Newsletter

Summaries

New polymer easily captures gold extracted from e-waste

arstechnica.com
  • The polymer is made from an organic compound called porphyrin, and it’s kind of a sponge with little pores that attract metal atoms.
  • When electronic junk is treated with acid, a porphyrin polymer collects metals, and it seems that gold is it’s favorite metal.
  • Researchers tested this method with several circuit boards from a junkyard.
  • It resulted in a solid gold nugget that accounted for 94% of the gold from the circuit boards.
  • With $5 production cost per gram of the polymer, and $64 gold yield per gram, this method might revolutionise the way we recycle electronics.

Astronomers detect regular rhythm of radio waves, with origins unknown

news.mit.edu
  • Unknown source is emitting repeatable Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) 500,000 light years from Earth.
  • Over 100 FRBs have been observed before, but never repeatable and never in a specific pattern.
  • The pattern is 4 days of noise and 12 days of silence, it’s been repeating itself consistently over 500 days.
  • Experts say that it’s a new phenomenon in astrophysics.
  • It could be a neutron star or a magnetar, which is a less understood type of neutron star with an extremely powerful magnetic field.

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Pee test reveals quality of your diet – and whether it’s best for your body

imperial.ac.uk
  • By analyzing 46 metabolites (produced by digesting food) in the pee of 1,848 people, researchers found an easy way to test what we’re eating in 5 minutes.
  • They found connections between metabolites, foods and health conditions, and defined patterns that describe healthy and unhealthy diets.
  • Another team of researchers used this data to create a quick urine test that could help health professionals make precise, individually tailored diet plans.
  • The main conclusion is that our bodies process and use food differently at the molecular level, one diet will never work the same for two different people.

Why are plants green?

eurekalert.org
  • Researchers created a photosynthesis model based on complex networks (cellphone, brains, power grids).
  • Based on this model, they found that photosynthetic organisms protect themselves from sudden increases in solar energy by absorbing only specific colors of light.
  • Absorbing only parts of the solar spectrum allows them to minimize noise in the output (=generated energy) of their solar cell system.
  • It’s simple physics, it allows these organisms to protect themselves, conserve energy, and - most excitingly - it is consistent with a lot of biological observations.
  • This is the first qualitative proof that photosynthetic beings (like plants) have colors (say, green) in order to protect themselves from absorbing too much energy.

Unorthodox desalination method could transform global water management

phys.org
  • Desalination is viewed as a solution to the water shortages that, according to many experts, will start happening globally within 10 years.
  • But it seemed too expensive, until recent development of a new method - temperature swing solvent extraction (TSSE).
  • TSSE is done without boiling water, and uses a low-polarity solvent at low temperatures to turn salt into solid crystals that are easy to remove.
  • Heated up to 70 °C, the solvent releases water as if from a sponge, with more than 90% of the initial salt content removed.
  • Further testing and optimization of the method will follow, possibly resulting in a very cost-effective, easily scalable way to desalinate water.

Categories

  • Science Science (68) One-time treatment generates new neurons, eliminates Parkinson's disease in mice
  • Psychology Psychology (73) Where does a Programmer’s brain store all the coding?
  • Cosmos Cosmos (32) Astronomers detect regular rhythm of radio waves, with origins unknown
  • History History (18) Study settles the score on whether the modern world is less violent
  • Society Society (79) At 19, am I too young for cannabis? Choosing the ‘right’ minimum legal age for legalized non-medical cannabis
  • Medicine Medicine (72) Pee test reveals quality of your diet – and whether it’s best for your body
  • Technology Technology (81) New polymer easily captures gold extracted from e-waste
  • Nature Nature (57) Why are plants green?

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