As it turns out, a healthy gut is something people will pay a lot of money for. The global market for gastrointestinal disorder therapeutics and diagnostics reached $49.6 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to $63.8 billion in 2021.1 There has been a rise in reported cases of issues such as Celiac’s disesase, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Crohn’s, which necessitates the need for better and more varied medication.

Recent findings on liquid repellent coatings have highlighted the promise of the technology and the challenges that must be overcome before new products can be commercialized. Image Credit: Flickr user Lee Netherton Since 2007, materials science and engineering researchers have been exploring the ways to create superomniphobic surfaces — that […]

In September 1987, twenty-four countries agreed to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which called for countries to cut down on their use of ozone-depleting chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).1 These chemicals were commonly used as coolants for air conditioning and refrigeration, propellants in aerosol spray […]

These days, crude oil can be purchased at low prices, so why discuss solar energy? Part of the issue is that the oil market is very volatile and today’s “cheapest” prices could become tomorrow’s “most expensive” prices. Additionally, companies would do well to invest in solar energy because it is more often used to generate electricity than anything else. In fact, oil use accounts for only one percent of U.S. electricity generation and so continued discussion and investment in solar energy is essential for a sustainable society. Research efforts should continue to determine how best to transform sunlight into usable chemical fuels.

For the last several years, we’ve seen a push toward sustainability. While we typically associate this movement with the food and clothing industries, it’s also affecting other sectors. So-called green homes have become increasingly popular, which leads to more interest in eco-friendly construction materials such as plant-based paint. Even more striking, the growing focus on decreasing our carbon footprint has encouraged people to recycle more and minimize the usage of plastic materials. In recent months, however, there’s been a noticeable demand for something that addresses all of the above. Product manufacturers have begun to seek more sustainable materials, resulting in the popularity of adopting recycled plastic materials in the construction sector. It’s a surprising combination that tends to fuel skepticism. How can you guarantee quality in materials if you use recycled plastics? Will they actually meet required specifications? The reality of the matter, however, is that recycled plastics can be just as good as virgin plastics.