Washington, DC — The paradox of the missing xenon might sound like the title of the latest airport thriller, but it’s actually a problem that’s stumped geophysicists for decades. New work from an international team including Carnegie’s Alexander Goncharov and Hanyu Liu, and Carnegie alumni Elissaios Stavrou and Sergey Lobanov, is chasing down the solution to this longstanding puzzle. (more…)
Tag Archives: iron
All living organisms rely on iron as an essential nutrient. In the ocean, iron’s abundance or scarcity means all the difference as it fuels the growth of plankton, the base of the ocean’s food web.
A new study by biogeochemists and glaciologists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) identifies a unexpectedly large source of iron to the North Atlantic – meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets, which may stimulate plankton growth during spring and summer. This source is likely to increase as melting of the Greenland ice sheet escalates under a warming climate. (more…)
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has seen evidence of water-bearing minerals in rocks near where it had already found clay minerals inside a drilled rock.
Last week, the rover’s science team announced that analysis of powder from a drilled mudstone rock on Mars indicates past environmental conditions that were favorable for microbial life. Additional findings presented on March 18 at a news briefing at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, suggest those conditions extended beyond the site of the drilling. (more…)
ANN ARBOR — Researchers at the University of Michigan have found a new potential benefit of a molecule in green tea: preventing the misfolding of specific proteins in the brain.
The aggregation of these proteins, called metal-associated amyloids, is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. (more…)
Berkeley Lab Researchers Observations of Nanorod Crystal Growth Points Way to Next Generation Energy Devices
In the growth of crystals, do nanoparticles act as “artificial atoms” forming molecular-type building blocks that can assemble into complex structures? This is the contention of a major but controversial theory to explain nanocrystal growth. A study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) may resolve the controversy and point the way to energy devices of the future.
Led by Haimei Zheng, a staff scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, the researchers used a combination of transmission electron microscopy and advanced liquid cell handling techniques to carry out real-time observations of the growth of nanorods from nanoparticles of platinum and iron. Their observations support the theory of nanoparticles acting like artificial atoms during crystal growth. (more…)
NASA’s UCLA-led Dawn mission shows protoplanet’s surprising surface
When UCLA’s Christopher T. Russell looks at the images of the protoplanet Vesta produced by NASA’s Dawn mission, he talks about beauty as much as he talks about science.
“Vesta looks like a little planet. It has a beautiful surface, much more varied and diverse than we expected,” said Russell, a professor in UCLA’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences and the Dawn mission’s principal investigator. “We knew Vesta’s surface had some variation in color, but we did not expect the diversity that we see or the clarity of the colors and textures, or their distinct boundaries. We didn’t find gold on Vesta, but it is still a gold mine.”
Dawn has been orbiting Vesta and collecting data on the protoplanet’s surface since July 2011. Vesta, which is in the doughnut-shaped asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is currently some 321 million miles from Earth. (more…)
The theory that pigeons’ famous skill at navigation is down to iron-rich nerve cells in their beaks has been disproved by a new study published in Nature.
The study shows that iron-rich cells in the pigeon beak are in fact specialised white blood cells, called macrophages. This finding, which shatters the established dogma, puts the field back on course as the search for magnetic cells continues. (more…)
*Berkeley Lab Researchers Developing Promising Treatment for Safely Decontaminating Humans Exposed to Radioactive Actinides*
The New York Times recently reported that in the darkest moments of the triple meltdown last year of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese officials considered the evacuation of the nearly 36 million residents of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The consideration of so drastic an action reflects the harsh fact that in the aftermath of a major radiation exposure event, such as a nuclear reactor accident or a “dirty bomb” terrorist attack, treatments for mass contamination are antiquated and very limited. The only chemical agent now available for decontamination – a compound known as DTPA – is a Cold War relic that must be administered intravenously and only partially removes some of the deadly actinides – the radioactive chemical elements spanning from actinium to lawrencium on the periodic table – that pose the greatest health threats. (more…)