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Plastic in Biological News

Hormone-mimics in plastic water bottles -- just the tip of the iceberg?

In an analysis1 of commercially available mineral waters, the researchers found evidence of estrogenic compounds leaching out of the plastic packaging into the water. What's more, these chemicals are potent in vivo and result in an increased development of embryos in the New Zealand mud snail. The...

Stanford researchers develop biodegradable substitutes for wood, plastic bottles and other materials

Stanford University researchers have developed a synthetic wood substitute that may one day save trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shrink landfills. The faux lumber is made from a new biodegradable plastic that could be used in a variety of building materials and perhaps replace the pe...

Researchers use high tech in mold watermark to protect plastic products from piracy

Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have devised a high tech way to add Anti-counterfeiting to plastic products as they are created in the moulding process. The process could cost less than one per cent of the total cost of manaufacturing the product. Lead researcher Professor Gordo...

Grub's passion for plastic causes water loss

Research by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has found that a small white grub is responsible for water leaking from sub-surface drip irrigation pipes used by some lucerne growers. The Australian Entomological Society 38th annual scientific conference being held this week in Vict...

6 environmental research studies reveal critical health risks from plastic

Amsterdam, 2 October 2008 - Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and flame retardants (PBDEs) are strongly associated with adverse health effects on humans and laboratory animals. A special section in the October 2008 issue of Environmental Research, "A Plastic World" provides critical new...

Brain May Be Less Plastic Than Hoped

The visual cortex of the adult primate brain displays less flexibility in response to retinal injury than previously thought, according to a new study published in the May 19, 2005, issue of the journal Nature. This may have implications for other regions of the brain, and the approach the investig...

Compounds in plastic packaging act as environmental estrogens altering breast genes

Compounds found in plastic products used to wrap or contain food and beverages have aroused concerns as possible cancer-causing agents because they can sometimes leach out of the plastic and migrate into the food, especially after heating or when the plastic is old or scratched. In two studies fund...

Estrogen-like Component of Plastic Stimulates Growth of Certain Prostate Cancer Cells

An estrogen-like chemical commonly used to synthesize plastic food containers has been shown to encourage the growth of a specific category of prostate cancer cell, potentially affecting the treatment efficacy for a subset of prostate cancers. According to a study published in the January 1 issue o...

Cancer's distinctive pattern of gene expression could aid early screening and prevention

...gle tumor that anybody has looked at has aberrant change in DNA methylation. It's clearly not random." The environment, from chemicals leached from plastic or cigarettes, along with diet, sleep patterns even physical activity levels can result in these epigenetic changes that contribute to cancer and othe...

Common allergy drug reduces obesity and diabetes in mice

...olyn and Zaditor help stabilize mast cells in people suffering from allergy or asthma," said Shi. "It's almost as if the drugs place an extra layer of plastic on the ripped trash bag. So it seemed like a logical place to begin." The mice were divided into four groups. The first was the control group; the...

DOE-funded research projects win 46 R&D 100 Awards for 2009

...hority and PBS&J) PulseForge 3100 - uses rapid pulses of light for high-speed drying, curing, sintering or annealing high temperature materials on plastic and paper, enabling inexpensive and flexible electronics. With the PulseForge 3100, high intensity flashlamps briefly heat inks and films to controlle...

University of Minnesota research leads to new technology to protect human health

...Elde, dean of the College of Biological Sciences and interim director of the Biotechnology Institute. Melamine was originally used to make durable plastic for dishes and countertops. It is also a widely used additive to cement. But in recent years it has been misused as a food additive because it contain...

'Invisibility cloak' could protect against earthquakes

...re the most damaging and responsible for much of the destruction which follows earthquakes. The technology involves the use of concentric rings of plastic which could be fitted to the Earth's surface to divert surface waves. By controlling the stiffness and elasticity of the rings, waves travelling throu...

