Claim: Small biomass power plants could help rural economies, stabilize national power grid

As energy costs rise, more Americans are turning to bioenergy to provide power to their homes and workplaces. Bioenergy is renewable energy made from organic sources, such as biomass.

Report: Sun's energy influences 1,000 years of natural climate variability in North Atlantic

Changes in the sun's energy output may have led to marked natural climate change in Europe over the last 1000 years, according to researchers at Cardiff University.

First animals oxygenated the ocean, study suggests

The evolution of the first animals may have oxygenated the earth's oceans – contrary to the traditional view that a rise in oxygen triggered their development. New research led by the University of Exeter contests the long held belief that oxygenation of the atmosphere and oceans was a pre-requisite for the evolution of complex life forms.

Smartphones become ‘eye-phones’ with low-cost devices developed by ophthalmologists

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed two inexpensive adapters that enable a smartphone to capture high-quality images of the front and back of the eye. The adapters make it easy for anyone with minimal training to take a picture of the eye and share it securely with other health practitioners or store it in the patient's electronic record.

Squeezing light into metals

Using an inexpensive inkjet printer, University of Utah electrical engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information. This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such microstructures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast components in electronic devices, make wireless technology faster or print magnetic materials.

Physics in 3-D? That's nothing. Try 0-D

University of Cincinnati researchers have reached this threshold with a special structure that may someday lead to better ways of harnessing solar energy, stronger lasers or more sensitive medical diagnostic devices.

Changing the future of nanotechnology

A new twist on a very old physics technique could have a profound impact on one of the most buzzed-about aspects of nanoscience. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that their unique method of light-matter interaction analysis appears to be a good way of helping make better semiconductor nanowires.

Making gadgets smaller, faster and more efficient

University of Cincinnati researchers are discovering how to manipulate light to one day better view the world’s tiniest objects through a super-lens, as well as how to hide an object in plain sight.

Non-uniform climate warming affects terrestrial carbon cycle and ecosystems

A recent University of Oklahoma study of five decades of satellite data, model simulations and in situ observations suggests the impact of seasonal diurnal or daily warming varies between global regions affecting many ecosystem functions and services, such as food production, carbon sequestration and climate regulation.

Building a smart grid for an electric vehicle fleet

Being able to charge up to 30 electric cars at once requires some ingenious energy management. Researchers are incorporating a mix of renewables into the design of a smart grid for Germany’s largest charging station.

Report: Sea ice being lost at a rate of five days per decade

The melt season across the Arctic is getting longer by five days per decade, according to new research from a team including Prof Julienne Stroeve (Professor of Polar Observation and Modelling at UCL Earth Sciences).

Is infrared a new renewable energy source?

When the sun sets on a remote desert outpost and solar panels shut down, what energy source will provide power through the night? A battery, perhaps, or an old diesel generator? Perhaps something strange and new.

Transparent, color solar cells fuse energy, beauty

Colorful, see-through solar cells invented at the University of Michigan could one day be used to make stained-glass windows, decorations and even shades that turn the sun's energy into electricity.

Nanoparticle networks' design enhanced by theory

For close to two decades, Cornell scientists have developed processes for using polymers to self-assemble inorganic nanoparticles into porous structures that could revolutionize electronics, energy and more.

Newly discovered catalyst could lead to the low-cost production of clean methanol

An international research team has discovered a potentially clean, low-cost way to convert carbon dioxide into methanol, a key ingredient in the production of plastics, adhesives and solvents, and a promising fuel for transportation.

Study: Global warming felt to deepest reaches of ocean

In the mid-1970s, the first available satellite images of Antarctica during the polar winter revealed a huge ice-free region within the ice pack of the Weddell Sea. This ice-free region, or polynya, stayed open for three full winters before it closed.

MIT builds self-completing programs

Since he was a graduate student, Armando Solar-Lezama, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been working on a programming language called Sketch, which allows programmers to simply omit some of the computational details of their code. Sketch then automatically fills in the gaps.

Computer game characters become more human-like by gossiping and lying

'In today's computer games, we often see a goal-driven dialogue where the player is limited to a number of predefined response alternatives. In my research, I study how we can use language technology to create more socially driven dialogues in games, with characters who can understand natural language.

Claim: Food production in the northeastern US may need to change if climate does

If significant climate change occurs in the United States it may be necessary to change where certain foods are produced in order to meet consumer demand.

Peat soils as gigantic batteries?!

Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Tubingen describe a process that suppresses the formation of methane in soils that are rich in humic substances. For this process to work, the soils need to switch between having no oxygen and having oxygen.