Monthly Archives: November 2016

Obtaining kenaf fibres with ease

This enzyme will degrade pectic substances that bind kenaf fibres together in bundles form, releasing the single kenaf fibres from the kenaf bundles.

Eco-Zyme is developed by a team of five researchers, led by Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences Lecturer, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wan Zuhainis Saad.

Mercury contamination found in Everglades dolphins

FIU scientists examined dolphins from the lower Florida Keys, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, looking for mercury and organic pollutants in their skin and blubber. Not only did they find high mercury levels in the coastal Everglades dolphins, but they found the highest levels of concentration ever recorded. Potential sources of mercury are both natural and from man-made sources. The finding raises concerns about potential impacts on the health of local populations.

UW–Madison researchers study plant aging, gain insights into crop yields

In a new paper published today (Tues., Nov. 22) in the journal eLife, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Xuehua Zhong and her colleagues describe how an epigenetic protein complex acts as a link between the environment and the genome to promoting the onset of aging in plants.

Korean Exobrain beats four human quiz champions

In the quiz contest, Exobrain dominated the human competitors, but the system did not get all the answers right. The research team explained that Exobrain made a few wrong answers because some questions were related to fields the system had not learned about yet and the system did not have sufficient data to infer correct answers. The team added that further research and development would be required to conduct a semantic analysis of languages.

Food scientist aiding fuel ethanol with new engineered bacteria

The fermentation of beer and wine can be plagued by contamination with lactic acid bacteria, which make lactic acid rather than alcohol. The same problem affects the ethanol industry.

Steele’s new company, Lactic Solutions, is advancing a judo-like remedy: using genetic engineering to transform enemy into friend. Instead of killing lactic acid bacteria with antibiotics, he’s spliced in genes for ethanol production so these organisms produce ethanol, not lactic acid.

Mares machine

Muscle strength drops during spaceflight and researchers need to know why this happens in order to prepare for long missions and safe space tourism. Mares is an exercise bench that offers detailed information about how muscles behave in space.