Have your plastic and eat it, too average American ingests 50,000 microplastic particles a year

June 10, 2019 by  
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The first-ever study to calculate how much plastic Americans are eating every year has some unsavory findings. According to research published in Environmental Science and Technology , the average American adult consumes 50,000 particles of microplastic every year. That number jumps to between 74,000 and 121,000 particles if combined with the average number of particles inhaled. The researchers used existing data on microplastic content in popular foods, including fish, sugar, salt, beer and water and multiplied these averages by the U.S. government’s daily dietary consumption guidelines. Because the existing data only covers about 15 percent of Americans’ caloric intake, researchers believe these estimates are modest, and the actual number of microplastics eaten every day is much higher. Related: Microplastic rain — new study reveals microplastics are in the air The research also concludes that water from plastic water bottles is one of the highest sources of microplastic ingestion. According to The Guardian, water in plastic bottles has 22 times more microplastics than tap water. Plastic materials are not biodegradable, which means they never decompose. Instead, they exist in landfills , oceans and ecosystems for centuries, slowly breaking down into smaller pieces through erosion and weatherization. Eventually, the particles become so small they are difficult to detect but can easily be ingested and inhaled by animals like birds, turtles, fish and apparently also humans. The implications on human health are still unknown as long-term studies do not yet exist; however, there is concern that the microplastics can enter human tissue and cause toxicity and allergic reactions. “Removing single-use plastic from your life and supporting companies that are moving away from plastic packaging is going to have a non-trivial impact,” said study lead Kieran Cox of the University of Victoria. “The facts are simple. We are producing a lot of plastic and it is ending up in the ecosystems, which we are a part of.” + Environmental Science and Technology Via The Guardian Image via Shutterstock

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Have your plastic and eat it, too average American ingests 50,000 microplastic particles a year

Ingenhoven breaks ground on a hedge-wrapped green heart in Dsseldorf

June 10, 2019 by  
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In May, German architectural firm Ingenhoven Architects broke ground on Kö-Bogen II, a sustainable mixed-use development envisioned as the “new green heart” of Düsseldorf , Germany. Designed to visually extend the adjoining Hofgarten park into the inner city, Kö-Bogen II wraps the sloping facades of its two buildings with hornbeam hedges that total nearly 5 miles in length. The hedges and turfed rooftop spaces will also help purify the air and combat the city’s heat island effect by providing a cooling microclimate. Located at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, Kö-Bogen II will serve as a commercial and office complex covering 42,000 square meters of gross floor area offering retail, restaurants, office space, local recreation and a five-story underground parking garage with 670 spaces. The development comprises a five-story trapezoid-shaped main building and a smaller triangular building that cluster around a valley-like plaza. The sloping facades, which will be planted with hornbeam hedges, open up the plaza to views of the iconic Dreischeibenhaus and the Düsseldorf Theater nearby. The architects will also be refurbishing the roof, facade and public areas of the Düsseldorf Theater. “In order to do justice to the overall urban design situation, the design of Kö-Bogen II deliberately avoids a classical block-edged development such as that along the Schadowstrasse shopping street,” the architects explained in a press release. “In addition, the idea of green architecture has been applied systematically, thus distinguishing the development from conventional architectural solutions.” Related: A rainforest-like green heart grows within Singapore’s Marina One Ascending to a building height of 27 meters, the hornbeam hedges will offer seasonal interest by changing color throughout the year. The turfed surfaces planted on the triangular building’s sloped facades will be accessible to passersby, who can use the space as an open lawn for rest and relaxation. Kö-Bogen II is slated to open in the spring of 2020. + Ingenhoven Architects Images via CADMAN

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Ingenhoven breaks ground on a hedge-wrapped green heart in Dsseldorf

Scientists just discovered evidence of a hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza

