• Victory for Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises at CITES

    Several freshwater turtle and tortoise species are to be afforded greater protection as a result of successful conservation talks at the CITES meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. At the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), proposals were put forward to restrict trade in 44 Asian turtle and tortoise species, as well as three North American pond turtle species. >> Read the Full Article
  • Meat DNA testing can help save species

    African governments need to boost local efforts to protect endangered species by supporting DNA testing, argues Linda Nordling. The horsemeat scandal that recently hit Europe has shown how DNA testing can improve food monitoring and safety. Most African countries are yet to adopt the technology despite its huge potential - both in ensuring that food is correctly labelled and in policing the illegal trade in animal products. >> Read the Full Article
  • Anti-Aging Breakthrough!

    Drugs that combat ageing may be available within five years, following landmark work led by an Australian researcher. The work, published in the March 8 issue of Science, finally proves that a single anti-ageing enzyme in the body can be targeted, with the potential to prevent age-related diseases and extend lifespans. The paper shows all of the 117 drugs tested work on the single enzyme through a common mechanism. This means that a whole new class of anti-ageing drugs is now viable, which could ultimately prevent cancer, Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes. >> Read the Full Article
  • New discovery could have potential for regenerative medicine

    Special cells that were discovered in healthy breast tissue from women undergoing breast reductions may hold the key for an important discovery. UC San Francisco researchers found that certain rare cells extracted from adult breast tissue have the capability to turn into other cell types. Similar to human embryonic stem cells, the newly found cells are pluripotent. Pluripotent cells have the potential to differentiate into almost any cell in the body. >> Read the Full Article
  • Melanoma and Obesity Connection

    A gene linked to obesity and over eating may also increase the risk of malignant melanoma – the most deadly skin cancer, according to scientists at the University of Leeds. The research, funded by Cancer Research UK, shows that people with particular variations in a stretch of DNA within the FTO gene, called intron 8, could be at greater risk of developing melanoma. >> Read the Full Article
  • Housing improvements linked to good health

    Having enough suitable living space is a key determinant of health outcomes around the world, a review of studies on housing improvements for health has found. Initiatives targeting housing improvements at the most impoverished people and those in the poorest health were more effective than generic schemes targeting entire areas, the review found. >> Read the Full Article
  • International Year of Water Cooperation

    As organizations around the world search for ways to ensure that impoverished communities have dependable access to drinking water, a new concern has surfaced: Just who will own the rights to managing that water access in the years to come? In 2010, in what seemed at the time to be an awesome example of prescience, the United Nations labeled 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC). Of course, the branding wasn't intended to recognize accomplishments the world has made in sharing its water resources, but to spur countries and communities around the globe to acknowledge that the potential for a global water crisis is real and that according to the UN, challenges such as "water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financing cooperation, national/international legal frameworks" need to be addressed. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Bangladesh Arsenic Problem

    Arsenic contamination of the groundwater in Bangladesh is a serious problem. In the Ganges Delta, the affected wells are typically more than 20 meters and less than 100 meters deep. Groundwater closer to the surface typically has spent a shorter time in the ground, therefore likely absorbing a lower concentration of arsenic; water deeper than 100 meters is exposed to much older sediments which have already been depleted of arsenic. Human activities are not the primary cause of arsenic found in groundwater in Bangladesh. A team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Barnard College, Columbia University, University of Dhaka, Desert Research Institute and University of Tennessee found that the arsenic in groundwater in the region is part of a natural process that predates any recent human activity, such as intensive pumping. >> Read the Full Article
  • Low Blood Pressure and Low AD?

    Could a common blood pressure drug slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s? The multi-centre clinical trial, hosted by North Bristol NHS Trust and led by a group of academics from the University of Bristol, University of Cambridge and Queen’s University Belfast, will find out if losartan, a well-tolerated drug for high blood pressure, can complement current treatments for AD. The researchers believe the drug could slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by improving brain blood flow and altering chemical pathways that cause brain cell damage, brain shrinkage and memory problems in AD. >> Read the Full Article
  • EU Hopes to Make Progress with Fishing Industry Reforms

    Overfishing has been an important environmental issue recently as catching too many fish in one area can lead to food chain imbalances and the overall degradation of that system. Christian Schwagerl for YaleEnvironment360 discusses Europe’s over-subsidized fishing industry and what members of the European Union (EU) are doing to change and protect Europe’s marine environment. >> Read the Full Article