Scientists from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee are using raw sewage samples to learn a great deal of information about a city’s population. UWM researchers, in conjunction with colleagues at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, determined that the bacteria found in raw sewage is similar to those found in the gastro-intestinal tracks of people from the community - that the sewage provides an accurate picture of community health. Sampling the guts of thousands of individuals is prohibitively expensive, but this new approach of monitoring sewage would allow public health officials and other interested parties to look at an entire city at once.
Amid escalating concern regarding California’s continued four year drought, Governor Jerry Brown signed a $1.1 billion emergency drought relief bill into law on Friday. Just under two-thirds, $660 million, is set to go towards improving and increasing the number of flood protection structures in place to protect communities from mudslides and sudden storms. Much of the remaining budget will fund grants for water recycling programs, new wells for drinking water facilities,and improvements at wastewater treatment plants.
American researchers at the 2015 national meeting of American Chemical Society outlined the details of an unexpected source of precious metals - sewage. That’s right. According to new research, organic materials (biosolids) generated by wastewater treatment plants may be an untapped source of precious metals and rare elements, including gold, silver, platinum, copper, palladium and vanadium that are used to make cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
According to data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the Arctic ice cap reached its maximum extent, 5.61 million square miles (14.54 million square kilometers), on February 15th. This is the smallest maximum extent on record and also one of the earliest, occurring nearly 15 days earlier than the average datefrom 1981 to 2010 of March 12th. Only once, in 1996, did the peak come earlier - and just by a day, February 14th.