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Greening Vacant Lots Reduces Feelings of Depression in City Dwellers, Penn Study Finds

Greening vacant urban land significantly reduces feelings of depression and improves overall mental health for the surrounding residents, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions show in a new randomized, controlled study published in JAMA Network Open. The findings have implications for cities across the United States, where 15 percent of land is deemed “vacant” and often blighted or filled with trash and overgrown vegetation.

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Houseplants Could One Day Monitor Home Health

In a perspective published in the July 20 issue of Science, Neal Stewart and his University of Tennessee coauthors explore the future of houseplants as aesthetically pleasing and functional sirens of home health.

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Treating Dementia with the Healing Waves of Sound

Ultrasound waves applied to the whole brain improve cognitive dysfunction in mice with conditions simulating vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The research, conducted by scientists at Tohoku University in Japan, suggests that this type of therapy may also benefit humans.

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Secondhand Smoke Causing Thousands of Still Births in Developing Countries

Exposure to secondhand smoke is causing thousands of still births in developing countries, according to new research carried out by the University of York.

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Scientists Identify Most Pressing Issues Posed by Chemicals in the Environment

Scientists have identified 22 key research questions surrounding the risks associated with chemicals in the environment across Europe.

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Deep space meets deep sea in summer expedition

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is installing specialized equipment at its deepest site in the northeast Pacific Ocean to assess the location’s suitability for observing one of the universe’s most essential and difficult-to-study ingredients—neutrinos.

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Bacteria-powered solar cell converts light to energy, even under overcast skies

University of British Columbia researchers have found a cheap, sustainable way to build a solar cell using bacteria that convert light to energy.

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Global Study of World’s Beaches Shows Threat to Protected Areas

A first-of-its-kind survey of the world’s sandy shorelines with satellite data found that they have increased slightly on a global scale over the past three decades but decreased in protected marine areas, where many beaches are eroding.

Erosion in protected marine areas could threaten plant and animal species and cultural heritage sites.  Worldwide, the study found that 24 percent of Earth’s sandy beaches are eroding, a coastline distance of almost 50,000 miles.

The view from space provided researchers with a more accurate picture of just how much of Earth’s shorelines are beaches. They found that about a third (31 percent) of all ice-free shorelines are sandy or gravelly. Africa has the highest proportion of sandy beaches (66 percent) and Europe has the lowest (22 percent).

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NASA's Aqua Satellite Finds a More Organized, Large Tropical Storm Ampil

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on July 19, the large Tropical Storm Ampil appeared much more organized than it did the previous day.

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Oil biodegradation inhibited in deep-sea sediments

Degradation rates of oil were slower in the dark and cold waters of the depths of the Gulf of Mexico than at surface conditions, according to an international team of geoscientists trying to understand where the oil went during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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