November 2, 2017 by  
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Legend says that there are undiscovered chambers hidden within the Great Pyramid of Giza — a monument which has existed for over 5,000 years. Scientists recently announced a startling discovery supporting this notion, which was previously passed off as myth. Using cosmic rays, researchers confirmed the presence of a large empty space — a void which might signal the presence of a hidden chamber. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built around 2500 B.C. and is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Until now, no one knew the hidden void even existed — which his why scientists are so baffled. The void is located above a tall, cathedral-like room known as the Grand Gallery. According to a report in the journal Nature , the room is about 100 feet long. Said Peter Der Manuelian , an Egyptologist at Harvard University who did not take part in the research: “All we know is that we have a void, we have a cavity, and it’s huge, which means possibly intentional and certainly worthy of further exploration .” He noted that it is unknown whether or not there is more than one chamber. “In that sense it’s obviously frustrating,” Manuelian added. “On the other hand, as an architectural discovery, something we didn’t know about the interior of the Great Pyramid, it’s absolutely big news.” This is the first significant internal structure found within the Great Pyramid since the 19th century. Related: Ancient papyrus scroll offers insight into Great Pyramid of Giza mystery Mehdi Tayoubi , with the HIP Institute in Paris, said that the goal was to investigate the pyramid using non-destructive analytical techniques. He and his colleagues settled on a type of imaging that involves muons, tiny particles similar to electrons . NPR reports that muons are formed when cosmic rays from deep space hit the atoms of the upper atmosphere. As they rain down, they pass through materials — like the thick stones of the pyramid — and lose energy. When the researchers placed muon detectors in strategic locations, they were able to create a kind of picture that reveals whether the material above is dense — like stone — or an empty space. Said Tayoubi, “The first reaction was a lot of excitement, but then we knew that it would take us a long, long time, that we needed to be very patient in this scientific process . The good news is the void is there. Now we are sure that there is a void. We know that this void is big. I don’t know what it could be. I think it’s now time for Egyptologists and specialists in ancient Egypt architecture to collaborate with us, to provide us with some hypotheses.” The researcher is eager to see if small robots might somehow enter the space through tiny cracks or holes to reveal more information. + Nature Via NPR , Gizmodo Images via ScanPyramids Mission

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Scientists just discovered evidence of a hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza

Scientists Find that Tiny Particles in Clothing, Toys and Cosmetics May Damage DNA

April 10, 2014 by  
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The makeup , clothing and sunscreen that you use and wear every single day could possibly be damaging your DNA, according to a new study from MIT. Nanoparticles like zinc oxide and nanoscale silver, used by manufacturers to kill microbes, extend shelf life or enhance texture, have been shown to be toxic to cells. These particles produce free radicals which can accumulate in the body and cause harm to DNA. Read the rest of Scientists Find that Tiny Particles in Clothing, Toys and Cosmetics May Damage DNA Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anti bacterials damage cells , anti bacterials damage DNA , cerium oxide damages DNA , cerium oxide health risks , harvard school of public health , iron oxide damages DNA , iron oxide health risks , MIT , nanoparticles , nanoparticles damage cells , nanoparticles damage DNA , silicone dioxide damages DNA , silicone dioxide health risks , silver damages DNA , silver health risks , zinc oxide damages DNA , zinc oxide health risks

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Scientists Find that Tiny Particles in Clothing, Toys and Cosmetics May Damage DNA

‘Electronic Ink’ May Lead to Incredibly Cheap Solar Cells and Touch Pads

August 7, 2013 by  
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What if a new technology could lead to solar cells as cheap as a roof shingle and electronic touch pads under ten dollars? A novel “ electronic ink ,” developed by researchers from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado may soon be able to turn this dream into a reality. The substance is composed of silicon nanocrystals which are non-toxic and able to be printed on inexpensive plastic substrates. Read the rest of ‘Electronic Ink’ May Lead to Incredibly Cheap Solar Cells and Touch Pads Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: colorado , electronic ink , golden , lance wheeler , mobile devices , National Renewable Energy Laboratory , nature communications , nonthermal plasma , particles , silicon nanocrystals , Solar cells , tablets , university of minnesota college of science and engineering        

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‘Electronic Ink’ May Lead to Incredibly Cheap Solar Cells and Touch Pads

Man-Made Particles Affect Hurricane Activity in Surprising Ways

June 24, 2013 by  
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Image via Shutterstock Researchers from the UK Met Office have discovered that the presence of man-made aerosols affects hurricane activity, but not in the way that one might automatically assume. It turns out that during the 20th century, aerosols in the atmosphere slowed down hurricane activity, and that efforts to clean them up since the 1980s has resulted in increased hurricane activity . Read the rest of Man-Made Particles Affect Hurricane Activity in Surprising Ways Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aerosols , Environment , global warming , greenhouse gas emissions , hurricane season , link between manmade particles and hurricanes , News , tropical storms , UK Met Office        

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Man-Made Particles Affect Hurricane Activity in Surprising Ways

Nanoparticle Science Helps Create Low-Cost Water Purification Systems

March 23, 2010 by  
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In a study funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, researchers have found that the process of layering nanoparticles could be used to provide safe and affordable water filters to the developing world. The process is called “atomic layer deposition” and involves layering nanoparticles onto a metal or a ceramic to create a thin film of cells .

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Nanoparticle Science Helps Create Low-Cost Water Purification Systems

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