Idaho farmer John Beukers received a $500,000 USDA grant to help construct an on-farm anaerobic digestion system to digest concentrated manure from his 4,800 dairy cows. The anaerobic digester will capture bio-gas from the manure and fuel an engine generator estimated to produce an average daily peak output of 734 kilowatts.

Kentucky's Morehead State University began building the Space Science Center, a $3 million space tracking system. The large-aperture radio telescope and satellite tracking station and associated labs received funding from several state and federal agencies, including NASA and the Kentucky Science & Engineering Foundation. The system will support research and radio frequency astrophysics, and satellite telecommunications.

A coalition of academic, government and environmental groups announced a $6.8 million program to study how to reduce pollution emitted from ferries in New York Harbor. It's funded by a $5 million Federal Transit Administration grant and will test pollution-cutting technologies on 40 private vessels. -- USA Today

A Pennsylvania business created a solar alternative to traditional headlights, taillights and marker lights used by the Amish for horse-drawn buggies. The LED headlamp stays charged for 100 hours, compared to six hours from incandescent lights.

3M designed a composite conductor -- a new cable capable of transmitting two to three times more electricity than conventional power-line cables of the same diameter without additional weight or need for more towers. It is undergoing field-testing in three states, and is part of a Tennessee pilot with support from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Mammal Networked Information System (MaNIS) will give researchers, public health officials and the general public access to information on millions of natural history specimens. Seventeen research institutions are collaborating on the project. Participating museums include the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science.

Scientists are working to defend sources of drinking water from terrorism at a new Wisconsin lab believed to be the only one devoted to freshwater security in the country. The Center for Water Security was dedicated in June -- 10 years after Milwaukee and its surrounding areas endured more than 100 deaths and hundreds of thousands of illnesses from water tainted with a bacterial parasite. -- USA Today

Miriam Jones  |  Chief Copy Editor