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Mass influence

2,500 people weigh around 190 tons – the same as a blue whale. But whales are more than just heavy. They bind vast amounts of CO2 in their bodies and take it down with them to the bottom of the ocean when they die. The high-iron content of their excrement, meanwhile, provides a rapid growth environment for phytoplankton, which...

Fueled by aspiration

It’s an ingredient that’s already been used to make vodka. Not potatoes – but the gas responsible for global warming. A Swiss-based start-up is using clean energy to extract CO2 from the air already. The aviation industry accounts for 3% of all CO2 emissions worldwide. Since battery-operated airplanes won’t take to the skies on the fly, the industry is...

Modern elegance

From the ugly duckling to the proud swan. The animals are elegant and white. Just like the majority of cast members who perform Tchaikovsky’s most famous piece the world over. But the Paris Opera is committing itself to a new era of diversity. Up until recently roles of color were played by white dancers wearing masks. Five Black dancers...

Solvent help

Most of us do it without thinking. Adults take up to 1,000 breaths per hour. When the trachea becomes constricted, however, help comes in the form of little pipes made from metal or silicon. These ‘stents’ ensure our airways are kept open, but until now they’ve never been geared towards individual patients’ needs. Metal stents require surgical removal, while...

Grow local, eat global

What do butter, beef and mangos have in common? They are some of our favorite foods, sure. But their high carbon footprint makes them less attractive options. Luckily our consumer habits are no longer influenced purely by appearance and price but, increasingly, sustainability. The food system currently accounts for 21-37% of all CO2 emissions, and rising. Good environmental decisions...

Active tracing

Pulled a muscle playing sport? Pain-relieving ointment can help – but taking a shower flushes traces into the sewage system and, possibly, the drinking water. Purification plants use activated carbon in powder form, which sequesters trace substances and household chemicals from the wastewater. The powder is then disposed of by combustion at remote locations. Now, researchers want to improve...

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