3D-printed ovaries let infertile mice give birth

May 18, 2017 by  
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Three-dimensionally printed organs are pretty old hat by now. But while the technology has been applied to everything from artificial ears to replacement brain tissue , working ovaries have been outside the realm of possibility—until now, that is. Scientists from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering have developed “bioprosthetic” ovary structures that allowed infertile mice to not only ovulate but also birth and nurse healthy offspring, according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications . Composed of rapid-prototyped gelatin scaffolds, and primed with immature eggs, the bioprosthetic ovaries successfully boosted the hormone production necessary for restoring fertility in the mice, researchers said. “This research shows these bioprosthetic ovaries have long-term, durable function,” Teresa K. Woodruff, a reproductive scientist and director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at Feinberg, said in a statement. “Using bioengineering, instead of transplanting from a cadaver, to create organ structures that function and restore the health of that tissue for that person, is the holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine.” Related: Organovo’s Bioprinter Technology Could Lead to 3D Printed Human Organs Woodruff and company plan to test the structures in pigs, with an eye toward human trials in the future. The technology could have significant implications for women with fertility issues, particularly cancer patients who often lose their ovarian function after intensive chemotherapy. “What happens with some of our cancer patients is that their ovaries don’t function at a high enough level and they need to use hormone replacement therapies in order to trigger puberty,” said Monica Laronda, co-author of the study and a former post-doctoral fellow in the Woodruff lab. “The purpose of this scaffold is to recapitulate how an ovary would function. We’re thinking big picture, meaning every stage of the girl’s life, so puberty through adulthood to a natural menopause.” + Northwestern University Photo by Duncan Hull

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3D-printed ovaries let infertile mice give birth

Extraordinary man builds 25 plastic bottle homes for refugees in Algeria

May 18, 2017 by  
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A Sahrawi refugee in Algeria is rebuilding lives – literally. Born and raised in the refugee camp in Awserd near Tindouf, 27-year-old Tateh Lehbib Breica is constructing disaster resistant homes using discarded plastic bottles – for himself and others. These recycled homes are specifically built to endure harsh desert conditions for an affordable price. It’s no easy feat to construct homes in a climate where temperatures can spike to around 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Sandstorms also prey on refugee shelters in five camps near Tindouf, Algeria, where people live after fleeing violence in the Western Sahara War over 40 years ago. But the area also faces destructive rainstorms – in 2015 heavy rains wrecked thousands of homes. Related: Mayor born in Syria converts abandoned Greek resort into a sanctuary for refugees Breica may have found a solution in old plastic bottles filled with sand. He has a master’s degree in energy efficiency after participating in a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) scholarship program. He’d intended to build a rooftop garden, growing seedlings in the bottles, but the circular shape of the energy efficient home he was building posed a challenge to that idea. He wondered what he could do with the bottles instead and recalled a documentary on building with plastic bottles he’d seen during his time at university. The plastic bottle homes can better withstand storms than adobe , mudbrick, or tent homes, and are water resistant. The homes have thick walls, and partnered with their circular shape, stand up better to sandstorms. Breica built the first bottle home for his grandmother, who was hurt while being carried to a community center to hunker down during a sandstorm. Working with UNHCR, Breica has built 25 homes so far. He’s earned the nickname Crazy with Bottles for his work. Although he’s won awards for his design, he said, “People still see me as the guy obsessed with recycling bottles and building unusual houses.” Via UNCHR Images © UNHCR/Russell Fraser

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Extraordinary man builds 25 plastic bottle homes for refugees in Algeria

You’re A Very Wicked Pair, Sense & Sustainability

October 23, 2015 by  
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A recent study commissioned by G&S Communications measured Americans’ awareness of and opinions about corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship. It’s a surprisingly interesting study to read (available here if you’re…

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Scientists Find Gold Growing in the Leaves of Australian Eucalyptus Trees

October 23, 2013 by  
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For the first time, scientists have found gold naturally incorporated into a living organism. Published in the journal Nature Communications , researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization ( CSIRO ) have confirmed that particles one-fifth the diameter of a human hair have been discovered in the leaves and branches of eucalyptus trees. Read the rest of Scientists Find Gold Growing in the Leaves of Australian Eucalyptus Trees Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: australia , brisbane times , commonwealth scientific and industrual research organisation , CSIRO , daily mail , eucalyptus trees , gold exploration , gold mining , gold particles , mel lintern , nature communications , precious metals        

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Scientists Find Gold Growing in the Leaves of Australian Eucalyptus Trees

Potential vs. reality: Sustainability’s value when investing in technology

October 3, 2013 by  
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Research by GreenBiz Group and AT&T finds that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) executives and sustainability leaders need to speak the same language.

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Potential vs. reality: Sustainability’s value when investing in technology

Potential vs. reality: Sustainability’s value when investing in technology

October 3, 2013 by  
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Research by GreenBiz Group and AT&T finds that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) executives and sustainability leaders need to speak the same language.

