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Using satellites to monitor forest health
February 28, 2015 07:12 AM - Oregon State University
Scientists for the first time have simultaneously compared widespread impacts from two of the most common forest insects in the West – mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm – an advance that could lead to more effective management policies.
By combining data from satellites, airplanes and ground-based crews, the researchers have shown in unprecedented detail how insects affect Western forests over decades.
In the past, forest managers relied on airplane surveys to evaluate insect damage over broad areas.
The miracle drink: Coffee!
February 27, 2015 07:56 AM - AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY via EurekAlert
Drinking coffee may be associated with a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 18 to 25, 2015.
"Caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and our study shows that coffee intake may also protect against MS, supporting the idea that the drug may have protective effects for the brain," said study author Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
Risk of death from smoking higher than thought
February 24, 2015 06:57 AM - SAX INSTITUTE via EurekAlert
A large Australian study of more than 200,000 people has provided independent confirmation that up to two in every three smokers will die from their habit if they continue to smoke.
The research, published today in the international journal BMC Medicine, is the first evidence from a broad cross-section of the population to show the smoking-related death toll is as high as two thirds.
ENN Releases App for Android Users
February 23, 2015 09:14 AM - ENN Editor
Last month ENN launched a new mobile app available at the iTunes store making it easier for you to connect with us and stay up to date with groundbreaking environmental news. Now, ENN releases the mobile app at Google Play, making it compatible for Android users.
ENN is more than just a gatherer of environmental news but rather a unique set of resources, archives, tools, and experts for the increasingly complex field of environmental science attracting readers from all levels of government, business and academia.
Apple users can download the app at the iTunes store.
Android users can download the app at Google Play.
Make sure you click on the app with the logo shown here.
Center for Biological Diversity launches new Environmental Health Program
February 21, 2015 07:47 AM - Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity this week launched its new Environmental Health program, greatly expanding its capacity to protect wildlife, people and the environment from pesticides, rodenticides, lead, mining, industrial pollution, and air and water pollution.
“The future of people is deeply intertwined with the fate of all the other species that evolved beside us,” said Lori Ann Burd, the program’s director. “This new program will work to protect biodiversity and human health from toxic substances while promoting a deep understanding of the connection between the health of people and imperiled species.”
Harsh winter in Eastern US result of warming Arctic and shifting jet stream
February 18, 2015 07:32 AM - Kirk Moore, Rutgers University
Prolonged cold snaps on the East Coast, California drought and frozen mornings in the South all have something in common – the atmospheric jet stream which transports weather systems that’s taken to meandering all over North America.
Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis and colleagues link that wavy jet stream to a warming Arctic, where climate changes near the top of the world are happening faster than in Earth’s middle latitudes.
A new study from Francis and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist Stephen Vavrus, published in IOPscience, backs up that theory, with evidence linking regional and seasonal conditions in the Arctic to deeper north-south jet stream waves which will lead to more extreme weather across the country.
'Hidden Order' Physics Mystery getting less mysterious thanks to Rutgers scientists
February 17, 2015 07:33 AM - Rutgers University
A new explanation for a type of order, or symmetry, in an exotic material made with uranium may lead to enhanced computer displays and data storage systems, and more powerful superconducting magnets for medical imaging and levitating high-speed trains, according to a Rutgers-led team of research physicists.
The team’s findings are a major step toward explaining a puzzle that physicists worldwide have been struggling with for 30 years, when scientists first noticed a change in the material’s electrical and magnetic properties but were unable to describe it fully. This subtle change occurs when the material is cooled to 17.5 degrees above absolute zero or lower (a bone-chilling minus 428 degrees Fahrenheit).
Component in olive oil kills cancer cells
February 16, 2015 08:52 AM - Rutgers University
A Rutgers nutritional scientist and two cancer biologists at New York City’s Hunter College have found that an ingredient in extra-virgin olive oil kills a variety of human cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
The ingredient is oleocanthal, a compound that ruptures a part of the cancerous cell, releasing enzymes that cause cell death.
Paul Breslin, professor of nutritional sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and David Foster and Onica LeGendre of Hunter College, report that oleocanthal kills cancerous cells in the laboratory by rupturing vesicles that store the cell’s waste.
A Valentine's Day gift to us all from NASA
February 14, 2015 06:03 AM - JPL/NASA
Valentine's Day is special for NASA's Voyager mission. It was on Feb. 14, 1990, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back at our solar system and snapped the first-ever pictures of the planets from its perch at that time beyond Neptune.
This "family portrait" captures Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth and Venus from Voyager 1's unique vantage point. A few key members did not make it in: Mars had little sunlight, Mercury was too close to the sun, and dwarf planet Pluto turned out too dim.
Will eating Chili peppers make you thin?
February 9, 2015 08:25 AM - University of Wyoming via BIOPHYSICAL SOCIETY at EurekAlert.
Don't go chomping on a handful of chili peppers just yet, but there may be help for hopeful dieters in those fiery little Native American fruits.
A large percentage of the world's population -- fully one third, by the World Health Organization's estimates -- is currently overweight or obese. This staggering statistics has made finding ways to address obesity a top priority for many scientists around the globe, and now a group of researchers at the University of Wyoming has found promise in the potential of capsaicin -- the chief ingredient in chili peppers -- as a diet-based supplement.