Legislative & Regulatory Update

Mathematically optimizing traffic lights in road intersections

Traffic modeling has been of interest to mathematicians since the 1950s. Research in the area has only grown as road traffic control presents an ever-increasing problem. Generally, models for traffic flow in road networks are time-dependent and continuous, that is, they describe traffic by a continuum rather than as individual drivers or cars. These macroscopic models describe the temporal and spatial evolution of traffic density without predicting traffic patterns of individuals.  In addition to macroscopic models based on continuous densities, microscopic approaches like particle models or cellular automata are also used to model traffic.

Great Barrier Reef building coral under threat from poisonous seaweed

Climate Change News - ENN - February 3, 2017 - 9:45am
World-first research on the Great Barrier Reef has shown how ‘weed-like’ algae will kill vital coral because of increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.

Battling corrosion to keep solar panels humming

People think of corrosion as rust on cars or oxidation that blackens silver, but it also harms critical electronics and connections in solar panels, lowering the amount of electricity produced.“It’s challenging to predict and even more challenging to design ways to reduce it because it’s highly dependent on material and environmental conditions,” said Eric Schindelholz, a Sandia National Laboratories materials reliability researcher who studies corrosion and how it affects photovoltaic (PV) system performance.

Life-cycle assessment study provides detailed look at decentralized water systems

The “decentralized” water system at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which treats all non-potable water on site, contributes to the net-zero building’s recognition as one of the greenest buildings in the world. However, research into the efficacy of these systems versus traditional treatment is practically non-existent in the literature. Thanks to a collaboration between Phipps and the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, researchers now have a greater understanding of the life cycle of water reuse systems designed for living buildings, from construction through day-to-day use.

NASA Scientist Studies Whether Solar Storms Cause Animal Beachings

A long-standing mystery among marine biologists is why otherwise healthy whales, dolphins, and porpoises — collectively known as cetaceans — end up getting stranded along coastal areas worldwide. Could severe solar storms, which affect Earth’s magnetic fields, be confusing their internal compasses and causing them to lose their way?

How adult-born neurons get wired-in

One goal in neurobiology is to understand how the flow of electrical signals through brain circuits gives rise to perception, action, thought, learning and memories.

Turbine Breaks World Record for Wind Power Generated in Just One Day

A 722-foot tall, 9-megawatt wind turbine operating at an offshore testing site near Østerild, Denmark has set a new world record for wind electricity generation. The V164 turbine, built by Danish energy company MHI Vestas, produced 216,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in just 24 hours, enough to power 240 U.S. homes for a month.

Toward all-solid lithium batteries

Most batteries are composed of two solid, electrochemically active layers called electrodes, separated by a polymer membrane infused with a liquid or gel electrolyte. But recent research has explored the possibility of all-solid-state batteries, in which the liquid (and potentially flammable) electrolyte would be replaced by a solid electrolyte, which could enhance the batteries’ energy density and safety.

Low level of oxygen in Earth's middle ages delayed evolution for two billion years

New research by the University of Exeter explains how oxygen was trapped at such low levels. Professor Tim Lenton and Dr Stuart Daines, of the University of Exeter Geography department, created a computer model to explain how oxygen stabilised at low levels and failed to rise any further, despite oxygen already being produced by early photosynthesis. Their research helps explain why the ‘Great Oxidation Event’, which introduced oxygen into the atmosphere around 2.4 billion years ago, did not generate modern levels of oxygen. 

Zeroing in on the chemistry of the air

We breathe it in and out every few seconds, yet the air that surrounds us has chemical activity and variations in its composition that are remarkably complex. Teasing out the mysterious behavior of the atmosphere’s constituents, including pollutants that may be present in tiny amounts but have big impacts, has been the driving goal of Jesse Kroll’s research.

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