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Plastic-Eating Fungi Found In The Amazon May Solve World’s Waste Problem

Plastic-Eating Fungi Found In The Amazon May Solve World’s Waste Problem
A group of students and professors from Yale University have found a fungi in the Amazon rainforest that can degrade and utilize the common plastic polyurethane (PUR). As part of the university’s Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory educational program, designed to engage undergraduate students in discovery-based research, the group searched for plants and cultured the micro-organisms within their tissue. Several active organisms were identified, including two distinct isolates of Pestalotiopsis microspora with the ability to efficiently degrade and utilize PUR as the sole carbon source when grown anaerobically, a unique observation among reported PUR biodegradation activities. Polyurethane is a big part of our mounting waste problem and this is a new possible solution for managing it. The fungi can survive on polyurethane alone and is uniquely able to do so in an oxygen-free environment. Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi

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-New HOme Project « Leifur Thor’s WorldPress Station Imagine a home that provides a level of comfort and ease of living beyond what’s known. Now imagine this home uses less energy while providing that superior standard of living. In this century, wouldn’t we rather have a home that harvests energy quietly instead of using it? An enclosed space three average people with no special skills can assemble noise free, and with no special building tools in three weeks from start to finish. With over 10,000 variations for layout a home we can alter in a day without need of a contractor. A home that’s over 90% recyclable and stronger against the elements.

16 year old Makes Bioplastic from Banana Peels & Wins $50,000 Science Award Elif Bilgin, a 16 year old from Turkey, won the 2013 Science in Action Award at the Google Science Fair for her invention of a bioplastic made from banana peels that could be used to replace petroleum-based plastics. Thomas Edison, who was just age 14 when he began work that led to the invention of the electric light bulb, once said: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” No doubt then, Edison would have approved of 16 year old Elif Bilgin from Turkey – winner of the 2013 Scientific American Science in Action Award, powered by the Google Science Fair. Indian man single-handedly plants a 1,360-acre forest A little more than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site so he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acres of jungle that Payeng planted — single-handedly.

2012/03/10/the-economics-of-emotion/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Techcrunch+(TechCrunch) Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Alan Zorfas, the co-founder and CMO of Motista, a VC-backed consumer intelligence service. Prior to co-founding Motista, Alan spent 25 years in senior roles at advertising agencies like Interpublic Group, DBB, and Earle Palmer Brown. The most recent commercial for the BMW i3 and i8 concept cars is a great example of something enlightened marketers have known for years: emotion is the key driver behind purchasing decisions. Yet, today, most businesspeople still follow the old adage, “Emotions and business don’t mix,” relying on rational data to drive decisions instead. Doesn’t the advertisement make you want to buy a BMW?

The New Geopolitics of Food - By Lester R. Brown In the United States, when world wheat prices rise by 75 percent, as they have over the last year, it means the difference between a $2 loaf of bread and a loaf costing maybe $2.10. If, however, you live in New Delhi, those skyrocketing costs really matter: A doubling in the world price of wheat actually means that the wheat you carry home from the market to hand-grind into flour for chapatis costs twice as much. And the same is true with rice. If the world price of rice doubles, so does the price of rice in your neighborhood market in Jakarta. And so does the cost of the bowl of boiled rice on an Indonesian family's dinner table. Welcome to the new food economics of 2011: Prices are climbing, but the impact is not at all being felt equally.

The Safety of Beverages in Plastic Bottles BEVERAGES | April/May 2009 By Jill Culora With bisphenol A (BPA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) consistently in the mass media with regard to beverage packaging, beverage processors must manage the vast amount of misinformation that abounds and maintain strict standards of beverage safety. While cognizant of consumer concerns, beverage manufacturers must insist on transparency and continue to reassure consumers about product safety. Below are common questions that beverage and food manufacturers must answer to reassure customers of the safety of their products. So how much of what we read about the safety of plastic bottled water containers is factual or just a plain modern-day urban myth?

