The Biological Purpose of Pheromones in the Animal Kingdom

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

Pheromones are interesting biological components in all animals (and possibly humans!) that are secreted from sweat glands and scent glands for various purposes. There are several types of pheromones. However, not all are able to be measured or tested.

We know that pheromones exist because of the tests we have done on certain animals, such as moths, that show their existence and purpose. This article will take a look at the biological purpose of pheromones in the animal kingdom and some examples of each.

Biological Purpose of Pheromones in the Animal Kingdom

Which Animals Produce Pheromones and What Are Their Purposes?

Animals are pretty incredible. They can do amazing things! For example, bugs can turn our food waste into fuel! Here are some of the top animals that produce pheromones and which types they produce, as well as the purpose.

Bugs

Bugs, such as certain moths produce pheromones for the purpose of reproducing. We are able to extract pheromones of a certain type of moth to study them, and we’ve found that these are compounds that can be picked up by other bugs and sensed within the species.

Bugs also use pheromones to help each other find food and to run away from danger. For example, an ant can give off a fear pheromone, and the other ants will run away with it, back to the safety of the main house.

Since insect pheromones are easiest for us to measure and understand, we use them to remove pests. Beekeepers often use queen bee pheromones as well to help control a colony of bees and bring them safely to a new home, as bees will always follow the scent of their queen.

Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs, and other mammals have similar pheromones. They usually include:

  • Pheromones that are released during nursing from the mother to the babies (in the milk or by scent) to calm the babies
  • Pheromones of fear to warn other animals in the group of danger
  • Pheromones that work as “scent labels” that tell animals of the same family that they are related
  • Pheromones that work as “scenting markers” and show other animals which territory is theirs and which isn’t
  • Pheromones that are released during intercourse or to signal readiness to mate and reproduce

The pheromones of other mammals are the most useful in understanding the pheromones of humans, as we are also mammals. The purpose of these “scents” is for other animals of the same species to communicate with a lack of language.

Squid and Octopi

Surprisingly, squid and octopus eggs appear to have a certain pheromone that causes any male squid that touches them to become violent to another male squid nearby, according to National Geographic. This strange reaction is the result of pheromones. Although we don’t know the exact reason for it, it could be due to a need for the male to protect the eggs from other males or to defend his family.

Scientists are still studying pheromones in all species, and these chemicals are something new that isn’t completely understood yet. What we can learn from the pheromone reactions in squid is that these chemicals do impact behavior in others, outside of what we may have previously thought was possible.

Humans

Humans also have pheromones, although we have not yet proven them with a chemical compound that can be physically studied. Due to our knowledge of pheromones in the animal kingdom, we know that humans likely exhibit similar abilities. Many scientists believe that if we do have pheromones, they would have been something we developed in prehistoric times before we learned more advanced communication.

For this reason, it is likely that pheromones exist in our mothers when we are born, in potential mates (dates), and when feeling fear. For example, we may feel afraid if someone close to us is feeling fear. This reaction can be attributed to an empathetic response, but many scientists believe that it’s simply pheromones and that we can tell how someone is feeling by picking up on them.

Others

Many other animals have pheromones, and studying these can help us learn more about behavior. In some cases, like in the example of squid, pheromones seem to play no biological advantage. However, knowing what we know about animal behavior, these are simply forms of communication that we don’t understand so well as humans, who communicate primarily through language.

What Types of Pheromones Are There?

The most common types of pheromones studied are:

  • Reactive pheromones- The fear response
  • Sexual pheromones- Chemical compounds that cause two animals to mate or be “attracted”
  • Mother pheromones- Pheromones released by the mother to calm her children
  • Labeling pheromones- Pheromones that label members of the same family or species or simply announce the presence of an outsider
  • Marking pheromones- Pheromones that are used to mark territory

We can also see outlier examples that only exist in certain species, such as the example of the squid and octopus. These examples are the more interesting ones that scientists want to pay more attention to, as they can give more insight into our wonderful natural world and how it works.

Conclusion

If you’re still confused about pheromones or want to learn how they work in humans, head on over to BetterHelp’s advice column and blog today. You can learn more about the human body and mind work and find resources for any mental health topic.

Synthetic Biology – A Catalyst to Revolutionize Biogas Industry

Essentially a process operating by living organisms, the biogas industry is a natural target for synthetic biology. Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering to design and construct biological devices. Contrary to traditional genetic engineering that only alters an already existing DNA sequence, synthetic biology allows us to build entirely new sequences of DNA and put them to work in cells. This allows us to build novel biological devices that would never exist in nature.

synthetic-biology-biogas

Constructions and operations of devices that do not exist in nature, such as tools, vehicles, computers and the internet, have crafted modern civilization. Now, it is synthetic biology that is challenging nature’s limitations and advancing civilization to a higher level.

