In the new study, the team, including a group of Penn State undergraduates led by graduate student Boya Xiong, packed the sticky sand into filter columns about 1 cm in diameter and 5-10 cm high, and testing the columns with extract from different amounts of seed to optimize performance. In experiments with 1-µm-diameter polystyrene particles, which have about the same size and charge as bacteria, they found that the sticky sand caught 99.99% of particles, compared with 13.55% for sand alone. The sticky sand also removed 108 viable E. coli cells per milliliter. They estimate that a household-scale filter 1 meter tall and 5 cm in diameter that provides 10 L of water per day would require 0.2 kg of seeds per year, whereas a Moringa tree produces about 480 kg of seeds per year.
Tropical tree seeds provide sustainable water filtration | Chemical & Engineering News
Burning of biomass releases particulate matter air pollution that causes oxidative stress as well as severe DNA damage in human lung cells — primarily through the actions of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) known as retene.
Researchers first determined the concentration of pollutants to be used in the lab experiments designed to mimic the exposure suffered by people who live in the area of the deforestation arc. Using mathematical models, the researchers calculated the human lung’s capacity to inhale particulate matter at the height of the burning season and the percentage of pollutants that is deposited in lung cells. Based on this theoretical mass, they determined the concentration levels to be tested using cultured cells.
After 72 hours of exposure, over 30% of cultured human lung cells died.
Biomass burning in the Amazon region causes DNA damage and cell death in human lung cells
A study about superbugs on industrial hog farms using antibiotics claims children of workers were more than twice as likely to have their noses stuffed with drug-resistant germs than other kids. That the sticky fingers of booger-mining kids could be important spreaders of drug-resistant germs, something to be aware of. You can read about it on ars: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/04/farm-raised-superbugs-find-their-way-into-kids-noses-somehow/
The researchers found cerebral fructose levels rose significantly in response to a glucose infusion, with minimal changes in fructose levels in the blood. They surmised that the high concentration of fructose in the brain was due to a metabolic pathway called the polyol pathway that converts glucose to fructose.
YaleNews | Fructose is generated in the human brain
Cells utilise fructose for garbage collection and suggests to me the glucose could be causing inflammation.
Keep in mind watching this that our stomachs produce gastric acids and other compounds that help digest food along with our fermenting microbial friends. And that heating can change the chemical structure of foods trading one thing for another, for better or worse, and more often than not it’s probably the latter. Cooking also leaches or evaporates a certain amount of nutrients. However like drying food, cooking can also concentrate nutrient in the portions we eat due to reduced water content. Food is complicated.
What the video doesn’t cover however is that raw food surfaces are also covered in living microorganisms that studies have shown don’t completely wash off, even after sterilisation attempts. Endophytes also live inside plants and may contribute to the digestive microbiome. One study mentioned by Christopher Lowry below showed spinach has over 800 endophyte species. Cooking not only kills the plants but also these microorganisms that may be acting as probiotics.
Sweet proteins are very sweet. Most of them are 100 or even 1,000 times sweeter than sucrose—the simplest sugar.
Sweet proteins have the potential to be used as sweeteners in common foods without leading to the negative metabolic effects that sugar causes.
Amazing, super-sweet natural proteins – O’Reilly Media
These foldscopes could also make excellent compost tea and other garden microbiology tools.
The mechanisms driving gut bacterial imbalance.
During episodes of intestinal inflammation – which can occur during IBD and gastrointestinal infections and cancers – the composition of these gut microbial communities is radically disturbed.
“Beneficial bacteria begin to dwindle in numbers as less beneficial, or even harmful, bacteria flourish,” said Ms. Hughes. “This imbalance of microbiota is believed to exacerbate the inflammation.”
A healthy gut is devoid of oxygen. The beneficial bacteria that live there are well-adapted to the low-oxygen environment and break down fiber through fermentation. Unlike these beneficial bacteria, potentially harmful E. coli grow better in high-oxygen environments.
“Inflammation changes the environment so that it is no longer perfect for the commensal anaerobes, but perfect for opportunistic E. coli, which basically wait for an ‘accident’ like inflammation to happen,” Dr. Winter explained.
The increased availability of oxygen during inflammation helps E. coli thrive in an inflamed gut through a metabolic “trick,” Ms. Hughes said.
“Through respiration, the abundant waste products generated by the beneficial microbes can be ‘recycled’ by commensal E. coli – which do not grow well on fiber – and turned into valuable nutrients, thus fueling a potentially harmful bloom of the E. coli population,” she explained.
“If we interfere with the production of waste products by the beneficial commensal bacteria, then we impede their metabolism, which causes them to grow more slowly and throw off the entire ecosystem,” Dr. Winter said. “The most effective strategy may be to inhibit commensal E. coli‘s unique metabolism to avoid the bloom and negative impacts.”
Microbial Respiration and Formate Oxidation as Metabolic Signatures of Inflammation-Associated Dysbiosis: Cell Host & Microbe
Academics build ultimate solar-powered water purifier – University at Buffalo
Passive solar vapor generation represents a promising and environmentally benign method of water purification/desalination. However, conventional solar steam generation techniques usually rely on costly and cumbersome optical concentration systems and have relatively low efficiency due to bulk heating of the entire liquid volume. Here, an efficient strategy using extremely low-cost materials, i.e., carbon black (powder), hydrophilic porous paper, and expanded polystyrene foam is reported. Due to the excellent thermal insulation between the surface liquid and the bulk volume of the water and the suppressed radiative and convective losses from the absorber surface to the adjacent heated vapor, a record thermal efficiency of ≈88% is obtained under 1 sun without concentration, corresponding to the evaporation rate of 1.28 kg (m2 h)−1. When scaled up to a 100 cm2 array in a portable solar water still system and placed in an outdoor environment, the freshwater generation rate is 2.4 times of that of a leading commercial product. By simultaneously addressing both the need for high-efficiency operation as well as production cost limitations, this system can provide an approach for individuals to purify water for personal needs, which is particularly suitable for undeveloped regions with limited/no access to electricity.
Paper: Extremely Cost-Effective and Efficient Solar Vapor Generation under Nonconcentrated Illumination Using Thermally Isolated Black Paper – Liu – 2017 – Global Challenges – Wiley Online Library