Study shows that getting pesticide reduction policies right is crucial for food security

Researchers explored the agri-food and environmental implications of an agrochemical (pesticide) use reduction policy introduced in metropolitan Shanghai, East China. The policy aimed to reduce agrochemical use by 20% by 2020, relative to 2015. Official statistics show that Shanghai achieved that goal with a decline of just over 40% in pesticide use (from 4,415 to 2,644 tonnes). However, the planted area shrank by nearly 25% over the same period.

Study highlights undiscovered potential of bacterial compounds and genes linked to colon cancer-related toxin

The last two decades have seen the development of sophisticated computational tools that explore the DNA of bacteria. These tools look for interesting metabolites that illicit a strong biological reaction. Their impact might be toxic, or it might be life enhancing; for example, informing the development of new antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs or bio-based insecticides for use in agriculture. Scientists have developed a novel computational approach for analysing the DNA sequences of thousands of bacteria.

New, fully biodegradable cellulose membrane proves effective in oil-water separation

A group of researchers at Shanxi Institute of Coal Chemistry (part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences - CAS) have developed a new and improved method using two different cellulose materials. Their process allows them to obtain membrane materials for oil-water separation that are ‘all cellulose’ (cellulose with two or more different crystal forms). Importantly, as they outline in their study results, published in the KeAi journal Green Energy & Environment, their membrane is friendly to the environment.

New method offers a promising alternative for upgrading natural gas

In a study published in the KeAi journal Green Chemical Engineering, researchers describe an innovative, copper-based metal organic framework (Cu-MOF) they have developed to separate propane and ethane from methane. The MOF exhibits a high adsorption capacity and selectivity for C2–C3 hydrocarbons. And the adsorption isotherms at ambient conditions show a remarkable uptake (C3H8 of 134.0 cm3 g-1) and excellent selectivity of 204 and nine for C3H8/CH4 and C2H6/CH4.

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