Enn Original News

Mystery of the Oil Plume Solved? Microbes ate it.
August 24, 2010 04:52 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

What is the real story about the "missing oil". One study shows that most of the oil is gone, while another shows that there is still a whole lot of it in a mid-depth plume not visible from the surface. The answer might have been found in research announced today by Lawrence Berkeley Lab of the US Department of Energy. They found the plume alright, but they also found that microbial activity, spearheaded by a new and unclassified species, degrades oil much faster than anticipated. This degradation appears to take place without a significant level of oxygen depletion. The study notes “Our findings show that the influx of oil profoundly altered the microbial community by significantly stimulating deep-sea psychrophilic (cold temperature) gamma-proteobacteria that are closely related to

Arctic Alligators
August 24, 2010 04:20 PM - Andy Soos. ENN

Ellesmere Island is in the far north of Canada above the Arctic Circle. This is the land of the midnight sun and a rather brisk cold environment. But fifty million years ago it was warmer though still quirky in its day night cycles. A new study of the High Arctic climate roughly 50 million years ago led by the University of Colorado at Boulder helps to explain how ancient alligators and giant tortoises were able to thrive on Ellesmere Island well above the Arctic Circle, even as they endured six months of darkness each year.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to a Variety of Diseases
August 24, 2010 10:59 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Vitamin D is a type of fat-soluble steroid that can take two separate forms, vitamin D2 and D3, whose actual names are Ergocalciferol and Cholecalciferol. It is produced in the skin from exposure to ultraviolet radiation, the sun. This is the primary way to build up vitamin D, but it can also be ingested in foods which naturally contain it or are artificially fortified with it. However, what happens when the human body has a vitamin D deficiency? A new study from Oxford University shows that a lack of sufficient vitamin D in the body can lead to a wide range of diseases.

Eat Greek for Healthier Skin
August 23, 2010 12:18 PM - David A Gabel

In the summer, it is a hobby of many people to lie out in the sun and work on their tans. Unfortunately, if done in excess, this hobby can lead to painful sunburns and possible skin cancer. A new study from the Tel Aviv University suggests that an effective way to prevent this is not only suntan lotion, but eating the correct foods. A diet rich in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids — common in Mediterranean regions — can protect the skin from the sun's rays.

Ocean pH
August 20, 2010 11:32 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by their uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.18 to 8.1. PH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. It approximates but is not equal to concentration of hydrogen ions expressed on a logarithmic scale. A low pH indicates a high concentration of hydrogen ions, while a high pH indicates a low concentration. A strong acid would be less than 1 on this scale. A recent study indicates the relative impact on future ocean acidification of different aspects of global climate change mitigation policies such as the year that global emissions peak.

Dyes, Laundry Aids, and EPA
August 19, 2010 08:22 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released action plans today to address the potential health risks of benzidine dyes, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and nonylphenol (NP)/nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). The chemicals are widely used in both consumer and industrial applications, including dyes, flame retardants, and industrial laundry detergents. The plans identify a range of actions the agency is considering under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

New Ways to Mass Travel
August 18, 2010 10:50 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Not everyone can drive to work in their own vehicle. Planners must find ways to blend individual vehicles with hte needs of mass transportation. Building train stations or subways is highly capital intensive and involves years of construction and related dealys due ot construction. Adding buses adds to traffic. Furthermore mass transist needs to be safe, clean and inexpensive. The straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year, maybe one answer. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing’s Mentougou District.

Slow-moving 'earthquake' under Olympic Peninsula monitored by University of Washington, will help understand devastating quakes
August 18, 2010 08:04 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

New research published by University of Washington seismologists reports the results of monitoring they have been recording of a slow-moving and unfelt seismic event under the Olympic Peninsula. It promises to be the best-documented such event in the eight years since the regularly occurring phenomena were first discovered. "It appears to be right on time," Steve Malone, a UW Earth and space sciences professor, said of the most recent of what are termed episodic tremor-and-slip, or slow-slip, events. "The first signals were mostly fairly weak, but they were easily detected." The first ground motion associated with the event was recorded very early Sunday morning in an area north of Olympia and west of Tacoma. By Monday afternoon the signals were substantially stronger. If the event behaves like past occurrences, the source of the rumbling will move north through the Olympic Peninsula during the next week before crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada's Vancouver Island

Oregon Dead Zone
August 17, 2010 10:26 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s. These occur near inhabited coastlines, where aquatic life is most concentrated. Every summer for the past nine years, water with lethally low concentrations of oxygen has appeared off the Oregon coast. The cause is not clear and it does not fit the pattern of several other dead zones associated with man made run off issues. Some other causes have been recently implicated in a research study by Oregon State University.

Social Media, Technology, and Change Conference, New York City November 1st.
August 16, 2010 03:51 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN, Justmeans

ENN is proud to be a media sponsor of this important event hosted by our Affiliate, Justmeans. The rapid adoption of social media and the shift within corporations to measure and manage social and environmental impact is fundamentally changing the way companies engage with their stakeholders. Companies will need to work much more closely with stakeholders in order to navigate these two trends. Despite the complexities of this new landscape, a wide variety of best practices are emerging to aid organizations. A select group of corporate executives, social entrepreneurs, and digital gurus will meet to discuss emerging best practices in using social media to create positive social change at the 2010 Social Media, Technology, and Change conference, to be held on November 1st, in New York City. Topics to be discussed include:

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