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Yanks less healthy than Brits but live just as long if not longer
November 4, 2010 09:32 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

They are known as two peoples separated by a common language. They are also separated by much different health care systems. The English can boast that their elderly have a lower rate of chronic disease than their American counterparts, according to a new study. However, sick elderly Americans still have a lower death rate than sick elderly British.

Dolphin Wars
November 3, 2010 01:15 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A war is an organized conflict to achieve some goal. Humans fight them all the time. Well Dolphins have their complex relationships too. Some of them turn into fights over, what else, fertile females. Male and female bottlenose dolphins spend their days courting friends and building alliances. Two new studies show just how important such friendships are to dolphins and the role friends and alliances play in life's biggest game: the race to reproduce. Male bottlenose dolphins form tight bonds with friends and allies that are as intricate and devious as those of humans. Males compete for access to females. Such competition can take the form of fighting other males or of herding females to prevent access by other males. Dolphins have been observed engaging females even when they are not in their estrus cycles and cannot produce young, as well as when they can.

Hatchery-Raised Salmon Threatening Wild Salmon in the Pacific Northwest
November 3, 2010 09:42 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

This year has had one of the biggest salmon runs of all time for the Pacific Northwest (PNW). There were over 34 million salmon in the British Columbia river system alone, compared to last year’s count of only two million. The problem with this resurgence is that much of the new numbers come from hatchery-raised salmon, which have created increased competition for the threatened wild salmon species.

Solar Farms
November 2, 2010 01:41 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

How large can a Photo Voltaic (PV) solar farm be? It, of course, depends, on the available land space and the efficiency of the solar cells involved. Sarnia Solar Facility, deemed the world’s largest Photo Voltaic solar power station, has just opened in Canada. Located in Ontario, it has a capacity of 80MW, 20MW above Olmedilla PV Park in Spain, which so far has held the title as the largest of its kind in the world. Sarnia is expected to generate 120,00MWh per year, or enough power for 12,800 homes. For large-scale generation, Concentrated Solar Power plants like SEGS, have been the norm but recently multi-megawatt Photo Voltaic plants are becoming common. Completed in 2007, the 14 MW power station in Clark County, Nevada, United States and the 20 MW site in Beneixama, Spain are characteristic of the trend toward larger photovoltaic power stations in the United States and Europe.

Crime-Fighting Trees
November 2, 2010 09:30 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Many people already know that city trees are highly desirable to make a neighborhood more attractive. It is common knowledge that shade from trees keeps temperatures on the ground cooler, can help buildings lower their overall energy usage, and their roots absorb storm water runoff efficiently. What people may not be familiar with is that trees also aid in fighting crime. Yes, trees can lower crime rates.

Electric Vehicles
November 1, 2010 02:48 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Strangely enough Edison had one of the first electric vehicles and Detroit made them until World War II. Then they died until in the 1990s some electric battery driven cars were recreated as something brand new to the marketplace. Then they withered and were reborn again in the present age of locomotion. Why was this? Is it doomed never to quite win a marker place niche? Although electric cars often give good acceleration and have generally acceptable top speed, the lower powered batteries available in 2010 compared with Carbon-based fuels means that electric cars need batteries that are fairly large fraction of the vehicle mass but still often give a low travel range between charges. Recharging can also take significant lengths of time. For shorter range commuter type journeys, rather than long journeys, electric cars are practical forms of transportation and can be inexpensively recharged overnight but some place to charge is necessary.

The Everglades Rebound
November 1, 2010 09:46 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The Everglades is an extensive wetland system that is actually a sixty mile wide, extremely shallow river that flows from Lake Okeechobee over 100 miles to Florida Bay. Over-development from sugar producers and urban sprawl have put tremendous stress on the entire ecosystem by draining the land and channeling the water. Now, after decades of restoration efforts, the state of the Everglades is beginning to improve.

NOAA and FDA Announce Gulf Seafood well within safety standards based on new, more stringent testing
November 1, 2010 05:37 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A study conducted by NOAA and the FDA, building upon the extensive testing and protocols already in use by federal, state and local officials for the fishing waters of the Gulf, NOAA and the FDA are using a chemical test to detect dispersants used in the Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill in fish, oysters, crab and shrimp. Trace amounts of the chemicals used in dispersants are common, and levels for safety have been previously set. Previous testing involved a "sensory analysis process". Using this new test in the Gulf scientists have tested 1,735 tissue samples including more than half of those collected to reopen Gulf of Mexico federal waters. Only a few showed trace amounts of dispersants residue (13 of the 1,735) and they were well below the safety threshold of 100 parts per million for finfish and 500 parts per million for shrimp, crabs and oysters. As such, the study concludes that they do not pose a threat to human health.

Innovation: Portable Breast Scanners
October 29, 2010 02:52 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

A new portable scanner for detecting early signs of breast cancer has been developed at the University of Manchester by Professor Zhipeng Wu. The device works by radio frequency technology that can show the presence of tumors on a computer screen. The amazing thing is that it can show the image within seconds on the computer screen, rather than an x-ray mammography which takes minutes and can only be done at hospital or specialist care centers. This new technology can revolutionize the early detection for women with breast cancer.

Antarctica Melting News
October 29, 2010 12:00 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The change in the ice mass covering Antarctica is a critical factor in global climate events. Scientists at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences have now found that the year by year mass variations in the western Antarctic are mainly attributable to fluctuations in precipitation, which are controlled significantly by the climate phenomenon El Nino. Gravity data collected from space using NASA's Grace satellite show that Antarctica has been losing more than a hundred cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002. The latest data reveal that Antarctica is losing ice at an accelerating rate, too. How is it possible for surface melting to decrease, but for the continent to lose mass anyway? The answer boils down to the fact that ice can flow without melting.

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