News: Energy and Environment

Yeast already helps make bread and beer and cranks out the biofuel ethanol, but scientists believe it can be used to create an even more efficient fuel called isobutanol. Normally, yeast only creates a tiny amount of isobutanol. Now researchers at Princeton University have discovered a genetic switch that significantly ramps up production.
A team from Princeton University and Ohio State University has been awarded a five-year, $3-million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance research on low-temperature plasmas.
Cracks in the desert floor appear random to the untrained eye, even beautifully so, but those patterns of dried clay turn out to be predictable—and useful in designing advanced materials.