News

Solar-Powered, Oil-Cleaning Robots: Solution for Oil Spill?

A team of researchers at MIT's SENSEable City Laboratory have developed Seaswarm, a robot that autonomously navigates the water’s surface and uses nanofibers to absorb 20 times its weight in oil, which could be made into a viable solution for cleaning up the Gulf oil spill.

Posted in: GDM, News, Videos, News, Energy, Solar Power, Green Design & Manufacturing, Remediation Technologies
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Funding Opportunity for Geothermal Heat Extraction R&D

The Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program recently announced a $15 million funding opportunity to research and develop innovative methods to extract heat from geothermal resources from the Earth’s crust to produce clean, renewable energy.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Geothermal Power, Renewable Energy, Government, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases
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Should the FDA approve genetically engineered salmon?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the issue of genetically engineered food. A firm in Waltham, MA, has developed a genetically modified salmon that grows during the winter as well as the summer, so it reaches an 8-pound market weight in 18 months instead of 36. Accomplished by inserting part of a gene from an ocean pout into the growth gene of a Chinook salmon and then injecting the blended genetic material into the fertilized eggs of a North Atlantic salmon, the FDA is in the process of reviewing what would be the nation's first commercial genetically modified food animal.

What do you think? Should the FDA approve genetically engineered salmon? Yes or No?

Posted in: Question of the Week
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Should BP be permitted to continue to drill in the Gulf of Mexico?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. According to recent news reports, BP said they may drill a new well in the Macondo reservoir -- the source of one of the world's worst oil spills. Proponents believe that BP's earnings from drilling in the Gulf would allow them to pay the massive fines and costs for cleanup of the spill, while opponents believe the oil giant should sell the rights to the reservoir to another oil company and donate the proceeds from the sale.

What do you think? Should BP be permitted to continue to drill in the Gulf of Mexico? Yes or No?

Posted in: Question of the Week
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Paving Slabs Clean the Air

Innovative paving slabs that are coated in titanium dioxide nanoparticles can reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide in the air. Titanium dioxide is a photocatalyst; it uses sunlight to accelerate a naturally occurring chemical reaction, the speed of which changes with exposure to light.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Solar Power, Government, Green Design & Manufacturing, Remediation Technologies
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Open Software Platform Helps Save Energy

Starting in 2011, energy suppliers in Germany will be required to offer electricity at variable rates under the German Energy Act. A new energy management software platform will enable customers to opt for flexible electricity rates, so that they can purchase power at times when it is available more cheaply. Another advantage is better utilization of the power grid.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Government
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Sustainable Biochar to Mitigate Climate Change

By producing biochar - a charcoal-like substance made from plants and other organic materials - up to 12 percent of the world's human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset, which is more than what could be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate energy.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Biomass, Energy, Renewable Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies
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Switchgrass Lessens Soil Nitrate Loss Into Waterways

By planting switchgrass and using certain agronomic practices, farmers can significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen and nitrates that leach into the soil, according to Iowa State University research.

Posted in: GDM, News, News, Biomass, Energy, Renewable Energy, Green Design & Manufacturing, Remediation Technologies
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With the prevalence of e-readers, will e-books eventually replace printed books?

This week's Question of the Week concerns the battle between digital volumes and their printed counterparts. From Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad to Sony's e-Reader and Barnes & Noble's Nook, digital reading is obviously here to stay. This is especially true when you take into account how Amazon recently reported that for the first time, e-book sales have overtaken hardcover sales. And, because of their own plummeting sales, mega-retailer Barnes & Noble is currently looking for a buyer to purchase the bookstore chain.

What do you think? With the prevalence of e-readers, will e-books eventually replace printed books? Yes or no?

Posted in: Question of the Week
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Is WikiLeaks a threat to national security?

This week's question concerns the recent story about the nearly 92,000 classified U.S. Military documents leaked by the Web site WikiLeaks.org. The organization's Web site claims, "We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government, and stronger democracies"; however, critics of the site maintain that it jeopardizes military operations and endangers the privacy rights of others.

What do you think? Is WikiLeaks a threat to national security? Yes or no?

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