For my students and all interested in science news.

 

mindblowingscience:

Treated Fracking Wastewater is Still Toxic

A new study has shockingly shown that fracking wastewater, even after being treated, is still contaminating drinking water.
Wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and its toxic byproducts have long been an issue, especially for those who are concerned that flowback may be contaminating their groundwater.
Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of fluids into shale rock formations to release oil and gas. The wastewater generated during this process is highly radioactive and contains high levels of heavy metals and salts called halides, like bromide, chloride and iodide. The most traditional approach to dealing with this wastewater is to treat it in municipal or commercial treatment plants and then release it into rivers and other surface waters.
But the problem is, as described in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology, the new research has found that discharge of fracking wastewaters to rivers, even after passage through wastewater treatment plants, could be putting the drinking water supplies of downstream cities at risk.
So how are these chemicals slipping through the cracks? Researchers have raised concerns that, as stated in the press release, that plants aren’t efficient at removing halides. Typical treatment methods involve chlorination or ozonation, but this can lead to the formation of toxic byproducts.
To test the effectiveness of these methods, researchers diluted river-water samples of fracking wastewater discharged from operations in Pennsylvania and Arkansas. Then, after using current drinking-water disinfection methods on the samples, they found that even at concentrations as low as 0.01 percent up to 0.1 percent by volume of fracking wastewater, a host of toxic compounds formed.
Their recommendation to eliminate this problem is to do away with discharging fracking wastewater into surface waters all together, or implementing specific halide-removal techniques to all future water treatment.

mindblowingscience:

Treated Fracking Wastewater is Still Toxic

A new study has shockingly shown that fracking wastewater, even after being treated, is still contaminating drinking water.

Wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and its toxic byproducts have long been an issue, especially for those who are concerned that flowback may be contaminating their groundwater.

Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of fluids into shale rock formations to release oil and gas. The wastewater generated during this process is highly radioactive and contains high levels of heavy metals and salts called halides, like bromide, chloride and iodide. The most traditional approach to dealing with this wastewater is to treat it in municipal or commercial treatment plants and then release it into rivers and other surface waters.

But the problem is, as described in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology, the new research has found that discharge of fracking wastewaters to rivers, even after passage through wastewater treatment plants, could be putting the drinking water supplies of downstream cities at risk.

So how are these chemicals slipping through the cracks? Researchers have raised concerns that, as stated in the press release, that plants aren’t efficient at removing halides. Typical treatment methods involve chlorination or ozonation, but this can lead to the formation of toxic byproducts.

To test the effectiveness of these methods, researchers diluted river-water samples of fracking wastewater discharged from operations in Pennsylvania and Arkansas. Then, after using current drinking-water disinfection methods on the samples, they found that even at concentrations as low as 0.01 percent up to 0.1 percent by volume of fracking wastewater, a host of toxic compounds formed.

Their recommendation to eliminate this problem is to do away with discharging fracking wastewater into surface waters all together, or implementing specific halide-removal techniques to all future water treatment.

teachnologies:

Best Brightest: Hollow Flashlight Runs on Your Body Heat

Remember that potato clock you made for your high school science fair? Apparently, the bar has been raised quite a bit. Ann Makosinski, a 15 year old student from Canada, made a flashlight for her science fair project – a flashlight powered entirely by the body heat of the hand holding it.

teachnologies:

Best Brightest: Hollow Flashlight Runs on Your Body Heat
Remember that potato clock you made for your high school science fair? Apparently, the bar has been raised quite a bit. Ann Makosinski, a 15 year old student from Canada, made a flashlight for her science fair project – a flashlight powered entirely by the body heat of the hand holding it.
amolecularmatter:

Researchers have discovered a novel type of communication between bacteria mediated by “bacterial nanotubes" that bridge over to neighbouring cells, providing an ideal platform for the exchange of cellular molecules and signals within and between species. In the image above, Bacillus subtilis is pictured visualised by a high-resolution electron microscope after growth to mid-exponential phase; intercellular nanopores connecting neighboring cells are easily visible.
Image Source: The Cell Picture Show.

amolecularmatter:

Researchers have discovered a novel type of communication between bacteria mediated by “bacterial nanotubes" that bridge over to neighbouring cells, providing an ideal platform for the exchange of cellular molecules and signals within and between species. In the image above, Bacillus subtilis is pictured visualised by a high-resolution electron microscope after growth to mid-exponential phase; intercellular nanopores connecting neighboring cells are easily visible.

Image Source: The Cell Picture Show.

discoverynews:

Schizophrenia Is Actually Eight Genetic Disorders
New research published in the American Journal of Psychiatrysuggests that schizophrenia is not a single disease, but rather a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each of them with its own set of symptoms. The finding could result in improved diagnosis and treatment, while also shedding light on how genes work together to cause complex disorders.

discoverynews:

Schizophrenia Is Actually Eight Genetic Disorders

New research published in the American Journal of Psychiatrysuggests that schizophrenia is not a single disease, but rather a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each of them with its own set of symptoms. The finding could result in improved diagnosis and treatment, while also shedding light on how genes work together to cause complex disorders.

ucresearch:

asapscience:

Ever wonder how social media and the internet are affecting your brain? You may never be the same!

ucresearch:

The blood falls of Antarctica

In some remote regions of the antarctic there are glaciers that appear to be bleeding.  This makes for a stunning visual on the bright white snow, but what is going on here?  

