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Could sperm be the answer to solve our plastic problem?

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A team of Chinese scientists have created an eco-friendly plastic made from salmon sperm

Single-use plastics are causing problematic issues for the environment and scientists around the world have been researching alternatives to help combat the world’s climate crisis, by tackling the plastic problem.

Dayong Yang and his team at Tianjin University wanted to create a material that solved these problems.

Strands of DNA from salmon sperm have been combined with a chemical from vegetable oil to create the substance known as hydrogel.

The hydrogel can form different shapes and freeze-dried to remove the moisture, which makes it solidify.

Researchers have already created a cup, puzzle pieces and a DNA molecule from the eco-friendly plastic

According to the team, the creation of DNA-based plastic produces 97 per cent fewer carbon emissions than polystyrene plastics.

Although, as reported in Euronews.green, the new material does have limitations.

It can be recycled using water alone, meaning that it needs to be kept dry.

Waterproof coatings could be added, but this would make it harder to recycle.

Therefore, researchers believe this could be more beneficial for electrical items that need to be dry and other forms of packaging 

Climate

New report suggests ‘throwaway economy’ thwarting climate goals

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New research shows countries are neglecting the massive impact of the “throw-away” economy on planet-warming emissions

Scientists found that more than half a trillion tonnes of virgin materials have been consumed since the 2015 Paris climate deal.

The Circle Economy report found 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are linked to the manufacturing and use of products.

But the report found that if economies were more circular, then the world could meet the Paris target of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

A third of nations’ climate pledges mention the circular economy as part of their emissions goals, according to the report.

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Climate

Researchers discover why pandas gain weight on bamboo diet

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We’re always told to eat your greens, but this isn’t the case for pandas

A new Study finds exactly how pandas gain weight… even though they only eat bamboo

Pandas eat between 26 to 84 pounds of bamboo each day and It turns out the animals’ gut bacteria changes in the season when nutritious bamboo shoots become available.

“This is the first time we established a causal relationship between a panda’s gut microbiota and its phenotype,” says Guangping Huang, one of the study’s authors.

“We’ve known these pandas have a different set of gut microbiota during the shoot-eating season for a long time, and it’s very obvious that they are chubbier during this time of the year.”

Pandas only consume bamboo, which is a poor quality diet low in fat.

The authors believe the bacterium could lead the bears to store more fat.

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Climate

Historic mission – first spacecraft to touch the sun

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has officially become the first spacecraft to touch the sun

This achievement comes 60 years after the space agency set the goal… and three years after the Parker Solar Probe was launched.

The spacecraft flew through the sun’s corona… which is its upper atmosphere… in a bid to “sample particles and our star’s magnetic fields”.

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate says “not only does this milestone provide us with deeper insights into our Sun’s evolution and (its) impacts on our solar system, but everything we learn about our own star also teaches us more about stars in the rest of the universe.”

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