Blog Archives

Intensive farming is chasing away Costa Rican birds

A 10-year walking census of Costa Rican birds proves that intensive farming and birds don\’t mix, which may be bad for both farmers and birds. But often there is a solution: planting trees. The colorful birds of Costa Rica play a crucial role in the country\’s rural landscapes, by distributing seeds, controlling pesky insects and […] … learn more→

Carbon capture? Go for the source

Since most of the world’s governments have not yet enacted regulations to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, some experts have advocated the development of technologies to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air. But a new MIT study shows that, at least for the foreseeable future, such proposals are not realistic because their costs would […] … learn more→

A new model for understanding biodiversity

Researchers develop a unified theory of ecosystem change by combining spatial modelling and food web analysis. Animals like foxes and raccoons are highly adaptable. They move around and eat everything from insects to eggs. They and other “generalist feeders” like them may also be crucial to sustaining biological diversity, according to a new study published […] … learn more→

Link established between air pollution and cyclone intensity in Arabian Sea

Pollution is making Arabian Sea cyclones more intense, according to a multi-institutional study that included scientists at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Traditionally, prevailing wind shear patterns prohibit cyclones in the Arabian Sea from becoming major storms. A paper appearing in the Nov. 3 issue of the journal Nature, however, suggests the weakening of the […] … learn more→

Where the wind blows

Of all the zero-carbon energy sources available, wind power is the only one that’s truly cost-competitive today: A 2006 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration put the total cost for wind-produced electricity at an average of $55.80 per megawatt-hour, compared to $53.10 for coal, $52.50 for natural gas and $59.30 for nuclear power. As […] … learn more→

Birth of bling: world’s first art studio found in South Africa

Could we have found the first artist’s studio in human history? We may well have. We all recognise the material signs of wealth. Fast cars, large yachts and sparkling bling all tell us who has more. Crowns, insignia, mayoral gowns are material signs of rank or status. Archaeologists have long pondered when these public displays […] … learn more→

Can indigenous peoples be relied on to gather reliable environmental data that meet the standards of science?

No one is in a better position to monitor environmental conditions in remote areas of the natural world than the people living there. But many scientists believe the cultural and educational gulf between trained scientists and indigenous cultures is simply too great to bridge – that native peoples cannot be relied on to collect reliable […] … learn more→

Possible tool to help cocaine users kick the habit

Unlike heroin users who may benefit from methadone when attempting to quit, there is currently no medication which has proven to be an effective tool in assisting cocaine and amphetamines users when attempting to quit. “Treatment for stimulant dependence is difficult and often individuals battling addiction relapse several times,” said Dr Karen Ersche, of the […] … learn more→

Keeping track of reality

A structural variation in a part of the brain may explain why some people are better than others at distinguishing real events from those they might have imagined or been told about, researchers have found. The University of Cambridge scientists found that normal variation in a fold at the front of the brain called the […] … learn more→