Viruses could become the next generation of environmentally friendly decontaminants, replacing harmful chemicals like chlorine dioxide in cleaning up areas exposed to anthrax spores, according to findings released today at the American Society for Microbiologys Biodefense Research Meeting. Researchers from the Biological Defense Research Directorate in Rockville, Maryland, the Defense Science Technology Laboratory in the United Kingdom, and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute presented their findings.
"Decontamination modalities for anthrax to date have centered on the use of toxic biocides (formaldehyde, chlorine dioxide) or gamma radiation. These approaches suffer from the dual handicap of toxicity to man and the environment and/or are extremely expensive," says Leslie Baillie, one of the scientists on the study. "There is an urgent need for strategies which are environmentally friendly, can be used to decontaminate a range of environments with little or no toxicity to fauna and flora and are cost effective."
In the study the researchers investigated the feasibility of using lytic bacteriophage, viruses that specifically target and kill bacteria, to reduce the level of spores made by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis a close but harmless relative of the organism that causes anthrax. Treatment of the soil with bacteriophage resulted in a significant reduction in spore contamination.
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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