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Recycling astronaut urine for energy and drinking water

10-04-2014

On the less glamorous side of space exploration, there's the more practical problem of waste — in particular, what to do with astronaut pee. But rather than ejecting it into space, scientists are developing a new technique that can turn this waste burden into a boon by converting it into fuel and ...

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Key chocolate ingredients could help prevent obesity, diabetes

04-04-2014

Improved thinking. Decreased appetite. Lowered blood pressure. The potential health benefits of dark chocolate keep piling up, and scientists are now homing in on what ingredients in chocolate might help prevent obesity, as well as type-2 diabetes. They found that one particular type of ...

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The science of champagne fizz

How many bubbles are in your bubbly?

04-04-2014

The importance of fizz, more technically known as effervescence, in sparkling wines and champagnes is not to be underestimated — it contributes to the complete sensory experience of a glass, or flute, of fine bubbly. A scientist has now closely examined the factors that affect these bubbles, and ...

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Is it safe to pee in the pool?

An answer to the perennial question

28-03-2014

Sanitary-minded pool-goers who preach "no peeing in the pool," despite ordinary and Olympic swimmers admitting to the practice, now have scientific evidence to back up their concern. Researchers are reporting that when mixed, urine and chlorine can form substances that can cause potential health ...

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Real-life CSI: What can investigators really tell from gunshot residue?

28-03-2014

The popular TV series "CSI" is fiction, but every day, real-life investigators and forensic scientists collect and analyze evidence to determine what happened at crime scenes. In a study published in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, scientists say they have developed a more rapid and ...

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Texans are turning to a different kind of spirit

Vodka and saltier is better

21-03-2014

Texans, known for enjoying local beers and Dr Pepper soft drinks, now have a growing beverage industry that would appeal to James Bond, who is well-known for enjoying a good martini. Distillers are producing at least 17 Texas vodkas, researchers reported, and the most popular are, surprisingly, ...

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Knowing whether food has spoiled without even opening the container

19-03-2014

A color-coded smart tag could tell consumers whether a carton of milk has turned sour or a can of green beans has spoiled without opening the containers, according to researchers. The tag, which would appear on the packaging, also could be used to determine if medications and other perishable ...

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New way to make biodiesel creates less waste from alligator

19-03-2014

Chicken fat, pork fat or beef fat –– none is the cornerstone of a healthful diet –– but animal fats, including those from alligators, could give an economical, ecofriendly boost to the biofuel industry, according to researchers who reported a new method for biofuel production. The report, ...

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A battery that 'breathes'

18-03-2014

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) nearly doubled in 2013, but most won't take you farther than 100 miles on one charge. To boost their range toward a tantalizing 300 miles or more, researchers are reporting new progress on a "breathing" battery that has the potential to one day replace the ...

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Alternative to BPA could come from papermaking waste

Potentially safer, greener alternative

18-03-2014

A waste product from making paper could yield a safer, greener alternative to the potentially harmful chemical BPA, now banned from baby bottles but still used in many plastics. Scientists made the BPA alternative from lignin, the compound that gives wood its strength, and they say it could be ...

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