Scientists discover a new form of pesticide that neutralises pathogens attacking rice

The major areas where rice are grown are blighted by pathogens - organisms that cause disease. To date, this problem has been treated with the use of chemical pesticides that typically target the plant-pathogenic fungi. But, with none of these treatments wholly effective, and many considered unfriendly to the environment. A group of researchers from China, Austria and Japan, outline a promising solution which uses a compound that has no harmful effects on the environment or humans consuming the rice.

New treatment removes radioactive barium from nuclear wastewater “rapidly and effectively”

Scientists have focused on treating radioactive ions using an adsorption process, which causes the dangerous ions to stick to the adsorbent’s surface, which can then be safely scraped off. However, for this process to work safely and efficiently, achieving the right balance between adsorption capacity and adsorption speed is pivotal; something the various adsorbents that are currently used struggle to achieve. The authors of this paper have developed a new adsorbent that uses a sulfonic acid (–SO3H) group.

Yellow perch can expel microplastics from their bodies - but not without consequences

A recent study explored how the consumption of feed contaminated with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) impacted yellow perch. The team found that while the fish can expel the microplastics from their guts, the effort results in reduced nutritional value of the fish, altered liver function and a change in the microbiota communities harboured in their guts.

Study finds that natural disasters can increase discrimination, including towards women

China’s Yellow River has a long and tumultuous history of flooding, and has been the cause of the some of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded. Before the introduction of dams and other modern disaster management methods, floods would not only lead to multiple drownings, but spark long-term famines and the emergence of infectious diseases.

New 3D thermal management network could increase the safety of electric car batteries

Researchers from the US and China set out to find an economic but efficient battery thermal management strategy to keep battery temperatures within a safe range. In a study, published in KeAi journal Green Energy & Environment, they shared their findings – a 3D, interconnected, thermally-conductive boron nitride network that greatly improves thermal conductivity compared to random distribution.

Drug treatment moves closer for fibrosis, the condition behind a third of natural deaths

Fibrosis occurs when permanent scar tissue forms during wound healing and can strike almost any of the body’s tissues and organs with devastating consequences. In fact, statistics show that it contributes to at least one-third of the world’s natural deaths each year. In this study, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) proposed a pioneering treatment based on the inhibition of cell mechanical contractions.

New process offers promising route to decarbonising thermal energy

In a study, published in the KeAi journal Energy and Built Environment, researchers at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University outline a new process that reduces one of the greatest issues around thermal energy storage and transmission – heat loss to ambient air temperatures – by up to a third.

New LiMn2O4 electrode could pave the way for electrochemical recovery of lithium from brine

Lithium has been dubbed the ‘energy metal of the 21st century’. Most of the world's lithium is now extracted from oil well brines, salt-lake brines and geothermal waters. However, increasing the efficiency of the brine lithium recovery process remains a key goal for researchers working in the field. This study describes a new approach using a specially-designed version of a LiMn2O4 electrode, which has the potential to address this issue.

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