Scientists warn of sustainability crisis as relentless and excessive mining of sand is impacting environment and threatening lives

It’s a resource used in global construction and mined from rivers and coasts across the world. But the humble grain of sand is being depleted by increased and relentless mining. New research published in the journal Nature Sustainability and led by academics at the University of Hull has shown excessive sand mining is causing river … Read more Scientists warn of sustainability crisis as relentless and excessive mining of sand is impacting environment and threatening lives

Dismal math results can’t be ignored

Australian school students’ poor performance in mathematics could harm the economy and the next generation’s job prospects, according to a University of Queensland researcher. The results from the 2018 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveal that Australian students’ mathematics performance ranked 20 or above on a decreasing scale of one to 26. Professor … Read more Dismal math results can’t be ignored

Chemists glimpse the fleeting ‘transition state’ of a reaction

During a chemical reaction, the molecules involved in the reaction gain energy until they reach a “point of no return” known as a transition state. Until now, no one has glimpsed this state, as it lasts for only a few femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second). However, chemists at MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, and several other … Read more Chemists glimpse the fleeting ‘transition state’ of a reaction

Oil catching sponge

The remediation of oil field effluents is a global challenge. For example, in the United States, over 15 billion barrels of oil-contaminated wastewater produced each year. Cherukupally and Sun et al. report an innovative surface engineered sponge that combines surface chemistry, pH-responsive surface charge, and multiscale roughness to enhance the surface wetting of the sponge. [rand_post] Their … Read more Oil catching sponge

New way to make biomedical devices from silk yields better products with tunable qualities

Researchers led by engineers at Tufts University have developed a novel, significantly more efficient fabrication method for silk that allows them to heat and mold the material into solid forms for a wide range of applications, including medical devices. The end products have superior strength compared to other materials, have physical properties that can be … Read more New way to make biomedical devices from silk yields better products with tunable qualities

Scientists find brain mechanism which could underpin confirmation bias

Many of us are familiar with the phenomenon of ‘confirmation bias’, where humans tend to discount information that undermines our past choices and judgments. Published in the Journal Nature Neuroscience, findings from a new study from City, University of London, University College London, and others, investigated a brain area which tracks decision-making information and signals … Read more Scientists find brain mechanism which could underpin confirmation bias

Nanoscience breakthrough: Probing particles smaller than a billionth of a meter

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) developed a new methodology that allows researchers to assess the chemical composition and structure of metallic particles with a diameter of only 0.5 to 2 nm. This breakthrough in analytical techniques will enable the development and application of minuscule materials in the fields of electronics, biomedicine, chemistry, … Read more Nanoscience breakthrough: Probing particles smaller than a billionth of a meter

Fundamental discoveries for future nanotools: Chemists distinguish multiple weak forces

The process of building a tiny cube has revealed some of the fundamental mysteries of how molecules bind together in natural environments. Researchers hope to apply this knowledge to future projects designing complex structures that can mimic life. When two molecules surrounded by water move towards each other, part of their initial attraction is sometimes … Read more Fundamental discoveries for future nanotools: Chemists distinguish multiple weak forces

New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases

Generally speaking, “flue gas” refers to any gas coming out of a pipe, exhaust, chimney etc as a product of combustion in a fireplace, oven, furnace, boiler, or steam generator. But the term is more commonly used to describe the exhaust vapors exiting the flues of factories and powerplants. Iconic though they may be, these … Read more New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases

Integrated scenarios to support analysis of the food–energy–water nexus

There is strong interdependency between the use of food, energy and water resources and it is closely linked to environmental challenges, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity. These linkages are expected to become even more important with an increasing demand for these resources. In a new set of scenarios and visualisations, these relationships … Read more Integrated scenarios to support analysis of the food–energy–water nexus