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Replacement for PFAS found in soil in New Jersey

A team of researchers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has found evidence of chloroperfluoropolyether carboxylates (ClPFPECAs) in New Jersey soils. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their efforts to test for PFAS replacements and to identify the compounds they have found. Steve Gold and Wendy Wagner with Rutgers Law School have published a Policy Forum piece in the same journal issue outlining the history of PFAS use, its discontinuance, and the work by the team in New Jersey.

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Study links malaria risk in deforestation hotspots to demand for agricultural commodities

A paper recently published in Nature Communications is the first to show a connection between demand from certain developed countries for agricultural commodities and the growing risk of malaria in the countries that supply those goods. The study was conducted by scientists affiliated with the School of Public Health of the University of São Paulo (FSP-USP) in Brazil and colleagues at the University of Sydney in Australia.

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Lessening water quality problems caused by hurricane-related flooding

June 1 is the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic, and with 2020 predicted to be particularly active, residents in coastal regions are keeping watchful eyes on the weather. Flooding is often the most damaging effect of tropical storms, and it can disproportionately affect vulnerable people and ecosystems. Now, in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, researchers study water quality impacts of two recent hurricanes in North Carolina and suggest interventions to protect susceptible areas.

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After 14 years, first COSMIC satellite mission comes to an end

The last of six tiny satellites that were rocketed into space 14 years ago—and then went on to prove that the wealth of accurate atmospheric data that can be gleaned from existing GPS signals can improve operational weather forecasts—was officially decommissioned on May 1, outliving its original planned lifespan by a dozen years.

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‘Nature’s antifreeze’ provides formula for more durable concrete

Secrets to cementing the sustainability of our future infrastructure may come from nature, such as proteins that keep plants and animals from freezing in extremely cold conditions. CU Boulder researchers have discovered that a synthetic molecule based on natural antifreeze proteins minimizes freeze-thaw damage and increases the strength and durability of concrete, improving the longevity of new infrastructure and decreasing carbon emissions over its lifetime.

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New algorithm predicts optimal materials among all possible compounds

Skoltech researchers have offered a solution to the problem of searching for materials with required properties among all possible combinations of chemical elements. These combinations are virtually endless, and each has an infinite multitude of possible crystal structures; it is not feasible to test them all and choose the best option (for instance, the hardest compound) either in an experiment or in silico. The computational method developed by Skoltech professor Artem R. Oganov and his Ph.D. student Zahed Allahyari solves this major problem of theoretical materials science. Oganov and Allahyari presented their method in the MendS code (stands for Mendelevian Search) and tested it on superhard and magnetic materials.

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