Gadget: Bottle Opener

Ico Bottle Opener from OTHR

The steel frame is made by 3D printing. Only 100 pieces will be made. Each limited-edition Ico Bottle Opener is produced on demand with a serial number and Certificate of Authenticity.

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Coffee-infused Foam Removes Lead from Contaminated Water

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the U.S., which makes for a perky population — but it also creates a lot of used grounds. Scientists now report in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering an innovative way to reduce this waste and help address another environmental problem. They have incorporated spent coffee grounds in a foam filter that can remove harmful lead and mercury from water.

Restaurants, the beverage industry and people in their homes produce millions of tons of used coffee grounds every year worldwide, according to researcher Despina Fragouli. While much of the used grounds go to landfills, some of them are applied as fertilizer, used as a biodiesel source or mixed into animal feed. Scientists are also studying it as a possible material for water remediation. Experiments so far have shown that powder made from spent coffee grounds can rid water of heavy metal ions, which can cause health problems. But an additional step is needed to separate the powder from the purified water. Fragouli and colleagues wanted to simplify this process.

The researchers fixed spent coffee powder in a bioelastomeric foam, which acted as a filter. In still water, the foam removed up to 99 percent of lead and mercury ions from water over 30 hours. In a more practical test in which lead-contaminated water flowed through the foam, it scrubbed the water of up to 67 percent of the lead ions. Because the coffee is immobilized, it is easy to handle and discard after use without any additional steps, the researchers say.

Source: American Chemical Society

Quick and Easy Salmon with Whisky Cream Sauce

Ingredients

2 x 6 oz salmon steaks
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tablespoon white peppercorns, crushed
1 level teaspoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground sea salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon whisky
2/3 cup 35% cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus extra to garnish

Method

  1. Mix together the crushed peppercorns. Smear the salmon steaks all over with the mustard and then press the peppercorns into the cut sides of the salmon – just enough to give it a nice thin coating. Season with salt.
  2. Heat a frying pan until hot. Add the butter and, as soon as it starts to foam, lay in the salmon steaks. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the steaks for about 3 minutes on one side to brown them.
  3. Turn up the heat, flip the steaks over, then splash in the whisky. Boil fast until the whisky has almost disappeared, then pour in the cream. Carefully scraping up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan around the steaks, bring to a fast bubble.
  4. Boil for 1 –2 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken, then taste and season with more black pepper if necessary, and some salt.
  5. By this time the salmon should be just cooked – test with the tip of a knife; if it is still a wee bit pink, simmer over a low heat for a further minute. Stir in the chopped chives and serve immediately, garnished with the extra chives.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Nick Nairn’s Top 100 Salmon Recipes

In Pictures: What You Can Eat in Some of the New Restaurants in London, U.K.

Your Biological Clock: Why Some Age Faster Than Others

Some adults age faster biologically than others, and may die early even if they have healthy lifestyles, researchers report.

The international team of scientists analyzed DNA in blood samples from more than 13,000 people in the United States and Europe and used an “epigenetic clock” to predict their life spans.

The clock calculates the aging of blood and other tissues by tracking a natural process (methylation) that chemically alters DNA over time, the researchers explained.

“We discovered that 5 percent of the population ages at a faster biological rate, resulting in a shorter life expectancy,” said principal investigator Steve Horvath. He is a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Accelerated aging increases these adults’ risk of death by 50 percent at any age,” Horvath added in a university news release.

“While a healthful lifestyle may help extend life expectancy, our innate aging process prevents us from cheating death forever,” he said. “Yet risk factors like smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure still predict mortality more strongly than one’s epigenetic aging rate.”

The study was published in the journal Aging.

“We were stunned to see that the epigenetic clock was able to predict the lifespans of Caucasians, Hispanics and African-Americans,” said study first author Brian Chen, a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. National Institute on Aging.

“This rang true even after adjusting for traditional risk factors like age, gender, smoking, body mass index, disease history and blood cell counts,” Chen added.

Horvath said the research appears to reveal valuable clues into what causes human aging. This marks “a first step toward developing targeted methods to slow the process,” he added.

The preliminary findings may help explain why some adults die young even if they have a nutritious diet, get regular exercise, don’t smoke and drink little or no alcohol.

Larger studies are needed to help scientists tease out the relationship between biological age and specific diseases, the study authors added.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Epigenetic clock predicts life expectancy, UCLA-led study shows . . . . .


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