Top Stories

Pacific Fisher needs protection
June 12, 2015 07:58 AM - Center for Biological Diversity

In response to a petition and lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife today recommended state Endangered Species Act protection for the fisher in the southern Sierra Nevada portion of its range. 

Though this cat-like member of the weasel family was once wide-ranging, today only two naturally occurring fisher populations survive — one in the southern Sierra and another in Northern California. The department did not recommend protecting the fisher’s northern population. The state Fish and Game Commission will vote in August on whether to finalize protection for one or both populations.

Spider and Centipede Venom Could Help us Fight Pain and Cancer
June 12, 2015 06:53 AM - Science/AAAS

Certain spiders and centipedes—despite being separated by more than 500 million years—have independently evolved the same type of venom from an insulinlike hormone. The find, reported today, could lead to greener insecticides and potentially help fight chronic pain and cancer.

Eating Nuts IS good for you!
June 11, 2015 02:54 PM - LORI CUTHBERT, Discovery News

It‘s not often that a simple, doable thing comes along that’s also incredibly good for you, but I think this is it: eat a half a handful of nuts every day.

According to a new study out of the Netherlands, just 10 grams (about a third of an ounce) of nuts or peanuts (technically a legume) a day leads to a lower risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes and cancer. There was no benefit to eating peanut butter.

How to minimize drought impact on food crops
June 11, 2015 09:04 AM - Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

The worldwide demand for legumes, one of the world’s most important agricultural food crops, is growing; at the same time, their production has been adversely affected by drought. In an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis research paper published today in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers provide information that could help agricultural planning and management to minimize drought-induced yield losses.

Tesla Superchargers vs. Battery Swap Stations, Superchargers win
June 11, 2015 08:10 AM - BOB SHETH, ElectricForum

They say the mark of a great company is knowing when to cut your losses and run. Well, it seems as though Tesla is on the verge of ditching its battery swap service which was launched with the Tesla Model S electric vehicle. The idea was that battery swap stations would be built across America allowing Tesla Model S users to book an appointment which will allow them to swap their discharged batteries for fully charged replacements.

The idea seemed good and all Tesla Model S owners were contacted but only a few took up the company’s offer to visit the one and only battery swap station open to the public at the moment.

Canadian wildfire smoke transported to US
June 10, 2015 04:15 PM - Lynn Jenner NASA

Canada has already had its share of wildfires this season, and the smoke from these wildfires is slowly drifting south over the United States' Midwest.  The drifting smoke can be seen in this Terra satellite image over Lake Michigan, as well as parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. 

The smoke released by any type of fire (forest, brush, crop, structure, tires, waste or wood burning) is a mixture of particles and chemicals produced by incomplete burning of carbon-containing materials. All smoke contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter (PM or soot). Smoke can contain many different chemicals, including aldehydes, acid gases, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, styrene, metals and dioxins.

Americans may waste more food that they think
June 10, 2015 03:44 PM - Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, via EurekAlert

Most Americans are aware that food waste is a problem, are concerned about it, and say they work to reduce their own waste, but nearly three-quarters believe that they waste less food than the national average, new research suggests. The findings, from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, are significant given that 31 to 40 percent of the American food supply goes to waste, primarily in homes, stores and restaurants. The top foods wasted, by weight, are fruits and vegetables, due in part to their perishability and bulk. Food waste costs Americans $161.6 billion annually.

How studying volcanos can improve aviation safety
June 10, 2015 08:36 AM - Paula Leighton, SciDevNet

A study on ash blasted from volcanoes is a first step towards accurately assessing where it is safe to fly during eruptions, according to the authors. The researchers found that the ash grains ejected into the atmosphere have diverse shapes and properties. They also learned that big grains can travel further than was previously estimated. All this could improve existing models of ash concentrations, which governments and airlines use to make flight decisions during eruptions, they say. Ash can cause aircraft engines to fail.

How Pigeons organize for better navigation
June 10, 2015 07:35 AM - University of Oxford

Having a hierarchical social structure with just a few well-connected leaders enables pigeon flocks to navigate more accurately on the wing, new research shows.

Hierarchical organisation also enables flocks to cope better with navigation errors made by individual birds.

Researchers from Oxford University and the Zoological Society of London created 'virtual flocks' of homing pigeons to test how different social networks affect the navigation performance of these groups. The team's simulations looked at everything from no networks (all connections between individuals were of equal strength) to random networks (some connections were stronger than others but randomly distributed) to hierarchical networks with just a few well-connected individuals leading the way.

First Wave Energy Device in US Powers Hawaii Military Base
June 9, 2015 08:46 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

The first grid-connected wave energy device in North American waters started feeding renewable electricity to a Marine Corps base in Hawaii last week. In coordination with the U.S. Navy, Northwest Energy Innovations and the Energy Department brought online a prototype of the Azura wave energy converter (WEC) device. The one-of-a-kind, wave energy device is designed to generate electricity from the motion of the choppy waters at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. 

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