Generating biogas via anaerobic digestion of biomass and organic waste is one of the few proven, cost-effective, scalable biomass energy strategies. Biogas consists of mainly methane and carbon dioxide, and combustion of methane with air generates energy which can be used for many purposes such as cooking, heating, producing electricity and vehicle fuel. As a result, countless biogas plants are operating around the globe helping to clean up waste and generate energy. With more plants being built, they come in all sizes ranging from household to factory scales.

Anaerobic digestion is a process where extremely complex microbial communities degrade organic matter, such as sugars, fats and proteins, resulting in biogas as the primary end-product. Such inherent complexity makes this process very difficult to optimize. Mechanical engineers have made tremendous progress to optimize this process, but in many places it still requires government subsidies to be profitable.

Synthetic Biology and Biogas Industry

Essentially a process operating by living organisms, the biogas industry is a natural target for synthetic biology. In terms of their genetic content, organisms are classified into three natural groups, Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. Most microbes are Archaea and Bacteria, while humans are Eukarya.

In an anaerobic digester, many different types of Bacteria convert the complex organic matter in waste or biomass to hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide, formate and acetate. A unique group of methanogenic Archaea then produces the invaluable part of biogas, methane, by eating hydrogen and carbon dioxide, formate or acetate.

One can imagine creating a super microbe to convert the complex organic matter directly into biogas, thus making anaerobic digestion faster, more efficient and easier-to-manipulate. Making a synthetic microbial community by reprogramming key microbes may also help them work together when a tough job (i.e., eating extremely complex waste) needs to be done.

Among numerous microbes in anaerobic digester, methanogenic Archaea are one of a few microbial groups that have been extensively studied, and a number of genetic tools are available for engineering via synthetic biology. Therefore, scientists have begun to reprogram methanogenic archaea, allowing them to eat organic matter such as sugars and directly produce methane. If they succeed, they may engineer a super microbe that never existed in nature and revolutionize the biogas industry by making anaerobic digestion much simpler and more efficient.

There is also the possibility of more applications downstream. For instance, upgrading biogas by removal of carbon dioxide improves its combustibility. A super microbe could be made to upgrade biogas using hydrogen gas or even electricity to form more methane from carbon dioxide.

Conceptualized super cell that converts idealized organic matter (2CH2O) directly into biogas.

Grand Challenges

However promising, grand challenges remain when it comes to the use of synthetic biology in biogas industry. About 10,000 moving parts are needed to make an automobile, millions of parts for an airplane, and all the parts are standardized.

Similar to those engineering sectors, synthetic biology also needs many standardized genetic parts and modules to be able to create biological devices that can really revolutionize an industry. Sophisticated genetic tools are needed as well to assemble these parts and put them to work. However, few such parts, modules and tools are at disposal for engineering microbes in an anaerobic digester.

Take methanogenic Archaea for example, only three parts are available in the iGEM registry, the world largest collection of biological parts for synthetic biology. Another challenge is an apparent neglect of synthetic biology by the biogas industry. Symposiums bringing professionals from biogas industry and synthetic biology together for discussions are rare, as are major investments for promoting synthetic biology.

As a result, few research groups are developing synthetic tools and parts for the biogas industry. For example, the aforementioned three iGEM parts were all contributed by only one group, the UGA-iGEM team at the University of Georgia.

Future Perspectives

Synthetic biology is developing faster than ever, and its cost continues to fall. Thanks to prompt actions of many industrial pioneers in embracing and supporting synthetic biology, it is already starting to revolutionize a few fields.

Synthetic biology holds great potentials to revolutionize the biogas industry. To achieve this goal, joint efforts between the biogas industry and academia must be made. The former side needs to understand what synthetic biology can achieve, while the latter side should identify which parts of the process in the biogas industry can be re-designed and optimized by synthetic biology.

Once the two sides start to work together, novel synthetic parts and tools are bound to be invented, and they will make anaerobic digestion a better process for the biogas industry.

8 Study Tips for Science Students

Being a student in any field is hard. It requires a lot of hard work and commitment, and it can often affect your life – positively as well as negatively – in many ways.

While any field of study is hard work, many people may say that studying science is even harder, simply because the science industry  is often very complicated and competitive. If you’re a science student or aspiring science student, you may be looking for some tips to help you study. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about eight study tips for science students.

Study Guide for Science Students

1. Use tools to help you

You’re lucky to be studying at a time when technology can help you so much. There are plenty of tools that can help any student, such as apps or websites to make research easier.

On top of that, there are tools that are designed specifically to help science students. This free electronic lab notebook can probably help you a lot during your studies, so it’s worth looking into it.

In short, while studying science may be hard, there are many tools to make it easier, so you should take full advantage of this fact.

2. Do a lot of research

If you truly want to succeed in your scientific studies, you will need to go above and beyond. This often means doing more research than you are required to.

