The new green in Las Vegas is not the felt on the gaming tables!

The Las Vegas Strip is known for its opulence, glamour and glitz, for being an adult playground, home to the world's best known casinos, but now it becoming known for being green and where not being wasteful is a key part of the City's business model. Sin City has been reinventing itself and is has become a model town of sustainability. Las Vegas is struggling to meet the water and energy demands of its 500,000 plus residents, which excludes the 40 million tourists who visit every year. Nevada is one of seven states that is dependent on the over-stretched Colorado River for its water supply, which is one of the most heavily plumbed and litigated river systems in the world. It is a critical reservoir for tens of millions of agricultural and municipal users from Wyoming to the Mexican border. The river is now in a very serious condition and the death of the river system will have huge implications for every resident, visitor and business in Las Vegas.

Fruit Fly Propagation

Fruit flies, to humans, are an annoying batch of little critters. But to other fruit flies, there is a different picture. A team led by University California researchers has discovered a sensory system in the foreleg of the fruit fly that tells male flies whether a potential mate is from a different species. The work addresses a central problem in evolution that's poorly understood: how animals of one species know not to mate with animals of other species.

Senators’ Positions on Climate Change Reflect Their Donors’ Wishes

Earlier this week, President Obama followed up on the promise he made in his State of the Union Address, to take action on climate change even if Congress wouldn’t. Specifically, he said, “if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. Why would Congress be so recalcitrant on an issue of such vital importance as taking action to minimize (it’s too late to avoid) the impact of a crisis that could threaten the existence of civilization as we know it?A recent analysis performed by MapLight suggests the root of much of the underlying motivation for our elected officials is money.

Noise Pollution Affects Coral Reef Fish

While fish don't have ears that we can see, they do have ear parts inside their heads that can pick up sounds in the water. Not only do fish and invertebrates make their own sounds, but wind, waves and currents also create other background noise. And reefs especially are naturally noisy places. Add this noise to the engines and horns of shipping vessels and military sonars, and we have a full-blown orchestra of marine sounds. Consequently, fish react to the noises they hear and according to new research, boat noise can disrupt orientation behavior in larval coral reef fish.

Dinosaur Growth

Tracking the growth of dinosaurs and how they changed as they grew is difficult since all the evidence there is consists of fossils. Using a combination of biomechanical analysis and bone histology, palaeontologists from Beijing, Bristol, and Bonn have shown how one of the best-known dinosaurs switched from four feet to two as it grew. Psittacosaurus, the 'parrot dinosaur' is known from more than 1000 specimens from the Cretaceous, 100 million years ago, of China and other parts of east Asia. As part of his PhD thesis at the University of Bristol, Qi Zhao, now on the staff of the Institute for Vertebrate Paleontology in Beijing, carried out the intricate study on the bones of babies, juveniles and adults.

Chemists Introduce New Energy Efficient Seawater Desalination Method

Having access to fresh water is a human necessity. We rely on fresh water not only for drinking, but also for crop irrigation and food production. And in an ever-changing world, with ever-changing landscapes, many communities are often faced with access limitations to fresh water due to both natural and man-made causes. This is what turns communities to the sea- an abundant, yet salty water source. Seawater desalination is one way to address water needs, but many methods rely on large, expensive equipment which is not always efficient. So with this problem comes a solution from chemists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg in Germany, as this team has introduced a new method that creates a small electrical field that removes salts from the water.

Indonesia to spend $10M on cloud-seeding scheme to slow haze

The Indonesian government will spend 100 billion rupiah — $10 million — on a cloud-seeding scheme to reduce the haze plaguing Sumatra, Singapore, and Malaysia. According to a statement released after a meeting between top officials, Indonesia will use airplanes to seed clouds with salt in an effort to increase condensation and rainfall over parched parts of Sumatra where peat fires are spewing particulate matter into the atmosphere. The operation is expected to last until the end of the dry season, which typically runs through late September or early October.

Half the Oil Plan

With the consumption and price of oil on an upward trend, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has come up with a realistic plan that will help cut the United State's projected oil use in half over 20 years. The plan hopes to dramatically reduce US oil consumption while saving consumers billions of dollars and making the United States a global leader in transportation technology.

How many near-earth asteroids are there?

When we hear about another asteroid that will pass by close to Earth, I wonder how many such objects there are, how many we have not identified, and how NASA finds them and calculates their orbits around the sun. More than 10,000 asteroids and comets that can pass near Earth have now been discovered. The 10,000th near-Earth object, asteroid 2013 MZ5, was first detected on the night of June 18, 2013, by the Pan-STARRS-1 telescope, located on the 10,000-foot (convert) summit of the Haleakala crater on Maui. Managed by the University of Hawaii, the PanSTARRS survey receives NASA funding. Ninety-eight percent of all near-Earth objects discovered were first detected by NASA-supported surveys. "Finding 10,000 near-Earth objects is a significant milestone," said Lindley Johnson, program executive for NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "But there are at least 10 times that many more to be found before we can be assured we will have found any and all that could impact and do significant harm to the citizens of Earth." During Johnson's decade-long tenure, 76 percent of the NEO discoveries have been made.

Knobby Pareiasaurs

During the Permian era, the Earth was dominated by a single supercontinent called Pangea – "All-Earth". Animal and plant life dispersed broadly across this land, as documented by identical fossil species found on multiple modern continents. But a new study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology supports the idea that there was an isolated desert in the middle of Pangea with a fauna all its own. Roaming this desert in what is now northern Niger was a very distinctive creature known as a pareiasaur.