Images of an unusually dusty comet have revealed strange streaming clumps that could hold the secrets to how comets create their beautiful, sweeping, striated tails.
According to the Sandy Child and Family Health Study, a major report on NJ residents living in Superstorm Sandy's path, over 100,000 experienced significant structural damage to their primary homes. Conducted by Rutgers University, New York University, Columbia University and Colorado State University, research finds that tens of thousands still live with unfinished repairs, disputed claims and recurrent mold, all associated with increased odds of mental health distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
Five years ago, the cost of rare-earth materials that are critical for today's electronics went through the roof. An export quota set by China, which mines most of the world's rare earths, caused the price run-up. Though short-lived, the occurrence spurred calls for developing mines outside China, but whether others can challenge the country's dominance remains to be seen, reports Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
Wine-making is steeped in age-old traditions, but to address the threat of pests and concerns over heavy pesticide use, vintners are turning to science. With the goal of designing better grape breeds, scientists are parsing the differences between wild American grapes -- which make terrible wine but are pest-resistant -- and the less hardy grape species pressed for fine wines worldwide. They report their findings in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Water uptake and fruit cracking in sweet cherries was observed following incubation in polyethylene glycol 6000, real sweet cherry juice extracted from the same batch of fruit, or in artificial juice. A dramatic increase in cracking was observed when sweet cherry fruit was in direct contact with the expressed juice of sweet cherries. The research clearly identified malic acid as the major crack-promoting component in sweet cherry juice.
To help address the global obesity epidemic, scientists are developing a new class of compounds called 'micelle sequestrant polymers,' or MSPs, that could prevent fat particles from getting absorbed in the body and thus potentially reduce weight gain. They report on their novel agents, which they tested on mice, in the ACS journal Biomacromolecules.
Experiments determined effects of end-of-production supplemental lighting of different sources and intensities on foliage color of four red leaf lettuce varieties. End-of-production supplemental light and days of exposure significantly influenced relative chlorophyll content, foliage L* (lightness), chromametric a* (change from green to red), and chromametric b* (change from yellow to blue) values for all varieties. The practice allows growers to manipulate lettuce leaf color in 5-7 days, thus increasing aesthetic appeal, quality, and marketability.
For consumers searching for just the right sunblock this summer, the options can be overwhelming. But scientists are now turning to the natural sunscreen of algae -- which is also found in fish slime -- to make a novel kind of shield against the sun's rays that could protect not only people, but also textiles and outdoor materials. They report on their development in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Bedding plant seedlings grown under low greenhouse ambient light were compared with those grown under supplemental lighting or sole-source photosynthetic lighting with similar daily light integral. Characteristics and the quality index of most seedlings were generally greater under SSL and SL than under AL. Seedlings grown under SSL showed similar or greater quality compared with those under SL, indicating that light-emitting diode SSL can be an alternative lighting source in greenhouse seedling production.
New research shows that exposing a 3-D human skin tissue model to extracts of medical device materials can detect the presence of sensitizers known to cause an allergic response on contact in some individuals. Conventional skin sensitization testing of medical devices relies on animal testing, whereas human skin models could replace animal methods, according to an article in the new journal Applied In Vitro Toxicology.