Steer clear of nitrates. These nasty waste compounds generated by the industrial use of nitric acid can cause blue baby syndrome in healthy infants or turn a healthy lake into a putrid marsh. Current methods for removing nitrate wastes from ground-water are energy-intensive, expensive, and not always effective. To improve this picture, researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are testing an inexpensive process for converting solid and liquid nitrate wastes into harmless nitrogen gas. Wastewater is pumped through a chamber containing a re-usable metallic catalyst and an acid. The catalyst strips away the oxygen atoms from the nitrates, yielding nitrate-free wastewater and nitrogen gas. Los Alamos is testing the process on 10 different kinds of nitrates and has been inundated with calls from interested mining, chemical, farming and nuclear-power companies.
The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus
The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging
The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.
Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI
One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.
The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images
Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.
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