New Portable Tool Analyzes Microbes in the Environment

Imagine a device that could swiftly analyze microbes in oceans and other aquatic environments, revealing the health of these organisms – too tiny to be seen by the naked eye – and their response to threats to their ecosystems. Rutgers researchers have created just such a tool, a portable device that could be used to assess microbes, screen for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and analyze algae that live in coral reefs. Their work is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Exposure to Ozone Pollution or Wood Smoke Worsens Lung Health of Smokers and Former Smokers

Over many years, exposure to the levels of ozone and other forms of pollution found in most U.S. cities and some rural communities can take a toll on a person’s health. Two studies led by Johns Hopkins researchers describe the impact of pollution on lung disease, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in the U.S.

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Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution levels than those staying on land

Arctic sea-ice is in decline, causing polar bears in the Barents Sea region to alter their feeding and hunting habits. Bears that follow sea-ice to offshore areas have higher pollutant levels than those staying on land — but why? A study in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology reports the likely reasons.

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New Report Shows Dramatic Health Benefits Following Air Pollution Reduction

Dec. 6, 2019 – Reductions in air pollution yielded fast and dramatic impacts on health-outcomes, as well as decreases in all-cause morbidity, according to findings in “Health Benefits of Air Pollution Reduction,” new research published in the American Thoracic Society’s journal, Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Simulated Sunlight Reveals How 98 Percent of Plastics at Sea Go Missing Each Year

A new study helps to solve the mystery of missing plastic fragments at sea. Scientists selected microplastics prevalently found on the ocean surface and irradiated them with a solar simulator system. They found that simulated sunlight increased the amount of dissolved carbon in the water, making those tiny plastic particles tinier. Direct, experimental proof of the photochemical degradation of marine plastics remains rare. This work provides novel insight into the removal mechanisms and potential lifetimes of a select few microplastics.

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