Chitin and chitosan: Commercial and biomedical applications

Chitin and chitosan: Commercial and biomedical applications

Chitin and chitosan are biological polymers with promising commercial and biomedical applications. Researchers have long explored the properties and derivative functions of these two polymers. Because of their expansive use, chitin and chitosan are poised to become one of the most important natural resources in the future. Backgrounder on chitin and chitosan Chitin is a […]

Plastic-eating waxworms might hold key to biodegradability of polyethylene materials

Plastic-eating waxworms holds key to biodegradability of polyethylene

Despite the many uses of polyethylene materials or plastics, they remain a considerable threat to the environment. These materials stick around in the environment for decades because of their poor biodegradability thereby ending as a pile of garbage in landfills. Plastics can still degrade but scientists have been finding ways to effectively do so without […]

Shrimp shells open possibility for cheaper solar cells

Shrimp shells for cheaper solar cells

Nanostructured solar cells are costly to produce because they require rare and expensive metals such as ruthenium. However, a team of researchers from the Queen Mary, University of London has found a cheaper and abundant alternative from shrimp shells. Chitin and chitosan are derivative materials naturally found in the shells of shrimps and other crustaceans. […]

Out of wheat flour, Try cricket flour

Out of wheat flour? Try cricket flour! It’s healthier and sustainable

From pancakes to soups, wheat flour has definitely earned its place in our kitchens. But food processing has deprived this culinary essential of nutritional value. Enter cricket flour—it’s packed full of protein, calcium, iron, and B12. Oregon based Cricket Flours is one of several emerging companies that are capitalizing on the nutritional and not to […]

Great Barrier Reef may decline to 10 percent due to warming

Great Barrier Reef may decline to 10 percent

Current and future environmental scenarios could cause the Great Barrier Reef to decline to less than 10% due to ocean warming according to a new study. An international team of researchers conducted a study at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis aimed at exploring the short-term and long-term consequences of environmental changes to […]

Dutch company generates electricity from living plants

Dutch company Plant-e generates electricity from living plants

Generating clean and affordable electricity from thin air seems too good to be true but a Dutch company might have finally arrived at the closest possible definition of sustainable “green” energy. Netherlands-based Plant-e is an emerging player in clean and sustainable energy technology. Founded in 2009 as a spin-off from a research department at Wageningen […]

Study, Humans crossed safe boundaries

Study: Human activities have crossed safe levels

Human activities have rendered the world considerably dangerous for humans. An 18-member international research team has specifically pointed out that pressing environmental issues including climate change, the loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles like phosphorus and nitrogen runoff have all passed beyond levels that put humanity in a “safe operating space.” […]