Tag Archives: absorb

Tropical forest carbon absorption may hinge on an odd couple

A unique housing arrangement between a specific group of tree species and a carbo-loading bacteria may determine how well tropical forests can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a Princeton University-based study. The findings suggest that the role of tropical forests in offsetting the atmospheric buildup of carbon from fossil fuels depends on tree diversity, particularly in forests recovering from exploitation.

Tropical forests thrive on natural nitrogen fertilizer pumped into the soil by trees in the legume family, a diverse group that includes beans and peas, the researchers report in the journal Nature. The researchers studied second-growth forests in Panama that had been used for agriculture five to 300 years ago. The presence of legume trees ensured rapid forest growth in the first 12 years of recovery and thus a substantial carbon “sink,” or carbon-storage capacity. Tracts of land that were pasture only 12 years before had already accumulated as much as 40 percent of the carbon found in fully mature forests. Legumes contributed more than half of the nitrogen needed to make that happen, the researchers reported. (more…)

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More intestinal cells can absorb larger particles

A new study reports that the small intestine uses more cells than scientists had realized to absorb microspheres large enough to contain therapeutic protein drugs, such as insulin. The finding in rats, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is potentially good news for developing a means for oral delivery of such drugs.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The small intestine employs more cells and mechanisms than scientists previously thought to absorb relatively large particles, such as those that could encapsulate protein-based therapeutics like insulin, according to a new study. The findings, published the week of Aug. 5, 2013, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, open another window for drug makers to increase absorption of medicines taken by mouth. (more…)

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Researchers ‘Nanoweld’ by Applying Light to Aligned Nanorods in Solid Materials

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a way to melt or “weld” specific portions of polymers by embedding aligned nanoparticles within the materials. Their technique, which melts fibers along a chosen direction within a material, may lead to stronger, more resilient nanofibers and materials.

Physicists Jason Bochinski and Laura Clarke, with materials scientist Joe Tracy, placed specifically aligned gold nanorods within a solid material. Gold nanorods absorb light at different wavelengths, depending upon the size and orientation of the nanorod, and then they convert that absorbed light directly into heat. In this case, the nanorods were designed to respond to light wavelengths of 520 nanometers (nm) in a horizontal alignment and 800 nm when vertically aligned. Human beings can see light at 520 nm (it looks green), while 808 nm is in the near infrared spectrum, invisible to our eyes. (more…)

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Midwest Soil Could Take Up to Two Years to Recover from Long Drought, Says MU Researcher

The Midwest suffered the worst drought in years last summer, and Midwest soil has been suffering from a drought since early 2010. As a result, crops have wilted and farmers have fallen on hard times. Now, a University of Missouri researcher says that it may take at least two years for crops and soil to recover.

Randall Miles, associate professor of soil science at the MU School of Natural Resources, found that soil in the Midwest is dry down to as deep as 5 feet, where the roots of the crops absorb moisture and nutrients. (more…)

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NASA Ozone Study May Benefit Air Standards, Climate

PASADENA, Calif. – A new NASA-led study finds that when it comes to combating global warming caused by emissions of ozone-forming chemicals, location matters.

Ozone is both a major air pollutant with known adverse health effects and a greenhouse gas that traps heat from escaping Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists and policy analysts are interested in learning how curbing the emissions of these chemicals can improve human health and also help mitigate climate change. (more…)

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How Silver Turns People Blue

Ingesting silver — in antimicrobial health tonics or for extensive medical treatments involving silver — can cause argyria, condition in which the skin turns grayish-blue. Brown researchers have discovered how that happens. The process is similar to developing black-and-white photographs, and it’s not just the silver.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Researchers from Brown University have shown for the first time how ingesting too much silver can cause argyria, a rare condition in which patients’ skin turns a striking shade of grayish blue.

“It’s the first conceptual model giving the whole picture of how one develops this condition,” said Robert Hurt, professor of engineering at Brown and part of the research team. “What’s interesting here is that the particles someone ingests aren’t the particles that ultimately cause the disorder.” (more…)

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Researchers Develop New, Less Expensive Nanolithography Technique

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new nanolithography technique that is less expensive than other approaches and can be used to create technologies with biomedical applications.

“Among other things, this type of lithography can be used to manufacture chips for use in biological sensors that can identify target molecules, such as proteins or genetic material associated with specific medical conditions,” says Dr. Albena Ivanisevic, co-author of a paper describing the research. Ivanisevic is an associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and associate professor of the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nanolithography is a way of printing patterns at the nanoscale. (more…)

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