Reliable Answers - News and Commentary

Nature in the News

Channel Island Fox at the Coyote Point Museum, San Mateo, CA

Channel Island Fox

Nature in the News contains interesting, entertaining and educational articles about wildlife, nature and ecology issues. This news page contains information on everything from Yosemite rock slides and mountain lion legislation, to global warming, climate change and tiny little hummingbirds.

If you aren't sure where you stand on the issues, don't feel alone. The world we live in becomes more complex every single day. Is the earth as fragile as some would have us believe or has it endured because it's quite resilient? You decide. These issues are not going away and will continue to plague us with complex problems that will require us all to make hard decisions.

You will find plenty of food for thought and information to contemplate. Be sure to check back often.

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

September 26, 2012

The federal government has taken its first large-scale action against medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Federal agents raided several cannabis shops and issued warning letters to dozens of others on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. "We couldn't do all of L.A. at once," said spokesman Thom Mrozek. "There's just too many stores." Prosecutors filed civil asset forfeiture complaints against the owners of three properties in northeastern Los Angeles for allowing commercial marijuana stores to operate on their premises.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

September 17, 2012

A debate over renewable energy policies in the United States turned bitter after a lawmaker accused colleagues of embracing coal and nuclear power.

The House of Representatives passed a measure to get rid of a loan guarantee program at the U.S. Department of Energy for renewable energy projects. Dubbed the No More Solyndras Act, the measure would bar consideration of loan guarantees filed after 2011. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said his Republican counterparts were favoring energy resources like coal instead of renewables.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

September 17, 2012

NASA says researchers are struggling to identify and understand an image its long-lived rover Opportunity has returned of small spheres on the martian surface.

Spherical objects photographed at an outcrop Opportunity reached last week differ in several ways from iron-rich spherules - nicknamed "blueberries" - the rover found at its landing site in early 2004 and at many other locations since, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported Friday. Preliminary analysis suggests the spheres, as big as 1/8 inch in diameter, do not appear to have the high iron content of martian blueberries, researchers said.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

September 6, 2012

So-called "junk DNA," genetic material in our cells long considered without purpose, plays a vital role in regulating our genes, international researchers say.

A study of the 98 percent of the human genome that is not, strictly speaking, genes suggests more than three-quarters of entire allotment of DNA is active at some point in our lives, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. "This concept of 'junk DNA' is really not accurate," said Richard Myers, one of the leaders of the 400-scientist Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project, nicknamed Encode. "It is an outdated metaphor to explain our genome."

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

September 5, 2012

The lawyer for an ex-high school coach accused of raping a female student asked for a dismissal, saying Oklahoma's age-of-consent law is unconstitutional.

Tyrone Lamont Nash, 33, of Oklahoma City, was charged with multiple counts of second-degree rape and forcible oral sodomy following his arrest last year after a 16-year-old girl told police she had been having sex with a teacher, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported Wednesday. In a motion filed Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court, attorney David Slane asked the judge in Nash's case to overturn statutes for second-degree rape and oral sodomy as applied to school employees.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

August 30, 2012

Secondhand smoke decreases sensitivity to cough-eliciting respiratory irritants and may explain why children of smokers are sicker, U.S. researchers say.

Julie Mennella and Paul Wise, both of the Monell Center in Philadelphia, said 60 percent of U.S. children ages 3-11 years and 18 million youth ages 12-19 years were exposed to tobacco smoke on a regular basis. "Cough protects our lungs from potentially damaging environmental threats, such as chemicals and dust. Living with a parent who smokes weakens this reflex, one of the most vital of the human body," Mennella and Wise said in a statement.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

August 27, 2012

Chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers, U.S. researchers suggest.

"Molecules in chocolate, a variety of berries and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have shown positive effects on mood," said Karina Martinez-Mayorga, now with the Chemistry Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, but previously at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. "In turn, our studies show that some commonly used flavor components are structurally similar to valproic acid." The study found the possibility of mood-enhancing effects associated with some flavors, stemming at least in part from natural ingredients bearing a striking chemical similarity to valproic acid - a widely used prescription mood-stabilizing drug.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

August 22, 2012

Mayans may have hastened the demise of their civilization by clearing forests, making an already naturally drying climate drier, U.S. scientists say.

Prolonged drought is thought to have contributed to the eventual collapse of Mayan civilization in Mexico and Central America, and forest razing for cities and agriculture may have made matters worse, the researchers said. "We're not saying deforestation explains the entire drought, but it does explain a substantial portion of the overall drying that is thought to have occurred," lead study author Benjamin Cook, a climate modeler at Columbia University, said.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

August 9, 2012

The drought afflicting the U.S. midsection is causing food prices to rise globally, the United Nations said Thursday.

The United Nations' monthly Food Price Index indicated food prices rose 6 percent in July after three months of decline, CNNMoney reported. Record-high grain prices, specifically corn prices, were blamed for the increase.

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Upi - United Press International, Inc.

August 9, 2012

Newly released e-mails offer details about the involvement of the White House in a loan program to help clean-energy companies, officials said Thursday.

Documents provided by investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee show White House aides asked U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu to brief President Obama on the status of the program on June 27, 2011, two months before the collapse of the Solyndra solar energy company, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

      
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