Category: Environment

Nepal Earthquake How

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Saturday’s terrible earthquake was the latest result of an ongoing collision of giant pieces of our planet, a slow-moving disaster that started about 50 million years ago. | Scientific American

Octopus Limbs

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How do octopuses keep track of their 8 limbs? Researchers have discovered that secret behind an octopus’s dexterity comes from the radial symmetry of its legs. Check it out! | News from Science

So why isn’t our atmosphere sucked into space

Sulfur Cycle

When you think about it, Earth is a closed system. The water you’re drinking is part of the same water cycle as the water the dinosaur’s drank. The ground you’re walking on has been there for millennia. As rocks are worn away by weathering and soil erodes, the resulting materials make their way into the cycle […]

Biogeochemistry

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Yes. You read that correctly. Bio – life; Geo – pertaining to the earth; Chemistry – structures, properties, and related changes. You also understood what biogeochemistry is about if it sounds like the term refers to bits of many things that are vital to life on our planet. Let’s take a closer look at the […]

400 Sumatran Tigers Left

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There are only 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the world! Today you’ll see #SumatranTiger and #EndangeredSong rippling through social media. The reason for this is that “Portugal. The Man,” in conjunction with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and National Zoo, has released a song to bring attention to this sorry news. To bring the plight […]

Q&A Penguins

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I’ve just been reading a fantastic book about penguins. Smithsonian Q&A Penguins by Lloyd Spencer Davis has everything I’ve been wondering about. It’s written in accessible language. It’s also fun to read. I’ve read a lot about marine mammals, and I was wishing there was a similar volume that included penguins. The best I could […]

Crittercam

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National Geographic has a terrific device known as the Crittercam. The penguin on the left is wearing one. He’s not the only animal that has. It’s been worn by a variety of animals, including humpback whales and a bear cub. The idea for the Crittercam came to marine biologist and filmmaker Greg Marshall in 1986. […]

Jellyfish Power!

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This is the first post in a series on jellyfish. It explores the way jellyfish move through deep water. Sometimes it appears that jellyfish simply float and move with the water in the waves. Other times it seems that the wind blowing across the surface of the water is pushing the jellyfish along the surface.

Air Quality

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When you see this image, you’ll know the post is about something related to Air Quality. The post may include an interview, a news item, a TED Talk, or a report on the latest research. Whichever it is, it will be worth your time. It will also include a link that you can use to […]

Species Survival

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When you see this image, you’ll know the post is about something related to Species Survival. The post may include an interview, a news item, a TED Talk, or a report on the latest research. Whichever it is, it will be worth your time. It will also include a link that you can use to […]

Colony Collapse Due to Number of Factors

Big News

A new study by John Bryden of Royal Holloway University of London and his colleagues supports the current theory that colony collapse is likely a result of a number of stressors. Scientific American Climate Change & Environment briefings reports this month that Bryden modeled stresses on bees. “The model accurately predicted the fate of 16 experimental colonies […]

Speaking of Polar Bears …

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At this very moment, a migration is taking place on the shores of the Hudson Bay in northern Canada. Polar bears are making their annual trek to Churchill, Manitoba to await the freezing of the bay. Once it is frozen, they will use the pack ice as their hunting ground. Because of this hunting period […]

BioFuels in the News – Uncovering Fraud

Big News

The use of alternative energy is essential to the long-term health of our planet and Biofuels are one such energy source. In my latest post for BioBuzz, the Maryland biotech community blog, I report on a biofuels-based tax and securities fraud that bilked investors and taxpayers out of more than $100 million. Click on over […]

Harbin China Smog

Big News

The  Wall Street Journal reported this week that Harbin, a city in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang in China, is covered in such dense smog that several airports and highways, as well as many schools, have been closed. People in Harbin are wearing masks to protect themselves from PM 2.5 particulates in the air. The […]

Buoyancy: Swim Bladders

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We’ve all heard that a shark must swim continuously or sink. Do you know why? It’s because sharks do not have a swim bladder. “This gas-filled sac provides buoyancy and helps to keep the fish afloat by keeping it in a neutrally buoyant state.” When in this state, the fish is neither rising nor sinking in […]