How Species Extinction Affects Ecosystems

Research by the University of Southampton has found that methods used to predict the effect of species extinction on ecosystems could be producing inaccurate results. This is because current thinking assumes that when a species vanishes, its role within an environment is lost too. Read More →

Can Nuclear Power Meet Future Energy Demands?


An international team of scientists suggests that we must ramp up energy production by nuclear power if we are to succeed in warding off the worst effects of greenhouse gas emissions on climate change. Writing in the International Journal of Global Energy Issues [Citation below], the team suggests that beginning in 2020, we could achieve an annual electricity output of 20 terawatts without needing to develop carbon dioxide trapping and storage technology for the tens of billions of tons of emissions that would otherwise drive global warming to catastrophic levels. Read More →

Using Robots to Monitor Deep-Sea Ecosystems

Autosub6000 AUV

Autosub6000 AUV

Scientists at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) have used advanced photographic tools in an unmanned Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to make major advancements in estimating deep-sea ecosystem diversity at ‘landscape’ scales. Read More →

Exploring the Future of Wind Power in the U.S.

Image Credit: GE Energy

Image Credit: GE Energy

Wind power is currently the fastest growing source of energy worldwide. In the United States, the industry expanded by as much as 50% a year between 2000 and 2010, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). During that decade, federal tax breaks and state initiatives facilitated the construction of hundreds of turbine farms around the country. Several regions of the United States in particular have aggressively developed wind harvesting industries. Rockport, Missouri, for example, was the first American community to receive the majority of its energy from wind in 2008. Several other states currently lead the implementation of wind harvesting – California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. Texas, however, leads all of the states in wind power initiatives, generating one-fourth of the nation’s wind energy with 10,000 megawatts of wind capacity.  Read More →

Advances in ‘Channeled Power’ are Accelerating

Image Source: WiTricity

Image Source: WiTricity

Something nearly every sci-fi series has in common: no wires or electrical outlets, and nobody seems to have any problem keeping a charge on their gadgets. While we’ve created better and better wireless technology here in the real world, we still can’t use it to power an entire house—let alone all of those starships we don’t have—and we still can’t charge our devices without being tethered to some kind of wire or dock. Read More →

Let’s Explore ‘Cold Fusion’


Cold Fusion, or LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions) reactors have purportedly been built in recent years that offer new possibilities in terms of energy production.  These reactors use very small amounts of nickel and hydrogen, combining them with trace amounts of other ingredients.  Once these reactors are brought online, there is hypothetically an anomalous amount of heat generated internally, an amount which cannot be explained by chemical or nuclear reactions alone. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and the idea is not without its skeptics. Even the name itself has come under fire. Nonetheless, scientists working on the technology remain adamant about its future potential. Read More →

Environmentally-Friendly Biolamp Concept

Basic RGB

Engineers typically consider the ability to transform pollution into fuel a holy grail of the applied sciences. A Hungarian engineer may have been able to do just that, however. Peter Horvath is attempting to market a device termed a biolamp that lights up the street while simultaneously removing carbon dioxide from the surrounding atmosphere. I think this is a really great idea if it can get off the ground. Read More →

Electronics for Safe, Efficient Electric Vehicles

Image Credit: Digital Trends

Image Credit: Digital Trends

For decades, futurists have been predicting that the use of electric vehicles (EVs) will overtake conventional vehicles, providing clean, green and cheap transport for all. Although increasing numbers of electric vehicles are being sold in Europe, the internal combustion engine still remains king of the road. EU-funded researchers are trying to change that, developing technology that promises to significantly improve the range and efficiency of EVs without compromising comfort or safety. Read More →

Non-genetic Inheritance & Changing Environments


In the last two decades climate change emerged as a momentous threat to ecosystems and species, calling for – politics aside – a greater interest in the adaptation abilities of the world’s creatures. Understanding and predicting how populations will respond to climate fluctuations has been attracting a wealth of research into evolutionary biology and the molecular components of evolution; with some vital questions motivating these studies: namely, how organisms will handle their new circumstances, or how populations will be able to cope with climate change in order to survive and avoid extinction. With the far-reaching impacts of climate change being felt globally, it is no wonder that scientists are desperate to understand evolution and its implications for adaptation abilities. Read More →

Methane Hydrate: The Next Energy Revolution

Methane Hydrate Energy

Hidden beneath the permafrost of the Arctic and under the sediment of the deep sea floor surrounding most continents lies an energy resource that could fuel the world for generations: methane hydrate. Also known as fire ice, this solid form of methane gas is abundant and clean burning (relative to coal). It also has the potential to be converted into a fuel we could use in our cars. Read More →