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Environment

A University of Washington study has found hazardous chemicals from scented laundry produc...

Recent research from the University of Washington (UW) has revealed that freshly-scented laundry comes with an unexpected price. In the first study to examine dryer vent exhaust, fragrance components in some of the best-selling liquid clothing detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets were found to infuse the vented air with a veritable rogue's gallery of hazardous pollutants, including two known carcinogens.  Read More

MIT's backtalk project aims at tracing the journeys of discarded electronics by applying l...

Have you ever wondered what happens to obsolete electronics once they are discarded? How far do they travel and what are the "second lives" of donated computers? MIT's backtalk project aims to answer those questions simply by tracing discarded devices with location trackers applied to a number of e-waste items. The tracking data will be available to the public in the form of real-time visualizations, exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in New York from July 24.  Read More

Koseq's Victory Oil Sweeper is one of ten technologies competing in the Wendy Schmidt Oil ...

If there was one thing that last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill showed us, it was that there were no particularly good systems in place for containing and removing such spills while the oil is still out at sea. One year later, although many companies and individuals have come forward with their concepts for such systems, little has actually been developed to the point of being ready for deployment. In order to generate some incentive, and provide financial support to the cream of the crop, the X PRIZE Foundation is now in the midst of its US$1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. Although the competition has been under way since January, the ten finalist teams were announced just last week.  Read More

A tar sand sample treated with the ionic liquid process(Photo: Penn State University)

The United States imports approximately one million barrels of oil per day from Canada, which is about twice the amount that it gets from Saudi Arabia. A large percentage of that oil comes from tar sand deposits, in which bitumen (a tar-like form of crude oil) is found combined with sand. The tar sands – also known as oil sands – are hugely controversial, as many people state that the process used for extracting the oil from the sand is too ecologically-unfriendly. A new technique being pioneered at Penn State University, however, could drastically reduce the environmental impact of that process.  Read More

The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) has been developed to allow researchers...

Thousands of organizations around the world are working towards protection of ecosystems, yet the sharing of data is extremely limited and often localized – swathes of information that could be important are unknown, unpublicized and from a global perspective, wasted. The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA), developed by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), could pave the way for a new era of understanding. It aims to bring together multidisciplinary data allowing researchers and decision-makers the means to assess, monitor and forecast protected areas globally.  Read More

The proposed Hersham Golf Club hotel and spa, as seen from above-ground

London’s Hersham Golf Club has joined forces with international hotel and resort architects RearsdonSmith to submit a proposal for a five star subterranean hotel. Their objectives were to design a sustainable luxury hotel and spa that would meet the requirements of London’s Green Belt. In working with the area’s strict planning guidelines, the team came up with the idea to build all 200-plus guestrooms underground.  Read More

Building a 15-story hotel in less than six days

China's impressive building credentials have been in the news regularly over the past few years, particularly those in evidence at the Shanghai World Expo and Beijing Olympic Games. The most recent example of the striking capability of the Chinese building industry took place in Changsha, Hunan province a few months ago. China’s Broad Group showcased their rapid building technology by constructing the 15-story Ark Hotel in less than six days. Using a team of 200 workers the structural framework was erected in just 46.5 hours and the external cladding and internal non-structural surfaces were completed in another 90 hours.  Read More

A report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy has shown that innovat...

A report into inner city parking reforms has found that European cities are leading the way in the battle to coax people into using public transport instead of clogging up city streets with cars. The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has revealed that cities which have implemented a host of innovative parking policies in recent years are now benefiting from improved air quality and better standards of urban life, all thanks to significant reductions in car use.  Read More

Researchers are looking at introducing sea cucumbers to fish farms, where they could clean...

Marine net-pen fish farms aren’t popular with environmentalists for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being the amount of fish feces and uneaten food that they release into the surrounding ocean. In the UK, help for that problem may be coming in the form of the sea cucumber. Despite its name, the sea cucumber is an animal, that resembles a big slug and is about the same size as ... well, as a cucumber, or sometimes larger. Given that sea cukes subsist on organic matter that they scavenge from the sea floor, scientists at Newcastle University have proposed that they be introduced to fish farms where they could process waste. After eating all that fish poop, some of the cucumbers could then be served up as gourmet cuisine for humans.  Read More

The Revolve tap water filter bottle

Joining products like the Life Straw, the Bobble and the Katadyn Vario in the portable water filtration market, the Revolve filter bottle is designed to remove up to 99.99% of all contaminants found in tap water and one filter will produce the equivalent of 800 single use 16 oz bottles of water.  Read More

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