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Graphic abstract. Credit: Water Research (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.waters.2023.120138 If you find the trash close to the trash, you may struggle to find any redeemable value; however, researchers at UBC’s Bioreactor Technology Group see it differently. Using a combination of heat, water and phase separation, UBC researchers have developed a cost-effective method to concentrate phosphorous—which can be effectively recovered through extraction—from wastewater sludge. “Phosphorous is a non-renewable, but essential, element for life and has many industrial uses,” explained Huan Liu, a doctoral student with the School of Engineering at UBCO and lead author of a new study examining this approach. Phosphorus…

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Antarctica Scientific Expedition in 2019. Credit: Shuanglin LI Rainfall in West Antarctica, especially around the Antarctic Peninsula, shows great variability on the interannual time scale. In recent years, scientific research activities, tourism and fishing have experienced remarkable growth there. Therefore, understanding the variability of rainfall in West Antarctica, including the Antarctic Peninsula, is of great importance for both scientific and practical aspects. As the strongest signal of interannual climate variability, El Niño has a significant impact on the Antarctic climate, especially in the West Antarctic. However, a recent study showed that the effect of ENSO (which stands for El Niño–Southern…

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Steamboat Geyser erupts and sends a jet of water and steam above the treeline. This hot mineral water can harm the trees that grow within the geyser’s spray distance. Source: Mara H. Reed Yellowstone’s Steamboat Geyser has a decades-long dry spell caused by a history of drought, a new study has found. As global temperatures rise, the American West is expected to become drier. A persistent drought in this region could slow down, and possibly stop, Yellowstone National Park’s famous geyser eruptions, researchers say. “Even small changes in rainfall can affect the interval between eruptions,” explained Shaul Hurwitz, a hydrologist…

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Drug traffickers have found a way to outwit law enforcement agencies by using one of the most powerful tools our bodies have: our metabolism. Welcome to the world of prodrugs. Prodrugs are substances that can only cause an effect after being broken down by enzymes in the digestive system or other chemical reactions in the body. While they have legitimate pharmacological uses (between 5% and 7% of approved drugs fall under this category), their use as street drugs is a recent phenomenon. Most illegal drugs work by interacting with specific brain cell receptors, stimulating or blocking the release of chemicals…

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A 52-million-year-old compound infructescence fossil showing preserved fruits and seeds attached to branches, collected by the late Rodolfo Magín Casamiquela from Laguna del Hunco, Chubut province, Argentina. Plant characteristics – such as terminal fruit (tf), axile seeds (sd) and plumose stigma (st) – are currently only found in the Macaranga-Mallotus clade of the spurge family. Source: Peter Wilf Anyone who has traveled long distances or ridden a bicycle has used a product of the spurge plant family—rubber. The spurge family, or Euphorbiaceae, includes economically valuable plants such as the rubber tree, castor oil plant, poinsettia and cassava. Newly known fossils…

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Plodia interpunctella, mature Indian Meal Moth. Credit: Matt Bertone, NCSU Plodia interpunctella, better known as the Indian Meal Moth, is usually found where you store your grains. This means it can move through small openings in plastic or cardboard packages in your pantry to eat cereal, pet food, flour, cornmeal and other stored grains and dried fruit. It can also contaminate the contents of larger food storage facilities and grain storage buildings. The moth is one of the top twelve moth species trapped in US ports and is closely related to many other highly damaging species that are not native…

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Homeless man with his dog on a street in London. Credit: Nick Fewings of Unsplash Homeless people and their dogs have a beneficial relationship, with dogs providing critical support for their owners’ emotional and mental health as owners try to protect the dogs and meet their welfare needs, new research has found. A new study by academics at the University of Bristol Veterinary School and published in Zoophilologica Polish Journal of Animal Studies emphasizes the importance of ensuring that there are adequate services available for homeless people with animals and points out that allowing dogs to stay with their owners…

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Credit: Shift Drive / Shutterstock Hiring is often cited as a prime example of algorithmic bias. This is where a tendency to favor certain groups over others becomes accidentally fixed in an AI system designed to perform a specific task. There are countless stories about it. Perhaps the most well-known example is when Amazon tried to use AI in recruiting. In this case, CVs are used as data to train, or improve, this AI. Since most CVs are from men, the AI ​​has learned to filter out anything related to women, such as being the president of a women’s chess…

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Three-dimensional crystal structure of G. monilis Rubisco. Credit: Plants in Nature (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41477-023-01436-7 A Cornell researcher and his colleagues have solved an important piece of the molecular puzzle needed to improve plant productivity and increase carbon sequestration: They have successfully transferred key regions of a highly efficient red algae to a tobacco plant, using bacteria as an intermediary. The study was co-authored by Laura Gunn, assistant professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Biology Section in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and is featured on the cover of Plants in Nature. The study centers on…

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