- Terrence J. Collins, director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University, pioneers new field of sustainable ultradilute oxidation catalysis.
- For 40 years, him and his team have been trying to find a natural way to break down the harmful synthetic chemicals that pollute waterways and harm the environment.
- They finally managed to recreate the power and efficiency of natural oxidation, using artificial catalysts called tetra-amido macrocyclic ligands (TAMLs).
- Testing shows that tiny amounts of TAMLs can eliminate some common pollutants from water in under 5 minutes.
- It’s cheaper from other water treatment methods, and to ensure safety it relies on the same biological processes that occur in our bodies.
- Study of 3,300 infants, born between 2005 and 2011 in areas with heavy oil and gas production in Colorado, shows increased risk of heart disease.
- The conclusion is that mothers living near oil and gas plants have from 40% to 70% bigger risk of giving birth to babies with congenital heart defects.
- This research follows up on a 2014 study which also linked congenital heart disease in newborns to living in areas with heavy oil and gas production.
- Each year in the US about 40,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Neuroscientists use optogenetics to shoot an image straight into the neurons in mice brains.
- The experiment relied on precise lasers, carefully controlled by liquid crystals, and a newly-discovered light-responsive protein called ChRmine to activate neurons.
- Each mouse was trained to react to lines, then in total darkness the image of the lines was created in their brains with lasers.
- The mice reacted, and their neurons fired off similarly to when the visual part of the brain really saw the image.
- It’s a breakthrough, and similar approaches could let scientists manipulate other perceptions (smells, touches, tastes), or study complex brain tasks like memory.
- Study on 2 million people, with 22 156 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), shows that ASD is inherited with genes.
- It took from 2016 to 2018 to analyze data from children born in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Israel, and Australia between 1998 and 2011, followed up to the age of 16.
- The heritability of ASD was estimated to be 80%.
- Heritability is a measure of how much differences in genes account for changes in traits (intelligence or height), and disorders like ASD or schizophrenia.
- It’s an important step towards understanding the origins and development of ASD.
- New report indicates that, in developed countries, consumers hold the most power to reduce environmental harm through changing dietary habits.
- Less developed countries, on the other hand, require an increase in production efficiency to make food production less harmful.
- Report authors concluded this from applying the “marginal gains” strategy (used by British cycling team) to the latest food & agriculture data from the UN.
- Small steps, like reducing food waste, changing diets, and improving food production efficiency, could free up to 21% of land currently used for food.
- Other reports usually suggest huge, impossible-to-implement ideas--instead, a lot of small changes would be more realistic, and still have a significant effect.