Texas Tech Today: Texas Tech’s Ardon-Dryer Receives National Science Foundation Grant. “Karin Ardon-Dryer, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences, has received a $480,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will augment research into helping society better understand the causes and impacts of dust storms. Ardon-Dryer, an atmospheric scientist who has been part of the faculty in Texas Tech’s College of Arts and Sciences for six years, received the grant to investigate dust events across the nation during the past 20 years and build out an accessible, centralized database for researchers and communities alike.”
NASA: New Images Using Data From Retired Telescopes Reveal Hidden Features. “New images using data from ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA missions showcase the dust that fills the space between stars in four of the galaxies closest to our own Milky Way. More than striking, the snapshots are also a scientific trove, lending insight into how dramatically the density of dust clouds can vary within a galaxy.”
Newswise: Dust collected from campus buildings will help track COVID-19. “Researchers are collecting dust from 50 buildings on The Ohio State University campus this fall to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 and track the virus’s variants. Their analyses and experiments are designed to help the university understand where COVID-19 pockets might exist as the campus opens to near-pre-pandemic levels this fall.”
EurekAlert: Airborne viruses can spread on dust, non-respiratory particles. “Influenza viruses can spread through the air on dust, fibers and other microscopic particles, according to new research from the University of California, Davis and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. The findings, with obvious implications for coronavirus transmission as well as influenza, are published Aug. 18 in Nature Communications.”
EurekAlert: Study finds another reason to wash hands: Flame retardants. “Harmful flame retardants may be lurking on your hands and cell phone, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The researchers found that halogenated flame retardants added to plastic TV cases can move from the TV to indoor air and dust, to hands, and then to cell phones and other hand-held electronic devices. Once on your cell phone, that surface provides an ongoing source of exposure to these chemicals each time you touch your cell phone.”
Gizmodo: This Machine Makes It Easy for Libraries to Clean Thousands of Books. “How often have you pulled a rarely needed book off your shelf and needed to blow a layer of dust off of it? Now imagine what libraries have to deal with, given the tens of thousands of tomes in their collections. But it turns out someone’s already invented a machine that cleans books like a tiny waterless carwash.” This thing looks awesome!