Day: February 28, 2019

New AI approach bridges the ‘slim-data gap’ that can stymie deep learning approaches

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Scientists have developed a deep neural network that sidesteps a problem that has bedeviled efforts to apply artificial intelligence to tackle complex chemistry – a shortage of precisely labeled chemical data. The new method gives scientists an additional tool to apply deep learning to explore drug discovery, new materials for manufacturing, and a swath of other applications.

Predicting chemical properties and reactions among millions upon millions of compounds is one of the most daunting tasks that scientists face. There is no source of complete information from which a deep learning program could draw upon. Usually, such a shortage of a vast amount of clean data is a show-stopper for a deep learning project.

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discovered a way around the problem. They created a pre-training system, kind of a fast-track tutorial where they equip the program with some basic information about chemistry, equip it to learn from its experiences, then challenge the program with huge datasets.

The work was presented at KDD2018, the Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, in London.

Scientists Need to Talk to the Public

Read the full story in Scientific American.

The truth is that science is inspiring, and I always try to convey that in my writing and speaking, in terms that are understandable to non-scientists. I am not alone. “Science communication” is a popular buzzword these days in the science community, especially among younger scientists—because communication is an important part of the scientific process. It can help non-scientists understand how discoveries make communities healthier and lives better. It can offer novel solutions to the many of our society’s grand challenges.

Most importantly, when science communication is done well, it can stimulate critical thinking and allow scientists to make connections between their fields of specialization, leading to interdisciplinary research that can lead to more novel discoveries.

In new strategy, BASF will count the cost of CO2

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

German giant bets on new plan to decouple CO2 emissions from production growth

CarbonCure Technology Says Goodbye To Carbon Dioxide, Hello To Greener Concrete

Read the full story in Forbes.

The concrete industry has a huge footprint; the cement used to make concrete is responsible for up to 7% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. A company called CarbonCure makes a technology for concrete producers that introduces recycled CO2 into fresh concrete. The C02 is converted into a mineral and becomes permanently captured.

Researchers explore an often ignored source of greenhouse gas

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Researchers have discovered a surprising new source of carbon dioxide emissions — bicarbonates hidden in the lake water used to irrigate local orchards.

A World Without Clouds

Read the full story in Quanta Magazine.

A state-of-the-art supercomputer simulation indicates that a feedback loop between global warming and cloud loss can push Earth’s climate past a disastrous tipping point in as little as a century.

The GSB Interview: Lex Chalat, On Where Green-Sports Fits with Beyond Sport and thinkBeyond

Read the full story at Green Sports Blog.

Green-Sports is one spoke of the Purpose & Sports wheel that also includes child protection, diversity and inclusion, supporting refugees and more. Lex Chalat began working in that space in 2008 when she joined Beyond Sport, which was just starting out in London, and she hasn’t left.

Since then, she helped the organization become an influential convener and funder of sport-for-good nonprofits around the world. And Lex also has been a driving force behind thinkBeyond — a consultancy born out of Beyond Sport — that “helps organizations and people that do good, to do it better through sports.”

Our conversation covered a wide range of topics, including where the environment fits in the Beyond Sport/thinkBeyond “cause lineup” and how green can become a bigger factor going forward.

Chemical added to consumer products impairs response to antibiotic treatment

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Triclosan exposure may inadvertently drive bacteria into a state in which they are able to tolerate normally lethal concentrations of antibiotics — including those antibiotics that are commonly used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Using E. coli to create bioproducts, like biodiesel, in a cost-effective manner

Read the full story from Science Daily.

Who knew a potentially deadly bacteria could be used for good?

LSU Mechanical Engineering graduate student Tatiana Mello of Piracicaba, Brazil, is currently working on genetically engineering and optimizing E. coli bacteria to produce bioproducts, like biodiesel, in a cost-effective manner. This undertaking has garnered the attention of many in the engineering and biology fields and has also given her the opportunity to speak about her research at the recent National Biodiesel Conference and Expo in San Diego.

Mello proposes using E. coli bacteria to expand biodiesel production by creating a new type of feedstock.

What to expect with the rise of climate litigation

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Sir David Attenborough warned “the Garden of Eden is no more” and urged political and business leaders to make a renewed effort to tackle climate change before the damage is irreparable. As the business and political worlds look to address these concerns, litigation is increasingly being deployed to expedite action and, in the last five years, over 500 climate change-related cases have been commenced in courts around the globe. While the majority of action has been in the United States, claims also have been brought in numerous other countries including the United Kingdom, Colombia, the Netherlands, Australia and the Philippines.

Here are the key trends in climate change litigation to watch.

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