Over Half a Trillion Soybeans Later, Ford Marks 10-Year Anniversary of Bio-based Foam

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

It has been 10 years since Ford Motor Company rolled out the 2008 Mustang with seats comprised of soy-based foam. Since then, the automaker says it has installed this bio-based form in at least 18.5 million cars that have rolled off the company’s assembly lines.

Can Toxicokinetic and Toxicodynamic Modeling Be Used to Understand and Predict Synergistic Interactions between Chemicals?

Nina Cedergreen, Kristoffer Dalhoff, Dan Li, Michele Gottardi, and Andreas C. Kretschmann (2017). “Can Toxicokinetic and Toxicodynamic Modeling Be Used to Understand and Predict Synergistic Interactions between Chemicals?” Environmental Science & Technology Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b02723

Abstract: Some chemicals are known to enhance the effect of other chemicals beyond what can be predicted with standard mixture models, such as concentration addition and independent action. These chemicals are called synergists. Up until now, no models exist that can predict the joint effect of mixtures including synergists. The aim of the present study is to develop a mechanistic toxicokinetic (TK) and toxicodynamic (TD) model for the synergistic mixture of the azole fungicide, propiconazole (the synergist), and the insecticide, α-cypermethrin, on the mortality of the crustacean Daphnia magna. The study tests the hypothesis that the mechanism of synergy is the azole decreasing the biotransformation rate of α-cypermethrin and validates the predictive ability of the model on another azole with a different potency: prochloraz. The study showed that the synergistic potential of azoles could be explained by their effect on the biotransformation rate but that this effect could only partly be explained by the effect of the two azoles on cytochrome P450 activity, measured on D. magna in vivo. TKTD models of interacting mixtures seem to be a promising tool to test mechanisms of interactions between chemicals. Their predictive ability is, however, still uncertain.

Wheat straw waste could be basis for greener chemicals

Read the full story at Horizon.

The straw leftover from harvested wheat could be turned into bio-based chemicals that offer high greenhouse gas savings and do not compete with food supplies or damage ecosystems.

Cities Should Think About Trees As Public Health Infrastructure

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Planting trees is an incredibly cheap and simple way to improve the well-being of people in a city. A novel idea: Public health institutions should be financing urban greenery to support well-being and air quality.

REI Harnesses Yerdle to Take ‘Garage Sales’ Online

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

If you are a regular REI shopper, you have undoubtedly heard of, and most likely queued at, the outdoor gear and apparel retailer’s garage sales. Held at most stores once a quarter, they offer great discounts on goods that have been returned. The “pre-loved” goods are often indistinguishable to the naked at eye at a first glance; the previous customer may have just not wanted those hiking pants or LED lantern. REI’s “100 percent satisfaction guarantee” is one reason why these sales events are a regular occurrence, and they at the very least give the company an opportunity to recoup some of its losses while offering customers yet another reason to keep coming back.

And considering the deep price cuts, REI’s shoppers hardly seem to care about wear and blemishes — the lines for these garage sales start snaking around and outside REI stores in the hours leading to the their kick offs. If you are venturing back into camping or cycling, these garage sales are a great place to start adding to your gear.

But those garage sales are only at the brick-and-mortar stores, so customers who don’t live close to the company’s 150-plus stores have been out of luck.

As of last week, that is going to change, due to REI’s partnership with Yerdle, the used goods exchange technology platform.

The first ‘negative emissions’ carbon-capture plant is up and running

Read the full story at Grist.

On Wednesday, Iceland flipped the switch on the first project that will remove more CO2 than it produces. The plant is operated by Climeworks, which also opened the first commercial carbon-capture plant in Switzerland earlier this year.

Trump donors and appointees poised to profit off science agencies

Read the full story at Reveal.

When Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt declared last week that “the war against coal is over,” it was cheery news for some of President Donald Trump’s most generous financial supporters.

The nation’s coal mining interests – from CEOs and corporate attorneys to ordinary miners in small towns in West Virginia and Kentucky – together pumped more than $6 million into Trump’s campaign last year, according to an analysis of the president’s top campaign donors by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.