A 13-Year-Old Has Invented A Completely New Approach To Cleaning Up Oil Spills

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This 13-year-old is trying to save the world one ecosystem at a time.

Chythanya Murali, an eighth grader from Arkansas, has created a safe, effective, non-conventional method to clean oil spills, by harnessing the cleaning properties of bacteria — specifically the enzymes they use to break down oil particles. These enzymes disassemble oil molecules, making way for the bacteria to convert it into harmless compounds.

Advances in oil clean up are dearly needed. Right now, the mixtures of oil-cleaning enzymes that we use can be more harmful than helpful to the environment. In 2012, a study found a chilling discovery about the oil-cleaning agents dispersed in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. When combined with the oil itself, the resulting mixture was 52 times more toxic to small animals like plankton than oil alone.

In fact, it was this very same spill that motivated Murali to make a difference. "My inspiration for this project began [from] the immense damage caused by the BP oil spill in early 2010."Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill_ _May_24,_2010To improve oil-cleaning methods, Murali designed a science fair project that explored the different mixtures of oil-eating enzymes and oil-breaking-down bacterias, to see how they effect the marine environment.

"The combination of bio-additive enzymes and oil-degrading bacteria as a novel combination for short and long-term cleaning, and its effect on ecosystems was not explored before," Murali told Business Insider.

So it only seemed natural to Murali to combine the two and see what happened. She discovered that in a small-scale aquarium, the combination of her chosen oil-cleaning agents could help remove oil while preserving the health of the overall ecosystem, something that some of the oil-cleaning agents we use today cannot achieve.

Murali hopes her new approach can be further developed and one day, help clean up oil spills. Earlier this month, her science fair oil-breakdown project won her a position as a Broadcom Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering Rising Stars (MASTERS) finalist. She is one of 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists in the country.

Murali has yet to apply her mixture on a large scale to test its commercial potential, so she might run into trouble scaling up the project.Oil_clean_up_at_impact_site_(5015342704)"I did not have the funding to conduct this on a larger scale, so it would need more time and support… to see if it works in in vivo conditions," she said. "Afterwards, this novel combination of biological agents can be used to clean oil spills in real world scenarios."

If she won this year’s Broadcom MASTERS grand prize of $25,000, that would certainly help bring her closer to that goal.

SEE ALSO: The Stuff We Use To Clean Up Oil Spills Might Make The Oil MORE Toxic

READ MORE: A Massive Oil Spill Is Threatening Mexico’s Third Largest City’s Water Supply

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The World’s First Genetically Modified Babies Will Graduate High School This Year

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3510107184_b1f6598fc9_b Remember the sci-fi thriller GATTACA? For those who never saw the film and/or eschewed all pop culture in the late 90’s for some reason, it was a popular movie that came out in 1997 about genetically modified human beings. Now some literally genetically modified human babies born that same year are entering their senior year of high school. The first successful transfer of genetic… Read More

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The Best Android Wear Apps

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The Best Android Wear Apps

Android Wear has only been out for a couple months and we’ve only just started to scratch the surface of what can be done with it. However, if you’re an early adopter that’s already jumping on board, here are some of the most useful apps to get you started.

Start Other Apps with Wear Mini Launcher

The Best Android Wear Apps

Some Wear apps and functionality take the Google Now approach of only showing up when the app thinks you need it. Others don’t show up at all unless called with a voice command or lengthy scroll through a list. Wear Mini Launcher fixes this by allowing you to launch apps directly.

The launcher is activated by swiping in from the top corner (or a general approximation of the area on a round watch) to activate a launcher. You’ll then see a list of installed apps that can be launched. Out of the box, you can see things like Settings or alarm and timer functionality. If the apps on your phone have components that can be launched from your watch, they’ll show up here, too.

Keep Track of Your Apps with Wear App Manager

The Best Android Wear Apps

Another problem with Wear apps is that you can’t always tell when you have one installed. Apps like Runkeeper or Duolingo that are regular apps but can also do things on the Watch may not obviously announce that they have Wear functionality. Some apps that add Wear functionality may not appear in your phone’s app list at all.

Wear App Manager runs on your phone and collects every app you have installed that has any Wear functionality at all. You can’t do much with it besides see the list of apps and uninstall them if desired, but it’s handy to at least have a way of easily finding any Wear apps that you may have forgotten about.

