Science and Technology

WSU Develop New Battery Tech.
5:39 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

WSU Researchers Patent Longer Battery Life Technology

WSU's Grant Norton says using tin in lithium ion batteries could keep many electronic devices running much longer.
Photo courtesy WSU

Researchers at Washington State University say they've found a way to keep lithium batteries charged three times longer. These are the batteries used in laptops, cell phones and electric vehicles. The key ingredient in the new battery design is tin, as a replacement for carbon, which is more common.

The research is lead by engineering professor Grant Norton. He says the improvements could keep many electronic devices running much longer.

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Nuclear Monitoring Grant
5:34 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Northwest Universities Garner Nuclear Energy Grants

Washington State University’s nuclear reactor in Pullman while operating.
Photo credit: Donald Wall Northwest News Network

The nuclear industry faces a generation gap. A lot of the people who run nuclear power plants are nearing retirement. Now the Obama Administration has awarded $6.3 million to Northwest universities to help train the next generation of nuclear leaders.

Donald Wall directs Washington State University’s Nuclear Radiation Center in Pullman. The reactor is surrounded by the university’s golf course.

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New Earthquake Faults
6:09 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Geologists Identify New Earthquake Faults Near Bellingham

This USGS map shows the known fault lines around northwestern Washington prior to the recent study.
Photo Credit: USGS Northwest News Network

Geologists have discovered two previously unknown earthquake faults, and possibly a third, near Bellingham, Wash. The scientists working for the U.S. Geological Survey believe the shallow faults are capable of spawning damaging tremors.

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Earthquake Warning System
5:12 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Prototype Early Warning System Worked During Cal. Quake Friday

This GPS station near the summit of Mount Olympus in Olympic National Park could be part of a future earthquake detection and early warning system.
Photo credit: Tim Melbourne, CWU Northwest News Network

A prototype, earthquake early warning system, worked as designed when an actual quake gently shook California last Friday. Researchers reported the results Tuesday at the annual meeting of American seismologists.

Last year, a private foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey gave a multimillion dollar grant to create an automated earthquake warning system for the Pacific Coast states. The idea is to provide advance notice to prepare people for severe shaking. It could come via a cell phone alert or a pop-up on your computer or TV screen.

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Mapping While Driving
3:40 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

No More Texting, But What About Mapping While Driving?

Idaho has joined Oregon and Washington in outlawing texting while driving.
Photo credit: Kevin Mooney Northwest News Network

Beginning this summer, texting will be illegal for drivers across all three Northwest states. Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a bill Thursday that outlaws texting while driving on Idaho roads. But in the age of the smartphone, text messages aren’t the only distraction on the tiny screen. Jessica Robinson looked into what else falls under the ban.

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Northwest News
6:13 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Richland, Wash., Student Wins Second Prize In National Science Talent Search

Andrey Sushko, 17, of Richland, far left, recently competed against more than 1,000 students in the Intel Science Talent Search 2012. He took home second prize, a $75,000 award for college.
Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – A Richland, Washington student has won the second prize in a national science fair talent search. That means 17-year- old Andrey Sushko has won $75,000 that will be applied to the high school senior’s upcoming college expenses. Sushko developed a tiny motor that could fit inside a shampoo bottle cap. It’s powered on the surface tension of water.

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Student Scientist
5:00 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Richland, Wash., Student Competes For Prize In National Science Talent Search

RICHLAND, Wash. -- A Northwest student is among the top 40 contenders in a national science fair. The gala finale of the Intel Science Talent Search is Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. The student’s invention? A motor so small it runs off of the surface tension of water.

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Bear Research
5:47 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

WSU Researchers Studying Bears’ Hibernation To Narrow Down A Cure For Diabetes

A group of Washington State University scientists performing an echocardiogram on an adult female grizzly bear named Kio during the hibernation period.
Photo credit: Anna King Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Hibernating bears do things that doctors tell humans not to do. They eat fatty foods, lay around for months on end and get high cholesterol. Yet they don’t suffer the same ill effects we would.

Washington State University researchers have teamed up with a biotech company. They’ve begun a $200,000 study on how grizzly bears can gain so much fat each year and sleep through the winter. But each spring they emerge without diabetes or heart disease.

Researchers are monitoring eight bears’ heart rates, blood pressure, blood chemistry and overall health.

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