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3Episodes
Category: Science & Medicine

A fun take on the latest science news with enough data to sink your teeth into. Lagrange Point goes beyond the glossy summary and gets in depth with the research from across the world.

July 23, 2018

Episode 284 - Solar panels that work in the shade, using coal waste and greener concrete

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Solar Panels keep getting better, but what if we could have solar power even when it's very overcast? Plus is there a way to make concrete greener and less carbon intensive? What if one of those solutions also helped take care of waste product from Coal Power Plants? We look at innovative green technologies this week in Lagrange Point. 

  1. Joshua Shank, Emil A. Kadlec, Robert L. Jarecki, Andrew Starbuck, Stephen Howell, David W. Peters, Paul S. Davids. Power Generation from a Radiative Thermal Source Using a Large-Area Infrared RectennaPhysical Review Applied, 2018; 9 (5) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.054040
  2. Sarvesh Kumar Srivastava, Przemyslaw Piwek, Sonal R. Ayakar, Arman Bonakdarpour, David P. Wilkinson, Vikramaditya G. Yadav. A Biogenic Photovoltaic MaterialSmall, 2018; 14 (26): 1800729 DOI: 10.1002/smll.201800729
  3. Gang Xu, Jing Zhong, Xianming Shi. Influence of graphene oxide in a chemically activated fly ashFuel, 2018; 226: 644 DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2018.04.033
  4. Sung Hoon Hwang, Rouzbeh Shahsavari. High calcium cementless fly ash binder with low environmental footprint: Optimum Taguchi designJournal of the American Ceramic Society, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/jace.15873
July 16, 2018

Episode 283 - Dust storms carrying life, harming life and engulfing a planet

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Dust storms can be hazardous, especially when they engulf an entire planet like on Mars. They can also carry pollution across national borders and contaminate wide areas. But Dust Storms may also hold the secret for how life can spread across vast deserts. This week we look at dust storms of this world and out of this world. 

  1. Authors: J. A. Rivas Jr., J. E. Mohl, R. S. Van Pelt, M.‐Y. Leung, R. L. Wallace, T. E. Gill, E. J. Walsh. Evidence for regional aeolian transport of freshwater micrometazoans in arid regionsLimnology and Oceanography Letters, 2018; DOI: 10.1002/lol2.10072
  2. Tuyet Nam Thi Nguyen, Kuen-Sik Jung, Ji Min Son, Hye-Ok Kwon, Sung-Deuk Choi. Seasonal variation, phase distribution, and source identification of atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at a semi-rural site in Ulsan, South KoreaEnvironmental Pollution, 2018; 236: 529 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.01.080
  3. Penn State. (2018, June 28). Mars dust storm may lead to new weather discoveries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 14, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180628124412.htm
  4. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2018, June 20). Martian dust storm grows global: Curiosity captures photos of thickening haze. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 13, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180620170956.htm
July 2, 2018

Episode 281 - Interconnections between animals, ocean currents, climates and ecosystems

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This week we look into three stories about how oceans tie our planet together. Our ecosystems are often linked in unusual ways that are not immediately obvious. Ocean currents can tie ecosystems across the world together, impacting migratory species, local environments and ecosystems. Sometimes these impacts are short term, other times they play out over years, decades and centuries. 

References:

  1. Carl J. Reddin, Ádám T. Kocsis, Wolfgang Kiessling. Marine invertebrate migrations trace climate change over 450 million yearsGlobal Ecology and Biogeography, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/geb.12732
  2. Hector M. Guzman, Catalina G. Gomez, Alex Hearn, Scott A. Eckert. Longest recorded trans-Pacific migration of a whale shark (Rhincodon typus)Marine Biodiversity Records, 2018; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s41200-018-0143-4
  3. Jocelyn Champagnon, Jean-Dominique Lebreton, Hugh Drummond, David J. Anderson. Pacific Decadal and El Niño oscillations shape survival of a seabirdEcology, 2018; 99 (5): 1063 DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2179
June 18, 2018

Episode 279 - Helping farmers fight back against climate change

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How can we feed the planet? What can we do to improve our crop yields particularly for the staples like rice and corn? How can NASA help farmers deal with a changing climate? 

