November 23, 2017

Week In STEM – 6th June

Perfume Chemists Turn To Smelly Loos

Perfume chemists have devised a tool aimed at stopping foul smells from undermining the struggle to improve sanitation in developing countries.   A team from Swiss firm Firmenich, better known for applying aroma expertise to perfumes and food, has developed a system to quantify six major faecal aroma chemicals at the same time in toilet air. The aim is to help make a perfume to cover the malodour and improve conditions in public toilets that charge for use.

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Reducing Sickle Cells Symptoms

Editing the DNA of human blood cells has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of hereditary blood diseases such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia. According to researchers from Australia and the United States, a harmless mutation can be artificially introduced into red blood cells which can result in a reduction in the symptoms of blood diseases,

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Can Chimps Cook?

New research suggests that chimps have most of the mental capabilities needed to cook food. This suggests that the ability to cook food is deep seated and may have arisen in human ancestors millions of years ago. The conclusions also indicate that humans may have developed the ability to cook very soon after they learned how to control fire.

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Solar Plane Damaged In Round The World Flight

A solar-powered plane that is attempting a record-breaking flight around the world has been damaged after making an unscheduled stop in Japan. The Solar Impulse aircraft was forced to land on Monday after weather conditions worsened while it was flying across the Pacific Ocean.

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Hadron Collider Resumes Experiments

After weeks of test runs following its return to service, the Large Hadron Collider has resumed smashing particles together for the sake of real, honest-to-goodness science experiments

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Low Cost Water Filter Wins Innovation Prize

A water filter which absorbs anything from copper and fluoride to bacteria, viruses and pesticides has won a prestigious African innovation prize. Its inventor, Tanzanian chemical engineer Askwar Hilonga, uses nanotechnology and sand to clean water. He told the BBC his invention should help the 70% of households in Tanzania that do not have clean drinking water.

The prize, worth £25,000 ($38,348), was the first of its kind from the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering.

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Worlds First Biolimb

biolimb

What might look like an amputated rat forelimb, is actually the limb of a rat which has been grown in the lab from living cells. It may go down in history as the first step to creating real, biologically functional limbs for human amputees.

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Rising Night Temperatures Reduces Coffee Yields

Climate change is affecting coffee growing areas in the East African highlands, leading to decreased yields for farmers. The researchers estimated the effect of weather on coffee yields from 1961 to 2012, and projected similar outcome by 2060 using data from the Tanzania Coffee, the Tanzanian National Bureau of Statistics, and global datasets. With this, they demonstrated for the first time that increasing night time temperature is the most significant climatic variable responsible for diminishing yields between 1961 and 2012.

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