Science Friday Video: An Outhouse For The Sea

“This toilet floats. It’s an outhouse and sewage-treatment plant in one, processing human waste through a “constructed wetlands.” Adam Katzman, the inventor and builder of the toilet-boat, says it’s meant to be more inspirational than practical. “Poop and Paddle” demonstrates how sewage and rainwater can be converted to cattails and clean water.” This is so […]

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Don’t Call It Viral Marketing: The Story Behind Contagion’s Microbial Billboard – ScienceInsider

‘The jury is still out on whether the star-studded viral outbreak movie Contagion will be a Hollywood blockbuster, but don’t blame Patrick Hickey if it isn’t. The Scottish mycologist recently led a team that used living bacteria and fungi to create two sinister-looking billboards meant to lure, or scare, people into seeing the movie. The […]

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Superbugs Predate Wonder Drugs – ScienceNOW

“It’s a “carefully done study,” adds George Church, a geneticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “Non-scientists (and even scientists) forget how important it is to confirm ideas that are widely accepted,” he writes in an e-mail. Church’s only gripe is that the samples were 30,000 years old, even though antibiotic resistance genes […]

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Mind-Altering Bugs – ScienceNOW

“Hundreds of species of bacteria call the human gut their home. This gut “microbiome” influences our physiology and health in ways that scientists are only beginning to understand. Now, a new study suggests that gut bacteria can even mess with the mind, altering brain chemistry and changing mood and behavior.” The indications are mounting that, […]

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Your Gut Bacteria Are What You Eat – ScienceNOW

“A large European-Asian consortium brought some order to the chaos when it reported in a Nature paper in April that humanity can be roughly divided into three “enterotypes” depending on which genus of bacteria dominates in people’s gut: Bacteroides, Ruminococcus, or Prevotella. People’s enterotype appeared to be stable over time, but it remains unclear why […]

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Lager Beer’s Mystery Yeast – ScienceNOW

“Lager may have its roots in Bavaria, but a key ingredient arrived from halfway around the world. Scientists have discovered that the yeast used to brew this light-colored beer may hail from Argentina. Apparently, yeast cells growing in Patagonian trees made their way to Europe and into the barrels of brewers.” Great story about genomics […]

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Power Walk, Gain a Watt – ScienceNOW

“If scaled up to the size that would fit in a typical shoe, this would enable the Wisconsin researchers to harvest 2 watts of power, they report today in Nature Communications. At that rate, a person could completely recharge a standard cell phone battery by going for a 2-hour stroll, Krupenkin says. Krupenkin and Taylor […]

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