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Greening the Airline Industry
May 28, 2015 11:06 AM - EurActiv

The airline sector is trying to lessen its carbon footprint. In mid-June, the Paris Air Show will host the COP21 seen from the sky conference. Boeing and Airbus are concentrating their commercial efforts on the environment, which is now a selling point. “CO2 affects our ability to grow," said Jonathon Counsell, Head of Environment for British Airways, during a day dedicated to the environment organised by Airbus at its Toulouse site. Airlines make up 2% of worldwide CO2 emissions. But the doubling of passengers every 15 years has made it a growing source of greenhouse gases. 

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No Sunscreen Needed
May 12, 2015 08:47 AM - ENN Editor

With summer sun right around the corner, it is important to be prepared and protect our skin from those potentially harmful rays. Whether you use sunscreen or set up an umbrella for shade at the beach, we should be proactive so we don't get sun-burn.

For us, we take precautions, but how do the rest of the animal kingdom fare? How can animal species spend their whole lives outdoors with no apparent concern about high levels of solar exposure?

According to researchers from Oregon State University, animals make their own sunscreen.

The findings, published in the journal eLife, found that many fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds can naturally produce a compound called gadusol, which among other biologic activities provides protection from the ultraviolet, or sun-burning component of sunlight.

The researchers also believe that this ability may have been obtained through some prehistoric, natural genetic engineering.

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SPOTLIGHT

Prehistoric climate changes still detectable deep underground

Vanderbilt University

It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above. As water seeps down through the ground it picks up minerals, most commonly calcium carbonate. When this mineral-rich water drips into caves, it leaves mineral deposits behind that form layers which grow during wet periods and form dusty skins when the water dries up. Today, scientists can date these layers with extreme precision based on the radioactive decay of uranium into its daughter product thorium. Variations in the thickness of the layers is determined by a combination of the amount of water seeping into the cave and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the cave’s atmosphere so, when conditions are right, they can provide a measure of how the amount of precipitation above the cave varies over time. By analyzing the ratios of heavy to light isotopes of oxygen present in the layers, the researchers can track changes in the temperature at which the water originally condensed into droplets in the atmosphere changes and whether the rainfall’s point of origin was local or if traveled a long way before falling to the ground.

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Once Lawn’s Ally, Clover Rebranded as Unwelcome Invader

May 21st, 2015
With winter’s grudging departure, the season when many homeowners quest for the perfect, uniform, green lawn -- their own shimmering Holy Grail – has finally arrived! But what makes for a perfect lawn? What is it about grass that merits such reverence, such tender nurturing, such expense! And what makes a weed, a weed, and thus deserving of the ultimate punishment?
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The NASA Guide to Air-filtering Houseplants

May 19th, 2015
With so much time being spent indoors, it's important to ensure clean air. With the addition of some regular houseplants, indoor greenery can help filter harmful toxins and pollutants from the air. Find out what's in our air and some indoor plant suggestions here!
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8 of the Strangest Allergy Cures

May 13th, 2015
While nothing compares to the beauty of mother nature in full spring bloom, for those of us that suffer from seasonal allergies, we cannot wait for spring to move on. To help combat your allergies this season, check out these 8 strange cures from around the world.
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