Change Your Watch Face with Facer

The Best Android Wear Apps

There are tons of watch faces floating around the Play Store. At the time of this writing, however, Google hasn’t yet released an official watch face API, leaving users without much in the way of a standardized way to get new designs. Facer has stepped up in the interim to provide a makeshift marketplace for watch faces. You can also use it to create your own designs.

Pair with Multiple Devices using BeeLink

The Best Android Wear Apps

By default, Android Wear only pairs with one device at a time, and switching devices requires a reset of the device. While this isn’t too big of a deal for most people. Your phone and tablet probably get the same notifications after all, so it doesn’t matter which one they’re coming from. However, say you want to use your watch with both your work and personal phones, Beelink lets you switch between them with relative ease.

Run Tasker Actions with Wear Tasker

The Best Android Wear Apps

Technically a plugin, Wear Tasker allows you to manually execute Tasker actions from your wrist. At the moment, you still can’t use the watch to trigger any actions automatically in any new ways (for example, by running a task when the watch disconnects from the phone), but you can scroll through a list of Tasker actions on your wrist to launch directly. Anything you can do with Tasker can be done with the tap of the wrist.

Control Your Computer with Unified Remote

We already love Unified Remote for its ability to control just about everything on your computer from your phone. The beta version of the app has the ability to launch specific remotes from your watch, as well. Most of the remotes work the same way they do on the watch. Even the mouse works by dragging your finger across your watch. At the moment, to access the Wear features, you’ll need to join the beta program here and download the full version of the app.

Figure Out the Bill with Wear Tip Calculator

Spending a ton of time messing with a calculator on your watch isn’t a really great experience (no matter what the 80s had to say). However, Wear Tip Calculator makes it simple with two round dials. Enter the bill amount, then the tip percentage, both on a radial input you can drag. The app will then show you the total amount you need to pay. You may not need it every day, but it’s handy to have around.

Keep an Eye On Your Home with TinyCam

The Best Android Wear Apps

If you use IP cameras in your home security setup, TinyCam can help you keep an eye on your home. The app can stream video from any camera that TinyCam can normally access. Streaming video to your watch is obviously bandwidth- and battery-draining, so it’s probably not something you’d want to do continuously. Being able to check in on your home quickly from your watch, though, is not only useful, but feels pretty badass.

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This Flowchart Tells You When to Worry About Anything

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This Flowchart Tells You When to Worry About Anything

Stress can be terribly damaging. Although it’s normal to get stressed every so often, much of what we worry about doesn’t come to pass. This illustration could help keep things in perspective.

"Don’t worry, be happy" and "Keep calm and carry on" might seem trite, but actually following this advice isn’t easy. Lift Run Bang reminds us that we can make a conscious choice not to create more stressful situations or let things irritate us:

In the end, we all end up in the same place. How we choose to live our life is for the most part, entirely up to us. No, we can’t choose our parents, and we don’t often get to control certain environments. And life often presents us with situations that we didn’t ask for, or were entirely out of our hands. However, we do get to decide how we are going to react to those situations, and how much we decide we are going to let it effect us, and stress us.

Life is indeed a bitch sometimes. There’s no getting around that. We do get to decide however, the extent we are going to bitch about it, and act like a bitch about it. That’s entirely up to us. Or we can say getting flipped off by a dude in a minivan really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme in life, and simple be on our way.

Of course, we will face real problems and serious issues that we should be concerned about and that will worry us. But for 90% of the other non-issues we worry about, consult the flowchart above.

Stress Control | Lift Run Bang

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A New Breed Of Apps Could Completely Change The Way We Pay In Bars And Restaurants

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US Lyft Uber Revenue

The success of apps like Uber and Seamless provide a powerful template for how we may soon pay for even more things in the physical world.

Car-hailing app Uber enables users to pay for a car service entirely within the app, for example. The company generated about $1.2 billion in US revenue in the last year, according to BI Intelligence estimates. And Seamless has made a comparable impact on food delivery. 

But Uber and Seamless are just the beginning. While still nascent, a new breed of apps like Cover, Dash, and even OpenTable is taking mobile commerce into stores and promising to revolutionize the way we make payments at restaurants and bars. These apps provide an alternative way for mobile payments to take off, eliminating all need for outside hardware.

In a new report from BI Intelligence we take a close look at these apps, the advantages they provide to both consumers and merchants, and why they could gain more traction than any other mobile payment technology on the market. 

Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Here are some of the key takeaways from the note. 

In full, the research note

For full access to all BI Intelligence’s charts and data on the Payments Industry, sign up for a free trial.

The Digital Commerce Spectrum

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