Corruption in Science Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Corruption in Science Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Every summer we are inundated with news media reports warning that ... otherwise healthy adults and children are walking around dehydrated, even that dehydration has reached epidemic proportions. Let’s put these claims under scrutiny. I was a co-author of a paper back in 2007 in the BMJ on medical myths. The first myth was that people should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The source of this myth [may be] a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation that said people need about 2.5 liters of water a day. The sentence that followed closely behind ... read, “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.” Water is present in fruits and vegetables. It’s in juice, it’s in beer, it’s even in tea and coffee. Before anyone writes me to tell me that coffee is going to dehydrate you, research shows that’s not true either. A significant number of advertisers and news media reports are trying to convince you otherwise. Bottled water sales continue to increase. More recent studies [continue] to declare huge numbers of children to be dehydrated. A 2012 study in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism [claimed] that almost two-thirds of French children weren’t getting enough water. Another in the journal Public Health Nutrition [declared] that almost two-thirds of children in Los Angeles and New York City weren’t getting enough water. The first study was funded by Nestlé Waters; the second by Nestec, a Nestlé subsidiary. There is no formal recommendation for a daily amount of water people need.
Note: The complete article above details how normal water consumption has been redefined by dubious science to appear insufficient. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Peer review is supposed to be the pride of the rigorous academic publishing process. But increasingly journals are finding out that those supposedly authoritative checks are being rigged. In the latest episode of the fake peer review phenomenon, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, Springer, has retracted 64 articles from 10 of its journals after discovering that their reviews were linked to fake e-mail addresses. The announcement comes nine months after 43 studies were retracted by BioMed Central (one of Springer’s imprints) for the same reason. Retraction Watch co-founder Ivan Oransky ... said he didn’t know of any instances of retractions for faked peer reviews before 2012. In a report for the journal Nature last fall, Oransky and his colleagues told the story of a ... researcher who wrote peer reviews for 28 of his own papers. Investigations ... have also uncovered a number of services selling names and contact information for made-up experts guaranteed to give an expedited, positive review. In a statement on its Web site in February, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) detailed these agencies’ “systematic, inappropriate attempts” to manipulate the process. COPE’s chair Ginny Barbour wrote in December, “The uncovering of companies systematically manipulating publications, by the use of fake reviewers and more, offers an alarming glimpse into what can happen if reward systems are implemented with no thought or oversight.”
Note: The editor of a top medical journal recently suggested that half all of scientific literature may simply be untrue. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
In 1945, as a first-year student at Kyushu Imperial University’s medical school in southern Japan, [Toshio] Tono became an unwilling witness to atrocities. Just weeks after he began his studies, a US B-29 Superfortress crashed in northern Kyushu island. The [surviving] airmen were rounded up by police and placed in military custody. The prisoners were led to believe they were going to receive treatment for their injuries. But over the following three weeks, they were to be subjected to a depraved form of pathology at the medical school – procedures to which Tono is the only surviving witness. According to testimony ... at the Allied War Crimes Tribunals, they injected one anaesthetised prisoner with seawater. Other airmen had parts of their organs removed, with one deprived of an entire lung. In another experiment, doctors drilled through the skull of a live prisoner. “The experiments had absolutely no medical merit,” [Tono] said. “They were being used to inflict as cruel a death as possible on the prisoners. Of the 30 Kyushu University doctors and military staff who stood trial in 1948, 23 were convicted of vivisection and the wrongful removal of body parts. But they were never punished. President Truman issued an executive order that led to freedom for imprisoned war criminals. By the end of 1958, all Japanese war criminals had been released and began reinventing themselves, some as mainstream politicians, under their new, US-authored constitution.
Note: The German Nazis conducted similarly horrifying experiments on humans, as described in this Harper's Magazine article. Many of the Nazi scientists involved were secretly brought to the U.S. under Operation Paperclip. And according to this disturbing essay of a survivor, Nazi torturers were brought to the US to train CIA to train operatives in how to create multiple personality super spies through torture, drugs, and hypnosis.
