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4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably Didn’t Hear About This Week – Episode 25

4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably Didn’t Hear About This Week – Episode 25


We’re back with four awesome discoveries
you probably didn’t hear about this week. Imagine having a newborn in NICU. You want to hold your baby but can’t because
of all those wires and sensors. The tangle of wire-based sensors poses a barrier
to parent-baby cuddling and physical bonding. Now a soft, flexible, wireless body sensor
could replace that tangle. It’s as accurate as traditional monitoring
systems, and gentler on a newborn’s fragile skin. The team estimates the wireless sensors could
appear in US hospitals over the next few years. No wires, more cuddles! Bacteria in frog skin may fight deadly fungal
infections in humans, as well as other frogs. Scientists sampled the skin of frog species
that survived an epidemic and… sure enough… they found nearly 30 bacterial strains that
show fungus-fighting capabilities. One in particular shows great potential to
inhibit a fungus usually deadly to humans with compromised immune systems and is becoming
resistant to current drugs. More study is required, but this discovery
could save lives and species in the future. Researchers may have figured out how to reduce
the risk of coal ash spills from coal-fired power plants… thicken up the waste. In the lab, they introduced a bacteria cocktail
to coal ash slurry that’s designed to bind to surrounding solids, and it works – sort of like going from pudding to jello. The resulting bio-cement is stiffer and might
be easier to contain in coal ash ponds, limiting the risk of spills into surface waters. The researchers are also working on another
benefit… using the bio-cement to trap toxic metals that could leach into groundwater. Honesty is the best and cheapest policy when
it comes to bedbugs. A research team used public data to develop
a mathematical model for the spread of bedbugs in rental properties. The model shows that policies requiring landlords
to disclose infestations cost the landlords money in the short term, but reduce infestations and usually save landlords money within five years. This model establishes an evidence-based framework
for evaluating existing and proposed city and state policies regarding bedbugs. And there you go. Our 25th episode –
100 awesome discoveries – with funding from NSF.

Comments (2)

  1. models are NOT evidence.

  2. How about NOT BURNING COAL…..

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