While it may seem counterintuitive to research things when you don’t have to, it can help you a lot in your studies. This is because science is such a broad field, and there’s so much to learn. Everything also links with each other, so the more you learn and research, the more you will understand.

3. Manage your time

You probably feel a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry, most students feel this way, so you’re not alone. Science students often have to juggle a lot of things, which means they tend to prioritize certain aspects and neglect others. This is often simply due to poor time management. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to this, and that is to work on your time management skills.

Start small, by buying a student planner and making a list of things you need to do every day. Once that is done, you can move on to these time management tips for students. Once you learn how to manage your time, you will feel much more in control of your studies.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

As mentioned, science isn’t the easiest field to study. Because it is such a highly regarded and competitive field, people are often scared of looking stupid if they ask questions or don’t understand something.

However, that shouldn’t be the case. If you’re struggling with something, you should ask for help. You can ask a fellow student or your professor. It doesn’t make you stupid – in fact, it’s a very smart and brave thing to ask for help.

5. Choose the right field of study

If you’re just about to start studying science, or you need to choose which field you want to specialize in, you may have a hard time deciding.

However, you need to choose something that you are interested in. Remember that, if all goes according to plan, you will be working in this field for many years. This is why it’s so important to choose the right field.

Be sure to choose a scientific field that aligns with your values and passions. For example, if you are passionate about helping the environment, you might want to study renewable energy.

6. Double-check your research

Science relies on accuracy, which means the smallest mistake can have serious consequences. Of course, you will likely make mistakes during your studies, and that is completely fine!

How to Self-Edit Your Essay

That being said, you should try to take the time to check over your research to ensure that it is all done correctly. It’s very easy to make a mistake, especially if you’re tired and have been staring at the same thing for hours. Take a break, and come back with a fresh mind to double-check that everything is right.

7. Study in a way that works for you

No two people are alike, which means that you may not study the same way your friends do. If you find that you are struggling to keep up with or understand the work, it might be that you are simply studying in a way that isn’t ideal for you. Some people are visual learners, while others do best when they consume their work in audio format.

Some may study best in a group, while others may prefer working on their own. The key is to figure out what works best for you, and to tweak that until you have a way of studying that gives you the best results. If you’re not sure what works for you, you can click here to learn more about different ways of studying.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself

Students who study science often experience a lot of pressure. While you can’t necessarily do anything about this, you shouldn’t add to that pressure by making yourself work too hard.

It’s okay if you don’t get perfect grades every time, or if you need a break now and then. Pushing yourself to the limit may give you good results in the short term, but it could lead to you burning out in the future, which is something you certainly don’t want.

In conclusion

While the field of science may be an intimidating one to study, that shouldn’t scare you away if you are passionate about it. But it is important that you know what you are getting yourself into, and that you are prepared to put in all the hard work it requires.

It might be hard to study science, but it will be worth it. On top of that, there are plenty of tips that you can follow to make your studies easier. Being a science student may not be for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t grab the opportunity if you get the chance.

3 Ways Zero Valent Iron Can Help in Environment Protection

Zero Valent Iron (ZVI) was developed to eliminate chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents in the soil. Industrial solvents are replete with chlorinated hydrocarbon, so much toxic and bad for the environment. They get disposed in the soil along with other toxic elements to cause harm to our surrounding. In the current years, significant improvements have taken place in the realm of iron-based technology.

Zero Valent Iron can be effectively used in soil remediation

The result of years of research and significant improvement in the iron-based technology is the advent of nanoscale or polymer-supported iron-containing nanoparticles to remove contaminants from solvents and soil. This is all due to the high surface area to the volume ratio of such nanoscale particles that favor the reaction kinetics and sorption.

But, know one thing that high pressure drops may restrict fixed-bed column application. This is why we now have modified nanosized ferrous particles to facilitate arsenic removal. The fabulous reducing agent helps in pollution recovery, and thus it benefits our environment.

Applications of Zero Valent Iron

ZVI in recent times is used widely for wastewater treatment, groundwater, and soil treatment. If made through the physico-chemical process in combination, the ZVI may be very small particles, having a large surface area. ZVI is beneficial for the environment, for it has a strong reductibility, great purity, long aging property, and similar features.

Zerovalent Iron can boost the chlorine removal efficiency of the soil, groundwater, and six valent chromium. Thus, it reduces the time required for environmental remediation. Acting as a fabulous reducing agent, it facilitates pollution recovery. Indeed, you may also combine it to bioremediation to further improve the efficacy of environment pollution recovery. Use it in the soil, solvents and industrial wastewater confidently to get rid of the contaminants. The use of ZVI paves the way for pure water and soil.

What you should look for in ZVI?