Money Laundering is a made-up crime « Real Virtual Currency With all of the recent news regarding FinCEN, money transmitters, and money service businesses, Bitcoin enthusiasts are able to witness a side of the law that usually operates in obscurity, not necessarily because of anything particularly sinister, but rather because it’s intolerably boring – unless, of course, it is affecting you personally. The term “money laundering,” the process of concealing illicit sources of money, is getting thrown around a lot lately, particularly by the regulators. But it rolls off of the tongues of regular folks as well. Most people probably would agree, yes, we must do something about this money laundering problem. Ed Boyden: The brain is like a computer, and we can fix it with nanorobots Ed Boyden heads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group at MIT Media Lab. He is working on developing technologies and tools for "analysing and engineering brain circuits" – to reveal which brain neurons are involved in different cognitive processes and using this knowledge to treat brain disorders. What is synthetic neurobiology? The synthetic biology part is about taking molecules from the natural world and figuring how to make them into little machines that we can use to address complex brain problems. Moreover, if we can synthesise the computation of the brain and write information to it, that allows us to test our understanding of the brain and fix disorders by controlling the processes within – running a piece of software on the brain as if it is a computer.

OECD calls for policy reform and technology to prevent impending water crisis The OECD has released a report outlining the challenges humanity faces to maintain water resources in the future (Photo: Shutterstock) Image Gallery (2 images) Worldwide population growth and the related rapid increase in urbanization is already posing problems in many areas for the management of that most precious of resources, water. With these problems only set to intensify, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has released a report outlining the challenges humanity faces to maintain water resources in the face of demographic growth and climate change. Called Meeting the Water Reform Challenge, the report says that urgent reform of water policies is crucial in order to preserve human and environmental health as well as economic growth. According to UN figures, more than one billion people lack access to safe drinking water.

Personal care products causing antibiotic resistance Mon. Sept. 30, 2013 by Blanche Levine (NaturalHealth365) Triclosan, an antimicrobial pesticide used regularly in toothpaste, hand soap, face wash, body lotion, and cosmetics is being linked to antibiotic resistance strains of bacteria. Japan quake: Images of then and now 10 March 2012Last updated at 19:31 ET One year ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck off the coast of north-east Japan. Thousands of people lost their lives and many more were injured as torrents of water swept through coastal cities, towns and villages.

Bhutan To Be First Country to Go 100% Organic If there was ever a nation that could see the purpose behind organic, sustainable farming, it would be a nation that is composed mostly of farmers. Such a place does exist, and it soon may be the first nation to go 100% organic, paving the way for others to do the same on a global scale. The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known for a high level of citizen happiness, but it is doing something even more noteworthy in the near future. With Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley making a major announcement regarding the organic farming project at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development which took place last month, the move has made national headlines. It’s called the National Organic Policy, and it is fueled by the simple concept that working ‘in harmony with nature’ will yield the most powerful results — all without sacrificing human health or the environment.

What is Toxicology The traditional definition of toxicology is "the science of poisons." As our understanding of how various agents can cause harm to humans and other organisms, a more descriptive definition of toxicology is "the study of the adverse effects of chemicals or physical agents on living organisms". These adverse effects may occur in many forms, ranging from immediate death to subtle changes not realized until months or years later. They may occur at various levels within the body, such as an organ, a type of cell, or a specific biochemical.

The Alma – Crystal Palace – Mark Blundell - South London Photographer We have a newly renovated watering hole in Crystal Palace – The Alma. Viveca and I were keen to try the pub out soon after it opened and were very happy with the turn around from the previous version. The new owner Stephen Boyd has done a great job in renovating and decorating the property in only three weeks. I am a contact of @TheAlmaCP on Twitter as thought I’d see if Stephen would be kind enough to let me come and take some shots before opening one morning. After a brief conversation I was booked in and went yesterday morning.

Could be hugely significant environmentally, but how real a prospect is there of plastic munching funghi being part of the waste remediation process? Perhaps just too weak a signal - but one to keep watching. by rwilson Mar 16

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