THE NATIONAL ASSESSMENT of Educational Progress revealed that scores of
eighth-grade mathematics students in the United States have ticked slightly
upward in the past two years. NAEP reports that scores rose from an average 281
score in 2007 to an average 283 score in 2009. Despite the rise in score
averages, only 34 percent of students nationwide are attaining or exceeding
established proficiency levels.
information, visit www.wwj.com/pages/5625507.php.
TWO 2009 POLLS
indicated that although a majority of Michigan residents would support an
increase in recycling household waste, actual recycling levels have decreased
in the state since 1998. According to the survey conducted by Marketing
Resource Group, 81 percent of residents believe that a more comprehensive
statewide program to recycle a wider variety of household wastes would benefit
the state. Another poll, conducted by Public Sector Consultants, revealed that
the state's per-capita recycling rate decreased 28 percent between 1998 and 2008,
reflecting a drop from 0.36 tons to 0.26 tons.
information, visit www.wwj.com/Report--State-Won-t-Recycle-Despite-Promise-Of-13-/5663911.
AT 17 MILLION tons in
2005, the United States' consumption of potatoes ranks fourth internationally,
behind first-place China, which consumed 47.5 million tons in the same year. It
is estimated that each person in the United States consumes more than 119
pounds of potatoes each year, and that 309 million tons were produced worldwide
in 2007. Originally exclusive to South America, potato cultivation has spread
to every continent except Antarctica over the past 7,000 years, and potatoes
have become a major source of sustenance. The Potato Genome Sequencing
Consortium, a team of 39 scientists from 14 countries, has completed the first
draft of its project, which it began in 2006. The Consortium estimates that the
complete genome of 95 percent of potato genes consists of 840 base pairs,
nearly one-fourth of the base pairs in the human genome. This data will assist plant
biologists in developing drought- and disease-resistant potatoes.
information, visit www.potatogenome.net/index.php.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
researchers set a record in fiscal 2009 with 350 new inventions — breaking the
previous record of 329 set in 2007. The university also reported a 20 percent
increase in royalties during the same period for technologies developed there.
Fiscal 2009 royalties reached $15.1 million. Technology transfer revenue
earned equity returns of $3 million, bringing the total revenues to $18.1
million. Additionally, UM announced eight new faculty startups for fiscal 2009,
bringing the total to 83 since 2001. Patent applications by UM researchers rose
14 percent over fiscal 2008 to reach 151, while 72 patents were granted and 78
technology contracts were issued to existing and startup businesses. All told,
UM researchers surpassed the $1 billion research expenditure mark for the first
information, visit www.michigantoday.umich.edu/2009/11/story.php?id=7572.
AT LEAST NINE
the 35 states that have set goals to obtain more electricity from such
renewable energy sources as solar panels and windmills have fallen short,
according to an article by Traci Watson in USA Today. According to the article,
New Jersey, California, Arizona, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire and Delaware all fell short of established goals. New Jersey, for
example, will miss a deadline to generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity from
offshore windmills by 2012. California's goal to generate 20 percent of its
energy needs from alternative sources by 2010 won't be met until 2013 or 2014;
Arizona will not reach its 2009 goal of 0.3 percent electricity derived from
solar power until at least 2011; and New Hampshire only met two-thirds of its
2008 renewable energy commitment. Despite this, the U.S. House of
Representatives passed a bill last June increasing mandated energy derived from
renewable sources from 9 percent to 15 percent by 2020.
information, visit www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2009-10-08-altenergy_N.htm.