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Potential vs. reality: Sustainability’s value when investing in technology

KAIST Develops a Metal-Graphene Composite Material Hundreds of Times Stronger Than Pure Metals

August 26, 2013 by  
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Graphene  © AlexanderAlUS/ CORE Materials Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a new metamaterial that is proven to be hundreds of times stronger than pure metals . To maximize the potential increase in strength provided by the use of graphene, the KAIST team created a multi-layered structure, alternating layers of graphene and metal—this composite  nanomaterial  consists of graphene inserted into copper and nickel. The resulting metal-graphene multilayer composite material is the first of its kind, and the team’s research was published in the science journal, Nature Communications  in July of 2013. Read the rest of KAIST Develops a Metal-Graphene Composite Material Hundreds of Times Stronger Than Pure Metals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Chemical Vapor Deposition , composite stronger than metal , KAIST graphene composite , Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology , metal-graphene composite , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , nature communications journal , Transmission Electronic Microscope        

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KAIST Develops a Metal-Graphene Composite Material Hundreds of Times Stronger Than Pure Metals

INFOGRAPHIC: Shingle Recycling – Turn Your Roof Into a Road!

August 26, 2013 by  
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Shingle recycling is a huge opportunity that is evolving way to slowly. About 22 billion pounds of roofing waste is removed from U.S. homes each year, the majority of which is asphalt shingles. Almost all of this roofing waste ends up in landfills. While shingle recycling has become available in more and more locations over the last few years, the great majority of homeowners and roofers do not have access to a shingle recycling facility near their community. Shingle recycling is such a great opportunity because recycled shingles contain asphalt that can be used in paving asphalt roads. Hot mix asphalt (HMA) producers purchase the recycled shingles to enhance their paving mixtures and create better roads. Check out Hometown Roofing Contractors ‘  Shingle Recycling  infographic below to learn more about the size of the problem — and the size of the opportunity! Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Shingle Recycling – Turn Your Roof Into a Road! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco roofing , eco shingles , how to recycle shingles , recycled roads , recycled roofing , recycled streets , recycling , Shingle roofing recycling        

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INFOGRAPHIC: Shingle Recycling – Turn Your Roof Into a Road!

Ericsson puts sustainability in context

April 23, 2013 by  
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What you can learn from the 20th anniversary edition of the communications company's sustainability and responsibility report.

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Ericsson puts sustainability in context

SC Johnson Withdraws “Greenlist” Logo- Lessons in Greenwashing

July 12, 2011 by  
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SC Johnson will stop using the “Greenlistâ„¢” logo in its current form on Windex® products. The company has reached an agreement on two lawsuits regarding use of its logo and the parties have agreed to an undisclosed settlement. The Greenlistâ„¢ logo was intended to signify that the Windex® products had achieved the highest internal ratings according to the company’s patented Greenlistâ„¢ process. The lawsuit resulted as plaintiffs opined that Greenlistâ„¢ was an internally developed process rather than that of a third-party and that the logo implied the products included environmentally friendly ingredients. What was the issue with the label? The label depicts a drawing of two leaves and a stem. On the reverse side of the label, which is read through the back of the Windex bottle, the text says-“Greenlistâ„¢ is a rating system that promotes the use of environmentally responsible ingredients. For additional information, visit www.scjohnson.com”. The suits were brought in federal court by Mr. Wayne Koh in California and by Mr. Howard Petlack in Wisconsin in March 2009. SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson tries to clear the air- “We decided to settle for two reasons. First, while we believed we had a strong legal case, in retrospect we could have been more transparent about what the logo signified , and second, and very importantly, Greenlistâ„¢ is such a fundamentally sound and excellent process we use to green our products, that we didn’t want consumers to be confused about it due to a logo on one product.” Correct. Without clear communication, internal audits or certifications can amount to greenwashing claims and ruin reputation . Apparently, the company now understand this, evident from this clear line of explanation from the CEO, and is making amends by withdrawing the logo. Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President – Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at SC Johnson noted, “While companies always try to ensure labels are clear and understandable, different interpretations can arise. We want to simply learn from the experience and move on.” SC Johnson will continue to use  Greenlistâ„¢ in its product development as it continues to strive for better cleaning ingredients. According to the SC Johnson’s press release , SC Johnson’s Greenlistâ„¢ process is an internally developed environmental classification system used to help green the company’s chemistry. It has received numerous external recognitions, including the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2006. In the Greenlistâ„¢ process, ingredients are rated according to their impact on the environment and human health. Using this information, company scientists work to select ingredients with “Better” or “Best” ratings when developing new products. When reformulating existing products, they must contain ingredients with equal or better ratings than the original formula. At the end of the day, the goal is to annually increase the proportion of ingredients in SC Johnson products that have the least impact on the environment and human health. Since the process was created in 2001, Greenlistâ„¢ has helped make numerous advances including reformulating cleaning products to cut nearly 48 million pounds of VOCs from SC Johnson products in the last five years alone. Additionally this internal audit system also laid the groundwork for SC Johnson’s ingredient communication program, launched in 2009. All good things. Third-party certifications and audits are valuable in adding credibility but pasting your own “company checklist” as an approval stamp, however stringent and qualified, can very easily nullify the effectiveness of the program. But all seems to be going well with SC Johnson, as they have learned from this episode, removed the logo, settled the complaint and want to continue their commitment to sustainability and transparency. Read more posts on greenwashing and how to avoid it on Ecopreneurist

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SC Johnson Withdraws “Greenlist” Logo- Lessons in Greenwashing

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