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories. Health experts say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, [and] convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume. “Coca-Cola’s sales are slipping, and there’s this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. “This is a direct response.” Coke’s [campaign] is not the only example of corporate-funded research and advocacy to come under fire lately. The American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have been criticized by public health advocates for forming partnerships with companies such as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Hershey’s. Dietitians have also faced criticism for taking payments from Coke to present the company’s soda as a healthy snack. A recent analysis of beverage studies ... found that those funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts.
A powerful new technique for generating “supercharged” genetically modified organisms that can spread rapidly in the wild has caused alarm among scientists. The development of so-called “gene drive” technology promises to revolutionize medicine and agriculture. However, scientists at the forefront of the development believe ... gene-drive technology poses a serious threat to the environment and human health if accidentally or deliberately released from a laboratory without adequate safeguards. Last week the US National Academy of Sciences initiated a wide-ranging review of gene-drive technology in “non-human organisms” and in this week’s journal Science a group of 27 leading geneticists call on the scientific community to be open and transparent about both the risks and benefits of gene drives. Researchers have likened gene-drive technology to a nuclear chain reaction because it allows GM genes to be amplified within a breeding population of insects or other animals without any further intervention once the trait has been initially introduced. This is the case even if the trait is non-beneficial to the organism. Laboratory experiments on fruit flies have shown that a modified gene introduced into one individual fly can take just a few generations to “infect” practically every other fly in the breeding population, in defiance of the normal rules of genetics which dictate a far slower spread.
Note: A large segment of the scientific community called for a moratorium on using this technology on humans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
The torture scandal consuming the US’s premiere professional association of psychologists has cost three senior officials their jobs. As the American Psychological Association copes with the damage reaped by an independent investigation that found it complicit in US torture, the group announced on Tuesday that its chief executive officer, its deputy CEO and its communications chief are no longer with the APA. All three were implicated in the 542-page report issued this month by former federal prosecutor David Hoffman, who concluded that APA leaders “colluded” with the US department of defense and aided the CIA in loosening professional ethics and other guidelines to permit psychologist participation in torture.. Despite rumors ... the APA framed the departures of longtime executive officials Norman Anderson and Michael Honaker as “retirements”. Rhea Farberman, who served as APA’s communications director for 22 years, “resigned”, the APA said in a statement. Anderson, Honaker and Farberman join Stephen Behnke, the APA’s former ethics chief also implicated in torture, in the first wave of APA departures as the organization seeks to rebuild its credibility. A call to end all psychologist participation in US interrogation and detention operations is slated for APA consideration at a major conference next month.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
Jean Maria Arrigo’s inbox is filling up with apologies. For a decade, colleagues of the 71-year-old psychologist ignored, derided and in some cases attacked Arrigo for sounding alarms that the American Psychological Association was implicated in US torture. But now ... a devastating report has exposed deep APA complicity with brutal CIA and US military interrogations – and a smear campaign against Arrigo herself. David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, confirmed what she has crusaded against for a decade: the APA’s institutional involvement with torture led to a concerted effort to quash dissent, lie to the public, and silence people like her. In 2005, Arrigo ... was a member of an internal panel, known as the Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (Pens), that greenlit psychologist participation in national-security interrogations. The taskforce was intentionally weighted in favor of the US department of defense, through stacking it with representatives from the military and CIA. It rejected efforts ... to include references to the Geneva Convention and specific interrogation techniques that psychologists could not be involved in. Arrigo took her concerns public. In response, [Gerald] Koocher ... who served as APA president in 2006, [launched] “a highly personal attack.” Arrigo said she was untroubled by Koocher’s “idiotic” broadside. What was more troubling to her, she said, were the well-meaning members of APA who did not challenge the attacks.
