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April 5, 2011 08:11 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Kilauea volcano that recently erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii will be the target for a NASA study to help scientists better understand processes occurring under Earth's surface. Kīlauea is an active volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, one of five shield volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaii. It is the most recent of a series of volcanoes that have created the Hawaiian archipelago, as the Pacific Plate moves over the Hawaii hotspot. Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and an invaluable resource for volcanologists who are able to study it up close due to its exclusively non-violent effusive activity. Since 2008, rising emissions of sulfur dioxide from the Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea's summit have led to increased levels of volcanic smog and local air quality concerns.
The Health Benefits of Fasting
April 4, 2011 10:41 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Not eating for a full day has generally been associated with religious traditions such as Yom Kippur, Ramadan, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday. Some fasts are absolute and some only require that certain types of food or drink are abstained. The act of fasting has different meanings to different groups, but is generally used for purging sins from our body or sacrificing our comfort for those who sacrificed for us. Fasting also has interesting beneficial health effects. A new study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Utah has demonstrated that periodic fasting is good for your health and your heart.
Cattle and Wolves
April 4, 2011 07:47 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Cattle ranchers in southwestern Alberta have suspected it for a long time and now, GPS tracking equipment confirms it: wolf packs in the area are making cow meat a substantial part of their diets. University of Alberta researchers tracked wolves to bone yards, where ranchers dispose of dead cattle, and to sites of fresh cow kills. The study was done over two grazing seasons in 2008 and 2009. The vast study area in southwestern Alberta includes private ranchland and wooded public lands bordering the Rocky Mountains. Researchers found that during the summer months when livestock was set out to graze on public lands, cattle made up to 45 per cent of the diet for the three wolf packs in the study. This shows a seasonal switch from the wolf's usual pattern of wild prey in the non-grazing season to cattle in the grazing season.
EPA Rules Pennsylvania Plant Must Lower Emissions into New Jersey Air
April 1, 2011 10:28 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Yesterday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a petition by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to limit sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from a Pennsylvania power plant. Emissions from the coal-fired power plant, Portland Generating Station in Northampton County, have adversely impacted air quality in four northwest NJ counties: Warren, Sussex, Morris, and Hunterdon. The EPA has ordered the plant to reduce its SO2 emissions by 81 percent over a three year period.
Ancient Black Coral in the Gulf of Mexico
April 1, 2011 08:08 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Black corals are a group of deep water, tree-like corals related to sea anemones. Though black coral's living tissue is brilliantly colored, it takes its name from the distinctive black or dark brown color of its skeleton. For the first time, scientists have been able to validate the age of deep-sea black corals in the Gulf of Mexico. They found the Gulf is home to 2,000 year-old deep-sea black corals, many of which are only a few feet tall. These slow-growing, long-living animals thrive in very deep waters—300 meters (984 feet) and deeper—yet scientists say they are sensitive to what is happening in the surface ocean as well as on the sea floor.
Erratics in Antarctica
March 31, 2011 07:36 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
A team from the University of Leeds and Aberystwyth University has returned from the Antarctica with exciting new information on the behavior of the giant Antarctic Ice Sheet. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is of exceptional interest to geoscientists due to its size and location, which mean that it reacts quickly and dynamically to climate change. The team of four found that the ice sheet had expanded and then retreated across neighboring James Ross Island several times over the last 25,000 years. The findings are crucial for understanding the thickness and extent of the ice sheet through time, and so its past and future contributions to sea level rise.
Big Problems in the Malaysian Forests
March 31, 2011 07:10 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Nowhere is the problem of deforestation greater than in the tropical regions of the world. Specifically, Southeast Asia, which has vast tracts of primal rain forests, is at risk from excessive logging. Recently, governments in that region have come under pressure from environmentalists to conserve what forests they have left. Officials in the state of Sarawak, the Malaysian region of Borneo, have said that 70 percent of their forest cover has been preserved. However, after a review using Google Earth images, indications are that deforestation is much more widespread than is being claimed.
What is Green?
March 30, 2011 08:10 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Green science or products can be loosely defined as the term for any application of science, knowledge or technology towards improving the relationship between human technology involvement and the impact this has on the environment and natural resources. It is a broad category, in that it can cover many different facets of technology and human development. With more and more environmentally conscious consumers trying to choose green products, American Chemical Society scientists reported today that the first reality check has revealed that the ingredients in those products may come from a surprising source —— petroleum, rather than natural plant-based sources.
Finding Puts New Emphasis on the Benefits of Jogging
March 29, 2011 10:05 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Since the fitness revolution, physical activity has been promoted as an effective way to combat obesity and heart disease. Currently, walking is the number one recommended activity among both the young and old. However, new research from the University of Bristol has found that running and jogging are also important for building strong bones in children. It has also found that gentle exercise like walking has little effect on bone strength, even over a longer period. Walking offers little protection against the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
March 29, 2011 08:10 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. However, from a historical and scientific standpoint, the alleged results may have been mainly due to mere belief by their users that they would be effective (the placebo effect. Few have studied their true effects. However, try adding ginseng and saffron to your diet. Both are proven performance boosters, according to a new scientific review of natural aphrodisiacs conducted by University of Guelph researchers. Indulge in wine and chocolate, too, but know that their amorous effects are likely all in your head. Stay away from the more obscure Spanish fly and Bufo toad. While purported to be sexually enhancing, they produced the opposite result and can even be toxic.