Environment

China just admitted 20% of its farmland is polluted

The Chinese government sort of took everyone by surprise after it made a most unaccustomed  statement; it admitted the country isn’t fairing that well. Oh, no, don’t worry. They still got plenty of money and loads to collect still. What’s beginning to be revealed is the cost of China’s new found prosperity and accelerated industrialization: […]

Facebook activism rarely goes deeper than a single click

While there’s nothing wrong in getting involved in Facebook campaigns… there’s nothing inherently good either. According to a new study, viral causes/pledges/petitions that spread via social media rarely go deeper than a single click on the “Like” button. Apparently, social media’s ability to mobilize the masses into action has been overrated – at least when it […]

Toyota confirms confirms fuel cell launch for 2015; zero local emissions and 500-mile range

Toyota has officially announced that it will launch a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car in 2015, but said sales volumes would be limited. The company announced they will use a high-density fuel stack which will have the potential to cover 500 miles on a single fuel tank. The technology will take a while to be implemented and accepted […]

Nanoparticles make turkey eggs microbe-resistant

Australian brush turkeys incubate their eggs in places most animals would stay clear of: moist piles of rotting vegetation. There are some advantages to this approach, most notably that the heat released by the microbes keeps the eggs warm but those same microbes can also get through eggshells and kill the embryos. However, even though the risks […]

Over 70% of sea otters have H1N1 swine flu, and researchers don’t know how they got it

Sea otters have entered a select, but unfortunate club: they joined the ranks of ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses  elephant seals and humans – all of which can contact the influenza. According to a new study conducted by the US Geological Survey and the CDC, sea otters living in a remote area in Washington state were found to […]

Lemurs match the scents and voices of friends

Humans are great social beings because we have an extraordinary ability to distinguish between our fellow bretheren. If you don’t suffer from prosopagnosia, also known as “face blidness”, chances are you’ll be able to easily recognize a friend’s face or voice out of a myrriad of other humans. This kind of mental ability is extraordinary […]

Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma

Scientists have shown that trauma can leave epigenetic marks - chemical changes that affect how DNA is expressed without altering its sequence. Basically, your traumatic experiences genetically affect your offspring. Scientists have recently focused on the long term after effects of trauma, finding them to be numerous and diverse. The offspring of traumatized people are at […]

The world’s most evolutionary distinct birds

We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with […]

Glow-in-the-dark roads make debut in Netherlands

They not only look awesome, but they may actually save a lot of power. Light-absorbing glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced streetlights on a 500m (0.3 mile) stretch of a highway in the Netherlands; this is just a test, and if everything goes alright, then authorities will implement them over longer and longer sections. The design was […]

Asian pollution drives storms in the Pacific

While pollution is most felt locally, where its produced, some of it eventually winds up in remote locations proving to be a global hazard even places in the world where there isn’t any kind of fossil industry. For instance, a while ago I reported how 29% of San Francisco’s pollution comes from China - be […]

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