Friday, December 31, 2010

Growing Atlantic dead zone shrinks habitat for Species

A dead zone off the coast of West Africa is reducing the amount of available habitat for Atlantic tuna and billfish species, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in a study published in Fisheries Oceanography. The zone is growing due to rising water temperatures and is expected to cause over-harvest of tuna and billfish as the fish seek higher levels of oxygen in areas with greater fisheries activity.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

NASA project for irrigation management

To support irrigation management decisions by agricultural producers, NASA has launched a project that uses the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS), a software application that processes imagery from Earth-observing satellites and delivers new sources of information to California growers.

TOPS combines data from NASA satellites, with local weather observations to provide information about crop water needs. The project is an example of NASA’s efforts to address needs outside the science community, such as water management in California and the western US.
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Animal trafficking flourishes in Brazil



Discovered in Israel, the finding challenges conventional wisdom that Homo sapiens originated in Africa.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Environmental Limit Species Diversity

 New research on lizards in the Caribbean demonstrates that species diversification is limited by the environment. The finding supports and extends the MacArthur-Wilson theory of island biogeography.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New species in Peru

Each year, a new bird is found and every four years a new mammal discovered in the Peruvian Amazon, a haven for biodiversity where conservation and danger often go hand in hand.Skip related content
Although Peru is known for its Andes mountain range, the Amazon actually covers 60 percent of the country's territory. It is a hotbed of bio-activity and is home to 25,000 species of plants -- 10 percent of the world's stock.
Thanks to the Amazon, Peru has the world's second-largest bird population (1,800 species) and is among the top five countries for mammals (515 species) and reptiles (418 species).
This year alone, scientists stumbled upon a previously unknown leech and a new type of mosquito.
The animal population has grown in recent years, namely adding a mini poison dart frog with a fire-red head and blue legs (Ranitomeya amazonica), a purple-throated Sunangel hummingbird (Heliangelus viola) and a "tyrannosaurus leech" with eight teeth (Tyrannobdella reina).
More than 1,200 new species of plants or animals have been discovered in 10 years in the Amazon, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature. But paradoxically, the novel species are often discovered during the very activities that threaten the Amazon the most.Peru, home to one of the biggest forest lands -- 700,000 square kilometers (270,270 square miles) -- is also a magnet for resource extraction.
Gerard Herail of France's IRD research and development institute in Lima noted that "a mining or hydrocarbons firm is not innately destructive. The key is whether or not it is 'clean'," or uses cleaner methods and technologies.
More species are disappearing than are being discovered around the world, noted Ernesto Raez, who heads the Sustainable Development Center at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blizzard causes air travel havoc

The first widespread blizzard of the season slammed the northeastern United States on the heavily traveled Christmas weekend on Sunday, canceling more than 1,500 flights, shutting the Amtrak passenger rail and challenging motorists on icy roads. The Atlantic storm unleashed powerful winds as it moved up the coast, dumping a foot of sideways-blowing snow on some areas with more expected up to the morning commute on Monday. Massachusetts and Maine declared states of emergency with only essential workers asked to work in Boston.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Undersea Quake caused small tsunami in south Pacific

An undersea earthquake on Saturday caused a minor tsunami in the South Pacific but islanders said there were no reports of large-scale fluctuations in sea level or of damage or injuries.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Fossil link to unknown human group

A 30,000-year-old fossil finger bone found in a Siberian cave belonged to a previously unknown strain of human, scientists say.Skip related content
The surprising discovery came after researchers analysed unusually well-preserved DNA from the bone.
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Growth Delaying Hormone Increases Longevity

 A compound which acts in the opposite way as growth hormone can reverse some of the signs of aging, a research team that includes a Saint Louis University physician has shown. The finding may be counter-intuitive to some older adults who take growth hormone, thinking it will help revitalize them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Component in Common Dairy Foods May Cut Diabetes Risk

Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and collaborators from other institutions have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The compound, trans-palmitoleic acid, is a fatty acid found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It is not produced by the body and so only comes from the diet.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Three Billion-Year-Old Genomic Fossils Deciphered

About 580 million years ago, life on Earth began a rapid period of change called the Cambrian Explosion, a period defined by the birth of new life forms over many millions of years that ultimately helped bring about the modern diversity of animals. Fossils help palaeontologists chronicle the evolution of life since then, but drawing a picture of life during the 3 billion years that preceded the Cambrian Period is challenging, because the soft-bodied Precambrian cells rarely left fossil imprints. However, those early life forms did leave behind one abundant microscopic fossil: DNA.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweden permits new wolf hunt despite criticism

