Enn Original News

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.

The Universal Influenza Vaccine
December 7, 2010 10:19 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Every year, people line up to get flu vaccines at pharmacies and doctor’s offices because the flu develops new strains, requiring the vaccines to be updated. What if there was a single flu vaccine you could take to last for decades against any flu virus strain? Such a thing would make yearly trips to get vaccinated obsolete and save tons of money in medical costs. Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) believe this is possible.

The Europe Electric Grid
December 7, 2010 09:39 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Ten European countries, including Norway, have agreed to develop an offshore electricity grid at the North Sea, in a bold move that promoters say will give Europe the possibility of tapping into an even bigger source of energy than the Middle East's oil capacity. Ministers from all the ten 'North Seas Countries' signed of a 'Memorandum of Understanding' on December 3 to develop an offshore electricity grid seen as a major step forward for a single European market for electricity.

Top Solar Sources in the US and North America
December 6, 2010 02:49 PM - Andy Soos. ENN

Ideally a location for the generation of solar power should have a relatively high level of solar insolation (ability to generate a significant amount of solar energy), a fairly large amount of economic activity to result from solar energy being deployed, a reasonably low cost of energy installation, higher than average current prices for electricity, and the potential for electricity production through solar power that would offset large amounts of carbon emissions. In other words it better be sunny and near major cities or factories. In the US Hawaii, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma are in the top 10 state locations according to Professor Matt Croucher from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University whose report (The Optimal Deployment of Solar Index)provides a ranking. What is reasonably in common is that all of these states are about at the same latitude. Mexico is also a solar energy opportunity without parallel, according to a report from Greentech Media (via Rhone Resch’s Twitter post). The report, Solar Energy Sector, was prepared by Mexico’s energy department, SENER, formally known as the Mexican SecretarĂ­a de EnergĂ­a. One of the other prime areas in the world is the Sahara Desert. Again the major thing in common is latitude and availability and angle of the sun relative to the world.

Vitamin B1 as Treatment for Diabetes
December 6, 2010 09:08 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

A new study from the University of Bristol published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology shows that a dietary supplement of B1 vitamins can potentially prevent heart disease for people with diabetes. Half of all people with diabetes succumb to cardiovascular disease and it is the leading cause of death for diabetes patients.

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