• Why Cat Poop is Bad News for Sea Otters

    A parasite spread by cat poop is causing a big problem for endangered sea otters in California, and researchers have finally figured out how. Sea otters were nearly wiped out by the fur trade at one point, but they've been slowly making a comeback thanks to conservation efforts and protection under the Endangered Species Act. While they're on the road to recovery the latest numbers from the U.S. Geological Survey released last month shows they're population growth has stalled, with the biggest issue being that they're dying in record numbers. >> Read the Full Article
  • Companies Working to Eliminate Hunger

    With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there's no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business. >> Read the Full Article
  • First Hookworm Vaccine Passes Brazilian Safety Trial

    A vaccine for parasitic intestinal worms has been shown to be safe in Brazilian clinical trials, according to its US developer. Hookworm parasites infect more than 600 million people worldwide, attaching themselves to the intestines to feed on blood. Infection can lead to iron deficiency and capillary damage, and may retard children’s growth and mental development. >> Read the Full Article
  • Liquid detergent pods pose risks to children

    Liquid laundry and dishwasher detergent pods are an emerging source of chemical exposure in children. When squeezed or bitten into, these pods can burst and send detergent into the mouth, nose, and eyes. A new report published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) cautions that these products should be kept away from children because the bursting detergent pods can cause significant corneal injury. Detergent pods may offer a simpler way to do laundry, but they represent a source of potential danger when in the hands of a young child. Available in the European market for over a decade and first introduced to the American market in 2010, liquid detergent pods are brightly colored, which makes them attractive to young children who mistake them for toys. >> Read the Full Article
  • How Yogurt Protects Us From Environmental Poisoning

    Yogurt containing probiotic bacteria successfully protected children and pregnant women against poisoning from heavy metal exposure, according to a new study. Working with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canadian and Tanzanian researchers created and distributed a special yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria and observed the outcomes against a control group. >> Read the Full Article
  • What's best for creating drought resistant plants? Traditional breeding or GM?

    Reports show that traditional breeding techniques are years ahead of GM technologies in developing crops to withstand drought and poor soils, writes Lawrence Woodward. Yet GM advocates are sticking rigidly to their script even as the evidence mounds against them. Since its launch in 2010, the Improved Maize for African Soils Project (IMAS) has developed 21 conventionally bred varieties which have increased yield by up to 1 tonne per hectare. >> Read the Full Article
  • It's important to ventilate if you are cooking with gas!

    Cooking with gas is preferred by many cooks to alternatives. The popularity of "professional" stoves and cooktops with high-output burners makes cooking more fun perhaps, but those high-output burners also put out more contaminants. It is important to recognize this and to properly ventilate the cooking area with a hood that vents to the outside, or even a fan through the kitchen wall, or even a window. A new study by Oregon State University recommends that parents with children at home should use ventilation when cooking with a gas stove, after a new study showed an association between gas kitchen stove ventilation and asthma, asthma symptoms and chronic bronchitis. "In homes where a gas stove was used without venting, the prevalence of asthma and wheezing is higher than in homes where a gas stove was used with ventilation," said Ellen Smit, an associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and one of the study’s authors. “Parents of all children should use ventilation while using a gas stove." >> Read the Full Article
  • Connecting Productivity of Office Workers and Climate Change

    Energy efficiency in office buildings struggles to gain the attention of top management, writes John Alker - because energy is too cheap to really matter. But with 90% of operating costs spent on staff, a new report shows that green building design makes employees happier and more productive. There would seem to be no connection between the productivity of office workers and the great challenge of climate change. But a report published by the World Green Building Council suggests otherwise. >> Read the Full Article
  • If Hops aid cognitive function in mice, maybe beer will do it in humans

    Xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer, has been shown in a new study to improve cognitive function in young mice, but not in older animals. The research was just published in Behavioral Brain Research by scientists from the Linus Pauling Institute and College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. It’s another step toward understanding, and ultimately reducing the degradation of memory that happens with age in many mammalian species, including humans. >> Read the Full Article
  • Pollinators are important to nutrition, especially in poorer regions

    Declines in populations of pollinators, such as bees and wasps, may be a key threat to nutrition in some of the most poorly fed parts of the globe, according to new research. A major study, published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and co-authored by a University of Leeds academic, looked at the importance of pollinators to 115 of the most common food crops worldwide and the importance of those crops in delivering vital nutrients to vulnerable populations. >> Read the Full Article