The North Carolina Legislature Is Considering A Series Of Pfas-remediation Bills In 2021, One Of Which Would Fund Commercializing Leibfarth’s Solution, Including Manufacturing The Resin And Fitting It To Municipal Filtration Systems.

President Biden spoke Wednesday about a new initiative with Britain and Australia to add to the Western presence in the Pacific. “It’s a decision to deepen and consolidate our strategic alignment with the United States against China.” He added, “This just further deepens the sense that we do have a new Cold War in Asia and that Australia is betting that in that new Cold War, the U.S. is going to emerge victorious.” The announcement is the latest action in a U.S. strategy to push back on Chinese economic, military and technological expansion, carried out by Mr. Biden; his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan; and his Asia coordinator, Kurt Campbell. Over the past eight months, they have blocked China from acquiring key technologies, including materials for semiconductor production; urged nations to reject Huawei; edged toward closer dealings with Taiwan; and denounced China’s crackdown on Hong Kong. Next week, Mr. Biden will gather the leaders of “the Quad” — an informal partnership of the United States, Japan, India and Australia — at the White House for an in-person meeting, another way to demonstrate common resolve in dealing with Beijing. Mr. Biden spoke with President Xi Jinping of China last week for roughly 90 minutes, only the second time the two leaders have spoken in since Mr. Biden took office. Few details of the conversation were revealed, so it is unclear whether Mr. Biden gave his view site… Chinese counterpart warning of the move with Australia. But none of it would have come as a surprise to Beijing; earlier, the Australians had announced a deal with France for less technologically sophisticated submarines. That deal collapsed. Nonetheless, the decision to share the technology for naval reactors, even to a close ally, was a major move for Mr. Biden — one bound to raise protests by China and questions from American allies and nonproliferation experts. The United States last shared the nuclear propulsion technology with an ally in 1958 in a similar agreement with Britain, administration officials said. “There is a shared understanding that we need to strengthen deterrence and actually be prepared to fight a conflict if one occurs,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund, a policy think tank.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/us/politics/biden-australia-britain-china.html [Education]

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a woman with long dark hair on a green background Frank Leibfarth , a chemist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has a filter that can remove these toxins—and he’s starting with the Tarheel State’s polluted waterways. Leibfarth specializes in fluorinated polymers like PFAS. Before the NC Policy Collaboratory funded him to help with the state’s water pollution problem in 2018, he was focused on finding cheap and sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics, whose exteriors are sometimes hardened with fluorine . Leibfarth’s solution took its cue from diapers: “They’re super-absorbent polymers that suck up lots of water,” he says. He developed a fluorine-based resin that’s similar enough in structure to PFAS to attract the compounds and hold on to them. The material filters nearly all of these substances from water, and 100 percent of PFOA and PFOS, according to results his team published in the journal American Chemical Society Central Science in April 2020. The material is cheap and scalable, so municipal water treatment plants can deploy the filters as an additional cost-effective filtration step. The North Carolina legislature is considering a series of PFAS-remediation bills in 2021, one of which would fund commercializing Leibfarth’s solution, including manufacturing the resin and fitting it to municipal filtration systems. Other locales will surely follow. According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, as of January 2021 there are more than 2,000 sites across the US with documented PFAS contamination.

https://www.popsci.com/science/brilliant-scientists-2021/