Cleaner aviation depends on supplies of not so clean materials

From the flight deck to the wheel brakes, new generations of aircraft that produce far less pollution increasingly rely on imported raw materials which are themselves dirty to produce. EurActiv reports from the Farnborough International Airshow. China and Russia are dominant suppliers of some forms of titanium – a lightweight metal used in airframes and parts – while China holds the lock on production of rare earth metals. Dependable supplies of these resources are vital as European and American airplane manufacturers juggle backlogged orders and address forecasts of exponential growth over 20 years. "It's an area that is going to increasingly become a challenge in the industry," said Dr Andy Jefferson, programme director at the industry-financed Sustainable Aviation research organisation in the United Kingdom.

Andes water scarcity: Impact of population growth

As the Earth's surface warms, climate models predict that the amount of fresh water for human consumption will likely decrease in parts of the globe. While that prospect looms for many cities around the world, a new study finds a more imminent threat to water supplies of cities in the tropical Andes, such as Lima, Peru and Quito, Ecuador.

World’s Oldest Known Bra Found

A 15th century bra was recently unearthed during reconstruction work at a medieval castle. The remarkably modern looking bra is arguably now the world's oldest known brassiere. Fiber samples taken from the linen bra date to the medieval era, so this item appears to be legit. It pushes back the known history of the modern-styled bra by possibly more than 400 years.

Research Suggests Views on Marriage are more Traditional among Poor People

According to a report from UCLA psychologists, poor people hold a more traditional view toward marriage and divorce compared with people of high or moderate income. This finding was a result of a large survey conducted about marriage, relationships, and values. It calls into question the effectiveness of the US Government program which spent $1 billion dollars to promote the value of marriage among the poor. Given the results that the poor hold a traditional value of marriage, is it fair to say that the government program was a success? Or was it a waste of money, unnecessary for this demographic?

Mobius Motors creates a car specifically for Africa

Joel Jackson arrived in Kenya in 2009 and immediately had a social innovation idea—yet it had nothing to do with the not-for-profit farming organisation that he had come with. It wasn't farming that caught Joel's attention, it was the state of the African roads: the lack of appropriate transport that has affected many parts of rural Africa, keeping areas remote. Joel Jackson rolled up his sleeves and set about building a vehicle that would serve the African market; a $6,000 (£3,850) car called the Mobius One. Africa's poorest are largely immobile and do not have appropriate transport services. Every day millions of people often walk 10+ miles to get to basic amenities such as clean drinking water, schools, hospitals and jobs. Chronic government underinvestment in roads and public transit has restricted travel. Africa's most disadvantaged cannot afford to buy a car, yet need reliable transport services to prosper.

EPA Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Survives Another Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to regulate greenhouse gases have been under attack ever since the 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA Supreme Court ruling that confirmed its authority to do so. In 2010, just before efforts to pass a cap-and-trade climate bill were abandoned in the Senate, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski sponsored failed legislation to nullify the Supreme Court decision and block EPA from moving forward with greenhouse gas regulations. Attempts to undermine EPA's regulatory authority were once again thwarted last month when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected several legal challenges and upheld EPA's 2009 endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.

Gait and Decline

Problems walking including slow gait and a short stride are associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered. Alzheimer disease course is divided into four stages, with progressive patterns of cognitive and functional impairments. Their findings are being presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference July 14–19 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Researchers measured the stride length, cadence and velocity of more than 1,341 participants through a computerized gait instrument at two or more visits roughly 15 months apart. Researchers found that study participants with lower cadence, velocity and length of stride experienced significantly larger declines in global cognition, memory and executive function.

Hot Small New World

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have detected what they believe is a planet two-thirds the size of Earth. The exoplanet candidate, called UCF-1.01, is located a mere 33 light-years away, making it possibly the nearest world to our solar system that is smaller than our home planet. Exoplanets circle stars beyond our sun. Only a handful smaller than Earth have been found so far. Spitzer has performed transit studies on known exoplanets, but UCF-1.01 is the first ever identified with the space telescope, pointing to the possibility of others being discovered with the same technique.

Heat Wave leading to High Ozone levels in Southern New England – watch that workout intensity

The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued an Air Quality Advisory for the southern portions of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and the south coast of Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, on Tuesday due to ground-level ozone. "As this hazy, hot and humid weather continues, we predict air quality to reach unhealthy levels in parts of New England," said Curt Spalding, Administrator of EPA's New England office. “Everybody can help reduce ozone by driving less, using public transportation and setting air conditioner thermostats a few degrees higher." Exposure to elevated ozone levels can cause breathing problems, aggravate asthma and other pre-existing lung diseases, and make people more susceptible to respiratory infection. When ozone levels are elevated, people should refrain from strenuous outdoor activity, especially sensitive populations such as children and adults with respiratory problems.

Rural dwellers must adapt to climate change, says workshop

Researchers in Côte d'Ivoire have called for villagers across the region to be made aware of the negative effects of climate change and encouraged to pursue adaptation measures. The calls came at a workshop held at the Regional Unit of Higher Education of Korhogo, in the north of the country earlier this year (18 May), at which researchers presented recent work on the impacts of climate change in the region.