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Category: Petroleum and Gas

E. coli tailored to convert plants into renewable chemicals — ScienceDaily

What does jet fuel have in common with pantyhose and plastic soda bottles? They’re all products currently derived from petroleum. Sandia National Laboratories scientists have demonstrated a new technology based on bioengineered bacteria that could make it economically feasible to produce all three from renewable plant sources. Economically and efficiently converting tough plant matter, called lignin, has long been a stumbling block for wider use of the energy source and making it cost competitive. Piecing together mechanisms from other known…

Ultrasound scans for damage to concrete bridges

Credit: Phillipe Olivier The concrete Pantheon in Rome is in excellent condition after 2,000 years. Steel reinforcement can dramatically reduce lifespan of concrete structures however and deterioration can begin after only 10 years. Infrastructures such as bridges and roads are usually reinforced concrete, which need continuous monitoring for regular operation and safety. Large concrete structures pose various challenges mainly due to the wide range of aggregates, fragments compacted together, in the material. ‘On a roll’—non-destructive testing (NDT using ultrasound…

Project Jengo Celebrates One Year Anniversary by Releasing Prior Art

Today marks the one year anniversary of Project Jengo, a crowdsourced search for prior art that Cloudflare created and funded in response to the actions of Blackbird Technologies, a notorious patent troll. Blackbird has filed more than one hundred lawsuits asserting dormant patents without engaging in any innovative or commercial activities of its own. In homage to the typical anniversary cliché, we are taking this opportunity to reflect on the last year and confirm that we’re still going strong. Project…

How automation will make oil rigs safer

Automation could help us avoid future disasters. Credit: US Coast Guard Offshore oil rigs can be extremely dangerous places to work. Over the last few decades, several offshore explosions have led to environmental disasters and the death of workers. Regulations have so far failed to stop fatal accidents from occurring. But with developments in technology, particularly the rise of automation, we’re hoping that future accidents can be reduced. Small offshore rigs are the subject of research for automated monitoring systems,…

One of North America’s rarest bees has its known range greatly expanded — ScienceDaily

The Macropis Cuckoo Bee is one of the rarest bees in North America, partly because of its specialized ecological associations. It is a nest parasite of oil-collecting bees of the genus Macropis which, in turn, are dependent on oil-producing flowers of the genus Lysimachia. In fact, the cuckoo bee — which much like its feather-bearing counterpart does not build a nest of its own, but lays its eggs in those of other species instead — is so rare that it…

Documentation Details Matter – Square Corner Blog – Medium

Not too long ago I joined the Developer Platform team at Square as a product designer. One of the first things I was tasked with was addressing some quick-hit, tactical improvements we could make to our existing site to improve the developer experience. A designer on a developer team? Working on documentation? “Oil and water,” you might say, but quite the opposite. I’ve waded through my fair share of documentation, Stack Overflow posts, and random blogs, teaching myself various languages…

Dry Valleys study indicates that strong winds can temporarily disturb locally produced black carbon — ScienceDaily

Airborne soot produced by wildfires and fossil-fuel combustion and transported to the remote McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contains levels of black carbon too low to contribute significantly to the melting of local glaciers, according to a new study by researchers supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Strong winds in the Dry Valleys, however, can temporarily cause large spikes in the amount of locally produced black carbon, which is distributed through the ecosystem, the researchers found. In the study,…

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Cloudflare Data Center #126

We are very excited to announce Cloudflare’s 126th data center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (only hours after launching in Reykjavík!). This joins our existing Middle East facilities to provide even stronger coverage and resilience for over 7 million Internet properties across the region. Our newest deployment was made possible in partnership with Zain, which now experiences reduced latency for every Internet user accessing every Internet facing application using Cloudflare. At least four additional Middle East deployments are already in the…

Tracking commercial fishing worldwide in near real-time — ScienceDaily

The global fishing fleet is so big it can be seen from space. Really. Fishing activity now covers at least 55 percent of the world’s oceans — four times the land area covered by agriculture — and can now be monitored, in near real time, to the level of individual vessels. In fact, 70,000 vessels of the global fishing fleet traveled 460 million kilometers in 2016, equivalent to traveling to the moon and back 600 times. Using satellite tracking, machine…

Illegal global trade of pangolins — ScienceDaily

Animal traffickers are taking advantage of remote ivory trade routes to smuggle pangolins — one of the world’s most endangered animals — out of Central Africa, a new study has found. The solitary mammals — sought after for their meat and scales — are being transported across remote forest borders in a largely successful attempt to avoid increased law enforcement, according to groundbreaking research led by the University of Stirling. In the first ever study to investigate how criminals are…