References:

  1. Cacious Stanford Nyakurwa, Edmore Gasura, Peter S. Setimela, Stanford Mabasa, Joyful Tatenda Rugare, Simbarashe Mutsvanga. Reaction of New Quality Protein Maize Genotypes toCrop Science, 2018; 58 (3): 1201 DOI: 10.2135/cropsci2017.10.0639
  2. Eduardo Anibele Streck, Ariano Martins de Magalhaes, Gabriel Almeida Aguiar, Paulo Karling Henrique Facchinello, Paulo Ricardo Reis Fagundes, Daniel Fernandes Franco, Maicon Nardino, Antônio Costa de Oliveira. Genetic Progress in 45 Years of Irrigated Rice Breeding in Southern BrazilCrop Science, 2018; 58 (3): 1094 DOI: 10.2135/cropsci2017.06.0383
  3. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2018, June 1). NASA soil moisture data advances global crop forecasts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 15, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180601134729.htm
June 18, 2018

Episode 279 - Helping farmers fight back against climate change

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May 20, 2018

Episode 275 - Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems in flux

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Protecting biodiversity is important, but how well have we protected our critical zones over the past 25 years? Are predators invading human spaces or are they just reclaiming their old territory? What about places where the predator / prey balance is out of whack? We dive into biodiverse ecosystems across the world. 

References:

  1. Kendall R. Jones, Oscar Venter, Richard A. Fuller, James R. Allan, Sean L. Maxwell, Pablo Jose Negret, James E. M. Watson. One-third of global protected land is under intense human pressure. Science, 2018; 360 (6390): 788 DOI: 10.1126/science.aap9565

  2. Brian R. Silliman, Brent B. Hughes, Lindsay C. Gaskins, Qiang He, M. Tim Tinker, Andrew Read, James Nifong and Rick Stepp. Are the Ghosts of Nature's Past Haunting Ecology Today? Current Biology, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.04.002

  3. Michigan Technological University. (2018, May 17). After 60 years, Isle Royale continues world's longest predator-prey study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 19, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180517102304.htm

May 14, 2018

Episode 274 - Micro plastics in the rivers, oceans and soil

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With Kilauea erupting, we look at the science of volcanoes and how we can keep better tabs on these rumbling giants of geology. From infra-sound monitoring, to tracking disappearing lava lakes.

References:

  1. K. J. Stephens, C. Wauthier. Satellite Geodesy Captures Offset Magma Supply Associated With Lava Lake Appearance at Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua. Geophysical Research Letters, 2018; DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076769
  2. Robin S. Matoza, David Fee, David Green, Alexis Le Pichon, Julien Vergoz, Matthew M. Haney, T. Dylan Mikesell, Luis Franco, O. Alberto Valderrama, Megan R. Kelley, Kathleen McKee, Lars Ceranna. Local, regional, and remote seismo-acoustic observations of the April 2015 VEI 4 eruption of Calbuco volcano, Chile. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 2018; DOI: 10.1002/2017JB015182
  3. Teresa Ubide, Balz S. Kamber. Volcanic crystals as time capsules of eruption history. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02274-w
March 26, 2018

Episode 267 - Water, water everywhere, make it safe to drink

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Making water safe to drink is a problem for the largest cities all the way down to the most remote of communities. We look at the challenges to making water safe to drink, and some innovative new research looking to make it easier to obtain safe drinking water.

February 5, 2018

Episode 260 - A glimpse of our future from the tropical rain forests and jungles

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Life in a tropical jungle or rain forest provide a window into the future, particularly for Climate Scientists. We look into the impact of a warming climate on biodiversity plus keeping the delicate balance between agricultural land and dangerous deforestation.

October 22, 2017

Episode 245 - Making diesel less harmful to our lungs, farms and planet

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What damage does diesel do to our planet, cities and lungs? Is there a way we can make it cleaner that helps not only the atmosphere but also our farms? We find out what is being done across the world to clean up our diesel engines.

September 25, 2017

Episode 241 - What does climate change have in store for our oceans?

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What does climate change have in store for our oceans? What happens to fish when their reefs become full of pollution? All this and more.

September 4, 2017

Episode 238 - Domesticating Grains, Evolving Crops and Vitamin A rice

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The history of humanity is tied to the history of domestication. But we often overlook the rule of farming and domesticating grains which enabled huge cities to form. We find out about using modern day science to follow the journey of agriculture to today. Plus some of the future innovations we can implement such as Vitamin A rice.

January 19, 2014

Episode 24: Intelligent Cities, Cyber Vigilantes And Urban Design

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It's time for cities of the future! Instagram for dogs; do cyber vigilantes help or hurt investigations; how to share space between trams, cars and people and how you can right now run a city like a game of Simcity!