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency said that between January 15 and February 15 licensed hunters will be permitted to shoot 20 wolves, down from the quota of 27 animals this year.
The Swedish parliament decided last year to limit the wolf population to 210 animals, spread out in 20 packs, with 20 new pups per year, for a period of five years by issuing hunting permits in regions where wolves have recently reproduced.
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Cyclone Lasting More Than Five Years Is Detected on Saturn

Researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) have been monitoring a cyclone on Saturn for more than five years. This makes it the longest-lasting cyclone detected to date on any of the giant planets of the Solar System. Images from the Cassini probe were used to carry out this study.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Almonds May Lower Risks of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease

A new study from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey suggests that an almond-enriched diet can improve insulin sensitivity and lower LDL-cholesterol levels for people with prediabetes.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

City Lights Affects Air Pollution

Excess light at night can contribute to air pollution, according to a study by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. Findings presented at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Monday indicate that uplight from outdoor lighting that contributes to sky glow over cities also interferes with chemical reactions that naturally clean the air during nighttime hours.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Type 1 Diabetes:Can you Grow Your Own Transplant?

Men with type 1 diabetes may be able to grow their own insulin-producing cells from their testicular tissue, say Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) researchers who presented their findings Dec. 12 at the American Society of Cell Biology 50th annual meeting in Philadelphia.
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Greenland Ice Sheet Flow Driven by Short-Term Weather Extremes

The ice sheet consists of layers of compressed snow and covers roughly 80 per cent of the surface of Greenland. Since the 1990s, it has been documented to be losing approximately 100 billion tonnes of ice per year -- a process that most scientists agree is accelerating, but has been poorly understood. Some of the loss has been attributed to accelerated glacier flow towards ocean outlets.Now a new study, published in the journal Nature, shows that a steady meltwater supply from gradual warming may in fact slow down glacier flow, while sudden water input could cause glaciers to speed up and spread, resulting in increased melt....
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Antibacterial Soaps: Being Too Clean Can Make People Sick

Young people who are overexposed to antibacterial soaps containing triclosan may suffer more allergies, and exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A among adults may negatively influence the immune system, a new University of Michigan School of Public Health study suggests.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Same Face May Look Male or Female

 Neuroscientists at MIT and Harvard have made the surprising discovery that the brain sees some faces as male when they appear in one area of a person's field of view, but female when they appear in a different location.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

U.N. panel issues 20 million carbon offsets

A United Nations panel overseeing trade in carbon offsets under the Kyoto Protocol decided late on Friday to issue 20 million tonnes of offsets, the information company Point Carbon reported.
The panel, known as the executive board, oversees a $20 billion trade in offsets which allows rich countries to meet greenhouse gas emission limits by paying for carbon cuts in developing nations.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Size of Mammals Exploded After Dinosaur Extinction

Researchers have demonstrated that the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago paved the way for mammals to get bigger -- about a thousand times bigger than they had been. The study titled, "The Evolution of Maximum Body Size of Terrestrial Mammals," released in the journal Science, is the first to quantitatively explore the patterns of body size of mammals after the demise of the dinosaurs.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hubble Captures New Star Birth in an Ancient Galaxy

Elliptical galaxies were once thought to be aging star cities whose star-making heyday was billions of years ago.
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China rules out linking climate aid to transparency

China said on  it will not agree to any deal tying climate change aid from rich nations to its acceptance of tighter international checks of its greenhouse gas emissions, which it said will grow for some time.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Macedonia plants seven million trees to revive its forests

Macedonians took a day off work on Friday to plant seven million trees as part of a project started in 2008 to revive fire-ravaged forests in the landlocked Balkan country.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dig below Dead Sea for a slice of Earth's history

An international team of scientists has begun drilling deep below the Dead Sea in an effort to extract material that could provide an unusual look at Earth's history over the past 500,000 years.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010


Six mummified dogs dating back to the Inca period have been discovered just south of Lima.X-rays will be used to determine the breed of the animals and whether the dogs were slaughtered.The mummified remains of four children were also found at the site.   

