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Current Nitrogen News and Events, Nitrogen News Articles.
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US Department of Energy awards $13.5 million to enhance sorghum for biofuel
The Danforth Center takes part in a multi-institutional research effort to improve sorghum as a sustainable source for biofuel production. (2015-12-21)

Fungi may help drought-stressed wheat
Certain drought-stressed wheat cultivars perform better when their roots are in symbiosis with beneficial fungi. (2015-12-17)

Aphids balance their diets by rebuilding plant amino acids
Aphids survive on an unbalanced diet of plant sap by breaking down all available plant amino acids and rebuilding essential ones. (2015-12-16)

New NASA satellite maps show human fingerprint on global air quality
Using new, high-resolution global satellite maps of air quality indicators, NASA scientists tracked air pollution trends over the last decade in various regions and 195 cities around the globe. (2015-12-14)

£14 million funding for major long-term science studies
Three high-value, long-term research projects totaling £13.9 million have been awarded funding by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2015-12-10)

New tool can help increase soil carbon content and thereby improve soil fertility
Agricultural soil is the basis for our crop production and should be carefully managed to maintain its fertility. Results from an EU project will make it easier for farmers and consultants to identify the best cultivation practices for this purpose. (2015-12-08)

Theory of 'smart' plants may explain the evolution of global ecosystems
In a new global theory of land-biome evolution, Princeton University researchers suggest that plants are not passive features of their environments, but may instead actively behave in ways that determine the productivity and composition of their ecosystems. (2015-12-01)

Lazy microbes are key for soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration
Social interactions in microbial communities could explain how much carbon and nitrogen gets stored in soils -- providing new insight for climate change research. (2015-12-01)

Microbiologists discover enigmatic comammox microbes
Nitrification plays a key role in Earth's natural nitrogen cycle and in agriculture. Now an international team of scientists led by Holger Daims and Michael Wagner, microbiologists at the University of Vienna, has discovered microbes that perform complete nitrification on their own: A result contrasting textbook knowledge and a milestone of microbiology. The study is currently published in the journal Nature. (2015-11-26)

Increases in certain algae could impact carbon cycle
Two new studies report dramatic changes in phytoplankton abundance and nature, changes that have important implications for storing excess carbon. (2015-11-26)

Harnessing a peptide holds promise for increasing crop yields without more fertilizer
Molecular biologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who study nitrogen-fixing bacteria in plants have discovered a 'double agent' peptide in an alfalfa that may hold promise for improving crop yields without increasing fertilizer use. (2015-11-24)

To save the earth, better nitrogen use on a hungrier planet must be addressed
More than half of the world's population is nourished by food grown with fertilizers containing synthetic nitrogen, which is needed for large crop yields but causes significant pollution. With the global population expected to increase by two to three billion people by 2050, more efficient usage of fertilizer is needed on a global scale, researchers urge in paper published by Nature. (2015-11-23)

Sea traffic pollutes our lungs more than previously thought
New data presented by researchers at Lund University and others in the journal Oceanologia show that the air along the coasts is full of hazardous nanoparticles from sea traffic. Almost half of the measured particles stem from sea traffic emissions, while the rest is deemed to be mainly from cars but also biomass combustion, industries and natural particles from the sea. (2015-11-20)

Hardened steels for more efficient engines
Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are working on a new process for hardening steel: with the help of methylamine, they enrich low-alloy steels with carbon and nitrogen. Low-pressure carbonitration with methylamine saves time and process gas. Steels hardened are suited for use in components subjected to high mechanical and thermal loads in energy-efficient and low-emission engines of the future. The researchers present their process in the Journal of Heat Treatment and Materials. (2015-11-20)

Impact of climate change on the nutrient load of the Pike River watershed
Using future climate change scenarios and water quality projections, experts found that sediment and the blue-green algae producing nutrients phosphorus and nitrogen are likely to increase in the Missisquoi Bay despite active efforts to reduce nutrient loads. (2015-11-17)

Microbes map path toward renewable energy future
In the quest for renewable fuels, scientists are taking lessons from a humble bacterium that fills our oceans and covers moist surfaces the world over. Cyanothece 51142, a type of bacteria also called blue-green algae, produces hydrogen in robust fashion, and scientists have found that it taps into an unexpected source of energy to do so. (2015-11-11)

Microwave field imaging using diamond and vapor cells
Microwave field imaging is becoming increasingly important, as microwaves play an essential role in modern communications technology and can also be used in medical diagnostics. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel have now independently developed two new methods for imaging microwave fields. Both methods exploit the change in spin states induced by an applied microwave field, as reported by the researchers in the 'New Journal of Physics.' (2015-11-10)

Revolutionary new weapon in air pollution fight
People could soon be using their smartphones to combat a deadly form of air pollution, thanks to a potentially life-saving breakthrough by RMIT University researchers. (2015-11-10)

Backswimmers use buoyancy aid like a gill
Few backswimmers are capable of swimming at depth and those that do use small bubbles as buoyancy aids. However, it now it turns out that they can also use these buoyancy aid bubbles as gills to supplement their oxygen supply at depth to extend their dives. (2015-11-04)

Making green fuels, no fossils required
Converting solar or wind into carbon-based 'fossil' fuels might seem anything but green, but when you start with carbon dioxide -- which can be dragged out of the air -- it's as green as it gets. The technology that makes it economically feasible isn't available yet, but a recently published paper presents nice step forward in the effort to not just sequester CO2, but turn it into a useful fuel that is part of a carbon-neutral future. (2015-11-02)

