The Road to Zero: DOE’s Next-Generation Heating and Cooling R&D Strategy

Read the full story from DOE.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is supporting the Administration’s efforts to phase down the use and emissions of highly potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). BTO has created a multi-pronged strategy, outlined below, to develop, demonstrate, and deploy low- to zero- global warming potential (GWP) HVAC, water heating, and refrigeration technologies. This strategy supports the United States’ amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs globally. BTO’s vision is that non-vapor compression systems—a revolutionary new class of technologies that don’t use refrigerants and can approach zero-GWP—become dominant in some end uses.

Technology test drive: PNNL offers exploratory licenses

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Signing a two-page agreement and paying just $1,000 can get U.S. companies an opportunity to test drive promising technologies through a new, user-friendly commercialization option being offered at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

PNNL is the only DOE lab to offer this option, called an exploratory license, which gives companies six months to try out a technology before deciding whether or not to pursue a full license so they can create a product with the technology.


Conservation in the Age of Climate Change: Why Scientists Are Banking on Drones for Tracking Coastal Climate Research

Read the full story from Pacific Standard.

Scientists have been using drones for decades, but as they become more affordable and portable, they’re proving critical to studying—and saving—our most vulnerable environments.

Lentils to battle arsenic poisoning from Bangladesh well water in new study

Read the full story from the CBC.

A professor at the University of Calgary is studying whether Saskatchewan-grown lentils can counteract chronic arsenic poisonings from well water that affect up to 77 million people in Bangladesh.

Emojis may help reduce waste by measuring kids’ emotional response to foods

Read the full story from Kansas State University.

Those expressive faces in text messages may do more than tell someone you’re ROTFL. Sensory analysis researchers at Kansas State University Olathe believe the icons also may reduce the amount of food thrown away during school lunches by knowing whether kids feel love emoji or yuck emoji about the meal.

Marianne Swaney-Stueve, research assistant professor of human nutrition and manager of the Sensory and Consumer Research Center at K-State Olathe, and Katy Gallo, Kansas State University doctoral student in human nutrition, Fairfield, Connecticut, are using emoji faces — icons used with smartphones and electronic communication — as a way to measure the emotions kids feel about certain foods.

‘Dead Zone’ researcher asked to step down as marine lab director

Read the full story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Nancy Rabalais, the marine ecologist whose research has outlined the devastating effects of the annual low-oxygen “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, has been asked to step down after 10 years as executive director of theLouisiana Universities Marine Consortium(LUMCON), a marine laboratory operated by a consortium of state and private universities in Cocodrie, according to a statement released Monday (Nov. 2) by an executive board overseeing the laboratory…

It’s likely the research lab will need Rabalais, if only because a significant chunk of the research dollars held by the institution are for grants on which she is the lead researcher.

According to the board’s new strategic plan approved on Oct. 29, the marine lab is underwritten by $2.3 million it receives from the state each year. But it also has a carryover fund of $3 million available for 2016, with much of the money coming from two major grants listing Rabalais as the lead researcher.

Both were issued by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, an independent marine science organization created within months of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 with a $500 million grant from BP.

But the strategic plan suggested that tight budget times will require an executive director who spends much less time doing research and a lot more time fundraising by networking with academic, community, political, civic, industry and sponsor/agency leaders.

New children’s health research projects funded by NIH

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

Researchers working to improve children’s health now have more opportunities to understand the role environmental exposures play in children’s health and development, thanks to new funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NIEHS joined with NIH Sept. 28 in announcing the recipients of new projects that will provide researchers an expanded range of tools to accurately measure, record, and analyze environmental exposures in children.