Natural fibers boost green credentials of lightweighting plastic composites

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726. Vehicle lightweighting is a high-profile trend in the auto sector, contributing to lower emissions and improved fuel economy. Here, plastic composites are playing a key role in this movement and their green credentials are receiving an additional boost through the use of natural fillers and reinforcements coming from the forestry and agricultural industries. With its considerable presence in both agriculture and forestry, it perhaps comes as no surprise that Canada is a hotbed for development of green composite technology. Over the past 10 years, the National Research Council Canada (NRC; Ottawa, ON) has headed a sustained effort to add value to biomass residues coming from the forestry and agricultural sectors into a large variety of applications, including biocomposites for automotive components. “We have tested several types of natural fillers such as wood flour, flax flour and rice hulls,” notes Karen Stoeffler, PhD, Polymer Bioproducts Team Leader...

This embryo-inspired bandage is 17 times stickier than a Band-Aid | Science

Inspired by the superfast wound closing process in human embryos, a new, Jell-O–like wound dressing can contract in response to the skin’s heat, drawing the edges of wounds together for quicker, safer healing. So far, researchers have tested the material only in mice. If the new bandage works as well in people, it could offer new treatment options for everything from minor wounds to chronic injuries. “I think this is a breakthrough in general, in wound management,” says Mohsen Akbari, a bioengineer at the University of Victoria in Canada who was not involved with the study. Traditional wound dressings like gauze and cloth bandages heal passively by keeping skin moist and holding any medicines close to the injury. The new bandage instead uses temperature-sensitive materials to draw together wounded tissue and silver nanoparticles to kill harmful microbes. “This is more of an active healing,” says Serena Blacklow, a bioengineer in medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the paper’s co–first authors. The project began as Blacklow’s undergraduate thesis project at Harvard University. She and David Mooney, a bioengineer there, wanted to create a toug...

Looking back at July’s front-page news | News, Sports, Jobs

The year 2019 had its moments. Today the Sun-Gazette continues a daily offering of news highlights from the year. • July 1 — A powerful storm knocked over trees throughout Williamsport, some of them older that were uprooted. Streets and parks said it was a grueling task to clean up the debris, especially with July 4 celebrations close at hand. • July 2 — A city native is the first black man to command a nuclear submarine. Chancellor Alfonso “Pete” Tzomes, 74, died in Iowa City, Iowa, but his legacy as a city-born man was highlighted in a story. • July 3 — Bill Courtright, the former mayor of Scranton pleaded guilty in U.S. Middle District Court to charges he took money from businesses for bribes and campaign contributions. Sentencing is set for later. • July 4 — Adam Winder and Todd Heckman were among the city employees scooping out debris from storm drains in the city as a flash-flood filled streets with several feet of water. • July 5 –Downtown Williamsport lit up again in colors and music was played at the annual “Set the Night to Music Fireworks Extravaganza.” • July 6 — Shawn Washington, 27, is selected the city recreation department director. His salary is set at $43,000....

‘Cruel and unusual’: Cities can’t arrest homeless people for sleeping

The Supreme Court essentially affirmed a lower court decision that said enforcement of urban camping laws is cruel and unusual punishment. Welcome to our new and improved comments, which are for subscribers only. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. You do not need a Facebook profile to participate. You will need to register before adding a comment. Typed comments will be lost if you are not logged in. Please be polite. It’s OK to disagree with someone’s ideas, but personal attacks, insults, threats, hate speech, advocating violence and other violations can result in a ban. If you see comments in violation of our community guidelines, please report them. Anne Scott of the Maricopa Association of Governments talks with a couple while completing a survey during Marcopa County’s annual Point-in-Time count of homelessness, January 22, 2019. (Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic) Tommie Jones was freezing. His hands and feet stung from the piercing desert cold that swept through Phoenix this time last year.  The 64-year-old had been living on the streets in the Valley on and off for five years. Every night presented the same struggle: Wher...