Ecosystems

Greek Fires Kill 56, Threaten Ancient Olympia
August 26, 2007 04:17 PM - Vassilis Triandafyllou, reuters

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece - Firefighters battled to save ancient Olympia on Sunday as Greece's worst forest fires in decades ravaged hills around the historic site and the death toll rose to 56. Thick black smoke billowed above the ancient ruins as dense pine and cypress woods burned around the site of the first Olympic Games and fire brigades evacuated nearby villages on Greece's southern Peloponnese peninsula.

Scientists To Launch Polar Grid Research With Massive Computer Network
August 25, 2007 06:29 PM - Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Researchers from Indiana University create a cyberinfrastructure that will help scientists better understand the current and future state of polar ice sheets. The Polar Grid project will transform U.S. capabilities in ice sheet research. With this technology, it will be possible to collect, examine and analyze data -- and then use the results of such analysis to optimize data collection strategies -- all during the course of a single expedition. This will help scientists more quickly gain understanding about the potential impact of rising sea levels and how they relate to global climate change, a problem of urgent importance.

France Halts Livestock Movement, Blue Tongue Disease Outbreak Blamed
August 25, 2007 05:06 PM - Reuters

PARIS - The French Agriculture Ministry said on Saturday it had extended restrictions on livestock movements to 19 regions from 17 following the discovery of two new cases of blue tongue in animals near the German border.

Greece Declares Nationwide Emergency, Wild Fires Death Toll At 46, Rising
August 25, 2007 04:55 PM - Vassilis Triandafyllou, Reuters

ZACHARO, Greece - The Greek government declared a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday after raging forest fires killed at least 46 people and trapped many more in villages surrounded by flames. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said the rash of forest fires "can't be a coincidence". He vowed the culprits, an apparent reference to arsonists, would be found and punished.

German Chancellor: Climate At Top Of Agenda
August 25, 2007 10:18 AM - Madeline Chambers, Reuters

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Friday to fight climate change and tackle the skills shortage in Europe's biggest economy in the second half of her government's term, but critics said her plan lacked ambition.

Judge Clears Way For Noriega's French Extradition
August 24, 2007 06:19 PM - Tom Brown, Reuters

MIAMI - A U.S. judge on Friday denied former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega's demand for a speedy return home when his U.S. prison term ends next month and said nothing stood in the way of a French extradition request. Noriega's defense attorneys argued in court this month that his designation as a "prisoner of war" after his arrest during the U.S. invasion of Panama more than 17 years ago entitled him to immediate repatriation after his scheduled release from a Florida prison on September 9.

Live TV From The Bottom Of The Sea: Project SeaCAMEL:
August 24, 2007 05:59 PM - , Living Oceans Foundation

KEY LARGO, FL -- Imagine yourself in class on the ocean floor at the world’s only underwater laboratory, a robotic fish named "Fetch" swims by collecting data, while a team of "aquanauts" amazes you with high-tech experiments in coral reef ecology. The education effort is being produced by the The Living Oceans Foundation.

Puru's Good Land Use Choices Helping Rainforest
August 24, 2007 05:38 PM - Stanford University, California

Stanford University - A regional study featured in this month's issue of Science magazine shows that land-use policies in Peru have been key to tempering rain forest degradation and destruction in that country. Using satellite technology developed by Greg Asner, assistant professor, by courtesy, of geological and environmental sciences at Stanford, scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology led an international effort to analyze six years of high-resolution satellite data covering most—79 percent—of the Peruvian Amazon for their findings.

Scientists Re-Trace Evolution Of Genes
August 24, 2007 05:08 PM - University of Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. — Scientists have determined for the first time the atomic structure of an ancient protein, revealing in unprecedented detail how genes evolved their functions. "Never before have we seen so clearly, so far back in time," said project leader Joe Thornton, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oregon. "We were able to see the precise mechanisms by which evolution molded a tiny molecular machine at the atomic level, and to reconstruct the order of events by which history unfolded."

Morning-After Pill Sales Jump As U.S. Access Eases
August 24, 2007 03:03 PM - Lisa Richwine

WASHINGTON - Sales of the Plan B "morning-after pill" nearly doubled in the past year, exceeding expectations after the U.S. government allowed adults to buy the emergency contraceptive without a prescription. A three-year battle ended last August when the Food and Drug Administration decided that women and men 18 and older could buy the Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc product without a doctor's order if they showed proof of age at a pharmacy.

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