Sunday July 22, 2018
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Forget global warming, Artificial Photosynthesis breakthrough is here to save us

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With increasing levels of harmful gases being released into the environment, the future, indeed, looks bleak.

Well, what about if we could ‘revamp’ those harmful gases into some highly useful things, like biofuels  or plastics?

The good thing is that a group of researchers have essentially taken cues from Mother Nature itself, and thus accomplished the impossible!

By the way, how have the scientists managed to achieve such a remarkable feat?

Here’s how:

The researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed the revolutionary system which essentially mimics photosynthesis.

The system collects Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases before they are let loose into the atmosphere and converts them into acetate, a basic building block for organic compounds.

Then, the acetate can be used to manufacture a diverse array of chemicals, drugs and alternative fuels.

All this is done through creation of an ‘artificial forest’ of Silicon and Titanium Dioxide nanowires, which are seeded with bacterial populations.

Scientists believe that system has the potential to revolutionize the chemical and oil industry. The system can produce chemicals and fuels in a totally renewable way, rather than extracting them from deep below the ground.

So, is it time to say goodbye to greenhouse gases?

As of now, the system boasts of an efficiency of 0.38 per cent, close to the natural process of photosynthesis. However, researchers believe that soon they would manage to increase it to 3 per cent. And, the system would be embraced on a large scale once it begins to gain traction.

“Once we can reach a conversion efficiency of 10 per cent in a cost-effective manner, the technology should be commercially viable,” said Christopher Chang, a chemist and biosynthesis expert.

The environment can hopefully breathe easy now.

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Watch out for Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics

Sumesh Sood, chief operating officer of personal care brand Organic Harvest Company, warns against a list of chemicals commonly found in cosmetics:

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You must be prepared for a touch-up once you land. Pixabay

Wonder what makes your skin itchy or turn red after you apply your favourite personal care product like cream and sunscreen? An expert says chemicals like paraben and phthalates present in the products are capable of damaging skin.

Sumesh Sood, chief operating officer of personal care brand Organic Harvest Company, warns against a list of chemicals commonly found in cosmetics:

* Phthalates: Phthalates are a group of hormone disrupting chemicals that are found in personal care products like moisturisers and shampoos. They may lead to early puberty in girls and there is also a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

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Chemicals (Representational image). Pixabay

* Parabens: Parabens are a group of compounds used to prevent fungus, bacteria and other cultures from forming in cosmetics and skincare products. They are absorbed through the skin and may cause breast cancer. They are likely to irritate skin, eyes and lungs.

* Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA): It is a common ingredient in sunscreens. It has been linked with cancer, skin irritation and rashes. The chemical also damages the liver and deepens the skin pigmentation.

Also Read: Make-up Counter Rules to be Followed

* Mineral oil: Mineral oil coats the skin like a plastic wrap, disrupting the skin’s natural ability to breathe and absorb the ‘natural moisture factor’. This causes burning, stinging, redness and irritation. The lack of moisture also leads to premature ageing of skin age. (Bollywood Country)