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Latest and Breaking Earth Science News

AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Awards kick-start research for early-career women scientists
(American Association for the Advancement of Science) Four early-career women scientists received $50,000 grants to kick-start to their academic research careers 15 October in an awards ceremony at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. These grants are the first presentation of the Marion Milligan Mason Awards for Women in the Chemical Sciences, administered by AAAS with $2.2 million in funding from the Marion Milligan Mason Fund.

Caution: Shrinks when warm
(University of Connecticut) Most materials swell when warm, and shrink when cool. But some weird materials do the opposite. Although thermal expansion, and the cracking and warping that often result, occurs everyday -- in buildings, electronics, and almost anything else exposed to wide temperature swings -- physicists have trouble explaining why solids behave that way. New research into a material that has negative thermal expansion may lead to a better understanding of why materials change volume with temperature at all.

Wet paleoclimate of Mars revealed by ancient lakes at Gale Crater
(California Institute of Technology) A paper published today in Science by members of the MSL team describes ancient water flows and lakes on Mars, and what this might mean about the ancient climate.

Ben-Gurion U. and MIT researchers develop rapid method for water, soil pathogen screening
(American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) The study, published online in the Water, Air & Soil Pollution journal (Springer) defines an accurate, inexpensive, high-throughput, and rapid alternative for screening of pathogens from various environmental samples. 'This is the first study to comprehensively assess pathogen concentrations in such a broad variety of environmental sample types while achieving multiple pathogen detection with complete parallel testing by standard (or traditional) methods,' Orlofsky explains.

Research reveals new clues about how humans become tool users
(University of Georgia) New research from the University of Georgia department of psychology gives researchers a unique glimpse at how humans develop an ability to use tools in childhood while nonhuman primates -- such as capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees -- remain only occasional tool users.Dorothy Fragaszy, a psychology professor and director of the Primate Behavior Laboratory at UGA, created two studies to look at how nonhuman primates and human children differ in completing simple spatial reasoning tasks.

Faster design -- better catalysts
(Technical University of Munich (TUM)) While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Therefore, catalyst design plays a key role in improving these processes. An international team of scientists has now developed a concept, that elegantly correlates geometric and adsorption properties. They validated their approach by designing a new platinum-based catalyst for fuel cell applications.

It's solid: Storing hydrogen in a new form
(DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) As part of a tri-lab consortium, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers will develop tools and understanding necessary for designing new solid-state materials for storing hydrogen gas.

NASA sees a speedy Extra-Tropical Storm Choi-Wan
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Choi-wan as it moved over cooler waters and was becoming an extra-tropical storm.

Renewables and consumer choices key to sustainable energy use in EU's food sector
(European Commission Joint Research Centre) A report analysing the use of energy in the EU food industry finds that the share of renewable remains relatively small (7 percent) when compared to its part in the overall energy mix (15 percent). Progress in the decarbonization of the food sector is challenging: while farmers and industry have made relevant efforts to improve their energy profile, consumers can also play their part by reducing meat consumption, buying locally and seasonally, and reducing food waste.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP sees wind-shear battered extra-tropical Oho
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Infrared data from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite showed Tropical Storm Oho weakening over cool waters and transitioning into an extra-tropical cyclone while being battered by strong wind shear.

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