Water Sources in Africa and Orangutan Engineers
New Water Source Revealed throughout Africa
Water availability across Africa could be improved significantly by tapping into reservoirs of groundwater.
Writing in the journal
Environmental Research Letter, Helen Bonsor from the British Geological Survey collated data from regional maps and scientific literature and mapped the potential yield of groundwater across the African continent. The findings estimated the total volume available to be 0.66 million km2, more than 100 times that available on the surface annually.
However, levels were found to vary greatly in different regions.
New Disease Targets for Aspirin
A new effect of aspirin in the human body has been discovered by scientists at the
University of Dundee.
Once consumed, aspirin is rapidly broken down into the compound salicylate. When applied to human cells in the lab, Graham Hardie found that high concentrations of this compound activated the enzyme AMPK - a regulator of cell growth and metabolism.
It's thought this effect of aspirin, away from its pain-killing properties, could be beneficial against a range of diseases, including cancer...
Polymer for cheaper solar cells
new polymer could enable cheaper, easy to produce solar cells.
To be able to generate electricity, organic electronics, such as solar cells, require the use of materials that receive and release electrons readily. This usually means the use of conductors such as calcium or magnesium which are highly reactive with air and water and as a result are coated with thick, expensive materials to stabilise them.
But now, a new polymer developed by Bernard Kippelen from the Georgia Institute of Technology has been shown to achieve this property in less reactive materials when applied to them as a thin coating...
And finally, orangutans use advanced engineering skills when building their nests, according to scientists at the University of Manchester.
By observing 14 orangutan nests in Sumatra, the team found that strength, flexibility and comfort were taken into account by the apes with different branch types being used for various aspects of design. Thick branches were only half split and weaved together to make a strong basket-like structure, and thinner branches used to construct a comfortable lining to sleep on.
Roland Ennos is a senior member of the research team.
The work was published in the journal