Top Stories

Biofuels worsen Hungary's drought, expert says

Biofuel production and burning agricultural by-products in power plants contributed to Hungary's severe drought this year, an academic expert said on Thursday. >> Read the Full Article

'Biopiracy' requires reasoned treatment

Scientists have long been implicated, whether actively or tacitly, in developed countries' campaigns to seek out and secure natural resources to fuel industrialisation and maintain their own living standards.This was the motive behind many 'scientific' expeditions to explore and map out the centre of Africa in the nineteenth century. More recently, studying indigenous medicine has become a cost-effective way of identifying active chemical ingredients from plants that might be valuable in modern medicine. >> Read the Full Article

China’s Policy of Returning Farmland to Forests Must Be Upheld

China is witnessing a dangerous trend. The country’s policy of returning farmland to forests is faltering, and many areas are opting out of this activity in a push to protect local farmers. They are recklessly expanding farmlands that should have been replaced with forests under the policy, or they have simply allowed farmers to continue cultivating steep hillsides. >> Read the Full Article

Wal-Mart selling own brand of energy efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Thursday that it has launched its own private label of compact fluorescent lightbulbs and is now selling the "Great Value" energy efficient bulbs in more than 3,000 stores. >> Read the Full Article

Arctic vault takes shape for world food crops

In a cavern under a remote Arctic mountain, Norway will soon begin squirreling away the world's crop seeds in case of disaster.

Dynamited out of a mountainside on Spitsbergen island around 1,000 km (600 miles) from the North Pole, the store has been called a doomsday vault or a Noah's Ark of the plant kingdom.

>> Read the Full Article

New twist on time-tested technology: Heat Pumps.

To be realistic, it’s hard to imagine every home, apartment building or condominium complex in the world converting to solar energy for heat, hot water and electricity (or any other onsite renewable energy for that matter). Further, given the low proportion of renewables currently on the world’s power grids, it’s hard to see every building on the planet powered by renewables for quite some time. >> Read the Full Article

Indonesia's Sumatra hit by 6.7 quake, no tsunami

An undersea earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale jolted West Sumatra on Thursday, striking in the same area as last week's powerful tremor, Indonesia's meteorology agency said. >> Read the Full Article

Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area

A Smithsonian scientist and colleague report that a potentially harmful, invasive crab species that has spread to several countries is now established and reproducing in Panama. The researchers report that Harris mud crabs are reproducing in the small, man-made lake designated to become the third set of locks in Panama’s new $5 billion canal expansion project. >> Read the Full Article

Using video-game technology to find oil & gas

What do video games and seismic explorations have in common" Both require very demanding computer applications that call for the ability to process massive quantities of data rapidly. Using computer technology originally co-designed by IBM for video-game consoles, University of Houston seismic researchers are employing this extremely fast technology to more effectively target oil reserves. >> Read the Full Article

CO2 emissions could violate EPA ocean-quality standards within decades

In a commentary in the September 25, 2007, issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), a large team of scientists state that human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will alter ocean chemistry to the point where it will violate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Quality Criteria [1976] by mid-century if emissions are not dramatically curtailed now. >> Read the Full Article