• Yellow fever epidemic threatens new global health emergency

    Evidence is mounting that the current outbreak of yellow fever is becoming the latest global health emergency, two experts say, calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to convene an emergency committee under the International Health Regulations. In addition, with frequent emerging epidemics, they call for the creation of a “standing emergency committee” to be prepared for future health emergencies. The add that vaccine “supply shortages could spark a health security crisis.”

  • The long history of lead poisoning in the U.S.

    While state and federal officials continue to criticize each other for failing to guarantee safe drinking water, the question of exactly who is responsible for crises like in Flint, Michigan, lies at the root of the problem. “The crisis in Flint brought the true costs of a neglected infrastructure to the nation’s attention, but in the finger-pointing there are deeper debates over public and private responsibility and the impact of dysfunctional politics on public health,” says one expert.

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  • Floods, coastal erosion may expose contents of UK landfills

    The contents of historic coastal landfill sites in England and Wales could pose a significant environmental threat if they erode, according to a new study. The main risks to these landfills come from the effects of climate change, including erosion and flooding with salt water from storm surges and higher water levels.

  • Addressing global food system challenges

    Agriculture now produces more than enough calories to meet basic human dietary needs worldwide. Despite this seeming abundance, one out of eight people do not have access to sufficient food. A new study presents a set of strategies to address these complex challenges of producing food for a growing global population, while reducing environmental impacts and increasing resilience in the face of climate change.

  • Mapping water use of America’s water resources

    Water is one of our nation’s most important natural resources, one that is long been considered inexhaustible. Yet changes in land use, climate, and population demographics are placing unprecedented demands on America’s water supplies. As droughts rage and aquifers dwindle, people may wonder: Is there enough water to meet all our needs?

  • Airflow study to be conducted in NYC Subway

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will conduct a week-long airflow study in portions of the New York City (NYC) subway system to gather data on the behavior of airborne particles in the event contaminants were released. This study poses no risk to the general public and will run from 9 to 13 May.

  • Measuring electromagnetic radiation exposure

    Society demands continuous implementation of new transmission systems due to ongoing development of communication technologies. These systems work by emitting electromagnetic waves. As a result, population is exposed to a significant increase of environmental radiation levels. Researchers from UPM have developed a portable device that allows continuous monitoring the exposure levels to electromagnetic radiations of a person who wears such device.

  • New drug to combat the effects of nerve agents

    Sarin is a colorless, odorless liquid fatal even at very low concentrations. Serious sarin poisoning causes visual disturbance, vomiting, breathing difficulties and, finally, death. A ground-breaking study describes the development of a new drug which counteracts the effects of sarin gas.

  • More corrosion-resistant water pipes could preventing another Flint, Mich. health crisis

    Corrosion-related damage costs more than three percent of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product (about $503.1 billion, going by 2013 numbers). With documented public water problems in Flint, Michigan, and Hoosick Falls, New York, caused by corrosion, understanding how copper is affected at the atomic level is critical to avoiding problems in future pipes.

  • Illegal mining in Colombia linked to malaria outbreak

    The Colombian National Health Institute recorded 18,524 malaria cases in 2015. The year before, only 4,730 malaria cases were recorded. The sharp increase in the number of malaria cases in different areas of Colombia has been linked to illegal open-cast mining. Stagnant water and poor sanitary conditions have been discovered at these often hidden rural locations.

  • CO2 fertilization is greening the Earth

    A new, comprehensive study shows a significant greening of a quarter to one-half of the Earth’s vegetated lands. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees. Green leaves produce sugars using energy in the sunlight to mix carbon dioxide (CO2) drawn in from the air with water and nutrients pumped in from the ground.

     

  • Cellphone-sized device detects the Ebola virus quickly

    The worst of the recent Ebola epidemic is over, but the threat of future outbreaks lingers. Monitoring the virus requires laboratories with trained personnel, which limits how rapidly tests can be done. Now scientists report in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry a handheld instrument that detects Ebola quickly and could be used in remote locations.

  • What we learned from Chernobyl about how radiation affects our bodies

    The world has never seen a nuclear accident as severe as the one that unfolded when a reactor exploded in Chernobyl on 26 April 1986, sending vast amounts of radiation into the skies around Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The planet had experienced massive releases like this before, in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. But Chernobyl-related radiation exposure had a more protracted character. It was the first time in history that such a large population, particularly at a very young age, was exposed to radioactive isotopes, namely iodine-131 and cesium-137, not just through direct exposure, but through eating contaminated food as well.

  • The legacy of Chernobyl -- 30 years on

    The 26 April 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. For many, especially those born since 1986, it is a word they know without appreciating the full significance of what happened on that day. For others, it was a life changing catastrophe which resulted in largest release of radioactivity in the history of nuclear energy.

  • Dealing with irradiated nuclear graphite

    Since the beginning of the nuclear power industry, a large number of channel uranium-graphite nuclear power reactors was built across the world. To date, they all are on the output stage of the operation or decommissioning preparation. Approximately 250,000 tons of irradiated graphite are accumulated in the world, including ~ 60,000 tons in Russia. Due to the specificity of irradiated graphite, the treatment of this type of radioactive waste has not been determined yet.