Micro files


Plastic bags may soon power your car

Don&rsquo;t throw away those shopping bags too quickly, because one day they may be able to power your car. As reported in <em>Daily Mail</em>, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a way to convert plastic bags into diesel, natural gas and other useful petrol-based products, such as solvents, gasoline, waxes, and lubricating oils.

The energy produced by shopping bags outweighs the required energy for conversion. Researchers from the University of Illinois indicated that 80 per cent of fuel can be recovered from plastic bags through distillation, and up to 30 per cent of the plastic-derived diesel can be blended into regular diesel. This finding may reduce the increasing amount of floating garbage around the world.

Tiny sponges can stop bleeding in  15 seconds

According to Popular Science, Oregon startup RevMedx has developed a pocket-sized device that uses tiny sponges to stop bleeding fast. 

The company has asked the FDA to approve a modified syringe, called XStat, which injects specially coated sponges into wounds. This invention was inspired by injured soldiers on the battlefield. If gauze cannot stop bleeding in three minutes, the medic must pull out all the gauze and start over again, which can cause soldiers to suffer a lot of pain. 

Using XStat, the sponges would expand to fill the entire wound cavity in 15 seconds, creating enough pressure to stop heavy bleeding. Currently, each XStat costs about $100, but the price is likely to drop as RevMedx boosts manufacturing. 

Military pizza prototype lasts three years

According to The Verge, food scientists at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Massachusetts are testing a prototype pizza for military meals. Soldiers frequently ask for pizza, but the pie turns into a breeding ground for bacteria as the crust becomes soggy. To solve this problem, scientists used various kinds of gels and sugars, known as humectants, to lock food moisture outside the dough. 

The pizza’s acidity is also adjusted to make it more resistant to bacteria, and iron fillings are used to absorb air in the package. Tests have shown that the prototype can be stored in the package for three years and still be edible. Scientists even tried their work and said, “It pretty much tastes just like a typical pan pizza.”