Tag Archives: Houston

NASA Scientists Find Evidence of Water in Meteorite, Reviving Debate Over Life on Mars

A team of scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has found evidence of past water movement throughout a Martian meteorite, reviving debate in the scientific community over life on Mars.

In 1996, a group of scientists at Johnson led by David McKay, Everett Gibson and Kathie Thomas-Keprta published an article in Science announcing the discovery of biogenic evidence in the Allan Hills 84001(ALH84001) meteorite. In this new study, Gibson and his colleagues focused on structures deep within a 30-pound (13.7-kilogram) Martian meteorite known as Yamato 000593 (Y000593). The team reports that newly discovered different structures and compositional features within the larger Yamato meteorite suggest biological processes might have been at work on Mars hundreds of millions of years ago. (more…)

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Hazy days of summer: Southeast U.S. field work measures mercury, smog

Dozens of atmospheric scientists, including three University of Washington faculty members, are taking part in what’s being described as one of the largest atmospheric field campaigns in decades.

The six-week Southeast Atmosphere Study, through July 15, includes scientists from more than 30 different institutions. Together they are studying how pollutants combine with natural vegetation emissions to affect climate and air quality in the Southeastern U.S. (more…)

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Invasive Crazy Ants Are Displacing Fire Ants, Researchers Find

AUSTIN, Texas — Invasive “crazy ants” are displacing fire ants in areas across the southeastern United States, according to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. It’s the latest in a history of ant invasions from the southern hemisphere and may prove to have dramatic effects on the ecosystem of the region.

The “ecologically dominant” crazy ants are reducing diversity and abundance across a range of ant and arthropod species — but their spread can be limited if people are careful not to transport them inadvertently, according to Ed LeBrun, a research associate with the Texas invasive species research program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences (more…)

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Brown Unveils Novel Wireless Brain Sensor

In a significant advance for brain-machine interfaces, engineers at Brown University have developed a novel wireless, broadband, rechargeable, fully implantable brain sensor that has performed well in animal models for more than a year. They describe the result in the Journal of Neural Engineering and at a conference this week.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A team of neuroengineers based at Brown University has developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects. Several copies of the novel low-power device, described in the Journal of Neural Engineering, have been performing well in animal models for more than year, a first in the brain-computer interface field. Brain-computer interfaces could help people with severe paralysis control devices with their thoughts. (more…)

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NASA Ozone Study May Benefit Air Standards, Climate

PASADENA, Calif. – A new NASA-led study finds that when it comes to combating global warming caused by emissions of ozone-forming chemicals, location matters.

Ozone is both a major air pollutant with known adverse health effects and a greenhouse gas that traps heat from escaping Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists and policy analysts are interested in learning how curbing the emissions of these chemicals can improve human health and also help mitigate climate change. (more…)

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First Global Picture of Greenhouse Gases Emerges from Pole-to-Pole Research Flights

*Three-year series of scientific missions from Arctic to Antarctic produces new views of atmospheric chemistry*

A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the atmosphere.

The far-reaching field project, known as HIPPO, ends this week, and has enabled researchers to generate the first detailed mapping of the global distribution of gases and particles that affect Earth’s climate. (more…)

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Air Quality Worsened by Paved Surfaces

*Widespread urban development alters weather patterns*

New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters weather patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to accumulate during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea.

The international study, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), could have implications for the air quality of fast-growing coastal cities in the United States and other mid-latitude regions overseas. (more…)

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Build it and They Will Come? Think Again

EAST LANSING, Mich. — When it comes to economic development in American cities, the trusted old theory “If you build it, they will come” may not work, a Michigan State University sociologist argues in a new study.

Conventional wisdom holds that job growth attracts people to urban areas.  (more…)

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