Are you planning to procure zero valent elemental metallic ions for wastewater treatment or soil remediation? Zerovalent metals or ZVI has a wide range of applications that range from electrodes and trenches to filters. Yes! It helps in the water filtration process, and thus we have pure drinking water. It gets rid of every trace of impurity or contaminant from the solvent or soil. It is important to look for a reliable company to procure ZVI.

Watch out for the following properties of ZVI

  • The particles must be fine enough to be customized as per your application
  • Look for the great adsorption performance and sound chemical activity
  • A large surface area for that very strong reductibility
  • Make sure the duration of its effect is very long to reduce the injections
  • Very fine ZVI particles to remediate pollution and to save remediation time and effort
  • Must be environment-friendly, deprived of any toxic compound

Enhanced nitrate-removing potential

Zero-valent metal has an enhanced nitrate removal capacity. It eliminates nitrate from the groundwater to facilitate remediation. Hence, biochar-supported ZVI can facilitate nitrate removal while the ones with wider pH can remove larger nitrates. Biochar composite eliminates nitrate from the groundwater without leaving any harmful by-products. But, biochar has a variable nitrate-removal capacity.

ZVI biochar has a potential to reduce nitrate by mediating the redox potential, the electron transfer, pH and thus facilitates enhanced removal or reduction of nitrate from the solvent or soil. Everything revolves around the logic of intensifying chemical reduction in order to eliminate nitrate from the soil or groundwater.

Nitrate and How it Accumulates

Nitrate is the form of nitrogen, which lies beneath the cultivable land. Nitrate is water soluble and may move through the soil quite easily. Owing to its high mobility, it moves to the groundwater table. Once it has moved to the groundwater table, it persists there and deposits to a very high level.

Thus, shallow groundwater is also at a risk of contamination from chemicals of land surfaces. This is a matter of concern, and indeed, nitrate in water may harm human health, aquatic life, livestock life and contaminate the surface water. We can say that it is not that harmful to adult humans, but it can significantly affect the health of the infants. It may reduce the level of oxygen in the blood to cause ‘blue baby’ disorder.

Hence, biological denitrification, ion exchange, and reverse osmosis are the treatment processes to handle this issue. The use of ZVI is a way to denitrification and the key to attaining a safe nitrate level in the water. A zero-valent metallic reduction is an effective way to refine dirty and polluted water. As soon as ZVI is placed in the flowing water or is added to the flowing water, there starts the process of oxidizing. The resultant chain reaction will purify water or remove the contaminants.

A Tool to Remediate Acid Mine Drainage

AMD or Acid Mine Drainage is the most common source of metal in places like the Appalachians, Tennessee, and Kentucky. It is important to remediate acid mine drainage for it is highly acidic and toxic. It is the major contributor to the arsenic environment and something needs to be done. AMD is a rich source of heavy and corrosive metals, acidic in nature. Biological treatment of Acid Mine Drainage is cost-effective, efficient and environment-friendly.

Biotechnological processes are an asset when it comes to treating Acid Mine Drainage in an effective manner. ZVI is environmentally sustainable. When it is very complicated and difficult to treat or remediate Acid Mine Drainage, ZVI eases the process. It gets rid of harmful elements or potentially hazardous substances from AMD to separate metal from acid and toxic compounds. There isn’t a need to abandon a mine site just because there are acidic metal deposits. Mine metals can be reclaimed with ZVI, and herein lays the environmental benefit.

Recycling of metallurgical waste

It is important to treat AMD or Acid Mine Drainage. The ecological solution to separate toxic metals, to reclaim water in large quantities is gaining a lot of attention. ZVI and zero valent metals save our natural resources and prepare the toxic metals for the recycling process. This is only possible through the separation of the acidic part.

We can recycle gallons of water that lay in the pond and other water bodies. It drops the acid level in the water and metal while also prevents heavy metallic reactions. When Acid Mine Drainage is one of the serious concerns in the realm of coal mining, zero valent metals prevent any exposure of sulfur-rich mineral to the water and atmospheric oxygen.

Final Thoughts

Zero-valent metals can help in the treatment of contaminated zones through the process of remediation. Zero valent iron is the highly reactive powder for remediation of wastewater and soil and works fabulously on environmentally contaminated areas. This remediation solution is highly efficient and benefits our environment in multiple ways.

How to Write a Strong Biotechnology Resume

Getting a job in the field of biotechnology is not an easy task. There are uncountable reasons why one can’t easily make it. However, the major culprit is the lack of requisite skills and opportunities. Many a time, a dull resume might also be the reason. A resume is not just a piece of paper. It tells multiple things about the credentials of a person. You must make sure that your resume isn’t harming you in place of doing you any good. Make sure that the resume is eye-catchy as well. It will enable the recruiter to remember your name amongst the other 100 names.

