The May issue of my Spotlight column over on the Intute site is now online, this month featuring:
Flush with nanoparticles – What happens to carbon-based nanoparticles when they enter groundwater? Can municipal water supplies filter them out? And, if they cannot will they cause health problems? These are crucial questions that need answers now, as nanotechnology grows. Now, a new study by Kurt Pennell, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and colleagues, suggests that subtle differences in the solution properties of the water carrying such particles can determine their ultimate fate.
Ocean oxygen starvation – Oxygen-poor regions of tropical oceans are expanding as the oceans warm, limiting the areas in which predatory fishes and other marine organisms can live or enter in search of food, according to a major ongoing marine exploratory project. The phenomenon could cut overall marine biodiversity.
The Collaborative Research Centre programme – Climate: Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean – funded by the German Research Foundation is working in close cooperation with the University of Kiel, and researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.
Carbon balls to the dinosaurs – Palaeontologists presume that an asteroid impact led to such enormous and widespread environmental upheaval that it wiped out the dinosaurs and thousands of other species when it struck the Earth. Now, researchers from Italy, New Zealand, UK, and USA suggests that the impact force was so great that it would have liquefied carbon in the planet’s crust and sprayed tiny airborne carbon beads into the atmosphere in unimaginable quantities.
You can check out the Spotlight archives via the Sciencebase recent scientific discoveries page.