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Researchers Discover Toxic Algae in Open Water

Louisiana State University's Sibel Bargu, along with her former graduate student Ana Garcia, from the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in LSU's School of the Coast & Environment, has discovered toxic algae in vast, remote regions of the open ocean for the first time.
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Environmentalists attack Australia's move to sell uranium to Russia

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giant Bubbles Found in Space

Astronomers discover new type of object -- huge bubbles of gamma rays stemming from the heart of the galaxy.The two bubbles could have been inflated by a past eruption from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.The bubbles span 50,000 light-years across the sky.
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Monday, November 8, 2010

The Principal Agglomerations of the World

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Biofuel Accelerates Climate Change

European plans to promote biofuels will drive farmers to convert 69,000 square km of wild land into fields and plantations, depriving the poor of food and accelerating climate change, a report warned on Monday.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Can Carbon Dioxide Be A Good Thing?

Too much carbon dioxide can be a bad thing, but sometimes it can have a positive effect on plants and trees. The more carbon emissions we dump into the air, the faster forests and plants grow.This new revelation is the result of research done by the North American carbon program. 
Scott Denning, Ph.D., a physicist from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, explains the North American Carbon Program, "We are measuring CO2 in the  atmosphere at dozens of places every hour around the United States and Canada."
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Study Links Fresh Mars Gullies to Carbon Dioxide

Researchers have tracked changes in gullies on faces of sand dunes in seven locations on southern Mars. The periods when changes occurred, as determined by comparisons of before-and-after images, overlapped in all cases with the known winter build-up of carbon-dioxide frost on the dunes. Before-and-after pairs that covered periods only in spring, summer and autumn showed no new activity in those seasons.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Top 10 Exceptional Lakes In The World

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India to flag off first scientific expedition to South Pole

During their 40-day journey, the scientists will conduct experiments, gather atmospheric data and collect ice cores from the frozen continent in their bid to understand the changes in the environment over past 1,000 years.Besides Ravindra, Ajay Dhar, Javed Beg, Thamban Meloth, Asit Swain, Pradip Malhotra, Krishnamurthy and Surat Singh will be part of the team.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

One-horned rhino killed in Kaziranga park

An endangered one-horned rhino was killed and its horn gouged out by poacher gangs at the famed Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India.
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India will facilitate global plan to save animals and plants

The Oct 18-29 UN biodiversity summit  appointed India as one of the facilitators in an attempt to reach a global deal that aims to halt the loss of plants, animals and their habitats by 2020.
The summit of 192 countries and the European Union (EU) here has been stuck over three points - what percentage of the earth’s land and seas should be set aside for conservation; how much should rich countries pay poor countries for this; how much should pharmaceutical and cosmetics firms pay when they use the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants. The third point is about the debate known as access and benefit sharing (ABS).
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Monday, October 25, 2010

New Carbon Maps to curb climate change and boost biodiversity

New Country Maps Pinpoint Places Where Investments in Carbon Can Contribute to Community Livelihoods and Wider Conservation Goals..
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arctic Continues to Warm at Unprecedented Rate

The Arctic region, also called the "planet's refrigerator," continues to heat up, affecting local populations and ecosystems as well as weather patterns in the most populated parts of the Northern Hemisphere, according to a team of 69 international scientists.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Freshwater losses pose risks for food, health

Damage to rivers, wetlands and lakes threatens to destabilize the diversity of freshwater fish species, posing risks for food security, incomes and nutrition, a Rivers and lakes are the source of 13 million metric tonnes of fish annually, which in turn provide employment to 60 million people, the study by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Fish Center showed.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Singapore presses Indonesia to Contain forest fires

Singapore on Thursday urged Indonesia to take action on forest fires on Sumatra island as air pollution reached health-threatening levels in the neighbouring city-state.
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Warmer Arctic probably permanent

The signs of climate change were all over the Arctic this year -- warmer air, less sea ice, melting glaciers -- which probably means this weather-making region will not return to its former, colder state, scientists reported.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

GIS for welfare and poverty eradication in Malaysia

Under the Rural Development Master Plan (RDMP), Malaysia’s Rural and Regional Development Ministry updated database of the villages as it was suggested by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The plan aims to eradicate poverty as well as look after the welfare of the rural dwellers, said Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Rural and Regional Development Minister, Malaysia.

Mohd Shafie said that the GIS database contained information on the area such as the number of population, number of houses, roads as well as educational facilities and hospitals. Further, he added, "The master plan can address the issues which we are trying to resolve such as the duplication of functions and responsibilities because at times the distribution of food and aid was carried out by various ministries such as the Health Ministry and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry whereas such a massive requirement was a waste."