Every industry has some specific expectations with regards to the resume. The field of biotechnology is very technical and has complex conventions of resume. Gaining the appropriate amount of understanding about writing a resume can surely raise the bar for finding a job. You can also take the help of numerous biotech resume writing services for building a perfect resume template. The document must contain all the requisite information, which is crucial from the company’s point of view for determining the applicability of the candidate.

Biotechnology Resume

The students must keep the following tips in mind while preparing a biotech resume:

1. Writing a summary of an objective statement

An objective statement or a summary is a short and precise explanation of all your achievements and career. It lists all the experiences you have in biotechnology or any other relevant and related fields. It also contains the skills that might prove crucial for attaining a specific position in any company.

For example, you might mention that you have experience of 4 years in the field of biotechnology or that you have led a team of up to 50 people very successfully. Such statements are the first things the recruiting manager will notice. Therefore, you must highlight such significant things about you that you want them to know.

2. Listing your education

The education section lists all your educational degrees that are extremely relevant and crucial for the specific position you want to apply to. All the resume writing service providers suggest that people initiate the listing by mentioning the most recent degrees first. Then, they should continue with the others till they reach the oldest degree.

You must add education to your experiences, including your degrees and the school you had your education. For example, if you have a degree of masters in biology from the University of Florida, you should write Master of Science, Bio, University of Florida.

3. Highlighting your interests and skills

It is a crucial part of the resume, as put forward by numerous biotech resume writing services. It includes the list of all the skills that you decide to offer to the company as a candidate. Employers want to recruit staff in biotechnology who poses certain distinctive skills and experiences. It also includes skills like analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and research skills. You can determine such skills by researching the skill requirement of the company.

resume writing

For example, a company that takes on huge projects with short periods may need amazing time management skills. This section is extremely important in biotech as it highlights some of your remarkable transferable skills. Some other skills which you can include in your resume include adaptability, leadership, and communication.

Some other requirements which every resume maker must pay keen attention to are inclusive of the following points:

  • Including all the relevant experiences- such as the sum of money your skills helped save the company.
  • Discussing technology
  • Listing all your publications- either co-authored or authored

Wrapping up

The students can also take the help of numerous resume writing services to enable the resume’s basic proofreading. Such service providers notice such small spelling or grammatical mistakes that you might notice. The candidate must also make sure that their document contains all the necessary keywords. Make sure that if there are any acronyms in your resume, you spell out the same to enable ATS to find it.

By following the above-said tips, you can be sure to mesmerize the next recruiting manager. You must be having the relevant skills and the opportunities. Now is the time to start marketing the same.

What Are The Common Food Emulsifiers?

In the food industry, the process of making new products involves combining all the necessary ingredients more than anything else. Big restaurants like Dominos, Pizza Hut, Subway etc. make their sauces with the process of emulsification. Due to the need for concoction, other operations such as grinding, particle size reduction, emulsification, etc. would take place.

Successful food manufacturing requires equipment like Ginhong mixers that will help mill, grind, reduce particle size, homogenize, disperse, and emulsify. Once done, manufacturers need to make sure that fused molecules of ingredients will no longer depart from one another. In order to do this, emulsifying agents must be added to the overall compound to stabilize it.

Source: The Spruce

What is an emulsifier?

First, let’s define what an emulsifier is. As soon as stirring halts, the emulsion starts to separate again. To maintain the even mixture, an emulsifier is essential. A food emulsifier acts as a bond that holds the particles of the ingredients altogether. It makes the finished product soft and smooth in texture, improves the quality of the mixture, and keeps it firm and stabilized.

Water spattering in food preparation or cooking is also reduced by an emulsifier. It leads to better dispersion, solubilization, crystal modification, foaming, creaming ability, etc. Emulsions have many functions in food processing, even in other industries as well.

The Common Food Emulsifiers

Now that we have understood the definition and functions of an emulsifier in processed foods, it’s time to jump into the enumerated and expounded common food emulsifiers. Let’s begin!

  1. Lecithin

Lecithin is widely used in the commercial baking industry. This emulsifier, composed of fatty compounds, is present in eggs. Emulsifying properties are stored in the phospholipids existing in lecithin. It actually prevents the split of water and oil particles.

Good HDL cholesterol content is increased when lecithin is added to the food mixture, as stated by scientists. The droplets of oil in water are kept safe by this emulsifier, increasing the stability and shelf life of the food.

Lecithin is overflowing with health benefits too. It prevents high cholesterol and cirrhosis caused by drinking alcohol. Also, it improves nerve, brain and muscle functions.

  1. Fatty Acid Derivatives

There are different emulsifiers that can be derived from fatty acids. To name a few, polyglycerol esters (PGE), polysorbates, stearoyl lactylates, propylene glycol esters (PGMS), and sucrose esters are commonly known. In desserts like cakes and their icings, PGE is famously used. For toppings that are whippable, PGMS is mainly applied. Other products like gums, coffee, sauces, etc need sucrose esters in holding their particles.

