As we await a close-up view of comet Siding Spring making its closest approach with Mars, astronomers on Earth have been busy doing some of their own comet spotting from afar. Continue reading → —> Read More Here
NASA’s newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars today and is studying the flyby’s effects on the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
Group B streptococcus, a major cause of serious infectious diseases including sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia, has increased by about 60 percent among infants younger than 3 months in the Netherlands over the past 25 years despite the widespread use of prevention strategies, new research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has found. —> Read More Here
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has sent home more data about Mars than all other missions combined, is also now providing data about a comet that buzzed The Red Planet on October 19.
Breaking down complex conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and obesity into the specific metabolic proteins and processes that underlie them offers a new approach to studying the genetics of these diseases and how they are interrelated, according to research presented today at the American Society of Human Genetics 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. —> Read More Here
Road-killed tapir in Peninsular Malaysia (photo © WWF-Malaysia/Lau Ching Fong)
By William F. Laurance
Located in the wrong places, roads can open a Pandora’s Box of problems, says William F. Laurance
In a recent Opinion in National Geographic News (“Want to make a dent in world hunger? Build better roads”, 14 October 2014), U.S. Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn makes a compelling case that roads can have major benefits for rural people—improving access to modern farming technologies, education, and healthcare, and even limiting the influence of extremist groups that prey on isolated communities.
However, Ambassador Quinn tells only half of the story. Yes, many roads or road improvements can yield major economic and social benefits. But other roads become environmental disasters—opening a Pandora’s Box of problems such as illegal logging, poaching, wildfires, and land speculation.
Understanding the difference between environmentally ‘good’ roads and ‘bad’ roads is vital, because we are currently living in the most explosive era of road building in human history. By 2050, it is expected that we will have an additional 25 million kilometers of new roads—enough to encircle the Earth more than 600 times. Nine-tenths of those roads will be built in developing nations, often in the —> Read More Here