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WHO and Health Care Without Harm Launch Initiative to Get Mercury Removed from All Medical Measuring Devices by 2020

WHO and Health Care Without Harm have joined forces to launch a new initiative to get mercury removed from all medical measuring devices by 2020 by ending the manufacture, import and export of these devices and by supporting the deployment of accurate, affordable, and safer non-mercury alternatives.


New Global Treaty Cuts Mercury Emissions and Releases, Sets Up Controls On Products, Mines and Industrial Plants

The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global, legally binding treaty was agreed to by Governments in January and formally adopted as international law and was opened for signature on the 10th of October 2013. The Convention was adopted by 139 Governments and signed by 87 Governments by that date. 


Tropical Forest Carbon Sink Hinges On Unique Housing Arrangement Between Trees And Bacteria

A unique housing arrangement between a specific tree species and carbo-loading bacteria may determine how well tropical forests can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, says new research from 16 September 2013 in an advance online publication of the journal Nature.


Groundwater Reserves Found In Drought-Stricken Northern Kenya

An exploration of groundwater resources has identified reserves of water in Turkana County in drought-stricken northern Kenya. Of Kenya’s 41 million people, 17 million lack access to safe water and 28 million do not have adequate sanitation.

 

 

 

 


Elephant Rescue Efforts Gaining Momentum

“Elephants across Africa and Asia are being poached for their ivory at increasing levels,” says WWF.  Fortunately, there are many local human populations, national and international organizations and governments in the world often working together to save elephants and their habitats, groups in Asia and Africa, and even with elephant sanctuaries in the United States.


Modeling Disease Outcomes to Help Meet Challenges of Infectious Diseases and Climate Change

Climate change is already affecting the spread of infectious diseases--and human health and biodiversity worldwide--according to disease ecologists reporting research results in the August 2, 2013 issue of the journal Science. Modeling disease outcomes from host and parasite responses to climate variables, they say, could help public health officials and environmental managers address the challenges posed by the changing landscape of infectious disease.


Haiti to Bolster Protection of One of Its Largest Natural Reserves

Support for a sustainable management program at Macaya National Park: A $9 million grant will help Haiti carry out a sustainable land management program at the Macaya National Park, home to one of the country’s largest remaining forests, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced on 1 August 2013.


U.S. EPA Strengthens Chemical Assessment Process to Protect Public Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced changes to its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program to improve the scientific foundation of assessments. IRIS is a human health assessment program that evaluates information on health effects that may result from exposure to environmental contaminants.


Geckos Adhere to Surfaces Submerged Underwater: Study May Help Inform Future Bio-Inspired Gecko-Like Adhesives

“The geckos stuck just as well under water as they did on a dry surface, as long as the surface was hydrophobic [water-loving],” Stark explains. “We believe this is how geckos stick to wet leaves and tree trunks in their natural environment.”

The study has implications for the design of a synthetic gecko-inspired adhesive. Geckos' ability to stick to trees and leaves during rainforest downpours has fascinated scientists for decades, leading a group of University of Akron researchers to solve the mystery.


Harvard Scientists Find Changing Atmosphere Affects How Much Water Trees Need

Increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide alter how plants use water: Spurred by increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, forests over the last two decades have become dramatically more efficient in how they use water. "Findings from this study are important to our understanding of forest ecosystems--and how they can be managed more effectively now and in the future."


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