  1. Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate (PGPR)

Baking is an appealing activity, especially for moms. We all can’t deny that cookies are tasty that’s why our sweet tooths would always go for it anytime. In manufacturing chocolates for applications such as baking, polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) works in enhancing the thickness and volume of the product. Chocolate coatings flow satisfactorily when PGPR is added unto its mixture. It also complements lecithin when combined.

Factories find PGPR as a helpful agent in maintaining the good quality of the chocolate or other products that require certain smoothness and viscosity. With that, baking will be much fun for everybody who loves doing it.

  1. Ammonium Phosphatide (AMP)

Ammonium phosphatide (AMP) is sunflower-based. The use of AMP has been most triumphant in chocolate and confectionery manufacturing. It is chiefly efficacious in achieving uniformity and steadiness of the mixture, leading to high-quality food products. It does pretty well in keeping the right attributes of the food. The size, texture, smell, texture, thickness, etc.

AMP can be used as a good alternative of lecithin but it can also be applied with it plus the PGPR.

  1. Mono and Diglycerides

Monoglycerides stay firm in the so-called ‘apha crystalline formation’. As it is very versatile, it works well in foams that are whippable while managing the agglomeration of fats. When water molecules need to be dispersed in a fat phase, monoglycerides serve as an instrument that fairly distributes water into the oil.

For products like chocolates, it gives the sensation that feels like the food product is melting inside your mouth – adding the tastiness of the food. It prompts the smoothness and consistency of the processed bulk. The crystalline structure of the food becomes balanced through its help.

These are the most used food emulsifiers from the early times until today. They are produced when palatable oils are blended with glycerin. Aside from chocolates, baked and dairy products are the ones to consume them most as well.

Conclusion

Aside from holding the ingredients altogether, emulsifiers make the food you eat much more appealing in taste and in appearance. Preservation is also important in prolonging the shelf lives of different products. An emulsifier helps in maintaining the freshness as well as good quality of goods for varying times of consumption. Low fat spreads are prone to mold growth. Hence, an emulsifier as an accessible solution.

There is an appropriate emulsifier for every application. Make sure you’re using the right one!

CRISPR Technology to Revolutionize Bioremediation

When people think of waste management, gene editing probably does not come to most people’s minds. Yet the innovative CRISPR genome modification technology fits well within the confines of managing pollution and waste on the planet. In particular, scientists are looking at how CRISPR technology can help with bioremediation, or pollutant neutralization.

Why Neutralize Pollutants?

The planet is in dire need of help as the negative impact of climate change hovers on the horizon. One of the ways that researchers are revolutionizing waste management and environmentalism is by neutralizing the pollutants that are taking up space in our landfills and oceans.

Scientists have noticed that certain organisms are particularly good at removing toxins from pollutants while others have the advantage of immobilizing toxins. Researchers are connecting the dots in order to figure out how CRISPR can help make these processes more efficient.

CRISPR-Aided Bioremediation

While it is great that scientists have discovered microorganisms that can metabolize pollutants and produce less toxic matter, what if those properties could be expanded?

CRISPR researchers are trying to do just that by using genetic editing to transfer more advantageous genes to other organisms, thus giving them even more power over toxic pollutants. This would speed up the process of natural bioremediation techniques without adding high costs and dangers.

An Edge Over Traditional Techniques

Using CRISPR technology, especially the promising CRISPR/Cas9 lentiviral system, will not only speed up the process but it will do a better job than traditional methods of bioremediation. By using the gene editing technique, scientists can create more chemically superior microorganisms that have more advantageous enzymes. That results in better neutrality of harmful pollutants in the planet’s soil and oceans. In turn, this also ramps up molecular biodiversity, which improves the cleanup process.

Speaking of molecules, the CRISPR method targets different molecular processes within a microorganism’s cells, either to regulate an existing gene or to create an entirely new one. When looking at a particular gene, scientists analyze its ability to target pollutants as well as its process for remediation.

Enhancing Bioremediation with CRISPR

Experts need to keep several aspects in mind when improving the abilities of a remediating organism and ramping up its efficiency. First of all, they need to look at the molecular pathways that lead an organism to remediate or neutralize a pollutant. Are there changes or improvements scientists that can make to these pathways? What can they add or take away?

They do a similar thing with the organism’s enzymes. Next comes bioprocessing and biosensor development, which allows scientists to test the microbial cells for chemical testing and removal efficiency.

Removing Harmful Pollutants

Take mercury, for example, which is a metal that is harmful to the planet as well as those who live on it. The E. coli bacteria has a removal efficiency of 96 when it comes to eradicating mercury.

Scientists can take that Hg2 gene and transporter and perhaps transport it to another microorganism that can metabolize and neutralize another type of pollutant. Researchers continue to look at how this technique can help us clean up the growing number of pollutants in the environment.

