John Tolley, November 23, 2019
Every week, BTN LiveBIG?s B1G Bites brings you the latest news from around the conference on the topics of health, environmental issues and economic innovation.
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Scientific breakthroughs don?t always happen in labs. For Sophia and Richard Lunt, Michigan State University researchers, many of their breakthroughs happen during neighborhood walks.
The married couple?s step-by-step approach has revealed - for the first time - a new way to detect and attack cancer cells using technology traditionally reserved for solar power. The results, published in the current issue of Scientific Reports, showcase dramatic improvements in light-activated fluorescent dyes for disease diagnosis, image-guided surgery and site-specific tumor treatment.
Each winter, Minnesota uses thousands of tons of salt on public roads and on private properties. This de-icing salt gets into lakes, streams and groundwater, threatening drinking water and aquatic life. One part of reducing salt usage is helping people understand the impact improper and excessive de-icing has on their local watersheds.
But how to do that?
University of Minnesota expert Mark Pedelty and his collaborators created Ecosong.Net to inform the public about chloride pollution - and other environmental stressors - in an entertaining way. Their four-minute original music video, ?Watershed,? a collaboration with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, has been used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and local townships to engage and education communities across the state of Minnesota.
Using a computer and a protein synthesizer, Josh Mancini builds proteins that are supposed to resemble those that would have existed 4 billion years ago, before life arose on Earth.
He places millions of the tiny protein molecules, resembling white powder, into an oxygen-free chamber that mimics the conditions of the primordial Earth. He adds nickel - an element these pre-life proteins might have bonded with for catalysis to occur. And he tests to see if a similar reaction takes place in his chamber at Rutgers University-New Brunswick?s Department of Marine Science and at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine Building.