Lifestyle

Industrial-sized rain barrel research in Washington State
May 12, 2014 10:15 AM - ENN Editor

In an effort to reduce the amount of polluted runoff reaching Puget Sound, the Port of Seattle is hosting a two-year study site for two unique metal boxes, which will bloom into rain gardens and help reduce pollutants.

Scotland provides guidance to wind farms for the protection of bird life
May 12, 2014 09:49 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

An innovative guide for wind farms is to be produced by the Scottish Government, industry and charities to help protect bird life. The Scottish Windfarm Bird Steering Group, made up of the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Renewables, has already spent more than £50,000 on a series of studies.

Says the human to the polar bear: "I am not your lunch!"
May 9, 2014 09:03 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

As the climate continues to change, the polar bear's range moves south as the planet continues to warm. This means that we should expect more human encounters with the polar bear. This can be a problem for scientists working in these regions. Enter the Canadian bear expert, Andy McMullen, a Canadian 35 year veteran who teaches Dartmouth scientists about bear behavior before they embark upon studies in bear country.

Polar bear genome reveals adaptations to high-fat diet
May 9, 2014 08:02 AM - Allison Winter, ENN

Living its life in the high Arctic, polar bears have developed extreme adaptations to survive in this cold sea ice environment. One important trait is their thick layer of blubber. Like other arctic animals, this layer of fat helps insulate species from the cold. Consequently, polar bears have adapted to subsist on a blubber-rich, high-fat diet of marine species. But is a high-fat diet healthy for the species?

National Priorities List of Superfund sites adds seven
May 9, 2014 07:18 AM - Editor, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is added seven hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. They include two facilities in York, NE and single facilities in Norphlet, AK; Windham, ME; Fairfield, NJ; Ridgewood, NY and Collierville, TN. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country to protect people's health and the environment.

Predicting red tide blooms with ESP
May 8, 2014 10:54 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Red tide poisoning is an aquatic phenomenon caused by a rapid increase/accumulation in the water column of reddish colored algal bloom (large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms) comprising a few species of toxic dinoflagellates. Forecasting the phenomenon has been critical for coastal communities. This year though, WHOI is introducing a new tool called Environmental Sample Processors (ESP) to measure bloom concentration and associative toxins for real-time reporting to land based researchers.

Seafloor container ecology
May 8, 2014 09:54 AM - Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Press Room

Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo vessels each year. Many of these containers eventually sink to the deep seafloor. In 2004, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) discovered a lost shipping container almost 1,300 meters (4,200 feet) below the surface of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In the first-ever survey of its kind, researchers from MBARI and the sanctuary recently described how deep-sea animal communities on and around the container differed from those in surrounding areas.

A dinosaur's evolution of the claw
May 7, 2014 11:02 AM - University of Bristol Newsroom

How did the evolution of the dinosaur claw evolve into the current bird form? A new University of Bristol study into the claws of a group of theropod dinosaurs, known as therizinosaurs, has revealed a great versatility in their usage. Theropod dinosaurs, a group that includes such famous species as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, are often regarded as carnivorous and predatory animals, using their sharp teeth and claws to capture and dispatch prey. However, the detailed look at forelimb claws demonstrates that these claws were very likely to have been used for other tasks.

In search of safe drinking water
May 7, 2014 09:55 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental requirement for good health and is also a human right. WHO and UNICEF’s indicator is based upon the "use of an improved source". The authors of a recent study into water contamination postulated that this did not account for water quality measurements or monitor global access to safe drinking water. Researchers Robert Bain and Jamie Bartram from The Water Institute at University of North Carolina sought to determine whether water from "improved" sources is less likely to contain fecal contamination than "unimproved" sources and to assess the extent to which contamination varies by source type and setting.

Scotland urging citizens to leave the car in the garage!
May 6, 2014 04:53 PM - Staff ClickGreen, ClickGreen

Scots are being encouraged to leave the car for journeys under two miles and enjoy the stress-relieving and health benefits of active travel, such as walking or cycling. Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse has launched the second phase of the national Active Travel campaign, confirming a further £250,000 for local authorities to promote the initiative.

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