Daily TIPs: Cleantech Boom, Ambulance Efficiency, Plant Fuel for Jets, Oil-Free Nations, & More

6/23/08

Study Finds Scientific Fraud

The National Institutes of Health may have to start policing their grants better, after a study found that as many as 1000 incidents of scientific misconduct may go unreported each year. The study, by the NIH’s Office of Research Integrity, surveyed 2,212 scientists who receive NIH grants and found that researchers witnessed an average of three cases of fraud per 100 people each year, Bloomberg reports.

Alternative Energy Could Power Next Tech Boom

With oil prices soaring and concern about global warming spreading, alternative energy could well be a booming market in the next few years. But will the winner be biodiesel, wind power, solar energy, or even new nuclear power? A special report in the Economist looks at a variety of technologies being developed around the world.

Innovation Cuts Data-Center Power Use

Finding new sources of energy is important, but so is cutting back energy use at power-hungry facilities like computer data centers. CNET News brings us the story of a startup, Power Assure, which has developed so-called Holistic Power Management. The company says it can reduce data center power by up to 80 percent.

Lending Website Seeks SEC Approval

The Securities and Exchange Commission will examine whether peer-to-peer lending embedded on a site like Facebook is a good idea, TechCrunch reports. Lending Club, originally launched as a Facebook application, has filed registration forms with the government. The company suspended operations in April after the SEC told it it required regulatory approval to act as the middleman in lending deals.

Grant Aims for Greater Ambulance Efficiency

Can public safety officials get emergency help where it’s needed in a more timely manner? That’s the question researchers at Cornell are examining. Science Daily tells us the researchers have a National Science Foundation grant to perfect a computer program that will tell city managers where to place ambulances across a city for maximum availability at all times.

Global Warming Will Cause More Wildfires

A warming Pacific Ocean will bring warmer, drier air to the northwest corner of the United States, sparking more wildfires by the end of the century, New Scientist says. The magazine cites a study by the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, which predicts that the acreage burned in that area will more than double between 2002 and 2080.

Plant Oil Could Fuel Jet Planes

The poisonous seeds of a fast-growing weed called jatophra could make the friendly skies a little greener, the Los Angeles Times reports. Researchers from the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center are working with companies like Boeing to develop the oil from the seeds into a plant-based jet fuel. The fuel could produce about half the carbon emissions of fossil fuel, researchers say.

Is An Oil-Free Country Possible?

Could oil be entirely removed from a country’s economy? Shai Agassi, founder of Project Better Place, thinks so, and told a conference gathered to discuss how Washington could promote plug-in vehicles about his plan. The Environmental News Network posts a video of his talk.

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