Note: Read an article on how military psychologists are fighting against torture reforms. For more, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report. The 542-page report ... raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon, [and] concludes that some of the [American Psychological] Association’s top officials ... sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by seeking to keep the association’s ethics policies in line with the Defense Department’s interrogation policies. The association’s ethics office “prioritized the protection of psychologists — even those who might have engaged in unethical behavior — above the protection of the public,” the report said. Two former presidents of the psychological association were on a C.I.A. advisory committee, the report found. One of them gave the agency an opinion that sleep deprivation did not constitute torture, and later held a small ownership stake in a consulting company founded by two men who oversaw the agency’s interrogation program. The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist, the report said, and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
Two former Merck & Co Inc scientists accusing the drugmaker of falsifying tests of its exclusive mumps vaccine said in a court filing on Monday that Merck is refusing to respond to questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. Attorneys at Constantine Cannon, who represent the scientists, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to compel Merck to respond to their discovery request, which asks the company to give the efficacy of the vaccine as a percentage. Instead of answering the question ... Merck has been consistently evasive, using “cut-and-paste” answers saying it cannot run a new clinical trial to determine the current efficacy, and providing only data from 50 years ago. The two scientists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, filed their whistleblower lawsuit in 2010 claiming Merck, the only company licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to sell a mumps vaccine in the United States, skewed tests of the vaccine by adding animal antibodies to blood samples. As a result, they said, Merck was able to produce test results showing that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, even though more accurate tests would have shown a lower success rate. The plaintiffs said these false results kept competitors from trying to produce their own mumps vaccines, since they were unable to match the effectiveness Merck claimed. The case is United States ex rel Krahling et al v. Merck & Co Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 10-4374.
Note: Why didn't this get reported widely? A search reveals no major media other than Reuters and WSJ covered this. This article in a local paper states the two whistleblowers were threatened by Merck with jail if they went public with this. It also says all students in a Syracuse University mumps outbreak had been properly vaccinated. This excellent article gives a 2019 update and reveals how the vaccines caused injury in a very high percentage of cases. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
[A] symposium – on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, held at the Wellcome Trust in London last week – touched on one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong. The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics. National assessment procedures ... incentivise bad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct. Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive. The conclusion of the symposium was that something must be done. The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.
Note: The Lancet is considered by many to be the most prestigious medical journal in the world. If the editor-in-chief of the Lancet is making these comments, who can we trust? Can we really "trust the science?" Read a powerfully revealing essay by former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell on how the drug companies blatantly manipulate science for profit.
Many medical "facts" are simply not true. By definition, being "overweight" must be bad for your health – or we wouldn't call it overweight. But we do not define overweight as being the weight above which you are damaging your health; it has an exact definition. To be overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30. In 2009, a German group did a painstaking meta-analysis of all studies on overweight and obesity that they could find. As with most other researchers, they found that being overweight was good for you. Of course, they didn't phrase it in this way. They said: "The prevailing notion that overweight increases morbidity and mortality, as compared to so-called normal weight, is in need of further specification." In need of further specification? An interesting phrase, but one that hints at the terrible problems researchers have when their findings fail to match prevailing dogma; if the prevailing consensus is "if your BMI is between 25 and 29, it is damaging your health and you should lose weight", then you challenge this at your peril. Despite the fact that study after study has demonstrated quite clearly that "overweight" people live the longest, no one can bring themselves to say: "Sorry, we were wrong. A BMI between 25 and 29 is the healthiest weight of all. For those of you between 20 and 25, I say, eat more, become healthier." Who would dare say such a thing? Not anyone with tenure at a leading university, that's for sure.
Note: Don't miss the entire article to see how scientists severely manipulate the results of their data when it does not fit established norms. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center and concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
Many Oklahomans can still vividly recall the day they experienced their first earthquake. Ever since 2009/2010, earthquakes in the state have increased exponentially – leading to what are called “seismic swarms”. In 2000 there was not a single earthquake, but in 2014 we experienced 585 quakes of magnitude three or larger. For some time now, scientists have wondered whether fracking-related activities, such as wastewater injection, might be the source of increased seismic activity in Oklahoma. In May of last year, the Oklahoma Geological Survey, an affiliate entity of the University of Oklahoma, released a statement in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey, saying that wastewater injection was a “likely contributing factor the increase in earthquakes”. Not long after this statement, David Boren, president of the university, summoned the Oklahoma Geological Survey’s lead seismologist Austin Holland, who was also one of the authors of the statement, to a meeting with Harold Hamm, CEO of ... one of Oklahoma’s largest oil and gas exploration and production companies. Boren facilitated the meeting despite the fact that he also serves as a member of the Continental Resources board of directors. In July 2014, Continental Resources released a presentation positing an alternative theory for the seismic swarms and downplaying the influence of induced seismicity. One can only imagine the pressure this meeting must have brought upon Holland and his team of scientists.