It is not just microorganisms that they’re working on, either. Genetic manipulation in plants is another exciting endeavor that could help out in the bioremediation field. By looking at the detoxification processes in certain plants, scientists are trying to figure out how to use CRISPR technology to amp up bioremediation or, rather, phytoremediation efforts.

Some human genes could be especially useful to certain plants that can target heavy metals in the soil. Whether they enhance existing plant species or generate completely new ones, this is an exciting development in remediation efforts against pollutants.

Is Aquaculture the Answer to World Hunger?

Feeding a growing world population could become problematic, but aquaculture might hold the key. If humans are anything, we are resourceful. We see a problem with the world, and we do what we can to fix it.  When being nomadic and following food sources was no longer sustainable, we solved the problem by developing agriculture.  Currently, as the population continues to grow and our taste for seafood increases, we’re trying to find ways to meet demand and, at the same time, sustain wild populations of fishes.

aquaculture-fish-farms

Aquaculture is the answer to this current dilemma. Farming fish for food has been around since about 2000 B.C. Since then, technology has helped it advanced and developed better techniques to raise fish for food.

Benefits of Aquaculture

Fish is a great source of protein, and it also contains essential minerals including potassium, zinc, iodine and magnesium. Fish are also rich in phosphorus and calcium. For a healthy heart, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week.

The health benefits of fish are more than enough reason to eat them, but they are also a delicious meal. There is a large variety of fish to choose from, including freshwater and saltwater varieties. However, the increased amount of people eating fish has had an impact on wild populations. To prevent certain species from being overfished, it is important to find an alternative to providing fish to people, and that includes aquaculture.

Different types of aquaculture must be used to raise different species of fish. Large companies can engage in aquaculture on an industrial scale with fish held in tanks or in pens in lakes, ponds or even the ocean. Families can even perform aquaculture in their backyard.

The variety of fish that you can raise for food includes catfish, bait minnow, trout, carp and tilapia, among others.  It’s also possible to raise shellfish, including oysters and shrimp. Want to try your hand at growing water plants?  You can also use aquaculture principles for water chestnuts and red and brown algae.

Studies have shown that marine aquaculture has the potential to produce 16.5 billion tons of fish per year, which is more than enough to feed the growing population and meet nutritional needs.

Different types of aquaculture must be used to raise different species of fish.

Different types of aquaculture must be used to raise different species of fish.

In some areas, such as parts of Africa, aquaculture has made an enormous impact on the local community’s economy and employment as well. The food produced helps to sustain Africa’s growing population and provides local jobs with steady income.

The Downside of Aquaculture

While it has the potential to feed hungry communities and contribute to local economies, there are some problems associated with aquaculture. Having too many fish in a tank can lead to the spread of disease.  Also, the type of feed the fish eat can impact how healthy they are for humans. Keeping fish in pens in lakes, ponds or the ocean might cause the spread of parasites to wild populations.  Farmed fish could also escape their enclosure and, as a result, alter the natural ecosystem.

Recognizing the shortcomings of aquaculture is the first step to remedying its problems. As technology and farming practices advance and techniques improve, it’s possible that we will resolve many of these issues. This will lead to greater benefits for the human population that depends on fish for food.

Humans have the ingenuity and drive to make the world a better place for themselves and others. Population growth isn’t going to slow down any time soon, and we need to make sure everyone is taken care of and has enough to eat. While aquaculture has its pros and cons, it can be a sustainable and economic way to feed hungry people.  In time, it may even be the answer to world hunger.

4 Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home

In daily life, we make use of several different gases, liquids, and solids, without which life isn’t livable. And it’s not just oxygen that we use in daily life to keep the heart pumping, but there is an entire list of gases that are essential to keep on with life.

One of the most vital gases among all the other is carbon monoxide. This a potent and valuable gas that charges up heaps of electricity and starts up your cars. It’s essential to know what carbon monoxide is as it is widely used inside homes and can be just as dangerous as it is needed. It is a highly flammable gas that, if left unwatched, can create fire and unimaginable damage. For this reason, below are some ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home to use it effectively and safely.

1. Address Issues

Carbon monoxide is a combustible gas and can be quite dangerous to have in a closed space, but it makes for many of the essential procedures used in a home. Your heating system most probably is run by carbon monoxide. And if it experiences a tear and a leak, the house could be in danger of destruction, and the residents could suffocate.

Check your heating and other fuel-burning appliances regularly to avoid any mishaps. It is best to get them maintained each year by professionals who can also check the systems for their effective running.

2. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Mostly carbon monoxide can be detected by its firm odor similar to that of rotten eggs. This smell helps to give you a heads up to get out of your home and call for help. However, when there is a slight leakage that is undecidable, or the house residents aren’t awake to notice it, the situation can take a turn for the worst.

