Scientists examine over 1,000 chemicals from fracking fluids: many linked to reproductive or development toxicity

The indispensable chemical mixture that allows the industry to fracture rock and release the gas trapped inside looks almost like a black box. More than 1,000 chemicals are used in the fracking fluid, but a paper published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology found toxicity information was lacking for 76% of them. In other words, these could be harmless or dangerous. There’s no way to know at this point. Concerning the rest — about 240 substances — the researchers found evidence that suggests reproductive toxicity for 103 (43%), developmental toxicity for 95 (40%), and both for 41 (17%).

The Number of Trees has Halved Since Human Civilization Emerged

Today, the Earth has approximately 3 trillion trees left standing – about 422 per person – but we’ve already cut 46% of them.

Snakes evolved on land, possibly with toes and feet

A new analysis conducted by Yale researchers revealed that the first snakes may have actually evolved on land, not in water. These proto-snakes were likely night hunters that might have had hind legs and even toes. “We generated the first comprehensive reconstruction of what the ancestral snake was like,” said Allison Hsiang, lead author the study published online May 19

Astronomers discover farthest galaxy yet

A team of astronomers from Yale and the University of California-Santa Cruz have looked back in time, discovering a galaxy that was formed when the Universe was only 5% of its current age. This is now the farthest, and youngest galaxy known to date.

NASA officially starts program to look for alien life

Just after NASA researchers made the bold claim that they will find alien life in less than 20 years, the space agency has officially launched a project to look for it. The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or “NExSS” will be a project integrating several fields of science, aiming to better understand exoplanets with the potential to host life, as well as planet-life interactions.

This giant arthropod was the biggest creature of its time

Some 480 million years ago the seven-foot-long Aegirocassis benmoulae swam in a shallow sea covering what is today the Sahara desert. This giant arthropod, much larger than arthropods existing today, was likely the biggest creature in the world at the time.

Older diabetics face high over-treatment risk

The “one size fits all” approach to diabetics treatment may cause significant problems for older patients also suffering from other conditions. Attempting to aggressively control blood sugar with insulin and sulfonylurea drugs could lead to over-treatment and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Yale researchers report.

Adding water to solids can actually make them stronger, providing engineers with exciting new material composites

Some findings are just counterintuitive. I mean, you’d think that adding water to materials would always make them softer, right ? Well according to Yale researchers, that’s not necessarily the case. The team found that you could improve the strength of a composite by 30 percent by embedding droplets of water into its structure. Adding pockets of water to solids can

Memory deficits of the elderly may be reversed

A team of researchers from Yale University have shown at a cellular basis why we tend to be more forgetful as we age, and claim that the condition may be reversed. There’s no secret to the fact that an elderly person has a much weaker memory than the one he did at 20 years of age, but the whole process