Hunting Down Enzymes

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Enzymes are useful in speeding up biochemical processes in living things and could help replace industrial processes that use harmful chemicals. However, new enzymes are difficult to find. MetaGPA is a technique developed by Yang, Lin, et al. to discover new enzymes. MetaGPA works by comparing two groups of microorganisms, one performing a desired task and the other with all of the microorganisms in a microbiome. It would then look at the genes to see if there were any new ones, as well as ones that make enzymes. Read full article here

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The Curious Case of the Ancient Brain

In 2008, archaeologists examining the University of York discovered something strange: the decapitated head of an Iron Age man and his very shrivelled but very much intact brain. How a centuries-old brain was preserved is still unknown, but research suggests that it could have been because of brain diseases like dementia. The Yorkshire man’s brain’s proteins were bunched up together, much like how dementia causes brain proteins to bunch up into plaques. This bunching up, or aggregation, could continue even after death, turning regions of the brain into hard masses. Read full article here


How Are Businesses Responding to Climate Risk?

Overwhelmingly, businesses believe that climate change poses a significant risk involving changes in regulations and consumer demand. However, the majority of them don’t have a formal climate mitigation plan set in place; instead, they’re focusing on stand-alone actions. Some of these include using more energy-efficient equipment, reducing waste and water consumption, and developing more sustainable products. While these actions do help, they’re using them to hit corporate social responsibility goals, not genuinely in the interest of mitigating climate change on a larger scale. Read full article here

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