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.
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.
Releasing the cork in Wilkes Basin Antarctica yields unstoppable sea-level rise
May 6, 2014 04:51 PM - Editor, ENN
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) latest study shows that if East Antarctica's Wilkes Basin's rim of ice lets go, it is likely to trigger a persistent ice discharge into the ocean, resulting in unstoppable sea-level rise for thousands of years to come. Using the ground profile under the ice, the researchers used computer ice flow simulations under the ice sheet.
Which Diamondback terrapin turtle is not like the others?
May 6, 2014 04:33 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Until now little has been understood about the genetic variations of terrapin turtles. Terrapins have been designated a species of special concern in some areas and not in others. They are listed as an endangered species in Rhode Island and threatened in Massachusetts. Terrapins are the only North American turtle that spends its entire life in coastal marshes and mangroves.
U.S. Federal Government Amps Up E-Waste Reuse and Recycling
May 6, 2014 07:59 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit
The U.S. federal government is the nation's largest consumer and disposer of electronics. Considering the number of federal employees—about 2.7 million at last count, not including the military or courts—U.S. government employees contribute a massive portion to the approximate 2.4 million tons of electronic waste, or e-waste, that is discarded annually. Not only are those monitors, printers, cell phones and all those peripherals leeching chemicals into soil and water supplies, government (as well as companies) leave money on the table thanks to all of those rare earth minerals allowing them to function in the first place.
2015 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel Jumps to 45 MPG on Highway
May 5, 2014 02:02 PM - CleanTechies Guest Author, Clean Techies
Volkswagen unveiled the latest updates to its popular VW Jetta line at this year’s New York International Auto Show. The car will get a few minor styling tweaks, but what interests us are the improvements under the hood—where fuel efficiency counts.
New hopes for getting the lead out of solar
May 5, 2014 10:16 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Solar energy is arguably our most viable low cost energy source. It is forever sustainable and easily captured and converted. But now the technology may have taken yet another leap forward. To date the foundational technology behind photovoltaics was a structure called perovskite, which has been made with lead. Using tin instead of lead perovskite as the harvester of light, a team of Northwestern University researchers has created a new solar cell with "good efficiency". This good efficiency solar cell is low-cost, environmentally friendly and can be easily made using "bench" chemistry -- no fancy equipment or hazardous materials.
Spanish Island Powered by 100 Percent Renewable Energy
May 5, 2014 08:06 AM - Bill DiBenedetto, Triple Pundit
The possibilities of renewable energy are on display as El Hierro, the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is set to become the world’s first land mass to be fully energy self-sufficient, when an 11.5 megawatt wind farm goes online late next month.
Bicycles Can Change the World
May 4, 2014 09:22 AM - Anna Brones, Care2
Saying that bicycles can change the world might sound like an oversimplification of things, but when you start to break it down, it’s easy to see that the bicycle has an effect on a lot more than just how we get from point A to point B. Need proof for why bicycles are a good way to change the world? Here are some good ones. 1. They provide alternative transportation It doesn’t take a scientist to work out that switching from four wheels to two wheels is a good thing. First there’s the environmental reason. For example, if 5 percent of people in New York commuting by car (either private or taxi) were to bike to work, they could save 150 million pounds of CO2 emissions per year. That’s the equivalent to the amount of CO2 reduced by planting a forest 1.3 times the size of Manhattan. And that’s only with a 5 percent change.