Enn Original News
EPA is Seeking New Standards for Home Efficiency Retrofits
November 15, 2010 09:50 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
In seeking to establish new standards for home improvements that would increase energy efficiency, the EPA is asking for comments from the public. They have released a draft protocol which contains a series of best practice tools that would protect indoor air quality during a home energy retrofit. The goal is to devise a set of standards that would ultimately ensure health standards of building occupants during and after such a renovation.
Bluefin Tuna, Sharks may finally get some help
November 14, 2010 12:36 PM - Editor, ENN
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), a fisheries body that manages approximately 30 species of fish caught in the Atlantic Ocean will meet in Paris, November 17 - 27, to consider measures to protect severely depleted Atlantic bluefin and threatened sharks and to potentially take measures to stop illegal fishing. The Pew Environment Group, an independent non-profit group based in Washington, DC, is calling on ICCAT to take strong measures to end illegal fishing, to handle fisheries management based on sound science and end the chronic overfishing in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean that continue to threaten the sustainability of Atlantic bluefin and several species of sharks.
Blood and Skin
November 12, 2010 03:30 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The supply of blood for patients and emergencies has always fluctuated. Generally it is dependent on adequate donations from the public. A more dependable source would be useful. While local and temporary blood shortages have occurred periodically, the nation’s blood supply generally is considered adequate. There is also a problem of genetic compatibility. In a neat bit of cellular wizardry, human skin cells have been turned into blood cells. A donor could then supply blood cells d=from his own skin cells and this about compatibility issues. The research could have huge implications for blood-related diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, and could also eventually lead to new treatments for other types of tissues inside the human body. If skin can be made into blood why now not other cells?
Land and Sea Predators Create a Similar Ecological Effect on Their Environment
November 12, 2010 09:25 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
In ecology class, students are taught the effects of keystone species, the dominant species in the ecosystem. They are the top dogs, the big fish. The keystone species have a disproportionate effect on their environment and can determine the types and numbers of species in their ecosystem, not just their prey. A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment shows that this keystone species effect is similar for both terrestrial and ocean-based predators.
November 11, 2010 09:43 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Mount Merapi(literally Mountain of Fire in Indonesian/Javanese), is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. It has erupted repeatedly this fall. The most recent eruption saw almost 200 killed and more than 360,000 people flee their homes. The Decade Volcanoes refer to the 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. Now why do people live near such devastating potential natural disasters?
New Bomb-Sniffing Machine Able to Replace Dog
November 11, 2010 09:37 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Dogs have been used by the humans for many years. Their greatest tool, which has been prized by authorities in particular, is their incredibly sensitive nose. Some experts believe that their sense of smell is 100,000 times better than that of humans. However, their reputation as bomb-sniffers is now being put to the test with the development of a new electronic sensor that is more reliable at detecting explosives.
EPA and US Customs and Border Protection Team Up to Enforce Clean Air Act
November 10, 2010 10:31 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on ensuring that imported vehicles and engines comply with Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. Such items are commonly imported from foreign countries, such as sports cars, motorcycles, and even electrical generators. These items can now be found on the list with other contraband like drugs and guns.
Arctic Melt and Export
November 10, 2010 10:01 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
A NASA analysis of satellite data has quantified, for the first time, the amount of older and thicker multi-year sea ice lost from the Arctic Ocean due to melting. Since the start of the satellite record in 1979, scientists have observed the continued disappearance of older multi-year sea ice that survives more than one summer melt season. Some scientists suspected that this loss was due entirely to wind pushing the ice out of the Arctic Basin -- a process that scientists refer to as export. Kwok and Cunningham, in their study, show that between 1993 and 2009, a significant amount of multi-year ice - 336 cubic miles) - was lost due to melt, not export.
The Food Chain in the Gulf
November 9, 2010 04:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Organisms in a food chain are grouped into trophic levels, based on how many links they are removed from the primary producers. Plants or phytoplankton are in the first trophic level; they are at the base of the food chain. Herbivores (primary consumers) are in the second level. Carnivores (secondary consumers) are in the third. Omnivores are found in the second and third levels. At the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama they decided to track a stable isotope of carbon from the BP oil spill and try and discover how quickly it was being incorporated into the food chain. Dr Monty Graham and his colleagues showed that as the oil approached northern Gulf coastal waters in pulses, there was a dramatic decrease in the carbon isotope weight signature over about a four week period. With all other possible sources of light carbon ruled out, they concluded that oil-carbon entered the plankton food web as micro-organisms fed upon the oil-consuming bacteria.
California’s Air Quality Plan to be Rejected by the EPA
November 9, 2010 09:33 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Yesterday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to disapprove plans developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The air quality plans aimed to bring areas with poor air quality such as the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley into attainment with national health standards for particulate emissions. The fine particulates, known as PM2.5 are notoriously bad in places like Los Angeles and the surrounding area.