Tator Tot writes: "Quoting C&EN News: "The Department of Defense will have to confront critical shortages of scientists and engineers if it doesn’t change how it recruits researchers and manages its science and technology enterprise, according to a report by the National Academies. The report finds that DOD scientists and engineers are not being used to their full potential, their career growth is limited, and the hiring process for new workers is slow and opaque.""
Tator Tot writes: "Using today’s technologies and knowledge, a scale-up of fledgling algal biofuel production sufficient to meet even 5% of U.S. transportation fuel demand is unsustainable, says a report released last week by the National Research Council (NRC). The report examines the efficiency of producing biofuels from microalgae and cyanobacteria with respect to energy, water, and nutrient requirements and finds that the process falls short. The energy from algal biofuel, the report finds, is less than the energy needed to make it. In terms of water, at least 32.5 billion gal would be needed to produce 10 billion gal of algae-based biofuels, the report states. The study also finds that making enough algal biofuels to replace just 5% of U.S. annual transportation fuel needs would require 44–107% of the total nitrogen and 20–51% of the total phosphorus consumed annually in the U.S."
Tator Tot writes: Grape pomace, the mashed up skins and stems left over from making wine and grape juice, could serve as a good starting point for ethanol production, according to a new study (from the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry).
Due to growing interest in biofuels, researchers have started looking for cheap and environmentally sustainable ways to produce such fuels, especially ethanol. Biological engineer Jean VanderGheynst at the University of California, Davis, turned to grape pomace, because winemakers in California alone produce over 100,000 tons of the fruit scraps each year, with much of it going to waste.
Tator Tot writes: "A small radioactive cylinder that went missing from a Halliburton Co. truck last month was found on a Texas road late Thursday, the company said, ending a weeks-long hunt that involved local, state and federal authorities."
Tator Tot writes: "A new study finds obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals. Their brains look 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals, researchers said today. Those classified as overweight have 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appear to have aged prematurely by 8 years. The results, based on brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, represent "severe brain degeneration," said Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology. "That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain," said Thompson. "But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's, if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control." The findings are detailed in the online edition of the journal Human Brain Mapping."