Posts

September 13, 2014

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2:31 PM | Chinook in the upper Elwha
The National Park Service reported three Chinook salmon have already found there way into the upper Elwha, upstream of Glines Canyon Dam. The last of the dam, on the Olympic Peninsula salmon river, came down last month: Following an observation by a fisheries biologist and member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of a possible ...Continue reading ‘Chinook in the upper Elwha’ »

September 12, 2014

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6:59 PM | Saving a Sea of Strange
By Jason Bittel Coral is weird stuff. Reefs can stretch for miles, but the actual animal (yes, coral’s an animal) is pretty tiny—a single polyp attaching itself to other polyps to form massive undersea ecosystems. Coral have tentacles, mouths, and exoskeletons. Some look like fans. Some look like trees. Others look like brains. And they range from the rock-hard to the soft and slimy. But many of the 6,000-plus coral species have at least one […]
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5:46 PM | Research Recap: This Week in EPA Science
By Kacey Fitzpatrick One thing I’ve learned since starting work here at EPA is that we love to use acronyms. I even keep a running list in my notebook which I sometimes discretely check mid-conversation. For example, I work in EPA ORD IOAA Comms (translation: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Immediate Office […]
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3:39 PM | DNA origami
DNA origami are self-assembling biochemical structures that are made up of two types of DNA. To make DNA origami, researchers begin with a biologically derived strand of DNA called the scaffold strand. Then they design customized synthetic strands of DNA, called staple strands. Each staple strand is made up of a specific sequence designed to pair with specific subsequences on the scaffold strand.Staple strands are introduced into a solution containing the scaffold strand, and the solution is […]
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2:30 PM | Canada Lynx Protections Slink into New Mexico
By Susan Cosier The Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday that it will protect the Canada lynx in New Mexico. Yay! The big cat—which lives in forested areas of Canada (duh), New England, the Northwest, and the Rockies down to New Mexico—is now considered "threatened" throughout the Lower 48. The agency, however, did not designate any critical habitat for the species in the southern Rockies or New England. This means hunting the animal […]
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2:00 PM | Coastal Cleanup 2014: Taming Beach Trash
Plastics provide convenience but litter our oceans and waterways. Find out about efforts to clean up our coast and inland waterways at this year's annual Coastal Cleanup and how the "bag ban" may help keep trash out of our environment.
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1:00 PM | Environmentalists Sue Over Crude-by-Rail Safety
The environmental group Earthjustice is suing the U.S. Department of Transportation over the safety of the rail cars used to carry crude oil to California and around the country.
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12:00 PM | Sharks prefer healthy reefs, healthy reefs need sharks
Stop fishing, and there will be more fish. That’s the idea, at least. Indeed, sharks were more abundant in no-fishing zones in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) than in spots where fishing is allowed according to a new study just published by a group of Australian researchers. But the story is actually more
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11:08 AM | A dark future sprouting from sealed soil
Every year in Europe, soils covering an area larger than the city of Berlin are lost to urban sprawl and transport infrastructure. This unsustainable trend threatens the availability of fertile soils and groundwater reservoirs for future generations. A new report made public today by the European Commission recommends a three-tiered approach focused on limiting the […]

