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Nanofibers improve face mask filtration, but must be replaced often

Nanofibers improve face mask filtration, but must be replaced often

Science
Sept. 7 (UPI) -- New research, published Tuesday in the journal Physics of Fluids, suggests the use of nanofibers can improve the filtration efficiency of face masks, but they must be replaced fairly frequently. With COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates spiking across the United States, health officials are once again encouraging people to wear face masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Since the pandemic began, health experts and material scientists have been trying determine the best ways to filter out viral particles. While N95 masks remain the standard for healthcare workers, single-use masks aren't always practical for the general public. While several studies have shown multiple cloth layers -- or combinations of cloth, silk and chiffon -- provide significa...
Trees often better, cheaper than technology at mitigating air pollution, study says

Trees often better, cheaper than technology at mitigating air pollution, study says

Science
Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Planting trees and shrubs around factories and power plants may be a better air pollution mitigation strategy than installing scrubbing technologies, according to a new study. When researchers analyzed the potential of natural and technological mitigation strategies for dozens of pollution sources, including factories, roadways, power plants, oil and gas drilling sites and more, they found natural interventions were superior roughly 75 percent of the time. The findings, published this week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, showed natural remedies reduced air pollution by an average of 27 percent. "The fact is that traditionally, especially as engineers, we don't think about nature; we just focus on putting technology into everything," lead study author ...
Repeat Caesareans ‘often safer birth option’

Repeat Caesareans ‘often safer birth option’

Health
Planned Caesarean delivery can be the safest option for women who have had a Caesarean in the past, according to new research in PLoS Medicine. Attempting a vaginal birth was linked with a small but increased chance of complications for mother and baby compared with repeat Caesareans. The findings come from more than 74,000 births in Scotland.Experts say mums-to-be should be offered a choice of how to deliver - vaginal or Caesarean - when possible. A recent investigation by the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme suggests this is not always happening, with many women requesting a Caesarean being denied one. What is a Caesarean birth? Media playback is unsupported on your device Caesarean sections are when a ba...
The Amazon is flooding five times more often than it used to

The Amazon is flooding five times more often than it used to

Science
Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The Amazon, the world's largest river, is flooding five times more frequently than it did 100 years ago. Scientists in England, Chile and Brazil analyzed river level records dating back more than a century. The data showed extreme floods -- when water levels rise at least 95 feet, triggering an emergency declaration in the city of Manaus -- occurred approximately once every 20 years during the first half of the 20th century. Today, extreme floods occur every four years. "Increases of severe droughts in the Amazon have received a lot of attention by researchers," Jonathan Barichivich, researcher at the Austral University of Chile, said in a news release. "However, what really stands out from this long-term river record is the increase in the frequency and severity of the ...
Plastic food pots and trays are often unrecyclable, say councils

Plastic food pots and trays are often unrecyclable, say councils

Science
Most of the plastic food containers that householders wash out after use and put in the recycling bin cannot actually be recycled, it has emerged.The mixture of plastics used in many yoghurt pots, ready meal trays and other containers limits the ability of councils to recycle them. The Local Government Association says that only a third can be recycled. The rest get sent to landfill.Up to 80% of packaging could be made more recyclable, the industry said.The British Plastics Federation said companies are working to use more recyclable containers and called for a financial incentive for manufacturers to use more recyclable plastics. Media playback is unsupported on your device According...