Enn Original News

The Smog to Heart Connection
July 23, 2010 10:30 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

It is well known that certain concentrations of air pollution can adversely affect human respiratory condition. What is not as well-known is how air pollution can affect the heart. A new study presented at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovasular Sciences 2010 Scientific Session by researchers from Texas A&M links ground-level ozone (smog) to cell deaths in the heart.

The Air Near the BP Oil Spill
July 22, 2010 04:07 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

By now most people know about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its effects or potential effects on water quality and wildlife. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had released measurements of the air quality in the area. Scientists found common air pollutants, such as ozone, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, in amounts typical of urban areas in U.S. cities. However, 15 to 70 kilometers downwind from the oil spill, concentrations of certain hydrocarbons were much higher than than would be found in urban air.

Exporting Pollution
July 21, 2010 02:55 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

America has been getting rid of its industrial base and as a result pollution will tend to decrease in America. Where does it all go? Other countries should know the bitter lessons of pollution should they not? Maybe yes and maybe no. Industry has gone to many other nations including China especially in the last decade. According to the People's Republic of China's own evaluation, two-thirds of the 338 cities for which air quality data are available are considered polluted. Respiratory, cancer and heart diseases related to air pollution are the leading cause of death in China. Meanwhile in Tehran, which is one of the most polluted cities of the world, there is a similar situation. Air pollution in the Iranian city of Tehran is not new. Ever since 1950 population and automobile ownership has risen dramatically.

Transitioning to Cool Roofs
July 21, 2010 12:34 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

In the effort to slow the pace of global warming, researchers and policy makers are encouraging the use of lighter colors for rooftops and streets worldwide. Dark, non-reflective surfaces which are common for asphalt and asphalt shingles, absorb heat from the sun and create a "heat-island" effect, plus a greater need for air conditioning. Lighter surfaces would reflect the sun’s rays back to outer space, reducing ground-surface temperatures and overall energy requirements.

Idling Vehicles
July 20, 2010 05:04 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Pending court approval, several companies affiliated with National Car Rental will pay a fine of $475,000 for repeated violations of motor vehicle idling regulations at two New England airports: Logan International in Boston, Mass. and Bradley International near Hartford, Conn. What is so wrong about idling? Diesel combustion releases fine particles and gases into the air. Commonly called soot, these particles are typically smaller than 2.5 micrometers or 1/30 the width of a strand of hair and are easily inhaled and may cause respiratory harm. By law in many states (especially urban ones) idling too long is an issue.

Big Brains, Small Brains
July 19, 2010 04:15 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Why is there a brain and why are some larger and others smaller? What advantage is there to having them has been often argued. Recently published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, new studies reveal that "species which have developed large brains live for longer than those with small brains, as the protective brain theory suggests, and therefore, can reproduce more times".

Floating Glaciers
July 19, 2010 10:14 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Glaciers are massive sheets of ice, sliding slowly down a mountain and carving enormous grooves in the land. They flow down to the lowest point where gravity can take them, often into the ocean. The normal school of thought for these "tidewater glaciers" said that due to their weight and compaction to the earth's surface, they were grounded on the sea floor, only to arise once disintegrated. However, there is one glacier that extends into the water, floating intact on the ocean waves.

President Obama Focuses on Advanced Battery and Electric Vehicle Manufacturing
July 17, 2010 02:54 PM - Exclusive to ENN, Douglas Elbinger

As part of the Economic Recovery Act, Obama administration officials fanned out across the nation this week in a series of ribbon-cutting and ground-breaking ceremonies to highlight their commitment to renewable energy, especially projects that are creating jobs in advanced battery manufacture. Senior Administration officials will travel to eight Recovery Act advanced battery and vehicle project sites nationwide where work has begun constructing new manufacturing plants, adding new manufacturing lines, building electric vehicles, and installing electric vehicle charging stations. This series of events was emphasized by President Obama on Thursday, July 15th, at Compact Power, Inc. where he officially "broke ground" on a new advanced battery manufacturing factory in Holland, Michigan. After brief introductions by Peter Ban-Suk Kim, Chief Executive Officer of LG Chem Ltd., Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra, the president spoke for about fifteen minutes reiterating his progress in advance battery manufacturing and job creation.

Brain Cells
July 16, 2010 12:40 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The brain has always been a bit mysterious. How does it all work so that a human being can live, breathe and talk. The brain is composed of two broad classes of cells: neurons and glia. These two types are equally numerous in the brain as a whole, although glial cells outnumber neurons roughly 4 to 1 in the cerebral cortex. Glia come in several types, which perform a number of critical functions, including structural support, metabolic support, insulation, and guidance of development. Astrocytes (brain cells named after their characteristic star-shape) that were previously thought to act only as the glue between neurons have a central role in the regulation of breathing.

Lakes on Titan
July 15, 2010 04:35 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Titan, is the largest moon of Saturn, the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. On Earth, lake levels rise and fall with the seasons and with longer term climate changes, as precipitation, evaporation, and runoff add and remove liquid. Now, for the first time, scientists have found compelling evidence for similar lake level changes on Saturn's largest moon showing that is possesses a similar change cycle

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