The faster they come

...ng to address this question by conducting breeding studies designed to distinguish between underlying genetic differences in locomotor performance and plastic changes occurring during the lifetime of the individual as a result of its social status. Ultimately, their aim is to determine if relative position w...

Bisphenol A exposure in pregnant mice permanently changes DNA of offspring

... Exposure during pregnancy to the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, found in many common plastic household items, is known to cause a fertility defect in the mother's offspring in animal studies, and now researchers have found how the defect occur...

Did the North Atlantic fisheries collapse due to fisheries-induced evolution?

...ng mature, has, on average, decreased nearly one centimeter per year. The changes observed very likely are evolutionary genetic changes and not simply plastic phenotypic responses to the environment. They are comparable to changes that preceded the collapse of northern cod at Newfoundland. This finding fu...

Healing wounds with lasers, vehicles that drive themselves, other cutting-edge optics

... displays already exists. It is based on arraying pixels of individual red, green, and blue LEDs on top of electronic circuitry fabricated on flexible plastic substrates. A number of laboratories in the U.S. have already made experimental versions of such flexible displays. The key challenge, says Eric Fo...

Getting to the root of science in a nutty way

... at a 45-degree angle about 20 inches from the trunk of 20 trees in a 400-tree orchard planted in February. Each hole was fitted with a six-foot clear plastic tube into which a camera will be inserted at various times in the growing year. "Pecan trees are planted bare root, that is with not much root sys...

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- May 20, 2009

...ng some consumers and environmental issues in its production. However, many plastic fillings contain controversial ingredients (such as BisGMA) linked to prema...n laboratory studies that the bile acid-derived resins form a hard, durable plastic that resists cracking better than existing composites. ARTICLE #2 FOR ...

Photoselective film proves effective for controlling height in potted gardenia plants

... cycle. According to Kittas, "The research revealed that photoselective plastic films with high values and high B:R ratios are able to reduce the height of...f flowers." Although the study determined that the use of photoselective plastic films for the production of potted compact gardenia plants can contribute t...

Protecting fresh-cut produce

...ter. Immediately after harvest, six lettuce heads from each group were stored in coolers for 3 hours before being cut into pieces and stored in sealed plastic bags. The quality of the lettuce was evaluated based on eight points: overall visual quality (OVQ), browning edges, color, decay/breakdown/slimines...

Chemical found in medical devices impairs heart function

... have found that a chemical commonly used in the production of such medical plastic devices as intravenous (IV) bags and catheters can impair heart function in...emory lossof medical procedures that require blood to be circulated through plastic tubing outside the body, such as heart bypass surgery or kidney dialysis. T...

Large sponges may be reattached to coral reefs

...ponges were affixed to the reef using sponge holders consisting of polyvinyl chloride piping, which was anchored in a concrete block that was set on a plastic mesh base. Though the test area endured four hurricanes during the study period, 62.5 percent of sponges survived at least 2.3-3 years and 90 perce...

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 22, 2009

...olymer may facilitate recycling of hard-to-dispose plastic Macromolecules Researchers in The Netherlands are reporting development of a new plastic with potential for use in the first easy-to-recycl...escribe development of a new type of thermosetting plastic that can be melted and remolded without losing its...

Futronic Launches FS90 USB2.0 Mini Fingerprint Scanner

...S90 module is available for customers who want to integrate FS90 into their own products. It is same as FS90 but even smaller because it does not have plastic shell and USB cable. Its size is 43(L) x 24(W) x 25(H) mm and can be easily embedded into any target system. FS90 and its module are ready to w...

Futronic Launches FS90 USB2.0 Mini Fingerprint Scanner

...S90 module is available for customers who want to integrate FS90 into their own products. It is same as FS90 but even smaller because it does not have plastic shell and USB cable. Its size is 43(L) x 24(W) x 25(H) mm and can be easily embedded into any target system. FS90 and its module are ready to w...

Cheap and efficient white light LEDs new design described in AIP's Journal of Applied Physics

...of Sciences is reporting an important step towards that goal with their development of a new type of light emitting diode (LED) made from inexpensive, plastic like organic materials. Designed with a simplified "tandem" structure, it can produce twice as much light as a normal LED -- including the white light...

