Mathematical model developed to predict malaria outbreaks

Ethiopian and Norwegian researchers have developed a mathematical model that can identify conditions that increase the likelihood of a malaria outbreak up to two months ahead of its occurrence. The computer model, Open Malaria Warning (OMaWa), incorporates hydrological, meteorological, mosquito-breeding and land-use data to determine when and where outbreaks are likely to occur.

Health Costs Due to Physical Inactivity

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Obviously there are costs associated with obesity usually long term health costs. A recent Canadian study confirms that physical inactivity is a major contributor to chronic disease and health care spending in Canada. Specifically, 15% to 39% of the 7 chronic diseases examined were attributable to physical inactivity. The 2009 estimates indicate that the total annual economic burden of physical inactivity in Canadian adults was $6.8 billion, which represented 3.8% of the overall health care costs.

40 Eco-Apps that Put Technology to Work for the Environment

Technology may not be a panacea to solve the climate crisis, but green applications (eco-apps) are helping to drive awareness and foster responsible action. There was a time when eco-apps did little more than provide lists of so-called "green" products and services. Now green-themed apps have turned mobile devices into portals for environmental education and sustainable action. The smartphone market share is now estimated to be more than 40 percent in the U.S. Around the world, smartphones are proliferating and green apps are growing along with them. Eco-apps can help people be more efficient and reduce their energy consumption. There are a wide variety of energy apps including those that monitor efficiency and consumption. Apps help with things like recycling and other aspects of green living. Mobile and tablet based smart energy applications help consumers to optimize their energy and water consumption, monitor their appliances, water heater and other electronics. These apps can also monitor and operate HVAC, grey water (from rain), automated windows (shutters and blinds) and lighting systems. They can even provide information about renewable energy conversion and variable price grid management.

US bucks global trend of closing down nuclear power stations

Official figures show Europe expects to decommission almost 150 of its nuclear power plants by 2030, while the US has granted life extensions to 71 and chosen to close only five, according to a report by energy experts GlobalData. The new report shows that the figure for Europe accounts for nearly 69% of the total global number of expected nuclear power reactor closures by 2030, the largest amount for any region. Barring any changes, the European commercial nuclear decommissioning market value stands at $81,484m.

Study: Virgin Male Moths Show Their Inexperience when Chasing Females

As with any species, there is a learning curve when trying to attract the opposite sex. Genetic knowledge can only go so far in preparing a young male. The rest is learned through trial and error, usually many errors. Moths are no different. When the female emits her pheromones to attract a mate, the male gets crazy and rushes headlong into a mating dance with her. This consists of a long flight in which the male tries to catch the female. What the virgin male does not know is that a moth's flying muscles must be adequately warmed up before engaging in a prolonged powerful flight. Their inexperience tends to cost them the contest for the female to the more experienced males.

World Oceans Day 2012

Since 2002, June the 8th has been celebrated as World Oceans Day, a global event coordinated by the Ocean Project and The World Ocean Network. World Oceans Day provides a chance to think about the importance of oceans to humans and celebrate these vital and inspirational bodies of water.

African nations agree to put a price on nature

Ten African nations have pledged, ahead of Rio+20, to include the economic value of natural resources in their national accounts. Africa has taken the lead in the quest to persuade nations to include the full economic value of their natural resources in their national accounts, with the promise last month by ten of its nations to do so.

Atrazine to be Banned? Frogs will be happy!

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will weigh a ban on Atrazine, a widely used herbicide linked to sex reversal and other reproductive problems in amphibians and fish. The chemical, which is manufactured by Syngenta, has been banned in the European Union since 2004 but some 80 million pounds Atrazine are applied to corn, sugarcane, sorghum and rice in the United States each year. Environmentalists say the effects of Atrazine on wildlife make its use unacceptable and are pushing the EPA to ban the chemical. The agency will be holding a Scientific Advisory Panel public meeting June 12th to discuss the ecological risks of Atrazine. Save The Frogs, a group that works to protect amphibians, welcomed the move.

Radically High Efficiency Vehicle

Once upon a time 10 miles per gallon for a car was fairly normal. The 2013 Honda Fit EV (Electric vehicle), has received a combined adjusted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPG(equivalent), and an unprecedented low consumption rating of just 29 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles. With an EPA rated annual fuel cost of only $500 , the fun-to-drive 2013 Honda Fit EV can help consumers get more miles for each dollar. The Fit EV is a part of Honda's portfolio approach, which includes the development of battery- electric, hydrogen, natural gas, and gasoline-electric powered vehicles, to improve fuel-efficiency and reduce C02 emissions.

France to ban pesticide linked to Bee Colony collapses

Following research linking neonicotinoid pesticides to the decline in bee populations, France has announced it plans to ban Cruiser OSR, an insecticide produced by Sygenta. Recent studies, including one in France, have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides likely hurt bees' ability to navigate, potentially devastating hives. France has said it will give Sygenta two weeks to prove the pesticide is not linked to the bee decline, known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). France's decision comes after its National Agency for Food, Safety, and the Environment (ANSES) confirmed the findings of two recent studies published in Science. The two studies found that neonicotinoid pesticides, although not immediately lethal, likely hurt bee colonies over a period of time.