Enn Original News

White House to Host First-Ever Forum on Environmental Justice
December 15, 2010 09:42 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Today, December 15, the Obama administration will be hosting the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice. Major members of the cabinet will be featured during the summit as well as environmental leaders from throughout the country. The forum can be watched live online and will be accepting questions from the public (see links below).

Tidal Power
December 14, 2010 02:16 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Tidal power, also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into electricity or other useful forms of power. The first large-scale tidal power plant (the Rance Tidal Power Station) started operation in 1966. Harnessing the power of ocean tides has long been imagined, but countries are only now putting it into practice. A demonstration project planned for Puget Sound will be the first tidal energy project on the west coast of the United States, and the first array of large-scale turbines to feed power from ocean tides into an electrical grid. University of Washington researchers are devising ways to site the tidal turbines and measure their environmental effects. Brian Polagye, UW research assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will present recent findings this week in an invited talk at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting in San Francisco.

Humans Evolved to Hear Themselves Speak
December 14, 2010 09:52 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

When you tell a loud-mouth friend that they "really like the sound of their own voice," there may be more truth in that than you realize. According to a neuroscience study from the University of California (UC) Berkeley, the brain selectively hears one's own voice while dimming all surrounding sounds. In their own heads, people will silence other noises while amplifying themselves speak.

Wind Farm Update
December 13, 2010 04:26 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used for production of electric power. Individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage power collection system and communications network. At a substation, this medium-voltage electrical current is increased in voltage with a transformer for connection to the high voltage transmission system. Two new large farms were announced recently. Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, one of the world’s largest bread makers, has broken ground on its $200 million Piedra Larga wind farm in Oaxaca, Mexico, which will generate almost 100% of the electrical power consumed by all of Bimbo’s operations in Mexico once completed in late 2011. Deepwater Wind announced that it has applied to federal authorities to build what it what is supposed to be the largest offshore wind farm in the U.S. The application was made in late October to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to lease a 270-square-mile area between Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The Fall of the European Butterfly
December 13, 2010 10:05 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Butterflies are one of the few insects on Earth that people actually like and admire. Unfortunately, mankind's beloved butterfly has fallen on hard times on the continent of Europe. According to a new study from Butterfly Conservation Europe, grassland butterfly populations have declined by 70 percent in the last 20 years.

EPA and Bed Bugs
December 10, 2010 04:16 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Bedbugs or bed bugs are small parasitic insects of the family Cimicidae. The term usually refers to species that prefer to feed on human blood. All insects in this family live by feeding exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals. The name bedbug is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep. Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts. Bedbugs have been around as long as humankind had beds. Recently there has been an upsurge in their nocturnal attacks in the US. To help find solutions to the nation’s bed bug problem, the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup is convening a second national summit set for February 1-2, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The summit is open to the public and will focus on ways the federal government and others can continue to work together on management and control of these pests. The first federal bed bug summit was held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2009. Since then, EPA has helped organize the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup, which consists of EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and National Institutes of Health.

The Caveman Multi-Tasker
December 10, 2010 01:19 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

Contrary to public opinion, multi-tasking is not a modern phenomenon. This uniquely human skill was around long before the era of electronic distractions. According to a study from Monica L. Smith, anthropologist at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), it is multi-tasking itself that makes us human.

Dark Cosmos
December 9, 2010 05:59 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Dark matter in cosmological terms is matter that is inferred to exist from gravitational effects on visible matter and background radiation, but is undetectable by emitted or scattered electromagnetic radiation. Its existence was hypothesized to account for discrepancies between measurements of the mass of galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the entire universe made through dynamical and general relativistic means, and measurements based on the mass of the visible luminous matter these objects contain: stars and the gas and dust of the interstellar and intergalactic media. It is very mysterious stuff that cannot be seen, seems to exist and has a profound effect on the universe,. Cosmologists have come up with a new way to solve their problems as to what and why it is. They are inviting scientists, including those from totally unrelated fields, to participate in a grand competition. The idea is to spur outside interest in one of cosmology's trickiest problems -- measuring the invisible dark matter and dark energy that permeate our universe. The results will help in the development of new space missions, designed to answer fundamental questions about the history and fate of our universe.

Green Diet
December 9, 2010 05:31 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

It is a buzz word nowadays. Green is good. there is green chemistry, green products, and green foods. How much green is good and how much is just lip service is another matter. Green is more that that the product is sustainable or based on recycled materials in this case. Researchers found that more than 8 out of 10 restaurant patrons surveyed in Columbus, Ohio said they would be willing to pay more to dine at green restaurants. More than 7 out of 10 said it was good for restaurants to protect the environment. The only problem is that very few restaurants market themselves as green or environmentally friendly, said Jay Kandampully, co-author of the study and professor of consumer sciences at Ohio State University.

Wild Immunity
December 8, 2010 07:02 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Which is better to be? Wild and free or tame and domesticated? That has always been an interesting philosophical question. Professor Mark Viney and colleagues at the University of Bristol compared the immune function of wild mice who have to find their own food with that of mice bred in captivity who have all food and lodging provided for them. The study found that, by most measures, the wild mice had a greater immune function. It also found that the immune function was substantially more variable among the wild mice.

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