According to Mohd Shafie, the master plan could be taken as a guide in all plans to be implemented by all ministries and agencies involved in rural development at the national and local levels.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

China electric vehicles output to hit 1 million

China's output of electric vehicles is expected to reach 1 million units by 2020, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, citing a senior government official.
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U.S. to Try Afghan peace with Agricultural Recovery

As the United States struggles to end the longest war in its history in Afghanistan, agriculture is becoming a crucial part of its long-term strategy.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

NASA launches Environment monitoring system in Nepal

Charles F. Bolden, the Administrator of NASA, launched SERVIR HIMALA, a state-of-the-art earth monitoring system in Kathmandu, Nepal. It integrates satellite and other geospatial data to address pressing environmental and climate change issues affecting the planet.

Initiated by NASA and USAID, SERVIR has been recognised by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) as an early achiever of the GEO vision. SERVER works to bring people and their environment into harmony, said Bolden, who was in Kathmandu to address a symposium on the theme, ''Earth Observation: Bridging the Data Gap for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Hindu-Kush”

"SERVIR includes three regional centres which are working together to address pressing environmental issues affecting our planet," he said. "The first is in Central America, and the Caribbean, based in Panama; the second is in East Africa and is based in Kenya; and now the third is in the Himalayan region, based in Nepal."

SERVIR Himala has already been helping map the recent flooding in Pakistan through USAID support and NASA satellite data, he said.

Will India have it's own OS?

 Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is working on creating a futuristic computing system, including India's own operating system. Two software engineering centres are being set up for this purpose in Bangalore and New Delhi and 25 scientists at each of these centres are working towards it. "We do not have our own operating system. Today, various bodies, including banks and defence establishments, need security. Having our own operating system will help us prevent hacking of our systems," said V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director-General.
Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the Centre for Development of Telematics, besides universities and industries are in touch for the fulfillment of the project. Citing security reasons, he refused to provide details of organisations involved in the project. The new operating system would also have commercial use. Saraswat also said that it was fairly a costly affair, without elaborating on the timeframe.
full story here 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Goal set for capping emissions from international aviation

The International Civil Aviation Organization has set a goal of capping emissions from international aviation beginning in 2020 while gradually improving fuel efficiency.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Haze on Saturn's Moon Titan May Hold Ingredients for Life

 In an experiment exploring the chemical processes that might be going on in the hazy atmosphere enshrouding Saturn's largest moon, a University of Arizona-led team of scientists discovered a variety of complex organic molecules -- including amino acids and nucleotide bases, the most important ingredients of life on Earth.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Powerful Supercomputer Peers Into the Origin of Life

Supercomputer simulations at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are helping scientists unravel how nucleic acids could have contributed to the origins of life.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Genetically Altered Trees, Plants Help Counter Global Warming

Forests of genetically altered trees and other plants could sequester several billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year and so help ameliorate global warming, according to estimates published in the October issue of BioScience. The study, by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, outlines a variety of strategies for augmenting the processes that plants use to sequester carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into long-lived forms of carbon, first in vegetation and ultimately in soil.
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Surprising Changes at Solar Boundary

When NASA launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) on October 19, 2008, space physicists held their collective breath for never-before-seen views of a collision zone far beyond the planets, roughly 10 billion miles away. That's where the solar wind, an outward rush of charged particles and magnetic fields continuously spewed by the Sun, runs into the flow of particles and fields that permeates interstellar space in our neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy.
Now scientists have finished assembling a second complete sweep around the sky, and IBEX has delivered an unexpected result: the map has changed significantly. 

Indonesia’s Unique Climate Experiment

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Now Walk Around the Beautiful Antarctica with Google Maps

Google Street View cameras have mapped a miniscule patch of land in Antarctica that is inhabited by penguins and this imagery is now live on Google Maps for all to explore.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Argentine Congress votes to restrict mining near glaciers

Argentina's Congress passed a law early Thursday that seeks to protect environmentally sensitive glaciers by imposing strict limits on mining, potentially affecting foreign investments.
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Rivers around the world are in a crisis

The vast majority of the world's rivers are reeling from pollution, over-development and excessive extraction, and billions of dollars of investment by rich countries to avert water stress have damaged biodiversity.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Extinction threat to one fifth of world's plants

More than a fifth of the world's plant species faces the threat of extinction, a trend with potentially catastrophic effects for life on Earth, according to research released on Wednesday.
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