Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

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Lensing the wind

Japan suffered from an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale earlier this year. It released a massive tsunami that devastated coastal communities and also collapsed a nuclear power complex with multiple electrical generators. The consequences of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are still unfolding for the Japanese economy and the country's people. It isn't surprising that the Japanese have investigating alternative energy technologies that might reduce their nation's dependency on ...
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Solar autos

Making solar power readily available for car and truck transportation is a big challenge. With an investment from Google Ventures, an important step has been taken by SolarCity, a leading provider of solar energy for homes, businesses and non-profit organizations. Zero emissions is their goal for electric vehicles that will emit no CO2 from the vehicle's tailpipe. Wired Magazine reports that the Company has installed the first solar recharging stations of the thousands that will be ...
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Unplugged

For much of the 20th Century, energy development often meant dam building projects across wild rivers. From Maine to Tennessee to one to many western rivers, barriers to the natural flow of water, fish, and river life went up. Now at the beginning of the 21st, the reverse process may be underway as their removals take place and watershed restoration resumes. The latest example of dams-coming-down will be the structure build across Elwah River in Olympic National Park in Washington. Its ...
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Hot bugs

Enzymes are bio-molecules produced in the cells of all fungi, bacteria, yeasts, animals, and plants. They act as catalysts used in everything from laundry detergents, to meat tenderizers, from brewing beer, producing cheese, and digesting cellulose. Enzymes are essential to natural recycling functions of ecosystems and have become part of commercial processes more numerous than can be easily listed. They are biochemical workhorses due to the elegant specificity of their catalytic ...
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Paper power

Sometimes scientific and engineering discoveries can seem more like magic than the products of disciplined investigations. Nothing could be closer to this than the results announced by materials researchers at MIT. They have just produced photovoltaic (PV) cells printed directly onto special copy paper like you would find in any office printer. The result produced is Paper power, you might say. [caption id="attachment_5620" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Solar PV paper ...
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Artificial photosysntesis---the "real deal" game-changer

Biology, mathematics, and chemistry, were like playing for me-- physics, however, was a big stretch. I barely passed exams on vectors, forces, and electric currents in my college physics class. Years later, I toured a physics research lab in Colorado where they were trying to create artificial photosynthesis using a solid gold aspen leaf attached to a couple of wires. I thought the physics guys were crazy attempting to duplicate the process that powers life on Earth when green plants do it ...
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