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No Sunscreen Needed
May 12, 2015 08:47 AM - ENN Editor

With summer sun right around the corner, it is important to be prepared and protect our skin from those potentially harmful rays. Whether you use sunscreen or set up an umbrella for shade at the beach, we should be proactive so we don't get sun-burn.

For us, we take precautions, but how do the rest of the animal kingdom fare? How can animal species spend their whole lives outdoors with no apparent concern about high levels of solar exposure?

According to researchers from Oregon State University, animals make their own sunscreen.

The findings, published in the journal eLife, found that many fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds can naturally produce a compound called gadusol, which among other biologic activities provides protection from the ultraviolet, or sun-burning component of sunlight.

The researchers also believe that this ability may have been obtained through some prehistoric, natural genetic engineering.

Coffee roasting produces useful by-products
May 11, 2015 07:22 AM - University of Granada via ScienceDaily

The coffee industry plays a major role in the global economy. It also has a significant impact on the environment, producing more than 2 billion tonnes of coffee by-products annually. Coffee silverskin (the epidermis of the coffee bean) is usually removed during processing, after the beans have been dried, while the coffee grounds are normally directly discarded.

It has traditionally been assumed that these by-products ─ coffee grounds and coffee silverskin, have few practical uses and applications. Spent coffee grounds are sometimes employed as homemade skin exfoliants or as abrasive cleaning products. They are also known to make great composting agents for fertilizing certain plants. But apart from these limited applications, coffee by-products are by and large deemed to be virtually useless. As such, practically all of this highly contaminating ‘coffee waste’ ends up in landfills across the globe and has a considerable knock-on effect on the environment.

A moving Mother's Day story
May 10, 2015 07:46 AM - Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels

Mother’s Day is a good time to reflect on the amazing lengths some moms go to to ensure the well being of their children. One such “supermom” is Debby Elnatan, a former Israeli stay-at-home mom who became a press sensation when she invented the “Upsee”, a harness that allowed her young disabled son, and other handicapped children around the world, to walk in tandem with their parents.

When we first wrote about the Firefly Upsee harness a little over a year ago, the device was just gaining worldwide attention. A year later, NoCamels speaks to the inventor of the Upsee to hear about the future of the international company she is now heading.

Greenhouse gas benchmark reached
May 8, 2015 08:54 AM - NOAA Newsroom

For the first time since we began tracking carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere, the monthly global average concentration of this greenhouse gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015,  according to NOAA’s latest results.

Hormones used to stimulate growth in farm animals lead to more human exposure than thought
May 8, 2015 07:39 AM - INDIANA UNIVERSITY via EurekAlert.

Research by an Indiana University environmental scientist and colleagues at universities in Iowa and Washington finds that potentially harmful growth-promoting hormones used in beef production are expected to persist in the environment at higher concentrations and for longer durations than previously thought.

"What we release into the environment is just the starting point for a complex series of chemical reactions that can occur, sometimes with unintended consequences," said Adam Ward, lead author of the study and assistant professor in the IU Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "When compounds react in a way we don't anticipate -- when they convert between species, when they persist after we thought they were gone -- this challenges our regulatory system."

How forests can end global hunger
May 6, 2015 08:46 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Forests and forestry are essential to achieve global food security as the limits of boosting agricultural production are becoming increasingly clear, a new study published today reveals. The findings are included in the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date on the relationship among forests, food and nutrition launched today in New York at a side event of the United Nations Forum on Forests.

Study shows the shape of the glass affects how fast we drink alcohol
May 6, 2015 07:59 AM - Bristol University

The speed at which we drink alcohol could be influenced by the shape of the glass, and markings on the glass might help us drink more slowly, according to new research from the University of Bristol, presented today at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Liverpool.

PhD student David Troy and Dr Angela Attwood from Bristol’s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group presented the study as part of a symposium on ‘Environmental influences on food and alcohol-related behaviour’.

David Troy said: “Excessive alcohol use is a major public health concern and there is a lot of interest in alcohol control strategies.  It is important to determine what environmental factors are contributing to excessive use and how they can be altered to nudge drinkers towards more responsible consumption.”

If you sit all day at a desk, please get up and walk around now and then!
May 1, 2015 08:21 AM - Universtiy of Utah

A new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick. These findings were published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Numerous studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time each day leads to increased risk for early death, as well as heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions. Considering that 80 percent of Americans fall short of completing the recommended amount of exercise, 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week, it seems unrealistic to expect that people will replace sitting with even more exercise.

Reducing impaired-driving crashes proves good for the economy too
April 30, 2015 06:35 AM - Journal Injury Prevention via EurekAlert.

The halving of alcohol-fuelled car crashes since the mid-1980s boosted US economic output by $20 billion, increased national income by $6.5 billion, and created 215,000 jobs in 2010, reveals an analysis of the economic impact of drink-driving, published online in the journal Injury Prevention.

In a bid to estimate the impact of alcohol-fuelled car crashes on the US economy in 2010, the researchers calculated the economic gains (and losses) resulting from the substantial fall in this type of road traffic collision since 1984-6 and the monetary costs directly incurred by employers and consumers in 2010.

Climate warming leads to earlier tick season
April 28, 2015 08:46 AM - Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

The month of May brings many things, among them Mother’s Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, if we want to get a leg up on tick-borne illness we need to become vigilant earlier in the season.

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