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Report Card: Major 5yr Summary of Europe’s Environmental Status

‘Our analysis shows that European policies have successfully tackled many environmental challenges over the years,’ says Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director. ‘But it also shows that we continue to harm the natural systems that sustain our prosperity.’He notes that the EU goal of living on a sustainable planet by 2050, as outlined in the EU’s [...]

New technologies take root in the search for antibiotics from soil- TERA

Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 as a result of a coincidental observation, but modern medicine also owes thanks to the microbiologist Selman Waksman, who subsequently helped develop a platform for studying the antimicrobial activity of various microbes by detecting zones of growth inhibition of susceptible microorganisms on Petri dishes.… doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm0315-201

Green activist killings up by a fifth

Killings of environmental activists have risen by 20% in the last year, according to campaign group Global Witness.A report published by the organisation said there were 116 deaths worldwide in 2014, including 29 in Brazil, 25 in Colombia and 15 in the Philippines.Activists also faced abduction and other threats if they interfered in corporate or [...]

Mobile-phone arsenic measurement for drinking water

 ‘For the first time detection of As3+ beneath the WHO limit has been feasible with a mobile phone, and with more than 100 million people – equivalent to around 1.5 times the population of the UK – at risk, this has significance in its own right.’ DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C4AN02368D

New devices protect plants from light pollution

Now, researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology report a dysprosium-doped phosphor with yellow-white luminescence that is able to reduce photosynthesis, and therefore growth, in the model aquatic plant Chlorella to only 26% of what it would be under conventional WLEDs. The Dy-WLED does this by reducing red near-IR emissions, decreasing luminescence correlation [...]

Preventive effect of gomisin J from Schisandra chinensis on angiotensin II-induced hypertension via an increased nitric oxide bioavailability- TERA

Gomisin J (GJ) is a small molecular weight lignan found in Schisandra chinensis and has been demonstrated to have vasodilatory activity. In this study, the authors investigated the effect of GJ on blood pressure (BP) in angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertensive mice. In addition, we determined the relative potencies of gomisin A (GA) and GJ [...]

Carbon Quantum Dots/Cu2O Heterostructures for Solar-Light-Driven Conversion of CO2 to Methanol- TERA

In article number 1401077 Douglas R. MacFarlane and co-workers report a new type of CO2-reducing photocatalyst that is based on a cuprous oxide heterostructure. The catalyst is able to absorb light energy to create an excited state electron that is capable of driving the chemical reduction of CO2 to methanol under solar-light irradiation. It exhibits [...]

Slick idea proposed to prevent lake dessication via geo-engineering

In the southwestern United States, where years of drought are leading water managers to consider drastic water-provision measures such as desalination and cloud seeding, entrepreneurs have suggested reviving a water-saving technique that was tried and abandoned half a century ago. They propose to stretch dwindling water supplies by slowing down evaporation from reservoirs by means [...]

Bulk Energy Storage Increases United States Electricity System Emissions- TERA

Bulk energy storage is generally considered an important contributor for the transition toward a more flexible and sustainable electricity system. Although economically valuable, storage is not fundamentally a “green” technology, leading to reductions in emissions. We model the economic and emissions effects of bulk energy storage providing an energy arbitrage service. We calculate the profits [...]

Success Story: Exceptionally Long MTBE Plumes of the Past Have Greatly Diminished- TERA

Studies published in the late 1990s and early 2000s identified the presence of exceptionally long methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) plumes (more than 600 m or 2000 feet) in groundwater and have been cited in technical literature as characteristic of MTBE plumes. However, the scientific literature is incomplete in regard to the subsequent behavior and fate [...]