Top Stories

Wastewater should be recognized as a valuable resource, UN says on World Water Day
March 22, 2017 12:00 PM - United Nations New Centre

In a world where the demand for water continues to grow and the resource is finite, a new United Nations report argues that wastewater, discarded into the environment every day, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as for raw materials for energy and agriculture.

How to fix the East Africa Crisis
March 22, 2017 11:53 AM - Joe Ware, The Ecologist

The world is seeing the human cost of climate disruption playing out across the Horn of Africa. Severe droughts, erratic rainfall and rising temperatures have tipped nations towards famine and left communities fighting for survival. But it's also a man-made crisis and one that we can address both in the short and long term reports Joe Ware.

Fledgling stars try to prevent their neighbours from birthing planets
March 22, 2017 11:48 AM - Imperial College London

Stars don't have to be massive to evaporate material from around nearby stars and affect their ability to form planets, a new study suggests.

"Super sponge" promises effective toxic clean-up of lakes and more
March 22, 2017 11:43 AM - University of Minnesota

Mercury is very toxic and can cause long-term health damage, but removing it from water is challenging. To address this growing problem, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Sciences (CFANS) Professor Abdennour Abbas and his lab team created a spongethat can absorb mercury from a polluted water source within seconds. Thanks to the application of nanotechnology, the team developed a sponge with outstanding mercury adsorption properties where mercury contaminations can be removed from tap, lake and industrial wastewater to below detectable limits in less than 5 seconds (or around 5 minutes for industrial wastewater). The sponge converts the contamination into a non-toxic complex so it can be disposed of in a landfill after use. The sponge also kills bacterial and fungal microbes.

Researchers collaborate on climate change as cause of wetland die-off
March 22, 2017 08:43 AM - Nipissing University

Researchers from Nipissing University’s Geography department are part of a study published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research that points a finger at climate change as the cause of a massive wetland die-off in Australia.

Livestock grazing effects on sage-grouse: study identifies options to sustain ranching and help wildlife
March 22, 2017 08:26 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Effects of livestock grazing on greater sage-grouse populations can be positive or negative depending on the amount of grazing and when grazing occurs, according to research published today in Ecological Applications. The research was conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, Colorado State University and Utah State University.

"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.

The foundation of aquatic life can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests
March 21, 2017 04:11 PM - University of Exeter

Important microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests.

Phytoplankton, which also act as an essential food supply for fish, can increase the rate at which they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen while in warmer water temperatures, a long-running experiment shows.

Monitoring of one species, a green algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, after ten years of them being in waters of a higher temperature shows they quickly adapt so they are still able to photosynthesise more than they respire.

2017 U.S. Wildfire Season Off to an Intense Start
March 21, 2017 03:59 PM - Yale Environment 360

Wildfires have consumed more than 2 million acres of U.S. land so far this year, nearly 10 times the long-term average and a punishing start to this year’s wildfire season, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

Futuristic Clock Prepared for Space
March 21, 2017 03:47 PM - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

No one keeps time quite like NASA.

Last month, the space agency's next-generation atomic clock was joined to the spacecraft that will take it into orbit in late 2017.

That instrument, the Deep Space Atomic Clock was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. On Feb. 17, JPL engineers monitored integration of the clock on to the Surrey Orbital Test Bed spacecraft at Surrey Satellite Technology in Englewood, Colorado.

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