Category Archives: Environment

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Gabriel Ortega: “How Do Halophiles Endure Extreme Salinity?”

The slow but unstoppable progress of evolution has enabled, step by step, mutation after mutation, the conquest of virtually all ecosystems on Earth. Even in those places where conditions are far from “standard”, where the presence of organisms seems unthinkable, life has found its way. These small conquerors are called extremophiles. Thus we find thermophilic organisms that […]

A More Potent Water Purification System Based on Cyclodextrin

A team of researchers form Cornell University has developed a water purifier based on a cyclodextrin modification. The original polymer, a compound used in air fresheners, was tweaked into a porous form that increases its adsorbance to water contaminants 200-fold. The findings were published in Nature. Dr. Dichtel’s team received a National Science Foundation grant to […]

Wireless Transmitter Powered by Urine and Microbes

Researchers from the University of the West of England (UWE) have created a wearable wireless transmitter powered with urine. The user carries microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in its socks, and the cells are fed with urine that is supplied by the user’s movement. The researchers were able to send a signal to a PC with the […]

Converting Roads into Solar Panels

A Dutch start-up has found a way to transform the whole road network into an enormous source of green energy. SolaRoad produces concrete modules that can capture sunlight and transform it in energy for street lighting, traffic systems, households and electric vehicles. The pilot has already been tested in a cycle path. The Province of Noord-Holland, Ooms […]

Ancient DNA Reveals Adaptations to the Agricultural Revolution

A team of international researchers led by Harvard Medical School has presented an in-depth study of the changes that occurred in the human genome on the arrival of agriculture and farming. The scientists compared the current human genomes with ancient DNA and found genetic differences attributed to natural selection in the face of the environmental changes that took […]

Electric Chip Recovers Drug Nanoparticles from Blood

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego have discovered a new technique to isolate nanoparticles from blood plasma. An oscillating electric field can separate nanoparticles from complex liquids, allowing to recover, for example, drug-delivery particles. The finding could also have applications in industrial and environmental settings. The study has been published in the journal Small. Drug-carrying […]

Organic Electronics Generate the First Electronic Plants

Researchers from Linköping University in Sweden have created electronic plants. The staff at the Laboratory for Organic Electronics inserted semi-conductive polymers inside living flowers, trees and bushes, creating electronic circuits that could regulate the plant´s physiology. The study was published in the journal Science Advances. Professor Magnus Berggren has been doing research in paper printed electronics […]

One Year in Space to Plan the Journey to Mars

With the three-year journey to Mars in mind, NASA is studying the risks of spending long periods of time in space. Scott Kelly will live for one year in the International Space Station (ISS), instead of the usual six months, to assess the body response to the stresses of life in space: gravity, isolation, hostile environments, radiation […]