Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Converting salt water to drinking water, recycling face masks in concrete, an exhibition of abortion stories and more from around the web

Researchers Uncover a Fragment of the Asteroid That May Have Killed Off Dinosaurs Paleontologists discovered a tiny fragment that may have been from the asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs, as revealed in a new documentary Dinosaur Apocalypse. Found in the Tanis fossil site in North Dakota, the fragment was preserved in amber after landing in tree resin upon …

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, …

Researchers Engineer an Enzyme that Eats Plastic Waste

Following similar developments in England and France, a team of scientists at The University of Texas at Austin created an enzyme variant that breaks down plastic with the potential to eliminate billions of tons of landfill. The enzyme—dubbed FAST-PETase—targets polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a polymer found in consumer packaging that makes up 12% of global waste. Researchers used a machine learning model to generate mutations of a …