- 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.
- Scientists discovered that by inhibiting or deleting a gene that encodes PTB (protein on/off switch for genes), they can turn mouse cells directly into neurons.
- Now, this finding has been applied to astrocytes (cells in mice brains), turning them into neurons that produce dopamine, in effect curing Parkinson’s symptoms.
- Compared to other methods to generate neurons, like stem cells, this method is surprisingly easy and effective.
- After a single treatment, mice regained limb movement and response, and remained free of Parkinson’s symptoms for the rest of their lives.
- It’s unclear if turning off PTB in human brain cells could generate neurons and alleviate neurodegenerative diseases, the team is moving towards human trials.
- Study shows that Arabis (rockcress) can absorb and transport nanoplastics smaller than 200nm.
- The plant absorbs differently charged nanoplastics in different ways, negatively charged ones being the most internalized.
- This process can damage roots, and influence how plants transport water and nutrients, making the above-ground parts of the plant smaller.
- Other plants, especially root crops like carrots and turnips, should be studied for the same process, as they are the foundation of many food chains.
- Further studies will have to confirm if accumulation of nanoplastics will lead to worse crop yields, worse food quality, or even make common foods unsafe to eat.
- It has just 16 atoms - a molecule of acetylene, and 12 atoms of palladium + gallium - and it can only be observed by scanning tunneling microscopy.
- Cooled down to 17 degrees above absolute zero, and with an electrical current applied, it engages in a controlled spinning motion.
- For a motor to be useful, the rotor has to spin in only one direction - which is guaranteed here by the low temperature, and the palladium gallium crystal structure.
- Now, scientists are working on ways to harvest kinetic energy from the microscopic motor, and understanding how it works, in order to be able to put it to work someday.
- Mathematicians analysed data regarding global deaths in battle since the Napoleonic wars.
- Their algorithm was tuned to detect points where sizes of the wars changed, and found three crucial points.
- Between 1910 - 1950 there was unprecedented bloodshed, and in the early 1990s the world suddenly shifted to a greater level of peace.
- The study only looks at the data, but authors theorise that this could be thanks to organisations like the UN, and increased collaboration between nations.
- It’s not a perfect analysis, it’s focused on Europe, but this study provides a good methodology for future studies.