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June eNews

Welcome to this month's eNews.

This month we have our top 5 most read items from May 2022, our Editor's choice and our image of the month.

If you have any questions or want to get in touch please email the News Team

All the best,

News Team

Top 5 May 2022

1. Professor at the University of Agder (UiA) is skeptical about conscious machines, published by the University of Agder, Norway published on 12th May

Much of what gives us value as human beings cannot be recreated in machines. That is the opinion of Professor Einar Duenger Bøhn at UiA who is out with a new book on the philosophy of technology.

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2. Producers and consumers must share burden of global plastic packaging waste, published by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), USA published on 26th May

Plastic packaging waste is everywhere. Our plastic bottles, food wrappings, and grocery bags litter the landscape and pollute the global environment. A new study by an international team of researchers explores the global patterns of plastic packaging waste. The study finds three countries – the U.S., Brazil, and China – are the top suppliers of waste.

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3. New discovery of missing Victorian dinosaurs at world’s first Jurassic Park, published by the University of Portsmouth, UK published on 23rd May

Evidence for numerous missing models at the world-famous Crystal Palace Dinosaurs and re-identification of a sculpture as one of the park’s “lost species” are revealed in a new book, The Art and Science of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs (The Crowood Press).

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4. Asymptomatic malaria cases ‘need to be treated’, published by SciDev.Net, UK published on 16th May

Asymptomatic malaria infections, previously thought benign, actually suppress the immune system, research shows.

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5. Vertrauen in die Polizei? Eine soziologische Studie an der Goethe-Universität untersucht die Einstellung von Migrantinnen und Migranten in Europa, published by Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany published on 20th May

Die Polizei – dein Freund und Helfer? Für Menschen, die aus einem anderen Land nach Europa einwandern, ist das nicht immer so. Eine Studie an der Goethe-Universität zeigt, wie sich das Verhältnis zur Staatsgewalt bei den unterschiedlichen Zuwanderergruppen entwickelt.

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Editor's choice

NTU Singapore scientists create renewable biocement made entirely from waste materials published by Nanyang Technological University on 13/05/2022

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have found a way to create biocement from waste, making the alternative to regular cement even greener and more sustainable. Biocement is a renewable form of cement that typically uses bacteria to form a hardening reaction that binds soil into a solid block. The NTU scientists have now managed to use two common waste materials, industrial carbide sludge and urea—from the urine of mammals—to create biocement. They developed a process in which the reaction of urea with calcium ions in industrial carbide sludge forms a hard solid, or precipitate. When this reaction takes place in soil, the precipitate bonds soil particles together and fills the gaps between them, creating a compact mass of soil. This results in a strong, sturdy and less permeable block of biocement.

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Image caption: (from left to right) Dr Wu Shifan, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Solutions, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, NTU and Professor Chu Jian, Chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, NTU holding up blocks of biocement made from urea and carbide sludge.

Image of the month

The chaotic early phase of the solar system published by NCCR PlanetS on 24th May

Before the Earth and other planets formed, the young sun was still surrounded by cosmic gas and dust. Over the millennia, rock fragments of various sizes formed from the dust. Many of these became building blocks for the later planets. Others did not become part of a planet and still orbit the sun today, for example as asteroids in the asteroid belt,. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, in collaboration with an international team, analysed iron samples from the cores of such asteroids that landed on Earth as meteorites. In doing so, they unravelled part of their early history during the time when planets formed. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

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Image caption: Artist’s impression of the early solar system as the solar nebula begins to disappear, causing asteroids to accelerate and collide. Illustration: Tobias Stierli / flaeck

Latest image of the month

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