Engineers develop method to disperse chemically modified graphene in organic solvents

... graphene in a host of important materials and applications such as conductive films, polymer composites, ultracapacitors, batteries, paints, inks and plastic electronics. Graphene is a unique atom-thick, carbon-based material.Its unusual combination of very high mechanical stiffness and strength, high an...

Pest management specialist Charles Summers wins prestigious Woodworth Award

... Dr. Stapleton and I embarked on a series of studies to determine if aphids, aphid-transmitted viruses, and silverleaf whitefly could be managed using plastic reflective mulches," Summers said "Dr. Jeff Mitchell later joined our team. We evaluated a wide variety of crops as well as different types of mulches...

CellThera and WPI advance in regeneration study

...e clinical research team led by Raymond Dunn, MD, professor of surgery and cell biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at UMass Memorial Medical Center. "This new award not only validates the important work CellThera and WPI are doing in t...

New greenhouse gas identified

...nsect control in grain-storage facilities, and in intensive agriculture in arid lands where drip irrigation is combined with covering of the land with plastic sheets to control evaporation. "Such fumigants are very important for controlling pests in the agricultural and building sectors," says Ron Prinn, ...

Lobster traps going high tech

...er pots were out. They agreed. The pilot project started with three lobstermen who each took the temperature-measuring devices and attached them via a plastic tie-wrap to one or two of their pots. The devices, which cost about $150 each, internally record temperature every hour around the clock while the ...

GEN reports biomanufacturers target a fully disposable process stream

... New Rochelle, NY, March 4, 2009--The disposable bioprocessing market has moved far beyond plastic bags for buffer preparation toward a range of products for cell culture and upstream and downstream operations, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotech...

Using hair to manage HIV/AIDS and predict treatment success

...hair, marked the part farthest from the scalp with tape and wrapped the strands in aluminum foil. The sample was then stored at room temperature in a plastic bag until it was analyzed. "This is a painless, bloodless, biohazard-free, method of collecting a stable specimen from HIV patients that may allow ...

Biodegradable mulch films on the horizon

...s of agricultural land worldwide were covered with plastic mulch, and those numbers have been increasing sign...onmentally friendlier alternatives to conventional plastic mulch. plastic mulch can provide earlier crop maturity, higher yi...

Tiny tool to control growing blood vessels opens new potential in tumor research

... or repel blood vessels, knowledge that is extremely interesting in tumor research. The new invention is a tiny cell cultivation chamber of silicon plastic in which researchers can cultivate blood-vessel-rich tissue and simultaneously create targeted signals that instruct the vessels to go in a certain di...

Controlling cucumber beetles organically

... watermelon and muskmelon crops. In 2002, watermelon was grown on black plastic mulch with the exception of one group, which was grown on Al-plastic, an aluminum coated plastic mulch previously linked to reduced cucumber beetle densities on squash. Ano...

'Green' plastics could help reduce carbon footprint

... COLUMBIA, Mo. More than 20 million tons of plastic are placed in U.S. landfills each year. Results fr...y suggest that some of the largely petroleum-based plastic may soon be replaced by a nonpolluting, renewable plastic made from plants. Reducing the carbon footprint an...

Famous fossil Lucy scanned at the University of Texas at Austin

...unity to introduce millions of people to the actual evidence for human evolution, and seeing the real fossil is so much more meaningful than viewing a plastic replica." "Having Lucy here also means that scientists can conduct research that asks new questions about the fossil and this knowledge feeds bac...

TECNALIA uses artificial vision to improve recycling of electronic scrap metal

...d be damaging to health. Investigating the possibilities of classification of different materials, such as iron, lead, stainless steel, aluminium, plastic or brass, it can be observed that, in some cases, it is possible to find a way of identifying them in the visible spectrum. Nevertheless, other metals...
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