Tigers vs. Leopards: Who are you more afraid of?

Besides the obvious stripes vs. spots, tigers and leopards are very similar – two top predatory cats that have the power and stealth to capture just about any prey. And if you were to find yourself face-to-face with one in the wild, the average person would probably be equally scared of both. But this is not necessarily the case for the other members of our animal kingdom. According to a new research study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, Wild Asian elephants fear the tiger more, as the study shows that the elephants slinks quietly away at the sound of a growling tiger, but trumpet and growl before retreating from leopard growls.

Organic September

The Soil Association's Emma Heesom talks to the Ecologist about what this year's Organic September campaign is all about and how everyone can make a small change and a big difference... There are lots of different reasons why people choose to buy Organic produce - from reduced chemicals and pesticides to concerns about animal welfare - but there are also lots of reasons and misconceptions that stop people from buying organic too. It is for this reason that this year's annual month-long focus on organic is a little bit of a break. The Small Changes, Big Difference campaign is asking people to make a small change to their shopping habits by switching one household item to organic, to create a big difference to our planet. For example, if just 12 families with an average bread consumption made the small change to swap their bread to organic, an area of land quarter of the size of the Wembley Stadium football pitch would become a pesticide-free haven for wildlife. What this campaign shows is how a small change will also make a big difference to the lives of farm animals. No other system of farming has higher animal welfare standards. Organic is free-range and encourages the animals' natural behavior.

Verizon Foundation Launches Second Innovative App Challenge for Students to Bolster Engagement in STEM Subjects

The Verizon Foundation, in partnership with the Technology Student Association, has opened the 2013-2014 Innovative App Challenge, giving middle and high school students across the country a chance to develop a concept for a mobile app and bring it to market. The mobile app design competition aims to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and empower them to create STEM-related app concepts that solve real-world problems in their community or school. Students have a chance to win Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets courtesy of Samsung Telecommunications America, cash grants of up to $20,000 for their school, and the opportunity to team up with app development experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab to build and bring their apps to life. Verizon will help winning teams bring their app to the Google Play store, available for download. The fastest-growing careers in the United States are STEM-related, yet the country is not graduating enough young professionals in these fields to meet this need. As a result, as many as 3 million STEM jobs have gone unfilled, according to STEMconnector's "2013 EdTech – Revolution in Education"

Food and beverage dye going all-natural

As consumers are becoming more health-conscious and aware of chemical additives and dyes in their food, many are starting to stray away from anything that contains "unnatural" ingredients, including food and drink dyes. At the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), this concern was one of the many topics discussed at the convention.

Israeli Researcher Discovers Cell-Destroying Protein That May Help Eradicate Cancer

"Killing these cancer stem cells is the holy grail of cancer treatments and therefore holds promise for complete eradication of cancer," says Dr. Sarit Larisch of the University of Haifa. These are not words pronounced lightly; instead, they follow more than a decade of research that could give hope to cancer patients worldwide. Along with her colleagues, Larisch has established the basis for developing a new, more effective treatment for cancer using a protein called ARTS.

Are UK drivers more switched on to electric vehicles?

It may come as a surprise to those who drive in the UK but a recent survey by Censuswide and Rexel has revealed that 41% of British drivers surveyed would consider the purchase of an electric vehicle or hybrid over the next five years. The survey also revealed a number of anomalies with regards to the public’s perception of the electric vehicle industry which should give food for thought as we move forward with this new mode of transport.

Snake Fungal Disease Hits U.S.

A fungal outbreak in the eastern and Midwestern United States is infecting some populations of wild snakes. Snake Fungal Disease (SFD), a fungal dermatitis consistently associated with the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, is showing recent spikes in occurrence according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) and other diagnostic laboratories. So far, the diseased snakes submitted by Wildlife Monitors to the NWHC are attributed to wild populations from nine states, including Florida, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Happiness found to be a good target of policy

Everyone yearns to be happy. Some think obtaining the next hot gadget or cell phone will do it. Others the new hot sports car. For others, a warm bed and food for their family will bring happiness. But what does our yearning for happiness have to do with government policy? How can governments increase our happiness? As heads of state get ready for the United Nations General Assembly in two weeks, the second World Happiness Report further strengthens the case that well-being should be a critical component of how the world measures its economic and social development. The report is published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), under the auspices of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Leading experts in several fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. The Report is edited by Professor John F. Helliwell, of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Well-Being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance; and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Director of the SDSN, and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General. "There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves characterize their well-being," said Professor Jeffery Sachs. "More and more world leaders are talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations and the world. The World Happiness Report 2013 offers rich evidence that the systematic measurement and analysis of happiness can teach us a lot about ways to improve the world’s well-being and sustainable development."

Fracking fight heats up in Ohio

What could make a former Marine, retired cop, and self-described "ultra-conservative" oppose fracking in his home state of Ohio? At a diner off of Route 22 near Steubenville, OH, Ed Hashberger had the answer. Dressed in a red polo shirt emblazoned with the U.S. Marine Corps logo and carrying a Marine Corps notebook, Hashberger first described his bona fides. He served three years in Panama. He recited half a dozen close relatives who served in World War II, the Vietnam War, Afghanistan, and Iraq. His son was badly injured from an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan and remains confined to a wheel chair as a result.

Small birds save big money for Costa Rica’s farmers

The yellow warbler may not pull a perfect latte, but it turns out it's a friend to coffee drinkers all the same. Research in Costa Rica shows that hungry warblers and other birds significantly reduce damage by a devastating coffee pest, the coffee berry borer beetle.