Sci/Tech

RIT researchers win USGS grant to improve Landsat 8 data
March 30, 2017 05:19 PM - Susan Gawlowicz via Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology researchers have won funding from the U.S. Geological Survey to ensure accurate temperature data from NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite. Climate researchers depend on public data from the Earth-sensing satellite to measure surface changes over time.

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New use for paper industry's sludge and fly ash in plastics
February 27, 2017 03:11 PM - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland examined, as part of the EU's Reffibre project, whether new industrial applications could be developed for various types of sludge and fly ash generated by the paper and board industry.  Laboratory tests showed that these side streams can replace up to 50% of oil-based polypropylene. They can be used as a raw material in plastic composites made using injection moulding and extrusion.

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SPOTLIGHT

The Dangers Behind Fast Food Packaging

Susan Bird, Care2

We’ve all known for a long time that eating fast food is bad for you. It’s greasy, fatty, high in sodium and the calorie count is obscene. Now comes news that even the packaging that food comes in might be dangerous to your health.

A new study found dangerous chemical compounds in almost half of the 400 fast food containers it tested from 27 fast food franchises. Packaging tested in this study came from the Big Four: McDonald’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Starbucks and Yum! Brands, Inc., which operates Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and WingStreet.

The substances in question are perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). That’s the same stuff that once was used to make Dupont’s Teflon before it had to be removed from the market. It’s also used in carpeting, furniture, clothing and cosmetics because of its water-repellant and stain-resistant qualities. We’re exposed to it every day.

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