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Science

— Environment

Air-purifying filter made from peanut shells

There are a lot of peanuts grown in Mexico. Needless to say, the processing of them results in a lot of discarded peanut shells, which are generally considered to be a worthless byproduct. That could be about to change, however. Led by biotech expert Raul Pineda Olmedo, a team from the National University of Mexico and the Research Center of Advanced Studies has developed an air-purifying filter that utilizes the shells.

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— Materials

Fire-resistant concrete promises safer, cheaper and more efficient construction

By cutting construction time, requiring less equipment and making less noise, self-compacting concrete has a number of benefits over conventional vibrated concrete. But where it falls down is resistance to fire which results in flaking and splitting. Scientists have now found a way to overcome this, by doping the concrete mix with a special polymer that they say better equips it to withstand high temperatures and in turn, maintain the integrity of a structure.

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— Medical

Whole-body imaging technology uses contactless tracking of blood flow

Whether it's a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff or a carefully placed pair of fingers, current approaches to monitoring blood flow typically rely on readings from a single point of the body. Scientists have developed a new technology they say paints a more complete picture. The imaging technique tracks blood flow around the body and does so without needing to make contact with the skin, providing a tool that could prove useful in treating everybody from severe burn victims to the elderly.

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— Space Feature

Where space exploration is taking us in 2016

This year is shaping up as a bumper year in space with new missions ready to launch, deep space missions wrapping up, and commercial space going heavy. It's a year when spacecraft ditch on comets, rendezvous with asteroids, lift off for Mars, and arrive at Jupiter. It's also a year when rockets get bigger, space planes roll out, and winds get tracked. To get the lowdown on the highlights, here's a looks at where space exploration is taking us in 2016.

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— Medical

Exposé of flu's cell hijacking tactics could stop viruses taking hold

It's not easy for bird flu to migrate to humans, but once there it can have wreak considerable havoc, with consequences that include death. For the first time scientists have zeroed in on the very narrow pathway that allows the passage of this type A influenza virus from birds to mammals, a discovery they say could one day enable them to shut the gate on the flu virus altogether.

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