The average Swiss rubbish bag still contains roughly one third of fermentable biomass. Photo: Vanessa Burg (WSL)
Biomass has great potential in Switzerland for future heat and electricity generation and fuel production. This potential is far from being exhausted. Energy derived from wood, farm manure and waste can be stored and whenever there is no wind or sunshine. For the first time, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) have completed a comprehensive assessment of the potential of biomass energy in Switzerland. By deciding to go forward with the energy transition, Switzerland is planning to lower the quantity of electricity generated from nuclear and fossil fuels and compensate it by using renewable sources such as biomass. Wood is the most extensively available type of biomass in Switzerland, whereby most timber of better quality is used in construction and in interior design. Some wood is also exploited for energy, especially for generating heat. However, non-woody biomass, such as farmyard manure, organic waste, sewage sludge and by-products of agricultural crops also contain valuable energy.
Tissue sections of the duodenum: cells which can release satiety hormones are marked in green. For obese patients (middle), the number of these cells is markedly lower than for lean people (top) and for overweight patients three months after surgery (bottom).
Individuals with severe overweight have an inhibited sense of satiation - they release fewer satiety hormones than people of normal weight. The reason: the responsible cells in the gastrointestinal tract of obese people are severely reduced. This report Swiss doctors in the journal Scientific Reports. Surgical weight-loss procedures can repair this disorder. The mucous membrane of the upper gastrointestinal tract is home to highly specified cells, the so-called enteroendocrine cells, that constantly analyze our intestinal contents. During a meal, they release satiety hormones into the bloodstream. This signalizes to the body that enough food has been taken in and that the meal can be ended. The sense of satiation is created in the central nervous system.
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