Top Stories

We need to consider nature as capital to become more sustainable
June 16, 2015 06:57 AM - Oregon State University

Researchers today outlined in a series of reports how governments, organizations and corporations are successfully moving away from short-term exploitation of the natural world and embracing a long-term vision of “nature as capital” – the ultimate world bank upon which the health and prosperity of humans and the planet depend.

The reports, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that significant progress has been made in the past decade, and that people, policy-makers and leaders around the world are beginning to understand ecosystem services as far more than a tree to cut or fish to harvest.

Human Health Risks associated with Climate Change
June 15, 2015 01:18 PM - Michigan State University

From heat waves to damaged crops to asthma in children, climate change is a major public health concern, argues a Michigan State University researcher in a new study. Climate change is about more than melting ice caps and images of the Earth on fire, said Sean Valles, assistant professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Philosophy, who believes bioethicists could help reframe current climate change discourse. “When we talk about climate change, we can’t just be talking about money and jobs and polar bears,” he said. “Why do we focus on polar bears? Why not kids? Climate change isn’t just people hurting polar bears. It’s people hurting people.”

EPA Tries to Regulate Airplane Emissions
June 15, 2015 09:15 AM - Grant Whittington, Triple Pundit

The Environmental Protection Agency took its first steps toward regulating the greenhouse gas emissions that escape airplane engines and pollute the atmosphere. The EPA intends to update the Clean Air Act, which was first introduced in 1963, to include jurisdiction limiting the emissions from these plane engines.

Physical activity is good for you, should it be a public health policy priority?
June 15, 2015 08:16 AM - EurActiv

Lack of physical activity – along with unhealthy diets – are key risk factors for major non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Thirty to 70% of EU citizens are currently overweight, while 10-30% are considered obese,according to the WHO, which warned against an obesity crisis in Europe over the coming decades.

To counter the “epidemic”, the WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. This, it argues, would reduce the risk of ischaemic heart disease by approximately 30%, the risk of diabetes by 27%, and the risk of breast and colon cancer by 21–25%.

Dogs don't like people who are not nice to their owners!
June 14, 2015 06:08 AM - AFP via Discovery News

Dogs do not like people who are mean to their owners, Japanese researchers said Friday, and will refuse food offered by people who have snubbed their master.

The findings reveal that canines have the capacity to co-operate socially -- a characteristic found in a relatively small number of species, including humans and some other primates.

How old is the Grand Canyon?
June 13, 2015 06:29 AM - GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA, via EurekAlert.

 The age of the Grand Canyon (USA) has been studied for years, with recent technological advances facilitating new attempts to determine when erosion of this iconic canyon began. The result is sometimes conflicting ages based on different types of data; most data support the notion that the canyon began to erode to its current form about six million years ago. Then even newer, "high-tech," data became available and questions were again raised about whether the western end of the canyon could be older. 

Two numbers are used as general time markers for these alternate hypotheses. The first suggests that the canyon may have started incising 17 million years ago. The second suggests that the canyon may have looked largely as it does today 70 million years ago. The time contrast between these hypotheses is striking, and any accurate concept of the canyon would have to be consistent with all observations. 

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.

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