Today’s Biggest Science News: Waste-to-Water, Smarts Through Plants, and Rat-Brain Scanners
- Clear thinking: The city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is taking a new approach to fresh water production: They’re harnessing the wasted heat from power plants to drive their water-desalination process, upping thermal efficiency from 43% to 90% in the process.
- Food for thought: A new study suggests that merely surrounding yourself with indoor plants boosts your attention span.
- A sensor that looks like a miniature breath mint may be a boon for cancer treatment: It’s so small that it can be implanted right into the body to sense tumor growth, allowing doctors to avoid invasive—and sometimes harmful—biopsies.
- Rat researchers rejoice! Engineers have developed the first PET scanner that fits on rat noggins—which allows for experiments that had before never been possible.
- Japan update: Radiation levels may have fallen Tuesday afternoon, but officials still fear a damaged reactor core. â€œItâ€™s way past Three Mile Island already,â€ Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton, told the New York Times. â€œThe biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.â€
Image: flickr / slleong