Plants Grow in Lunar Soil for the First Time

Half a century ago, Apollo astronauts brought back samples of lunar rock and dust that researchers at the University of Florida recently planted thale cress seeds into and, for the first time, grew edible plants. At first the samples were averse to water, requiring an additional nutrient solution, but eventually they sprouted, looking verdantly green for a time before turning slightly purple yet remaining safe …

New Portable Device Can Turn Saltwater Into Drinking Water

Only 0.5% of Earth’s 326 million trillion gallons of water is safe to drink. To make water more accessible and consumable, researchers at MIT developed a portable device that converts saltwater into drinking water with the touch of a button. The current prototype (which fits into a regular-sized suitcase) requires less power to operate than a cellphone charger, processes one liter of water per hour, …

Face Masks Can Be Recycled to Create Stronger Concrete

New research published in Materials Letters announced that scientists at Washington State University found a way to recycle face masks by incorporating them into concrete, creating a more durable material that is 50% stronger than the standard. As face masks generate plastic pollution and concrete engenders a carbon-intensive process, the study not only improves concrete’s design, it also addresses two sustainability issues. Researchers found that …