Contact lenses contribute to microplastic pollution

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WASHINGTON: Discarded contact lenses are contributing to the rising microplastic pollution in the world’s water bodies and could eventually find their way to the human food supply, scientists including one of Indian origin have found. Lenses, usually discarded after about a month or sometimes just a day’s use, often end up in wastewater treatment plants. Researchers concluded that microbes in the wastewater treatment facility actually altered the surface of the contact lenses, weakening the bonds in the plastic polymers. “When the plastic loses some of its structural strength, it will…

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Goa may go Kerala way, warns ecologist Madhav Gadgil

Goa may go Kerala way, warns ecologist Madhav Gadgil thumbnail

Noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil has warned Goa may face the same fate as the flood-battered Kerala if it does not take precautions on the environmental front. Like in some other states, Goa, too, is witnessing activities which are driven by greed for unlimited profits, said Gadgil, who headed a committee that authored a study on the Western Ghats a few years ago.

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IIT Kharagpur to set up Re-Water Research Center

IIT Kharagpur to set up Re-Water Research Center thumbnail

KOLKATA: The IIT Kharagpur will set up a Re-Water Research Center, seed-funded by two alumni members to replenish and rejuvenate water resources, a statement issued by the institute said today. The move is to tackle the challenge of resolving two burning issues faced by urban India sewage disposal and access to clean potable water, it said on the 68th Foundation Day of the premier institution. “The scarcity of water for drinking and domestic use is becoming acute and will only worsen in the coming years. On the other hand, urban…

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Babies in strollers exposed to more bad air than adults

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LONDON: Babies in prams can be exposed to up to 60% more pollution than their parents, causing potential damage to their frontal lobe and impacting their brain development, a study has found. Researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK examined over 160 references to highlight the factors concerning the pollution exposure of babies in prams and associated mitigation strategies. The study, published in the journal Environment International, also investigated different types of prams based on their height, width, and whether they seat one child or two to assess…

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A ‘zombie gene’ protects elephants from cancer?

A 'zombie gene' protects elephants from cancer? thumbnail

Elephants ought to get a lot of cancer. They’re huge animals, weighing as much as eight tonnes. It takes a lot of cells to make up that much elephant. All of those cells arose from a single fertilised egg, and each time a cell divides, there’s a chance that it will gain a mutation – one that may lead to cancer. However, elephants aren’t more prone to cancer than smaller animals. Some research even suggests they get less cancer than humans do. On Tuesday, a team of researchers reported that…

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‘Most landslides in Manipur caused by anthropogenic factors’

'Most landslides in Manipur caused by anthropogenic factors' thumbnail

NEW DELHI: Every year, during monsoon, landslides claim a number of lives and cause huge damage to property across the country, especially in the hilly region, and this time it was no different. Recently, landslides in rain-battered Kerala left a trail of destruction, while in Manipur, a massive landslip killed nine people last month. The northeastern state has witnessed six major landslides since May. The hill state of Himanchal Pradesh was also hit and in Uttarakhand, a number of pilgrims during the Kailash Mansarovar and the Kanwar yatras were left…

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