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technology

Geomedia: Books: Putting 'Seeds on Ice' to protect crop diversity

Tucked away, deep underground, in a frozen corner of the Scandinavian north is the safety net for our food supply. The Global Seed Vault, on the island of Spitsbergen in Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago and popularly known as the “doomsday vault,” shelters our most precious seeds from possible global catastrophe.

07 Feb 2018

Stable isotopes offer novel methods of disease detection

Stable isotope techniques developed by geoscientists are being applied to studies of human health, and one in particular has shown promise as an improved way to determine bone loss, a problem for astronauts, as well as those on bed rest and aging populations here on Earth. 
08 Jan 2018

From space to village: NASA's SERVIR program brings a big picture to local communities

Established in 2005, the joint NASA and U.S. Agency for International Development program SERVIR (named for the Spanish verb “to serve”) puts geospatial satellite images and analysis tools into the hands of local decision-makers around the world to help them deal with natural disasters and plan for changing climates. 
02 Jan 2018

In the lab, machine learning improves quake forecasts

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that about 500,000 detectable earthquakes occur worldwide every year. But accurate forecasts of when quakes will occur have long been out of reach, in large part because of the complexities of fault behavior.

29 Dec 2017

Comment: Making the first (and last) geoscience class count

An introductory geoscience course may be the only earth science class many people ever take, and the only chance geoscientists have to help students develop the scientific understanding they will need to make decisions about the grand challenges humanity will face in the future.
18 Dec 2017

Caldera clays may hold key to lithium independence

Most of the world’s lithium is mined in South America and Australia. New research suggests that the United States may have its own untapped lithium supplies in lake deposits in the calderas left behind by large volcanic eruptions. In the study, published in Nature Communications, researchers detail a new way to detect deposits of the silvery white metal in places such as Crater Lake in southern Oregon.

28 Nov 2017

Desktop seismology: How a maker-inspired device is changing seismic monitoring

The Raspberry Shake — a personal seismograph invented in 2016 and named after the computer that powers the instrument (the Raspberry Pi) — was intended for hobbyists. But the device’s usefulness quickly became apparent to a much wider audience, including scientists and educators around the world. 
16 Nov 2017

Geologic Column: Giving Konrad Zuse his due

German engineer Konrad Zuse is considered the first inventor of the programmable electronic computer in his home country, but sadly, few students elsewhere learn of his pioneering efforts. 
13 Nov 2017

Solar-powered paint could produce hydrogen for fuel

Split a water molecule, and you get hydrogen and oxygen. Burn that hydrogen as fuel and you get water. This straightforward, pollution-free cycle is part of what makes hydrogen so tantalizing as a potential renewable fuel. Unfortunately, splitting water molecules to generate hydrogen is not currently very energy efficient. In fact, more than 95 percent of hydrogen currently used in industry is produced from fossil fuels, not water.

05 Oct 2017

Coatings may prevent pipeline clogs

When ice forms in household water pipes, blockages and expansion can cause the pipes to burst. Similar problems can arise in the transportation of oil and gas when ice-like substances called gas hydrates build up inside pipelines — an issue traditionally mitigated by insulating pipes or by using antifreeze additives. But in a new study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, researchers report an alternative solution: specialized coatings for the inside of oil and gas pipes that prevent hydrate buildups and clogs. The coatings could prove more reliable than the usual approaches, but whether the method can be applied cost-effectively on a large scale is uncertain.

27 Aug 2017

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