Swimming pig colony is site to see in Bahamas

In the Bahamas, there is an uninhabited island called Big Major Cay, located in the Exuma district.Actually, that’s not exactly true. The island is uninhabited by humans, but considered the ‘Official Home of the Swimming Pigs.’Visitors to the island’s “Pig Beach,” as it is commonly called, get to feed and sometimes swim with the pig residents.

Fukushima impacts hidden from Japanese public

The Japanese were kept in the dark from the start of the Fukushima disaster about high radiation levels and their dangers to health, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. In order to proclaim the Fukushima area 'safe', the Government increased exposure limits to twenty times the international norm. Soon, many Fukushima refugees will be forced to return home to endure damaging levels of radiation.Once you enter a radiation controlled area, you aren’t supposed to drink water, let alone eat anything. The idea that somebody is living in a place like that is unimaginable.As such, one might have expected a recent presentation he gave in the UK within the hallowed halls of the House of Commons, to have focused on Japan's capacity to replace the electricity once generated by its now mainly shuttered nuclear power plants, with renewable energy. 

As you age you need to increase your protein intake to maintain muscle mass

Proteins are found in every cell in your body. These chains of amino acids are important for repair, maintenance and growth of cells, and are essential for healthy muscles, organs, glands, and skin.As protein is broken down and used up in your body, you must replace it by consuming protein via your diet. There's no question that eating enough high-quality protein is essential to good health, but in the US most people eat more protein than they need. 

Warming climate is bad news for western US aquifers

By 2050 climate change will increase the groundwater deficit even more for four economically important aquifers in the western U.S., reports a University of Arizona-led team of scientists.The new report is the first to integrate scientists' knowledge about groundwater in the U.S. West with scientific models that show how climate change will affect the region.

Can ecotourism save threatened species?

Ecotourism can provide the critical difference between survival and extinction for endangered animals, according to new research from Griffith University.Using population viability modelling, the Griffith team of Professor Ralf Buckley, Dr Guy Castley and Dr Clare Morrison has developed a method that for the first time quantifies the impact of ecotourism on threatened species.

Giant Iceberg Causes Penguin Deaths

For the past six years, an iceberg the size of Rome has blocked the access of Adélie penguins to the sea in Antarctica. To find food, they must walk a detour of nearly 40 miles to the coast.The impact on the colony has been devastating: More than 150,000 penguins have died.The approximately 1,800-square-mile iceberg (referred to as B09B) struck a glacier and became stuck in Commonwealth Bay back in 2010, essentially land-locking 160,000 penguins. Before then, the colony was thriving, thanks to strong winds that blew ice from the shore, making it easy to hunt for fish.“The Cape Denison population could be extirpated within 20 years unless B09B relocates or the now perennial fast ice within the bay breaks out,” wrote scientists from the Climate Change Research Centre at Australia’s University of New South Wales (UNSW) in a study published this month in Antarctic Science.

Algal Toxins Detected in One-Third of Streams Assessed in Southeastern United States

USGS scientists have detected toxins known as microcystins produced by various forms of algae in 39 percent of the small streams assessed throughout the southeastern United States. Their recent study looked at 75 streams in portions of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

UCLA studies the long-term health impacts of ozone

 Adults with long-term exposure to ozone (O3) face an increased risk of dying from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, a study  “Long-Term Ozone Exposure and Mortality in a Large Prospective Study” published online ahead of print in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine suggests.Using data from a large U.S. study begun in 1982, researchers found that every additional 10 parts per billion (ppb) in long-term ozone exposure increased the risk of dying by:12 percent from lung disease3 percent from cardiovascular disease2 percent from all causesResearchers said the increased risk of death was highest for diabetes (16 percent), followed by dysrhythmias, heart failure and cardiac arrest (15 percent) and by COPD (14 percent). 

Lawrence Livermore Laboratory looking at ways to deflect killer asteroids

Asteroids headed for a collision with the Earth, if found early enough, can be acted upon to prevent the potentially devastating consequences of an impact. One technique to divert an asteroid, called kinetic impact, uses a spacecraft to crash into the body at high speeds.This approach delivers the momentum of the spacecraft, while also providing an additional boost of momentum through the production of impact crater ejecta exceeding the asteroid’s escape velocity. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been studying the effectiveness of the kinetic-impactor strategy by carrying out 3D simulations of the process.In a new paper published in Icarus(link is external), LLNL planetary defense researchers find that asteroid deflection by kinetic impact is sensitive to a range of asteroid characteristics, including strength, porosity, rotation and shape. These and other asteroid properties may not be well constrained before an actual deflection mission is staged, leading to variability in the deflection outcome. By simulating a range of initial conditions for the target asteroids, researchers were able to quantify, for example, how greater target strength decreases the delivered momentum impulse and how, for an asteroid of constant size, added porosity can result in more effective deflections, despite the dampening of the shock waves produced during an impact

New Report Ties “Hottest Year on Record” to Human Toll of Disasters

Natural disasters made 2015 a miserable year for many people around the world. According to the United Nations’ Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the statistics were brutal. At least 98.6 million people were affected by natural disasters ranging from droughts to floods, and the economic damage could have been as high as $66.5 billion. Using the data available from the Belgian non-profit Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), the UN reports that almost 23,000 people died from the 346 natural disasters reported across the world.