Note: Jason W Murphey, an Oklahoma State Representative, wrote the above. For more on this, read this informative New York Times article titled "As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
Joni Mitchell, 71, was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday after she was found unconscious at her Los Angeles home. In recent years, the singer has complained of a number of health problems, including one particularly unusual ailment: Morgellons disease. People who believe they have the condition report lesions that don’t heal, “fibers” extruding from their skin and uncomfortable sensations like pins-and-needles tingling or stinging. Sufferers may also report fatigue and problems with short-term memory and concentration. But Morgellons is not a medically accepted diagnosis. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 115 people who said they had the condition. In a report published in 2012, they said they were unable to identify an infectious source for the patients’ “unexplained dermopathy.” The investigators cast doubt on Morgellons as a distinct condition and said that it might be something doctors were already familiar with: delusional infestation, a psychiatric condition characterized by an unshakable but erroneous belief that one’s skin is infested with bugs or parasites. These patients have a reduced quality of life, the researchers concluded, but the cause is not clear. Science one day may find that Morgellons has a physical basis, but at the moment most experts treat it as a psychiatric disorder — to the great frustration of people, like Ms. Mitchell, who ... are afflicted with it.
A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited. Ethicists, for decades, have been concerned about the dangers of altering the human germline — meaning to make changes to human sperm, eggs or embryos that will last through the life of the individual and be passed on to future generations. Until now, these worries have been theoretical. But a technique invented in 2012 makes it possible to edit the genome precisely and with much greater ease. The technique has already been used to edit the genomes of mice, rats and monkeys, and few doubt that it would work the same way in people. Though such a moratorium would not be legally enforceable and might seem unlikely to exert global influence, there is a precedent. In 1975, scientists worldwide were asked to refrain from using a method for manipulating genes, the recombinant DNA technique, until rules had been established. “We asked at that time that nobody do certain experiments, and in fact nobody did, to my knowledge,” said Dr. Baltimore, who was a member of the 1975 group. The new genome-editing approach was invented by Jennifer A. Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier of Umea University in Sweden. Many ethicists have accepted the idea of gene therapy, changes that die with the patient, but draw a clear line at altering the germline, since these will extend to future generations.
Note: Is this voluntary moratorium enough to stay the hand of our corrupt scientific establishment?
The powerful U.S. sugar industry skewed the government's medical research on dental care. Sugar industry leaders advocated for policies that did not recommend people eat less sugar. The government listened, according to a new report published in the journal PLOS Medicine. In the 1960s, amid a national effort to boost cavity prevention, the U.S. government spearheaded a research program, known as the National Caries Program (NCP), which aimed to eradicate tooth decay. But instead of turning to an obvious solution — having people eat less sugar — the government was swayed by industry interests that pushed alternative methods, such as [using] vaccines for fighting tooth decay. [The] committee that was set up by the government to set research priorities for the NCP included many doctors and scientists who were also ... part of another group called the International Sugar Research Foundation, which was established by the sugar industry. Rather than recommending that people reduce sugar intake, government-funded research focused on interventions that wouldn't advise Americans to lower their sweets consumption. For instance, the research encouraged the wider use of fluoride. More recently, the industry attempted to influence the ongoing debate about changes to the Food and Drug Administration's nutrition facts label. One of the key changes currently being mulled is the inclusion of an "added sugar" label, which is meant to communicate how much of any given food's sugar content was added during processing. The industry is vehemently opposed.
Note: "When you take on Big Sugar, you take on a huge political money operation," Rep. Mark Steven Kirk from Illinois said while fighting Big Sugar back in 2007. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gasses pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming. But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests. He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work. The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress. Dr. Soon has found a warm welcome among politicians in Washington and state capitals who try to block climate action. United States Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who claims that climate change is a global scientific hoax, has repeatedly cited Dr. Soon’s work over the years.
