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27 May 2016

Today's Categories: Editor's Choice / DOE around the U.S. / Energy/Science Policy / National/International Science and Technology / Security / Workforce - Health and Safety / State and Regional / Other /

Editor's Choice Editor's Choice

Production of Highly Polarized Positrons Using Polarized Electrons at MeV Energies

A new technique requires much less energy to produce a beam of polarized positrons than previous techniques, making such beams potentially more widely available.

Microbiology: Pumping persisters

The finding that antibiotics are pumped out of drug-tolerant bacterial cells by the TolC protein complex provides insight into how some cells, known as persisters, survive in the face of antibiotic treatments.

Return to Top of PageDOE around the U.S. DOE around the U.S.

Upgrading the US power grid for the 21st century

The US Department of Energy has announced 220m [dollars] in funding for projects from a host of national laboratories to help upgrade the country's power grid over the next three years. What work needs to be done to make the grid 'cleaner, more productive and more secure', and what are the implications for the integration of more grid-connected renewable energy projects in the future?

Return to Top of PageEnergy/Science Policy Energy/Science Policy

Investment in energy storage vital if renewables to achieve full potential

Government subsidies should be used to encourage investment in energy storage systems if renewable power is to be fully integrated into the sector, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA). ... researchers argue that as the amount of renewable energy entering national power grids increases, so does the potential impact of volatility and therefore the need for storage.

New LEED pilot spotlights impact of building materials

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a new LEED pilot credit-building material human hazard and exposure assessment--which encourages project teams and manufacturers to assess human health related exposure scenarios for products during their installation and use phases.

Return to Top of PageNational/International Science and Technology National/International Science and Technology

Hybrid Energy Storage Systems Get the Best of Both Worlds

The energy storage industry has just begun exploring grid-scale hybrid solutions, called hybrid energy storage systems (HESS), that combine two or more energy storage technologies with complementary characteristics to provide an optimal solution not achievable by any one technology. These systems typically include storage technologies that separately cover sprinter loads required for fast response and marathon loads required for peak shaving and load shifting.

Portugal Ditched Fossil Fuels for 4 Days. Can We Go Longer?

Portugal became the latest country to coast solely on renewable energy this month, going without fossil-fuel power for four days straight. Denmark, Germany, and others recently have declared similar feats. But are these temporary clean-power surges a mark of real change, and if so, how far can that go?

How to build a better battery through nanotechnology

... Unlike others who focus on tweaking the chemical composition of a battery's electrodes or its charge-conducting electrolyte, [Yi] Cui is marrying battery chemistry with nanotechnology. He is building intricately structured battery electrodes that can soak up and release charge-carrying ions in greater quantities, and faster, than standard electrodes can, without producing troublesome side reactions. ... Jun Liu, a materials scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, put it more directly: Cui's nanotech contributions to battery technology are "tremendous." (

South Africa’s push for renewables

Already the continent's largest producer of renewable energy, South Africa is moving to further reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons by expanding private sector investments in solar and wind projects, and introducing biofuels.

Return to Top of PageSecurity Security

HHS Needs a Coordinated Cybersecurity Strategy, CHIME Exec Tells Lawmakers

Coordination, not organizational reporting structure, should be the focus of federal efforts to defend against cyber criminals, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Board Chair Marc Probst told a congressional panel on Wednesday. "Just as healthcare institutions must coordinate efforts to thwart cyber threats, it is vital that the Department of Health and Humans Services have a coordinated plan to address threats to the data and systems used and housed by the department," said Probst ...

Here's how the Marines are training to deal with dirty bombs

Should terrorists strike with a radioactive weapon at home or abroad, Marines are set to be some of the first to respond. A chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense team from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit took up specialized training last month in the middle of the Nevada desert to learn how to respond to a "radiological event."

Return to Top of PageWorkforce - Health and Safety Workforce - Health and Safety

Major Cell Phone Radiation Study Reignites Cancer Questions

Federal scientists released partial findings Friday from a 25 million [dollar] animal study that tested the possibility of links between cancer and chronic exposure to the type of radiation emitted from cell phones and wireless devices. The findings, which chronicle an unprecedented number of rodents subjected to a lifetime of electromagnetic radiation, present some of the strongest evidence to date that such exposure is associated with the formation of rare cancers in at least two cell types in the brains and hearts of rats.

How to help clients identify and support employees with mental health issues

In 2014, it was estimated that 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode over the past year, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. It's natural for HR managers to begin to consider how mental health can impact an employee's performance in the workplace, but they can be unsure of how to approach this sensitive subject with an employee who may be attempting to work through the condition.

Return to Top of PageState and Regional State and Regional

Ruling hinders Oregon wind energy project

A federal appeals court has dealt a serious blow to an already-struggling wind energy project in Oregon's Harney County that would give local ranchers an economic boost. Though the 100-megawatt wind energy project would have been built on private ranchland, the 12-mile transmission line necessary to connect turbines with the power grid would have to cross public property.

Return to Top of PageOther Other

World Heritage Sites, including Statue of Liberty and Stonehenge, threatened by climate change, UNESCO says

The catastrophes seem like the stuff Roland Emmerich's dreams are made of: In the United States, Yellowstone National Park morphs from thick woods to sparser brushland in the aftermath of frequent and furious forest fires. In Italy, Venice sinks beneath a swelling Adriatic Sea. In England, Stonehenge tumbles to the ground when the local mole and badger populations explode and their burrows weaken the earth beneath the 5,000-year-old rock monuments. None of these disasters are certain to come to pass. But they are, to varying degrees, possible.

Forget cars. These guys build nuclear reactors in their back yards.

At first glance, the outbuilding attached to Richard Hull's Richmond home looks like any lean-to built by a retiree with time on his hands: a slap-dash affair with wood that appears salvaged from home projects gone wrong. But instead of storing a lawnmower and old paint cans, the shed holds a monstrous metal lathe, wall-to-wall shelves overflowing with items such as television transformers and extraterrestrial-looking rocks, and "High Voltage" signs dangling from the ceiling like chandeliers. And, way in the back: Hull's fully operational nuclear fusion reactor.

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