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Diesel Pollution Linked to Heart Damage
May 26, 2017 09:55 AM - European Society of Cardiology

Diesel pollution is linked with heart damage, according to research presented today at EuroCMR 2017 (1).

“There is strong evidence that particulate matter (PM) emitted mainly from diesel road vehicles is associated with increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, and death,” said lead author Dr Nay Aung, a cardiologist and Wellcome Trust research fellow, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK. “This appears to be driven by an inflammatory response – inhalation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) causes localised inflammation of the lungs followed by a more systemic inflammation affecting the whole body.”

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Flexible, organic and biodegradable: Stanford researchers develop new wave of electronics
May 2, 2017 09:48 PM - Sarah Derouin, Stanford University

As electronics become increasingly pervasive in our lives – from smart phones to wearable sensors – so too does the ever rising amount of electronic waste they create. A United Nations Environment Program report found that almost 50 million tons of electronic waste were thrown out in 2017—more than 20 percent higher than waste in 2015. Troubled by this mounting waste, Stanford engineer Zhenan Bao and her team are rethinking electronics. “In my group, we have been trying to mimic the function of human skin to think about how to develop future electronic devices,” Bao said. She described how skin is stretchable, self-healable and also biodegradable – an attractive list of characteristics for electronics. “We have achieved the first two [flexible and self-healing], so the biodegradability was something we wanted to tackle.”

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SPOTLIGHT

Birds sing shorter songs in response to traffic noise

Taylor & Francis Group via EurekAlert!

Birds sing differently in response to traffic noise, which potentially affects their ability to attract mates and defend their territory, according to research published in Bioacoustics. The study found that a species of North American flycatcher sings shorter songs at a lower range of frequencies in response to traffic noise levels. The researchers suggest traffic noise reduction, for example through road closures, is a viable option for mitigating this effect.

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