The falls are actually the product of a subglacial lake that is seeping out from a rupture in the glacier.  The red color comes from the microbes living in the dark cold lake that use iron to produce energy (think rust).  Scientists think that this population of organisms have been able to evolve separately from the rest of the world for over 1.5 million years.

UC Santa Cruz glaciologist Slawek Tulaczyk studies these types of environments and says they’re great for theorizing life on other planets:

A place like this would be as close of an analog as we can find on this planet for subpermafrost life habitats on Mars.

Tulaczyk and his team drill into Antarctic ice in the hopes of finding these types of ecosystems deep below the surface.  

Read more about Blood Falls here

nationalaquarium:

TODAY AT 3PM EST: Scientists from research vessels the Okeanos Explorer and Nautilus Live will discuss what it’s like to explore our underwater world and share some of their most exciting discoveries! 
To submit questions & get details on how to tune in, click here!

nationalaquarium:

TODAY AT 3PM EST: Scientists from research vessels the Okeanos Explorer and Nautilus Live will discuss what it’s like to explore our underwater world and share some of their most exciting discoveries! 

To submit questions & get details on how to tune in, click here!

txchnologist:

NASA Tests 3-D Printed Engine Components

3-D printing isn’t just for toys and plastic models of your head. Witness a hot fire of NASA’s newest design for rocket engine injectors, 3-D printed to up performance in a way that traditional manufacturing of the parts couldn’t attain.

The agency, which tested the experimental injectors last month at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., used a type of 3-D printing called direct laser melting. To make the parts, a machine fires a laser at metal powder under the direction of a computer design program. This deposits layers of the metal one on top of the other until the part is complete.

NASA says the technique is letting engineers build the injector out of just two parts instead of the 163 formerly needed using traditional manufacturing methods.

Read More

ucresearch:

The mysterious sailing stones at Racetrack Playa

How does a big heavy rock move on its own across the desert?  The reason is partially due to ice. Researchers have investigated this question since the 1940s, but no one has seen the process in action — until now.

Because the stones can sit for a decade or more without moving, the UC San Diego researchers did not originally expect to see motion in person. Instead, they decided to monitor the rocks remotely by installing a high-resolution weather station capable of measuring gusts to one-second intervals and fitting 15 rocks with custom-built, motion-activated GPS units. 

The experiment was set up in winter 2011 with permission of the Park Service. Then — in what they called “the most boring experiment ever” — the team waited for something to happen.

But in December 2013, Norris and co-author and cousin Jim Norris arrived in Death Valley to discover that the playa was covered with a pond of water seven centimeters (three inches) deep. Shortly after, the rocks began moving.

Their observations show that moving the rocks requires a rare combination of events. First, the playa fills with water, which must be deep enough to form floating ice during cold winter nights but shallow enough to expose the rocks. As nighttime temperatures plummet, the pond freezes to form thin sheets of “windowpane” ice, which must be thin enough to move freely but thick enough to maintain strength. On sunny days, the ice begins to melt and break up into large floating panels, which light winds drive across the playa, pushing rocks in front of them and leaving trails in the soft mud below the surface.

Read more about the discovery here 

pubhealth:

First Vaccine for Dengue Fever Shows Promise in 2nd Big Trial
By Andrew Pollack
An experimental vaccine against dengue fever being developed by Sanofi proved about 60 percent effective in its second large clinical trial. The results could clear the way for the introduction of the world’s first inoculation against the disease, which is mosquito-borne and becoming an increasing threat.
Sanofi, a French drug company, said on Wednesday that use of the vaccine cut the risk of getting dengue by 60.8 percent in the trial, which involved 20,875 children ages 9 to 16 from several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Those who received the vaccine also had an 80.3 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for dengue compared with children who received injections of a placebo.
The results are roughly similar to those from the first large clinical trial, in which the vaccine reduced the incidence of dengue fever by 56.5 percent. That trial involved about 10,000 children in Southeast Asia.
“For the first time ever, after 20 years of research and industrial commitment, dengue is set to become a vaccine-preventable disease,” Olivier Charmeil, chief executive of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi, said in a statement.
(More from The New York Times)

pubhealth:

First Vaccine for Dengue Fever Shows Promise in 2nd Big Trial

By Andrew Pollack

An experimental vaccine against dengue fever being developed by Sanofi proved about 60 percent effective in its second large clinical trial. The results could clear the way for the introduction of the world’s first inoculation against the disease, which is mosquito-borne and becoming an increasing threat.

Sanofi, a French drug company, said on Wednesday that use of the vaccine cut the risk of getting dengue by 60.8 percent in the trial, which involved 20,875 children ages 9 to 16 from several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Those who received the vaccine also had an 80.3 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for dengue compared with children who received injections of a placebo.

The results are roughly similar to those from the first large clinical trial, in which the vaccine reduced the incidence of dengue fever by 56.5 percent. That trial involved about 10,000 children in Southeast Asia.

“For the first time ever, after 20 years of research and industrial commitment, dengue is set to become a vaccine-preventable disease,” Olivier Charmeil, chief executive of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi, said in a statement.

(More from The New York Times)