September 11, 2014

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9:04 PM | California Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database
To help adapt to the increased flood risks affecting people and property along the coast, the San Francisco Bay and inland waterways, California lawmakers sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown that would direct the state to compile the nation’s most elaborate sea level rise planning database.
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7:31 PM | #18: A Feeling of Emptiness
We had a stretch of good weather forecast for last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  We were all excited for multiple boats on the water, good weather, long days, and lots of whales.  On Sunday we surveyed the western side of  the Grand Manan Basin with the  R/V Nereid.  On Monday, both the R/V Nereid and the R/V Selkie were on the water and completed an extensive survey of the basin in excellent
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7:02 PM | Seeing the Light: Freeing the Birds of 9/11
Today is 9/11 . From dusk tonight until dawn tomorrow morning, eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares will echo the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. This ” Tribute in Light” reaches 4 miles into the sky and is the strongest shaft of light ever projected from earth into the […]
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6:51 PM | California’s Earthquake Early Warning System Is Ready to Get Started
The Third International Conference on Earthquake Early Warning, held in Berkeley last week, was a revealing glimpse of our future, in which we'll get precious seconds of notice before earthquake shaking strikes our lives and buildings.
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5:20 PM | What crab is it?
Originally from Asia, the brush-clawed shore crab appeared in Europe in 1993, likely transported through hull fouling or ballast water. The first specimens were found on a ship’s hull of a car-carrier in the harbor of Bremerhaven, Germany. However, no established reproductive population could be found at that time. A year later they started a real invasion at the Atlantic coast near La Rochelle quickly expanding their range north and south along French and Spanish Atlantic coasts. By […]
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4:08 PM | Chalk Like an Egyptian
By Brian Palmer The year is 9014. While digging up the remains of our civilization, our distant descendants happen upon the painting below. You may recognize the work as Edward Hicks’ The Peaceable Kingdom, but what will future humans—or perhaps the mutant rats that have inherited the Earth—think of it? Many big-cat species may not survive two more decades, let alone seven millennia. What will future beings think of those two enormous […]
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3:25 PM | Financial Crime, Corruption and the Global Financial Crisis: What is the role of regulation?
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. A multidisciplinary public workshop took place at Durham University early this summer entitled, ‘Financial Crime, Corruption and the Global Financial Crisis: What is the role of regulation?’ hosted by IHRR and the Global Policy journal. The event was facilitated by [...] The post Financial Crime, Corruption and the Global Financial Crisis: What is the role of regulation? appeared […]
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2:23 PM | Jiminy Crickets! These Aren’t Your Grandma’s Insects
By Susan Cosier
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2:00 PM | Digitally Detecting Waterborne Illnesses
By Marguerite Huber The smaller something is, the harder it is to find. Just try finding a needle in a haystack, or low concentrations of pathogens such as Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and Cryptosporidium in drinking water. These two human pathogens are the leading causes of protozoan waterborne illnesses (toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis), so they are […]
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1:59 PM | #17 Two New Entanglement Cases
On September 5th, the Nereid crew sighted an entangled 4 year old male, #4001, 2010 calf of Aphrodite, #1701. This animal had a single wrap of heavy rope over the top of the head and through the mouth. No trailing gear was detected (although the higher sea state precluded a careful look) and it is not known if the flippers are also entangled. The Campobello Whale Rescue Team was notified and
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1:54 PM | Fast Track to a Spill?
By Susan Cosier An oil pipeline called Flanagan South that is currently under construction would stretch nearly 600 miles across four Midwestern states, over three major rivers, and through about 2,000 wetlands. The pipeline would carry diluted bitumen, or dilbit—a corrosive and sticky type of oil derived from Canadian tar sands that’s difficult to clean up. And it would be owned by Enbridge, a company notorious for spilling dilbit. Yet a […]
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1:00 PM | Improving your diet could increase your carbon footprint
It’s a message we hear over and over: Eat more fruits and vegetables, and cut back on sugar and fat. But adopting a healthier diet could have some unintended consequences. According to a new study, switching from a typical American diet to one recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would increase food-related greenhouse
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7:00 AM | U.S. petroleum exports rise while East Coast continues to import
Petroleum product exports are on track for another banner year, with total exports climbing to a 3.7 million barrels per day (bbpd) average for 2014 from just under 3.5 million bbpd in 2013. However,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:25 AM | Driving the seam of the North American continent
One of my treasured memories of college thirty-plus years ago is the mornings spent in Bob Carson’s geology classes learning the physiographic provinces of the North American continent. It was a beautiful slide show combined with a deeply meaningful (to me) new set of organizing principles for looking at the landscape around me. I wasn’t ...Continue reading ‘Driving the seam of the North American continent’ »

September 10, 2014

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11:00 PM | A Natural Offset for the Rio 2016 Olympic Park
Brazilian landscapes suffer rapid and repetitive transformations through intense and successive periods of exploitation—for example, the Brazilwood that gave the country its name, sugar cane, coffee, cattle, soy or urbanization and its infrastructural needs. Such degradation processes provoke losses of nature … Continue reading →
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7:08 PM | Hey Birds, Wear a Helmet
By Brian Palmer Football and dead birds seem to go together. Super Bowl Sunday brings an enormous bump in chicken wing sales, and for many Americans, digesting Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t seem right without a little gridiron action. The Minnesota Vikings, however, are preparing to offer a much less festive threat to our feathered friends: a new stadium featuring 200,000 square feet of glass, situated on a major bird migration route. Audubon Minnesota […]
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6:32 PM | Preliminary data
I looked up at the iv bag, half empty now, wondering when or if it would work. The drug dripping coldly into my arm was one familiar to me. In the past, it had made me writhe across the bed … Continue reading →
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4:46 PM | Science needs voices. All of them. Thank you @ehmee. by Madhusudan Katti
I can’t tell you how glad I am, as a father of daughters growing up in today’s world, that we have Emily Graslie’s voice, inspiring them every day in ways that I cannot, building their confidence so they too can add their voices to the conversation, as the discoverers and adventurers and explorers they are, […]
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2:30 PM | Roasted Barley tea
Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is rich in dietary fiber and nutrients such as starch, protein, fat, vitamins B1 & B2, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and phenolic compounds. Roasted barley tea is very popular in Japan and Korea where it is believed to contribute to the digestion of greasy food and to be beneficial for the stomach after long term alcoholism. Roasted barley tea, known in Japanese as mugicha or in Korean as boricha, is available as loose grains, in tea bags or as prepared tea drinks […]
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2:29 PM | Can Humans Get Used to Having a Two-Way Relationship with Earth’s Climate?
Can humans get used to having a two-way relationship with Earth's climate?
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2:22 PM | NASA Turns Forests into Laser Light Show (Cue Pink Floyd?)
By Susan Cosier The world’s forests have never looked so good! Well, that’s not exactly true, but NASA is developing a laser probe that will map our forests in colorful 3D. Once the GEDI lidar is completed in 2018, it will measure canopy heights and internal structures (branches, bushes, and the like) in order to give researchers a better idea of how much carbon forests contain (and how much would be released into the atmosphere if we chop or […]
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