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Fat Distribution Controlled by Genetics
October 13, 2010 11:28 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
People become overweight in different ways. Some will develop a beer gut (apple-shaped) while some will have the fat go to their rear and thighs (pear-shaped). Two new major studies have identified a set of genes that determine where the fat goes in obese people. The team of international researchers also identified genes that determine individual susceptibility to obesity.
Plastic Solar Cells
October 12, 2010 02:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Physicists at Rutgers University in New Jersey have discovered new properties in a material that could result in efficient and inexpensive plastic solar cells for electricity production. The discovery, posted online and slated for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature Materials, reveals that energy carrying particles generated by packets of light can travel on the order of a thousand times farther in organic (carbon-based) semiconductors than scientists previously observed. This boosts scientists' hopes that solar cells based on this new type of technology may one day overtake silicon solar cells in cost and performance, thereby increasing the practicality of solar generated electricity as an alternate energy source to fossil fuels.
Ring of Fire Cause
October 8, 2010 03:19 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 25,000 mile horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. Oxford University scientists have potentially discovered the explanation for why the world’s explosive volcanoes are confined to bands only a few tens of miles wide. Most of the molten rock that comes out of these volcanoes is rich in water, but the Oxford team has shown that the volcanoes are aligned above narrow regions in the mantle where water-free melting can take place.
Study Finds More Fresh Water Entering the Earth's Oceans
October 8, 2010 09:41 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
A recent study from researchers at the University of California (UC) Irvine has found that since 1994, the overall amount of fresh water flowing into the world's oceans has increased significantly. They found that 18 percent more fresh water has reached the oceans between 1994 and 2006, an average annual rise of 1.5 percent.
Offshore Wind Can Deliver Cleaner, More Affordable Energy and More Jobs Than Offshore Oil
October 8, 2010 06:54 AM - Simon Mahan, Isaac Pearlman, and Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana
A report by Oceana "Wealth: Offshore Wind Can Deliver Cleaner, More Affordable Energy and More Jobs Than Offshore Oil", a comprehensive analysis shows that focusing investments on clean energy like offshore wind would be cost effective, more beneficial to job creation, and better for the environment and ocean in a variety of ways than offshore oil and gas exploration and development. On the Atlantic coast, an area targeted for expansion of oil and gas activities, offshore wind can generate nearly 30% more electricity than offshore oil and gas resources combined.
Solar Power to Return to the White House
October 7, 2010 10:02 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Coinciding with its push for more renewable energy development, the executive branch of the US federal government has decided to install solar panels on the White House. This is a quarter century after President Reagan took down the previous solar panels installed by his predecessor, President Carter. The Obama Administration will install new solar panels as a way of promoting its clean energy program.
Asthma, Heredity, and Air Pollution
October 6, 2010 01:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchial spasms. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Dirty polluted air is known to cause respiratory inflammation. Now exposure to dirty air has been linked to decreased function of a gene that appears to increase the severity of asthma in children, according to a joint study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
US Department of Interior Allows First-Ever Solar Energy Projects on Public Lands
October 6, 2010 10:28 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Yesterday, the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar approved the nation's first-ever large-scale solar energy plants to be built on public lands. Both plants, located in California, are first in a series of clean energy projects under final review by the Department of Interior (DOI) that are to be built on public lands. The California projects will have access to 6,800 acres that could produce up to 754 megawatts, enough to power up to 566,000 typical homes.
Sleep and Diet
October 5, 2010 03:41 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Sleep is sleep. Diet is diet. Then again cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a study published October 5, 2010, in the Annals of Internal Medicine. When dieters in the study got a full night's sleep, they lost the same amount of weight as when they slept less. When dieters got adequate sleep, however, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat.
America's Food Waste Equates to Wasted Energy
October 5, 2010 11:29 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
America is certainly the land of plenty. This country has been blessed with an overabundance of natural resources and some of the world's most fertile agricultural land. However, every year millions of tons of food is wasted. According to a new study published in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, the amount of food wasted in the US each year is equivalent to wasting approximately 350 million barrels of oil.