxide cream, could have on aquatic creatures.

Textiles, paint, sunscreen, cosmetics and food additives are all increasingly containing metal-based nanoparticles that are engineered, rather than found naturally.

The review, published today in the journal Environmental Chemistry, highlights the risks posed to aquatic organisms when nanoparticles ‘transform’ on contact with water and as they pass from water to sediment and then into sediment dwelling organisms.

Why the Donald Trump phenomenon is bad for the climate

Read the full post at Grist.

Trump thinks cold weather in the U.S. in winter disproves the demonstrable fact that global average temperatures have been steadily rising since the Industrial Revolution. Roberts’ pithy conclusion is that Trump’s opinions are wrong, but, “They are, for the most part, mainstream Republican positions.” That depends on how you look at it. Rejecting climate science is the norm among Republican politicians. (Republican voters are more evenly split between climate science acceptance and denial.) But Trump’s specific approach to climate change represents a more rare and particularly disturbing species of climate science denialism.

Hot and Getting Hotter: Heat Islands Cooking U.S. Cities

Download the document or explore the interactive report.

Cities are almost always hotter than the surrounding rural area but global warming takes that heat and makes it worse. In the future, this combination of urbanization and climate change could raise urban temperatures to levels that threaten human health, strain energy resources, and compromise economic productivity.

History of Wind Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy’s History of Wind Energy page highlights the advances that wind power has made since 1850. It includes an interactive time line.

Video: Sustainability in Bioenergy: A Nation Connected

“Sustainability in Bioenergy: A Nation Connected” is a short documentary highlighting personal stories and the efforts being made by communities across the United States to develop, produce, and provide bioenergy, while ensuring it is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. From farmers and families in the Midwest, to researchers and business-owners on the coasts, “Sustainability in Bioenergy: A Nation Connected” is a prelude to future products that will provide first-hand views on how sustainability in bioenergy unites us as a nation. This video was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office and supports initiatives to expand the public’s understanding of sustainable transportation and the bioenergy industry.

From $0 to $9M In Two Years: Dukies Change Face of E-Waste Recycling

Read the full post at ExitEvent.

As co-founders of Smart Metals Recycling just outside Charlotte, former Duke students Shelly Li and Arun Karottu are tackling e-waste head on.

Goats May Be Unwelcome In Zimbabwe’s Capital, But D.C. Loves Them

Read the full story from NPR.

On the same week that President Robert Mugabe made it clear that goats are not welcome in the streets of Zimbabwe’s capital, a herd of goats got a hero’s welcome in the capital of the free world.

“Mommy, I see the goats! Look at the goats!” squealed a little girl who’d just bounded past the final resting spot of J. Edgar Hoover at the Congressional Cemetery in search of the ruminants. The historic graveyard in Southeast D.C. has gone all out for the arrival of the herd. Signs throughout the cemetery point to where 30 goats are nonchalantly clearing brush. The gift shop overflows with goat-themed souvenirs, including cuddly stuffed bucks and a crinkly goat-shaped cat toy.

The president of the cemetery, Paul Williams, says the grazing goats are a win-win-win.

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