Ultrasensitive sensors made from boron-doped graphene
Ultrasensitive gas sensors based on the infusion of boron atoms into graphene -- a tightly bound matrix of carbon atoms -- may soon be possible, according to an international team of researchers from six countries. (2015-11-02)

New concepts emerge for generating clean, inexpensive fuel from water
An inexpensive method for generating clean fuel is the modern-day equivalent of the philosopher's stone. One compelling idea is to use solar energy to split water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen and then harvest the hydrogen for use as fuel. But splitting water efficiently turns out to be not so easy. (2015-10-29)

NASA's Webb Telescope science instruments begin final super cold test
An engineering team lifted and lowered the heart of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope into the giant thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. This move marks the start of the third and final cryogenic test at Goddard to prepare the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM), or the 'heart' of the telescope, for space. (2015-10-28)

Beavers take a chunk out of nitrogen in Northeast rivers
Beavers, once valued for their fur, may soon have more appreciation in the Northeastern United States. There they are helping prevent harmful levels of nitrogen from reaching the area's vulnerable estuaries. By creating ponds that slow down the movement of water, they aid in removing nitrogen from the water. (2015-10-21)

Rice news release: Cobalt atoms on graphene a powerful combo
Cobalt atoms on nitrogen-doped graphene are a robust solid-state catalyst for hydrogen production. The Rice University discovery may be an effective replacement for more expensive platinum-activated catalysts in fuel cells and other energy applications. (2015-10-21)

Umbrella-shaped diamond nanostructures make efficient photon collectors
By tweaking the shape of the diamond nanostructures into the form of tiny umbrellas, researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology experimentally showed that the fluorescence intensity of their structures was three to five times greater than that of bulk diamond. They report their results in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing. (2015-10-20)

A 'hot' new development for ultracold magnetic sensors
The most sensitive commercial magnetometers require near absolute zero temperatures, but researchers have now built a device with superior performance at a relatively balmy 77 K. (2015-10-20)

With organic rice in demand, scientists to help farmers improve production
Organic rice is increasingly desired by US consumers, but farmers know that growing the grain chemically free can mean providing a feast for insects, diseases and weeds. That's why the US Department of Agriculture has put $1 million on a multi-state team of scientists with a track record of battling pests toward the goal of making organic rice profitable for farmers and more available for consumers. (2015-10-20)

Shift in weaning age supports hunting-induced extinction of Siberian woolly mammoths
Chemical clues about weaning age embedded in the tusks of juvenile Siberian woolly mammoths suggest that hunting, rather than climate change, was the primary cause of the elephant-like animal's extinction. (2015-10-15)

Catalyst combining reactivity and selectivity could speed drug development
Chemists have long believed that inserting nitrogen -- a beneficial ingredient for making many pharmaceuticals and other biologically active molecules -- into a carbon-hydrogen bond requires a trade-off between catalyst reactivity and selectivity. But a new manganese-based catalyst developed by University of Illinois chemists has given researchers both in one efficient, lower-cost package. (2015-10-15)

Lawnmower emission reduction device wins national award
A team of University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering students won a national sustainable development award last week for creating a device that drastically reduces harmful emissions from lawnmowers. (2015-10-14)

Energy researchers discover new structure for bimetallic catalysts
Dion Vlachos, who directs the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation at the University of Delaware, uses computational techniques to predict how nanoscale materials will behave and recently made a surprising discovery about the structure of bimetallic catalysts. An imperfect surface may produce a better catalyst. (2015-10-07)

Flipping molecular attachments amps up activity of CO2 catalyst
New research by chemists at Brookhaven Lab offers clues that could help scientists design more effective catalysts for transforming carbon dioxide to useful products. The study reveals how a simple rearrangement of molecular attachments on an iridium hydride catalyst can greatly improve its ability to coax notoriously stable CO2 molecules to react. (2015-10-05)

A balanced diet is good for corals too, study finds
A new study found that a nutrient-rich, balanced diet is beneficial to corals during stressful thermal events. The research led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco concluded that the particular nutrient balance in seawater is what matters most. (2015-10-01)

Tillage timing influences nitrogen availability and loss on organic farms
In the battle against weeds, tillage is one of the strongest weapons at the disposal of organic or ecologically based farmers. But, depending on when it is used, tillage can also be a strong driver of nitrogen losses that contribute to groundwater pollution, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. (2015-09-30)

Covering the bases with cover crops
Researchers find cover crop decomposition and nitrogen release vary with type of cover crop used and addition of poultry litter. (2015-09-30)

The Danish nitrogen budget in a nutshell
To get a clearer overall picture of the sources and sinks of nitrogen, scientists from Aarhus University have developed a national nitrogen budget for Denmark for the years 1990 to 2010. The budget shows inputs and outputs of nitrogen at national level and the internal flows of nitrogen between the relevant sectors. (2015-09-30)

Study shows new forests cannot take in as much carbon as predicted
As carbon emissions continue to rise, scientists project forests will grow faster and larger, due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. But a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom finds that these projections are overestimated. (2015-09-24)

The world's nitrogen fixation, explained
Yale University scientists may have cracked a part of the chemical code for one of the most basic, yet mysterious, processes in the natural world -- nature's ability to transform nitrogen from the air into usable nitrogen compounds. (2015-09-23)

Research uncovers microsopic key to reducing ocean dead zones
Microbiologists at BYU, with financial backing from the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture, are addressing the global environmental issue of ocean dead zones. Their research, the most recent of which publishes this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is discovering the potential of naturally occurring bacteria called rhizobia to stem the tide of oversaturation with nitrogen-based fertilizers. (2015-09-22)

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