EARTH PORTATION curated News March 20th

ANIMALS - An end to animal testing for drug discovery?
As some countries and companies roll out new rules to limit animal testing in pharmaceutical products designed for people, scientists are stepping in with a new way to test therapeutic drug candidates and determine drug safety and drug interactions -- without using animals. The development of "chemosynthetic livers" could dramatically alter how drugs are made .. ...

ANIMALS - Form of epilepsy in sea lions similar to that in humans, researchers find
California sea lions exposed to a toxin in algae develop a form of epilepsy that is similar to one in humans, according to a new study. Every year, hundreds of sea lions wash up along the California coast, suffering seizures caused by exposure to domoic acid, a neurotoxin that can produce memory loss, tremors, convulsions and death. Domoic acid is produced by algae blooms that have been proliferating along the coast in recent years, accumulating ...

ANIMALS - Sea anemone is genetically half animal, half plant
Evolutionary and developmental biologists have discovered that sea anemones display a genomic landscape with a complexity of regulatory elements similar to that of fruit flies or other animal model systems. This suggests that this principle of gene regulation is already 600 million years old and dates back to the common ancestor of human, fly and sea anemone .. ...

ANIMALS - Sometimes less is more for hungry dogs
Hungry dogs would be expected to choose alternatives leading to more food rather than less food. But just as with humans and monkeys, they sometimes show a 'less is more' effect. Thus conclude scientists who tested the principle by feeding baby carrots and string cheese to 10 dogs of various breeds .. ...

ANIMALS - Study describes first maps of neural activity in behaving zebrafish
In a new study, neuroscientists describe the first activity maps at the resolution of single cells and throughout the entire brain of behaving zebrafish .. ...

ANIMALS - The Horse’s Role In Native American And Plains Indian Culture (Photos Video)
People of the HorseHorses forever changed life on the Great Plains. They allowed tribes to hunt more buffalo than ever before. They tipped the balance of power in favor of mounted warriors. And they became prized as wealth. For Native Americans today, horses endure as an emblem of tradition and a source of pride, pageantry, and healing. Many Native American tribes and families held certain horses in high regard as Spirit or Medicine horses. The d ...

ART - Artist's wildflower mandalas are divine offerings from nature
This artist's simple but stunning flower petal arrangements are done in the spirit of devotion, in homage to the divinity found in all of nature .. ...

BEES - Diversity in UK gardens aiding fight to save threatened bumblebees, study suggests
The global diversity of plants being cultivated by Britain's gardeners is playing a key role in the fight to save the nation's threatened bumblebees, new research has revealed .. ...

BOOKS - Book Excerpt: Empathy
Roman Krznaric on how empathy opens many doors to a new life of caring and compassion .. ...

BOOKS - Book Excerpt: Grace on the Go
Barbara Bartocci on prayer opportunities dealing with gratitude in daily tasks .. ...

CLIMATE - A Map of History’s Biggest Greenhouse Gas Polluters
See the countries responsible for the bulk of emissions since 1971.BiLK_Thorn/FlickrScientists predicted long ago that CO2 emissions would pervert the atmosphere. Now, in a decade with sea levels rising at twice the rate of the 20th century average – and 10 of the warmest years on record landing in the past 12 years – how has humankind responded to the threat?Not well, generally speaking. Emissions of CO2 have ticked up by 105 percent since the e ...

ENERGY - 4 Ways Tokyo’s Smart Meter Plan Breaks New Ground
Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s 27-million-unit smart meter project isn’t just about smart meters. It’s also about creating an end-to-end, citywide energy management platform, meant to link meters, utility enterprise platforms and smart devices in homes and businesses. And, if the project's open standards efforts pay off, it won’t just work with a select set of technologies, but remain open to future versions of “internet of things” deployments for y ...

ENERGY - China working on uranium-free nuclear plants in attempt to combat smog
Beijing brings forward deadline for world's first thorium-fuelled facility in attempt to break reliance on fossil fuelsChina is developing a new design of nuclear power plant in an attempt to reduce its reliance on coal and to cut air pollution.In an effort to reduce the number of coal-fired plants, the Chinese government has brought forward by 15 years the deadline to develop a nuclear power plant using the radioactive element thorium instead of ...
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ENERGY - No, Renewables Aren’t Going to Blow Up the Grid
The German experience shows that there are some real challenges associated with renewables integration. But they're not technical -- they are mostly related to rate structures, the high cost of legacy renewable energy subsidies and overlapping energy markets between countries. A new study from PJM, America's largest wholesale competitive energy market, once again shows that high amounts of renewables can be integrated without harming the gri .. ...

