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Category: Petroleum and Gas

Study shows toxic effects of oil dispersant on oysters following deepwater horizon spill — ScienceDaily

Oysters likely suffered toxic effects from the oil dispersant Corexit® 9500 when it was used to clean up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, said Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Connecticut. The team determined this by comparing the low levels of toxicity of oil, the dispersant and a mixture of the two on Eastern oysters. The team published their findings in the journal Aquatic Toxicology. After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig spilled more than 170 million gallons…

How engineers are working to fill in the gaps

Credit: Shutterstock Potholes are a perennial problem. They are dangerous to road users, and the damage they cause to vehicles can be hugely expensive. The cost of repairing them is also vast. But still they appear, and reappear, in countless places. So why do these pesky crevices pose such a difficult challenge? And is there any light at the end of this pothole-filled tunnel? Potholes often begin as imperceptible microscopic cracks in the road surface. Bad weather, poor drainage and…

The super-fast screening technology could help to discover new treatments — ScienceDaily

If you’re looking into the mouth of a brown bear, one of the world’s top predators, your chances of survival probably aren’t good. But a team of Rutgers and other scientists has discovered a technology that rapidly assesses potentially lifesaving antibiotics by using bacteria in saliva from an East Siberian brown bear. The technology involves placing a bacterium from a wild animal’s mouth — or other complex source of microbes with potential antibiotic properties — in an oil droplet to…

Legacy of NASA’s Dawn, near the end of its mission — ScienceDaily

NASA’s Dawn mission is drawing to a close after 11 years of breaking new ground in planetary science, gathering breathtaking imagery, and performing unprecedented feats of spacecraft engineering. Dawn’s mission was extended several times, outperforming scientists’ expectations in its exploration of two planet-like bodies, Ceres and Vesta, that make up 45 percent of the mass of the main asteroid belt. Now the spacecraft is about to run out of a key fuel, hydrazine. When that happens, most likely between mid-September…

MakerLab becoming a hub of 3-D printed shell implants for injured pets

Credit: Northern Arizona University These days, you can 3-D print toys, full-size skeletons, Halloween masks, art projects, mechanical parts and building blocks. You can also print tortoise shells—or, as the MakerLab at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library did recently, implants for damaged tortoise shells to help a couple of local pets survive. Dr. Tereza DeMuth, a veterinarian at Canyon Pet Hospital, approached Cline Library staff with her dilemma—a 75-pound tortoise who’d survived a car accident but had two holes in…

The first low-cost sensor that can accurately measure skin friction drag

Surrey’s ‘artificial whisker’ sensor. Credit: University of Surrey Researchers at Surrey have developed the first low-cost sensor which can accurately measure skin friction drag, using off-the-shelf components. The sensor has primarily been designed for the aerospace sector since overcoming skin friction drag accounts for around 50 per cent of fuel burn on a commercial airliner in cruise conditions. Another potential application is in long pipelines where the power needed to pump substances through is entirely expended on overcoming friction. …

Serendipitous discovery may lead to eco-friendly lubricant — ScienceDaily

Seed oil components of an ornamental flower could provide a direct pathway for designing a new class of environmentally friendly lubricants. Researchers at the School of Science at IUPUI identified the compound in the seed oil that is produced in a manner unlike any other fatty acid. The study was published today online in the journal Nature Plants. The Orychophragmus violaceus plant is a purple flower native to China; it’s commonly referred to as the February orchid. While collaborating on…

‘The warmer it is, the more fire we see’

In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire near Ladoga, Calif. The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hottest temperatures, an Associated Press analysis of fire and weather data found. As human-caused climate change has warmed the world over the past 35 years, the land consumed in flames has more than doubled. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) As temperatures rise in the…

Engineers use Tiki torches in study of soot, diesel filters — ScienceDaily

Chemical engineers testing methods to improve efficiency of diesel engines while maintaining performance are getting help from a summer staple: Tiki torches. A team of engineers at the University of Notre Dame is using the backyard torches as part of an effort to mimic the soot oxidation process in a diesel engine — when soot in diesel exhaust collects in the walls of a particulate filter and has to be burned off — according to a study recently published in…

Animals can use muscle as an internal water source — ScienceDaily

Water is vital for life. But as our climate changes, the availability of water is also changing, leaving animals with limited or unreliable supplies of this critical resource. However, a new Arizona State University study published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences shows for the first time that animals may be able to use their own muscles to get water when it’s not available. Researchers from ASU and the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de…