Pepper plants sop up personal care product antibiotics

16th April 2018

It sometimes can be hard to find toothpastes, soaps and other toiletries without antibiotics.

Their popularity has caused an increase in environmental levels of antimicrobial substances, such as triclocarban (TCC), which end up in the water and soil used to grow crops.

Scientists report that TCC and related molecules can end up in food, with potentially negative health effects. 

Cactus roots inspire creation of water-retaining material

13th April 2018

During rare desert rainfalls, cacti waste no time sopping up and storing a storm's precious precipitation.

Inspired by this natural phenomenon, scientists report that they have developed a material that mimics cactus roots' ability to rapidly absorb and retain vast amounts of water with a minimal amount of evaporation. They say this unique material could lead to new and improved cosmetics, medical devices and other everyday products. 

Soil Fact sheets from the International Union of Soil Sciences

11th April 2018

Did you know that the International Union of Soil Sciences has provided factsheets on soil issues?

The topics covered include soil and climate change, soil degradation and desertification, soil perception of society, soil and biodiversity, soil governance and soil and health.

The factsheets are written by well-known experts and are addressed to scientists as well as decision makers and opinion leaders.