Some states have laws that require homes to have CO detectors installed. These detectors should be present on each floor, especially the basement and areas where there are fuel appliances and heaters. It is best to make sure the indicators are installed near bedrooms to get alerts while sleeping.

3. Check the Air Quality

In small houses or congested areas of a home, air can get trapped, and different gases can get clogged, the air quality unhealthy and dangerous to breathe in. Make sure that where you have your oven, furnaces, and fireplaces situated has a proper ventilation system installed. If there are vents already in place, check the air quality and clean them often.

4. Put Out Burners Effectively

Cooking is a necessity in all homes, and even though many households have replaced gas burners to electric burners, there are still many that use the gas cooking method. The gas used for cooking and heating is carbon monoxide, which is sturdy and highly combustible.

To keep safe from sources like these, make sure not to switch on stoves unnecessarily. Keep your fireplaces and furnaces covered to stop the gas from spreading and lingering in the air. Regularly validate that these places are well kept and clean. Also, make sure that the systems work well.

Impact of Philosophy on the Development of Environmental Ethics

Philosophy can be defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, and/or reality, and/or existence. It can be looked at even more so as a study when you consider it to be an academic discipline. The practice of philosophy has had a deep impact on our lives since the time that subject came to be recognized as one and soon after became a discipline.

This impact continues to this day, with the practice being intricately connected with how we live. Here we take a look at how Environmental Ethics tells us how to ensure that every living being on the planet gets its fair chance to survive and its relation to the study of philosophy. There has definitely been a shift in the way we look at our world and how our actions affect it. Fortunately when we say “our” we are finally taking into account all living beings, rather than just humans.

development of environmental ethics

Philosophy in Everyday Lives

Socrates had made a claim that the only life worth living is the “examined” one.  Philosophy, and in turn, philosophers, tend to examine the increasingly mysterious, or even esoteric, phenomena. A few of these can include the complexities of language, or free will, or even morality.  It is easy to find information like this by searching for essays on key concepts in philosophy, online. There are hordes of free essay samples available at present.

Now, despite examining the aforementioned phenomena, philosophers still have a knack for taking intuitive assumptions to uncover their inner workings.  In the end, self-reflection and examination can give you a frustrating day, from the enjoyable one you might have been enjoying.

Every day, human beings lose their grip on consciousness as they fall asleep. It might be comparable to our understanding of the human brain and the understanding of ecology. Despite there being a lot of papers released, in order to explain a great deal about the dryland ecosystems, it knows little about those residing in the ocean deep recesses.

Science has not yet uncovered the specific reasons behind sleep and the exact mechanics of it. It’s amazing to think that we are yet to know most of the mechanics behind an activity the average human being spends a third of life performing. Interestingly even waking up, holds an uncanny resemblance to the awakening of the mind which can be regarded as – “the true aim of philosophy”.

What is Environmental Ethics?

The segment of environmental philosophy looking to extend ethics’ traditional boundaries, from only including humans to including the entire nonhuman world – this is arguably the proper “environmental ethics definition”, in the true sense. It exerts a lot of influence on a vast range of disciplines, like sociology, theology, ecology, etc. It is always trying to include the rights of all nonhuman living beings in all of our ethical and moral values.

Increasing Popularity of Philosophy

Philosophy as a discipline and as a way of thinking has gained massive popularity. It has gone on to feature among the 100 most popular majors among students. People are slowly starting to truly appreciate why philosophy is important and hence there are so many young students selecting this subject. This is evident from the fact that the number of graduates of the subject has taken a 61% hike, from the same time, a decade back.

Environmental Ethics and Its Practice in Different Countries

According to Environmental ethics, our behavior should be based on a number of ethical values, guiding our approach toward other living beings. Despite the human race being considered the primary species, other animals and/or plants are not less important. They deserve their fair share of existence. Environmental issues can be seen posing a host of global challenges, thus, in turn, raising skepticism regarding the topic of sustainability of nature.

impact of philosophy and environmental ethics

As a result, a number of countries have been seen implementing green practices to keep improving, and do their part for the environment. For example, there have been government policies implemented in Norway that ban deforestation. This protects the forest ecosystem and the animals living there. Finland generates a lot of its power from renewable energy sources to ensure that the environment and living beings in it are not harmed. You can easily find out more about such practices even with a bit of light reading.

Conclusion

It is unquestionable that over the past few years there has been a trend of a considerably increasing concern for our environment. It is a change in mindset that is occurring in people from all corners of the globe. People have started to look at the impact that all of our actions have upon environmental ethics and judge it more minutely. As a result, it is safe to say that the field will be here for quite a long time in the future. Not only that, on the basis of its present popularity, the study of philosophy and the environment, and ethical practices is only looking to gain momentum.