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The Good News
2015 September
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
Also, a superconductor that works at room-
temperature would make everyday electricity
generation and transmission vastly more efficient,
as well as giving a massive boost to current uses of
superconductivity such as the enormous magnets
used in medical imaging machines.
Researchers around the world are now striving to
reproduce and understand the landmark result.
According to Christoph Heil of the Graz University
of Technology in Austria, other scientists are
intensely interested in the result because it was
achieved without using exotic materials such as
the copper-containing compounds called ¡®cuprates¡¯
which until now have held the record for the highest
superconducting temperature (133 K (¨C140 ¡ãC)
at ambient pressure and 164 K (¨C109 ¡ãC) at high
pressure). He says that the pressurized hydrogen
sulfide seems to be a ¡®conventional¡¯ superconductor
in which vibrations within the material¡¯s crystal lattice
drive electrons to form ¡®Cooper pairs¡¯ that can flow
through the crystal without resistance.
According to a paper released on arXiv in July,
Physicist Fan Zhang of the University of Texas at
Dallas along with Yugui Yao of the Beijing Institute of
Technology in China predict that substituting 7.5% of
the sulfur atoms in hydrogen sulfide with phosphorus
and upping the pressure to 2.5 million atmospheres
(250 GPa) could raise the superconducting transition
temperature all the way to 280 K6, which is above
water¡¯s freezing point.
Zhang says that the finding is ¡°historic¡± and that its
impact will be ¡°far ranging¡±.
Papers describing the results of the work and
follow up research have been released on the
Cornell University Library¡¯s arXiv preprint server
in December, June and July, as well as on Nature.
com in August. In an accompanying News & Views
article on Nature¡¯s website, Igor Mazin of the Naval
Research Laboratory in Washington DC describes
the hydrogen sulfide discovery as ¡°the holy grail of
(*Sources: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry,
Mainz, Germany, 18 August 2015, www.mpg.
de/9366213/superconductivity-hydrogen-sulfide;, Nature 524,277, Edwin Cartlidge,
20 August 2015, doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18191;
Cornell University Library, 1 December 2014,; 26 June 2015, arxiv.
org/abs/1506.08190; 30 July 2015,
storms and drought. The Strategy
is in place to put emphasis on the
importance of planting appropri-
ate seeds to help grow plant life
and pollinator habitat, which are
critical natural defenses against
climate change.
¡°Having the right seed in the right
place at the right time makes a
major difference in the health of
our landscapes,¡± said U.S. Secre-
tary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
¡°This is a collaborative effort to
ensure that we¡¯re taking a land-
scape level approach to supporting
lands that are more resilient to
drought, intense fires and invasive
In 2012, more than two million
Superconductors (continued from page 1)
well as Jerry Benson, president, of BFI Native
¡°Large, disturbed areas must be replanted
quickly to avoid severe erosion or coloniza-
tion by non-native invasive plants,¡± Deputy
Director Ellis said. ¡°In many cases, it has been
difficult to obtain and deliver adequate quanti-
ties of the appropriate seed to meet a region¡¯s
particular need. This Strategy builds on the
significant achievements we are making in
landscape restoration, and calls for an unprec-
edented level of collaboration and commitment
to further enhance the nation¡¯s supply and
distribution of the right seeds.¡±
¡°Our national grasslands and forests are
threatened by an ever-increasing occurrence
of wildfire and invasive plants, and need to be
restored,¡± said Carlos Rodriguez-Franco, For-
est Service Acting Deputy Chief for Research
and Development. ¡°Native seeds for wildflow-
ers, trees, shrubs, and grasses are essential
to restore lands damaged from wildfire and
to restrict advancement of non-native plants
to create resilient, adaptive landscapes for
wildlife to flourish. This National Seed Strategy
will help ensure the success of post wildfire
restoration efforts to create native habitat for
wildlife. It underscores the value of Federal
partners working together to be good stewards
of the environment on behalf of the American
The Strategy involves creating a national net-
work of facilities (continued on Page 4>>>)
acres of sagebrush habitat burned in four
western states. Now, worsening landscape scale
disturbances, like wildfires and drought, have
exacerbated land managers¡¯ need for mecha-
nisms that build a natural defense against a
changing climate.
In the East, Hurricane Sandy caused widespread
damage to native plant habitats that stabilize
soils, filter water and absorb storm surges. A
chronic shortage of native seed for restoration
purposes left those landscapes vulnerable to
hostile species and erosion, while undermining
their ability to build up resilience, support wild-
life and economic activity.
The National Seed Strategy outlines coordinated
and focused research, as well as improvements
in seed production and restoration technology
to increase the availability of genetically ap-
propriate, locally adapted seed. The research
findings identified in the Strategy will inform the
development of new management tools to aid in
restoration planning and implementation.
Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Man-
agement (BLM) Steve Ellis announced the
strategy today at the BLM Boise Regional Seed
Warehouse. He was joined by BLM Idaho State
Director Tim Murphy; Chicago Botanic Gar-
den, Vice President of Science Dr. Greg Mueller
(Representing the Plant Conservation Alliance);
U.S. Forest Service Resource Staff Officer Boise
National Forest, Lynn Oliver, and Lucky Peak
Nursery Manager Boise, Clark Fleege; American
Seed Trade Association, Chair Risa DeMasi; as
Interior Department Releases National Seed
Strategy for Landscape Scale Rehabilitation
and Restoration; Effort Uses Plant & Pollinator
Science Collaboration at all Levels
to Make Land More Resilient to
Drought, Fires, Invasive Species
BOISE, ID, 8/17/15: As part of a comprehensive,
science-based strategy to address the threat of wild-
fires that are damaging landscapes across the West,
the Department of the Interior today announced the
release of a National Seed Strategy for rehabilitation
and restoration to help foster resilient and healthy
The Strategy, developed in partnership with the Plant
Conservation Alliance and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, is meant to guide ecological restoration
across major landscapes, especially for those lands
damaged by rangeland fires, invasive species, severe
Collaboration & Commitment