Lifestyle

Air Pollution May Disrupt Sleep
May 22, 2017 09:58 AM - American Thoracic Society

High levels of air pollution over time may get in the way of a good night’s sleep, according to new research presented at the ATS 2017 International Conference.

“Prior studies have shown that air pollution impacts heart health and affects breathing and lung function, but less is known about whether air pollution affects sleep,” said lead author Martha E. Billings, MD, MSc, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington. “We thought an effect was likely given that air pollution causes upper airway irritation, swelling and congestion, and may also affect the central nervous system and brain areas that control breathing patterns and sleep.”

Researchers find monetary value of air quality in China
May 5, 2017 12:02 PM - Yale School of Public Health and Peking University

Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health and Peking University have found that Chinese families are willing to invest up to 6 percent of their annual income in efforts to improve air quality.

Published in Ecological Economics on March 7, the study aimed to determine the amount people are willing to pay for efforts to reduce air pollution, such as environmental policies to introduce more electric cars and natural gas heating. The researchers found that on average, families with children under the age of 6 are willing to invest 5.9 percent of their annual income, while families without children under 6 years old are willing to pay 3.3 percent.

Researchers find monetary value of air quality in China
May 5, 2017 12:02 PM - Yale School of Public Health and Peking University

Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health and Peking University have found that Chinese families are willing to invest up to 6 percent of their annual income in efforts to improve air quality.

Published in Ecological Economics on March 7, the study aimed to determine the amount people are willing to pay for efforts to reduce air pollution, such as environmental policies to introduce more electric cars and natural gas heating. The researchers found that on average, families with children under the age of 6 are willing to invest 5.9 percent of their annual income, while families without children under 6 years old are willing to pay 3.3 percent.

Assessing the impact of climate risks on the financial system
April 11, 2017 10:59 AM - University of Zurich

In the wake of 2015 Climate Paris Agreements to limit global temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, many governmental and private stakeholders have advocated for the introduction of policies to mitigate climate change. This would affect directly only the fossil-fuel and utility sector, but it would also expose indirectly many other economic sectors, in particular the energy-intensive sectors. The financial system can be affected due to its exposure to firms in the form of equity shares, bonds holdings and loans. However, the impact of climate policies on the financial system has remained unclear so far.

Assessing the impact of climate risks on the financial system
April 11, 2017 10:59 AM - University of Zurich

In the wake of 2015 Climate Paris Agreements to limit global temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, many governmental and private stakeholders have advocated for the introduction of policies to mitigate climate change. This would affect directly only the fossil-fuel and utility sector, but it would also expose indirectly many other economic sectors, in particular the energy-intensive sectors. The financial system can be affected due to its exposure to firms in the form of equity shares, bonds holdings and loans. However, the impact of climate policies on the financial system has remained unclear so far.

Even short-duration heat waves could lead to failure of coffee crops
March 30, 2017 04:56 PM - Oregon State University

"Hot coffee" is not a good thing for java enthusiasts when it refers to plants beset by the high-temperature stress that this century is likely to bring, research at Oregon State University suggests.

A study by OSU’s College of Forestry showed that when Coffea arabica plants were subjected to short-duration heat waves, they became unable to produce flowers and fruit.

Even short-duration heat waves could lead to failure of coffee crops
March 30, 2017 04:56 PM - Oregon State University

"Hot coffee" is not a good thing for java enthusiasts when it refers to plants beset by the high-temperature stress that this century is likely to bring, research at Oregon State University suggests.

A study by OSU’s College of Forestry showed that when Coffea arabica plants were subjected to short-duration heat waves, they became unable to produce flowers and fruit.

"Geofencing" Shows Promise in Tracking Chronic Care
March 21, 2017 04:53 PM - Scott Maier via University of California - San Francisco

Location-tracking apps on smartphones could be used to help track and manage care for thousands of patients who suffer from chronic diseases, and possibly even provide feedback to them on lifestyle changes that could help, according to an initial assessment by researchers at UC San Francisco.

In the study, researchers provided a smartphone app to 3,443 participants age 18 and older from all 50 states. The app, which was developed by app developer Ginger.io in collaboration with study investigators, used “geofencing,” a location-based program that defines geographical boundaries. This app tracked participants when they entered a hospital and triggered a questionnaire when they were located in the hospital for more than four hours.

Sustainable Mineral Supply
March 20, 2017 03:32 PM - Karen B. Roberts via University of Delaware

International research team warns of mineral supply constraints as demand increases for green technologies

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali, says global resource governance and sharing of geoscience data is needed to address challenges facing future mineral supply.

Specifically of concern are a range of technology minerals, which are an essential ingredient in everything from laptops and cell phones to hybrid or electric cars to solar panels and copper wiring for homes. However, base metals like copper are also a matter of immense concern.

Parasitic Fish Offer Evolutionary Insights
March 20, 2017 02:26 PM - California Institute of Technology

Lamprey are slimy, parasitic eel-like fish, one of only two existing species of vertebrates that have no jaw. While many would be repulsed by these creatures, lamprey are exciting to biologists because they are so primitive, retaining many characteristics similar to their ancient ancestors and thus offering answers to some of life's biggest evolutionary questions. Now, by studying the lamprey, Caltech researchers have discovered an unexpected mechanism for the evolution of the neurons of the peripheral nervous system—nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.

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