3D printed objects may be toxic

Parts produced by some commercial 3D printers may be toxic, according to a new study that raises concerns about how to dispose of parts and waste materials from the devices which are becoming increasingly popular. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside studied two common types of 3D printers, one that melts plastic to build a part, and another that uses light to turn a liquid into a solid part. They found that parts from both types of printers were measurably toxic to zebrafish e...
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Potential breakthrough in bid for Alzheimer’s treatment.

A potential drug target has been discovered that could help scientists develop radical new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Blocking activity of the protein, known as GPR3, results in toxic deposits thought to play a key role in the disease clearing away from the brain. Laboratory mice suffering from Alzheimer’s-like symptoms showed improvements in learning, memory and social skills when they lacked GPR3, according to research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Further t...
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UBC students develop “pro-bee-otic”, a probiotic for bees

University of British Columbia students have developed a probiotic for honey bees, which they’ve coined the ‘pro-bee-otic.’ This innovative study by a group of UBC students is regarding the development a probiotic for honey bees. This is a particularly important solution, as global bee declines are a major problem and so much of the food we eat depends on pollination by insects. The students want to address this important issue and they feel that betting probiotics could be the key to prot...
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Scientists explain earthworms’ ability to counteract plant toxins

Earthworms have chemical compounds that help them overcome toxic plant defenses to digest difficult leaf litter. Researchers have identified unique chemical compounds in the digestive tracts of earthworm species which counteract the defensive toxins produced by plants, allowing earthworms to consume them safely. Many plants produce defensive chemicals called polyphenols. By binding gut enzymes, polyphenols inhibit the digestion of plant matter. Dead plants retain these chemicals even as th...
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Catalyst Destroys Common Toxic Nerve Agents Quickly

Northwestern scientists have developed a robust new material, inspired by biological catalysts, that is extraordinarily effective at destroying toxic nerve agents that are a threat around the globe. First used 100 years ago during World War I, deadly chemical weapons continue to be a challenge to combat. The material, a zirconium-based metal-organic framework (MOF), degrades in minutes one of the most toxic chemical agents known to mankind, Soman (GD), a more toxic relative of sarin. Computer...
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