In today’s talking points: Study reveals sweeteners may have the adverse effect on human metabolism; New green index launched in China’s battle with climate change; Cyclone Debbie could be a blessing and a curse to the Great Barrier Reef; ANU scientists hit new world efficiency record with perovskite solar cells
Study reveals sweeteners may have the adverse effect on human metabolism
A new study has revealed that the sweeteners have the adverse effect on our metabolism. Many people use sweeteners as the alternative of sugars in order to cut the high calories and control weight. With a number of researches reporting that the bad effects of sugars on our body, sweeteners, which have low calories, have become a natural alternative of sugars. But recently researchers from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. have found sweeteners may actually promote fat formation in the body. Sweeteners actually affect the body’s metabolism and discovered they lead to a buildup of fat droplets in fat-derived stem cells. From their study, it reveals that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, and promotes inflammation, which may be more detrimental in obese individuals.
Read more at Starts at 60
New green index launched in China’s battle with climate change
China’s largest real estate developers have launched a green index for the purpose of managing cement, steel and iron suppliers. This is a part of China’s fight with climate change and ongoing measures to curb its pollution problems. Currently, the real estate and construction sector comprises eight percent of carbon emissions. The country’s largest property developers, Vanke and Lansea as well as other businesses including the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE) launched the Real Estate Green Supply Chain Initiative. 71 real estate companies with sales revenue totaling 1.3 trillion yuan have signed up. They account for 15 percent of sales revenue in the entire sector. According to non-government organization the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), this is the first time that this many industry members have worked together to improve supply chain environmental management. The United Nations Environment Program also praised this initiative, calling it a “global first.”
Read more at Reuters
Cyclone Debbie could be a blessing and a curse to the Great Barrier Reef
Researchers say Cyclone Debbie damage could be both a blessing and a curse to the reef. Intense winds damage the delicate coral, however weather conditions could also cool down ocean temperatures which have peaked in the past year to its highest temperatures on record. Warm ocean temperatures contribute to the bleaching of the reef. The damage of tropical cyclones have been described as ‘patchy’ by some experts, as some parts show significant impact whereas other parts remain virtually untouched. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority spokesperson, Mark Read commented that Cyclone Debbie spent a great deal of time crossing the reef and the damage is likely to be widespread. The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most valuable natural assets and biggest tourist attractions.
Read more at SBS
ANU scientists hit new world efficiency record with perovskite solar cells
Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have hit a new world record in the development of a low-cost solar cell that could revolutionize the way we generate solar electricity. The team, led by Professor Kylie Catchpole and PhD student The Duong, has achieved 26 per cent efficiency in converting sunlight into energy using perovskite solar cells. Perovskite is a compound material with a crystal structure that helps harvest light. Silicon solar cells are used in 90 per cent of solar electricity generation, but scientists around the world are working on ways to make them more efficient, affordable, stable and reliable. Up until now efficiencies of this kind have only been achieved using high-cost materials normally used on satellites. By the usage of perovskite solar cells, they are now a step closer to a low-cost alternative. The research has been published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials and is supported by $3.6 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Foundation.
Read more at ABC