Wild monkeys to monitor radiation levels in Japan

How do you measure the radiation level at the Fukushima power plant, without endangering people in the process? Researchers found quite a creative way of doing this: they tagged wild monkeys which hang around the place anyway with radiation sensors. Takayuki Takahashi explained that he and his team are planning to put radiation-measuring collars on three such monkeys, as well

New toxic coal ash pollutant sites listed by environmental group

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in collaboration with the  independent Environmental Integrity Project, have identified 20 new sites in the US contaminated with toxic coal ash, raising the number to a current total of 157 sites nationwide, whose water supplies and soil ares contaminated. Coal ash is the waste which results from coal combustion, filled with arsenic, selenium, lead, cadmium and

Greenland lifts after 100bn tons of ice melted in 2010

Apparently, parts of Greenland‘s southern bedrock rose by as much as three quarters of an inch after glaciers and ice sheets above its surface melted during 2010. In figures, 100 billion tons of ice melted that year according to Professor Michael Bevis who presented his findings at a conference in  San Francisco this past Friday. The data came from an array of

Fish that can breath above water hints on the evolution of walking

Researchers studying a primitive fish exhibiting an eel-like body, and which can breath above water, claim that the creature’s ancestors might actually be the true innovators of walking. By using an extensive video analysis, the researchers observed how the African lungfish, when put out of the water, uses its pelvic muscles to not only lift itself off the surface, but also

Canada becomes the first country to back out of the Kyoto pact

The Kyoto protocol is the only international pact aimed at fighting global warming; adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, it is signed and ratified by 191 states, the only major country not to sign it being (drum rolls)… the United States! Other states yet to ratify the Kyoto protocol include Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan. For Canada, the

The “Elvis” Monkey and Psychedelic Gecko – among new species discovered in SE Asia

This past year alone, scientists have reveled no less than 208 new species in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, among them a psychedelic gecko and a monkey with an uncanny “Elvis” hairdo. According to a report released by the WWF, this slew of newly discovered species are part of highly biodiverse region, currently under threat by habitat loss, deforestation, climate change and overdevelopment.

Glacier in Chile retreats half a mile in a year

According to Chile’s Centre for Scientific Studies (CECs) it seems like an array of glaciers located in the country’s south have shrunk extensively recently. One such glacier, the Jorge Montt, was documented for a whole year by researchers who observed that its rate of shrinkage is the largest in the country, with snout retreating a whopping 1 kilometer during the

Chernnobyl fungus feeds on nuclear radiation

You know Chernobyl, right? The place of the biggest nuclear accident in the world? The place is so radioactive nobody lives in the vicinity anymore, and nearby plants are suffering major amounts of radiation. However, not everybody is sad about this event; a type of fungi (mushrooms) possess an ability beyond imagination: they can take the lethal radiation and use

Climate Change: Major Threat to Hind Kush Himalayan Region: Study

Hyderabad, Dec 5, 2011: Imagine melting of glaciers, ice and snow from the magnificent Mount Everest and other world’s highest mountains in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region as a result of global warming and climate change. Consequent floods in the mountain ranges and downstream Asia’s major river basins will not only affect the rich biodiversity, but hit livelihood of 210

Stop Pollution or Face Severe Storms in South Asia

Hyderabad (South India): Man is the maker of his own destiny, say elders. The latest scientific studies on oceans endorse this adage. Be it  severe cyclonic storms, significant rainfall reductions, crop damages, mass mortalities and melting of Himalayan glaciers – all these could be prevented, if not minimized to a large extent, if we adopt changes in our urban life

Shorties: extremely rare Persian Leopard caught on tape

Camera traps positioned in the rocky terrain from Afghanistan recently caught surprising photographs of a Persian leopard, a top predator, but which was long thought extinct from the area. However, this series of images shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the predator is still, against all odds, alive and kicking. But sadly, despite all its amazing qualities and

Cloning a mammoth ? Not so fast!

In a recent post I was telling you about Russian and Japanese researchers working together with the purpose of cloning a mammoth from bone marrow DNA recently found in Siberia. However, many researchers are extremely skeptical about this, including some of the world’s leading experts. “C’mon, it’ll never happen. Not in my lifetime,” said Webb Miller, a Penn State computer

Japan’s tsunami was actually a double killer wave

This summer Japan was hit by a tremendous 9.0 Richter scale earthquake, which generated one of the most powerful tsunamis in recorded history. The event killed thousands, left countless others homeless, caused major damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant , which lead to  radiation leakage and more than $130 bln in damage. Now, new details amassed from correlated weather satellite

Elusive rare bumblebee rediscovered after more than 50 years

Known as “Cockerell’s bumblebee“, this particular species has managed to elude entomologists and basically anyone else with the trained eye to spot them for decades now. Recently, a group of scientists has managed to track and spot the bumblebee for the first time since 1956 in the White Mountains of south-central New Mexico. Cockerell’s bumblebee was first described in 1913 using

BP and Halliburton point fingers at each other in the oil spill trial

British Petroleum (BP) accused Halliburton, one of the biggest oil service companies in the world, of destroying evidence which showed they did faulty cement work in the huge oil spill which took place last year in the Gulf of Mexico. The accusation was launched during a BP court filing and it brought even more mystery and dirt into an already

Man responsible for three quarters of climate change

A new independent study conducted by researchers from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, has concluded that natural climate variability is highly unlike to have contributed more than a quarter of the total dramatic temperature increase the Earth has faced since the 1950s. The study concludes that man made activities resulting in greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for

Jurassic Park comes to life in New Jersey. Robot-dinos!

New Jersey will soon be home to the closest thing to Jurassic Park so far, after yesterday the only press release in the world to feature dinosaurs announced that  Field Station: Dinosaurs, an new kind of innovative theme park which opens in Secaucus in May 2012. With the guidance of paleontologists from the New Jersey State Museum, the exhibit will feature

Icelandic volcano eruption might cause local turmoil

For the past few months, the mighty Katla volcano, close to the Icelandic coast, has been exhibiting intense seismic activity, hinting towards an imminent eruption. With a caldera of 10 kilometers, a long history of causing havoc and pain, Katla has the potential of flooding the Atlantic Ocean with billions of gallons of water left over from the melting of

Paper wasps recognize each others faces

You’ve seen a wasp, you’ve seen another, and might think they all look the same, however it seems that among wasps, at least, the one hive mind doesn’t apply to appearances as well, as a new study shows that  paper wasps developed the ability to recognize each other’s faces, just like humans. Individuals of a species have learned to identify

Ice sheets in Antarctica formed by massive fall in CO2

Antarctica is the most the arid place on Earth. Its climate is so rough, so hazardous that no permanent human populace can live there, however just a few million years ago the harsh plains of the south and north poles had a subtropical climate – a paradise for life. During a transition period of just 100,000 years, a blink of an eye