Share November, 2018 San Francisco Plastic Ban Inspires Criticism and Innovation One-thousand miles off the California coast is a Texas-sized patch of degraded plastic particles collectively floating — a vortex in the North Pacific Ocean choked with disintegrated waste and the bodies of ensnared marine life. Microparticles Scrub Away Biofilm Biofilm can build up on almost any wet surface, including shower tiles, water pipes, catheters, and even teeth. In fact, many gum diseases are caused by dental biofilm, more commonly known as plaque. More serious issues occur when biofilm develops within drinking water and on medical devices because it has the potential to exacerbate or cause infections. Engineers Use Smartphones to Detect Lead in Drinking Water In an attempt to spread awareness about lead contamination, engineers at the Univ. of Houston (UH) have developed an inexpensive system that uses a smartphone to detect low concentrations of lead in drinking water. AI Predicts Organic Reactions Imagine a way to uncover the unknown product of a set of reactants, any set of reactants, without fear of wasting resources or time, or producing a toxic byproduct. Researchers at IBM in Zurich have achieved just that with a new technology that implements artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the outcomes of complex organic chemistry reactions. A New Way to Sense Viral RNA Is Gold Some of the grimmest epidemics in history were caused by viruses that use RNA as their genetic material — the AIDS explosion of the 1980s, the spate of Ebola cases in West Africa, and most recently, the Zika outbreak that occurred throughout the Americas. The detection of viral RNA is integral to diagnosis and treatment of these diseases Copyright Permissions: Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.