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Cleaning Our Water with Groundbreaking 'Bioinspired' Chemistry

cmu.edu
  • 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.

Rare wildcat kittens born at Highlands field centre

bbc.com
  • Thanks to the Scottish Wildcat Action project, two females of a “functionally extinct” breed have been born.
  • They’re a few weeks old, and already exploring their enclosure at the Aigas Field Centre in Scotland.
  • In the future these wildcats might be released into the wild, but certain threats to the species still need to be overcome.
  • The Scottish wildcat population has diminished due to breeding with domestic cats, loss of habitat, and disease.

Study finds association between air pollution, coronary atherosclerosis in Chinese population

buffalo.edu
  • Long-term exposure to air pollution, nitrogen dioxide, and vehicle traffic associated with buildup of plaque in artery walls, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.
  • Sample of 8,867 Chinese adults aged from 25 to 92 shows that risk of artery plaque increases by 24.5% for every 20 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per 1m2 of air.
  • This is the first study of this type in China, following similar studies in the US and Europe.
  • It provides much-needed data and evidence to set the correct air pollution standards on a global scale.
  • Over 40% of all deaths in China are caused by cardiovascular disease, and the potential contribution of air pollution to this problem is very large.

Climate change is already affecting global food production — and not equally

environment.umn.edu
  • Applying careful statistical and data science modeling to multiple datasets, researchers found significant variation in the world’s top 10 crops.
  • Barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane and wheat supply 83% of all calories produced from crops.
  • Changes in yields are caused by climate change, and they resulted in an average ~1% reduction of consumable food calories from these crops.
  • The impact is negative in Europe, Southern Africa, and Australia, but it’s actually positive in Latin America, and mixed in Asia and Central America.
  • Half of all food-insecure countries are experiencing decreases in crop production, similarly to several industrialized Western European countries.

Could Planting Tons of Trees Solve Climate Change?

blogs.discovermagazine.com
  • New analysis, based on Google Earth data, indicates that there is 0.9 billion hectares of land available around the world to plant new forests.
  • So far, humans have put 300 gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.
  • Researchers estimate that planting 0.9 billion hectares of forests would absorb two thirds of it.
  • This could be evidence to justify investments in restoring and planting forests.
  • According to the estimate, Earth could support 4.4 billion hectares of forest - excluding existing forests and land in use leaves 0.9 billion for new trees.

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