Air pollution caused 3.2 million new cases of diabetes worldwide in 2016, according to a new estimate.
Fine particulate matter, belched out by cars and factories and generated through chemical reactions in the atmosphere, hang around as haze and make air hard to breathe. Air pollution has been linked to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes (SN: 9/30/17, p. 18), but this...
Sunlight shapes oil spills’ long-term legacies.
In the days and weeks after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, sunlight hit the oil slicks on the surface of the water. That triggered chemical reactions that added oxygen to oil molecules that once were just chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These oxygenated hydrocarbons are still sticking around eight years...
Each year, finding and extracting oil and gas for energy produces hundreds of billions of gallons of wastewater in the United States. When recycled and spread on roads, the wastewater can leak its contaminants, including salt, radioactive elements and chemicals that interfere with hormones, into groundwater and surface water, researchers report May 30 in Environmental Science and Technology....
There’s a great future in plastics.
A new kind of plastic can, when exposed to the right chemicals, break down into the same basic building blocks that it came from and be rebuilt again and again. The recyclable material is more durable than previous attempts to create reusable plastics, researchers report inthe April 27 Science.
Designing plastics that can be easily reused is one...
Just a few tweaks to a bacterial enzyme make it a lean, mean plastic-destroying machine.
One type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is widely used in polyester clothing and disposable bottles and is notoriously persistent in landfills. In 2016, Japanese scientists identified a new species of bacteria, Ideonella sakaiensis, which has a specialized enzyme that can naturally...