Australian and Taiwanese scientists have discovered a new molecule which puts the science community one step closer to solving one of the barriers to development of cleaner, greener hydrogen fuel-cells as a viable power source for cars.
Scientists say that the newly-discovered “28copper15hydride” puts us on a path to better understanding hydrogen, and potentially even how to get it in and out of a fuel system, and is stored in a manner which is stable and safe – overcoming Hindenburg-type risks.
"28copper15hydride" is certainly not a name that would be developed by a marketing guru, but while it would send many running for an encyclopaedia (or let’s face it, Wikipedia), it has some of the world’s most accomplished chemists intrigued.
Its discovery was recently featured on the cover of one of the world’s most prestigious chemistry journals, and details are being presented today by Australia’s Dr Alison Edwards at the 41st International Conference on Coordination Chemistry, Singapore where 1100 chemists have gathered..
"Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.”
— Carl Sagan
Pampas Fox aka Graxaim (Pseudalopex gymnocercus), Brazil
photo by Valdir Hobus
It’s moth week and I can’t be out!!
The fish family Pegasidae, aka sea moths, includes just five species (placed in two genera) but is represented in temperate and tropical coastal zones throughout the Indo-Pacific. All sea moths are small (no more than than ~180 mm total length), benthic (bottom-dwelling), and very well camouflaged. Seamoths have modified pelvic fins that allow them to “walk” across the sea bottom where they live.
A curious behavior seen in these fish (almost in Eurypegasus draconis) is that they shed their skins in one piece, probably every one to five days, a process described in some detail by Herold and Clark (1993). These researcher also discuss evidence suggesting monogamy in this species, as well as other aspects of social and reproductive behavior.
Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) on Cactus, Mt. Lemmon, Arizona, USA
photo by Jeff Maw
What’s that animal that just scurried by you on the ground?
Here’s a good way to compare four commonly seen (and mixed-up) Grand Teton critters and to learn where you might find them.
Top left: uinta ground squirrel, commonly found in the valley.
Top right: golden-mantled ground squirrel, most commonly seen at Inspiration Point.
Bottom left: American pika, a lagomorph found in rock fields at higher elevations (shorter than uintas and with big round ears) .
Bottom right: uinta chipmunk (smaller than the ground-squirrel, with stripes across the eyes). there are also 2 other species in GTNP, the Least and the Yellow Pine Chipmunk.
Scott Profiting from Fracked Gas Pipeline, Orlando Leaders Say Florida is Not for SaleGovernor Rick Scott is privately profiting from the Sabal Trail Pipeline that will carry fracked gas through Florida. Join Florida For All in Orlando to demand renewables, not dirty fossil fuels. https://www.facebook.com/events/487729294705009/
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Ophidiophobes (people afraid of snakes) need not to worry. This new resident of the Giant Ocean Tank is not a sea snake, it’s a snake eel. And isn’t it pretty?!
Read the Divers Blog to find out where to look for this handsome eel and when feeding time happens every day.
A RISE IN PROTECTED MARINE AREAS.
A UN meeting in Global Biodiversity has reported that over 8million square km (that’s over 2%) of the world’s Oceans are now protected. This is brilliant news, but the number is still small. The hope however is that the rapid growth of protected areas will mean a rise to a 10% protected zone within the next 18 years.
A 2004 meeting proposed the 10% protection rate and set a target date of this year. Progress was so slow in protecting vulnerable areas that the date was pushed to 2020, with some scientists not believing it would happen until 2050. But, recent additions to the protected areas are making it more likely that the 10% target will be reached.
Recent large additions to the “Marine Protected Areas” (or MPA’s) incude 1.1million square km from the Cook Islands, and 2.7million kms from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. A total of 28 countries control MPAs.
There’s an issue though. Most of these protected areas lie far far away from the industrialised world, and therefore far-away from man that wants to exploit it. The other issue is also that just because an area is protected it doesn’t mean it will remain undamaged (see our previous post on the GBR here; http://on.fb.me/SRvYvr). The other issue is also, are the governments that have declared these areas MPAs doing enough? It’s one thing to declare something protected, another to actually maintain the area and actively enforce the rules and enforce conservation.
To read more about MPAs and the meeting head to the links below.
Image; A view Across one of the small islands in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park off of the coast of Rockingham, Western Australia. An important area for Bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, little penguins and a whole variety of marine life. The Marine area is protected, as are each of the islands, and there are strict fines in-place for mis-use of the marine park, or for breaking any rules associated with the area (including landing in prohibited zones, fishing and water sports) by Leah Lynham
Andreas Libavius - Scientist of the Day
Andreas Libavius, a German chemist, died July 25, 1616, at about 56 years of age. In 1597, Libavius published a book, Alchymia, that, in spite of its title, is seen by many modern chemists as the foundation book of their discipline. Libavius at the time preferred the word “alchemy” to “chemistry” because the latter word had been co-opted by followers of Paracelsus and was a mystical, magical art practiced in secrecy, mostly at the courts of such rulers as Rudolf II. Libavius wanted chemistry to be an academic and a laboratory discipline, divorced from astrology and natural magic, and concerned only with the nature of matter and its combinations, and he wanted it taught openly in the universities, not hidden away at royal courts. Libavius was none too pleased when the first professorship of chemistry was finally established at Marburg in 1609, because the professor appointed was Johannes Hartmann, a Paracelsian and a favorite at the court of Moritz of Hesse. But Libavius’s attitude did ultimately win the day, and although his word “alchymia” was replaced by “chemiatria”, everything else he argued for came to pass, as chemistry came to be established as an open empirical science, based on observations and experiments accessible to every practitioner. We have five of Libavius’s original works in the History of Science Collection, including 1st and 2nd editions of his Alchymia.
Our copy of the second edition of the Alchymia is an especially handsome specimen, with its stamped vellum boards still held closed by a beautiful pair of bronze clasps. The second edition is important because, unlike the 1st (1597) edition, it has a number of woodcuts illustrating an ideal modern chemical laboratory, including a design for the building itself, and plans for all sorts of furnaces and alembics for distillation.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Kicking Off the Weekend with a Beauty Shot of the Centennial Mountains in Montana
This 28,000-acre mountain range, which forms the boundary between southwest Montana and Idaho, is some of southwest Montana’s wildest country. It is considered an important corridor for wildlife movement, providing an east-west trending mountain range connecting the Yellowstone Ecosystem with the rest of the northern Rocky Mountains. Abundant wildlife in the Centennial Mountains include moose, elk, deer, wolverines, badgers, black bears, a wide variety of birds, and occasionally wolves and grizzly bears.
About 60 miles of the 3,100-mile Continental Divide National Scenic Trail runs through the mountain range. The CDT through the Centennials is usually well-maintained, although natural events can change conditions rapidly. Several side trails provide access from both the Montana and Idaho sides of the CDT. Wildflowers are especially abundant during the mid- to late summer.
Visit BLM Montana’s website to plan your visit: http://on.doi.gov/1pS1ZRW
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