A White House summit in September 2022 advanced US President Biden’s National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative (NBBI, see page 12). The Department of Defense will invest $1bn in bioindustrial domestic manufacturing infrastructure over five years. This will support the manufacturing of products important to commercial and defense supply chains, such as critical chemicals.
Artificial sweeteners could be linked to heart and circulatory diseases and ‘should not be a considered a healthy and safe alternative to sugar’, a major study suggests.
A new pipeline of safer weight loss drugs could spell the end of obesity, but are they too good to be true? Jasmin Fox-Skelly reports
Read the latest science news in brief for C&I Issue 10 2022.
Used in the synthesis of plastics such as polystyrene, polyethylene and PVC, ethylene has a global market of $230bn. Mostly made by cracking the naphtha fraction of crude oil, ethylene synthesis emits around 862t of CO2e each year. Now, a new electrochemical process claims to slash emissions, capable of turning 6t of CO2 into 1t of ethylene (Cell Rep. Phys. Sci., 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.xcrp.2022.101053).
Creating 2.5D materials with novel electrical and optical properties could provide alternatives to silicon in the next generation of computer processors and solar cells, Jon Evans reports
The UK’s first large scale lithium refinery is to be built on Teesside and will supply low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals to help meet growing demand across Europe. Once operational, the plant will have the capacity to supply 50,000t of refined Li annually, meeting up to 6% of Europe’s expected increased lithium demand.
A US team claims to have discovered a new druggable pathway that may boost clearance of the toxic peptides implicated in dementia. The results offer the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
A new partnership agreement to tackle food insecurity and malnutrition aims to assist the nearly 282m African people classified by the World Bank as undernourished.
The energy crisis continues to cause global disruption, pushing inflation rates across many countries to levels not seen for many years. Governments are scrambling to raise interest rates to stop the rise, however interest rates are a blunt instrument, with limited impact on the cause of the inflation but substantive knock-on effects.