• Reducing evaporation from LA reservoirs

    On Monday afternoon, the 20,000 black plastic balls tumbled down the slopes of Los Angeles Reservoir, joining 95,980,000 of their brethren already covering the surface of the water.

    The final deployment of these shade balls was the last step in a $34.5 million water quality protection project aimed at preventing evaporation and algae growth in the reservoir.

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  • Stem Cell Research Identifies Effects of Pollution on Human Health

    A recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Sciences (JES) shows that embryonic stem cells could serve as a model to evaluate the physiological effects of environmental pollutants efficiently and cost-effectively.

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  • The benefits of eating spicy food

    People who eat spicy foods nearly every day have a 14% lower risk of death compared with those who consume spicy foods less than once a week, according to a new study. Regular spicy food eaters are also less likely to die from cancer, heart, and respiratory diseases than those who eat spicy foods infrequently.

    “The findings are highly novel,” said Lu Qi, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the study’s co-lead author. “To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first reporting a link between spicy food intake and mortality.”

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  • How changing land use pattern in the Caribbean is impacting storm risks

    Turning natural landscapes in the Caribbean into urban areas or farmland may increase the risk of people dying from floods and storms, scientists suggest.
     
    In a study published by Scientific Reports last month (8 July), researchers from Anguilla’s health ministry and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium investigate which factors make the region more prone to deaths related to these disasters. Out of 20 variables, they found that using a greater proportion of land for agriculture and having a higher percentage of people living in urban areas were consistently linked with deadlier floods and storms. 

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  • What actually causes aging?

    When does aging really begin? Two Northwestern University scientists now have a molecular clue. In a study of the transparent roundworm C. elegans, they found that adult cells abruptly begin their downhill slide when an animal reaches reproductive maturity.

    A genetic switch starts the aging process by turning off cell stress responses that protect the cell by keeping important proteins folded and functional. The switch is thrown by germline stem cells in early adulthood, after the animal starts to reproduce, ensuring its line will live on.

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  • Ways to improve indoor air quality

    Indoor air quality isn’t something most people think about, but breathing clean air can and does impact out health. Here’s why paying attention to the air you breathe indoors is so important and how to then go about improving it. 

    Vacuum More Often

    Vacuuming more often will help keep dust at bay, but many vacuums also come with a filter system which can remove mold, pollen, and other air pollutants. Aim to vacuum at least once a week, twice if you live with animals.

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  • Diesel exhaust found causing health hazards in EU cities

    The automotive industry needs to face up to the hazard to health posed by its diesel engines. That stark reality was brought home again to Europeans and, in particular, Londoners last week when Transport for London and the Greater London Authority revealed that an additional 5,900 early deaths annually in the EU’s largest city are attributable to long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic gas emitted in urban areas largely from diesel engines.

    Concern about the health effects of NO2 is growing fast. The gas was known to irritate lungs and cause respiratory infections and asthma, including acute respiratory illnesses in children. It has also been linked to birth abnormalities. But this new research by King’s College London estimates for the first time the number of premature deaths caused. The study also shows an additional 3,500 deaths are caused by PM2.5, bringing the total number of people who die early because of air pollution annually in London to 9,400.

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  • Do you always get sick when flying? Try Elderberries for some relief

    The negative health effects of international air travel are well documented but now it seems that the common elderberry can provide some relief.

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  • Disaster displacement on the rise

    In the last seven years, an estimated one person every second has been forced to flee their home by a natural disaster, with 19.3 million people forced to flee their homes in 2014 alone, according to a new report. The research suggests disaster displacement is on the rise, and as policy leaders worldwide advance towards the adoption of a post-2015 global agenda, the time has never been better to address it.

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  • EPA Releases Updated Environmental and Public Health Indicators in Online Database

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released updated environmental and public health indicators in an online database, making information about the current and historical condition of the nation’s environment and human health more accessible to the public. This is an online update to EPA’s Report on the Environment. Users can explore 85 individual indicators-- on our air, water, land, human exposure, health and ecological condition-- using interactive graphs, tables, and maps, and download the data for each indicator.

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