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An Enzyme in Fish Can Demonstrate Environmental Toxins

The level of the enzyme carbonyl reductase (CBR) is elevated in the livers of fish that have been exposed to cleaned wastewater. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg can show that CBR has properties that may make it suitable to be used as a biomarker, an early warning signal of environmental toxins.

Is Drinking Water from a Plastic Pipe Harmful to Your Health?

Pipe-in-pipe systems are now commonly used to distribute water in many homes. The inner pipe for drinking water is made of a plastic called cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). Are these pipes harmful to health and do they affect the taste and odour of drinking water?

Northern Forests Gain More Ground Due to Climate Change

Holm oaks and other forests in lowland areas of Mediterranean mountains could expand by up to 350 percent due to global warming. In contrast, those forest formations that are more adapted to cold and humid conditions, such as beech and Sylvester pines, could shrink by up to 99 percent.

New Device Brings Flexibility, Precision to Contamination Measurement

Lake Apopka—Florida's third largest—was once a haven for migratory birds, vacationers and fishermen. Today it is a toxic broth of chemicals and ranks among America's more disturbing Superfund sites.

Wind Energy Lessens Under Heat Wave Conditions

During the summer 2003, high temperatures and drought conditions in Europe led to a reduction of the wind force with direct consequences on the wind energy power, reduced by 22 percent. The study was recently published in Journal of Climate.

Palms as a Model for Rainforest Evolution

The first complete genus-level dated phylogeny of palms reveals insights into the evolution of rainforests.

Clean Indoor Air Laws Encourage Bans on Smoking at Home

Second hand smoke exposure among nonsmokers has declined over time as clean indoor air laws have been adopted. However, there has been concern that such laws might encourage smokers to smoke more in their homes or other private venues.

Genomics of Wood for Biofuels Production Investigated

A team of Virginia Tech researchers is working to characterize the genes involved in wood formation in poplar trees with the goal of improving the quality and quantity of wood as a feedstock for biofuels production.



EPA Partners with Federal Agencies to Track Japan Tsunami Debris

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies are teaming up to document and track potential marine debris generated by the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March.

Universities, Industry Team Up for 'Greener' Electronics

Three of the nation’s leading universities have joined with 15 US companies to launch a first-of-its-kind collaborative research center whose holistic approach to energy efficiency development could mean savings of millions of dollars and a much ‘greener’ electronics industry.

Stalled Weather Systems More Frequent in Decades of Warmer Atlantic

Slow-moving winter weather systems that can lead to massive snowfalls are more frequent during the decades when the North Atlantic Ocean is warmer than usual, a new NASA study finds. The study demonstrates that the impacts of such systems, which are often fueled by an atmospheric phenomenon known as atmospheric blocking, go far beyond the atmosphere and can trigger changes in ocean circulation.

U.S. EPA approves new water quality standards for Chicago River System

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the State of Illinois' new and revised water quality standards for five segments of the Chicago and Calumet Rivers.

Biodiversity Can Promote Survival on a Warming Planet

Whether a species can evolve to survive climate change may depend on the biodiversity of its ecological community, according to a new mathematical model that simulates the effect of climate change on plants and pollinators.

New Study Suggests EU Biofuels Are As Carbon Intensive As Petrol

A new study on greenhouse gas emissions from oil palm plantations has calculated a more than 50 percent increase in levels of CO2 emissions than previously thought – and warned that the demand for 'green' biofuels could be costing the earth.

New Materials Turn Heat Into Electricity

Most of today's power plants--from some of the largest solar arrays to nuclear energy facilities--rely on the boiling and condensing of water to produce energy.

Unplug Indoor Pollutants for a Breath of Fresh Air

Allergists say home fragrance products contribute to indoor pollution and may cause respiratory problems.

University of Toronto Engineers Claim To Have Solved Energy Puzzle

This discovery is a significant breakthrough in the development of sustainable technologies such as dye-sensitized solar cells and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

EPA, DOE Partner to Develop Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are evaluating the feasibility of developing renewable energy production on Superfund, brownfields, and former landfill or mining sites.

Tropical Forests Fertilized By Air Pollution

Scientists braved ticks and a tiger to discover how human activities have perturbed the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests. Studies at two remote Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory sites in Panama and Thailand show the first evidence of long-term effects of nitrogen pollution in tropical trees.

EPA Announces Final Study Plan to Assess Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its final research plan on hydraulic fracturing. At the request of Congress, EPA is working to better understand potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources.

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