Category: Research

A teenager on TikTok disrupted thousands of scientific studies with a single video

Read the full story at The Verge.

Researchers were caught by surprise after a short video sent a flood of new users to a survey platform.

‘Driving’ innovation to help eliminate plastic waste

Read the full story from the University of Missouri.

University of Missouri engineers are working with Dow and the Missouri Department of Transportation to test the use of plastic waste in road pavement mixtures.

The technology to reach net zero carbon emissions isn’t ready for prime time, but …

Read the full story in Scientific American.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry recently stated that in order to reach net zero emission goals by 2045, we’ll “need technologies we don’t yet have.” Well, he’s half right. It’s true that battling climate change requires innovative, technologically driven ideas that can be tested, replicated and scaled, at warp speed. But inventing wholly new technology isn’t necessarily the answer, nor is the idea we can deploy today’s technology all the way to 100 percent clean energy.

That’s because the foundations for transformational new technologies already exist in research labs today. However, that technology needs facilities that support rapid testing and scaling. It needs a method that allows research and technology development to coexist without fear of failure; a proven process that can quickly and efficiently bring lab innovations to market.

Sparking Economic Growth: How Fundamental Research Drives Economic Growth and Innovation

Download the document.

Fundamental research is where innovation begins. It is the foundation of all scientific progress — the pursuit of original, first-level knowledge that catalyzes advancements in science, technology, medicine, energy, and national security. For decades, federal agencies have led the way in fundamental research, awarding grants to innovative projects at colleges and universities, where much of this research takes place. Through this competitive process, federal dollars have supported — and continue to support — advances across industries, from chemical manufacturing to telecommunications to behavioral sciences and myriad others.

To understand the economic impact of fundamental research investment, FTI Consulting (FTI) analyzed the research expenditures of members of The Science Coalition (TSC), a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research institutions between 2015 and 2019. FTI also examined the impact of select “spinoff” companies rooted in the federally funded research conducted at TSC universities. FTI found that as a result of the long-term federal investment in fundamental research, new innovations, businesses, and jobs are created, all of which transform daily life for millions of people in communities across the country.

New York City’s hidden old-growth forests

Read the full post at State of the Planet.

Tree-ring scientists are salvaging centuries of climate and historical data from demolished structures.

Massive science-funding bill passes US Senate — but China focus worries researchers

Read the full story in Nature.

Scientists praise the budget boost slated for the National Science Foundation, but worry the legislation could dampen international collaborations.

Fish guts on the Red Line: Chicagoan was transporting specimens for a study showing the long history of microplastics in freshwater species

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

To prove that fish ingestion of microplastics is more than just an ocean story and more than just a modern story, Loren Hou used an unusual technique.

Transporting the digestive tracts of four freshwater fish species she was studying from the Field Museum, where she dissected specimens dating back to the 1900s, up the Lakefront to Loyola University Chicago, where she would analyze what was in the fishes’ guts, Hou sometimes took the Red Line.

To enhance creativity, keep your research team fresh

Read the full story from Bar-Ilan University.

Network scientists address the effect of team freshness on the originality and multidisciplinary impact of produced work, by systematically investigating prior collaboration relations between team members. Among other things, their study reveals that papers of fresher teams are significantly more effective than those of older teams in creating studies of higher originality and greater multidisciplinary impact.

Scientists put GPS in trash to find out how far it travels

Read the full story from the Longview News-Journal.

A project aimed at reducing plastic pollution along the Mississippi River is deploying new technology in an ancient form: This is not your average message in a bottle.

Scientists are placing GPS devices inside plastic bottles to study how trash enters the watershed and travels downstream, with the ultimate goal being to reduce pollution in rivers and oceans. The initiative was launched last Saturday in Baton Rouge, the first of three cities participating in a pilot program that involves tracking several bottles on their journeys toward the Gulf of Mexico.

How a historic funding boom might transform the US National Science Foundation

Read the full story in Nature.

Proposed budget increases for the research funding agency could bolster US innovation efforts, but some worry this will change the agency’s mission.

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