Could Mussels Teach Us How To Clean Up Oil Spills?

A review of "mussel-inspired chemistry" points to promising ways we can learn from mussels to clean up water.
Mussels bind to surfaces using byssus threads. Understanding how these threads work may help researchers address water contamination. Source: Paul Kay

Mussels may be popular among seafood lovers, but many boaters consider them pests. They colonize ship bottoms, clog water pipes and stick to motors.

To chemical engineers, though, those very same properties make mussels marvelous. They can stick to just about any surface, and underwater, no less. The study of practical applications for mussel biology is so widespread that there's a special term for it: mussel-inspired chemistry.

And now, researchers in the journal While most of the technologies studied still aren't widely applicable, research in the area of mussel-inspired water cleanup shows great promise, the review says.

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da NPR

NPR4 min letti
From Syria To America: A Teen Seeks A 'Safe Place' In The Universe
He was only 10 when the soldiers took away his father. Eventually the family fled to Jordan. But where would they go next? Their saga inspired a Pulitzer-winning graphic series in The New York Times.
NPR6 min lettiMedical
Near Crisis, Some Hospitals Face Tough Decisions In Caring For Floods Of Patients
Hospitals are getting so crowded with COVID-19 patients that they're having to resort to workarounds to treat them all. Experts warn this may hamper doctors' ability to save lives.
NPR2 min letti
Army Corps of Engineers Denies Permit To Controversial Alaska Gold Mine
Fishermen and tribes have been fighting the mine proposal for a decade, fearing it would harm the wild sockeye salmon at the heart of the area's economy and culture.