Note: One of Dr Soon's primary funding sources is Donors Trust, a secretive organization found to have orchestrated a vast climate denial conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
When U.S. health regulators find serious problems with how medical researchers collect their data, the researchers’ final reports often don’t mention it, a new analysis suggests. Out of 78 published papers reporting on clinical trials in which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found very serious issues, only three mentioned any violations, the new report says. “These are major things,” said Charles Seife, a journalism professor and the study’s author. Using documents and data from 1998 to 2013, Seife and his students at New York University in New York City identified 57 clinical trials that received an “official action indicated” violation - the most serious type of violation for trials - for reasons including poor record keeping, false information and poor patient safety. The problems that weren't reported were sometimes egregious. One paper, for example, said all patients reported improvement, but in fact, the FDA found that one patient had a foot amputated two weeks after receiving the treatment. In another case, the entire clinical trial was considered unreliable by the FDA - but the published paper didn't mention that. In another, researchers falsified data, which led to one patient’s death. Data on these violations are not readily available. So it's impossible to say how often tainted data are published and how often the violations are noted, Seife said.
Note: Read an informative article with much more detail about the egregious conduct of the FDA. This article raises the question, "Why does the FDA stay silent about fraud and misconduct in scientific studies of medicine?" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The endless adaptability of the human brain is summed up by the term "neuroplasticity". A few decades ago, scientists thought the brain was relatively fixed. It was also believed that different areas of the brain had their own specialities and didn't veer from these. Now we know that ... new neurons do grow. New neural pathways can be formed and, when disease or damage occurs in one part of the brain, cortical maps can be redrawn to make up for lost function. [Norman] Doidge, a Canadian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is the master of explaining how the brain's plasticity can be harnessed to improve the symptoms of brain-related disorders, ranging from stroke to autism. Doidge [identifies] stages of healing [the brain]: corrections of general cellular functions of the neurons and glia, neurostimulation, neuromodulation, neurorelaxation and neurodifferentiation and learning. The first stage [is] about restoring brain cell health. Doidge says that he has seen patients with depression, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder "make major progress by eliminating toxins and certain foods, such as sugar and grains, that they were sensitive to". Neurostimulation is when "dormant circuits in the hurt brain" are stimulated. This is followed by neuromodulation, where the brain is reset so that it's neither too excited nor too inhibited. Brain disorders often leave the person exhausted, so relaxation is an important part of recovery. Neurodifferentiation and learning is ... the stage when the brain does "what it does best" which is, apparently, "making fine distinctions".
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found. Data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand suggests a minimum of 5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans, most of them “micro plastics” measuring less than 5mm. The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world’s oceans. “We saw turtles that ate plastic bags and fish that ingested fishing lines,” said Julia Reisser, a researcher based at the University of Western Australia. “But there are also chemical impacts. When plastic gets into the water it acts like a magnet for oily pollutants. It’s hard to visualise the sheer amount, but the weight of it is more than the entire biomass of humans." The research, the first of its kind to pull together data on floating plastic from around the world, will be used to chart future trends in the amount of debris in the oceans. But researchers predict the volume will increase due to rising production of throwaway plastic, with only 5% of the world’s plastic currently recycled.
Note: Ocean acidification was number one on 2014's top 25 stories subjected to press censorship.
"People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not?" said Dr David Mitlin of Clarkson University, New York, who describes his device in the journal ACS Nano. "We're making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price - and we're doing it with waste. ... the leftover bast fibre - the inner bark - typically ends up as landfill. "You can do really interesting things with bio-waste. We've pretty much figured out the secret sauce of it," said Dr Mitlin. The trick is to tailor the right plant fibre to the right electrical device - according to their organic structure. "With banana peels, you can turn them into a dense block of carbon - we call it pseudo-graphite - and that's great for sodium ion batteries," he explained. "But if you look at hemp fibre its structure is the opposite - it makes sheets with high surface area - and that's very conducive to supercapacitors." Mitlin's peer-reviewed journal paper ranks the device "on par with or better than commercial graphene-based devices". "They work down to 0C and display some of the best power-energy combinations reported in the literature for any carbon. Fully assembled, their energy density is 12 Wh/kg, which can be achieved at a charge time less than six seconds. "Obviously hemp can't do all the things graphene can," Dr Mitlin concedes. "But for energy storage, it works just as well. And it costs a fraction of the price – $500-1,000 a tonne."
Note: For more about the amazing properties of graphene, read this CNN News Article.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.