Top Stories

Mount Everest glaciers have shrunk 13% in 50 years

Glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent and the snow-line has shifted 180 meters (590 feet) higher during the past 50 years, according to a study that will be presented this week at a conference organized by the American Geophysical Union. >> Read the Full Article

Eating More Protein is Associated with Weight Loss

At some point in our lives, we have been on some kind of diet or other. There is the 'cabbage soup diet'; '5:2 diet'; and then high protein diets such as Atkins, Zone and South Beach, etc. Some people turn to higher-protein diets to lose weight, because some studies suggest that higher-protein diets help people better control their appetites and calorie intake. Diets with 30 per cent protein are now considered "reasonable" and the term "high protein diet" is now reserved for diets with over 50 per cent protein. >> Read the Full Article

Nature is Good for your Health!

A walk in the park can calm and restore you. This is something we take for granted in parks and recreation, because we have known it to be true ever since we started spending time in nature. But new research reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine now provides scientific proof that walking in nature and spending time under leafy shade trees causes electrochemical changes in the brain that can lead people to enter a highly beneficial state of "effortless attention." The UK researchers state with some justifiable academic stuffiness that "..happiness, or the presence of positive emotional mindsets, broadens an individual's thought-action repertoire with positive benefits to physical and intellectual activities, and to social and psychological resources." >> Read the Full Article

What is Really Pristine Wilderness Really?

New research shows that humans have been transforming the earth and its ecosystems for millenniums — far longer than previously believed. These findings call into question our notions about what is unspoiled nature and what should be preserved. Are there any pristine ecosystems out there? The evidence is growing that our ideas about virgin nature are often faulty. In fact, the lush rainforest or wind-blown moorland we think is natural may be a human creation, with alien creatures from distant lands living beside native species. Realizing this will change our ideas about how ecosystems work and how we should do conservation. We like to think that most nature was pristine and largely untouched until recent times. But two major studies in recent weeks say we are deluded. In one, Erle Ellis, a geographer at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and colleagues have calculated that at least a fifth of the land across most of the world had been transformed by humans as early as 5,000 years ago — a proportion that past studies of historical land use had assumed was only reached in the past 100 years or so. >> Read the Full Article

Makran Earthquakes

Earthquakes happen but where they may happen as well as when is a matter to be studied. Earthquakes similar in magnitude to the 2004 Sumatra earthquake could occur in an area beneath the Arabian Sea at the Makran subduction zone which is just south of Pakistan, according to recent research published in Geophysical Research Letters. The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Southampton based at the National Oceanography Center Southampton (NOCS), and the Pacific Geoscience Centre, Natural Resources Canada. >> Read the Full Article

Web tool tracks insecticide-resistant malaria mosquitoes

An online mapping system to track insecticide resistance in malaria-causing mosquitoes around the world has been launched. The free interactive website identifies places in more than 50 malaria-endemic countries where mosquitoes have become resistant to the insecticides used in bed nets and indoor sprays. IR Mapper was launched last month (25 April) by Vestergaard Frandsen, a Swiss firm that makes disease-control products, and the KEMRI/CDC research and public health collaboration based in Kenya. >> Read the Full Article

Levi Strauss Creates Sustainable Jeans

Move over rivets, it's plastic bottles that make a pair of Levi's 501 jeans unique now. Iconic brand Levi Strauss and Co. is participating in the effort to drive consumers to think about recycling in a new light with the introduction of their limited-edition Waste >> Read the Full Article

Of Slugs and Worms

Worms live underground and slugs above ground. Yet they may affect one another in ways not obvious. The lowly earthworm, well known for conditioning and improving soil, is great at protecting leaves from being chomped by slugs, suggests research in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Ecology. Although they lurk in the soil, they seem to protect the plants above ground. Increasing plant diversity also decreases the amount of damage slugs do to individual plants. >> Read the Full Article

ISS Ammonia Leak Repaired on Spacewalk

During an unscheduled spacewalk on the space station's exterior on Saturday morning, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy carried out the mother of all plumbing jobs: They detached a suspect ammonia pump, replaced it with a spare and watched for any further ammonia leakage. The emergency spacewalk was carried out in response to a troubling ammonia coolant leak that was discovered on Thursday. The coolant is used to maintain the temperature of the vast solar arrays the space station uses to generate electricity for its systems. But after nearly four hours of extravehicular activity, Marshburn and Cassidy reported seeing "no snow" (i.e. no ammonia flakes) as a replacement Pump and Flow Control System (PFCS) box was switched on and ammonia was pumped around the solar array at full pressure. No trace of the phantom ammonia leak was spotted by the spacewalkers' cameras nor the ever watchful mission managers in Houston, Texas. >> Read the Full Article

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in the US and is a chance to honor and give thanks to mothers, both human and those of the animal variety! In nature, mothers come in all shapes and sizes and are equipped with a wide range of different parenting styles. We've selected a handful of moms with unique and fascinating methods for raising their babies from keeping little ones close for years to kicking them right out of the nest before they can even fly! Furry and ginormous, American bison mothers live with their young in hierarchical herds led by one dominant female. Within three hours of being born, the newborn calves are able to run about but are guarded closely by many of the herds' mothers who will charge any intruders. Talk about safety in numbers! >> Read the Full Article