By Joshua SaulPosted 07.21.2011 at 2:00 pm 7 Comments
"Barnacle" has become a term for something tenacious and problematic for a reason--they are determined little buggers that cause lots of damage to marine craft. But dealing with barnacles can create even more problems than it solves.
When you need to remove a tree stump, you have several options. Sissies call a tree service. Tough guys loop a chain around the stump, hook it to the bumper of their truck, and find out which one is stronger. Others use gunpowder to blow them up, though this is not advisable in most jurisdictions (unless your cousin is the sheriff and you let him watch). But my favorite method is to convert the stump itself into gunpowder and then burn it up. That is the secret behind how chemical stump remover works.
Staying alive on the organ transplant waiting list could get a bit easier with organs that last longer outside the body. That's the hope of Harvard startup Hibergenica, which looks to commercialize a liquid solution that preserves the metabolism of hearts and livers for about 10 days, Technology Review reports.
The invention of plastics in the mid-1800s changed human civilization as profoundly as our earlier mastery of fire, bronze, and steel. Unfortunately, the environmental and health effects of plastic offer a significant downside to such a useful and affordable material. Now, scientists at the University of Tokyo, Japan, have developed a clay-based hydrogel that they hope will perform the same functions as plastic, but do so without endangering people or the planet.
More than 80,000 chemicals are used or produced in the U.S., and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed restrictions or bans on just five. But the agency signaled its intent at the end of last year to possibly add restrictions to four chemicals that are widely used in making products such as toys, household items and medical equipment, according to Scientific American.
I've been careless at times. We all have. I try to address safety issues in posts about my projects, but it is all too easy to ignore the boring safety lecture and skip ahead to laughing about the gas-powered bumper-car rollovers, or Gocke shooting bottle rockets at my head. (References to some of the TE videos, if you're not familiar).
Every now and then, I come across someone's story in which a glossed-over safety warning had very real consequences. More often than not, they involve things not so unlike what you and I do all the time.
In this particular incident, a welder destroyed his body and nearly killed himself with simple brake cleaner.
As bacteria continue to grow more resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, doctors are searching furiously for better ways to kill infectious microbes. Enter hydroxyurea. Researchers at MIT and Boston University have discovered that hydroxyurea, normally a drug prescribed for sickle-cell anemia or psoriasis, also causes bacteria to create their own poisons and kill themselves.
Cell phones have increasingly become mobile labs and tech tools for researchers, and now NASA has gotten in on the act. A postage-stamp-sized chemical sensor allows iPhones to sniff out low airborne concentrations of chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine gas and methane.
A puff from a "sample jet" helps sense any airborne chemicals. That information gets processed by a silicon chip consisting of 16 nanosensors, and then passes on to another phone or computer through any Wi-Fi or telecom network.
Every day we're exposed to thousands of man-made chemicals, some of which seep into our bodies and remain there for decades. What that means for our health, we don't fully understand--but I subjected myself to a battery of new tests in search of answers
By Arianne CohenPosted 11.02.2009 at 1:27 pm 67 Comments
Let's start with the bad news: You are saturated with man-made chemicals, some of them toxic. Today's exposure began when compounds in your shampoo and shaving cream seeped into your skin cells, and during your morning coffee, when you drank chemicals that were released into your brew as hot water ran against the plastic walls of your coffeemaker. It continued all day as you touched industrial chemicals in packaging, or walked through pesticide-sprayed lawns, or cooked dinner on nonstick pans.