Enn Original News
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.
Mind Over Fat
October 28, 2010 05:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Scientists have revealed that an anti-obesity drug changes the way the brain responds to appetizing, high-calorie foods in obese individuals. This insight may aid the development of new anti-obesity drugs which reduce the activity in the regions of the brain stimulated by the sight of tasty foods. This is not unexpected since the brain is the center of many such sensory responses. For example in 2008, researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and colleagues demonstrated a link between a predisposition to obesity and defective dopamine signaling in the mesolimbic system in rats. The new study at the University of Cambridge discovered that the anti-obesity drug sibutramine reduced brain responses in two regions of the brain, the hypothalamus and the amygdala, both of which are known to be important in appetite control and eating behavior. Their findings are reported today in The Journal of Neuroscienc
Can the Railroad Come Back?
October 27, 2010 03:52 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
At one time riding the rails was a delightful way to travel; quick and easy as well as a reasonable and profitable way to move goods. Something happened over the last 50 years. Some people objected to railroads as unsightly. They also became crowded and in many cases run down. A new report prepared by the Worldwatch Institute and the Apollo Alliance, Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry, draws on lessons from dominant international rail manufacturing countries to conclude that greater investment in the U.S. rail industry could revive America’s former leadership in the world rail industry—and potentially create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
New Truck Emission Standards and Controls
October 26, 2010 02:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
To those who drive behind diesel trucks, they know that these vehicles tend to be more slower moving and potentially smellier than other vehicles. Those who drive trucks know they are gasoline hogs (after all look at the weight they are hauling). They are a vital necessity for the US economy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. This comprehensive proposed national program is projected to reduce GHG emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years. Truck emissions have been going down for years but this is a major step forward.
Climate Change Impacts on Mountain Plant Life
October 26, 2010 10:32 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Mountains are great places to go to see nature in its most pristine state. The mountains of the northwestern United States are particularly beautiful because they are home to outstanding trees and vegetation. According to a new study, that mountain vegetation has been significantly impacted by climate change in the past 60 years. Unlike what was previously thought, ecosystems at low elevations were affected more than those at high elevations.
Great Marine Protection Areas
October 25, 2010 01:07 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has established the world's largest marine protected area of coral reefs and fish populations, but both of which are threatened by overfishing and climate change. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area conserves one of the world's last intact coral reef archipelago ecosystems with eight coral reefs, two submerged reef systems and underwater mountains, over 415,000 square kilometers of nearly uninhabited islands with abundant marine and bird life. A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a protected area whose boundaries include some area of ocean. "MPA" is often used as an umbrella term that describes a wide range of marine areas that restrict human activity to protect living, non-living, cultural, and/or historic resources. Protections in various areas range from limits on development, fishing gear types, fishing seasons, catch limits, moorings, to complete bans on removing marine life of any kind.
Microbes Rapidly Consume Methane from Gulf Oil Disaster
October 25, 2010 10:29 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
The Deepwater Horizon spill was a horrible environmental disaster which caused the release of massive amounts of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Methane, a natural greenhouse gas, was also released during the catastrophe. However, researchers have found that the methane is being consumed by microbes at a rate 10 to 100 times faster than previously believed. These microbes are essential in bringing the Gulf back to a healthier state.
Air Pollution Control by Trees
October 22, 2010 12:29 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Trees and other vegetation must use what is in their environment. So it is not surprising to find that they absorb pollutants (natural or man made) which may be absorbed successfully or may cause the vegetation to die. Vegetation plays an unexpectedly large role in cleansing the atmosphere, a new study finds. The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., uses observations, gene expression studies, and computer modeling to show that deciduous plants absorb about a third more of a common class of air-polluting chemicals than previously thought.
The Promise of Fusion Power
October 22, 2010 10:53 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
It has been called the holy grail of energy technology; a perfectly clean source with an unlimited supply. Nuclear fusion has been demonstrated to be possible, but converting it to a viable energy source remains technically elusive. However, research on making fusion energy reality is in progress, and there are some who are convinced that there will be a day when this free and abundant source will arrive.