Abstracts: EPA, Embryos, Organs, and More


• Brazil only has enough human, pig, and artificial skin grafts to treat a fraction of its burn patients. A new study suggests that heaps of collagen-rich tilapia skin might be repurposed as dressings. (STAT)

President Trump’s EPA budget proposal would cut yearly funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to about $10 million. Visual: iStock.com/Jim_Pintar

• President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts for the EPA would eliminate 3,000 jobs and reduce the agency’s budget by $2 billion. Affected projects would include Great Lakes restoration efforts and research into the effects of endocrine disruptors. (The Oregonian)

• A scientist at Rockefeller University is pushing the biological and ethical limits on the days a human embryo can be kept alive in a lab. (NPR)

• Sequencing the quinoa genome might be the first step to engineering a crop that doesn’t have bitter saponins around the seed that we eat. (Modern Farmer)

• The deep sea evades cartographers, even those mapping with sonar. A new study using multibeam sonar creates a ribbon of sound, collecting information from several depths at once. (Wired)

• What do you call the last survivor of a species? Dr. Robert Webster campaigned hard for “endling,” with some success. (The New Yorker)

• Scientists at the University of New South Wales find that the recent scorching weather in Sydney is linked to greenhouse gas emissions. The maximum temperatures observed since the start of the year are at least 10 times more likely now than they were a century ago. (The New York Times)

• More than half of donated hearts and lungs are thrown out before they are transplanted, partially because of the delicate thawing process. A new nanotechnology promises to warm human organs slowly to increase transplant shelf life. (Tonic)

• And finally, how much would you pay for a dried out dish of fuzzy green mold? An original Alexander Fleming penicillin culture sold for $14,600 this week in London, a fraction of what one of his specimens sold for in December. (Associated Press)