ENVIRONMENT - 5 steps toward going 'zero waste’ in the bathroom
The bathroom is usually the second most wasteful room in the house, but it doesn't have to be that way. Here's how you can change it .. ...

ENVIRONMENT - All 3 Fukushima ALPS Nuclide Scrubbers Shut Down Tuesday
Construction of the Advanced Liquid Processing System at TEPCO’s ruined Fukushima nuclear power complex (photo: TEPCO, via mainichi.jp). Still dealing with the aftermath of the 2011 T?hoku earthquake, subsequent tsunami, and three meltdowns at its Fukushima I nuclear power complex, Tokyo Electric Power Company had more bad news yesterday about its Fukushima ALPS cleanup efforts. [&hellipAll 3 Fukushima ALPS Nuclide Scrubbers Shut Down Tuesday ...

ENVIRONMENT - Radiation damage at the root of Chernobyl's ecosystems
Radiological damage to microbes near the site of the Chernobyl disaster has slowed the decomposition of fallen leaves and other plant matter in the area, according to a new study. The resulting buildup of dry, loose detritus is a wildfire hazard that poses the threat of spreading radioactivity from the Chernobyl area .. ...

ENVIRONMENT - See what environmental problem Robert Redford and Will Ferrell are fighting about
This fake fight has a good cause .. ...

HOMES - Sailboat-inspired prefab treehouse villa hangs from the trees
Built with sustainable timber and sailboat-building techniques, these stunning treehouses will form part of a forest villa in a eco-resort in Ontario, Canada .. ...

PLANTS - Launching a botanical journal on the verge of WWI: The politics of the AJB
One hundred years ago on the brink of WWI, American botanists changed the course of plant science with the founding of a national publication, the American Journal of Botany. The journal not only endured through the Great War, it also continued to evolve through the wars that followed, the Great Depression, and the ever-changing arena of plant research .. ...

SCIENCE - New biotechnology product to make waterproof paper using natural enzymes
A new aqueous compound to functionalize or modify the properties of paper and any other cellulosic material has been patented. The compound uses natural enzymes instead of the traditional chemical reagents, is biodegradable, and involves no environmental impact. Most important, it is easily applicable in the production process and requires no additional investment .. ...

TREES - Amazon inhales more carbon than it emits, NASA finds
A new NASA-led study seven years in the making has confirmed that natural forests in the Amazon remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit, therefore reducing global warming. This finding resolves a long-standing debate about a key component of the overall carbon balance of the Amazon basin .. ...

TREES - Forest corridors help plants disperse their seeds, study shows
A forest, a supercomputer and some glow-in-the-dark yarn have helped a team of field ecologists conclude that woodland corridors connecting patches of endangered plants not only increase seed dispersal from one patch to another, but also create wind conditions that can spread the seeds for much longer distances. An environmental engineer leveraged Ohio Supercomputer Center systems to simulate a forest and the winds that flow through it .. ...

URBAN - Own the LifeEdited Apartment
Treehugger founder Graham Hill is selling his tiny apartment t .. ...

URBAN - Photographs of another massive urban park that is under stress
London's Hampstead Heath is an urban parkland that's just too popular for its own good .. ...

URBAN - Stuff therapy: Detox from consumerism by fixing the things you already own
Meet the two New York City residents who are trying to redefine the relationship you have with your stuff. They're opening "pop-up" repair shops where empty storefronts used to be .. ...

URBAN - Visions from the past of suburban lives in the future sure looked lonely
Look back at Motorola ads from the sixties and you begin to realize how we got into this mess .. ...

WATER - Energy-Efficient Method Of Recovering Valuable Minerals & Materials From Wastewater Developed
An energy-efficient method of recovering economically valuable minerals and materials from wastewater has been developed by researchers at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. In addition to the new approach to recovering resources from industrial wastewater, the researchers also developed new ‘rapid tools’ for the identification of various environmental pollutants. The new work makes the Energy-Efficient Method Of Recovering Valuable Minera ...

WIND - São Judas Wind Farm Brazil Comes Online
Rome, March, 2014 – Enel Green Power has completed the construction of the second plant of its “Cristal” wind power complex located in Morro do Chapéu (Bahia), Brazil. “São Judas”, the new wind farm, is comprised of thirteen 2.3 MW wind turbines, for a total installed capacity of 30 MW, and is capable of generating.. .. ...
brazil wind farm


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