• Flowers & Power: Flexible sensors on leaves and bugs detect environmental conditions, toxic gas

    The nerve gas sarin was released on several subway lines in Tokyo in 1995 in a terrorist attack. Thirteen people died, and many more had severe injuries. But while such an incident is going on, how do you determine wh...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: Natural, renewable nanomaterial can potentially cause more harm than asbestos

    Looking to nature for materials to use in everyday products has its appeal and has spurred earnest research efforts toward this end. The approach seems more healthful than turning to synthetic materials — but na...
    Christine Suh
    last modified by Christine Suh
  • Flowers & Power: Rise of nitrous oxide emissions endangers climate and ozone efforts

    While climate change discussions focus largely on carbon dioxide, emissions of the third-most important greenhouse gas is rising dramatically in China. And not only does this gas, nitrous oxide (N2O), contribute to th...
    Christine Suh
    last modified by Christine Suh
  • Complete Q&A: Rise of nitrous oxide emissions endangers climate and ozone efforts

    Here’s the full Q&A with researcher Jianhua Xu, whose team studied past and future emissions of nitrous oxide.   Q.     Why did you decide to do this study?   A.  &#...
    Christine Suh
    last modified by Christine Suh
  • Flowers & Power: Student finds promising material for ‘green’ energy

    Warmer temperatures are finally upon us here on the East Coast, prompting many of us to get outside into the sunlight and play. To Bruce Parkinson and colleagues at the University of Wyoming, the sun is more than just...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: How to revive life in the Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’

    By any account, the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 was a disastrous event. Cleaning up required an infusion of cash to the tune of billions of dollars within a few months...
    Christine Suh
    last modified by Christine Suh
  • Flowers & Power: Getting rid of bugs without pesticides

    Bugs are a big problem. They spread diseases, and people also can develop allergies to them. And, of course, they’re icky.   They often are a really huge problem in densely populated, urban, low-income pub...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: Absorbing a new, environmentally friendly use for cotton

    Check the dictionary for the definition of versatile. You won’t find “cotton” there, and that’s a shame. Here are just some of the products that come from this worthy plant: textile and yarn ...
    Michael Bernstein
    last modified by Michael Bernstein
  • Flowers & Power: Fast pollution test could keep beaches open more often

    Ah, nothing like heading out to the beach in the summer. The warm sun on your skin, the hot sand between your toes, the waves crashing around you.   Unfortunately, the water isn’t always as pristine as it ...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: Preserving China’s famous Terracotta Warriors and other relics

    You never know what you’re going to find when you go digging. In 1974, a group of farmers digging a well stunned the world with their discovery of the now-famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses in China.   ...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: Scratchy, cheap jute fibers can make concrete stronger — sustainably

    Jute, that scratchy, stiff vegetable fiber used to make burlap sacks and twine, could have a brand-new use in the near future. According to a study in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, it could serve as...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: Those used coffee grounds are good sources of healthful antioxidants

    We’ve all heard how coffee is good for you. Recent studies have linked drinking coffee with a lower risk for developing many conditions, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: A sustainable way to make a whale-vomit substitute used in perfumes

    Yes, whale vomit — although some experts suspect that this smelly, grayish, waxy intestinal secretion actually comes from the other end of the whale. It’s actually been known throughout the ages as an aphr...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • The Food Court: An explosion of nutrition and flavor

    Believe it or not, in those simpler days long ago, there was a buzz of excitement when the cereal mavens first dropped a handful of plump raisins into a box of breakfast flakes. For decades, breakfast-eaters only had ...
    Michael Bernstein
    last modified by Michael Bernstein
  • Flowers & Power: Taking greenhouse gases out of the Internet

    Scientists are taking steps to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions of the Internet and telecommunications industries? Huh? Who knew doing a Google search produced greenhouse gases, thereby contributing to climate cha...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: Potentially toxic flame retardants found in many home couches

    Every year, about 3,500 people die in fires in the U.S. Firefighters responded to almost 400,000 house fires in 2010. Common causes of house fires are overloaded electrical outlets, portable heaters, knocked over cand...
    Katie Cottingham
    last modified by Katie Cottingham
  • Flowers & Power: Diarrhea medicine ingredient expands from the pharmacy to the farm

    A nutrient-rich clay long used to treat diarrhea might help to solve a problem related to the *ahem* other end of the digestive tract. A new report shows that the mineral attapulgite could be useful as a sustainable s...
    Sam Lemonick
    last modified by Sam Lemonick
  • Flowers & Power: Putting the brakes on container ship pollution

    Many Americans can still remember the high prices, long lines and rationing of the 1973 oil crisis. OPEC’s embargo only lasted five months, but the 1974 National Maximum Speed Law intended to reduce fuel consump...
    Sam Lemonick
    last modified by Sam Lemonick
  • Flowers & Power: A better absorbent for oil spills

    It’s 2012. You can travel almost anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. You’re probably carrying a miniaturized computer in your pocket. But when the next major oil spill happens, like the Deepwater H...
    Sam Lemonick
    last modified by Sam Lemonick
  • Flowers & Power: Algae blooms caused by nutrient runoff are compounding ocean acidity problems

    The effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere are well documented and well understood: as a greenhouse gas, it traps heat from the Sun and contributes to rising temperatures. But CO2 is also making l...
    Sam Lemonick
    last modified by Sam Lemonick